Guide to the Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Student sitting on bed using laptop

Connect to services remotely

Find out how to download and install our VPN so you can connect to University services even when you're off campus

The VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows you to connect securely to the University network to access University services which are only usually available on campus.

Once connected to the VPN, you'll find more available apps on AppsAnywhere and can connect to University network drives remotely. The VPN can only be used while off campus (e.g. when you are away from the University).

Connecting to the VPN on a personal device

Below are instructions for downloading and connecting to the VPN on personal devices. Please note, the VPN does not work with Windows operating systems earlier than Windows 7.

Download and install the University VPN on your device

Please note: These instructions are intended for students. Staff are advised to visit the Article hub for VPN instructions and other IT help articles.

Multi-factor authentication

In order to sign into the VPN you will now need to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) using a Time-based One Time Password (TOTP) each time you log in. This involves being sent a code via a secure method to ensure that only you are able to sign in using your login details. These password are only usable for a limited time and you will probably be familiar with this method when signing into your bank or other websites.

If you have any issues connecting to the VPN please visit one of the IT desks around campus or contact us on 023 9284 7797 8am - 8pm Monday - Saturday.

Instructions

If you do not already have the VPN app (GlobalProtect VPN) installed on your device you will need to download and install it, following the instructions for Option 1. If you already have the app you should follow the instructions for Option 2 as it will need to be changed to the new Student VPN portal. The video below will guide you through these steps:

Option 1 - Install the VPN

If you already have the GlobalProtect VPN app installed, go to option 2.

  1. Please go to student.vpn.port.ac.uk
  2. Sign in with your student username and password
  3. You will be asked to enter a One-Time Authentication Code. This will be sent by default to the email address you provided when you registered with the University
  4. Type in this code and click Next
  5. You will be presented with download options, pick the one that matches your operating system, download and install it.
  6. Open the VPN from the icon tray, clicking the up arrow and selecting the globe icon.
  7. When you first open the VPN you will be asked to enter a portal address. Enter student.vpn.port.ac.uk
  8. Go to Connect to the VPN.

Option 2 - Reconfigure a previous installation

If you do not already have GlobalProtect VPN app installed, go to option 1. For those with the VPN installed already you will need to modify the portal address, to do this:

  1. Open the VPN from the up arrow in the Icon Tray
  2. Click on the three-lines menu button
  3. Select settings
  4. Highlight the old portal address and click Delete
  5. Click Add
  6. Type in student.vpn.port.ac.uk and click Save
  7. Go to Connect to the VPN.

Connect to the VPN

After installing for the first time or reconfiguring the VPN, you can connect. The video below will guide you through these steps:

  1. Open the VPN from the up arrow in the Icon Tray and click Connect
  2. A browser window will open asking you to sign in, use your student username and password e.g. up7654321
  3. You will be asked to enter a One-Time Authentication Code. This will be sent by default to the email address you provided when you registered with the University.
  4. Type in this code and click Next
  5. The first time you connect this window will close and you can confirm that you have connected successfully from the globe icon in the icon tray. The next time you connect the authentication screen will open with your default browser. There may be additional checks to allow the browser to work with the VPN. Please accept/allow these browser requests. If the connection appears to be slow, click the 'click here' link in the Authentication Complete web browser.

Please note: These instructions are intended for students. Staff are advised to visit the Article hub for VPN instructions and other IT help articles.

Multi-factor authentication

In order to sign into the VPN you will now need to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) using a Time-based One Time Password (TOTP) each time you log in. This involves being sent a code via a secure method to ensure that only you are able to sign in using your login details. These password are only usable for a limited time and you will probably be familiar with this method when signing into your bank or other websites.

If you have any issues connecting to the VPN please visit one of the IT desks around campus or contact us on 023 9284 7797 8am - 8pm Monday - Saturday.

Instructions

If you do not already have the VPN app (GlobalProtect VPN) installed on your device you will need to download and install it, following the instructions for Option 1. If you already have the app you should follow the instructions for Option 2 as it will need to be changed to the new Student VPN portal.

Option 1 - Install the VPN

If you already have the GlobalProtect VPN app installed, go to option 2.

