The University of Otago's VPN service allows you to contact the University's computer network from off-campus and from most locations around the world.

Do you need to use VPN?

The majority of the University’s teaching-related and some administrative applications/services are available directly from the internet so you don’t need to use the VPN service to access these. Just enter the web address (URL) and log in using your University username and password to access the application or service. For example, the following systems are available directly through a web browser:

However, the VPN service allows you off-campus access to:

  • Applications and services that are only available when connected to the University of Otago network on-campus (e.g. Business Objects, Finance One, HR Back Office)
  • Your work computer in your University of Otago office or lab
  • Files and shared folders on the High Capacity Storage (HCS) service (e.g. your S:/ or U:/ drive). See related answer: Connecting to shared drives (HCS, Kale, Pandora)

Generally, anything that University of Otago staff are able to do from their desk can be done via the VPN service, as long as it uses IP (internet protocol) rather than broadcast traffic across the network. For example:

  • SMB (server message block) sharing can be used
  • IPX/Appletalk are NOT supported as the VPN service is IP transport only

Please contact your departmental IT support staff if you need more information about what can be done using VPN.

There may be factors beyond the University's control that prevent VPN access in some locations as some organisations and internet service providers (ISPs) implement restrictions on their networks that stop the University's VPN software from working.

Accessing the VPN

  • University of Otago staff usernames and external usernames of the type "CFI" and "FS Staff" are automatically enabled to access the VPN service
  • If you are a student or use an external username of a different type, your username will need to be enabled for the VPN service. A staff member will need to request access to the VPN service on your behalf via the Ask IT Customer Portal. They will be prompted to log in with their University username and password and need to add your username details to the request. Departmental approval is also required

Your computer or mobile devices uses the AnyConnect VPN client software to connect to the University of Otago's VPN service from off-campus:

Installing and connecting to AnyConnect VPN

You cannot use the University's VPN service while you are still connected to another University network.

As at 23 March 2020, the University is launching a new VPN service to cater for the increased numbers of staff working from home. If you have connected to the existing VPN service previously, you will have the "UO-VPN-SSL" profile visible in your AnyConnect VPN client. Follow the procedure below to add a new profile "UO-VPN-STAFF" to your AnyConnect client. Make sure that you use this profile to connect to VPN, and it will become the default after you connect the first time.

  1. Double-click on Cisco AnyConnect in your apps list or system tray icon to open.

    Cisco AnyConnect prompt showing the older VPN service

  2. Cancel the logon prompt if it comes up. Click in the box where it currently says "UO-VPN-SSL" and enter vpn.staff.otago.ac.nz Click Connect.

    Cisco AnyConnect prompt showing the new VPN service profile entered


  3. It might take a bit longer to connect initially, but once you are connected, click Disconnect then Connect again and you will see "UO-VPN-STAFF" in the box - this is the new VPN service that you need to use from now on.

    Cisco AnyConnect prompt showing the new VPN service profile as default

Contact AskOtago if you have any questions about the University's VPN service:

Tel +64 3 479 7000 or 0800 80 80 98
Email askotago.it@otago.ac.nz

Last updated 25/03/2020 12.10 PM
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