CIS Home > Networking > Remote Access > VPN

Access WHOInet through your Internet Service Provider

Virtual Private Networking, or VPN, services allow computer users to establish a secure connection to an internal network from an external ISP (Internet Service Provider) as if they were inside* the network. WHOI uses a Cisco Systems ASA (Adaptive Security Appliance) to provide this service to WHOI employees, students and affiliates who have high speed connections using FIOS, DSL, cable modems or ISDN. Additionally, for security reasons, the VPN must be used with the WHOI wireless network Atlantic.

How does the VPN work? The VPN creates a 'tunnel' from your computer into WHOInet. Client software on your computer connects to an authentication server. Once authenticated, your computer is assigned a WHOInet IP address. Thereafter, all communications sent to/from WHOInet are 'tunneled' through the secure VPN connection.

The WHOI VPN service is available to WHOI affiliates. The Cisco AnyConnect VPN client has been tested on Windows 7 (32bit and 64bit), Vista (32bit and 64bit), Windows XP, Mac OSX, and Ubuntu Linux.

What is needed to use the VPN? Before using the VPN, you will need to:

  • Verify that your high-speed or wireless link to the Internet functions properly.
  • Register for VPN access. After registering, you will receive an email containing your name and password.
  • Download and install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client from the WHOI FTP server or install the client by visiting from outside of WHOInet or from the Atlantic wireless network. You must log in using your remote access username and password when connecting to

Once installed, use the Cisco Anyconnect VPN client software to establish a connection to WHOInet. When you are finished using the VPN to access WHOInet, disconnect and close the client application.

* Note: Some WHOI Web sites direct browsers to off-site locations. One such instance is the WHOI/MBL Library 'Full Text' journals and databases. Accessing these sites over the VPN requires using a proxy.