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Staff VPN service guide

The VPN service is a service which works in tandem with your broadband connection. In essence it is an extra piece of software on your computer which provides a secure 'tunnel' connection into the Trinity data network.

If working remotely, what services do I need a VPN for?

If working remotely, you will only need a VPN to access the following services:

  • Windows security updates:
    • To receive Windows security updates remotely, you are required to be connected to the VPN for at least one hour each working day.
  • Network files and file storage
  • Webauthors making live changes to the webpages
  • Trinity business applications:
    • FIS (if you prepare purchase orders or you are a "preparer" of expenses on iExpenses)
    • SITS (client-only, Academic Registry)
    • CMIS timetabling
    • HR users of SODMS

You won't need a VPN to access lots of other services that are hosted in the 'cloud'. An example would be your email, OneDrive, Teams, Blackboard, Panopto, etc.

VPN service requirements

This service is currently only available to registered College staff and can only be setup on College-owned computers (preferably which have the College software image installed), are networked and so fully compliant with our network security policies including being added to the College domain.

Supported operating systems

For information about which operating systems are supported, please see our 'Requirements' section on the main VPN page.

Supported operating systems list

Certain versions of Windows cannot use the VPN service as they cannot authenticate on the College domain. The same restrictions apply to mobile devices and smartphones.

For the VPN service to work, your computer must already be connected to a broadband service such as wired or wireless broadband in your home or while travelling abroad. Please be aware that your internet connection may slow down very slightly due to the fact that VPN takes up some bandwidth on your connection.

VPN connection request

To request initial connection to the VPN service, fill out the VPN connection request form. Your details will be sent to the IT Service Desk and a ticket will be automatically generated. The IT Service Desk will subsequently contact you to configure your computer for the VPN network and ensure that your computer meets the IT security criteria to allow the VPN service to be installed on your computer.

VPN connection request form

Using the VPN service

So that you can connect to the service safely and securely, we have enabled two step sign-in on VPN connections. This means that you will be prompted to confirm your identity by the method you already use with Microsoft 365 (SMS verification code, push notification to Authentication App, voice call).

VPN connection steps using SMS verification code (Windows and Mac)

1) Click on Cisco - Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client in the Start menu (or in the Applications folder on Mac).

2) Under 'VPN: Ready to connect' type '' as below. Click Connect.

3) You will be prompted to enter your Trinity username and network login password. Do this and then click OK.

4) You will then get a small pop up message which ask you to enter a code which has been texted to you via SMS message.

5) Once the connection is established a pop up window informing you of a connection will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen.

VPN connection steps using voice call

You will receive an automated call from Microsoft, answer it and press # to end the call.

Using the Authenticator App

The steps are similar as above with the SMS instructions, except you must get the code or an approve/decline message from the Authenticator App before you can connect.

  1. To start, click on Cisco - Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client in the Start menu (or in the Applications folder on Mac).
  2. Under 'VPN: Ready to connect' type '' as below. Click Connect.
  3. You will be prompted to enter your Trinity username and network login password. Do this and then click OK
  4. You will now either enter your verification code OR you get an approve/decline message.

Verification code

After you get the dialogue requiring you to enter the Microsoft verification code, open the authenticator app and use the one-time password displayed as the verification code.

Approve/decline message

A notification will arrive via the authenticator app on the phone. Click on the notification and click on approve in the message.

Testing and Troubleshooting the VPN connection

If you are experiencing problems getting connected please follow the steps below.

1. Check The Connection To Your ISP

Check your connection to the Internet in general e.g. if you can access web pages and send and receive email then your Internet connection is OK.

Please also consider that you may need to reconnect to the VPN service if you computer has been dormant or in hibernation mode.

2. Check Corporate Firewall settings

If you are behind a corporate firewall in an external institution and you cannot establish a connection then the local Network Administrators of that institution would need to advise on whether or not port 443 is enabled outbound to the IP address If you continue to have difficulties please contact the IT Service Desk.

Getting help

If you have followed the troubleshooting steps above but require further assistance, please contact the IT Service Desk.