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Resources for Teaching, Learning, and Working Remotely

Last Updated: August 10, 2020 - 11:30 a.m.

Northwestern IT is committed to providing comprehensive, convenient, and secure services that support the needs of University students, faculty, and staff both on- and off-campus. This page contains information on how to stay connected to the Northwestern network and University resources when working remotely.

Cyber Safety Notice: Be aware that cyber attackers often use high-profile situations (e.g., coronavirus/COVID-19) to coerce individuals into disclosing sensitive information like passwords, account numbers, and more through phishing attempts or by asking for information to be entered on fake websites. If you receive a suspicious message, do not respond to it. Instead, forward the complete message with email message headers to Learn more about recognizing and reporting phishing attempts.

Facilitating Classes Remotely

Northwestern IT offers recommendations and guidance for faculty members delivering classes online. Faculty, keep teaching and learn how to use Canvas and other online options to facilitate classes. Students, keep learning and participate in remote classes.

Getting Connected

GlobalProtect Virtual Private Network

GlobalProtect is the University’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) that provides secure access to University resources when off-campus. To set up VPN, visit the IT Knowledge Base.

Multi-factor Authentication

Many Northwestern systems, including myHR, NUFinancials, and CAESAR, use Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) to provide an extra layer of login protection. Northwestern IT recommends using the Duo app for quick authentication from anywhere in the world. Those who confirm their identity via a phone call to their office line should update their settings to use the Duo app or a non-work-phone number to gain access to systems when remote. Visit Multi-factor Authentication at Northwestern to learn more.

Options for Connecting

Internet and telephone providers have agreed to support the connectivity of Americans during the coronavirus pandemic through the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission. Learn more about free or reduced-cost offerings available during this time. Also, be sure to visit the Northwestern Wildcard Advantage Discounts page for service discounts from our cellular service partners. Learn more about staying connected.

Available Software

Northwestern IT provides campus-licensed software options for purchase or download on University machines. Software for use on departmental machines is not intended for personal use or use for non-University business. Licenses for home use on personal machines are available for some software. View available software.

Technology Requirements

Check to make sure your device meets the University’s minimum operating requirements. Visit Computer requirements to learn more. Please check with your school or unit for any specific requirements.

Remember to keep your computer protected from cyber threats. Northwestern provides antivirus software at no cost to faculty, students, and staff. Many antivirus apps are available through Google Play and the Apple App Store. View tips for securing your device.

Collaboration Tools and Resources

Northwestern offers multiple ways to connect, collaborate, and continue work while away from campus.

Web Conferencing

Hold or attend virtual meetings, classes, conferences, presentations, and trainings via the internet. Available conferencing service options are available below and compatible with any device. View conferencing recommendations.

Notice: Users dialing in for online meetings may receive busy signals or may not be able to connect using some call-in numbers due to heavy call volume experienced by phone carriers. If this occurs, please use the vendors' alternate call-in numbers: Zoom.

Online Chat and File Sharing

Maintain connections with colleagues and access to shared tools and resources.

Telephone Options and Voicemail Preferences

There are a number of options available to effectively use the University-provided telephone service when working off-campus.

Call Forwarding and Voicemail Management

To ensure you never miss a call while away from your desk, consider enabling the call forwarding feature that sends incoming calls from your office phone to your mobile phone. Log in to to see the phones associated with your NetID and set up your call preferences.

Note: Call forwarding from a shared or common phone requires physical access to that phone and can only be changed to one registered person. If access to the physical phone is not available, or if you do not see a phone listed at, please contact the IT Support Center for assistance at or 847-491-4357 (1-HELP).

Single Number Reach

Single Number Reach is a feature that enables the simultaneous delivery of an incoming call to multiple phones. This option is an excellent method to choose if you are going to be mobile or in one of the multiple known locations, and you do not have a requirement to make calls that appear to come from your University phone number. Single Number Reach can be set up using the Self Care Portal.


Jabber is an application that can be installed and used on personal computers and mobile devices. It provides all of the features found on your University telephone and allows for incoming and outgoing calls using your University phone number. When using Jabber from off-campus, you may need to connect to the VPN. Read Jabber installation and setup instructions.

Get Support

The Northwestern IT Support Center provides technical support and guidance on University services and resources to current members of the Northwestern community, including students, faculty, staff, affiliates, and faculty retirees.

Visit the Status of University IT Services for up-to-date information on service availability.

Last Updated: 1 June 2022

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