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Using the Mednet VPN System

An Overview

VPN (virtual private network) is a technology used to connect remote computers to isolated networks that are otherwise protected and inaccessible. UCLA School of Medicine's network is one such example. For security reasons, a large portion of its resources are blocked off to those outside of their network. Not only are those resources not easily accessible, they are virtually invisible to the public. However, those are affiliated with UCLA SOM/Medical Center often find themselves in need of accessing those resources from off-campus. This is where the VPN technology comes in.

UCLA School of Medicine has put in a place a VPN system that users can utilize when they are on-the-go. Once you are connected to the VPN system from your off-campus computer, it creates a simulated environment as if you are connecting on campus, thus giving you access to SOM resources. This includes but is not limited to network drives, local computers, networked printers, protected web applications, medical journals, etc.

Obtaining VPN

The first step in obtaining VPN is to apply for a Mednet account. If you already have a Mednet email address (i.e., then you are all set. If you are unsure whether or not you have a Mednet account, please check with the IT Office. It could be that you don't have a Mednet account yet, or you have an account, but it does not have permissions to use the VPN system.

Once your Mednet account is all set, you need to set up the VPN system on your remote computer. Detailed information on how to set things up can be found at this information page.

You basically have two options. One, you can install the Cisco Anyconnect client on your remote computer. Everytime you need to use VPN, you open the program and connect. Second, you can use the web version of the VPN. This does not require any installation and runs straight from a web browser. It is compatible with IE, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. The main difference between the two options is that WebVPN only provides in-browser access to web applications and resources that are restricted to UCLA SOM. If you need to use standalone programs (outside of the web browser) that require UCLA Mednet access, you MUST install the full client.

If you know that WebVPN is sufficient for your needs, you can get to it here. Instructions on how to use that system are available here.

If you know that you need to install the full client, you can find the downloads here. There are versions for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. Once the installation is completed, open the program Cisco Anyconnect Secure Mobility Client. You will see one field where you can enter in an address. Type in and click Connect. You will then be prompted for your group, username, and password. Once you login successfully, you'll see an icon with a gray circle and a gold lock in your system tray. This means that you are connected to VPN. For more instructions including a picture walkthrough, please refer to the documentation here.
If you are a member of Biomathematics and are running into problems using VPN, feel free to ask for our assistance Other members of UCLA Health Sciences can turn to the DGIT Helpdesk.