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The basics of VPN at IU

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. This tunnel allows you to transfer information securely and to access remote resources.

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Reasons for using a VPN

The VPN service at Indiana University serves two primary purposes:

  • The IU VPN allows you to protect the information you're transmitting over the Internet. For example, working with personal banking data, student FERPA information, or employee HIPAA data may require protective measures to be taken. Additionally, many public networks (e.g., wireless connections at hotels or restaurants) are often unprotected and can leave you exposed to electronic surveillance. Even safe networks at other institutions can leave you at risk by requiring data to travel over the Internet to reach IU. A VPN will encrypt all traffic between you and IU to prevent this information from being intercepted.

  • The IU VPN allows you to act as part of IU's network when you're off campus. By using the VPN, you can access IP-restricted resources such as shared folders, hard drives, and printers, and you can create Remote Desktop connections to other computers on campus. Also, you can access library databases restricted to IU students, faculty, and staff, as well as some of the software available on IUware.


Note: For VPN when connecting from off campus, use the recommended SSL VPN if your campus supports it. The IPsec VPN at IUB and IUPUI will eventually be retired.

Note: To connect to IU's SSL VPN from a Linux workstation, download the installer from IUware.

To connect to the SSL VPN, see:

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Last modified on February 12, 2014.

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