IT Services | Services | Remote Access to facilities | Virtual Private Network (VPN)

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The Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Please note. This documentation refers to a new Virtual Private Network service introduced in late 2016. The old, outgoing VPN service is still available, and documentation is provided.

The Virtual Private Network enables a secure connection between a remote device or network and Birkbeck. In addition, it places the device on the Birkbeck network, allowing access to electronic resources as if at Birkbeck.

The benefits in doing this are:

  • to allow staff to connect to their desktop PC as if at their desk using Remote Desktop Connection
  • to allow remote clients to participate within the existing Windows domains, giving users access to shared network resources on the network (e.g. N: drive).
  • accessing externally hosted electronic resources, which validate against IP address.

Please note that it is not necessary to use the VPN service to access the staff Exchange email using Outlook. Documentation on configuring Outlook email (for staff).

Documentation is available for the following clients:

For other operating systems, or if the instructions above are not appropriate, open a web browser, connect to the VPN server at https://fort.bbk.ac.uk:9443 and download the client for your device.

Once installed the remote computer is authenticated and securely connected to the college network and can function as if directly connected locally to it.

A word (and warning) about the Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The Virtual Private Network enables a secure connection between a remote device or network and Birkbeck. In addition, it places the device on the Birkbeck network, allowing access to electronic resources as if at Birkbeck. However, this also means that all internet traffic from that device is travelling via Birkbeck too. In cases of misuse of the network, and the most common complaint we receive relates to copyright infringement, any complaint will be received by Birkbeck directly and acted upon immediately with the removal of the device or connection to the network. Staff should only connect to the VPN when they need it, and should not connect while undertaking personal internet surfing etc. Please note that some restrictions on network traffic allowed through the VPN are in place to limit Birkbeck’s exposure to complaints.

Please note also that if you are working from home extensively, you may run into limits imposed by your ISP in the amount of data you are allowed to transfer. A typical VPN/RDC session is likely to download 40-50Mb of data an hour (dependent on activity).