Remote Access

Overview
Setting Up Nebula VPN
Remote Desktop Connection
RealVNC


Overview
Q:  How can I work remotely?

A:  There are three options for working remotely, provided you have a high speed internet connection.

  1. Connect to PC from a PC or Mac – Use Remote Desktop Connection to your work PC:  See Q, “How do I use Remote Desktop Connection?” below. Note:  Starting on January 19, 2015, you will need to connect to the Nebula VPN first in order to be able to use Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. UW Nebula Laptop PC’s – Nebula VPN:  The Nebula VPN allows you to connect securely when you take your laptop off site, and even have access to your network folders.  Read more here.  Request VPN help from Nebula.
  3. Connect to Mac from a PC or Mac – Many of our Macs are configured with an application called RealVNC that allows remote connection.  Install the RealVNC Viewer for Mac or for Windows on your remote computer in order to establish a connection.  (Download from here:  http://www.realvnc.com/download/viewer/latest/macosx.) If your Mac is not configured with RealVNC request it from advhelp@uw.edu.
  4. PC or Mac – Web-enabled Nebula file access:  The IntegraTUM web web access application has been disabled for security reasons. A new solution will be updated here when one has been implemented by Nebula. (Last updated 8/18/14.)

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Setting Up Nebula VPN
Q:  How do I set up a Nebula VPN connection?
A:  
You can set a VPN connection up on either a Mac or a PC.

  • If you want to set it up on a Mac, first obtain your Nebula password by calling 1-5000. If you want to change it to something you will remember, log into a Nebula PC > Ctrl+Alt+Del > Change a password.
  • If you set a VPN connection up on an ATS-issued Nebula laptop, when connected you will have the same Nebula folder access as usual.
  • Starting January 19, 2015, connecting to the Nebula VPN will become a prerequisite for using Remote Desktop Connection to connect to your work PC. (RealVNC for Mac connection is unaffected.)

A tutorial on setting up the Nebula VPN connection is here for your convenience. This step-by-step tutorial includes instructions for Mac, Windows 7 and Windows 8 including Surface.

If you would like to refer to written documentation for setting up a Nebula VPN, refer to these documents:
Set Up VPN for Mac (pdf)
Set Up VPN for Windows 7 (pdf)
Set Up VPN for Windows 8 and Surface (pdf)

Starting on January 19, enable your VPN connection every time you wish to use Remote Desktop Connection.

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Remote Desktop Connection (Connecting to PC’s)
Q:  How do I use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to a UA PC?

A:  There are three requirements that enable use of Remote Desktop Connection.

1.  Starting January 19, 2015, you will need to connect to the Nebula VPN before using Remote Desktop Connection.

1.  Make sure that you know the name and IP address of the UA PC you wish to connect to.  To find the IP Address, go to www.whatismyip.com.  The IP Address might change at anytime that you restart your computer, so it’s important to check it before you leave work.  To find the computer name, go to Start > Right-click Computer (or “This PC” for Windows 8) > Properties.  Make note of the entire name.  It will look like this:

The computer name remains constant over time, but sometimes it won’t allow a successful connection so you are better off knowing both pieces of information.

2.  Second, make sure your remote computer is running the RDC client.

3.  To initiate your Remote Desktop Connection, when at your remote computer, start the application and enter the IP or name of the computer you wish to connect to, such as one of these:
Your login credential should be netid\username or nebula2\username* – you might need to select the “Use another account” option the first time you try.
Make sure you try this option out sometime before you require it just in case you need help.  Also make sure your UA PC power settings prevent your PC from going to “sleep” so that you can make the connection.
* Don’t know which one? Ask ATS before you try this for the first time.

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Remote Access via VNC (Connecting to Macs)
Q:  How can I connect to my Mac at work from a remote location?

A:  The Enterprise version of RealVNC is provided on UA Macs used as primary workstations.  Before leaving work, make sure that your RealVNC application is running to accept a remote connection.

On Your Work Mac

In Chooser, navigate to Applications > RealVNC folder, and double-click the VNC Server program.  There should be a green bar indicating it is ready to accept a connection acting as a RealVNC “server.”

There is a message stating “RealVNC Viewer users can connect using the address (and it will look something like this:  69.91.242.115).”  Make a note of that IP address as you will need it to connect from the remote computer.

Although IP addresses remain the same as long as the computer is powered on, it is possible for the IP address to change after a restart.  If you have restarted your computer since you last checked, please check your IP address before leaving work.

On Your Remote Computer

Install the RealVNC Viewer application that is appropriate for your operating system from here:  http://www.realvnc.com/download/viewer/

Run the program and enter the IP address from your work computer.

Tips:

  • When leaving your Mac in the office, fully log off (under the “apple” menu) for security.
  • For iMacs:  You might wish to place a cloth or tape paper over the screen of your Mac in the office, as when you are working remotely everyone will be able to see what you are doing if you leave the screen unprotected.

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