Use-cases and limitations

Use Cases

Remote-desktop connections to Windows PCs
The Windows Remote-Desktop protocol (RDP) is blocked at the perimeter firewall.  When a TRIUMF VPN connection is open, you can make a secure encrypted connection directly to your Windows PC as though you were on-site.

SSH to Linux machines that only allow connections from on-site
Some groups configure their Linux machines to allow ssh connections only from on-site.    A VPN connection allows you to ssh directly.   This avoids the insecure method of ssh hopping through another shared Linux machine.

Remote access to the SolidWorks Vault
Access to the SolidWorks drawing-vault of the Design Office is restricted to on-site.  The TRIUMF VPN allows connections to the vault as though you were using a PC at TRIUMF.

Viewing internal-only web-sites
A VPN connection allows you to open web-pages that only allow connections originating from TRIUMF.

Using MATLAB off-site
A VPN connection will alow you access the MATLAB license-server so that you can use MATLAB from off-site.

Connecting to the UBC Management-Services Portal
The UBC management-services portal only allows connections from UBC sites; including TRIUMF.  The TRIUMF VPN service makes connections to UBC appear to originate from TRIUMF, thus allowing TRIUMF employees to view pay-stubs and T4 slips from off-site.

Limitations

Windows file-sharing over the TRIUMF VPN is blocked to avoid spreading malware from home PCs to TRIUMF machines.  However, there are alternate methods for connecting to TRWIN file-shares from off-site that do not need a VPN connection.

Printing to site printers is blocked when connecting through VPN. An alternate option is to connect to a computer on site with Remote Desktop and print through it.

The TRIUMF VPN service only affects connections to TRIUMF, UBC and UVic.  Connections you make to anywhere else do not go via the VPN.  In particular, the TRIUMF VPN cannot be used to view e-journals. However, TRIUMF staff can use the UBC-Library EZProxy for off-site access to e-journals.

The TRIUMF VPN service is not a single sign-on mechanism.  If a web-site would require you to login when at TRIUMF, then you will still be required to login when using the VPN.

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