Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a remote access technology that creates a private encrypted connection over the Internet between a single host and Stanford's private network, SUNet.
Stanford's VPN service allows Stanford affiliates to connect to the campus from any available network connection almost anywhere including from home, from many hotels, and even from within some company networks.
The VPN service provides users with a Stanford IP address, thereby making access to restricted services possible. Examples include:
- Users on the MedSchool and Hospital networks who need to access resources on the University network (SUNET).
- Users connecting from corporate networks.
Note: The VPN does not enable access to licensed library resources. For access to these materials, please see the proxy setup instructions on the libraries' Off-Campus Access page.
- When using VPN, your off-campus computer is dynamically assigned a Stanford IP address to connect back to Stanford's network.
- A Stanford IP address allows you access to Stanford's computing resources and certain campus services (e.g., departmental file and print servers).
- The Stanford IP address granted by VPN is visible only to Stanford network resources; all other non-Stanford computing resources (e.g. non-Stanford web sites) will see the IP address provided by your internet service provider.
Stanford provides two options for establishing a Public VPN connection to Stanford's network, SUNet: a Cisco-based VPN and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN . All that's required is to install/configure and run the VPN client software.
A Cisco VPN client is available for Windows XP (32-bit only), Windows Vista (32- and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit ), Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. The built-in Cisco-based VPN client is recommended for Mac OS X 10.6 and above, Fedora, and Ubuntu operating systems. Instructions are available via the Configure Built-in VPN Clients page.
The SSL VPN provides an alternative to the traditional Cisco IPSec VPN. It lets you use SSL as the VPN transport to connect to Stanford's Public VPN in locations that do not permit IPSec traffic. Also, SSL VPN supports 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.
Once started, the VPN connection will transfer any traffic you send toward a Stanford IP over the VPN connection. For example, if you connect via VPN, and log into any computer system at Stanford, you'll appear to be connecting from a Stanford IP. All other traffic will use your conventional network connection.
Note: If you log into any other system outside of Stanford, you'll connect using the IP number provided to you by your ISP company.