While BYU has 12 open computer labs and over 500 computers, it often seems as if all 30,000 students want to use them at the same time. In order to avoid the crowds and to facilitate late-night paper-writing, many BYU students bring their own computers. The vast majority of BYU-approved housing has high-speed Internet connections that are usually included in the cost of rent. The dorms are all hooked up to BYU's Ethernet system. Desktops must be high-speed Internet compatible, and laptops require an Ethernet card, which can be purchased in the computer section of the Bookstore. All incoming students are given an e-mail account, and many teachers will use the electronic blackboard for class announcements and homework assignments.
BYU's network and servers are exceptionally fast and, if you can avoid the firewall, a very good tool when doing research. Students may complain about the firewall, but it rarely causes problems. When it does, however, it is usually more amusing than annoying. All of the labs are updated every three years to ensure that the computers are up-to-date. All computers are all equipped with floppy, CD, and zip drives. In addition to the open computer labs around campus, many of the departments have smaller labs for the students within the majors.