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  4.  — Accessing technologies through VPN

Accessing technologies through VPN

VPN (Virtual Private Network) enables access to websites and access to specialist software that is otherwise restricted from off-campus and offshore.

What is VPN?

VPN (Virtual Private Network) connects an off-campus computer to the University’s network, providing access to websites and specialist software running on University servers* that would otherwise be blocked from off-campus.

In most cases, students will not need to access online learning resources through VPN, however, from China for example, websites such as Google Docs, Gmail, YouTube etc., are restricted. When students connect via VPN they bypass such restrictions. It may also improve occasional IT performance issues when accessing online learning from overseas.

There are also some tools that staff may require, which are only available through VPN, e.g., the Software Centre.

Download VPN

VPN is available for staff, postgraduate students and students based offshore. It can only be used on one device at a time and is provided for educational and study purposes only.

It is important to note that because this VPN is authorised to be used from China, it will be monitored. Sites accessed via this internet connection and user activity may be recorded.

Please note: Not all students have fast broadband. Some students also conduct their studies entirely via mobile phone. Please be mindful of document file sizes and consider exporting large Word documents and PowerPoint files to compressed PDF files. ‘Chunk’ videos and upload them to Panopto.

* e.g., through FlexIT, an online service that gives students access to specialised software applications.

Examples of applications restricted in China

  • Google Mail
  • Google Docs
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Flickr images
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo videos
  • Facebook Suite (includes Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger)
  • Twitter
  • Medium (social media publishing)
  • Tumblr
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • Slack
  • Wikipedia
  • Soundcloud
  • Github

Related resources

Page updated 27/07/2023 (improved the preamble)

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