Frequently Asked Questions
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Do I need any special software to use Access VPN?
If you are using Access VPN on a managed device (windows or mac) then you can install client software. On a non-managed device access is via https://access.durham.ac.uk
Does Access VPN make my PC secure?
No, Access VPN only protects data in transit between your PC and the university. It does not protect end points and you should still take security precautions, such as having antivirus software on your computer.
How do I register to use Access VPN?
Staff automatically have access to Access VPN. Access VPN is currently only available to University staff and Research Postgraduates can request access via this form. Undergraduates and Taught Postgraduates can request access if sponsored by a member of University staff.
We can also provide access for collaboration partners and suppliers. This must be requested via the CIS Security Team. Contact the IT Service Desk to make a special request.
How long can I leave Access VPN idle before the session is disconnected?
If you leave the session idle Access VPN connection will be dropped after 60 minutes, although the session can be quickly resumed by logging on again. However, there is an 8 hour limit to Access VPN connections after which Access VPN will need to be fully re-established.
What can I use the VPN for?
When you are connected to the VPN you have access to any resources (with some exceptions) that reside on the University network even if they are not normally available over the internet. So, you could remotely connect to your University PC or other equipment that resides on the network, or access internal web/intranet pages that are not normally accessible from the internet.
What devices can I use to connect to the VPN?
You can connect using a Windows PC or laptop, a Macintosh PC or laptop, a Unix/Linux PC or laptop or an Apple or Android tablet. The methods for establishing the connection are all different but once connected the principle is the same. Mobile telephones are not currently compatible or permitted as a VPN client device, and jailbroken (Apple devices with security features disabled) or rooted tablet devices will be denied access for security reasons.
What IP address will be assigned to my machine?
The IP address is a private address and will take the form 10.0.x.x. This address is only usable between your machine and the University. It helps to enhance the security of the connection.
What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
A Virtual Private Network provides the ability to be part of a secure remote network without being physically connected to it. Effectively, while you are connected to Access VPN via your local Internet connection, network traffic to University resources is routed through the University network just as if your PC is actually on the University premises. The connection to University network resources is secure as all data traffic is encrypted between your PC and the University.
Who can use the VPN?
Durham University full and part-time staff and postgraduate researchers are permitted to use the service for their University work.
Undergraduates and taught postgradutes are not normally permitted. Access may be granted under exceptional circumstances, where there is an academic justification and a member of staff agrees to sponsor the request.