VPN CONNECTION ISSUES & SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS:

This Knowledge Base (KB) article provides information on how to diagnose and resolve many common issues associated with using Oakland University’s faculty and staff VPN.

Issue: I’ve connected to the VPN but can not access a campus resource

  • Cause: The VPN client may not be starting properly

    • Diagnostic steps:

    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Verify if other campus resources are accessible
      • Uninstall and reinstall the VPN client.
      • Check the Pulse Secure KB for known issues with your Operating System (OS)

      • Contact your area’s DTS staff or the General Help Desk to obtain the latest software and troubleshooting assistance

Issue: I’ve successfully connected to the VPN but experience issues remotely accessing an on-campus workstation:

  • Cause: Your desktop may not have remote desktop enabled

    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Check details about RDP and Windows computer names
      • Contact your area’s DTS staff or the General Help Desk to verify campus desktop is configured properly


  • Cause : Possible incorrect computer name

    • Suggested Resolution(s):


  • Cause: Your password has expired or is no longer synchronized

    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Use the NetID Utility to reset/synchronize your password

      • Try logging in to your computer with your previous ADMNET password. The next time you connect your computer to the Oakland University VPN, the password should update on your computer

Issue: I'm able to successfully connect to and use the VPN but experience intermittent problems such as connection drops or slowness:

  • Cause: Weak Wireless - Your computer may be experiencing weak wireless signals

    • Diagnostic steps:

      • Windows: click on the network icon in your taskbar in the bottom right corner. The more bars the better the signal
      • Mac: check the top right corner and look for the network icon. If there are less than 4 bars then you may need to relocate your workstation closer to your access point
      • Linux: Open a terminal and run the command “iwconfig.” There will be an output for “link quality.” Anything from 40/70 and up is considered fine
    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Try moving closer to where the router is physically located.
      • Switch to a wired connection.


  • Cause: Eletro-magnetic interference (EMI). You may be experiencing wireless interference from other electronics

    • Diagnostic steps:

      • See if the connectivity issues coincide with other electronics devices in the home being used. For example if you are near the kitchen does the connection drop when the microwave is in use?
    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Move computer and networking equipment away from cordless phones, microwaves, and other devices that emit radio waves
      • Switch to a wired connection


  • Cause: Wireless Interference. Users in densely populated areas such apartments and condominiums may be experiencing wireless signal bleed from other units

    • Diagnostic steps:

      • Check to see if multiple wireless networks are visible on your device
    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Try using other wireless bands and channels to minimize interference
      • Switch to a wired connection


  • Cause: Network Congestion. Multiple devices compete for bandwidth and cause contention

    • Diagnostic steps:

      • Check to see if a large number of devices are on the network and/or are being used for streaming (netflix, zoom, youtube, gaming, etc) then your network performance will be degraded
    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Reduce the number of users or activity on the network
      • Enable Quality of Service (QoS) features to prioritize work related activities
      • Contact your provider to upgrade connection speed


  • Cause: Inactivity Timeout. You may be experiencing VPN Inactivity timeout

    • Diagnostic steps:

      • Pulse Secure has a timeout after being idle for 45 minutes. It’ll ask you to extend the time before it expires but if you miss the prompt you will be disconnected and have to reconnect again. Track if the connection issues occur at regular intervals
    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Only traffic destined for the campus network traverses the VPN. Be sure to disconnect from the VPN if you plan on doing activities such as using Webmail or editing a Google Doc for extended periods of time
      • Reconnect to VPN


  • Cause: Wifi Router. You may be experiencing connection drop because of your issues with your home network wifi Access Point (AP) or router

    • Diagnostic steps:

      • Check to see if your equipment is running the most current software / firmware
    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • Reboot your home network equipment
      • Update to the most current software / firmware
      • Report concerns to your Internet provider


  • Cause: Anti-virus software. Your antivirus could be interfering with the Pulse VPN client software

    • Diagnostic steps:

      • For personal devices check to see if you are running 3rd party antivirus software. (University devices will have Symantec installed)
    • Suggested Resolution(s):

      • If you are using a non-OU device to access the VPN temporarily, disable all 3rd party anti-virus software solutions and use the default embedded software provided with your Operating System (such as Windows Defender) and note if the connectivity issues improve.


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