A virtual private network (VPN) allows you to create a secure connection from your computer to Duke over a public network while working remotely.

How it works

You can connect to Duke's network by installing a the Cisco VPN software program onto your computer. We recommend that you visit the OIT Software site to download the VPN client for your computer. Alternatively, you can visit https://portal.duke.edu and the website will attempt to detect and install the appropriate version of VPN software onto your computer. 

Once installed, you will see a Cisco folder with the Anyconnect VPN software in it, under program files (for Windows) or in your applications folder (for Mac). From that point, you'll just click on the icon to start a connection.

When you no longer need the VPN connection, right-click the icon in the Taskbar (Windows) or Menu bar (Mac) and select "Quit" or "Disconnect."

Most faculty, staff and students will find that the "default" option best meets their needs, but there are several other options to chose from, depending on your requrements.  For example:

Library Services

Most library resources are available from off-campus through the EZProxy service—no VPN connection is necessary. For more information, including how to get help, visit the Duke Libraries EZProxy page.

Departmental Considerations

Many departments at Duke have their own firewalls. Our VPN is configured to allow authorized people access to those secure areas. When you get to portal.duke.edu, you'll see a drop-down menu of departments. If your department doesn't have a separate firewall, select "Default;" if it does, select your department by name.