Virtual Private Network Service

About VPN

Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets you create secure connections to remote networks by creating a protected, individual tunnel for you to connect to that remote network. Even using e-mail can involve some risk. Without the security of VPN, the information you type or send could be intercepted on the "open highway" of the Internet.

You can install client versions of this software on personal computers and workstations. The University maintains a Cisco VPN 5.0 version and makes compatible client software available to University students, faculty and staff to install and run on their own computers. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) manages the server side of this service.

When to use the VPN:

The security offered by the VPN is necessary if both of these connection and data (information) conditions apply:

  1. The connection:
    You are connecting to the University from a non-University of Minnesota Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as through AOL or MSN or with a cable modem or DSL.
  2. The data/information:
    You will, or might, transmit sensitive data such as passwords, credit card information, social security numbers or any confidential information by any means while connected to the Internet; you need access to restricted University resources.


This service is provided free of charge to eligible students, faculty and staff. The Cisco VPN client software is also available free of charge.

Currently there are no limits on your use of this VPN service. However, when you no longer need the access or security VPN provides, we encourage you to disconnect from the VPN server.

Download Software and Instruction

Go to:

Scroll to the center of the page to "Download Software and Instruction". Please pay attention to the supported and unsupported operating systems. Also make sure to install any patches that may be available for you operating system (all patches will be found on the link above).

VPN Questions?

Contact the UMC Computer Helpdesk or 1-HELP.