Living in College


When you arrive in Cambridge one of the first things you will have to do is set up your account, thus granting you access to the internet, email and the computer terminals. The process should be straightforward, but again, if anyone has questions, or needs help, I’m more than happy to. Here are a few useful terms to do with university computing to get you started:

  • MCS (PWF) – The Managed Cluster Service, formerly known as Public Workstation Facility (PWF) is a shared network of PCs and Macs within Cambridge. There are two computer rooms in College: one in Essex Building and one in the JCR (AA staircase, Cripps). You can access each of these computers, using your Raven credentials. You can’t install any applications yourself, but you can request a package to be installed at the MCS help desk.
  • CRSid – REMEMBER THIS! It is your unique identifier to Computerised Networks within Cambridge. It takes the form of your initials followed by several numbers, e.g. ed408. It forms your email address,, and is used to identify you to any University provided service. For example, the college provided common computers (MCS).
  • Raven – The unified login system for many services within Cambridge. You use it to access the internet, it’s used to grant you access to the PC’s within college, and it’s important that you remember its password.
  • Outlook – This is your University-provided email. It’s vital that you set it up as soon as you can, as it is the primary means of communication in Cambridge. You can access it both via web, or (as I would recommend) via an Email client such as Thunderbird, (not to mention the email clients on other devices). For this, the following guide will be helpful:

internet and wifi

  • WIFI – UniOfCam and Eduroam are two networks available virtually everywhere within Cambridge. UniOfCam uses simple authentication and you will be able to log into it using Raven details only. However, we would recommend setting up Eduroam as that network is more secure and it doesn’t require you to Log In using Raven every time you use WiFi. The process is, however more involved, so you might want to use UniOfCam first, and then set up Eduroam, using this guide:
  • Ethernet – you will be provided with a CAT5 cable (ethernet cable) in your room and there should be a wall outlet in each room. This connection is more reliable, and it puts far less strain on the Wireless network.
  • Pricing – If you use the internet like normal (work, social media, Netflix, etc) then you can consider it free! Technically all connections in College are metered and there are no free periods of traffic. However, the free daily usage cap is pretty high, and the price per GB of data is fairly low. More on that can be found on the College Website.