VPNs and Global Protect | Learn More

Background – What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a system that uses encryption to create a connection between a remote device and the campus network allowing the remote user access to services not normally available to those who are off campus. Mines uses a system from Palo Alto Networks called Global Protect for VPN services. There are three components in a Global Protect system: the client (a program running on your computer), the server (a system on campus), and the virtual connection (a.k.a. the tunnel).  The client intercepts network traffic before it leaves your computer, encrypts it, and sends it to the server on campus. The server decrypts the traffic, replaces the source IP with a campus IP and sends it to the destination.

Without a VPN, traffic to file shares is blocked by the firewall

With a VPN traffic is allowed through the firewall.

When and Why to Use Mines' VPN System

There are two advantages to using the Mines’ VPN system: accessing services only available via the campus 0network and using software or subscriptions licensed by the school.

Services only available via the VPN (or on campus):

Software and subscriptions:

Using Mines VPN – Global Protect

 Mines provides Global Protect clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the Mines VPN?

Anyone with an Multipass account may use the system.

Can contractors, collaborators, or guests use the VPN?

Individuals associated with Mines are allowed to use the VPN while performing work for the school or collaborating with Mines faculty and students.  Those wishing to host a guest who needs VPN access should request an account using the Affiliate Account Request process (https://helpcenter.mines.edu/TDClient/1946/Portal/Requests/ServiceDet?ID=31236)

Does the Mines VPN provide online privacy?

No. The Mines VPN protects the campus network from attackers and provides access to affiliated Mines users. It is not an anonymizing service (i.e., it won’t hid your browsing history). The Mines network, including our VPN, keeps a record of who logs in and what IP addresses your visit. That information is protected by strict privacy guidelines as well as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
It is important to remember that all VPN systems (not just Mines’) eventually have to decrypt the traffic and forward it in its original format across public networks to its final destination. Although VPNs can prevent someone in the local coffee shop from eavesdropping on your traffic, they do not provide end-to-end privacy. You should always use https or other encrypted protocols for any sensitive traffic.

Does the Mines VPN keep my computer secure?

No. The Mines VPN does not filter the content sent to or from your computer.  You can get viruses, phishing email, L.A. Dodgers games, and other malicious content when using the VPN exactly the same way you can when connecting without the VPN.

Can Global Protect be used on campus?

Yes, Global Protect will work while you are on campus, however it does not provide any benefit and might slow down your network connection.  We recommend disabling the client if you are on campus for any long period of time.


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Article ID: 133729
Wed 6/16/21 1:50 PM
Fri 5/20/22 2:46 PM

Related Services / Offerings (2)

Use this service to submit a proposed firewall change for CISO/Security review and implementation by ITS.
Use this service to report issues you may be having associated with Mines VPN.