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Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Update from 31.03.2021:

Important notice for accounts of the Freie Universität Berlin that are based on a membership in the ERG e.V.:

For this group of accounts, the VPN service will no longer be available from 01.04.2021 due to a decision by the university management. If you have any questions, please contact your ERG e.V. contact person.

Instructions for the operating system you are using:

(Many instructions are only available in German—please contact us if you need help.)

What is VPN?

Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that allows a computer to be virtually integrated into a campus or company network independently of its physical network connection. A computer connected in this way can also use services that are reserved for internal computers. In this way it is possible, among other things, to use the printers of ZEDAT or also the services of the university library, such as access to special databases or the use of a large number of electronic journals to which the FU subscribes. Technically, a VPN connection to the campus network is realised by setting up a network tunnel between VPN software on the user's computer and a VPN server in ZEDAT, through which the data between the terminal device and the server are transmitted in encrypted form. The software (AnyConnect) and the VPN servers used at the FU are Cisco products.

Where is VPN used?

A combination, i.e. the simultaneous use, of VPN technology with the WLAN eduroam is neither technically possible nor sensible. Outside the FU campus, VPN can be used to access internal FU services: Users who have a DSL connection at home or are travelling with their laptops can use VPN to connect their computers virtually to the FU campus network, provided their computers have an internet connection.

Alternatives to VPN

For web-based services, there is another possibility to use FU-internal services from outside the campus network: If the web browser is configured to use ZEDAT's proxy server, the proxy server, since it is part of the campus network, can make a request to such databases on behalf of the owner of a valid ZEDAT account, for example, and thus enable access from outside the campus network. The account holder must identify him/herself to the proxy server with a username and password. See: Proxy server of ZEDAT