Connecting to IAC Windows Computers from Off-Campus via the VPN (Windows client)

This method allows connection from off-campus to an on-campus office computer running Windows.  The method uses technologies called Virtual Private Networking (VPN) and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which together allow you to connect securely to your computer through the Internet and give you mouse and keyboard control over your computer while showing you everything that's happening on the screen. This method is particularly useful if you need access to your exact work environment and applications from your home computer or other off-campus computer (coffee shop, hotel, etc).

Your workstation must be specifically configured to allow remote access, so you must request access from your IAC IT support staff.

  1. Georgia Tech offers VPN access to all faculty, staff, and students.  If you haven't done so already, you will need to install and configure a VPN client on your computer.  When you use this client to connect to the campus VPN, communication between your computer and Georgia Tech is secured and your computer is considered part of the campus network.

  2. Once connected to the VPN, run the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection application to connect to the Windows desktop.  This can usually be found under Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Remote Desktop Connection:
    Remote Desktop Client in the Windows Start Menu

  3. You'll need to know the name or address of your office computer, usually something of the form "machine-name.ad.gatech.edu".  Your IAC IT support person can tell you the name for your office computer.  Enter this name into the connection dialog.  In the example below, the machine name is iac-xppatch.ad.gatech.edu:
    Entering remote computer hostname into Remote Desktop

  4. When you see the familiar Windows logon screen from your office computer, log on as you would in the office with your GT Account and password.  In the example below the GT Account being used is iac-testuser:
    Remote Windows XP Computer Login Through Remote Desktop Client

  5. Your office computer's Windows desktop will then be available for normal use:
    Remote WIndows XP Through Remote Desktop Client

  6. When done using your office computer, log off in the normal way with Start -> Log Off:
    Log Off Option on the Windows Start Menu

  7. If you're done using the VPN, log off according to the directions appropriate for your local client.