A VPN or “Virtual Private Network” is a private network that uses a public network (usually the Internet) to provide students, faculty, and staff with a secure connection to campus resources from home. Instead of using a dedicated, real-world connection such as an Ethernet connection, a VPN uses secure, encrypted, “virtual” connections tunneled through the Internet from the University of Michigan-Flint private network to the remote computer.
This Quicknote is intended for current students, faculty, and staff who would like to learn about the VPN services offered at the university.
Accessing the web portal resources through https://vpn.umflint.edu, as shown below, will work on most operating systems and has been confirmed to work in the browsers listed below. This does not mean that it won’t work in other browsers, but that we have verified functionality in the following browsers.
- Internet Explorer
- Microsoft Edge
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
NOTICE TO LINUX USERS: Any Java based components (Terminal Sessions being the major one) of the VPN are subject to the configuration of your local Java installation. The ITS Helpdesk may not be able to assist with these questions.
For any questions or problems you experience regarding any services listed on this page, please contact the ITS Helpdesk for support by calling (810)-762-3123, option 1, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Table of Contents
- Video Assistance
- Signing into the VPN Web Portal
- Using Web Bookmarks
- Using Files
- Launching Pulse Secure
Signing into the VPN Web PortalClick here for Video Assistance
- In one of the web browsers listed above, please navigate to https://vpn.umflint.edu.
- Login to the University of Michigan – Flint SSL VPN using your uniqname and current password as credentials.
- Click the grey Sign In button.
- Upon loading the first time, you will be prompted to install a Java Applet. Please allow this installation. You will only be prompted for this the first time you use https://vpn.umflint.edu in a new browser.
- You should now see the main navigation page of the web portal. In the sections of this Quicknote below, you will find descriptions about the features and resources available upon logging into the web portal.
Using Web BookmarksClick here for Video Assistance
The Web Bookmarks section is a place that you can store links that you commonly access. This is very similar to the bookmarks function built into your browsers.
- Adding a Web Bookmark:
- Click the “+” symbol in the top right corner of the Web Bookmarks section.
- Name your bookmark. You may also choose to give your bookmark a description, however this is optional.
- Provide the URL with HTTP/HTTPS included for your bookmark (Example: http://www.umich.edu ).
- Review your options under Display Options and select any that you would like.
- Click Add Bookmark.
- Your bookmark should now be located on your homepage for the VPN.
- Removing a Web Bookmark:
- Click the Trash Can symbol located on the right side of the screen, on the same line as the link you would like to remove.
- Your bookmark should now be removed.
Using FilesClick here for Video Assistance
The Files section of the UM-Flint VPN gives you web access to your Departmental drives (Faculty and Staff), your H: drive, MACPub and PCPub. If you have specific folders within your H: drive or Departmental drive you want to have quick access to, you may want to add a direct link to them in your Files section.
- Adding a Link to your Files Menu:
- Click the Drive that contains the folder you would like to create a shortcut to.
- Navigate to the specific file or folder.
- Check the box next to the file or folder you would like to create the shortcut to.
- Click Bookmark Selected… at the top of the screen.
- Name the Bookmark anything of your choice.
- Click Add Bookmark.
- Removing a Link from your Files Menu:
- Click the Trash Can to the right of the link you would like to remove.
- Your file link should now be removed from the Files menu.
Connecting your Computer onto the VPN Network using Pulse Secure
Pulse Secure is an application that can be launched on your computer to allow other computer applications to utilize UM-Flint's virtual private network. When you launch Pulse Secure, you will be able to use the Outlook application on your computer as well as any drives you may have mapped directly on your computer. You will also be able to use Windows Remote Desktop while using Pulse Secure.
Special Note: After running Pulse Secure the first time on your machine, you will just need to navigate to the application installed on your computer; you will NOT need to go to https://vpn.umflint.edu again. The installer should create a shortcut for ease of use.
Launching Pulse SecureClick here for Video Assistance
- From within https://vpn.umflint.edu. Select the platform install file that relates to the platform that you are using (either Windows, Mac, or Linux).
- You will then see a window open that will be blank. This window will trigger the download.
- You will be prompted to Run or Save this file. Select Run.
- You will then be directed to the Pulse Secure Setup Wizard; please follow the instructions listed.
- Note: There may be times where it asks you to click Yes or Continue to allow the program to make changes on your computer, please click Yes.
- You should now see the Pulse Secure application running on your computer. (Note: On Windows computers it will be a small icon down in your task bar to the left of the date and time.)
- You will then need to setup your initial connection. To do this click on the Pulse Secure icon, then Open Pulse Secure.
- You will then click on the “+” icon.
- Leave the Type as Policy Secure....
- Set the name to Pulse Secure
- Set the Server URL to vpn.umflint.edu
- Click Connect
- You will then be prompted to enter your credentials (uniqname and current password).
- You will now be able to use any applications on your computer that require VPN access.
Applications That Require Pulse Secure
In general, any application or feature on your computer that requires being connected onto the campus network to function will require Pulse Secure to function off-campus. When using Pulse Secure on your machine, it allows for these applications to connect securely to UM-Flint's network resources.
Several key applications and features that require Pulse Secure to function when operating off-campus are:
- Microsoft Outlook 2010 / 2011 / 2013 / 2016
- Windows Remote Desktop Connection
- Mapping Network Drives
- ImageNow and WebFocus
- Any desktop application that requires a secure connection onto the university's network.
Exiting Pulse Secure
- In the application window for Pulse Secure, click Sign Out.
- This will end your session and disconnect you from the Pulse Secure session. (Note: You will still need to sign out of the website if you want to end your VPN session all together.)
If you have any questions or issues with using the VPN services outlined within this Quicknote, please contact the ITS Helpdesk for assistance.
Locations: 206 Murchie Science Building or 3174 William S. White Building
Phone#: (810)-762-3123 (option 1)