The information below is relevant only to members of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

It is not always possible to be able to come into the office and work at your desk with your main computer permanently connected to the network. Therefore, we offer a service known as Virtual Private Networking (VPN) to allow you to connect to the office network without having to be in the office or plug your computer into a network port. Individuals should only use the VPN service when they are physically located outside of the department.

VPN allows the remote machine you are working on to appear to be a member of the network, allowing you to access network resources such as your personal network folder (Q: drive) and other shared network folders. All you need to be able to use VPN is an internet connection.

VPN also allows you to use Remote Desktop to remotely login to your office computer, allowing you to use programs that may be installed on it that you do not have on your remote machine.

Remote access

Creating a connection to DIDE using the new VPN

The preferred VPN method within DIDE is to use the JunOS Pulse Secure Connect software.  If you have an older PC, which does not have the Pulse Secure client installed, then please visit the Secure Access Gateway webpage to install this.  Please use either Internet Explorer or Firefox web browser when installing and login with your Imperial College user account, not your DIDE user account.

Linux users will need to have Java pre-installed. Mac users already have Java installed, and Windows users don't need this if they start the installation with Internet Explorer.

Upon login there will be a button to Start the VPN.  Clicking this will start the client install and only needs to be done once.  The installation will typically takes a few minutes to complete and there are several popup confirmation boxes, just keep accepting the default settings.  When the software is installed an 'S' icon will appear in your notification area, by the clock, for Pulse Secure Connect. This icon can be used to connect/disconnect from the VPN.  Please always remember to disconnect from the VPN when you have finished.

Accessing network folders remotely

Quick access

Once you have created and activated the VPN connection you can access your Q: drive, and other shared network folders, in the following way:

  1. Click on Start
  2. Type in: \\servername\sharename then press return.

Some examples of popular shared folders are:

  • \\servername\homes\yourusername - Your Q: drive
  • \\servername\tmp - The T: temp drive
  • \\servername\pcd - The PCD group folder (P: drive)
  • \\servername\sci - The SCI group folder (S: drive)

If you don't know the name of the shared folder you wish to access, you can browse the list of folders by typing in just \\servername in step two above.

Permanent access

If you want to make it easier to access the folder, do the following:

  1. Open Computer by clicking the Start button and then clicking Computer.
  2. Click Map Network Drive.
  3. In the window that appears, select any available drive letter from the Drive dropdown list.
  4. In the Folder box, type the path of the shared folder (see above for common paths).
  5. Tick the Reconnect at logon and Connect using different credentials check boxes.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. When prompted to enter your credentials use DIDE\username and your DIDE password.

Note: If you choose to tick the box in step four, next time you start Windows it will tell you that it could not reconnect all network drives. This is normal because you haven't initiated the VPN connection yet.

Connecting via Mac OS X

If you are attempting to connect to a shared folder on a Mac, you should follow the guidance on this page.

Accessing your office computer remotely

If you have programs on your office computer that you don't have on your remote computer and that you need access to, or you have files saved on the C: drive of the office computer, you can use a utility called Remote Desktop to connect to your office computer.

Remote Desktop makes it seem like you are sitting at the screen of your office computer. You login as normal, you will see all your desktop items as normal, you will have all your programs available, as well as mapped network drives, printers, and your Outlook configuration.

You can even leave programs running on your office computer, and when you Remote Desktop to it, you will see the programs as you left them.

Here's how to use Remote Desktop:

  1. Make sure the computer you want to connect to is switched on. It doesn't have to be logged in, just on. If your PC is not switched on you can use the Wake my PC service to remotely wake it.
  2. Initiate the VPN connection to DIDE on your remote computer
  3. Click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, Remote Desktop Connection
  4. Type in the name of your office computer, such as and click on Connect

When you've finished with your remote connection, you can either:

  • Click on the X on the right of the blue bar at the top of the screen. This will leave you logged in with your programs running.
  • Click on Start and then Log Off to log you out of your office computer but keep Windows running on it.
  • Click on Start, click on Windows Security, click on Shut Down, choose Shut Down from the list and click on Ok to switch off your office computer.

Accessing your email remotely

If you wish to access your e-mail remotely, you do not need a VPN connection for this. You can either use Outlook Web Access, or you can setup Outlook on the machine you are using by following this guide. Please note that having your e-mail setup on more than one machine will not delete anything from your mailbox (unless you choose to delete it) or affect it in any way.