Before You Begin
When you are off campus, you must establish a VPN connection before you can access restricted, electronic resources at Illinois State University, such as:
- Map network drives to Datastore (or any other campus server)
- Check and send email using a client like Thunderbird or Outlook
Illinois State offers several options for connecting through VPN.
Cisco VPN Client
The Cisco VPN client is a stand-alone application used to establish a VPN connection with the campus network. To use the Cisco VPN client, you must download and install it on your computer. After it's installed, launch the Cisco VPN client and log in. You may then access restricted resources that require a VPN connection.
- 1091: Connecting with Cisco VPN Client for Windows
- 1119: Connecting with Cisco VPN Client for Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6
As an alternative to using a traditional VPN client, the Help Desk offers a VPN profile for certain operating systems. A VPN profile integrates into the operating system on your computer or device, but otherwise works the same as the Cisco VPN client.
- 1488: Installing the VPN profile for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
- 1544: Installing the VPN profile on Mac OS X 10.6
Cisco VPN client has an unlimited timeout period.
WebVPN offers a web-based method of providing a VPN connection. To use WebVPN, go to https://webvpn.ilstu.edu and log in. After logging in, you can access some restricted resources using the tools on the WebVPN web page. To establish a VPN connection for your entire computer, use the Juniper Network Connect VPN client.
Juniper Network Connect VPN Client
WebVPN includes a feature called Network Connect which provides the same kind of VPN connection as the Cisco VPN client. After logging in to the WebVPN website, click the "Start" button next to "Network Connect" to install and launch the Juniper Network Connect VPN client. After it is installed, you can launch the Juniper Network Connect client without visiting the WebVPN website.
Configure Email Client with MailVPN Settings
You can configure your email client to use MailVPN settings, which allows you to check and send email without the need for an independent VPN connection. This is handy for people who check email from off campus using a client like Thunderbird or Outlook. Email clients configured with MailVPN settings utilize the WebVPN server on campus (though you can still use Cisco VPN client or Network Connect in WebVPN to create a system-wide VPN connection if necessary).
- 1666: Configuring Thunderbird with campus or MailVPN settings
- 1701: Configuring Outlook 2011 with MailVPN settings
- 1678: Configuring Outlook 2010 with MailVPN settings
- 1669: Configuring Outlook 2007 with MailVPN settings
- 1382: Configuring Outlook 2003 with MailVPN settings
- 1454: Configuring Mail in Mac OS X with MailVPN settings
- 1409: Configuring Windows Mail with MailVPN settings
- 1421: Configuring iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad with MailVPN settings
- 1460: Configuring Blackberry with MailVPN settings
- 1524: Configuring Palm Pre with MailVPN settings
- 1696: Configuring Windows Phone 7 with MailVPN mail settings
- 1361: Configuring Entourage 2004 and Entourage 2008 with MailVPN settings
- 1794: Configuring Kindle Fire with MailVPN settings
- 1596: Configuring Android with MailVPN settings
WebVPN has two timeout periods.
- Idle Timeout: WebVPN will timeout and disconnect after you've been idle for three hours.
- Total Timeout: WebVPN will timeout and disconnect after a total of six hours.
After WebVPN timeouts and disconnects, you may immediately reconnect.
What's the difference? Which is better?
Regardless of the method you choose, connecting through VPN at Illinois State gives access to the same restricted resources.
If you plan to use email from off campus, we recommend configuring your email client or device to use MailVPN settings. If you want a simple method of connecting to network shares, many people like the WebVPN website.
As for the Cisco VPN client versus the Juniper Network Connect VPN client, the only important difference is that they have different the timeout periods. Other than that, they function the same.
Ultimately, the decision to use one option over another is a personal choice.