UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

My AOL dialup or broadband connection drops when I connect to the VPN, or doesn't connect at all. What can I do?

The VPN client will not work with AOL dialup or AOL Broadband services. When connected to the VPN via AOL dialup service, the VPN client disconnects after a few seconds. This happens because of a "connection keep-alive" sent by AOL. When connected to the VPN, the AOL server doesn't recognize that the connection is now being sent through the VPN, and is lead to believe that the machine is no longer connected to its network. Since it no longer sees the client, it disconnects the session. This is expected behavior from AOL connected clients. AOL does not claim to provide any support for VPN on their infrastructure.

Solution: Use a different ISP if you need to connect to the UC Berkeley VPN.

I used VPN, then forgot to disconnect it. Is this a problem?

No, but while your VPN was connected, all your Internet traffic passed through the UC Berkeley VPN server. This slowed down your connection to Internet resources that did not require use of the VPN. The VPN software will "time out" after 30 minutes of no activity, but we recommend disconnecting it when you are finished with your session.

How long can I stay connected via VPN?

The VPN will automatically disconnect after your Internet connection is inactive for 30 minutes.

I tried to uninstall the VPN but it didn't work. What should I do?

Unfortunately this can happen for a number of reasons. Please contact the help services listed below.

Students: visit the Residential Computer Service in Moffitt Library.

Faculty and Staff: contact the IST Service Desk: itcsshelp@berkeley.edu; 510-664-9000, option 1, option 1, option 1
  Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

I still have a question about VPN. What should I do?

If your question is about installing, or running VPN:

If your question is about accessing library resources:

For more information about VPN:

Can I set up the VPN client to automatically connect at startup?

No, the Cisco VPN client cannot automate the login process.

Can I continue to print while connected to the VPN?

If the printer is physically attached to your computer, it should continue to work while your VPN connection is active.

If the printer is connected via a wireless or other Local Area Network, you will have to change a setting in the VPN client to "enable local LAN access".

You can also defer printing by choosing the "print to file" option to save the print stream on your computer, then print the resulting file after you disconnect from the VPN.

I use VPN but can't access licensed resources, or get incorrect results.

Products such as Google Web Accelerator and the Firefox plugin DownThemAll can make web pages load more quickly. However, they can also cause problems when using electronic information resources that the library subscribes to, such as journal article databases.

When you try to use these resources through a web accelerator, it comes between your computer and the website you are using, masking your UC Berkeley IP address and caching pages from the site for later use. Consequently, you may not get correct results or may not be able to log in at all. This can happen whether you are on or off campus, and even when you are using our proxy service or VPN.

For this reason, we recommend turning off your web accelerator before using our website, or setting it to ignore specific databases, etc. that you plan to use. Please see the Wikipedia article about Google Web Accelerator.

Can I use VPN through a firewall?

If you are having trouble connecting and have a firewall, you can test it by disabling the firewall and trying again.

If your computer is behind a firewall that restricts access by IP address, its settings may need to be modified to allow access via the VPN. For more information see this UC Berkeley IST Knowledge Base article.

Does VPN offer virus protection?

No. VPN provides security by encrypting and decrypting data that passes through a VPN connection; it does not offer protection from viruses or other malware.

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