VPN: off campus network access

The VPN (Virtual Private Network) allows students and staff to access network-restricted files and services from home.

What the VPN gives access to

Most Kent systems (such as emailMoodleSharePoint and more) are on the web, available anywhere.

Use the VPN (Virtual Private Network) for off-campus access to files on the Kent network and some IT systems such as staff SDSyour print account and web print.

Who can use the VPN

Staff, students or visitors with a Kent IT Account.  

Register for VPN access

If you haven't used VPN before you will need to register to use the VPN

Set up your VPN connection

Before running the VPN setup tool, you must abide by University IT regulations  

EDA staff: view this guidance

Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7

Watch our YouTube guide to setting up the VPN or follow these steps:

  1. Download FortiClient (Windows version) from their website.
  2. Run the file. Say yes to any User Account Control prompts that come up.
  3. Accept the License Agreement and click Next.
  4. Select Secure Remote Access (selected by default) and click Next. Do not select the other options.
  5. Accept the Default destination folder and click Next.
  6. Click Install.
  7. Click Finish.
  8. Open the FortiClient Console from the program menu or the icon in the system tray (next to the clock), click on Remote Access.
  9. Click on Configure VPN.
  10. Enter a meaningful Connection Name and Description.
  11. In the Remote Gateway box, enter vega.kent.ac.uk
  12. Choose Prompt on login under authentication
  13. Click Apply then Close.

The VPN is now set up and ready to use.

To connect to the VPN use the FortiClient console: click Remote Access and enter your Kent IT Account username and password.

If you still have the old VPN service, don't remove it until you know the new one works for your needs. If there is something you can't access using FortiClient, let us know.

Mac

Set up the VPN: install FortiClient for Mac - watch our YouTube guide to setting up the VPN or follow theses steps:  

  1. Download FortiClient from www.forticlient.com/downloads and open the file named forticlientonlineinstaller.dmg
  2. Double click FortiClientUpdate (and click Open if asked). The FortiClient installer will be downloaded.
  3. When the progress bar is full click Install. If it says 'failed to connect', click Cancel and return to step 2.
  4. Click Continue then Continue then Agree to the licence confirmation.
  5. If asked select Install for all users of this computer then Continue.
  6. Click Install at the bottom right of the window – you might be asked for your macOS password.
  7. You should see Installation complete. Click Close.
  8. Open FortiClient from either Applications (within Finder), search in the Spotlight box or click the black shield (in the menu at the top of your screen).
  9. Click Remote Access on the left menu
  10. Click the cog/gear icon next to VPN Name
  11. Click Add new connection
  12. Enter these settings
    • VPN Type: SSL VPN
    • Connection name: give it a name of your choice
    • Description: Kent VPN
    • Remote Gateway: vega.kent.ac.uk
    • Leave 'Customize port' unticked
    • Client Certificate: none
    • Leave 'Save login' ticked next to Authentication
    • Type your Kent username into 'Username' field, for example abc123
    • Click Add.

If you still have the old VPN service, don't remove it until you know the new one works for your needs. If there is something you can't access using Forticlient, let us know.

Connect to the VPN

  1. Click the black shield icon (in the menu in the top right of your screen).
  2. Click Connect to the VPN connection you created above.
  3. Enter your Kent IT Account username and password and click Connect.

Disconnect from the VPN

  1. Click the black shield icon (in the menu along the top of your screen)
  2. Click Disconnect from the VPN.

iPhone/iPad

Install FortiClient for iOS

  1. Install FortiClient from the App store
  2. Run the FortiClient App.
  3. Allow the App to create VPN configurations on your device.
  4. In the FortiClient VPN window choose select connection then choose Add Configuration.
  5. Fill in the following details and select Done when finished:

Name: any name will do
Host: vega.kent.ac.uk
Port: 443
User: leave blank
Password: leave blank

To connect to the VPN

  • Go to the FortiClient App
  • Move the slider next to VPN to on
  • Enter your Kent IT Account username and password when asked.
    • If you see a permissions error, make sure 'auto correct' isn't changing your username.

If you still have the old VPN service, don't remove it until you know the new one works for your needs. If there is something you can't access using Forticlient, let us know.

Android

  1. Install the FortiClient VPN app from the Google play store.
  2. Open the app and tap Allow for the required permissions.
  3. Under VPN name put any name that will help you identify the VPN connection.
  4. Select VPN type SSL VPN.
  5. Tap Create.
  6. Tap Server, enter ‘vega.kent.ac.uk’ and tap OK.
  7. Tap the back arrow at the top of the page to get to the connection page.
  8. Tap Connect and enter your Kent username (eg. abc12) and password.
  9. Tap OK on the connection request.
  10. You should now be connected to the VPN.

