Skip to Services content

VPN (Virtual Private Network) Overview

Introduction

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a method of using encryption and other security means to secure data when using your computer and using public network access (wired or wireless) off campus.

Capabilities, Benefits and Key Features

  • Identity and access management
  • Access remotely
  • There are several reasons to use a VPN connection:
    • Security:
      • There are a number of types of network access that allow data sent between your computer and Miami's network to be easily intercepted. (See the Who Can/Should use VPN? section below for details.) VPN encrypts some or all network traffic. Encrypted traffic may still be intercepted, but it cannot be easily decoded.
    • Access:
      • Miami has an Internet firewall that restricts the functions that can be performed by computers that are NOT directly connected to Miami's network. VPN allows a computer connecting from off campus to behave as if it is on campus.
  • When connecting to Miami VPN, all network traffic to Miami's network will be protected; non-Miami traffic, traffic destined for the rest of the Internet, will leave your machine as it normally would.
  • Following are situations in which you may wish to use VPN and the appropriate configuration file for each situation:
    • Using public wireless connections
    • Because of fundamental insecurities in any wireless networking system, wireless users are strongly encouraged to use VPN if they want to access MU resources and the Internet.
    • Remote access wired users (eg. through third-party ISPs, like Roadrunner/Zoomtown)
    • If you use a third-party ISP such as a Road Runner or Zoomtown to connect to Miami's network, Miami VPN is the only way for you to obtain an on-campus IP address to gain access to systems which require Miami IPs.
  • What Operating Systems are Supported?
    • Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit versions)
    • Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit versions)
    • Windows Vista w/Service Pack 2+ (32-bit and 64-bit versions)
    • Mac OS 10.4 or greater
    • Linux:
    • While the client will work for some Linux distributions, these are not officially supported by Miami.

Who uses it?

  • Any member of the Miami community with an active Miami UniqueID and MUnet Password can use Miami's VPN service.
  • If you are a guest at Miami, you can use Guest Access (from the wireless network service or the residence hall network) and then use an external VPN service via IPSec or SSL over VPN (Microsoft VPN will not work).

Cost

  • No

How do I get started?

  • Click on the green VPN button on this page.

Updated: 6/19/15