We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Computer Lab?

By Vanessa Harvey
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A computer lab is a cluster of computers that usually are networked and available for use by the public. Labs frequently are found in public buildings such as libraries, schools such as colleges and universities, community centers and some large churches that have many parishioners. Almost all computer labs offer users access to the Internet and provide software that students can use to do research and complete their homework or that others, such as traveling business people, might need for other purposes.

An Internet café differs from a computer lab in that users must connect to the Internet using their own computer or device, and users of a computer lab do not need any equipment of their own. There is the need for protection and restrictions within networks available to the public. Users might be denied access to websites featuring adult content or sites that demand too much bandwidth. Those using a computer lab also usually are allowed a limited amount of time to be signed onto a machine, whether surfing the Internet or using software to do other work. Seldom is there a charge to use a public computer lab, but labs in educational facilities tend to be available only to current students of the school, and they usually must sign on so that their activities can be traced and monitored if necessary.

Other hardware such as printers and sometimes scanners, compact disk (CD) drives and digital versatile disk (DVD) drives also are available free of charge or for a nominal fee. Headphones also might be freely provided for users who visit sites with sound or video files that need to be played or users who simply would like to enjoy watching a movie or listening to music while they work. Files created by visitors to a computer lab usually can be stored on a universal serial bus (USB) drive, also known as a jump drive, thumb drive or pen drive, so they can take their work with them.

Network administrators almost always are very concerned about security within a computer lab that is open to the public. Antivirus software to protect against malicious code and programs that allow lab monitors and administrators to immediately take remote control over a machine usually are installed and regularly updated so that the network is safe for all users and their files. Although most computer labs run on a Microsoft Windows® operating system, some labs, particularly those in educational facilities, run on a distribution of Linux, such as Fedora, Ubuntu or Debian.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By betterment — On Jul 17, 2012

I remember doing computer lab lessons when I was in elementary school. The whole class would look forward to computer lab time where we would learn to type and do fun math programs.

When I was that age, computers weren't as common as they are now (this was in the age of the floppy disc and black computer screens with green writing.) So most of us didn't have access to computers at home. Using the school computer lab was like a special treat, and of course I learned skills (like typing) that I still use today.

By Azuza — On Jul 16, 2012

I used to live in the city right near the main branch of the public library. The library had a huge computer lab that was pretty much always in use. If you wanted to use a computer, you had to sign up and wait until someone else was done. Luckily, there was a one hour time limit set on the computers (or maybe unluckily if you had a lot of stuff to do.)

I think it's great the libraries provide this kind of service to the public, especially for people looking for a job. Most companies post help wanted adds online, and expect people to email their resumes. That's kind of hard without access to a computer!

By Ted41 — On Jul 15, 2012

@Ivan83 - You're right these days you really can't get through college without a computer, even if classroom computer labs are available. I graduated college only a few years ago, and when I was in school a lot of my work had to be done using a computer. I don't know if I could have gotten by just by using a computer lab.

I did use the on campus computer labs for printing papers when I was in school though. I didn't have a printer for the first few years, so every time I needed to print something I had to trek across campus and pay to use the computer lab printers at the library.

By profess — On Jul 14, 2012

My local public library has a computer lab but all of the computers are terrible. They are old computers running old programs. They even use Internet Explorer. They work if you are in a pinch and they offer free printing so sometimes it's worth it. But otherwise they are some of the slowest and most frustrating computers that you will still find in service.

By Ivan83 — On Jul 14, 2012

I was really lucky that my college had so many computer labs because for the first three years of school I did not have a computer of my own. I know that sounds kind of unimaginable these days but it was really not much of a burden.

I was always able to find an open computer in the library or one of the many computer labs that were sprinkled around the campus. I could write papers for as long as I needed or check e-mail or just goof around on the internet. All I needed was a flash drive so I could store some of my own files.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.