Using the VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Using the VPN is a convenient way to access BU’s internal network from off-campus. For more information on working from home with BUMC, visit our Working Remotely page for an index of remote services and capabilities available to BU faculty and staff.

In June 2018, Two-Factor VPN became a requirement for Y: drive and Remote Desktop access at home or on the BMC network. Here are the steps to follow if you are having trouble accessing the Y: drive or remote desktop:

  1. Ensure that your Cisco Anyconnect VPN client is contacting “vpn.bu.edu/2fa” ( Not “vpn.bu.edu” or “vpn.bumc.bu.edu”):
  2. Ensure that you have the Duo App installed and set up on your iPhone or Android device:
    1. Initiate setup by logging into the 2fa website: https://bu.edu/2fa
    2. Further instructions available here: http://www.bu.edu/tech/support/duo/enroll-device/
  3. Acquire the 6 digit login code from your Duo Mobile App by tapping Boston University:
  4. On the Cisco Anyconnect VPN app on your PC, enter that code into the “Second Password” field after your BU password (no spaces):

More detailed instructions, including multiple options for “Second Password” can be found at https://www.bu.edu/tech/services/cccs/remote/vpn/two-factor-vpn/

Notes regarding our VPN configuration:

  • We no longer recommend built-in VPN programs on Mac or Windows, as they are incompatibility with the Two-Factor VPN. If the Cisco AnyConnect program does not work on your OS, you will need to update to be fully supported.
  • Two-Factor VPN is required if you need Y: drive or Remote Desktop access, but the vpn.bumc.bu.edu address will still work for accessing other resources like Library databases.
  • The vpn.bu.edu/2fa server only filters traffic that is going through bu.edu or bmc.org. Any other Internet addresses will work through your usual network provider. If you need all network traffic to go through BU, you should use vpn.bumc.bu.edu.