The basics of VPN at IU
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A virtual private network (VPN) allows you to temporarily create or join a private network across an existing public network by creating an encrypted tunnel between two hosts. The encryption protects the data your computer or mobile device transmits and receives over the Internet, enabling secure remote access to restricted online resources.
Many public wireless networks (e.g., those provided by hotels and restaurants) are not encrypted, leaving transmitted data unprotected and vulnerable to electronic surveillance. Even data originating from a secure network (e.g., one provided by your employer or school) may be vulnerable if they are being transmitted to another secure network over the public Internet. To prevent data from being intercepted (especially confidential financial data, or data protected by federal laws, such as FERPA and HIPAA data) businesses, government offices, universities, and other institutions use VPN systems to encrypt data transmitted between their secure networks and remote users.
At Indiana University, UITS delivers a centrally managed, fault-tolerant SSL VPN service capable of meeting the VPN needs of all IU campuses. (Your campus may have additional or alternative VPN options; if you have questions or need help, contact your campus Support Center.)
Establishing a connection to the IU VPN effectively joins your off-campus computer or mobile device to the IU network, enabling access to online resources and services that are configured to refuse connections from outside the IU network.
Some examples of resources and services that require an IU VPN connection for off-campus access are:
- Print queues
- Some library databases
- Remote desktop connections
- Most network storage drives
- Administrative access to sensitive central systems (e.g., HRMS, SIS)
Whenever you are off campus and cannot connect to a service, establish a connection to the IU VPN and see whether that fixes the problem.
Connecting to IU's SSL VPN
For the greatest reliability across the widest range of platforms and network configurations, UITS recommends using the Pulse Secure SSL VPN client ( produced by Pulse Secure, LLC) to connect to Indiana University's SSL VPN. The Pulse Secure client allows you to access IU's SSL VPN directly without having to open and log in through a web browser. The Pulse Secure client is the official replacement for the Junos Pulse client previously used at IU.
IU students, faculty, and staff can download Pulse Secure for 32- or 64-bit Windows or OS X at no cost from IUware. Free mobile versions are available for Android devices (from the Google Play store) and Apple devices running iOS 6.0 or later (from the Apple App Store).
For instructions on configuring Pulse Secure to connect to IU's SSL VPN, see:
- Connecting to IU's SSL VPN for individuals and groups from a Windows or OS X workstation
- Connecting to the IU SSL VPN with Pulse Secure on an iOS device
- Connecting to IU's SSL VPN from an Android device
Pulse Secure is not yet available for the Linux, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry platforms:
- IU Linux users should continue to use the Juniper SSL VPN client installer from IUware (for instructions, see Connecting to IU's SSL VPN from a 64-bit Linux workstation).
- IU Windows Phone and BlackBerry users (and IU iOS users with devices running versions earlier than 6.0) should continue to use the Junos Pulse client, available for free from:
- IU Chrome OS users should use the Pulse Secure client available from the Google Web Store.
If you have questions or need help, contact your campus Support Center.
This is document ajrq in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2016-06-10 00:00:00.
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