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Staying Connected

Updated: May 18, 2020

As we continue to socially distance and move toward an even more technology-dependent lifestyle, the ability to connect and communicate is vital to the continuity of teaching, learning, researching, and working remotely. This page provides information and resources to help you stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Keep Americans Connected Pledge, sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission, asks internet and telephone providers to agree to support the connectivity of Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. Companies who sign the pledge agree to:

Home Internet Services

Companies across the country are providing free or reduced-cost internet service, removing data caps (a set limit to the amount of data you can use from your home internet connection), and making free WiFi hotspots available. You can review offerings from some of the largest internet service providers below. For a complete list of providers in your area, visit and search by zip code or view the interactive map.

Troubleshooting Home Internet Issues

Northwestern IT offers troubleshooting tips to help you mitigate common home internet connection issues, including how to test your home internet performance. Learn more.

Keeping a Secure Work Environment

Securing your work environment while working online from home requires some additional consideration—you will be using your home network, and possibly your personal computer. This page provides resources to help you maintain the same security precautions as if you were on campus. Learn more

Cellular Services

Another option is using a smartphone to connect your other devices. Many smartphones enable the creation of a mobile hotspot by accessing the phone's existing cellular data connection. Please contact your cell phone carrier to explore your options if you do not have a personal hotspot available on your current plan (some internet providers are temporarily offering expanded mobile hotspot service to customers).

Northwestern also offers discounts on some cellular plans through the Northwestern Wildcard Advantage discount program.

Last Updated: 18 May 2020

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