VPN Essentials

The University of Illinois is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19, please visit covid19.illinois.edu for the latest updates from the campus.

Visit status.illinois.edu for information on service availability.

A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is software that runs on your machine that directs your internet connection through the software, creates a secure connection between your device and the resource you are accessing. Please visit this KnowledgeBase article for instructions on how to download and install the VPN for your device..

Too much traffic on the VPN can bog down the system, slowing traffic for everyone. There are a large number of University resources that do not require a VPN connection while others do. If you do not need to be on VPN, we request that you disconnect for others who do need the resource. Use the list below to identify if you need to be on VPN to access your desired resource. Many services will alert you if a VPN is required when attempting to log in (view image of VPN error message).

When using VPN use the default Split Tunnel setting unless your resource requires TunnelAll.

Almost all academic resources used for teaching and learning, such as Compass 2g, Kaltura, Moodle, Zoom, etc. do NOT require VPN.

VPN is NOT required

Teaching and Learning 

Voice and Video

Email and Cloud Storage

Many Campus-Provided Services and Websites

IT Pros

Human Resources


VPN may be required to:

Remotely Connecting to Control Campus Computers/Servers

Remotely Connecting to Private Campus Resources

  • SSH
  • Connect to host name ending in ad.uillinois.edu
  • Connect to Private IT Space
  • Access websites or servers designed to be accessed from the campus network only
  • Map Remote Drives

Remotely Connecting to Resources with special security requirements

  • Access campus resource requiring NIST-compliance (use "Tunnel All" for this)

System Administration Resources

Restricted Services

  • Access Library Materials that don't require login (use "Tunnel All" for this)
  • Activate or Reactivate a Windows License (use "Tunnel All" for this)