  1. Please go to student.vpn.port.ac.uk.
  2. Sign in with your student username and password.
  3. You will be asked to enter a One-Time Authentication Code. This will be sent by default to the email address you provided when you registered with the University.
  4. Type in this code and click Next.
  5. You will be presented with download options, pick the one that matches your operating system, download and install it.
  6. Open the VPN from the Finder bar, when you first open the VPN you will be asked to enter a portal address. Enter student.vpn.port.ac.uk.
  7. Go to Connect to the VPN. The VPN may update itself as part of this process.

Option 2 - Reconfigure a previous installation

If you do not already have GlobalProtect VPN app installed, go to option 1. For those with the VPN installed already you will need to modify the portal address, to do this:

  1. Open the VPN from the icon in the Finder bar.
  2. Click on the three-lines menu button and choose Settings.
  3. Delete the old portal address of gp.vpn.port.ac.uk by highlighting the entry and clicking the minus button.
  4. Click the plus button to add the new portal address and typing in student.vpn.port.ac.uk.
  5. Close the window to save the changes.
  6. Go to Connect to the VPN.

Connect to the VPN

After installing for the first time or reconfiguring the VPN, you can connect:

  1. Open the VPN from the Finder bar and click Connect
  2. A browser window will open asking you to sign in, use your student username and password e.g. up7654321
  3. You will be asked to enter a One-Time Authentication Code. This will be sent by default to the email address you provided when you registered with the University
  4. Type in this code and click Next
  5. The first time you connect this window will close and you can confirm that you have connected successfully from the globe icon in the Finder bar. The next time you connect the authentication screen will open with your default browser. There may be additional checks to allow the browser to work with the VPN. Please accept/allow these browser requests. If the connection appears to be slow, click the 'click here' link in the Authentication Complete web browser.

Multi-factor authentication

In order to sign into the VPN you will now need to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) using a Time-based One Time Password (TOTP) each time you log in.  This involves being sent a code via a secure method to ensure that only you are able to sign in using your login details.  These passwords are only usable for a limited time and you will probably be familiar with this method when signing into your bank or other websites.

You will be prompted for a code when signing in and by default your MFA code will be sent to your personal email address you provided us with when you registered. If you have any trouble with this please contact the service desk.

Once your device is connected to the VPN you'll be able to access internal University resources via SSH, or access the intranet in the same way as though you were on campus.

NB: It is assumed that you are familiar with using the command-line in order to set up the VPN. If you are installing GlobalProtect VPN and you are not logged in as a superuser (root), then you will need to prefix these commands with sudo. If you are using a university issued linux device, and do not have sudo access, please log a request with the Service Desk for further assistance.


Prerequisite Packages

When installing you may notice your OS asks for additional packages to be installed.  Without these, your installation won’t work.

Eg. ubuntu 20.04 asks to install libqt5webkit5

Install the packages requested and try running the installation again 

apt install libqt5webkit5


Instructions

1. Download the GlobalProtect VPN archive 

PanGPLinux-5.3.0-c32.tgz

2. Open a terminal and untar the archive file.
tar -xzfv PanGPLinux-5.2.6-c18.tgz

This archive file supports both CentOS/RedHat and Ubuntu/Debian Linux operating systems (and some other platforms).  The archive file contains the following files:

./GlobalProtect_deb-5.2.6.0-18.deb
./GlobalProtect_deb_arm-5.2.6.0-18.deb
./GlobalProtect_rpm-5.2.6.0-18.rpm
./GlobalProtect_rpm_arm-5.2.6.0-18.rpm
./GlobalProtect_tar-5.2.6.0-18.tgz
./GlobalProtect_tar_arm-5.2.6.0-18.tgz
./GlobalProtect_UI_deb-5.2.6.0-18.deb
./GlobalProtect_UI_rpm-5.2.6.0-18.rpm
./GlobalProtect_UI_tar-5.2.6.0-18.tgz
./manifest
./relinfo

3. Select the file relevant to your Linux OS distribution and install.

Debian/Ubuntu Linux
apt-get install -f   (The -f flag here attempts to fix missing and/or broken packages, which we have found when testing may sometimes be necessary).
dpkg -i GlobalProtect_UI_deb-5.2.6.0-18.deb

Redhat/CentOS Linux
yum localinstall GlobalProtect_UI_rpm-5.2.6.0-18.rpm

 

4. Once installed a small icon will appear in the top menu bar, and a ‘Welcome to GlobalProtect’ form will appear asking to enter the Portal address for connection.  Enter the relevant vpn address for your account:

Staff
staff.vpn.port.ac.uk

Students
student.vpn.port.ac.uk

 

5. Click Connect

6. Enter your username in the browser window asking you to sign in eg. up1234567 / bloggsj

7. You will be asked to enter a TOTP code. Type in this code and click Next.

NB. For students your TOTP code will be sent by default to the email address you provided when you registered with the University.

