Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Related pages

The VPN is a secure connection that allows your computer to access the University network when you are off campus.

This means you can access restricted services, get access to filestore, and send your work to print.

Overview

Eligibility

All members of the University can use the VPN.

The VPN lets you access restricted services when you are off campus. These include:

  • Filestore
  • Restricted web apps - applications which normally require you to be on campus to use them, eg SITS
  • Terminal sessions - SSH sessions to machines on campus, and remote desktop sessions to Windows machines
  • Licence servers - enables use of software that requires access to the University's licence servers

Getting started

You can connect to the VPN using software called Pulse Secure. To download the file and view setup instructions, select from the list below:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Chromebook
  • iOS: download Pulse Secure from the App Store. Setup of the app is almost identical to the Mac version. Note: when completing the setup, the realm and role fields should be left blank.
  • Android: download Pulse Secure from the Google Play store. Setup of the app is almost identical to the Windows version. Note: when completing the setup, the realm and role fields should be left blank.

Log in with your username (eg abc500). Please note, you should not add @york.ac.uk.

When you're connected to the VPN, all traffic from your computer, tablet etc goes through the VPN, regardless of whether you are accessing York services, or other internet based resources.

This means:

  • You can take advantage of the University's high performance security systems, giving you extra layers of security during VPN sessions.
  • You can easily access external resources that normally need you to have a York IP address to access them (eg journals hosted at other universities, or online stores offering educational discounts)

Web VPN

You can also use the VPN web page to access some network services. It provides a quick way to access files or view restricted web pages.

It's not suitable for everyone, but may be useful if you can't install Pulse Secure.

Access the Web VPN

Please note that:

  • you need to log in with your username (eg abc500). Don't add @york.ac.uk.
  • not all websites are supported
  • the file browser does not allow you to drag and drop your files

Request VPN access to your service

Members of the University running online services which need to be accessed from the VPN should contact IT Services.

Access to your service can be limited to a specific group of people if required.

The specific needs and technical viability will be discussed with us. Email the Library & IT Help Desk in the first instance.

Requests to allow a service on the VPN will take 5 working days.

Requests to set up specific group access will receive an initial response in 3 working days. If authorised, the work will be complete within 10 working days.

Help & troubleshooting

Troubleshooting

If you're connected to the VPN and then find you can't access some content (eg local resources when working at another university), you'll just need to select suspend or disconnect within the Pulse Secure app.

The suspend feature allows all the credentials and settings to be retained, allowing for a quick return to the secured state.

Make sure you're using the latest version of Pulse to use the suspend feature.

Library & IT Help Desk

If you're having problems using the VPN, get in touch with the Library & IT Help Desk.

Our commitments

Service status Live and supported service.
Hours of service 24/7
Service support For help and support with this service, contact the Library & IT Help Desk.
Hours of support Help from the Library & IT Help Desk is available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Target availability

General IT Services targets:

Resilience  The Virtual Private Network is a high availability cluster.

Known risks

 The VPN is reliant on the Campus Firewall being active.
Policies  York local acceptable use policy
Our performance

Our service standards have been produced in consultation with our customers, and monitor the quality, timeliness and access to facilities and services:

Complaints procedure

If you wish to give us general feedback on this service, please see our Feedback page for ways to get in touch.

If you wish to make a complaint, please see our complaints procedure.

Your responsibilities

Please remember, while you are connected to the VPN, you are subject to University regulations, including University Regulation 11: Use of computing facilities and acceptable use policies:

Connecting to the VPN is the same as plugging your machine into the campus network:

  • You will have access to University of York resources as well as internet access but you won't be able to access anything you can't access when at the University (eg blocked sites).
  • While connected, the University's terms and conditions apply to all your internet usage and network activity.
  • While connected, all your web traffic goes through the University, and may be intercepted, filtered and logged according to the University's policy (Regulation 11.10 and additional guidance).
  • While connected you will appear to internet websites to come from a UK source, regardless of where you physically are in the world.
  • The change will enable VPN users abroad to access services such as Google Mail, even if that country has restrictions in place.

Where a service has been allowed on VPN:

  • Inform IT Services if the service is no longer required on the VPN

Where specific group access has been set up:

  • Ensure that the group members are kept up to date