Students have been warned they could face a £1,000 fine for watching live television online without a licence.
Many believe they do not need a licence for watching their favourite shows on their computers, TV Licensing said.
But failing to buy one could land them in court, they were told.
A TV Licensing spokesman said: "More and more students are choosing to watch TV in a variety of different ways, including on devices such as iPads and laptops.
"If they are watching or recording programmes, including Frozen Planet, sport or The X-Factor, at the same time as they are shown on TV they must have a valid licence or risk breaking the law."