Off-Campus Network Access

Stanford VPN

The Stanford University Public VPN allows users with SUNet IDs to access Stanford network resources as if they were directly connected to the Stanford network.

Keep in mind that while you are connected through the VPN, all of your network traffic (email, web browsing, etc.) is going through the Stanford network and subject to Stanford’s computer usage regulations.

Installing the VPN Client

Stanford VPN users have two options when connecting to Stanford resources: the Cisco VPN client (already in use by current School of Medicine VPN users) and the new SSL VPN client (also known as SUSSL). The IRT Security VPN page provides information and instructions for both options.

Troubleshooting the Cisco VPN client

Here are some possible problems with the VPN client and potential resolutions for them:

1. Problem: VPN client won’t start up.

Resolution: VPN client may need to be reinstalled if its files have become corrupted.  The best practice for this is:

For Windows machines – uninstall the VPN client through Control Panels -> Add/Remove Programs and uninstall Cisco Systems VPN Client.  You will want to be sure to remove all files.  After this you can re-download the VPN client and reinstall it.

For Mac machines – Drag the Cisco VPN Client folder to the trash, re-download the client and reinstall it.

2. Problem: VPN client gives an error or fails to prompt for a username and password after “Connect” is clicked.

Resolution: Ensure that your network is connected by trying to browse to a website in your web browser.

If an error is given, your connection profile may have become corrupted in which case you should delete the connection key, re-download it and re-import it.  If the Stanford Public VPN connection key has become corrupted, you will need to uninstall and reinstall the VPN client as specified above.

3. Problem: VPN client is not accepting your SUNetID and password.

Resolution: Verify that you are typing in your correct SUNetID and password by trying to login to 

If that works and your SUNetID and password previously worked with the VPN client, it is possible that the VPN server has lost synchronization with your latest SUNetID password.  Try changing your SUNetID password at and then changing it back.  This will force a re-synchronization with the VPN server.

If your SUNetID and password have never worked with the VPN client, you may not be part of the access group for that VPN profile.  Contact IRT for further assistance

Remote Desktop Connections

Remote desktop connections allow people to view and control the desktop of one computer while sitting at a computer in another location.  The remote desktop connection will appear as if you are sitting at the computer to which you are remotely connected.  In conjunction with the VPN client, you can access your Stanford computer’s desktop from home.  For PCs, Windows provides a Remote Desktop Connection client which allows you to accomplish this.  We do NOT recommend using any type of VNC connections as they are not encrypted. VNC connections may be subject to compromise.

Setting up Windows Remote Desktop Connection

On the target computer (the computer to which you want to connect)

  1. Click on the Start menu and go to Control Panels -> System (Control Panels are sometimes under Settings in the Start menu)
  2. Click the Remote tab
  3. Under Remote Desktop, check “Allow users to connect remotely to this computer” and click OK.
  4. Click on the Start menu and click “Run…”
  5. Type cmd and click OK.
  6. At the command prompt, type ipconfig
  7. Under your Local Area Connection, look for a field called “IP Address” and write down that number.  If you are on the School of Medicine network, it should start with a 171.65.
  8. *Note* The target computer must have a user account with a password to connect using the Remote Desktop Connection.  If your user account does not have a password, you should give it one in the User Accounts Control Panel.

On the client computer (the computer from which you want to connect)

  1. Open the Cisco VPN client and connect to Stanford.  *Note: If your target computer is on the SUMCNet you will need the SUMCNet connection Profile.  See the SUMCnet Remote Access section of the SUMCnet page for more information.
  2. Click on the Start menu -> Programs -> Accessories -> Communications -> Remote Desktop Connection. 
  3. *Note: it may help to put a shortcut of this on your desktop for easy access.  To do this, navigate to the Remote Desktop Connection as specified above and rather than left clicking on it, right-click-drag the icon to your desktop and when you let go of the right mouse button, click “Copy Here”*
  4. In the Computer field, type in the IP address of your target computer as you found in step 7 above and click connect.
  5. You will be prompted to log in to your target computer.  This is the same username and password that you use at that computer.  For example, if you are sitting at your home computer and you are trying to Remote Desktop to your work computer, you would type in the username and password of your work computer here.
  6. Your target computer’s desktop will then appear and you will be able to work on it as if you were sitting at it.
  7. When finished with your Remote Desktop Connection, go to the start menu and click “Log off”.  Do NOT click “Disconnect” as that will unlock the target computer’s screen so that anyone near it can use it without knowing the password.

Citrix at Stanford

Citrix is software that allows you to remotely use software that is not installed on your machine without installing it locally.  ITS offers a service called MyApps where certain applications will be run via Citrix. For more information on this, visit the MyApps page or file a HelpSU ticket.

SHC and LPCH Remote Access

If you are an SHC or LPCH employee, you may gain remote access from off campus via their respective websites.

For SHC: Call the SHC Help Desk at 723-3333

For LPCH:  If you have any problems with this or questions, you may call the LPCH Help Desk at 498-7500