To disconnect or reconnect to the VPN use the FortiClient VPN app. Find it in Settings > Wireless & Networks > VPN

If you still have the old VPN service, don't remove it until you know the new one works for your needs. If there is something you can't access using Forticlient, let us know.

Linux

  1. Download FortiClient for Linux setup file (tar archive)
  2. Via the file explorer, right-click on the file and extract its files. Open the folder that matches the architecture of your Linux distribution and run ‘forticlientsslvpn’
    • Or Via Linux Terminal, go to the folder where the file has been downloaded and extract it with  tar –xvf forticlientsslvpn_linux<version>.tar.gz
  3. Open the FortiClient folder, and run ./fortisslvpn.sh & (if you know whether your Linux installation is 32 or 64 bit there are specific folders, open these and run ./forticlientsslvpn &   ) with elevated privileges.
  • If you would prefer to use the command line interface, you can find CLI versions of FortiClient under the specific 32 or 64 bit folders.

Configuration of the GUI FortiClient SSLVPN

  1. Run ./fortisslvpn.sh as root
  2. Create a profile for the Kent VPN by clicking on Settings, then on the + under Connection Profiles.
  3. Enter the following details:
    • Name: give it a name of your choice
    • Server: vega.kent.ac.uk
    • Port: 443
    • Username: Kent username only
    • Password: Kent password
    • Leave Certificate and the password field below it blank
  4. Click Done to confirm
  5. Select the newly created profile from the drop down list by Connection.
  6. If a certificate warning is displayed, click Continue
  7. The VPN tunnel will remain active as long as FortiClient is open. To terminate the connection, close the program.

Configuration of the CLI FortiClient SSLVPN

Run ./forticlientsslvpn_cli as root with the following settings:

  • ./forticlientsslvpn_cli --server 129.12.254.97:443 --vpnuser <Kent username>
  • Press Enter and FortiClient will request the password for the username.
  • If the connection is successful, a STATUS::Connected message will be displayed, otherwise if the password is incorrect, error ‘SSLVPN down unexpectedly with error:2’ will appear.
  • The VPN tunnel will remain active as long as the terminal window is open. To terminate the connection, press Control + C.

If you still have the old VPN service, don't remove it until you know the new one works for your needs. If there is something you can't access using Forticlient, let us know.

Log in to folders and other services

Your Kent IT Account username may need to be prefixed with UKC\. This isn't necessary for email but is true for other services:

  1. to enter a different username on a Windows PC or laptop, click More Choices >
  2. enter your IT Account username prefixed with UKC\
  • example: UKC\abc1 - replace abc1 with your own details.

Access your files and folders

Before you can view your files and folders, you need to:

  1. find out where your files live on the Kent network, such as:\\servername.kent.ac.uk\foldername
  2. Set up access to them (map a drive)

Log in with your Kent IT username prefixed with UKC\ - see the log in advice above.  

Is your connection secure?

You should see a padlock symbol in your browser's address bar which you can click for more details.

Delete a VPN connection

Windows 10

  1. In the Windows search box type ‘VPN’ and select Change virtual private networks (VPN) from the results list
  2. Select the VPN you want to delete, and click Remove.

Windows 8 and 7

  1. Windows Orb
  2. Control Panel
  3. Network and Internet
  4. Network and Sharing Centre
  5. In the left-hand column select Change adapter settings
  6. Select the VPN you want to delete
  7. From the menu bar above, select Delete this connection.

Mac

  1. Apple Menu
  2. System Preferences
  3. Network
  4. Select the VPN you want to delete (from the list of connections on the left of the windows)
  5. Click the minus button at the bottom of the list

iPhone and iPad

  1. Settings
  2. General
  3. Scroll down and tap VPN
  4. Tap the i icon besides the name of the VPN you want to delete
  5. Scroll down and tap Delete VPN
  6. When asked, tap Delete to finish.

Android

As this is different in nearly all versions of Android, our best advice is to go into VPN settings and follow the process on screen to select and remove a VPN connection.

In the latest version we tested, you tap SettingsNetwork & InternetVPN, click the cog icon next to the VPN name, then click Forget VPN.

VPN activity is your responsibility

When using the VPN remember that your device is on the Kent network and you are responsible for all activity.

Disconnect from Kent as soon as you are finished: do not browse the web using this connection, it will be slow and slows down the Kent network.

Help

Find out all the ways you can get in touch.

Contact us

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