Virtual Private Network (VPN)


Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a secure method for remotely accessing data and systems that reside within the Harvard network. VPN technology enables off-net users to connect via encrypted communications to University network resources in the same way they would if they were directly connected to the Harvard network in their office. Most accounts are used by Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty and staff to access their shared drives on the GSE network from outside of the School.

Users with internet access can use the VPN account to build a secure “tunnel” through the internet to connect with Harvard University’s network and then log in to their HGSE account using Novell. They are then able to see their shared drives under My Computer in the same manner as if they were using their computer on campus. Additionally, users who have access to confidential data via HarvardKey authentication will need to use a VPN account to connect to Harvard University’s network before being able to access the data off-campus.

With manager approval, anyone with a Harvard ID may have an account. Outside consultants may also obtain accounts through requests made by the local VPN administrator. Non-faculty and staff accounts must include a termination date.

The Cisco VPN solution currently in place has clients for Macintosh, Windows, Unix, and Linux-based computers.

VPN is available by having your Manager emailing


Your username is your official university email address followed by #GSE and your password is your HarvardKey password (username example: VPN is protected by two-factor authentication, so make sure have set that up:

To install the VPN software, go to the following URL: and supply your login credentials as above.

If you already have the Cisco Anyconnect software installed you will need to enter into the white box before clicking Connect, then supply your credentials as above.

Please note you do NOT need to connect to VPN to access your HGSE email.

If you have problems installing the VPN software please contact the IT Service Center at 617-496-0628 or