Accessing technologies through VPN

VPN (Virtual Private Network) enables access to websites and access to specialist software that is otherwise restricted from off campus and offshore.

What is VPN?

VPN (Virtual Private Network) connects a student’s computer to the University network. This enables access to websites (and specialist software that is running on University servers)* that would otherwise be blocked from off campus and offshore. For example, some countries place restrictions on accessing websites such as Google Docs, Gmail, YouTube etc., see the examples below. When students connect to the University network through VPN, they are able to bypass such restrictions. It will also greatly improve many of the IT performance issues normally experienced when accessing remote learning from overseas.

VPN is available for postgraduate students and students based offshore. It can only be used on one device at a time and is provided for educational and study purposes only.

It is important to note that because this VPN is authorised, it will be monitored. Sites accessed via this internet connection and user activity may be recorded.

Please note that not all students have a fast broadband internet connection. Some students also conduct their studies entirely via a mobile phone. Teachers should be mindful of document file sizes and not expect that all students can consume large files. Consider exporting large Word documents and PowerPoint files to compressed PDF files. ‘Chunk’ videos and upload them to Mediastore where possible.

* e.g., through FlexIT, an online service that gives students access to specialised software applications.

Examples of applications restricted in China

  • Google Mail
  • Google Docs
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • Flickr images
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo videos
  • Facebook Suite (includes Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger)
  • Twitter
  • Medium (social media publishing)
  • Tumblr
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest
  • Slack
  • Wikipedia
  • Soundcloud
  • Github

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