VPN Access

VPN access allows you to securely connect to the Caledonian network while you are away from the office. You can connect to personal and departmental network drives, use software or access files on your office PC, and access any other resources that are restricted to within the Caledonian network.

If you intend to use VPN access from home, you must have a broadband connection and a home PC, or University laptop.

How do I get VPN access?

VPN is only available to GCU staff, Authorised Guests, and PHD students.

If you do not have a GCU user account, you will need to discuss your requirements with your department in the first instance.

The VPN request form is available on My Service portal.

VPN access requests must be authorised by your School Manager, Head of Department or equivalent authority.

Once the request form has been submitted, the IT Helpdesk will hold your request until the appropriate authorisation has been received.  You will receive instructions detailing how to install and configure your VPN access via email.

How do I use Remote Desktop from my home PC?

Remote Desktop, used together with VPN access, allows you to connect to your office PC from home. This means that you can log into your office PC and access all available resources. You must leave your office PC switched on to be able to connect to it remotely.

Please note that Remote Desktop is designed to allow you to connect to your GCU desktop PC from your home PC. If your main GCU machine is a laptop and you intend to take it home with you, you will not need to use Remote Desktop.

Configuring your office PC:

You must configure Remote Desktop on your office PC before attempting to connect via VPN.

  1. Right-click My Computer and select Properties
  2. Click the Remote tab; tick the 'Allow users to connect remotely to this computer'
  3. Next, take note of your 'Full computer name'; you need the first part (the bit before .enterprise.gcal.ac.uk) to connect to your PC from home
  4. Click Apply, then OK to close the System Properties window


Connecting from home:

  1. First, you must log in and connect to the VPN client
  2. Next, open 'Remote Desktop Connection'
    • On Windows Vista, or Windows 7 click Start, then type MSTSC in the search field. Open the MSTSC application
  3. Type your office PC name into the 'Computer' field and click 'Connect'
  4. When prompted log into your office PC with your domain credentials
  5. Your office PC desktop will be displayed on screen and you will have full access to all PC resources
  6. When you are finished you can either close the Remote Desktop Connection by clicking the small cross on the top banner or you can log off your office PC
    • If you choose to just close the Remote Desktop Connection your office PC will still be logged in but it'll be locked.
  7. Remember to disconnect from the VPN client when you are finished

Can I connect to network drives from my home PC?

Yes, you can connect to your personal H:drive and to any departmental drives you have access to in work.

Firstly, you must log in and connect to the VPN client.  Next follow the instructions for connecting to a network drive: http://www.gcu.ac.uk/staff/it/networkdrives/


Installing the VPN client

You will receive installation instructions by email once your VPN access request has been processed.

The VPN software and installation instructions are also stored online. You can log in with your Domain credentials. Access to this website is restricted to VPN authenticated users only. If you cannot log in to this website, please contact the IT Helpdesk.

Please note that the VPN connection cannot be tested while on campus using either a wired or wireless connection.