Q: Why use a VPN connection?
A: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection makes a secure connection between your computer anywhere on the internet and the CU Boulder campus network.
Q: Why do I want to be on the campus network when I'm at home or traveling?
A: Many of the library's databases and other campus computing resources depend on your computer being part of the campus network. If you're not connected, you won't be able to connect to the databases.
Q: I thought VPN was just to encrypt my data - I'm not paranoid, why should I use it?
A: When your computer is on the CU network, you have access to hundreds of databases that you might get to from a library page, but that you might also come across in other ways. You might also want to connect to certain servers on campus.
Q: For example?
A: You might find an article using Google Scholar. If you're using VPN, you would likely get free access to the article because the publisher knows you're part of the CU community and that the library has already paid for your access. If you're not using VPN, you might be asked to pay again to read the article.
Q: And what about servers on campus - I don't use those.
A: You might - if you wanted to print to campus printers from home, for example, you'd need to have an active VPN connection.
Q: OK, I'm convinced, how do I get this thing? Do I have to go see the Office of Information Technology (OIT)?
A: No, just go to http://oit.colorado.edu/vpn and select the VPN option that's right for you. You will need to activate the VPN each time you do research.
p.s. You'll be safer from the internet "bad guys" too!
p.p.s. Don't forget Antivirus software from OIT Security--Antivirus , more free protection from "bad guys."