Installing and Running the VPN Client
In order to connect to some of the servers on campus (particularly if you are using drive mappings), you must first be on the VPN. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. The Medical Center runs its own VPN environment. When you connect to the VPN you can access servers you could not access otherwise AND your data gets passed back and forth in an encrypted manner. Running through the VPN adds a layer of hacker safety if you are in a public network (such as at a restaurant or coffee shop) and you wish to access some vendor’s site. Whenever I am at Starbucks I launch the VPN so that if any hacker is within range they won’t be able to decipher my data.
You will only install the tiny VPN client (from Juniper systems) once in IE. Once installed there we will show you how to access it. To install the software first bring up IE and type the following into the URL
You will see the following screen. Put in your VUNetID and ePassword. Click Sign In.
Depending on which version of IE you have on your machine you will either see the following window (in
IE9) or a beige bar at the top telling you that an ActiveX controller is going to be installed.
Click Install (this is the window you will see for all IE browser versions).
You will then see this. Click Always.
Now it may take a few minutes for everything to finish. When it is done you will see this:
You are now connected through the VPN. Your computer has now been assigned a Vanderbilt IP address so your computer now “thinks” it is sitting on the Vanderbilt campus. The campus network now sees your machine and it too “thinks” your machine is on the Vanderbilt campus. This technique gives you
the ability to work as if you were sitting at your desk on campus, even though you, and your computer,
may be thousands of miles away.
After an idle period, the VPN will time you out (log you out) and at that time your connection and IP address will revert to what it was just before you logged into the VPN. You can also force a sign out by clicking the signout button at the top. If you try to connect again (while already signed in) you will receive a message that you are already in.
Next time you want in just bring up IE and put http://vpn.mc.vanderbilt.edu in your browser’s URL line. It will work just as above except it will not ask you to install the software.
If you inadvertently close that IE window above there is another way to exit the VPN without rebooting your computer (though that too will do it). Click on the upper caret and that will bring this up. Click on the yellow bug eyed icon.
Then click Exit or Sign Out. The bug eyed icon will disappear if you click the caret again.
Your IP address has now been set back to one given you by your internet service provider (ISP).