OU Help Desk

Kresge Library, Room 202
100 Library Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-4357 (HELP)
Fax: (248) 370-4863
Office Hours: M-F 8:00am - 5:00pm

How to Access the VPN

How to Access the VPN

Updated March 2016

Oakland University is pleased to offer VPN access to the University community. Staff and faculty of the University can access the VPN and securely connect to the OU network from off campus. The VPN system allows access to commonly used resources on campus just as if you were in your office. To utilize this system, do the following:

  • Open up one of the following browsers: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Safari (OS X only). Type into the address bar the following URL https://vpn.oakland.edu. You will be brought to the main login screen for the VPN system. Enter in your NetID username and password then click on the Sign In button.  If this is your first time using the VPN system, a few components will be installed on your computer to ensure that the connection between your computer and Oakland University is encrypted and secure. The installation only takes a few moments.  If you used VPN previously, you must uninstall the Juniper software.

  • After you have signed into the VPN, a program called Junos Pulse will automatically start. A Pulse icon in the lower right hand section of your screen will be displayed once connected. You can right click on this icon to sign-out of the VPN in the event that the VPN web page is accidentally closed. Note: Junos Pulse installation requires that the computer have latest Java version installed on the machine performing the VPN.Security and Privacy
    Note: If you are using Mac OS 10.9, you will need to ensure that apps can be downloaded from anywhere (screenshot below) and follow the instructions to modify safari (Pulse_10.9_issues.pdf)
  • After authentication and installation, a program called Junos Pulse will automatically start. An icon in the Windows toolbar (or the dock for Mac) will be displayed once connected. You can right click on this icon to sign-out of the VPN in the event that the VPN web page is accidentally closed. Clicking on the start button on the web page is unnecessary, and doing so will generate an error.

    Step 4: Once connected to the VPN, UTS recommends using Remote Desktop or Screen Sharing (Mac) to connect to your office computer. For further instructions on how to setup Remote Desktop or Screen Sharing please contact the Helpdesk at helpdesk@oakland.edu or call them at 248-370-4357.

    Step 5: Please make sure to log out of the VPN when finished. The VPN sessions are time limited to one hour and will timeout if left idle.
Pre Sign-In Notification
Welcome to VPN
Secure Access VPN



How do I access internal web pages?

Once you have signed into the VPN, you are able to browse internal web pages that may not be available outside of the University. Simply open a new web browser and type in the web page address or type in the \\shares folder from the start menu.

How Do I Connect To My Work Computer?

You now have the ability to remotely connect to your work computer (Windows only) thru the VPN system. When you do this, it will appear just as if you were sitting down and working in your office. You will see all of your desktop shortcuts and running programs. This can be very useful if you are running a program on your computer after hours and you wish to check it and see how it is functioning. However, you must prepare your work computer before you can continue. To do this, just perform the following tasks:

  • Right-click the My Computer icon located either on your desktop or in your Start Menu, and select the Properties option that appears on the pop-up menu.

  • Select Remote Settings from the upper left corner.

  • Make sure the checkbox labeled: Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer remotely connect is checked.
  • Make sure the radio button labeled: Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop is checked.
  • Click OK.

  • Next you will need to know the name of your computer. In the Start Menu, select Run.
  • Type in cmd and then click the OK button.
  • In the window that opens type hostname. The name of your computer will be displayed.
  • In the same window type ipconfig. Make note of the line that starts with Connection-specific DNS suffix.

  • As shown in the example above, join the hostname and DNS suffix: ggrizz.dhe.oakland.edu in order to obtain your fully qualified domain name. You will need to enter this name when connecting to your work computer. See Figure 3.
  • Ensure that you leave your computer powered on, however you do not need to leave the computer logged in. If you do leave your computer logged in, make sure that it is locked.
  • Once you have performed these steps, you will be ready to connect to your work computer. To connect you will need to navigate to:
    • Start ⇒ All Programs or Programs ⇒ Accessories ⇒ Communications ⇒ Remote Desktop Connection
  • If you are connecting to the VPN with a Mac (OS X) to a Windows machine, you must download Remote Desktop Connection from Microsoft, refer to http://www.microsoft.com/mac for details.

  • To use Remote Desktop from a Mac computer to a Mac computer, refer to How to Remote Connect from a Mac to a Mac Computer for details.

  • The Remote Desktop window will now appear. In the Computer field type in the computer name of your work computer and then press the connect button.


    • Figure 3: Windows Example


    • Figure 4: Mac OS X Example


  •  To gain access to these resources from off campus you must connect to your work computer through Remote Desktop Connection.



General Troubleshooting

You must have Java software http://www.java.com/en/ installed and activate any browser plug-ins.
Timeout periods are 15 minutes for inactivity and maximum login time of 120 minutes.  


Supported Platforms

  • Windows 7 on 32 bit or 64 bit platforms: Internet Explorer 6+ and Firefox 3-5
  • Windows Vista with SP1/SP2, 32 bit and 64 bit: Internet Explorer 6+ and Firefox 3-5
  • Mac OS X 10.6: Safari 3.0 and above, running Java 1.6 and above.
  • Mac OS X 10.5.x: Safari 3.0 and above, running Java 1.6 and above
  • Mac OS X 10.4.x: Safari 3.0 and above, running Java 1.6 and above.



Error Messages

The Mac client installation issue below has been resolved as of December 12, 2012. The network connect client will now install properly.

Error: You do no have permission to login. Please contact your administrator.

Explanation: Ensure that you are using a supported browser.Ensure that your firewall is allowing dsNetworkConnect.exe and dsNcService.exe.

Error: The following error and popup window “The Network Connect session timed out. (nc.windows.app.23790)” appears while I am connected to the VPN.

Explanation: This error indicates that the standard timeout has occurred and you will need to re-connect to the VPN. This timeout is necessary due to security issues.

Error: The following error and popup window “Network Connect: Connection attempt timed out. (nc.windows.app.23074)” appears while I am in the process of connecting to the VPN.

Explanation: The most common cause for this error when it is firewall software (FW). The FW sees a new application trying to access the Internet and it blocks it. Two applications that need to be allowed are dsNetworkConnect.exe and dsNcService.exe. You may want to try disabling the firewall and if that resolves it move on to allowing the Network Connect executables. File Locations: C:\ProgramFiles\Juniper Networks\Network Connect x.x.x\dsNetworkConnect.exe C:\Program Files\Juniper Networks\Common Files\dsNcService.exe