Computing & Communications Center
Network Operations

Remote Access/Off-Campus Support (VPN)

The VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides end-to-end secure access between a remote computer and on-campus computer resources. This means that, from home or another location, you can access your desktop, file shares, or servers that are on-campus. All WPI faculty, staff and students may use the VPN. When using the VPN, all traffic destined for WPI is encrypted, while all traffic destined for all other internet sites is not.

You will need to confirm you have the correct system requirements on the computer you plan to use from a remote location (working from home, for example) and you will need your WPI username and password.

How to set up and access the VPN

  1. Confirm your computer and browser meet these requirements.
  2. Install the VPN software, Juniper Network's Network Connect:
  3. Network Connect Installation Instructions
    Windows Instructions Video Tutorial
    Mac OS X Instructions Video Tutorial
    Linux (32-bit only) Instructions
  4. Use the VPN (already installed)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a VPN?
  2. Who should use the WPI VPN?
  3. What about using the VPN while on-campus?
  4. What are the computer and browser requirements for using the VPN?
  5. How do I access the VPN?
  6. How do I get the VPN (Juniper Networks Network Connect) software?
  7. How do I connect to the VPN after installing its software?
  8. How do I connect to a personal or business network file share?
  9. How do I disconnect from the VPN?
  10. How do I reconnect to the VPN (after being disconnected)?
  11. Do I need the VPN to remotely access Gordon Library materials?
  1. What is a VPN?
  2. A VPN is a secure connection through an on campus Extranet server that allows encrypted access to the same resources as if you were on campus.

    For example, let's say that you have a laptop computer that you are using somewhere off campus. At this distant location you realize that the presentation you have to give is on your Unix drive. You can't map that directory to a drive on your computer if you are off campus.

    With the VPN, you could run the client software and map your drives just like you were on campus. All traffic between your laptop and the Extranet server and WPI Network is encrypted and secure, so you don't have to worry about sensitive information being intercepted en route. Traffic between your laptop and the Internet at large continues to be routed through normal means, and is NOT encrypted by the VPN.

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  3. Who should use the WPI VPN?
  4. The VPN is available for WPI account holders working off-campus needing services that are only available while connected to WPI's network. This includes as mapping network file shares, accessing license servers for courseware, etc. The VPN does NOT provide access to off-campus services (such as e-journals that the library subscribes to) with a WPI IP address. If you need to use off-campus web services with a WPI IP address, you must still use the WPI Proxy Server. For additional security when using the proxy server, we strongly recommend you use the VPN as well, since this will encrypt your login and password when logging in to the proxy server.

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  5. What about using the VPN while on-campus?
  6. The VPN is only intended for use from off-campus. Using it while connected to WPI's on-campus network will provide no additional benefits, and may cause problems with certain applications.

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  7. What are the computer and browser requirements for using the VPN?
  8. Before using the VPN, please ensure your computer meets these requirements.

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  9. How do I access the VPN?
  10. First download Juniper Networks Network Connect software, and then login to it with your WPI email address and password when you are working from off-campus.

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  11. How do I get the VPN (Juniper Networks Network Connect) software?
  12. Prior to downloading the VPN software, ensure that your computer meets the necessary system requirements. Follow installation directions for your operating system.

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  13. How do I connect to the VPN after installing its software?
  14. Open a browser and go to https://vpn.wpi.edu.

    Optionally you can add it to your Desktop or Dock:

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  15. How do I connect to a personal or business network file share?
  16. After signing in to the VPN, you can map a network drive to the file share, or open a previously mapped network share by clicking on it.

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  17. How do I disconnect from the VPN?
  18. When you are connected, the Network Connect icon appears in your system tray (Windows) or in your Dock (Mac). Click on the icon and then the Disconnect button.

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  19. How do I reconnect to the VPN (after being disconnected)?
  20. To reconnect at a later time you can do one of the following:

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  21. Do I need the VPN to remotely access Gordon Library materials?
  22. Please consult Gordon Library’s Off-Campus Access information.

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System Requirements

Before using the VPN, please ensure your computer meets these requirements.

Requirement Windows (All versions) Mac OS X (10.4 32 bit, 10.5 32 or 64 bit, 10.6 32 or 64 bit) Linux (32 bit only)
Oracle Java
http://java.com
JRE 1.6 or newer Mac OS packaged JRE. JRE 1.6 or newer
If you do not have an appropriate version of Java, you can download it from http://java.com
Administrative Account All operating systems require an account with Administrator (or root) level access to install the VPN client
Web Browser Any Any Firefox 3.0 or newer
Other XTerm program (xterm)

Installation Instructions

Windows Installation

  1. Browse to https://vpn.wpi.edu in the web browser of your choice.
  2. Accept the AUP by clicking Proceed
  3. Log in with your WPI email address (username@wpi.edu) and password
  4. Click Start to start the VPN.
  5. A window should open asking Do you want to download, install, and/or execute software? Choose Always or Yes to proceed.
  6. After completing the installation, the VPN client will automatically launch.
  7. When you are finished using the VPN, right click on the tray icon and select Sign Out.

Mac OS X Installation

  1. Browse to https://vpn.wpi.edu in the web browser of your choice.
  2. Accept the AUP by clicking Proceed
  3. Log in with your WPI email address (username@wpi.edu) and password
  4. Click Start to start the VPN.
  5. Your browswer will take you to a page saying Please wait... Launching Network Connect.
  6. A window will open saying An applet from vpn.wpi.edu is requesting access to your computer. Choose Allow to continue.
  7. A window should open asking if you want to download, install, and/or execute software. Choose Always or Yes to proceed.
  8. When prompted, enter the username and password for an account with Administrative access on your Mac.
  9. After completing installation, the client will automatically launch.
  10. When you are finished using the VPN, open Network Connect from the dock and choose Sign Out.

Linux Installation (32-bit only)

  1. Make sure you have the XTerm program (command name xterm) installed on your Linux system.
  2. Browse to https://vpn.wpi.edu in Firefox 3.0 or above.
  3. Accept the AUP by clicking Proceed
  4. Log in with your WPI email address (username@wpi.edu) and password
  5. Click Start to start the VPN.
  6. Your browswer will take you to a page saying Please wait... Launching Network Connect.
  7. A window will open saying The application's digital signature has been verified. Do you want to run the application?. Check Always trust content from this publisher and click Run to continue.
  8. A window should open asking if you want to download, install, and/or execute software. Choose Always or Yes to proceed.
  9. An XTerm terminal window will open asking for the root/su password or sudo password. Enter either the Linux root password (for the former) or your Linux user password (for the latter) and press Enter.
  10. After completing installation, the VPN client will automatically launch.
  11. When you are done, choose Sign Out from the Network Connect window
Maintained by webmaster@wpi.edu
Last modified: Feb 06, 2013, 09:54 EST
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