Quick Start

Available to: Students, Faculty, Researchers, Staff, New/Incoming Students

Cost: No charge

Boston University’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a “tunnel” between your computer and the campus network that encrypts your transmissions to BU. Use of the VPN also identifies you as a member of the Boston University community when you are not connected directly to the campus network, allowing you access to restricted networked resources. VPN is available for those needing to access certain University resources which are typically limited to on-campus users and would otherwise be unavailable from off campus.


Assurance that information transmitted between your computer and the BU campus network is secured through encryption. Ability to use network-restricted resources on the campus network that would otherwise be unavailable from off campus, no matter where you are.

Key Features

  • Gain access to restricted resources when you are away from BU, including departmental servers (such as printers and shared drives), MyPrint, FileMaker databases, and Active Directory resources such as SharePoint.
  • Protect data being sent across the Internet through VPN encryption, including sensitive information such as your BU login name and Kerberos password.
  • Increase security when connecting to the Internet through an open wireless network (such as in a cafe or at the airport) by using the BU VPN software.
  • Maintain a steady IP address for use of applications behind Web Login. Your network IP address needs to remain the same in order to work properly with applications that are behind Web Login. Since some Internet Service Providers use a rotating IP address system, use of the VPN can be required, in some instances, in order to successfully use BU applications.
  • Use the BU VPN software to secure wireless communications on the BU network, if you have an older computer and are unable to use the eduroam wireless network.

What to Expect

This service normally will be available 24 by 7 except for standard change windows, as described in IS&T’s standard policies, procedures, and schedules for making changes. In some countries, access to the University’s VPN service may be limited or restricted.


  • A BU login name and Kerberos password that has been authorized for VPN access (as determined through Accounts & Access).
  • Use of a supported operating system, computer, or device as determined on the VPN client page.
  • Beginning July 27, 2021: Duo Two-Factor Authentication (those enrolled and using Duo 2FA at BU do not need to enroll again you will be automatically prompted) 

Getting Started

  • See Using the VPN for device-specific instructions.
  • Review troubleshooting tips.
  • Need to use your company’s VPN? You may request authorization to initiate a connection to an external VPN.
  • If you are unable to access resources you need with the BU VPN, please contact the IT Help Center and let us know what resource you’re trying to access.
  • Access to BU VPN may be limited or restricted in some countries. In that case, commercially available VPN services may be an option. Please note that while a commercial VPN may help you to connect to some sites and resources, you may not be able to use a commercial VPN to connect to University resources which are typically limited to on-campus users. We do not support or endorse any specific providers, a search for ‘commercial VPN providers’ followed by your country name should supply a list of available options.