Remote Access (VPN) Support

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, which provides end-to-end secure access between a user on a remote computer and on-campus computer resources. This means that, from home or another location, you can gain access to your desktop or to servers that are on-campus. All faculty and staff at Northeastern may use the Remote Access Service (VPN). While remotely connected, all traffic destined for NU’s campus is encrypted and all traffic destined for all other internet sites is not.

You will need to confirm you have the correct system requirements on the computer you plan to use from a remote location (working from home, for example) and you will need your NUnet* credentials.

How to setup and access the Remote Access Service (VPN)
  1. Read the Important Security Information BEFORE using the VPN service
  2. Confirm you have the correct computer and browser requirements
  3. Follow the install directions:
  4. Go to: Using Remote Access Service (VPN)

Remote Access Service (VPN) FAQ

What are the computer and browser requirements for using NU’s Remote Access VPN?
  • Apple – Mac OS X versions 10.4, 10.5, or 10.6 with Safari version 3 or later or Firefox version 2. Review the Mac OS X Install directions and screenshots for more info.
  • Windows PC – Microsoft Windows Vista or 7, with Internet Explorer 6.0 or later, Firefox 2.0 or later with ActiveX enabled or Sun Java 1.5 or later. Review the Windows Install directions and screenshots for more info.
  • Linux – Ubuntu 7 or 8, RedHat Linux 3 or 4, Fedora Core 4 through 9, Slackware 11 or 12.1, openSuSE 10 or 10.1 with Firefox 2.0 or later. Review the Linux Install directions and screenshots for more info.

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How do you access the VPN?

You need to download the AnyConnect software and use that when you are not connected to NUnet. Log in with your NUnet* username and password. This is the same name and password that you use to access Outlook email.

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How do I get the AnyConnect software?

Prior to downloading the AnyConnect software, check to see that you have the necessary system requirements. More information can be found as follows:

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How do I connect to the VPN after installing AnyConnect software?
  • On a Mac – The icon for the AnyConnect software is stored in your default applications path. From there you can drag the application to your desktop or the Dock for future use. If you choose not to put it on your desktop or dock, open a browser and go to
  • On a Windows PC – Once installed the Cisco AnyConnect VPN link will be in the Start menu.

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Can I have the VPN start when I turn on my computer?

Only on a NUnet-configured Windows XP computer you can install the Start Before Login component by going to and performing the same installation procedure you used when you installed the AnyConnect software.

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How do I disconnect from the VPN?

When you are connected, the AnyConnect icon appears in your system tray (on a PC) or in your taskbar (on a Mac). Click on the icon and then the Disconnect button.

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How do I connect to a network share, such as my departmental (Q) drive?

NOTE: You may be asked to enter your NUnet* username and password in the format ‘NUNET\username’. You must include the ‘nunet’ in your username.

  • Windows PC
    • Go to Start–> Run
      For Windows 7 or Vista, Go to Start–> Start Search
    • In the text box, enter \\\dept-shares and click OK.
    • The department share drive folders will appear in a new window.
    • To map the drive on your computer, go to My Computer, click on Tools–> Map Network Drive
    • Select the drive you wish to use (for most people this is the Q drive)
    • In the Folder text box, type \\\dept-shares
    • Click Finish.
    • NOTE: Your drive will remain mapped on My Computer when you are connected to the VPN until you shut down the computer. Once you shut down, you must repeat the access and/or mapping procedure to have the shared drive available again.
  • Mac
    • Click here for a how-to with screenshots.
    • From the Finder window, click Go–>Connect to Server (or Press the Apple key + K)
    • In the server address field, type ‘smb:// (replace SHAREDirectory with your Department Share name)
    • Enter “NUNET\username” where username is your NUNET username.  Enter your password. Click Connect.

    • Select the volume to mount (the folder on the Q: drive that you would like to connect to), then click OK
  • Linux – Use the same process you do on an on-campus Linux machine

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How do I reconnect to the VPN (after being disconnected)?

To reconnect at a later time you can do one of the following:

  • Point your browser to
    (Bookmark it for later use)
  • PCs – Run the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client, which will appear in your system tray and at Start–> Programs–> Cisco–> Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client–> Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client
  • Macs – Click on AnyConnect VPN Client in the Application folder.

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What journals are not accessible when using the VPN?

Below is a list of journals which are NOT accessible by remote users, due to licensing and intellectual property agreements. Users with additional questions should contact the Northeastern University Libraries at 617-373-4959. List is current as of 3 Nov 2009.

  • Academy of Political Science (Political Science Quarterly)
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Journal of Biological Chemistry & Molecular and Cellular Proteomics)
  • American Society of Cell Biology (Molecular Biology of the Cell)
  • American Society of Hematology (Blood)
  • Institute of Mathematics. Polish Academy of Sciences (Fundamenta Mathematicae)
  • Genetics Society of America (Genetics)
  • American Association of Immunology (Journal of Immunology)
  • Radiological Society of North America (Radiology)
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists (British Journal of Psychiatry)
  • Society for Neuroscience (Journal of Neuroscience)
  • World Scientific Online Journal Service (Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications; International Journal of Mathematics; International Journal of Modern Physics, B; International Journal of Pattern Recognition & Artificial Intelligence)

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For additional information, including pictures of the screens you will see, login to myKnowledge and search on Remote Access VPN. Northeastern-specific information is found in solutions with Husky paw icon pawprints.

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*Your myNEU login username and NUnet login username are always the same. Your myNEU password and your NUnet password may possibly be different. If your passwords are different, go to myNEU and click on the “my profile” icon in the upper right corner to change your password and sync all of your passwords to be the same.