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The University of Utah’s Network Services team works closely with local network administrators to support, monitor, and optimize network performance while maximizing network security and availability. Network services include enterprise networking, wireless, firewall, load balancing, and virtual private networks (VPNs).

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Meeting COVID-19 connectivity challenges

UIT’s Network Services team stepped up when connectivity mattered most.

Business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic required the majority of university employees and students to work and attend school remotely, which roughly tripled the use of the U’s virtual private networks (VPNs).

According to Business Data Analyst Rosalia Villegas, peak VPN usage increased from 600 campus users and 400 University of Utah Health users on a daily basis pre-COVID-19 to 1,600 and 1,200 post-COVID-19, respectively.

To meet this demand, the team increased the bandwidth and IP addresses available to the U’s VPNs through the Cisco AnyConnect and Palo Alto Global Protect clients. After this went into effect, campus VPN licenses shot up from 2,500 to approximately 10,000, and U Health VPN licenses went from 2,500 to approximately 5,000.

In a recent column, Chief Technology Officer Jim Livingston touted this and other contributions from the team as part of the overall response from the CTO organization. Despite seeing a surge in service requests (up 41 percent), Network Services stretched itself even thinner by offering a helping hand to the UIT Help Desk and ITS Service Desk, temporarily reallocating four network engineers to meet additional in-bound call capacity.

Network staff members also ensured that frontline health care workers had the bandwidth to do their critical work.

Responding to COVID-19: CTO organization highlights

Chief Technology Officer Jim Livingston recently highlighted key efforts by IT infrastructure teams to support the University of Utah and University of Utah Health throughout the COVID-19 crisis.


UIT blocks VPN video and game streaming

Due to VPN users streaming video and games (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, Twitch), causing slowness for users who must use the VPN for legitimate university business, as of March 31, 2020, streaming services accessed via VPN are blocked.

Wi-FI GUIDES

Using a VPN to access the campus network

To access certain resources on the University of Utah network, university employees and students working or studying remotely should use a secure virtual private network (VPN).

University of Utah VPN options:

  • Cisco AnyConnect
  • Palo Alto Global Protect 
  • Departmental VPN

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Get connected: The U's four wireless networks

  • UConnect is a secure connection requiring a valid uNID and CIS login — visit onboard.utah.edu to connect a device
  • UGuest is an unsecured, open-access network for visitors with limited bandwidth
  • ULink is the U's wireless network for Internet of Things (IoT) devices 
  • Eduroam gives students, faculty, and staff to secure internet connectivity across campus and when visiting participating institutions

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Best practices: Are you a good Wi-Fi citizen?

It may not be obvious at first, but what you do can affect Wi-Fi performance for those around you. Setting up your own wireless hotspot or router will create connectivity issues for those around you. Good etiquette is necessary for everyone to get the connection they need!

Topics include:

  • Choose your connection wisely
  • Wired connections have benefits
  • Stop sending mixed signals

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Tips & Resources  

Telecommuting: Information security best practices

Compared to working on campus, telecommuting can present different information security risks, especially when it comes to network security, data storage, and physical security. By following these information security best practices, you can help protect yourself and the university from cyberthreats.

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Cloudpath detected as a virus

Virus detection software may identify Cloudpath (onboard.utah.edu) as a virus. If this happens, users may have to update their virus definitions and security content.

Cloudpath is the certificate security software integrated with onboard.utah.edu. 

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HELP DESK

Urgent? 801-581-4000, option 1
Less urgent? helpdesk@utah.edu

Last Updated: 5/28/20