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Move to New VPN Date Changed to May 15

Posted Date: 29 Jan 2020

Modified Date: 16 Mar 2020

Effective Date: 29 Jan 2020

Updated, March 16, 2020: In response to COVID-19, the deadline to move to GlobalProtect VPN, originally planned for April 1, has been extended to May 15, 2020 to ensure that members of the Northwestern community can access University services and resources while off-campus.


In October, Northwestern IT announced transition plans to a new virtual private network (VPN) service, Palo Alto Networks's GlobalProtect. The initiative replaces three existing VPN clients—Pulse Secure SSL VPN, Cisco AnyConnect, and the built-in native VPN services—with a single, centrally supported service, effective May 15. 

Since October, Northwestern IT partnered with local IT support in schools and departments to assist in notifying students, faculty, and staff about the availability of the new VPN service and to encourage its use when connecting to the internet from off-campus. Please note that this change does not apply to the Feinberg F5 BigIP VPN client or built-in client at this time.

Impact on the Community

Northwestern IT is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to begin using GlobalProtect now, and become familiar with it before the three existing VPN services are retired and no longer available.

To assist with this change, a VPN Transition Overview web page has been created to provide an overview of the project, what to expect, and how to prepare, including step-by-step user installation instructions. Questions about installing GlobalProtect can be directed to your local IT support or the Northwestern IT Support Center.

About the Change

This move offers many benefits for the University community. Primarily, GlobalProtect replaces our three existing VPN clients and transitions the University to a single, centrally supported service, which streamlines University resources and enables a more effective support model. Additionally, the transition to GlobalProtect provides increased security for users through the addition of Multi-factor Authentication.

To learn more, please visit IT Project: VPN Service Transition.

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