Change to the VPN

Posted on 12 November 2015

On Tuesday 17 November we will be making some changes to the way the VPN works.

When you connect to the VPN, a secure link is created between your off campus computer or mobile device and the campus network.

Currently, when you're connected to the VPN from off campus, only online services based at York (eg filestore, SITS, Agresso) go through the VPN. Other websites that you visit while you're connected do not.

From Tuesday 17 November, when you're connected to the VPN, all traffic will go through the VPN, regardless of whether you are accessing York services, or other internet based resources.

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 Junos Pulse 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.

Why is this change happening?

There are a number of benefits to making the change, both for you and the University:

  • It will allow you to 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)
  • It will protect the University by preventing security exploits that create a path through a user's device and into campus through the VPN.

Please remember, while you are connected to the VPN, you are subject to the T&Cs of the University. 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).
  • The change will enable VPN users abroad to access services such as Google Mail, even if that country has restrictions in place.

For information about the VPN, see: www.york.ac.uk/it-services/services/vpn

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the IT Support Office: itsupport@york.ac.uk