Accessing Your Files

Available Online Systems and Tools

  • OneDrive: for real-time collaboration and file sharing.
  • Office 365 Groupsfor documents, spreadsheets, project plans, scheduling and group email.
  • SharePointto store, organize, share and access information.

Accessing NIU Network Services Remotely

NIU's virtual private network (VPN) service allows current faculty, staff and students to log in and then send and receive data securely across public networks. Several enterprise applications at NIU, including PeopleSoft, Cascade, etc., require VPN access from off campus. All NIU employees and students, however, are encouraged to use NIU's VPN service to access NIU data and applications whenever they are away from the campus network and especially when traveling.

If you're off campus and accessing internet-based tools that are only available to on-campus users, you'll need to connect to the VPN. Please note, you do not need the VPN to access O365 or Blackboard.

How to Use NIU's VPN Service

  1. To download Cisco AnyConnect, you will need to click vpn.niu.edu and choose the Group for the access you require. Login with your NIU AccountID@mail.niu.edu and password. You will be required to verify your account before moving forward.
    • Most faculty and staff will already have this client on their NIU-managed desktop/laptop. Others will have the opportunity to download and install the client at this point.
  2. From your device launch the Cisco AnyConnect client. At "Ready to Connect", enter vpn.niu.edu and click Connect.
    At "Ready to Connect", enter vpn.niu.edu and click Connect.
  3. **You must select the group first. This box will appear behind the sign in page. When prompted for Group, choose the Group for the access you require. For general campus access please choose NIU_Split_Tunnel_VPN or NIU_Full_Tunnel_VPN.
    Choose the group for the access you require
  4. Enter your NIU AccountID@mail.niu.edu, click next and enter your password. Click Sign in. You will be required to verify your account.
    Enter your AccountID, click next and enter your password
  5. *Note: This will pop-up each time you login to the VPN no matter which option you choose. Click Yes or No or press ENTER.
    Click yes or no or press enter
  6. The AnyConnect client will then complete its connection.
  7. To disconnect, open the active AnyConnect window and click to Disconnect.

Trouble Connecting to the Network

Depending on your home network, you may not be able to connect to home devices when connected to VPN. This is especially true in two circumstances:

  • You use an internal DNS system
  • Your internal network uses 10.x.x.x

Workarounds include:

  • Use a local hosts file
  • Use 192.168 on home network

Do not use Firefox. Details about the browser issue below:

  • The newest Firefox Version 74.0, that was released on March 10, 2020 is not supported on our current Cisco AnyConnect VPN.
  • Older versions of Firefox on MAC OS have an issue with the Firefox Certificate Store. You will need to use a different browser.

If you are still unable to install the client or cannot successfully login, please submit an incident.

Back to top