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Remote Access Services

1. Introduction

The Oxford University network is part of the Internet. When you cannot connect directly to a University Ethernet socket, there are various ways of accessing the Internet. You need to consider

  1. How to make a connection eg wireless, home broadband etc.
  2. Whether you need access to restricted Oxford University services

2. The Remote Access Account

2.1. Introduction

The remote access account is different from the Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) account.

The remote access account provides access to the following services:

  • The eduroam wireless service
  • The VPN Service
  • (of interest to IT staff): 802.1x Connections

2.2. Registering for a Remote Access Services account

Current students, staff and official visitors may register for a Remote Access account. (To check your status, see the entitlements page.) To register for a Remote Access Services username, visit IT Services self-registration.

3. Remote Access Services

3.1. The VPN (Virtual Private Network) Service

For this service, you will need:

  • The Cisco VPN client software. The software (approx 10 Mbytes) is available for download from
  • An IT Services Remote Access username and password.

For broadband, or when connecting directly at another Internet site, the VPN service is the only option if you need to access certain restricted facilities.

Note: you do not normally need VPN to access most library resources (see Library Services Remote Access page for more information)

Full details are on the web pages for the VPN service, including how to install the necessary software.

3.2. The eduroam Service

"eduroam" is the newer wireless service, gradually replacing the older OWL service. This is described in more detail on the eduroam Wireless page.

4. Facilities restricted by Network Access

Members of the University can access many Oxford facilities from any internet connected computer once they log in with their Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) username, for example the Nexus service via the Outlook Web Access interface, IT Services self-registration, WebLearn and Oxford Examination Papers Online (OXAM). Most library resources are also available from anywhere as long as you log in with your Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) username (see Library Services Remote Access page for more information).

For the restricted facilities listed below, you must be on the University network. This can be by being physically connected on campus, connecting via VPN or connecting via eduroam.

Facilities on local departmental networks are not necessarily available via the IT Services Remote Access Services. You will need to check with your departmental or college IT information to find whether particular local features are restricted, or whether there are alternative local remote access services.


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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 3 March 2020