Incoming Freshmen: Free software and cloud services!
August 7, 2018
Phil Johnson
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MIT student in Lobby 10 looking at her laptop
Photo: Jake Belcher

Be sure to sure read our earlier article for incoming freshmen: Protecting your computer.

While enrolled as an MIT student, you have access to an array of free software and cloud-based services. Once you have a Kerberos account and an MIT certificate, you can download or access anything that’s marked for use by students on the Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) software grid. Note: Some software and services are not available to incoming students until after registration. Read on to learn about some of the most popular software and services MIT provides to its students.

Cloud storage

MIT students have access to a number of different options for storing and sharing files, including Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive. The storage on these platforms available to community members at no cost is significantly greater than what is made available to the general public for free. Check out all of the Data Storage and Collaboration Options in the Knowledge Base (KB).

Drupal Cloud

IS&T’s Drupal Cloud service lets you create and manage websites with ease. You don’t need HTML experience to design a professional-looking website – for yourself or for MIT organizations. Visit to get started.


MIT is part of eduroam, a service that lets you use your MIT credentials to login to Wi-Fi at other universities. Simply login with your MIT email address and password to gain access to secure Wi-Fi around the U.S. and in over 71 countries. For details, see IS&T’s eduroam page in the Knowledge Base (KB).


GitHub lets you upload and share software code on the Web, so you can easily collaborate on projects with your peers. Visit to set up an account.

MIT Mobile

The MIT Mobile app is available on the software gridiTunes, and Google Play. Use this must-have app to check up on MIT news and events. It also offers an up-to-date map and shuttle tracking service, as well as a people directory and dining information.


MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment used for machine learning, signal processing, image processing, computer vision, communications, computational finance, control design, robotics, and more. Get the inside scoop on MathWorks’ MATLAB page and download MATLAB from the software grid.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. This software suite provides the tools you need to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, manage information, and collaborate with others.

Much more to explore

Check out all the offerings on IS&T’s software grid. Of course, you’ll have four whole years to do just that!
To learn even more about IS&T’s software and services, check out these two events during Orientation for MIT freshmen.

  • The Academic Expo: Wednesday, August 29 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., at the Johnson Ice Rink (W34). IS&T will be handing out free swag bags. Learn about student jobs, software, and everything you need to know to get your computer ready for the school year.
  • Computing @ MIT: Registration Day, Tuesday, September 4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Z-Center lobby (W35). Learn about IS&T and get your laptop and/or tablet tagged with an anti-theft sticker.

There will be lots of information and free stuff at both events, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the class of 2022!