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Palo Alto GlobalProtect VPN


What is a VPN and why is it important?
VPN ensures that the data sent and received through an internet connection is secure and encrypted, keeping that data safe. Northeastern’s VPN makes it possible to seamlessly work from both within and outside of the university’s networks.

While on campus, you have access to Northeastern’s secure networks NUnet and NUwave. When you are off campus, you may be accessing untrusted, unsecured networks, putting your information at risk. When you use the VPN it ensures that any network connection you are using outside of Northeastern is now secure, encrypting your data and keeping it safe.

In addition to keeping information secure, the Northeastern VPN allows you to access certain network resources when you are not physically in the same location, including shared departmental (Q:) drives, certain library databases, personal workstations and data centers. For example, researchers, faculty, staff and students can connect to the VPN in order to then log in to research or office workstations using remote desktop/terminal sessions. And faculty and staff members connected to the VPN can also access shared network folders directly from home.

Another advantage of the VPN is that it ultimately allows the university to limit inbound connections to NUnet machines to only authenticated individuals associated with Northeastern. Limiting the inbound connections reduces the possibility of distributed denial of services attacks, like those that recently led to major network disruptions across campus.

Who has access?
VPN access is available to faculty, staff, students and Sponsored Account holders.

Are there resources that don’t require VPN access?
Yes. Web-based university resources such as Northeastern’s websites, myNortheastern, Blackboard and Sharepoint do not require the VPN for access, nor does the myApps remote application service.

Palo Alto GlobalProtect VPN

Effective January 7, 2015

What operating systems support GlobalProtect?
At this time, the following are supported:

  • Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 (32 and 64 bit), 10
  • Windows Surface Pro
  • Mac 10.6 and later
  • Apple iOS 6.0 and later
  • Google Android 4.0.3 and later
  • Linux – requires 3rd party VPNC on Ubuntu 10.4, CentOS 6

A current list of supported platforms are available on the Palo Alto website, under Platform Support.

How do I connect to the VPN after installing GlobalProtect software?
Please see the Setup and Connection How To’s and select the appropriate operating system.

How do I disconnect from the VPN?
When connected, the GlobalProtect icon appears on a Windows computer in the system tray and on a Mac in the taskbar. Click on the icon and then the Disconnect button. For additional operating systems please see the Setup and Connection How To’s and select the appropriate link.

What do I need to do with GlobalProtect if I upgrade the operating system on my computer?
If you install GlobalProtect and then upgrade to another version of an operating system, you will have to uninstall the client and reinstall it.

How do I reconnect to the VPN if I get disconnected?
After you have initially set up the VPN on your computer, both the portal and username are saved so you will only need to type in your myNortheastern password to connect. Click on the GlobalProtect icon in your system tray (Windows) or taskbar (Mac) and then select Connect from the drop down menu. For detailed information, including using a VPN on a mobile device, please see the Setup and Connection How To’s.

When I open the client from the Start menu on windows, it disconnects – how do I stop that?
While you are connected to the VPN, always open the client by right-clicking the globe icon in the taskbar. Opening it from the Start menu will disconnect the client and end your session.

When did the old VPN client Cisco AnyConnect ( retire?
The old VPN was retired on March 7, 2015. If you need to use the VPN, please see Setup and Connection How To’s for the new VPN GlobalProtect.