Virtual private network (VPN)



In order to use VPN you require a Remote Access account (this is different to your SSO account).

You can register for a Remote Access account or change its password by going to the IT Services Self Registration page



Please note

While connected to VPN, all your Internet traffic goes through the Oxford connection. You are therefore bound by our IT Rules and Regulations until you close the connection again


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In order to use the VPN service you need the following.

  • A Remote Access account. You can register for this via the IT Services Self Registration page.
  • The password for your Remote Access account. This password is separate from the one for your Oxford Single Sign-On account (used for Nexus365 etc.). If you have already registered for a Remote Access account but have forgotten its password then you can reset it via the IT Services Self Registration page.
  • For Windows, macOS and Linux systems you must be able to log on to your computer using an account that has administrative access or is able to use sudo (Linux systems). For most home computer systems the normal account you use to log on to the computer will have the necessary access.
  • An existing connection to the internet (wifi / broadband / mobile data).
  • A suitable VPN client. The table below provides links to Cisco VPN software and instructions for various systems / devices. Some operating systems such as macOS, and iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) come with a native (built-in) VPN client as well as having a Cisco AnyConnect VPN client available;  links to instructions are in the table below. For systems without a native client and where we do not have a Cisco AnyConnect VPN client there may be suitable third party software available. We provide some configuration information to help set these up but cannot provide full support and instructions for all such software.

Please note you may need to configure extra programs in order to access local departmental file shares etc. Please consult with your local IT Officers as to how you should configure your system in these situations.

Operating System Instructions/Information Download software
Windows Configuring the Cisco AnyConnect client for Microsoft Windows Registration
macOS Configuring VPN clients on macOS Registration
Linux Configuring the Cisco AnyConnect client for Linux Registration
iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad Configuring the native VPN client / the Cisco VPN client for iOS Get from Apple App Store
Android Configuring the Cisco AnyConnect client for Android Get from Google Play Store
ChromeOS, Chromebook Configuring the Cisco AnyConnect client for ChromeOS Get from Chrome Web Store
All Cisco AnyConnect software (for registered ITSS) Not applicable ITSS VPN Software Download page

Some Oxford University online resources (particularly web pages) can only be accessed by computers that are directly connected to the Oxford University campus network.

These restricted services include: 

  • Connecting to local departmental services
  • HR Self-Service for accessing online payslips
  • Some departmental and college pages, e.g. some IT Services Shop price lists

Access to these restricted resources from outside the campus network is provided via the IT Services Virtual Private Network (VPN) Service. A VPN connection provides your computer with virtual connection to the campus network — it then behaves exactly as it would if you were actually on-campus.

You will also need to use the VPN service if you want to connect to the University network using OWL for University members

In addition, you cannot access files via Microsoft file-sharing unless you are using a computer directly connected to the Oxford University Network.

You don't need to use the VPN service if:

  • You are only accessing unrestricted services such as email etc

  • You need to access the Libraries SOLO service (however you will need to sign in)


You will not able to use the VPN service if:

  • You are using a computer in an internet café, public library etc. where you are not allowed to install new software
  • Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) blocks the use of VPN. The local networks at some other educational and commercial establishments do block VPN access
  • You are using a non Cisco VPN client that does not support XAUTH. XAUTH provides a measure of warning should a remote site attempt to redirect your login attempt in order to try and obtain your login credentials


Get support

Local IT support provide your first line of on-the-spot help



Common requests and fault reports can be logged using self-service




The central Service Desk is available 24x7 on +44 1865 6 12345


If you do not have an SSO account you can use this form to contact the Service Desk