UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

Who installs the VPN software?

You, the user. At home, on your personal computer, you are responsible for selecting an Internet Service Provider (ISP), coordinating installation, and installing any required software. This includes the VPN client. You should not need to use the VPN from an on-campus computer.

How do I get the VPN software?

The instructions for MacintoshWindows, and Linux computers will guide you through the process of downloading and installing the VPN client software.

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.

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 choose which invoice(s) to pay? Can I partial pay?

Yes, there is the option to select which invoice(s) to pay. Partial payment of an individual charge cannot be made.

Will I get a confirmation number that payment was accepted?

A confirmation window will appear on screen after payment is approved. An email message will be sent with the receipt to the user’s email address.

What do I need to do to get a refund if I find the books?

To receive a refund for billed items paid the original items checked out must be returned and a request for refund must be made within 90 days of payment. Go to the Library Privileges Desk in Doe Library with the original receipt of payment and photo ID. Complete the refund request form. A refund check will be issued within 6 to 12 weeks. Please note: processing/billing fees are non-refundable.

The proxy server is working very slowly. What should I do?

If you experience a very slow response time when waiting for a login prompt, or after logging in, use the Report a Problem form to make us aware of this issue.

This problem may not last long. However, if you need access quickly, try the campus Virtual Private network (VPN), an alternative method for accessing licensed resources.

I followed the setup instructions, why haven't my configuration changes taken effect?

  1. Be sure you have followed the configuration instructions exactly. Check to make sure you have entered the correct "automatic proxy configuration" URL into your browser settings:
    http://proxy.lib.berkeley.edu/proxy.pac
  2. Be sure there are no spaces or extra characters to the left or right of the URL.
  3. Before closing the configuration dialog box, be sure to click the OK, Apply now, or Reload button if provided.
  4. Be sure you are using a browser that supports Automatic Proxy Configuration.

    On a Macintosh, no version of Internet Explorer supports Automatic Proxy Configuration. Use Firefox, Safari, Mozilla, or Netscape for this purpose.

    AOL's browser (a highly customized version of Internet Explorer), will not work with the proxy server. Use a different browser instead.

  5. Make sure that cookies are enabled in the browser.

Can a laptop configured with a static UC Berkeley IP use the proxy?

Laptops which are configured with a static UC Berkeley IP address have problems using the proxy server. If you plug your laptop into the UC Berkeley network on campus, and you're not using the DHCP service, then you probably have a static UC Berkeley IP address.

If you're using Windows, you can check by going to Start > Control Panel > Network > TCP/IP > Properties. Look under the IP Address tab to see if there is an IP address specified there.

You can let us know about problems by using our Problem Report Form. Please include the fact that you're using a laptop with a Berkeley IP address.

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