Rhodes University Vpn

Rhodes University Vpn

Rhodes’ Virtual Private Network (VPN) server allows staff using a PC on the Internet (i.e. people who are not on campus or connected to Rhodes’ network directly) to virtually connect to the Rhodes network.  The effect is that the PC becomes connected to the Rhodes network, and thus has full access to resources on the campus network.

Access to the VPN server is automatically granted to all staff at the University. All you need to do is configure your PC to make use of the VPN.

Setting up the VPN connection in Windows 10

1.  Select the Startbutton, then select Settings.‌

2.  Select Network & Internet, then select VPN and then Add a VPN connection.


3.  In Add a VPN connection, do the following:

  • For VPN provider, choose Windows (built-in).
  • In the Connection name box, type Rhodes VPN for the VPN connection profile. This is the VPN connection name you look for when connecting.
  • In the Server name or address box, type vpn.ru.ac.za.
  • Leave the VPN type option set to Automatic, and the Type of sign-in info option set to User name and password.
  • Enter your Rhodes credentials in the User name and Password boxes.
  • Select Save.

Connecting to the VPN

  1. Select the Start button, then select Settings.
  2. Select Network & Internet, then select VPN.
  3. Select the Rhodes VPN connection then click Connect.
  4. If prompted, enter your username and password (Rhodes username and password).
  5. When you’re connected, the VPN connection name will say Connected underneath.

To quickly check and see if you’re connected to the VPN while you’re doing things on your PC, select the Network icon on the far right of the taskbar, then see if the VPN connection says Connected underneath it.

Disconnecting from the VPN

Please disconnect from the VPN service when you’ve finished using it.

  1. In order to disconnect from the VPN you follow the exact steps as connecting to the VPN but in step 3, right click and select Disconnect.

Notes about using the VPN

  • Broadband in South Africa
    If you’re connecting to the VPN server from home over an ADSL line or 3G/4G mobile connection, please bear in mind that your broadband usage may be subject to a cap (the equivalent of Rhodes’ quota). Your VPN traffic will contribute to this cap.

    This is particularly relevant if, for example, your’re using remote desktop over the VPN. Remote desktop will generate traffic continously, even when you’re not using it. In the same way, if your laptop is configured to fetch software or anti-virus updates from the University’s servers, it’ll do this in the background when the VPN is connected. You may want to disconnect whatever you’re doing when you are not actually using it to prevent this, and to avoid using up your cap.

  • PPTP no longer supported
    If you’re not able to connect to the VPN service and your connection was set up prior to 2017, please check that your connection is not set to use the Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), which is no longer supported.

    Right-click on the Rhodes VPN Connection and select Properties. Click on the Security tab. If Type of VPN is set to “Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)”, please change the setting to “Automatic” (or “Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP)”) instead.

  • Firewalls
    If you’re intending on connecting to the VPN service from a corporate network or another university, you may find that you need to ask the administrators of that network to create firewall exceptions to allow your VPN connection to work. The following should provide the information they need to do so:

    Rhodes’ VPN service, vpn.ru.ac.za, supports either Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP), or L2TP/IPsec. SSTP is on TCP port 443. L2TP/IPsec uses ISAKMP on UDP port 500 as well as either IPsec ESP or, for networks which use NAT, UDP-encapsulated-ESP on UDP port 4500.

  • Using L2TP/IPsec instead of SSTP
    If you’re unable to connect to the VPN service because the network you’re connecting from does not permit SSTP connections, try changing your connection to use the L2TP/IPsec protocol instead.

    From the Network & Internet screen, select Change adapter options. Right click on the Rhodes VPN connection and select Properties. Click on the Security tab and change the Type of VPN  to “Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPsec (L2TP/IPSec)”.