For staff your TOTP code will be sent by default to the mobile number you provided when you completed the VPN request form.

You can set up alternative authentication methods see: https://articlehub.port.ac.uk/portal/articles/2669

Your device will now be connected to the VPN.  You can confirm that you have connected successfully from the globe icon in the menu bar.  (This does not appear by default in Ubuntu).  The next time you connect, the authentication screen will open with your default browser.  There may be additional checks to allow the browser to work with the VPN.  Please accept/allow these browser requests.  If the connection appears to be slow, select the 'click here' link in the 'Authentication Complete' browser notification.  

NB: There is a known error with the Firefox browser. See the notes section for further information on how to set up Google Chrome as an alternative default browser.


Notes:

Making your default browser google-chrome (Firefox browser known error)

There is a known error with Firefox.  The workaround is to install and use an alternative browser. eg. Google Chrome.


1. Install google-chrome according to the relevant Linux OS distribution

Debian/Ubuntu Linux: 
wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb
dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb


Redhat/CentOS Linux:
wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm
yum localinstall google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm

NB: If you install google-chrome as a superuser (root), then to use the application, you will need to ensure the following is added into the config file. This is not necessary to do if you are not a superuser.

gedit /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome

find the line at the bottom of the file

exec -a “$0” “$HERE/chrome” “$@”

append that line with:

--no-sandbox


2. Select google-chrome as the default browser.

Debian/Ubuntu Linux: 
Settings > Default Applications > Web > Google Chrome

Redhat/CentOS Linux:
Settings > Details > Default Applications > Web > Google Chrome

Once installed, and selected as the default browser, you will need to tell GlobalProtect to use it, otherwise it will continue to try to use Firefox.


3.
Edit the xml file. You will need to use nano to do this, as gedit and vim may pick up errors in the syntax
nano /opt/paloaltonetworks/globalprotect/pangps.xml

4. Add the line under the <Settings> section

 Do<default-browser>yes</default-browser>

5. Save the file

[CTRL+X], [y], [ENTER]

6. Reboot your PC

7. Relaunch GlobalProtect.  If this does not re-launch automatically, then you can type the following command into a terminal window.

/usr/bin/globalprotect launch-ui 


Add a GlobalProtect shortcut icon to your desktop for quick access (Ubuntu users)

Ubuntu does not show the globe icon in the top right corner of your screen, and therefore you may wish to have a shortcut icon on your desktop to enable you to launch the VPN quickly.


1. Copy the icon to your desktop (in this case we are using up668466 user’s desktop, but substitute the path for your own desktop location).

cp /opt/paloaltonetworks/globalprotect/gp.desktop /home/up668466/Desktop

You may need to change the ownership and group to allow it to launch the application

chown up668466.up668466 gp.desktop


2. Edit the newly copied gp.desktop file

gedit /home/up668466/Desktop/gp.desktop


3. Make sure to change the Exec line to

Exec=/usr/bin/globalprotect launch-ui %usudo


4. Add in the following line to show the GP globe icon on the desktop 

Icon=gnome-globe


5.
Save and close the file


6. Right-click on the desktop icon and select Allow Launching


7.
Double-click the icon to launch GlobalProtect VPN

NB: If the icon launches in a text editor when double clicking, you will need to associate it with the GlobalProtect application. Right-click and Open with another application and select GlobalProtect, or if this does not work Right click, Show in Files, Right click on the icon, Open with other application, select GlobalProtect.


If you have worked through these notes and are still unable to get GlobalProtect VPN to work, log a call with the Service Desk using the Linux form, including screenshots of any errors encountered.

