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What is a VPN?

VPN stands for "Virtual Private Network". A VPN is a secure Internet connection using encryption and tunneling protocols to create a safe connection, or tunnel, to a private network.

Why should I use VPN at Oberlin?

When your computer is connected to the Oberlin College VPN, all of your network traffic comes back to Oberlin College through a type of secure network "tunnel". The Oberlin College VPN is needed when accessing College network resources from off-campus, and when utilizing any (especially, secure or critical) network resources while on-campus using wireless connectivity.

It is extremely important to note that wireless network traffic is very insecure and should almost always be protected by using VPN. For example, we had a report of an individual using wireless at an Internet café, ordering items online, who subsequently discovered his credit card information had been stolen.

The Oberlin College VPN is used as a bridge to connect you into the Oberlin Campus network and should be used for cases such as those described below.

When do I use VPN?

You do not need to use VPN all the time. You should, however, use VPN when:

  • Wireless and On-Campus: When you are using wireless while on campus and you need to use Oberlin College network resources such as Banner, and Library Research Databases or you are transmitting data that should remain secure (credit card info, bank account info, etc.), you should use VPN.
  • Wired/Wireless Off-Campus: When you are off-campus and need to get into the Oberlin College network and access resources such as the Library Research Databases, Banner, or other Oberlin College servers, you should use VPN.

Does VPN provide internet access if I'm off-campus?

No. You will still need to use your own personal Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as Cable Co-op or DSL to access the Internet. VPN will then provide you the access into Oberlin College network resources.

Where do I get VPN software?

Mac and Windows

Enter your ObieID and password on the CIT Software Downloads page to download a copy of Cisco AnyConnect.


CIT does not officially support VPN on Linux, but recommends the OpenConnect client which has recently been tested and known to work. OpenConnect is available in the package repositories of most major Linux distributions. It can be downloaded from the web at http://www.infradead.org/openconnect/.

Mobile Devices


Download the Cisco AnyConnect ICS+ app from the Google Play store or your source for Android apps.

iOS (iPad, iPhone)

Enter your ObieID and password on the CIT Software Downloads page to download a configuration file for VPN on iOS.

How do I install the VPN software?

Mac and Windows

Double click on the software package and follow the onscreen instructions to install. If you have difficulty, please call the CIT Help Desk (ext. 58197) for further assistance.


  1. Download the Cisco AnyConnect ICS+ app from the Google Play store or your source for Android apps.
  2. Open the Cisco AnyConnect app.
  3. Add a new VPN connection.
  4. Enter the following information:
    • Description: Oberlin VPN
    • Server Address: vpn.cc.oberlin.edu
  5. When you attempt to connect to the VPN, you'll be prompted to enter your ObieID and password.
  6. Click OK.
  7. When your connection to VPN is open and running, that status will be reflected in the Notification Bar. You can also disconnect from VPN from this menu as well.


How do I use VPN?

Cisco AnyConnect server address prompt
  1. Open the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client application on your computer.
  2. Enter vpn.cc.oberlin.edu and click Connect.
  3. Enter your ObieID and password. Click OK.

Once a connection is made, your traffic will begin flowing through the secure VPN tunnel until you disconnect.