Oakland University Faculty and Staff VPN

VPN Information

Oakland University provides Virtual Private Network (VPN) connectivity to faculty and staff to access on campus computing resources from remote locations. A VPN connection allows the user to remotely establish a secure network connection from their device to the Oakland University Network.

To enhance security the VPN is protected by DUO Multi-Factor-Access (MFA), more information on DUO is available HERE.

Connection Options

There are two methods available for connecting to the Oakland University Faculty and Staff VPN.

  • Browser based VPN:

    • A web site used to the download the files needed to install the VPN client software and enroll in DUO MFA and can establish a network connection similar to that of a wired campus computer.
  • Client based VPN (preferred):

    • A lightweight VPN client software application that is installed on your device which establishes a network connection similar to that of a wired campus computer.

Which Connection Method Should I Use

UTS recommends using the Client based VPN as it is easier to install, configure, and use on a daily basis. However, you are welcome to use either option are not limited to using a single method.

When determining how you want to connect to the VPN there are a few key considerations to note:

  • Browser based VPN.

    • * Provides the ability to download Pulse VPN Client installation files
    • * Required for initial enrollment with DUO MFA
    • * Allows for the use of "Remember Me" with DUO MFA
    • * Provides a similar experience of using an on campus wired workstation
    • * This option is more challenging to configure than the Client based VPN
  • Client based VPN (preferred).

    • * Initial configuration is simpler
    • * Provides a more streamlined connection experience
    • * Provides a similar experience of using an on campus wired workstation
    • * Requires DUO MFA for each connection, e.g. the "Remember Me" option is not supported

Getting Started With the VPN

  • If you are not already using DUO to access an OU service you will need to enroll PRIOR to connecting to the VPN.

    • CLICK HERE for instructions on how to complete DUO enrollment

  • If you are have not already installed and configured VPN do so at this time
    • CLICK HERE for instructions on how to install and configure the Pulse VPN access


Connecting To The VPN Using the Client

During normal use a VPN session remains active for 4 hours and can be extended by selecting the appropriate option in the pop-up notification that appears 10 minutes prior the session's expiration. Idle VPN sessions are disconnected after 15 minutes of inactivity, at which time it is necessary to establish a new VPN connection.

  • Connect.

Locate the Pulse Client in your System Tray or Menu Bar

  • Connect.

  • Select the appropriate connection.
  • Finish Install.

  • Enter your NetID and Password
  • Select Connect

  • DUO.

  • At this point you will be prompted for DUO Authentication.



The secondary password field allows you determine how you will authenticate. Please type one of the following keywords into the field:

  • push this option will send a push notification to the DUO app on your mobile phone and is the best option for most users

  • phone this option will perform a call back to the phone number configured in DUO

  • sms this option will send a text message to the phone number configured in DUO

More information on available options is available from DUO here.

Connecting To The VPN Using the Web

NOTE: Please ensure that the steps found at https://kb.oakland.edu/uts/Pulse_Secure_Host_Checker#How_to_install_additional_software are completed as a prerequisite

  • Using a Web Browser connect to the OU Faculty and Staff VPN

  • The main login screen for the VPN system will display.
    • LandingPage.PNG

  • Enter in your NetID username (without "@oakland.edu") and password.
  • Click the sign in button
  • You will now be prompted to complete Multi-Factor Authentication with DUO. (CLICK HERE for more information on DUO works)

    • PulseStart.PNG

  • Select "Send Me a Push" to have a push notification sent to your mobile device.
  • You may optionally select Remember me for 12 hours which prevents the need to use DUO for the remainder of the day. UTS advises against using this option as it reduces security
  • Approve the notification once you receive it
    • MainPage.PNG

  • Click on the Pulse Secure Start button
    • AppLauncher.PNG

  • You will briefly see an screen "Searching for the application launcher" while the VPN establishes a connection
    • WebConnected.PNG

  • Once the screen returns to the main page the VPN is connected

Disconnecting From Pulse Secure VPN

  • You can disconnect from the VPN one of two ways.
  • 1) If you left the pulse webpage open, on the top right corner you can select "log off," and your session will be terminated.

  • NOTE: You will be prompted with the same "security warnings" as you were when connecting to it.

  • logout.png

  • 2) You can use the Pulse Secure program's user interface to log off, simply open the application located on the bottom left hand side, and select "disconnect."

  • guiLogout.png

  • NOTE: Mac users can either select on the Pulse Secure Icon located on the top right corner and select Open Pulse Secure then select Disconnect, or just select the "Exit" option from the drop down (please see image on step 6)

  • disconnectmac.png

Reconnecting to Pulse Secure VPN Using the Client

  • NOTE: After having the Pulse Secure installed, for future VPN sessions, you will only have to repeat steps 1(Login) and 4(Allow Pulse Secure to launch)

The easiest way to reconnect to Pulse Secure VPN after downloading the application will be by opening the Pulse Secure application located on the bottom left hand side.

  • Inside the Pulse Secure program, select Open Pulse Secure.
    • ReconnectVPN.png

    • NOTE: For Mac users; to be able to keep the Pulse Secure Icon in the Dock and to reconnect quickly open Finder, select the Applications folder and select the Pulse Secure Application to be able to drag and drop in the dock.

      • appmac.png

      • The icon below will be installed in the Dock, select the icon to open it.
      • savedicon.png

    • For either Windows and Mac users you will be prompted for the NetID username and password. If you are prompted for the secondary password type "push" (all lower case and without quotes)

    • - Enter your NetID and Password
    • credentialsvpn.png

Again the Pulse Secure application will pop up on the left hand side bottom of the Task bar or for Mac's it will appear in the top of the screen.

  • connectionsvpn.png

How do I access my work computer?

The VPN connection can be used to connect remotely to your Oakland University Work PC. Instructions on setting up your work PC for remote connectivity can be found here: How do I connect to my work computer


General Troubleshooting

For general troubleshooting, refer to VPN Pulse Secure Troubleshooting