Ubuntu Script install

Ubuntu users can download this script to automatically install as show in the video below:

Ubuntu VPN script

You will need to make the script executable. Change directory to your downloads directory. 
cd ~/Downloads

Change permissions on the script
sudo chmod +x vpn-ubuntu-5.3.0-c32.sh

Run the script
sudo ./vpn-ubuntu-5.3.0-c32.sh

When the script has finished running, ensure you reboot your system before logging into the VPN.


Please note: These instructions are intended for students. Staff are advised to visit the Article hub for VPN instructions and other IT help articles.

Multi-factor authentication

In order to sign into the VPN you will now need to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) using a Time-based One Time Password (TOTP) each time you log in. This involves being sent a code via a secure method to ensure that only you are able to sign in using your login details. These password are only usable for a limited time and you will probably be familiar with this method when signing into your bank or other websites.

If you have any issues connecting to the VPN please visit one of the IT desks around campus or contact us on 023 9284 7797 8am - 8pm Monday - Saturday.

Instructions

  1. Open the App Store on your iOS Device

  2. Search for Global Protect

  3. Find the GlobalProtect App and select Install. When installed, open the app.

  4. Login with the portal address student.vpn.port.ac.uk and your student username and password e.g. UP1234567

  5. Enter your One-Time Authentication Code sent to your personal email or mobile phone.

  6. There may be a prompt asking you to allow the set up of a VPN configuration. Click Allow

  7. You will now be connected to the VPN and will remain connected until you disconnect or until you turn off your device. 


You can return to the GlobalProtect App to disconnect and reconnect to the VPN. 

 

Below is a video version of these instructions:

Please note: These instructions are intended for students. Staff are advised to visit the Article hub for VPN instructions and other IT help articles.

Multi-factor authentication

In order to sign into the VPN you will now need to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) using a Time-based One Time Password (TOTP) each time you log in. This involves being sent a code via a secure method to ensure that only you are able to sign in using your login details. These password are only usable for a limited time and you will probably be familiar with this method when signing into your bank or other websites.

If you have any issues connecting to the VPN please visit one of the IT desks around campus or contact us on 023 9284 7797 8am - 8pm Monday - Saturday.

Instructions

This method requires access to the Android Play Store. Find out if your Chromebook supports Android apps.

If you already have the Chrome OS Web Store version of GlobalProtect, please uninstall it by right-clicking or alt-clicking the application and selecting Uninstall. The logo looks slightly different from the Play Store version, please ensure you delete the app with the old logo as below:

 Web Store icon  GlobalProtect Icon
 Old New

 

  1. Open the Play Store on your ChromeOS Device

  2. Search for Global Protect 

  3. Select the Global Protect App and select Install. When installed, open the app. 

  4. For the Portal Address type: student.vpn.port.ac.uk

  5. Enter your Student username and password e.g. UP2123456

  6. Enter your One-Time Authentication Code sent to your personal email or mobile phone.

  7. Note: when you connect for a second time, you will see a prompt from your browser asking you to allow the GlobalProtect app to interact with it. Allow this as failing to do so will stop the VPN working. 

  8. You will now be connected to the VPN and will remain connected until you disconnect or until you turn off your device/put it to sleep.

You can return to the GlobalProtect App to disconnect and reconnect to the VPN.  


Below is a video version of these instructions: 

If you have upgraded from windows 10 and already had the GlobalProtect VPN installed, it will still be installed. 

Multi-factor authentication

In order to sign into the VPN you will now need to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) using a Time-based One Time Password (TOTP) each time you log in. This involves being sent a code via a secure method to ensure that only you are able to sign in using your login details. These password are only usable for a limited time and you will probably be familiar with this method when signing into your bank or other websites.

If you have any issues connecting to the VPN please visit one of the IT desks around campus or contact us on 023 9284 7797 8am - 8pm Monday - Saturday.

Installing the VPN 

  1. Please go to student.vpn.port.ac.uk
  2. Sign in with your student username and password
  3. You will be asked to enter a One-Time Authentication Code. This will be sent by default to the email address you provided when you registered with the University
  4. Type in this code and click Next
  5. You will be presented with download options, pick the one that matches your operating system, download and install it.
  6. Open the VPN from the icon tray, clicking the up arrow and selecting the globe icon.
  7. When you first open the VPN you will be asked to enter a portal address. Enter student.vpn.port.ac.uk
  8. Go to Connect to the VPN.

