Connecting to SLUH's Network from Off-Campus (VPN)

  • Posted on: 18 March 2010
  • By: jhaefele

VPN, or Virtual Private Networking, is a method for connecting to a network’s resources when you are not physically on that network. It is essentially just what the name implies: Networking that is Virtual (since you’re not actually on the network, or in our case, at SLUH) and Private (as it is secured by your LDAP username and password). When you are at home (or anywhere else off-campus), you can use this method to perform tasks typically only available on-campus, such as accessing your faculty server data.

In order to do this, some fairly simple modifications need to be made to your system; just follow the steps below.


  1. Open System Preferences by either clicking on the icon in the Dock or selecting Apple Menu → System Preferences...
  2. Click on the Network icon.
  3. If the lock at the bottom-left is locked, click it to unlock.
  4. Press the "+" button at the bottom of the list of network interfaces on the left. In the dialog that appears, select "VPN" from the Interface: drop-down menu, and "L2TP over IPSec" from the VPN Type: menu. Finally, give the interface a name, such as "SLUH VPN".
  5. Once you've add the VPN Interface, it will be highlighted in the left-hand column, and fields for configuring the interface will appear to the right. In the Server Address: field, enter, and enter your LDAP username in the Account Name field.
  6. Click on Authentication Settings....

    You must fill in the Shared Secret field. The shared secret is ' goJrBills! ' (without the quotes).

    Optional: You may enter your LDAP password in the Password: field, and click OK.

  7. Click on the gear icon in the lower left corner and select "Set Service Order" in the drop-down. Now drag the VPN connection to the top of the service order and click OK.
  8. Click the Apply button in the main System Preferences window.
  9. Click the Connect button to test the settings. You should see a counter appear, displaying the connection time elapsed.
  10. If you find yourself connecting via VPN on a regular basis, you may wish to check the "Show VPN status in menu bar" option, which will put a small icon near your clock/battery icon that will allow you to quickly connect/disconnect from SLUH's network.