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For Staff> UNSW VPN

UNSW VPN Service

About the Service:

The UNSW Enterprise Remote Access VPN Service (or UNSW VPN) allows you to establish a secure network connection between an off-campus computer and UNSW networked resources such as computers, applications and file servers, over the Internet. Using the UNSW VPN service, users can connect via their home broadband service or via external wireless hotspots in cafes, hotels and airports.

The VPN is implemented using a feature (known technically as split tunnel) which means that traffic destined for UNSW utilises the VPN link back to UNSW whereas all other traffic uses the client’s local internet link. For example, if you are accessing a UNSW application this will utilise the VPN, however if you are accessing a public website (e.g. google) or other internet services (e.g. video streaming, cloud storage) these will not utilise the VPN link.

Implementation of the split tunnel ensures that end users’ experience with public internet websites and services are not adversely impacted by the unnecessary routing of traffic through the UNSW network (resulting in performance issues). Additionally, the routing of non-UNSW traffic through the UNSW network would also increase the network data charges paid by the university.

The VPN service is not necessary when accessing UNSW network resources that are generally available in public, such as UNSW’s web sites, or when you are physically on campus.

Who can use the UNSW VPN Service?

The new VPN service is currently available to all UNSW staff, students and affiliates. The general access VPN provides access to centralised services including email, file and print. This does not provide access to non centralised services including RDP (remote access to computers) and Faculty based servers. The general access VPN is available via the following URL:


Specific Faculty and Divisional access is available via your group specific VPN URL within the new service. This includes RDP access to desktop computers. To connect to your specific group VPN, refer to the table below for the required URL:

VPN Group VPN Group URL
Chief of Staff & Vice-President https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/vcdivisn
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/dvca
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/dvcr
Division Of Advancement Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/doa
Executive Division Finance & Operations (EDFO) Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/edfo
Executive Division University Services Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/edus
Faculty of Arts & Social Science Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/fass
Faculty of Engineering Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/feng
Faculty of Engineering Research Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/feng_rsch
Faculty of Engineering For Ad Hoc users https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/feng_adhoc
Faculty of Law Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/law
Faculty of Medicine Staff & Research Students https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/fmed
Faculty of Medicine For Ad Hoc users https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/fmed_adhoc
UNSW Art & Design IT Staff https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/fituad
UNSW Business School Staff & Research Students https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/asb
UNSW IT https://vpn.unsw.edu.au/unswit

When should I use the VPN Service?

From time to time you may need to access UNSW networked resources while off-campus. You may be working from home, visiting another campus or on sabbatical. You may also be in a café or airport lounge that has wireless facilities. In these environments you may find you can’t access or even locate certain UNSW networked resources such as your work computer or your department’s file server. This is because you are trying to access these resources from a non-UNSW network. For security reasons many networked resources can only be accessed from inside UNSW, via the UNSW campus–wide network.

What the VPN service does is it creates a trusted connection to the UNSW network using secure encryption technology. It does this over whatever network connection you are using at the time, such as commercial broadband or wireless. Once this trusted connection is established, you should be able to locate and connect to your computers and file servers as usual.

How can I access library resources?

The UNSW VPN is configured to provide access to on-campus infrastructure such as shared drives. It does not provide access to the Library’s externally hosted electronic books, journals or databases. Even if you are logged into the University’s VPN, as soon as you use Google or another search engine to find library resources, you will be ‘off campus'. When off campus, the only way to access library resources is by using your own ISP and the library’s search interface. You will then be presented with the Library’s yellow login page where you can enter your zID and zPass to access library resources. So long as you keep your browser open, you will remain logged in to library resources. If you close your browser, you will again be presented with the Library’s login page.

If you begin your search via the Library’s interface, using the University VPN, you will be ‘recognised’ initially as being on campus, but the external vendor will not see you as being on UNSW’s campus, and will deny access.

What do I need to use the UNSW VPN Service?

The VPN client is a small software application that connects your computer to the UNSW Enterprise VPN Service. The VPN Client creates the secure encrypted connection to the UNSW network based on your zPass credentials. Download the client and instructions below:

Download the VPN installation instructions

 Windows 7 PDF 1.7 Mb
 Mac OS X PDF 1.7 Mb
 Linux PDF 3 Mb
 AndroidPDF 4 Mb

VPN Access & Support

Support for the VPN service is available through the IT Service Centre. Please note the current version of Cisco AnyConnect is not supported on Windows 8 RT, there are also a number of limitations with Windows 8.
Please view the Cisco Release for additional information.