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How do I set up a VPN account (so I can download the EndNote software from off-campus)?

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2012  |  175 Views

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Network software downloading is available only for on-campus users. Off-campus users need to establish a VPN account which will make them look like they are on-campus. VPN is free for Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students.

An advantage of using VPN is that you do not have to use the Library's Off-Campus Sign in procedures to access restricted resources like databases and ejournals.

The procedures look a little daunting because there are so many steps, but it’s not actually too bad. So, how do you proceed in establishing a VPN account?

Virtual Private Network:

Step 1, you have to hold either an inbound modem pool account or a wireless account. Since inbound modem pool access costs money and wireless is free, the obvious way to proceed is by establishing a wireless account – even if you do not have a computer with a wireless card. The wireless account provides your entry into VPN. If you have an inbound modem pool account, skip down to step 2.

Wireless Service Modem Pool

To register for wireless, there are different procedures for students and faculty/staff. Students go to the COLA site (Customer On Line Access) and register immediately. Faculty and staff, on the other hand, have to go through a little more paperwork. Departmental orders should be submitted on an ICR. Each wireless LAN service request must include the PID and name of the user. The wired Ethernet portal number (e.g. Newman 3045TP02A) of the user's desktop network connection to be associated with the wireless LAN service must also be included. You may have to crawl around on the floor or more your desk to see the number of the portal where your connection plugs into the wall.

Step 2 depends on your operating system. Windows VISTA users can skip to Step 3 because they will login to the VPN using their Hokies ID and password. All others users will have to establish a remote access passphrase (aka remote ID aka CHAP secret).

This is done through My VT.

Log on to My VT using your PID and password. On the upper right-hand side of your screen, select the Settings tab.

Click the Set Remote Access Passphrase link.

In the New Passphrase text box, type your new passphrase.

In the Confirm Passphrase text box, type your new passphrase again.

Click the Set Passphrase button.

Click the Log Off button. For increased security, close your browser.

The Remote Access ID uses the Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP). Your user name associated with your Remote Access ID is the same as your PID and Hokies ID user names, but has a different authentication method. Caveat: you do not need a remote ID passphrase if you choose the L2TP access method (see Step 3), but it may be required in the future.

Step 3, follow the protocol configuration instructions on the VPN page. There are two methods:

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). This method requires a remote passphrase. Configuration instructions are available for Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Mac OS X operating systems.

Layer-2-Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). This method does not require a remote passphrase. Configuration instructions are available for Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems.

How do you know which protocol method to use? Most people will prefer to use PPTP, as it is easiest to configure and works with most residential routers. Some prefer L2TP because its encryption is stronger.

Step 4, login to the VPN. Type your PID in the User Name field and your remote access passphrase in the Password field. VISTA users will type HOKIES\[your Hokies ID] in the User Name field and their normal password in the Password field.

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