Virtual Private Network (VPN)

MFA is here! ITS has implemented multi-factor authentication to the Data Center and SDSC VPN services. Learn More


vpn imageA virtual private network (VPN) is a network that is constructed using public wires — usually the Internet — to connect to a private network, such as the campus internal network.

There are four different VPN services that support remote access requirements to the campus. 

Campus VPN

The service is automatically available to anyone with a campus CruzID and Gold password. It provides a full tunnel VPN service that is a secure (encrypted) connection to the UCSC network from off campus. Common uses include access to File Sharing/Shared Drives and certain applications that require a Campus IP address. Session limit is 10-hours.

How to get started:


Data Center VPN  

This service provides a secure (encrypted) connection for privileged access to systems in the UCSC Data Center. Privileged access includes systems administration, application and database administration or elevated access to IS3 restricted systems. Session limit is 10-hours. When you connect using Cisco AnyConnect, you will see a third field called Second Password. This field will be used for MFA passcodes. Learn More

How to get started: 


SDSC VPN  

Some server or application functions are replicated to the San Diego Supercomputing Center (SDSC), to provide resiliency or to enable disaster recovery. There is a separate VPN service for SDSC that provides a secure (encrypted) connection for privileged access to systems. Privileged access includes systems administration, application and database administration, and elevated access to IS3 restricted systems. Accounts and access are replicated from the UCSC Data Center VPN, as needed. Session limit is 10-hours.


Academic Divisional Computing VPN

This service provides a full tunnel VPN service. This secure connection to the UCSC network from off campus will allow access to the campus network and various divisional resources. 

How to get started:


Benefits to using VPN

Network Traffic Encryption

When you connect to another site using a VPN, your traffic is encrypted so that if anyone intercepts the traffic, they cannot see what you are doing unless they can break the encryption. Your traffic is encrypted from your computer through the network to the VPN hardware at UCSC.

Access UCSC Resources

When you are using a VPN connection, regardless of where you are, it will appear to systems on campus that you are also on campus. You will have a UCSC IP address instead of the one you have at home or while traveling. This allows you to connect to resources that you would not otherwise be able connect to remotely.

Windows File Shares

A VPN offers a way for authorized users to mount Microsoft Windows file shares from off campus.


Traveling Overseas

The University of California has provided the following resources and best practices when traveling overseas, especially to potentially sensitive locations. When using shared Wi-Fi, stay connected with Campus VPN.