Using the VPN service

Who the service is for

The Virtual Private Network (VPN) service is for members of the Department using PCs outside Statistics, either from Colleges or other University Departments, or from a connection anywhere in the world. These instructions are for Windows, Mac  and Linux users.

What the service provides

When connected to the Statistics VPN service you can access resources and services usually available only within the Department. It will allow you to print to departmental printers and to view the files in your home directory.

VPN is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux

Setting up a VPN connection in Windows

You will need to have Administrator privileges on your PC to set up the connection. If you wish to set up a connection from a PC in your College, then College IT staff may need to help you with this.

To set up a VPN connection to our server from Windows 7, please follow the instructions below:

  • Open Network and Sharing Center (Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center)
  • Click on Set up a new connection or network
  • On the Set Up a Connection or Network windows, select Connect to a workplace and click on Next
  • Select No, create a new connection if asked to use an existing connection, and click Next
  • Click on Use my Internet connection (VPN)
  • Type in as the Internet address
  • Type in a name for the connection (say, Statistics VPN)
  • If you want to use this connection from other accounts on this machine, check the Allow other people to use this connection option
  • Check the Don't connect now; just set it up so I can connect later option
  • Click on Next
  • Click on Create
  • Close the window
  • On the Network and Sharing Center window, click on Connect or disconnect
  • On the smaller window that appears, click on the new connection (Statistics VPN)
  • Click on the Connect button that appears underneath
  • On the new Connect Statistics VPN window, click on Properties
  • On the new Statistics VPN Properties window, click on the Security tab
  • Change the Type of VPN to Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
  • Click on OK
  • Enter your Statistics username and password and click on Connect. We recommend that you do not check the "Save this username ..." box.
  • Once the name of the new network connection appears when you hover the mouse pointer over the network icon your taskbar, you are connected.

If you are using Windows 8 and are receiving "error 691" when you try to connect, please follow these instructions in adition to the ones above:

  • Open the VPN connection properties
  • Click on the Security tab
  • Select the Allow these protocols option
  • Make sure the Microsoft CHAP Version 2 (MS-CHAP v2) option is checked
  • OK

Disconnecting from the VPN

Once you have finished using the VPN, click on the network icon on the taskbar, click on Statistics VPN, and click on the Disconnect button; this will disconnect you from the VPN. You will still be connected to your normal network.

Reconnecting to the VPN

Once the connection has been set up it can be used again without Administrator privileges.

  • Connect to your normal network
  • Click on the network icon on the taskbar
  • Click on Statistics VPN
  • Click on the Connect button underneath Statistics VPN
  • Type in your username and password and click on Connect

See here for how to access your P: drive.

Setting up a VPN connection in Mac OSX 

1. System Preferences -> Network
2. Click Add (+) at the bottom of the network connection services list
3. Select the Interface, VPN.
4. Leave the default type of VPN connection `L2TP over IPSec'. and give the VPN service a name e.g. STATS VPN.
5: Enter the server address and the account name for the VPN connection. Enter details as follows:
                      Server address:
                      Account name: statsusername


6.Click Advanced... and check 'Send all traffic over VPN connection'
7. Click Authentication Settings, User Authentication check `Password' and enter your password


8.Under Machine Authentication enter the Shared Secret. You can view the shared secret by logging in here.
9. Click OK, Apply, and then click Connect.

Setting up a VPN connection in Linux

These instructions work for Ubuntu 11.4 and Fedora 14.

1. From the network menu on the top panel go to VPN Connections -> Configure VPN...
2. Click on Add
3. On the 'Choose a VPN Connection Type' choose 'Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)'. It will probably be the only option.
4. Click on Create
5. In the new window fill in the following:
Connection name: Oxford Statistics (or some other obvious name)
6. Click on Advanced
7. In the list 'Allow the following authentication methods:' uncheck [and this is important]
and leave
Under 'Security and Compression check 'Use Point-to-Point encryption (MPPE)'
and leave everything else as it is.
8. Click on OK
9. Click on Save
10. Click on Close
11. Now either reboot or disconnect and reconnect your current network.

Once the network link has been re-established click on VPN Connections -> Oxford Statistics.

A pop-up asking you to enter your password should appear. Enter your usual Stats password.

To check that you are connected make sure you can view the internal web pages on

Recommendations for use

When you use the Statistics VPN connection you are routing all your traffic through our server (, IP address; that means that any traffic that is not Statistics-related will be much slower than if you connected without the VPN. For this reason it is recommended that you only use the Statistics VPN for communications that require you being in the Statistics network such as sending e-mail through or accessing web pages that are restricted to either the University ( or Departmental ( networks.

Verifying your VPN connection

One way to check that the Statistics VPN is working properly is to start the VPN service as described above. Then browse to, click on 'Manage accounts' at the top of the page, and authenticate using your single sign-on username and password. The IT Services Self-Registration page appears. The box at bottom of the column on the lefthand side shows the IP address of the PC you are connecting from. If it says or 163.1210.36, then all is fine. You need to be registered to use to the IT Services Single Sign-on system to use this facility.