VPN - How It Works

Last Updated: 04/15/2014

Off-campus connectivity

Users connected to the general use VPN service (vpn.colorado.edu) will have all of their internet traffic routed through the CU-Boulder network.

The Limited VPN service for advanced users (vpn.colorado.edu/limited) will split internet traffic, allowing for connection to home networked devices (e.g. printers, Apple TV). Only on-campus Internet services and library resources (excluding UCB Libraries' partner resources from other institutions) will be routed through the campus VPN for users of the limited VPN service.

On-campus connectivity

  • Sometimes when using UCB Wireless on campus or even a wired connection in an on-campus office, it's necessary to use the CU-Boulder VPN to be granted access to a particular system.
  • In most instances, you'll be informed that you need to connect to the VPN to have access to a system. However, if you are not informed of this requirement yet you're having trouble getting access, try connecting via VPN; that might be the solution.

Who needs VPN?

  • Customers who have a non-CU ISP and who need access to CU resources, like the library. VPN is not needed for secure services such as a CU email account.
  • Customers wanting secure access via the campus wireless network.

Who does not need VPN?

  • Customers who don't need to connect to CU-Boulder resources.
  • Customers accessing OIT email with SSH or Authenticated SMTP.
  • Customers accessing OIT servers with SSH.
  • Customers using SSH to access servers (email or otherwise) that are registered with the IT Security Office.
  • Customers browsing the internet or making file transfers from off-campus sites.

IdentiKey is required

An IdentiKey is required to make a connection to the VPN. In addition to an IdentiKey, you must have the proper entitlements to get access, such as being a CU-Boulder student, faculty, or staff member.