Options for Students Needing Internet or Computer Access

During this move to online learning, many students may face a challenge in accessing the internet or a computer. Below is a list of options that may be helpful. All of the options may not be applicable to all students.

Student Laptop Loaner Program

Brown library has laptops available for semester-long student checkout. Students who need to borrow a laptop can bring a photo ID to the desk on the first floor of Brown Library anytime during normal operating hours.  The laptops will need to be returned at the end of the semester during finals week.  If you have further questions please email library@virginiawestern.edu.

On Campus Computer Lab

Brown Library’s first floor computer lab is available for students to use anytime the library is open. Space is limited and campus policies apply, such as those regarding face coverings and the daily health self-check.

Normal hours of operation are as follows:
Monday   9:00am-8:00pm
Tuesday   9:00am-5:00pm
Wednesday   9:00am-3:00pm
Thursday   9:00am-8:00pm
Friday   9:00am-1:00pm
Saturday   9:00am-1:00pm

The lab will be closed whenever the campus is closed, including all holidays and inclement weather or emergency closures. Please note that the entrance to the building will be from the ground floor/Parking Lot 6 entrance, near the Testing Center. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the Academic Link at 540-857-6442.

Places you may be able to drive to

  • Wi-Fi access at Virginia Western’s campus is accessible from many parking lots. WiFi Access Points are noted on the campus map here.
  • Check your local public libraries, even though the buildings are closed, they may still have access in the parking lots as well.
  • You can find free Wi-Fi provided by the City of Salem and Roanoke College in Downtown Salem along the Main Street corridor from Craig Ave to Academy Street and Clay Street to Burwell Street. It can also be accessed at Salem Stadium, fairgrounds, and in City buildings. https://salemva.gov/Departments/Technology-Systems/Salem-Wifi
  • Many local restaurants, fast food joints, coffee shops, etc. that are still open are leaving the Wi-Fi on even if the inside dining has closed. Some Wi-Fi providers are opening up their hotspots in public places so that everyone can access them.
  • Map of Public Wifi Hotspots

Mobile Hotspots

If you have a data plan on your mobile phone, you may be able to access the internet from a laptop, desktop, or tablet computer by turning your cellphone into a mobile hotspot. Search your provider’s website or see this article for basic instructions: https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-turn-yourphone-into-a-wi-fi-hotspot

Roanoke County Public Library (RCPL) is checking out Mobile Hotspots. If you have a library card, you can check out a hotspot for free. Hotspots can be used to connect your tablet, laptop, or other WiFi enabled device to 4G LTE networks. RCPL hotspots can be borrowed for 28 days. Click here for more information.

BE AWARE: Data charges may apply and may be significant!!