Getting Connected

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a connection between a computer on the Internet and the campus network. The connection is a secure tunnel that makes the Internet computer appear as though it is physically on the campus network. A more technical definition can be found at the Web site.

Do I need to use a VPN client?

Connecting to the VPN is only necessary for certain off-campus faculty and staff. To connect to the VPN server, you will need a VPN client.

When connecting through the VPN server, the VPN client allows your computer to act as though it is physically on the campus network. Establishing a VPN connection between your computer and the campus network may be necessary in cases where your computer must appear to be on campus.

Some cases in which it would be necessary to establish a VPN connection with the campus network include:

  • using Microsoft Outlook to connect to an Exchange account using the Exchange protocol (rather than the POP or IMAP protocols)
  • connecting directly to a personal (H:) or departmental (O:) file share (rather than using Citrix)
  • accessing or using network applications (such as Crystal Reports) that are not available on Citrix

A VPN client is not necessary in these cases:

  • using Outlook Web Access
  • using Citrix
  • viewing university Web pages
  • using Microsoft FrontPage (or other programs) to remotely administer university Web sites

How do I download and install the VPN client?

The Cisco VPN Client is available for Windows XP/Vista and Macintosh OS X.

Review the instructions below, than go to the Download-Installtion page to initiate the VPN client installation

The Cisco VPN client has the following notable features built in:

  • Firewall: The Cisco VPN Client includes a client-side firewall which will help protect Towson's network from any security vulnerabilities on your computer, and vice versa.
  • Split Tunneling: Even though you are creating a secure connection directly to Towson's private network, the Cisco VPN Client will only send Towson-related traffic to Towson. Everything else is routed out over your normal Internet connection. For example, connections to do not route through Towson's network. This will provide you with more efficient Internet access, and will reduce the load on Towson's servers.
  • Security: The Cisco VPN Client, in conjunction with the Cisco VPN server, provides the most secure connection available with multiple layers of built-in security.

Any questions about the VPN or Cisco VPN client can be directed as follows:

Faculty and Staff: call the OTS Faculty/StaffHelp Center, 410-704-5151, select options 2+2+2.

Students: call Student Computing Services, 410-704-5151, select options 2+1+3.

Administration and Finance Questions


  • The Virtual Workspace ( is the preferred remote access solution. If you have not yet utilized Virtual Workspace while off campus, give it a try!

  •  MicroSoft Exchange inbox capacity has been increased from 100 megabytes to 250 megabytes. H: drive capacity has been increased from 3 gigabytes to 5 gigabytes.

  • The new Cisco VPN (Virtual Private Network) client is now compatible with Windows Vista in addition to Windows XP. Faculty, staff and students can download the client from the Software Downloads page on the OTS Web site.






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