VPN (Virtual Private Network) for UCD Access

Why use the VPNs?

Mostly, it's to keep services accessible only to campus networks. When you use the VPN from off campus, you are disguised as a device on the campus network (with caveats, see below). This allows you to access those services which are not exposed to all the bad folks on the internet. This includes

  • Windows Remote Desktop
  • MacOS Screen Sharing
  • SSH to Linux Systems
  • Other Stuff

There are two VPNs.


  1. Allows access to library resources
  2. Allows access to off-campus services that require a campus IP address
  3. Does not allow SSH to off-campus servers (such as SSH access to NASA high performance computing clusters)


  1. Allows access to SOME library journals – just not the ones off campus that require a campus IP
  2. Allows SSH to computers that reside off campus
  3. Requires DUO be configured for your UCD account.
  4. Tech Stuff: This VPN uses non-routable private IP addresses for clients. Campus forces them to route, but only within the campus network. When you try to go to CNN's website (or any non-campus-hosted service), your home computer does not use the VPN, it goes directly to it (this is called Split Tunneling). This means that off-campus service sees your real IP address and thinks you aren't on campus. Some library journals require you to come from a campus IP address -- this is why this VPN doesn't work well for all library journal access.

Accessing the VPNs


The library provides excellent instructions for configuring the VPN client called Pulse Secure. https://www.library.ucdavis.edu/service/connect-from-off-campus/

Same as above but change to vpn.ucdavis.edu in Pulse Secure client configuration. Requires DUO unlike the Library VPN. There are two password prompts for this service. The first is your campus login and passphrase. The second is "Second Password" which is actually the DUO prompt. If you use your smartphone Duo app, you type "push" here to get a Duo prompt on the app. Otherwise, please see this guide for details: https://guide.duo.com/pulse