Connecting to IAC Windows Computers from off-campus via VPN (Mac 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 with your Windows computer.  This client is not automatically included with Mac OS X, so you may need to download and install Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection from the App Store.

  3. Once installed, the client can be run from the Applications folder:

  4. Open the program and click the plus button for a new remote desktop:

  5. Fill in the required information for the computer to which you want to connect.  To add your office computer, you'll need to know it's name or address, usually something of the form "machine-name.ad.gatech.edu".  Your IAC IT support person can tell you the name for your office computer.

    Configuration steps in detail:

    1. Connection name is the name by which this computer will be shown in your My desktops list
    2. In the PC name field enter the hostname or IP address of your computer
    3. For Gateway, leave the "No gateway configured" option set
    4.  In the Username field enter "ad\" followed by your GT account username such as gburdell3
    5. This is your GT Account Username Password. You can enter it here, or leave the field blank and let Remote Desktop Connection prompt you for it each time that you connect to this computer.
    6. If you don't want the connection to be in full screen on all available monitors:
      Change the Resolution field to a resolution below the resolution of your monitor
      Uncheck Full screen
      Uncheck Use all monitors
  6.  It is very common to see a certificate error. You can safely click continue:

  7. Your office computer's Windows desktop will now be available for normal use:

  8. When done using your office computer, log off in the normal way with Start->Log Off or Disconnect to leave your session open just as you left it:

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