VPN FAQ (frequently asked questions)
What is VPN?
VPN or Virtual Private Networks allow users to access the campus network from campus issued devices such as laptop or notebook computers when they are off campus and have access to the internet. The VPN uses technology to ensure that the data going over the public internet is encrypted and secure.
What can I do with VPN?
You can access any campus network resource the same as if you were on campus including access to network drives (i.e. your g: drive), email, and any other network based software that you would have access to if you were connected on campus.
So with VPN is my device completely secure?
NO! VPN secures data as it is transmitted over the internet. You are still responsible for the security of the data that resides on your device and responsible for the physical security of the device. See the final question in this list for tips for securing your device and your data.
Will the VPN connection be as fast as my on-campus connection?
No. Because data you are sending and receiving must be encrypted and decrypted, you will sacrifice some performance. The speed of the connection is also dependent on the speed of your internet connection. The campus network is typically much faster than most hotels, airports or other public networks.
Who can request a VPN connection?
Currently VPN connections are only available to Faculty and Staff with an approved academic or business need.
Can VPN be installed on my home computer or personal device?
No. VPN is only available for installation on UW-Superior owned devices.
Can VPN be installed on my campus issued MAC?
Yes. The installation and steps for logging on are slightly different than for PC installation but most MAC devices are supported.
How do I request VPN access?
Faculty and Staff can submit a request for installation to the technology help desk. The request must include the academic or business reason for the access. Once the request is approved, you will be required to bring the device to the technology help desk in Swenson Hall. Our network technicians will complete the necessary configurations and install the VPN software (Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client). The process for installation can take up to 5 business days depending on current work load.
What are the policies for using VPN connections?
Polices for using this service are included in the broader Remote Access Policy. All other University policies including Appropriate Use Guidelines must be followed when connecting through VPN. For a complete list of policies, visit our Technology Policies web page.
Will I use my campus user name and password to access the VPN?
No. You will be issued separate credentials (user name and password that may be different than those that you use on campus).
How do I connect to the campus network using VPN after it is installed?
The steps depend on the device that you are connecting with but in general:
- Navigate to the All Programs list and click the link to the "Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client"
- Click the CONNECT button
- Read the "Use Statement" dialog box and click the ACCEPT button
- Enter the user name and password that was assigned to you for this type of connection and click the continue button.
Note that your user name and password may be different than your campus login credentials.
How do I disconnect from my VPN connection?
How you disconnect depends on the device, but in general you launch the "Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client" dashboard from the system tray or list of programs and click the DISCONNECT button on the dashboard.
Can I use VPN while on campus?
There is no need. The software will give you an error that it "can't find a network" if it detects that you are already connected to the campus network.
Who do I contact if I have problems connecting?
What do I do if I forget my user name and/or password?
Return the device to the help desk, the software will need to be reinstalled.
Can I change my VPN password?
Contact the technology help desk for instructions for changing passwords.
What can I do to secure my device when I am off campus?
Here are a few steps to help you secure your VPN connection and your campus devices:
- Always disconnect from VPN when you have completed your work or are going to be away from your device for any period of time.
- Never keep your VPN credentials on your device or your device carrying case.
- Store all critical data files on your network drives and password protect those files
- Never allow you device to "Save Passwords"
- Avoid leaving devices in cars, hotel rooms or in checked luggage
- Pay particular attention to your devices in airports or other public places
- If your device is stolen, immediately contact the technology help desk or after hours contact the campus safety office.