Remote Access

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How to Get VPN Access

Kalamazoo College’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) is available by request, and can be used to access systems like Ellucian Colleague and KFiles from off-campus locations safely. It is not possible to use K’s VPN for personal internet use. You will need to obtain a VPN token and install the client software. Below are instructions and information for using this resource. These steps must be completed in order.

  1. Request VPN access – Contact the Help Desk at HelpDesk@kzoo.edu to start a conversation about the work you need to do, so we can figure out if our VPN may be a good fit for you.
  2. Create a VPN Token (you must be on-campus to do this, and cannot do so before completing step 1 above)
  3. Install the OpenVPN Connect Client – Please note: you may need Help Desk assistance to install it
  4. Use OpenVPN to connect
    1. On Windows
    2. On Mac

Creating a VPN Token

In order to log into the Kalamazoo College VPN service, you will need a VPN token. This is a piece of software stored on your smart phone (iPhone or Android) that produces a one time password (OTP) in the form of a string of numbers. When you create the token, you’ll select a PIN to accompany it. Your PIN, followed by the string of digits produced by the token is the password you’ll use to log in to the VPN. Since the token produces a new OTP each time, this password changes each time, providing increased security.

  1. Contact Information Services at HelpDesk@kzoo.edu to have your account set up for access.
  2. Install an app on your phone to hold the token. There are a number of different apps that can do this. We recommend FreeOTP Authenticator on the Apple App Store and Free OTP Authenticator on Google Play.
  3. From an on campus computer (not your phone) visit the Tokens Login page and log in with your network user ID and password. You will not be able to complete this step without completing step 1, which is to contact the Help Desk.
  4. Once you are logged in, select the “Enroll Token” option under the Tokens tab located in the upper left of the screen.
  5. The Enroll Token Form appears. Here is where you will set the PIN for your token. It can be any alpha numeric string you wish, but you will need to enter it along with the 6 digit string displayed by the token so make sure it is something you can remember.
  6. After entering your PIN, click Enroll Token and a QR code will be displayed. In the FreeOTP Authenticator on your phone, tap the QR symbol at the top and then point your phone’s camera at the QR code on your screen to download your token.

The token should appear in FreeOTP authenticator and you now have a VPN token that can be used for authentication.

Whenever you tap the token, it will display a 6 digit string of numbers along with a countdown timer. The 6 digit code will be valid until the timer runs out at which point a new code will be displayed and the countdown will begin again.

Installing the OpenVPN Connect Client

To connect to the OpenVPN service at Kalamazoo College, your computer or mobile device needs to have the OpenVPN Connect client installed. If you are planning on using a college provided laptop to access the VPN, you will need to contact the Help Desk (HelpDesk@kzoo.edu) and request assistance with installation.

If you are using a personal system, or a system that you administer yourself, you can follow the directions below to obtain the OpenVPN Connect Client. For Mobile devices such as tablets, you can download OpenVPN Connect on the App Store and the OpenVPN Connect app from Google Play for free.

  1. If you do not yet have one, follow the instructions in the Creating a VPN Token section to obtain one.
  2. For both Macintosh and PC systems, you can go to the Kalamazoo College OpenVPN login page to download an installation file for the client. When logging in, you’ll use your network username, and for the password you need to use your OTP token.
    • Note: The password is the password/PIN you set when you created the token, plus the string of numbers displayed by the token. If your PIN is “eagle”, and the token is displaying “12345678” then the password you enter will be “eagle12345678”.
  3. Switch the dropdown menu from “Connect” to “Login”.
  4. Click the link to download the install file corresponding to your system’s operating system and install it.

The OpenVPN Connect Client will be installed on your system along with the proper configuration to connect to Kalamazoo College’s VPN.

Connecting to OpenVPN on Windows

In order to use the Kalamazoo College VPN, you will first need an OTP token and the OpenVPN Connect Client.

To connect to the VPN,

  1. Double click the “OpenVPN Connect” icon located on your Windows taskbar or right click the OpenVPN Connect system tray icon and select “Connect to ovpn.kzoo.edu.”
  2. The OpenVPN authentication window will open. Enter your network username. In the Password field, you will need to enter the PIN you selected for your OTP token, followed by the string of numbers displayed by your token.
    • For example, if your PIN is “eagle”, and the token on your smartphone displays the numbers “123456”, then the password you need to enter would be “eagle123456”
  3. When connecting for the first time, you might see a window pop up asking if you wish to allow VPN connections to kzoo.edu. Click “Yes.”

You will see a message displayed in the system tray icon when the VPN connection is established. At this point you have a Virtual Private Network connection to the main Kalamazoo College network. You can use various clients such as web browsers, File Explorer, etc. to access campus resources the same way you would if you were on campus including Colleague UI and Kfiles.

Disconnecting from the VPN

VPN connections are limited to a certain number of users at a time. In order to make sure everyone can make use of this resource, please disconnect your VPN connection when you are finished with it.

In order to disconnect from the VPN service when done, right click the system tray icon and select “Disconnect ovpn.kzoo.edu”

Connecting to OpenVPN on Mac

In order to use the Kalamazoo College VPN, you will first need an OTP token and the OpenVPN Connect Client.

To connect to the VPN,

  1. Launch the OpenVPN Connect app from your Applications folder, then click on the OpenVPN menu bar item in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. From the menu displayed, select “Connect to ovpn.kzoo.edu” and the OpenVPN Connect authentication window is brought up.
  3. Enter your network username, but instead of your usual password, you’ll enter a combination of the PIN you set when you created your OTP token, plus the one-time code generated by the OTP token itself.
    • For example, if your PIN is “eagle” and the OTP Token is displaying “123456”, then the password you enter here would be “eagle123456”
  4. The very first time you connect to the VPN, you may receive a warning asking “Allow VPN connection to kzoo.edu?” Click “Yes” and select “Don’t ask again” if you don’t want to be prompted every time you connect.

Once the client finishes connecting, you will have a Virtual Private Network connection to the main Kalamazoo College network. You can use various clients such as web browsers, file clients, etc. to access campus resources the same way you would if you were on campus including Colleague UI and Kfiles.

Disconnecting from the VPN

VPN connections are limited to a certain number of users at a time. In order to make sure everyone can make use of this resource, please disconnect your VPN connection when you are finished with it.

In order to disconnect from the VPN service when done, right click the system tray icon and select “Disconnect ovpn.kzoo.edu”

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