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Use VPN for a Secure Connection

Virtual Private Network (VPN) establishes a "secure tunnel" for your computer on the Northwestern network. It provides strong encryption, enables authenticated access to the Northwestern network from external and untrusted environments, and proxies your network traffic so it appears to originate from within the Northwestern network. A VPN connection is an extension of the Northwestern network and subject to the University's policies. VPN connections are automatically ended twelve hours after initiation for service and security reasons.

Some Northwestern departments have determined that it is in the University's best interest to require the security of VPN before accessing their resources from off-campus locations. Services that require connecting to Northwestern VPN before accessing them include:

In addition, many servers and other resources (e.g., printers) managed by schools and departments require VPN before accessing them. You may want to talk to your local technical support person before trying to access resources from off campus.

NOTE: In the event of a University-wide campus closure, instructions for accessing emergency VPN will be available for you.

Set Up VPN

  Step-by-Step Walkthroughs How-To Videos
Mac OS X Mac OS X Connect to Northwestern VPN Using Mac OS X youtube video
Windows Windows 10
Windows 8.1 Connect to Northwestern VPN Using Windows 8.1youtube video
Windows 8 Connect to Northwestern VPN Using Windows 8 youtube video
Windows 7 Connect to Northwestern VPN Using Windows 7 youtube video
Mobile iPhone or iPad running iOS
Windows Phone 8
Linux Chrome OS

Use Cisco AnyConnect VPN if you experience difficulty connecting with native VPN due to a firewall, NAT (Network Address Translation) environment, or a blocked VPN protocol due to service from an Internet service provider.

Install and Configure Cisco AnyConnect VPN

SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network)

SSL VPN allows access to administrative systems, critical infrastructure, and sensitive information maintained by system administrators. SSL VPN access can be granted to University system administrators as well as vendors and other external collaborators. Please visit the SSL VPN Overview for more information.

Last Updated: 31 January 2019

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