To the right you will find answers to some commonly asked questions about the new network.

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There are several considerations to take into account when traveling. It is often helpful to set up an automatic response for your email account. To get more information about this, call the Help Desk at (713) 348-4357 or go to https://www.mail.rice.edu/ and look for the Forward link that corresponds to your mail server.

You may also want to get a VPN account before leaving Rice. These accounts provide secure data transfer between Rice University and a user connected to the Internet outside of Rice. If you need to access secure Rice-only sites from home or while traveling, please visit the Help Desk (Mudd 103) to activate this account before you leave. Read on for more information about VPN accounts.


The Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows secure transportation of data between Rice University and a remote user connected to the Internet outside of Rice. VPN is required to access storage and specific resources when on the Rice Visitor wireless network, and anywhere off-campus.

Remote users are faculty, staff, or students who are connected through:

  • network laptop ports provided at conferences.
  • home services like DSL or cable modem.
  • an Internet Service Provider dialup facility at Rice or elsewhere.
  • a port on the network of another university or national lab.

Faculty, staff, or students who access the Internet from a campus computer or a computer in the Graduate Apartments at 1515 Bissonnet are not considered remote users.

Generally, computers connected by one of the above means will not need to use the VPN. However, certain sensitive business applications may require use of the VPN to improve security.

The VPN was implemented to help protect Rice University’s computers and the data they contain from Internet attackers who attempt to gain unauthorized access to Rice’s computers while still allowing access by legitimate remote users.

Malicious individuals may destroy data, disrupt operations of Rice’s computers, or attempt to use Rice’s computers to launch similar attacks against other computers attached to the Internet. Dealing with intrusions into our computers requires restoring damaged data and systems and diverts resources from useful purposes. Further, the use of Rice’s computers to damage another business’ computers or business operations may subject Rice to legal action that could have significant costs in terms of money and lost personnel time. The security provided by the VPN helps prevent such problems.

Setting Up VPN

To set up a VPN account, follow these steps:

  1. Apply for a VPN account at http://www.apply.edu/ by clicking Account Application - EXISTING USER.
  2. Download the VPN software at http://www.apply.edu/ by clicking Account Maintenance.
  3. Install & configure the VPN software. Instructions are available for both PC and Mac:

If you have any trouble with these steps, call the Help Desk at (713) 348-4357 or visit it at Mudd 103.


phone: (713) 348-4357(HELP)
e-mail: helpdesk@rice.edu
visit:Mudd 103

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