Virtual Private Networking

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure encrypted network connection. You may want to use a VPN to connect from your third-party Internet Service Provider (ISP) to Penn State services and resources.

A VPN uses encryption and other security mechanisms to ensure that only authorized users access the network and that data is secure. AIT manages approximately 4,000 VPN connections per day. Several reasons to use a VPN include:

  • To secure all of your traffic between Penn State and your remote connection. Please note that this does not apply to connections made from your third-party ISP to a non domain (for example, a connection from your third-party ISP to
  • To access Penn State resources that are restricted to Penn State IP addresses. When you use a VPN, you are assigned a Penn State IP address as if you are on campus; this allows you to connect to certain Penn State services and resources. Some Penn State resources, such as library services, require you to connect with a Penn State IP address.

If you experience problems with installing or using a VPN client, send an e-mail message to the IT Service Desk at Please make sure you include the following information:

  • Your Penn State Access Account user ID (for example, xyz5000)
  • The platform and operating system you use (for example, Macintosh or Windows) and its version.
  • The time the error occurred.
  • Any error messages you received.