Information on connecting to Penn State using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The purpose for VPN is to establish a secure connection with a Penn State resource or service from off campus using the "ISPtoPSU" connection. It is used to connect to Penn State network-restricted resources, such as PASS and Udrive, from off campus.

Please refer to the operating system-specific instructions below to install a VPN client.

Windows Installation

Visit and select the Windows version of the VPN client, choosing the version that is compatible with the local copy of Windows.

Open the downloaded file to run the installer. Click on the "Next" button through all prompts until the installation is complete. Once the VPN client has been installed, click on the "Finish" button, which will bring up a prompt to reboot. Please ensure that all files/work has been properly saved before rebooting. Once the computer has rebooted, please refer to the "Using the VPN Client" section for further instructions.

Macintosh Installation

The best way to set up a VPN connection using your Mac OS X system is by configuring the built-in VPN client. To configure the built-in VPN Client, select the correct operating system:

Mac OSX 10.6

Mac OSX 10.7-10.10

Linux Installation

The VPNC application typically provides the best connection stability on Linux. To configure VPNC on a Linux-based system, please review the Linux VPN Configuration instructions.

iOS Installation

VPN can be configured on an iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) using the built-in client. To configure the built-in VPN client, please refer to the iOS Configuration instructions.

Using the Windows VPN client

Open the VPN client - a shortcut should appear on the desktop following installation - and a "Cisco" folder from the start menu. Once the client has loaded a similar screen will appear:

Several options for network connections will appear, however, the appropriate network connection will depend upon the location a user is connecting from and the method being used. Unless connecting to a specific department shown from the list, the "ISPtoPSU" connection should be used. All networks require a Penn State Access Account user ID and password to connect.

User Notes

The VPN client has addresses for network servers at Penn State that are set up to handle these virtual networks. Without these servers and the VPN client a user cannot access the internal Penn State servers, such as the PASS servers, because a home connection is not normally a part of the network of machines at Penn State. By having the VPN client contact these network servers, a private connection can be made that allows for a safe connection when transferring files to and from Penn State.

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