IT ServicesStudents

Off Campus Access

Changes to the Remote Working Service 

This is to advise of the changes that will be made to the Remote Working Service this coming spring; the upgrade of equipment for the VPN service and the retirement of the Remote Working Portal  service.

Please refer to the details below as to what is happening and how this may affect you.


IT Services operates a Remote Working Service (also known as the VPN Service) to allow staff and students secure access to resources when working away from the campus.  This facility has been in place for a number of years and the hardware supporting this service is approaching the end of its serviceable life.  To enable us to continue to provide a secure and supportable service to our users we will be replacing the hardware on the 11th April 2018.  As part of this change IT Services are planning to retire the Remote Working Portal service as this is now providing limited benefit to the majority of users and posing a security risk.  Alternative options are available which we believe offer enhanced functionality and benefits for our users.

This update will simplify the Remote Working Service and allow IT Services to continue to provide a secure and manageable service going forward for the benefit of all our users.  The update will ensure that the service can take advantages of the latest security technologies in order to provide the best level of security for our users regardless of where and when they wish to access University systems and services.  

Staff and students previously using the Remote Working Portal Service can access all applications and services in the same way they do on-campus, at home by using the AnyConnect Client.

Upcoming changes

Right now, no one will be affected, this is just advance warning of the upcoming changes so that you can be aware and request further information as appropriate.  When we are ready to migrate to the new hardware then there will be a brief outage of the Remote Working Service while the changeover occurs. Other than this brief outage users of the AnyConnect client based VPN service should not notice a change to the service. 

If you currently use the Remote Working Portal, then we would recommend you investigate the suitability of the client based Cisco AnyConnect VPN  service or contact the IT Service Desk for more information.  IT Services will contact users of the Remote Working Portal directly to advise them of the change and we plan to run drop-in sessions to help users migrate to the client based VPN service, or find alternatives where appropriate.

Planned schedule

This message serves only as advance notification of the upgrade work we are planning. The brief outage to the Remote Working Service to enable the upgrade work to take place is scheduled between 7am - 8am on Wednesday 11th April 2018. Further information will be provided nearer the time. 

In the run up to the switchover IT Services recommend that all users of non-centrally managed devices upgrade to the latest version of the AnyConnect client either directly from the IT Services website or via their platform’s app store (for iOS and Android users).

IT Services will be running a drop-in sessions in the Library for users who would like more information regarding the change and the recommended alternative.

Drop-in session 1

Date: Tuesday 20th March

Time: Between 10am -12noon

Location: Pilkington Library, PC Clinic area


Drop-in session 2

Date: Wednesday 21st March

Time: Between 1pm - 4pm

Location: Pilkington Library, PC Clinic area

Frequently Asked Questions

What is being retired?

The web browser based Remote Working Portal is being retired, the AnyConnect client based service will continue as before and will provide the replacement service for these users.

When is this happening?

It is currently planned that the Remote Working Portal will be retired on 11th April 2018.  Until this date the service will continue to function as it does today.  Users are recommended to switch to the AnyConnect client based service as soon as possible. Further details can be found in the answer above.

What do I need to do in order to continue accessing resources securely from off campus?

You will need to download and install the Cisco AnyConnect client. Visit  for instructions to install the AnyConnect client on Windows, Mac OS and iOS devices.

The new AnyConnect client can be installed on Android, Blackberry, and Google OS (including the ChromeBook) and Linux. Further information can be found on the on the Other Platforms tab: Support for Android devices is available from the PC Clinic and service desk to enable connectivity to wireless/VPN. 

How can I get more information and support for moving to the AnyConnect client based service?

You can email the IT Service desk at, visit the PC Clinic or alternatively attend a drop-in session being held on the following dates:


Drop-in session 1

Date: Tuesday 20th March

Time: Between 10am -12noon

Location: Pilkington Library, PC Clinic area


Drop-in session 2

Date: Wednesday 21st March

Time: Between 1pm - 4pm

Location: Pilkington Library, PC Clinic area


Will the upgraded Cisco AnyConnect VPN client provide similar functionality as the Remote Working Portal?

The Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client provides full access to campus resources. It provides greater functionality than the remote working portal. There are a couple of reasons we are retiring the remote working portal; predominantly because of security issues, but also that the functionality it offered initially when launched has declined and is providing issues as new web technologies / sites / applications are launched.

If a laptop is locked down so that the user cannot install applications, they will have to contact their local (company) IT to aid in the installation. This is one of the reasons we have started communicating so early, so people have time to install / upgrade their clients.

My AnyConnect / VPN access is no longer working

Following the upgrade, any users that are still on version 3 of AnyConnect will be unable to connect the the VPN Service. For information on how to update to the latest version, please visit