About the UQ Virtual Private Network
UQ staff and students can access UQ's online resources via a VPN when not located on campus.
What is VPN?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to create a secure connection to a private network (such as the UQnet, which is the University's network) over public access lines. This connection will act as if it is on the actual private network. This gives you full access to most services found on the private network, such as certain web pages etc.
What does it cost?
- UQ staff and students - FREE
- UQ Business Affiliated staff - $13.20 per 6 months
Pricing quoted, is inclusive of GST.
VPN access is a service automatically included with Staff and Student accounts. UQ Business Affiliated staff are required to apply for VPN access. Further information, is detailed on the UQ Affiliated Organisations web page. Alternatively, you may wish to email the Service Desk to discuss the options available.
What is VPN for?
To explain this, it is necessary to take a step back and look at the big picture of the Internet. In simple terms the Internet is a large network of networks. These networks can be commercial, academic, government, research or private networks. Each of these intertwine to make up the Internet you use and know. Each of the networks that make up the Internet, however, require a way for their users and the data being transferred over them to be secured from unwanted third parties (such as hackers). The most secure way to achieve this is to be plugged directly into it by wires, but in many cases this is not convenient or even possible. For someone who is traveling around the country or overseas, or even at home, and who requires secure access to a private network the only way to do this is through VPN.
Why would I use VPN?
If you need to access The University of Queensland network and you are situated off-campus, then VPN is the only way to have full access to online resources. Some parts of the UQ network have restricted options for web visitors from outside the local network (eg parts of the Library website). Using VPN allows you to avoid these limitations and gives you the same use of resources as when you are on-campus.
Where can I use VPN?
To be able to use VPN, you need to install the VPN Client to the computer(s) you wish to connect from. You can install this on your personal computer, and you may be able to install this on your Faculty or Departmental computer depending on its Administrative setup. Download the client here. VPN also requires a computer with access to the Internet. This can be in the form of a free staff or student dial-up account; a home dial-up or ADSL Broadband account; or via any other Internet access method. One issue to be aware of here though is connection speed, in particular your upload speed. While you can connect via a dial-up connection with no problems, the speed of access will be quite slow as all data sent over the VPN connection must be encrypted and decrypted. Broadband connections will ensure a significantly faster and more stable connection. Your upload speed (which is the speed at which you send data onto the Internet) becomes particularly important here as VPN connections send a lot of data back to the host server.
How can I gain access to VPN?
Most UQ staff and students already have the VPN access product automatically attached to their UQ Account. UQ Business Affiliated staff are requried to apply for VPN access. Once you have VPN access on your UQ account, you need to then install a VPN client to your computer. Once you have downloaded and installed the VPN client, you just have to enter your UQ Sign In username and password when prompted to within the program. Note: If the "Connect to:" section is blank, enter vpn.uq.edu.au. After that you will have full access to the UQ network no matter where you are. A word of caution though for staff interested in using this service. Some organisational units may also have their own firewalls (that is protection) on their servers. For this reason, please consult your IT support staff to ensure UQ VPN will work for you.
Will downloads count against my quota allowance?
All data transmitted during a VPN connection will count towards your UQ download quota allowance, which can be viewed at login.uq.edu.au. If you make a VPN connection to use certain online UQ resources, you can still browse Internet pages while using VPN.
Do you use VPN on-campus?
Generally, you do not need to use VPN on-campus, as the functionality that VPN provides is already present on-campus. However, at certain UQ locations, the only way you can authenticate to specific services is via VPN. If you are trying to access the wireless network at the Dentistry School in the city or the Medical School at Herston then you must have the VPN Client installed and set up. To connect at these locations, you must connect via VPN after which you will be able to surf the web and access online services over the wireless network.