As part of Mines support for those members of our community who are working or learning from off campus, ITS is introducing an expanded version of our Remote Access Solution, also known as a Virtual Private Network.
Starting immediately all members of the Mines community should use this new service, located at ras.mines.edu. For those already familiar with the existing VPN solution, this new remote access solution will feel very familiar. Other than the new name, the only significant change you will notice is that only connections to on-campus systems are sent through the Remote Access Server (technically this is called split-tunnel system). Library resources are still fully accessible off campus through a proxy server (see Off Campus Access Guide). Everything else will continue to work as you expect while you are connected to ras.mines.edu.
ITS upgraded and renamed the system used to access on-campus resources remotely in March 2020. The new system, called ras.mines.edu, replaces vpn.mines.edu and can support 20 times the load of the old system (up to 2,000 concurrent users). To use the new system, download the software client Viscosity and then download and install a new user profile by accessing the website https://ras.mines.edu. Select the option to download your profile after logging in. You can then double click the new profile to install it and connect to the new system.
A couple tips:
- Be sure to include https:// when typing the URL of the system to download your profile.
- To access journals and databases from the library, see the link titled “Off Campus?” at the top/right of their webpage.
Vendor: Viscosity VPN
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS (software for Linux, iOS, and Android is described below)
General Description: Virtual Private Network software that allows you to join the campus network and access campus network resources from off-campus. (This is necessary to access Mines-only resources like some servers, Arthur Lakes Library journals, and more.) Can also be used to implement a secure, encrypted wireless connection while on-campus.
Scope of License: Mines faculty, staff, and students with a MultiPass account may download and use the software for use on Mines-owned and personally owned devices.
Mines Support: For instructions on downloading, installing, and running various VPN clients, see below. For additional support or if you have issues, see “Getting Additional Help” below.
It is the responsibility of the VPN user to be familiar with the local laws for use of encryption software; this has particular importance when traveling abroad.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a secure method of accessing a private network from a remote or otherwise insecure location. Using the VPN is the recommended way of accessing Mines computing resources when you are off-campus or connecting over the campus wireless network. The VPN works by encrypting and then forwarding network connections from your computer to the VPN appliance behind the campus firewall. This allows you to make connections that would normally be blocked by the firewall.
The Mines VPN is built on OpenVPN, a full-featured open-source SSL VPN solution.
OpenVPN Clients for Your Computer:
The following VPN clients are supported at Mines. They are listed in recommended order of preference.
Note that installation of software usually requires an administrator-level account on your computer. If you do not have administrative access to install software, please submit a support request via the Mines Help Center (https://helpcenter.mines.edu) to receive aid.
1. Viscosity for Windows and macOS (Apple) computers. First, download and install the Viscosity client for your Windows or macOS computer. (Because of the installer’s unusual file type, you may need to right-click on the macOS link and select Save File As… to download the file successfully.) Next, login to https://ras.mines.edu/ and download your personal “user-locked” VPN profile. Then import your profile file into Viscosity by using the ‘+’ at the bottom-left of the Viscosity window. When you first connect using Viscosity you will be asked to enter your MultiPass user credentials. When you are (occasionally) prompted to update Viscosity to a newer version, please do so.
2. OpenVPN for Linux. To install, use the Login option at https://ras.mines.edu and click “OpenVPN for Linux.” Instructions for installing OpenVPN on RedHat- and Ubuntu-compatible Linux distributions are provided. After OpenVPN is installed, download your custom Mines VPN profile and import that configuration file into your OpenVPN settings. (Or, you may start the VPN from a command line using the instructions provided on the OpenVPN for Linux webpage.)
Open VPN for your Chromebook, smartphone or tablet. For Android and iOS (Apple) and Chrome OS devices, first install the OpenVPN client from Google Play or the Apple App Store, then download your custom Mines VPN profile from https://ras.mines.edu/ by choosing the Login option. Import your profile into your OpenVPN client.
Submit a Mines Help Center support request at https://helpcenter.mines.edu.
Mines customers with quick and simple computing questions should call the Mines Service Center (formerly the Technology Support Center) in ITS at 303-384-2345 during regular business hours for answers.
Visit the Mines Service Center (formerly the TSC) in the ITS Computer Commons (CTLM 156) for fast, on-the-spot, in-person help with simple computing issues like software installation, network connectivity, or account access. M-F, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.