Longwood University offers two types of remote access VPNs - a web-based VPN for use from any computer and a client-based VPN for University owned computers.
More information on requesting this access can be found on the Help Desk web site.
Web-Based VPN (SSL VPN)
The University's web-based VPN uses SSL VPN technology which facilitates access to the University's network resources through the web browser without requiring any permanent installation of a VPN client. A VPN client may be temporarily installed for the remote session, but is removed when you disconnect.
The SSL VPN uses the SSL/TLS encryption protocol to tunnel traffic securely between the connections. This is the same protocol used when accessing "https" web pages.
SSL VPNs are generally appropriate for remote access from devices which an organization has less trust in, such as devices not owned by the organization and/or that are out of its control.
SSL VPNs are designed to restrict access to specific applications. This limited scope provides a security advantage because while users are able to reach the resources they need, there are limitations.
At Longwood users of the web-based VPN are able to utilize the Remote Desktop Protocol application.
Client-Based VPN (IPSec VPN)
The University's client-based VPN using IPSec technology facilitates remote access to the University's network through installation of VPN client software on the computing device to be used for remote access.
IPSec VPNs are generally appropriate for devices an organization has more control over and trust in because IPSec VPNs require the installation of a VPN client and because they offer less granularity in controlling access to specific network resources as is achieved by the SSL VPN. As a result the client-based VPN solution is only offered for University owned computing devices.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a way of providing remote access to internal resources for faculty and staff by establishing a secure and reliable connection across a public infrastructure, like the Internet.
Key elements of a VPN:
- Encryption - VPNs use encryption to encode data so that it is protected from unauthorized viewing and unreadable by anyone but the intended recipient while it is in transit.
- Authentication - VPNs use authentication to verify identity before establishing a connection between devices for sending and receiving data.
Secure Any Computer Used for Remote Access
Whether you use the University's SSL VPN or IPSec VPN, you should ensure that any computer used for remote access has:
- Working antivirus (security) software
- Up-to-date patches
- Personal firewall
- Strong administrator password
See the Device Security for information on securing the device you use for remote access.