Please note this page pertains to the Mathematical Sciences Institute. If you are from another department, please refer to the correct webpage.

For more complete access to MSI from external networks, you can use our Virtual Private Network, or VPN for short. For gritty details of what a VPN is and how it works, see Wikipedia. Basically, by connecting to MSI via the VPN, you make your machine appear as if it was plugged in to your office at MSI. It puts your machine on the inside of our firewall, thus allowing you full access to MSI network resources, even though your machine is physically located outside of MSI and thus normally external to the MSI firewall (where access to most MSI network services are blocked).

To use the VPN, you simply need to install a VPN client program on the machine that will be used outside of the MSI network. For example, for home users, this would be your desktop/laptop/workstation at home. For travelling academics and students, this would be your laptop you are taking with you. You then fire up the VPN client program, connect to the MSI VPN you will have set up below and then you are connected and ready to use MSI network resources as normal.

What are some of the things VPN access is good for?

  • Access to MSI key compute servers.
  • Opening console and graphical applications remotely.
  • Accessing your MSI workstation or other networked storage areas like a local disk.
  • Accessing your personal network folder outside MSI.
  • Access to update your personal webpage if applicable on geminus.anu.edu.au.

What machines can I access with VPN?

Once you are connected to the MSI VPN, you can access any machine on the MSI network you would have access to from within MSI.

What you will need

  • Desktop/laptop users: A web browser with a Java plugin installed (check your browser here or get Java here).
  • For iPhone/iPad users: you will need to install the Cisco Anyconnect app via the Apple App Store on your device. See below for more details.
  • Your university ID and associated password (i.e. the details you use to access HORUS/ISIS etc.)
  • You need to be pre-registered with the MSI IT section before you can use the VPN. Please send an email to msi-ithelp@anu.edu.au providing the IT section your university ID.

Instructions (OSX/Linux/Windows Desktop and Laptop Users)

To configure your machine to use the VPN:

  1. In your web browser, go to https://anuvpn.anu.edu.au.
  2. Login using your university id number combined with our assigned group eg. u1234567@msi.
  3. Select AnyConnect from the menu on the left.
  4. Click on the Start AnyConnect link.
  5. The client software will be downloaded, installed and may connect automatically.*

* You may be required to complete additional steps or prompted for extra options, depending on your operating system.

    To use the VPN after configuration:

    1. Using your operating systems menu system or applications folder, locate the Cisco Anyconnet application and open it.
    2. The program should be configured to connect on start-up. Otherwise, simply click on Connect.
    3. A system tray or dock icon should appear, hovering over it should inform you of the connection status.
    Should the automatic configuration fail, you would need to configure the VPN manually as follows:
    1. Where it says 'VPN: Ready to connect' enter 'anuvpn.anu.edu.au' without the inverted commas.
    2. Group: ANU
    3. Username: u-number@msi, eg. u1234567@msi
    4. Password: Your Horus/Isis password

    Instructions (iOS iPad/iPhone Users)

    You need to download and install the client via the App Store.

    Once you have installed the app, proceed with its configuration as follows:

    1. Open the Cisco AnyConnect app.
    2. Tap on Add VPN Connection.
    3. Use the following details to configure the connection:
      • Description: MSI VPN
      • Server Address: anuvpn.anu.edu.au
      • Network Roaming: On
      • Use certificates: Off
    4. Tap Save.
    5. Make sure there is a tick next to MSI VPN

    Usage is as follows:

    1. Open the Cisco AnyConnect app.
    2. Slide the AnyConnect VPN tab to 'On'.
    3. After a brief moment, you will be prompted for a username and password. Use your Uni ID suffixed with @msi for the username (i.e., u1234567@msi) and the associated password.
    4. A little blue VPN symbol will appear in the task bar at the top of the screen next to the time.