University of Bath VPN

By | 13th April 2017

University of Bath VPN

University of Bath

What type of VPN does the University use?

It uses Microsoft’s VPN server for ease of client setup on Microsoft Windows computers. Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is used to encrypt data to and from the campus network.

See the VPN home page for more details.

Can I use VPN over a dial-up link?

Yes. Performance will be slightly slower due to the overhead of encryption but it is possible to use VPN over a dial-up connection to your ISP.

Why would I use VPN?

Two main reasons:

The connection is secure. All traffic including username and password is sent across an encrypted secure channel.

Your connection becomes part of the campus network. You will obtain an IP address in the University of Bath address range (138.38.x.x). For the duration of the connection your PC is effectively connected directly to the campus network. This offers all the advantages of being physically present. You can mount drives and printers and access resources that would normally be blocked by the firewall.

Why wouldn’t I want to use VPN?

You may not be using a Microsoft, or other supported system, see the VPN webpage for instructions. You may be able to get connected using other operating systems but you are on your own.

All traffic is encrypted regardless of the need: Some traffic has to be encrypted, passwords for example . Other traffic doesn’t necessarily need to be encrypted, a public web page being uploaded to a server for example. With VPN its an all or nothing situation.

All traffic goes via the campus network: More specifically, by default. all traffic goes via the campus network. This can be changed but you really do need to know what you are doing and the consequences of doing it.

How do I get VPN working through my personal firewall?

VPN uses the following protocols and ports. If you are using any sort of ADSL or Cable router you need to make sure you are allowing traffic through. These settings may also need to be applied to software based personal firewalls.

Protocol: TCP
Port: 1723
Direction: Outbound

Protocol: 47 (GRE)
Port: not applicable
Direction: both

Some personal firewalls allow you define trusted zones. In this case add the VPN server into the trusted zone – vpn.bath.ac.uk

I can’t use your VPN service – how can I establish secure connections to the campus network?

There are a number of choices depending on what you want to achieve.

Email can be read securely – see the Email home page for details.
You can connect securely to a user service Unix machine using SSH .
You can also tunnel certain protocols and applications over SSH.

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