Michigan Ross iMpact

Leading in Thought & Action

Virtual Private Network

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is a secure connection to data and/or resources. You can think of it as tricking your computer into thinking it's connected to a certain "internal" network, when in reality it is not.  Using the Ross VPN client, you can use Ross network resources while offsite or even out of the country.

What's the benefit of using one?

When you use a VPN, you're accessing the internet through a "tunnel" provided by the other side (in this case, the Ross school).  Wherever you are in the world, when you're connected to the Ross VPN, any website or service to which you connect thinks you're right here in Ann Arbor using the Ross network.

Is it safe?

Privacy is achieved through the use of an internet protocol and security procedures. Using a VPN involves encrypting data before sending it through the public network and decrypting it at the receiving end. An additional level of security involves encrypting not only the data but also the originating and receiving network addresses. Using VPN to connect to the Ross network from remote locations minimizes the security risks inherent in data transfer across the Internet, and in some cases may be considered safer than a regular connection.

Who can use it?

The VPN client detailed on this page is geared toward Ross faculty and staff. Students wishing to use the campus VPN may find more information at the ITS VPN page.

When would I use a VPN?

Many reasons. ​Let's say you're in Europe but need to connect to the Ross U: drive.  Or you're in a country that blocks certain websites (like, say, Google).  Or you're trying to access content on the web from overseas that is restricted to the US audiences only.  Or you're stuck in a conference somewhere and want to print a document to your office printer so your colleagues at Ross can grab it.  Or maybe your Ross-provided Office 2010 installation is asking to be activated when you're at home. Maybe you're located off-site during construction of the new Ross building and need to connect to Ross' shared network drives or printers while using the campus-wide MWireless network.

If you run into any of the above scenarios, connecting with a VPN would let you work around all of those issues.

How to set up the Ross VPN on a Windows PC

  1. Download and run the Ross Secure Mobility Client for Windows. (Note: if you're using Internet Explorer 10 or above, you will receive a warning when attempting to download this file. This has to do with a non-typical "security certificate" and can be safely ignored by clicking the "X" button in the upper right corner of the message.)
  2. Follow the prompts to complete installation, accepting or approving any security warnings.
  3. Once installed, use the Windows start menu to navigate to and run Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.
  4. Ross School of Business should be pre-populated in the window that appears; click Select.
  5. After a moment, you should receive a message indicating you have successfully connected.

Note: To gain access to the R: and U: (My Documents) drives, you must run an additional app called the Map R/U Utility.  Download, "Save as..." and run this utility only after you have connected to a VPN session.

How to set up the Ross VPN on a Mac

Instructions for Mac are essentially the same as above, except you would download and run the Ross Secure Mobility Client for Mac instead.