VPN Setup and FAQs
- What is VPN, why do I need it, and when should I use it?
- Do I still need to have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) like Road Runner, AT&T, DSL, etc.?
- Who needs the VPN software?
- Will I need to learn a new program to use VPN?
- What are VPN system requirements?
What is VPN, why do I need it, and when should I use it?
With so much emphasis being directed to network security, many different technologies are being deployed to help deter, if not eliminate unauthorized and often malicious access to private networks (UTHSCSA computer network). Generally, public networks have very restricted access to private networks. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network technology that is constructed by using publicly accessible networking services (Internet providers) to securely connect private networks and nodes. The VPN environment uses user-level authentication, encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users can access the private network and that the data cannot be intercepted.
At the university, we have implemented two-factor authentication (2FA) with our username. For our application, the two components of two-factor authentication are something you know (password) and something you have (a mobile device or landline phone).
2FA is required in situations that involve remote access to resources. Specifically, in the following situations:
- When an employee or individual working on behalf of the university logs on to a university network using an enterprise remote access gateway such as VPN, Terminal Server, Connect, Citrix or similar services;
- When an individual working from a remote location uses an online function such as a web page to modify employee banking, tax, or financial information;
- When a server administrator or other individual working from a remote location uses administrator credentials to access a server that contains or has access to confidential university data.
Do I still need to have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) like Road Runner, AT&T, DSL, etc.?
Yes. VPN works along with your ISP to give a secure connection between your home computer and the UT Health Science Center campus. VPN does not replace your ISP, it works to protect data transmissions from being intercepted by a third party.
Who needs the VPN software?
All UT Health San Antonio faculty, staff and students who need remote access from an internet connection point to the private UT Health San Antonio computer network should use the VPN connection. Once a VPN connection is established, the end user appears (virtually) to be directly connected to the UT Health Science Center computer network with all of the access rights granted to normal, campus connected users. Another property of the VPN is that once the VPN is established, the end user node appears to have a local UT Health San Antonio Internet (IP) address, which is required to access some specific applications (Library).
Will I need to learn a new program to use VPN?
No. You will not need to learn a new program. Once you install VPN you will only need to click on the VPN icon to connect. You will see no difference in your programs, and there are no new applications to learn.
What are VPN system requirements?
You must have a valid UT Health San Antonio computer/network account. If you do not, please call the Information Management Client Support Services (Service Desk) at (210) 567-7777 to obtain instructions on how to acquire an account.
For assistance with VPN setup or Remote Desktop Connections contact the IMS Service Desk 8:00AM – 5:00PM, Monday through Friday at (210) 567-7777 option 1.