ITS Blog

What in the world is a VPN and how can it keep me safe on the internet?

What is a VPN?

VPN or “Virtual Private Network” is a secure route by way of an encrypted connection designed to keep a user’s digital actions and location of those actions private. At its most basic, VPN is a security blanket to keep information safe and private.

How exactly does VPN work?

Without a VPN, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) assigns an IP address unique to the device being used, this can be used to easily identify the user. Once connected to a VPN server, the IP address is shielded from the ISP, websites, etc. The IP address of the device is concealed however that of the VPN is shown. To maintain security this IP address changes frequently and is utilized by many users.

Why use a VPN?

Students should use a VPN if you’re traveling or using your laptop in public venues, such as a cafe, to keep their online activity private and ensure their internet experience is free from outside interference. Acting as an encrypted tunnel, internet traffic streams through, uninhibited by hackers, governments, and even internet service providers.

Why should I care?

In order to connect to the BingView service or campus resources while not located on Binghamton Campus, one must connect to Binghamton University's Secure VPN by way of Ivanti Secure Access. Formerly Pulse Secure, this application allows users to access content protected by the Binghamton University VPN.

When should I use a VPN?

A VPN should be used any and every time you access the internet.

Where can I find more information? How can I access Binghamton University’s VPN? 

For step-by-step instructions on how to connect to the BU VPN visit the VPN ITS page, or the ITS Self-Service Website. To report any VPN issues or request assistance fill out the Report a VPN Issue Form. Need help? Contact the Help Desk.