July 12, 2007


Finally NUS has eliminated the need of using a CISCO VPN Client (or something similar) to access the NUS VPN. To try out this new service go to: http://webvpn.nus.edu.sg

A few things to be noticed:
1) There doesn't seem to be any difference in service provided between using the existing VPN client and the new web service, when tested with Outlook, accessing the web, and accessing other computers on the network - also it automatically detects whether you're outside NUS or within.

2) I'm not sure about this, but the WebVPN kicks you out after inactivity after a while.

3) WebVPN doesn't seem to be CISCO but rather Juniper!

4) Cisco client still works (for now at least)

So what's the good thing about this? Well not much, but if you're using a restricted university computer than you most likely won't be able to install CISCO VPN, so this allows you to use this by just using your web browser.

But here's the best thing - if you're at the ANU or another university that charges you for traffic, but allows you to access *.edu sites for free, then just amend the address to http://webvpn.nus.edu and access it from there! Also if you can't install the applet (usually due to security restrictions - usually need elevated privileges to install it) - all is not lost, just click on Continue while it's trying to connect (https://webvpn.nus.edu/dana/home/starter.cgi?startpageonly=1) It must be noted though, that if you click on this, i.e. you don't install the applet, you will have reduced functionality - I've not checked what you lose out on, but I'm quite sure, connecting to other computers on the network would be one of them. Nevertheless, the best feature is you can still surf the web! You will notice a little bar on the top, just type the addy in there and click on Browse - you can also download large files this way, and since *.edu is free, you won't get charged for the traffic!

Will update, once I investigate the benefits and drawbacks more thoroughly - although the most apparent one is more flexible VPN access. Also plan on investigating the setttings on surfing the web without typing into the aforementioned address bar.

To all NUS students at ANU, enjoy your free internet =)