VPN Essentials

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.

There are a large number of University resources that do not require a VPN connection. 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.

Almost all academic resources used for teaching and learning, such as Canvas @ Illinois, Media Space, Moodle, Zoom, etc. do NOT require VPN.

Login changes coming to VPN March 12, 2024

Additional security is being added to the campus VPN. Recent targeted attacks against higher education institutions used their VPNs to gain unauthorized access to systems/information. If you use Duo for multi-factor authentication, you’ll also use it to access the campus VPN and you’ll authenticate each time you connect. And you’ll see fewer options in the drop-down menu. Find out what to expect.

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

VPN may be required

  • 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
  • Access campus resource requiring NIST-compliance (use “Tunnel All” for this)
  • Access Library Materials that don’t require login (use “Tunnel All” for this)
  • Activate or Reactivate a Windows License (use “Tunnel All” for this)