College guidance on use of VPN
ICT provides many solutions for remote access. Historically the College VPN was the preferred method of connecting remotely, however, while VPNs can be used to securely extend a network to a remote location they have several problems, and for the reasons below ICT believe it is better to move away from using them. Please use the alternative methods detailed on the remote access page.
1. VPNs require specific software to be installed and then configured. This process can be difficult across a range of devices, particular on non-college-owned systems.
2. VPNs are often blocked, intentionally or accidentally, by networks. This can prevent the use of a VPN - and VPN-dependent services - entirely.
3. VPNs may be rate-limited and therefore suffer from an unreliable or poor performing connection. This is common on residential broadband connections, where many ISPs limit VPNs entirely.
4. When connected to a VPN traffic may be channelled through a route the user isn’t aware of, as they are not application specific. Examples include BBC iPlayer or Netflix, or other traffic which is legitimate at home, but not permitted. This has been problematic in the past, as ICT have to address these violations of the AUP, even though the user did not intend this.
5. In some countries, VPNs are not legal. By relying on the use of VPN for our services, we either exclude or place customers in these locations at risk. Staff and Students are advised to consider what they are trying to access and ensure that they will have access to this files from their designated destinations before departing. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that their data is located in a safe secured repository in line with the College's Data Protection Policy (Section 4).
If you have any questions regarding the college VPN Service, or would like advice on how to access the locations that you need to remotely please contact the ICT Service Desk.