MIT Life Hacks: Off campus? Connect securely through MIT’s virtual private network
December 5, 2017
Robyn Fizz
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Image: Phil Johnson

MITnet, the Institute’s wired and wireless network, provides secure on-campus connections to community members. But where does this leave students who go home for the holidays? Or staff who work from home? Or faculty who travel out of state or out of the country?

The Institute’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) enables secure connections to MITnet from off campus. To access it, Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) recommends and supports Cisco AnyConnect, a VPN client that works on a wide variety of operating systems and hardware configurations.

Using Cisco AnyConnect, community members can safely access MITnet from any device, wherever they are, at any time. A VPN connection also lets community members access licensed resources, such as those offered by IS&T and the MIT Libraries.

Protection on public Wi-Fi

The VPN provides community members with another key benefit, a safe way to use free public Wi-Fi. Open Wi-Fi can pose security risks, but the MIT VPN encrypts activity and keeps it private. Whether you need to access MITnet or not, the VPN will protect your activity on public Wi-Fi.

Available to all at MIT

Everyone in the MIT community can use the VPN. The Cisco AnyConnect client works on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, as well as many mobile operating systems.

The client is available through IS&T’s software grid. An MIT certificate and the use of Duo Security is required for download and there are some system requirements. You can find installation instructions on the VPN Landing Page in the Knowledge Base.

For help with setup or other questions, contact the IS&T Service Desk.