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IT Division - TopperTech

TopperTech - Frequently Asked Questions

What is TopperTech?
TopperTech is a technology support service available to all WKU students who are issued a WKU ID and are enrolled in a current and/or following WKU term. Provided services include hardware diagnostics and repair, network support, virus and spyware removal, facilitate hardware purchases, and operating system restorations. The TopperTech office is staffed during normal university business hours.  Service may be obtained by contacting the IT Helpdesk or coming to the Technical Support Services window located on the third floor of Mass Media and Technology Hall.  Please refer to the IT Division Contacts page for more information.
What services are available?
In addition to the hardware and software repair services, connecting to our local area network can give you access to the following resources: Topper Mail, TopNet, myWKU, Blackboard, WKU MyStuff (Network Storage), access to the WKU Library's online databases and much more.
Do I need to provide anything to hook up to the Internet at WKU?
You can connect to our network in two ways. A wired connection to our network requires an Ethernet network card and a patch cable. We recommend your network cable length be between 15 to 20 feet. Students can also connect via wireless in the residence halls and other various areas around campus. All residence halls are 100 percent wireless. To learn more about the wireless coverage on campus, go to
What are your system recommendations?
Many students and parents ask us, "What type of computer should my son or daughter get and what does it need to have on it?" Since each student's technology needs are different, TopperTech does not limit itself into promoting one specific computer model. Here are some general suggestions and recommendations to keep in mind. 
  • Educational Purchase Programs - Western Kentucky University has teamed with Apple and Dell to offer educational purchase pricing to faculty, staff, and students.
  • Anti-Virus software - This is a must have! Fortunately, Western Kentucky University provides Symantec Endpoint Anti-Virus software for all WKU students. Make sure to uninstall your existing anti-virus software before you install Symantec Endpoint Anti-virus. You can download it at
  • Office Suite Software - Also, most computers need to have some form of an office suite installed on it, such as Microsoft Office, so students can type papers, and create presentations.
  • If you're purchasing a laptop, buy an extended warranty if possible. This could help preserve the life of the laptop.
  • Portability
  • Student's Major - Certain majors may require the use of specialized software that only a "high-end" computer can handle.  It is advisable for students to speak with their academic advisor or department head to determine if they will need to have this special software running on their personally-owned computer. 
  • If you have more specific questions, please call the IT Helpdesk at 270-745-7000 or email WKU TopperTech Manager James Kennedy.
Do I need to buy a new computer?
It is not a requirement to buy a personal computer in order to succeed at WKU. Western Kentucky University provides Student Technology Centers (open computer labs for all students) at convenient locations across the university. In addition to six locations on the main campus, there is also one Student Technology Center (STC) at each regional campus location, and another at the South Campus (Community College). STC labs are equipped with the latest hardware, software, scanners, and laser printing. One location, in the Mass Media and Technology Hall, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while classes are in session. Student Technology Centers are restricted for the use of WKU students only, and you’ll use your WKU account to log in. Check out our WKU Student Technology brochure for more about Student Technology Centers and other technology services for students at WKU.
How much do TopperTech services cost?
TopperTech does not charge students for the services it provides. The only cost a student might incur is dealing with post-warranty issues on hardware or restoration media for a given computer. For example, if TopperTech determines a hard drive in your computer has gone bad and the computer is no longer under warranty, the student will be responsible for purchasing a new hard drive. Once the hard drive is purchased by the student, TopperTech can install the hard drive for free.
How do I get on the Internet?
If students are connecting to the Internet via a wireless connection, they must authenticate with their WKU NetID and corresponding password. Currently, authentication measures are not required for wired connections in the residence halls.
Can two computers be connected in the same room?
Yes. There are two ports in each room. Each of you can have your own connection. Students can also connect wirelessly.
What do I need to bring to the TopperTech office when getting my computer fixed?
When students are dropping off a laptop at the TopperTech office, they need three things: the computer in question, the power adapter or charger if it is a laptop, and a photo ID of some sort (WKU ID, Driver's License, etc.).
What if I have computer problems during the semester?
Assistance may be obtained multiple ways.  Please refer to the IT Division Contacts page for more information.
Can TopperTech install applications for me?
TopperTech will install the operating system, corresponding driver software, and the University provided antivirus Symantec Endpoint Protection. Office 365 can be installed by request. All other software applications will need to be installed by the client.
What recommendations does TopperTech have for obtaining an office suite, such as Microsoft Office?
Office 365 ProPlus is now available to WKU faculty, staff, and students at WKU faculty, staff, and students can download and install Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus free of charge.  This software is provided through WKU's enterprise licensing agreement with Microsoft. The Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus download includes the following list of applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher. [OneNote, Access, and Publisher are available for Windows computers only.] The software may be installed on up to 5 devices/computers. These are full desktop applications, not web or "cloud" apps. This is a subscription program, and the subscription will end when your relationship ends with the University. If you wish to continue to use Office 365 ProPlus after you have left WKU, you may purchase access through Microsoft. For more information about Office 365 and how to download the software on multiple platforms, please visit
What advice can TopperTech offer in preventing malware (spyware) infection?
Ensure an anti-virus application, such as Symantec Endpoint, is installed and updated with the latest definitions. Always ensure a source is reliable when downloading files to the computer; many infections are often received through the use of file sharing applications.
How do I register my game console to play online?
WKU's campus supports wireless and wired connectivity for gaming consoles. In order to provide internet access to these devices our networking team requires the consoles MAC physical hardware address.  Once you have obtained the MAC address of the device, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 270-745-7000 or submit a request via our online Service Catalog.
Can TopperTech order parts for my personally-owned computer?
TopperTech does have a part purchasing service available to all WKU students. If a part is required to fix a student's personally-owned computer, TopperTech can now obtain the part on behalf of the student. The student will provide payment to TopperTech to cover:
  • The cost of the part
  • Kentucky Sales Tax - 6%
  • Shipping (if applicable)
Two part purchasing scenarios exist.
  • If parts and shipping are $150 or less, upon client approval, TopperTech can order the parts and repair the machine once the parts arrive. The client is responsible for payment at the time of computer pickup.
  • If parts and shipping are over $150, the client will be required to come to the Technical Support Services windows to pay for the parts before TopperTech orders them.

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 Last Modified 2/7/18