Topic: VPN Access
Audience: Faculty and Staff
Creation Date: November 23, 2009
Last Revision Date: September 24, 2013
- Virtual Private Network (VPN) Information
- How do I access web pages, including Google Webmail?
- How do I access internal web pages?
- How Do I Connect To My Work Computer?
- VPN Access for Community Colleges and Vendors
- Log Out When Complete
- General Troubleshooting
Virtual Private Network (VPN) Information
Virtual Private Network (VPN) access is available to faculty members and staff members while off-campus. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use the VPN when traveling, particularly when engaged in international travel. Faculty and staff can access the VPN and securely connect to OU resources. The VPN system allows access to commonly used resources on campus just as if you were in your office. VPN connections also are encrypted, protecting your login identity and your browser communications.
To utilize this system, do the following:
Open up one of the following browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Safari (OS X only). Type into the address bar the following URL https://vpn.oakland.edu. You will be brought to the main login screen for the VPN system. Enter in your NetID username and password then click on the Sign In button.
If this is your first time using the VPN system, a few components will be installed on your computer to ensure that the connection between your computer and Oakland University is encrypted and secure. The installation only takes a few moments. If you are prompted with any installation dialog boxes, respond with YES/OK/TRUST. For further help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (248)370-4357.
- After you have signed into the VPN, a program called Network Connect will automatically start. A padlock icon in the lower right hand section of your screen will be displayed once connected. You can right click on this icon to sign-out of the VPN in the event that the VPN web page is accidentally closed. You do not need to click on the start button on the web page, doing so will generate an error.
How do I access web pages, including Google Webmail?
Once you have signed into the VPN, you are able to browse web pages public web pages and execute logins to your selected web sites. Your sessions will be encrypted. Open a new web browser window or tab, and type in the web page address.
How do I access internal web pages?
Once you have signed into the VPN, you are able to browse internal web pages, such as Banner pages, that may not be available outside of the University. Open a new web browser window or tab, and type in the web page address.
How Do I Connect To My Work Computer?
If you are traveling for a short period of time, your best operation may be to connect to your work computer and execute your browser activities from that computer. You will need to leave your desktop computer running with a locked screen saver. You now have the ability to remotely connect to your work computer (Windows only) thru the VPN system. When you do this, it will appear just as if you were sitting down and working in your office. You will see all of your desktop shortcuts and running programs. This can be very useful if you are running a program on your computer after hours and you wish to check it and see how it is functioning. However, you must prepare your work computer before you can continue. To do this, just perform the following tasks:
- Right-click the My Computer icon located either on your desktop or in your Start Menu, and select the Properties option that appears on the pop-up menu.
- Select Remote Settings from the upper left corner.
- Make sure the checkbox labeled: Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer remotely connect is checked.
- Make sure the radio button labeled: Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop is checked.
- Click OK.
- Next you will need to know the name of your computer. In the Start Menu, select Run.
- Type in cmd and then click the OK button.
- In the window that opens type hostname. The name of your computer will be displayed.
- In the same window type ipconfig. Make note of the line that starts with Connection-specific DNS suffix.
- As shown in the example above, join the hostname and DNS suffix: ggrizz.dhe.oakland.edu in order to obtain your fully qualified domain name. You will need to enter this name when connecting to your work computer. See Figure 3.
- Ensure that you leave your computer powered on, however you do not need to leave the computer logged in. If you do leave your computer logged in, make sure that it is locked.
- Once you have performed these steps, you will be ready to connect to your work computer. To connect you will need to navigate to:
- Start ⇒ All Programs or Programs ⇒ Accessories ⇒ Communications ⇒ Remote Desktop Connection
If you are connecting to the VPN with a Mac (OS X) you must download Remote Desktop Connection from Microsoft, refer to http://www.microsoft.com/mac/remote-desktop-client for details. Please note that you can only use Remote Desktop to connect to a Windows machine. It is not possible to use Remote Desktop to connect to a Mac computer.
- The Remote Desktop window will now appear. In the Computer field type in the computer name of your work computer and then press the connect button.
- Figure 3: Windows Example
- Figure 4: Mac OS X Example
- Direct access shares.oakland.edu is not permitted. To gain access to these resources from off campus you must connect to your work computer through Remote Desktop Connection.
VPN Access for Community Colleges and Vendors
Employees of Community College Partners with responsibilities for student records file exchanges may obtain VPN access to execute those file exchanges. To obtain access, the OU sponsoring department must complete the form found at:
Vendors with a documented relationship with the university, covered by a contract or agreement, may obtain VPN access for any necessary work as defined in the contract or agreement. To obtain access, the primary UTS contact must assist the vendor with completing the form found at:
Log Out When Complete
Please make sure to log out of the VPN in the VPN window of your browser when you are finished. You can right click on the lock icon to sign-out of the VPN.
- Windows 7 on 32 bit or 64 bit platforms: Internet Explorer 6-9 and Firefox 3-5
- Windows Vista with SP1/SP2, 32 bit and 64 bit: Internet Explorer 6-9 and Firefox 3-5
- Windows XP Pro SP3: Internet Explorer 6-9 and Firefox 3-5
- Windows XP Home Edition SP3: Internet Explorer 6-9 and Firefox 3-5
- Mac OS X 10.6: Safari 3.0 and above, running Java 1.6 and above.
- Mac OS X 10.5.x: Safari 3.0 and above, running Java 1.6 and above
- Mac OS X 10.4.x: Safari 3.0 and above, running Java 1.6 and above.
Java Plugin http://www.java.com
Remote Desktop Client for OS X http://www.microsoft.com/mac
Firefox web bowser http://www.firefox.com
Error: You do no have permission to login. Please contact your administrator.
Explanation: Ensure that you are using a supported browser. Ensure that your firewall is allowing dsNetworkConnect.exe and dsNcService.exe.
Error: The following error and popup window “The Network Connect session timed out. (nc.windows.app.23790)” appears while I am connected to the VPN.
Explanation: This error indicates that the standard timeout has occurred and you will need to re-connect to the VPN. This timeout is necessary due to security issues.
Error: The following error and popup window “Network Connect: Connection attempt timed out. (nc.windows.app.23074)” appears while I am in the process of connecting to the VPN.
Explanation: The most common cause for this error when it is firewall software (FW). The FW sees a new application trying to access the Internet and it blocks it. Two applications that need to be allowed are dsNetworkConnect.exe and dsNcService.exe. You may want to try disabling the firewall and if that resolves it move on to allowing the Network Connect executables. File Locations: C:\ProgramFiles\Juniper Networks\Network Connect x.x.x\dsNetworkConnect.exe C:\Program Files\Juniper Networks\Common Files\dsNcService.exe
For further help, please email <email@example.com> .