How to Access and Use the VPN at UM-Flint (All Operating Systems)
Before You Begin:
Accessing the VPN through https://vpn.umflint.edu, as shown below, will work on most operating systems and has been confirmed to work in the browsers listed below. This does not mean that it won’t work in other browsers but that we have verified functionality in the following browsers.
Using the VPN in this method will also allow you access to H drive and departmental drives without having to map network drives on your computer.
Confirmed Compatible Browsers Include:
- Internet Explorer
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
***LINUX USERS: Any Java based components (Terminal Sessions being the major one) of the VPN are subject to the configuration of your local Java installation. The Helpdesk may not be able to assist with these questions.***
Any questions or problems you experience when using https://vpn.umflint.edu please contact the ITS Helpdesk for support at 810-766-6804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: If you experience any difficulty accessing anything in specific over the VPN that you were able to access on the old VPN please let us know so that we can look into this further.
Connecting to the VPN using the Web
- In one of the web browsers listed navigate to https://vpn.umflint.edu
- Login to University of Michigan – Flint SSL VPN using the following credentials
- Username: uniqname
- Password: LAN Password
- Click Sign In
- Upon loading the first time you will be prompted to install a Java Applet. Please allow this installation. You will only be prompted for this the first time you use https://vpn.umflint.edu in a new browser.
- You are now connected to the UM-Flint VPN!
What can I do once I am connected?
Once you are connected to the VPN through this website you can access anything listed on this site. You should see a couple of web bookmarks provided to link you to some helpful sites, you should also see a list of your drives. Lastly you will find sections called Terminal Sessions, used for Remote Desktop, and Client Application Sessions (Network Connect) used to connect your whole machine to the network (similar to the old VPN).
Functions that require the computer to be connected to the VPN (example: Outlook) will need to use the Network Connect option. More information on Network connect can be found at the bottom of this page.
Below are some brief descriptions of what each section of the VPN does and how to use it.
Using Web Bookmarks
Web bookmarks is a place that you can store links that you commonly access. This is very similar to the bookmarks function built into your browsers.
- Adding a Web Bookmark:
- Click the “+” symbol in the top right corner of the Web Bookmarks section
- Name your bookmark
- You may also choose to give your bookmark a description, this is optional.
- Provide the URL (including you HTTP for your bookmark (Example: http://www.umich.edu)
- Review your options under Display Options and select any that you would like
- Click Add Bookmark
- Your bookmark should now be located on your homepage for the VPN.
- Removing a Web Bookmark You Have Added
- Click the Trashcan symbol located on the right of the same line as the link you would like to remove.
- Your bookmark should now be removed.
The files section of the UM-Flint VPN gives you access to your Departmental drives (Faculty and Staff), your H drive, MACPub and PCPub. If you have specific folders within your H drive or Departmental drive you want to have quick access to you may want to add a direct link to them in your files section.
- Adding a Link to your Files Menu From an Existing Drive (a drive listed under the files menu)
- Click the drive in which the folder is located that you would like to create a shortcut to.
- Navigate to the file
- Check the box next to the folder you would like to create the shortcut to
- Click Bookmark Selected… at the top of the screen
- Name the Bookmark anything of your choice
- Click Add Bookmark
- Removing a Link from your Files Menu
- Click the trashcan to the right of the link you would like to remove
- Your terminal session should now be removed.
Using Terminal Sessions
Terminal Sessions allow you to remotely connect to another computer. (Example: A faculty or staff member that is at home and wants to connect to their desktop that is in their office here on campus.) There are two different options for Terminal Sessions and these are described below. Option 1 will work on any operating system with JAVA.
If you are going to be using remote desktop through the VPN as described below you will want to change a color preference before attempting to connect. The default color preference is 8-bit color and will make your remote session look much different than you are used to. To change your session to 32-bit true color please follow these steps:
- Once logged into the VPN click Preferences in the top right corner of the screen.
- Click the tab entitled General
- Scroll to the bottom of the page
- Under the heading Remote Desktop Launcher change the color depth to 32-bit (True Color)
- Click Save Changes
- Click Home in the top right of the screen to take you back to the VPN homepage.
Terminal Sessions: Your Two Options
- Option 1: Basic 1 Time Remote Desktop Session (Useable from any platform with JAVA)
- Type your computer name or computer IP address into the text box located in the Terminal Sessions block.
- Click Launch
- Wait for the Terminal Services Session to launch
- Once this has completed you should see the Login screen for the computer you are trying to access
- To Exit your Terminal Session click the “X” located in the top center of your screen. This “X” will be found on a blue bar with the computer name you are accessing into on it.
- Option 2: Part 1 – Creating a Terminal Session (Only able to be used on Windows machines at the moment)
- Click the Computer symbol with a plus sign next to it found on the right of the terminal sessions block.
- Under Bookmark Name type what you would like to name the session
- Provide a description if you would like, this is optional
- Under Host type your computer name
- Change color depth to 32-bit true color
- Under Authorization do not fill in the username and password. This way when you change your password you will not run into difficulties. You will be prompted each time you want to use a terminal session.
- Choose the options you would like from the sections entitled Connect Devices and Display Settings
- Click Add to add the terminal session to your VPN Homepage.
- Option 2: Part 2 – Removing a Terminal Session
- Click the Trashcan located all the way to the right of the terminal session you would like to remove.
- Your terminal session should now be removed.
Using Network Connect (Found under Client Application Sessions)
Network Connect is a application that will run on your computer and allow your computer to be on the VPN similar to the way the old VPN worked. When you launch Network Connect you will be able to use the Outlook application on your computer as well as any drives you may have mapped directly on your computer. You will also be able to use Windows Remote Desktop while using Network Connect if you prefer that to the options listed above.
- Launching Network Connect
- Click Start, found to the right of the Network Connect row.
- Wait while Network Connect Launches. If this is the first time you are launching Network Connect you will be prompted to install/allow changes to your computer. Launching may take a couple minutes, especially the first stime you are connecting.
- Once connected you will be rerouted back to the VPN home page.
- You should now see the Network Connect application running on your computer. (On Windows computers it will be a small icon down in your task bar to the left of the date and time.)
- You will now be able to use any applications on your computer that require VPN access
- Exiting Network Connect
- In the application window for network connect click sign out
- This will end your session and disconnect you from the Network Connect session. You will still need to logout of the website if you want to end your VPN session all together.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR MAC USERS:
After you have connected to Network connect the first time on your Mac you should not go to https://vpn.umflint.edu to launch Network Connect anymore. You should use the Network Connect application on your Mac.
- Click the magnifying glass in the top right corner of the screen.
- Type Network Connect in the search box
- Press the Enter key
- Wait for Network Connect to load
- Type in your uniqname and LAN password
- Click Sign In
- Your Session will now be started.
- Open Network Connect from your Dock
- Click Sign Out