Connecting to the VPN

When you open the VPN for the first time after installing you will be asked to enter a portal address. Enter student.vpn.port.ac.uk

Windows 11 VPN Portal address gif

 


By default the VPN will open when the computer starts up.  You can find it by clicking the up (^) arrow in your task bar and clicking the global protect icon. If not already in the taskbar the program might be closed, you can find it from the start menu by typing GlobalProtect.

Click Connect.

 


A web browser will open prompting you to log in. Use your University username and password e.g. up1234567.

Windows 11 VPN stage 2

 


You will be prompted for an one time athentication code, which by default will be sent to the personal email address you provided us when you registered with us. You can add additional ways to receive the code (e.g. text message) by logging into secure.port.ac.uk.

Enter the code and click Next

Windows 11 VPN stage 3

 


You will then see an authentication message, and the VPN will show as connected. You can disconnect from the same Icon in the taskbar.

Windows 11 VPN stage 4

 


Notes:

You may see another prompt from your browser asking permission for it to interact with the Global Protect VPN. Tick the box to always remember your decision then accept. 

The VPN may update itself upon first connection, which will close and reopen the VPN, it will ask you to sign in again to connect. 

Adding an additional MFA Authentication method

This video guide will show the process of adding a new authentication method.

  1. Visit secure.port.ac.uk
  2. Sign in with your student username and password and click Sign in
  3. Enter your one time code sent to your registered email address.
  4. Click Add then select Text me a code
  5. Enter your mobile phone number and click Save
  6. You will see this option in the drop down menu when next connecting to the VPN.

  1. Visit secure.port.ac.uk
  2. Sign in with your student username and password and click Sign in
  3. Enter your one time code sent to your registered email address.
  4. Click Add then select Use an authenticator app
  5. Click the Get QR code button.
  6. If you do not already have the Microsoft Authenticator App you will need to download from your app store.
  7. Open the app and click Scan a QR code to create a new setup. If you have used this app previously, you can add a new entry by choosing the 3 dot menu at the top of the page and tapping Add account then choose Work or school account then Scan a QR code.
  8. Scan the QR code shown on your screen using the Scan a QR code on your device.
  9. An entry called Netiq will be added, you will use this option to get your one time code in furture. If you have biometrics (fingerprint reader) enabled you may be asked if you would like to use this in future.

  1. Visit secure.port.ac.uk
  2. Sign in with your student username and password and click Sign in
  3. Enter your one time code sent to your registered email address.
  4. Click Add then select Use an authenticator app
  5. Click the Get QR code button.
  6. If you do not already have the Google Authenticator app you will need to download from your app store.
  7. Open the app and click + to create a new setup.
  8. Scan the QR code shown on your screen using the Scan a QR code on your device.
  9. An entry called Netiq will be added, you will use this option to get your one time code in furture. If you have biometrics (fingerprint reader) enabled you may be asked if you would like to use this in future.

Troubleshooting

If you have an issues connecting to the VPN, visit one of the IT desks around campus or contact us on 023 9284 7777.

These are a few troubleshooting tips we know about:

If you do not recognise or have access to the email address that is used for your one-time code, you will need to update your email address used in Student Records.

Click the Click here link on the Authentication Complete web page. You can also disconnect and try again.

Ensure you have the Authenticator option selected at the bottom on the screen, not the password option.

Setting IPv6 to manual sometimes fixes this issue. If you are not familiar with the network settings on macOS, contact us using the details at the top of this page.

This can be caused by entering the code incorrectly, check the code or obtain another one. This can also happen when using an authenticator app, we are currently investigating why this occurs, let us know you have this error and use another MFA method.

You can add or delete MFA methods at secure.port.ac.uk. To delete a MFA method, click the MFA option you would like to remove and click the trash can to delete.

Only one Authenticator App can be used for MFA on the VPN at a time. You can add or remove MFA methods (see below).

All one time codes have time limits for which they are valid, obtain another code and ensure it is entered before it becomes invalid:

  • Email - 2 minutes
  • Authenticator app - 30 seconds
  • Text message - 2 minutes

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