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02.09.01 - Remote Connections:VPN

A VPN (virtual private network) connection allows a user to connect to UCAR and CGD resources in a secure and transparent manner. Using the VPN, you can connect to UCAR and CGD resources via the guest wireless network, from home, or from an Internet cafe in Antarctica.

Using the VPN is very simple. All you need is an Internet connection, and a yubikey or cryptocard. Once you are on the Internet, be it wireless, or wired, you launch the client on your system, it contacts UCAR, and requests that you authenticate with your yubikey or cryptocard. After you are authenticated, you can use resources on the CGD or UCAR network as if you were sitting at your desk at the Mesa.

Requirements:

  • Yubikey
    For instructions on requesting and using a yubikey, please see:
    Accounts Passwords:Token Authentication
  • VPN Sofware
    The client software is available on-site from the systems staff, or else you will need to submit an ExtraView ticket requesting access to the VPN client download site. Submit your request here:
    ExtraView Request

Installation:

Once you have the VPN software downloaded, installation is straightforward. The file is in .zip format, and MS Windows or Apple systems will automatically extract the files to a folder called CGD_VPN. Inside that folder is a pdf called Cisco AnyConnect Instructions. Open the file with Adobe Acrobat Reader and follow the instructions for your platform.

Once installed, using the client is easy. Make sure you have an Internet connection. If you are anywhere on the UCAR campus, you can connect to the UCAR VPN Cients wireless network. Once you are connected, open the client and enter your username and use your yubikey or your cryptocard response for the password. The client will spin for a second and then pop up a dialog showing that you are connected or that the connection failed.

Failures:

The Cisco AnyConnect client will work 99% of the time. If you can't connect, follow the troubleshooting steps below:

  • Internet Connection
    Do you actually have a working Internet connection prior to launching the VPN client? Check your wireless or wired connection properties and make sure you have a valid IP address. In many hotels you need to actually open a browser and attempt to browse before your session is captured and you are redirected to a Terms of Use or Service Policy page.
  • Authentication
    Do you have the right username? Are you using your yubikey or cryptocard correctly?

In some instances, the VPN simply won't connect. If you can get to the Internet, but you can't get the VPN client to connect, you can still SSH to a CGD perimeter system and access resources through that host. Please see the following:

    Remote Connections:Perimeter Host

For a list of all CGD/IS documentation, see:

    Table of Conents
    Index