What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a secure connection to data and/or resources. It's kind of like tricking your computer into thinking it is connected to a certain "internal" network (like ours), when in reality it is not. Using the VPN client, you can use network resources while offsite or even out of the country.
What's the benefit of using a VPN?
When you use a VPN, you're accessing the internet through a "tunnel" provided by the other side. Wherever you are in the world, when you're connected to the VPN, any website or service to which you connect thinks you're right here in Ann Arbor using the U-M 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 U-M 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.
How to set-up the VPN
The Information & Technology Services group manages the VPN application for the University. To utilize the VPN, please navigate to their page: