University Technology

Western Illinois University VPN

Western Illinois University offers its students, faculty, and staff a VPN solution. The VPN provides secure access to campus resources that would otherwise only be available to users directly connected to the WIU Campus Network. This includes, but is not limited to, the Samba share, group shares, and departmental servers.

Clientless VPN

A clientless VPN solution is available and requires no download or installation.  Simply visit and log in with your ECom username and password.  Web-based resources such as WIUP are available via your browser, as is web-based access to Samba and group shares.

AnyConnect VPN Client

A standalone VPN client program is also available for download and installation in your computer or mobile device.  This client allows access to all WIU resources regardless of protocol, including remote use of QWS3270. Additionally, the client is useful for encrypting internet traffic when connected to an untrusted wireless connection.  The client can be downloaded using the instructions below:

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network that uses a public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide remote offices or individual users with secure access to their organization's network. The goal of a VPN is to provide the remote user with the same capabilities as the local user, using existing technology and infrastructure.

A VPN works by using the shared public infrastructure while maintaining privacy through security procedures and tunneling protocols such as the Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). In effect, the protocols, by encrypting data at the sending end and decrypting it at the receiving end, send the data through a "tunnel" that cannot be "entered" by data that is not properly encrypted. An additional level of security involves encrypting not only the data, but also the originating and receiving network addresses.