Accessing IMAP mail via "VPN" client?

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by vertigo, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. vertigo

    vertigo OSNN Senior Addict

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    hi all,

    i am looking to access my university email account from home, they provide IMAP access. The problem is that they require me to install and use a "VPN client" (not sure what that is really) in order to get that access. i tried accessing via outlook/thunderbird, and basically it didn't work. i am really reluctant to install anything that i may not need, or something bulky/intrusive.


    a description of the software they want me to install is here, the first in the list: http://www.its.qut.edu.au/offcampusaccess/downloads.jsp

    i don't think it's likely, but is there any way i can access my account without it? or is there a better, lightweight-er software that will do the same thing? can anyone just explain in simple terms what it's for and what it's doing? i am clueless when it comes to networking :(

    thanks :)
     
  2. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    The Cisco VPN client that your uni recommends is not bad actually. It's not bulky or intrusive in any way. I've used it to connect to the UCLA VPN before, but we're also given the VPN settings, so I just use the Windows built-in VPN client now.

    Look around your uni's site to see if they provide the VPN address (ours is pptp.vpn.ucla.edu, for example), in which case you probably won't need to install any third-party software.

    For info about VPNs in general, you can check out the wikipedia entry. :)
     
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  3. vertigo

    vertigo OSNN Senior Addict

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    thankyou, just what i wanted to hear :). it's in xp pro, right? i'll take a look around to see if i can find the settings

    does it take much bandwidth? would it be constantly downloading/uploading data? is it secure enough that i can leave it on all day?
     
  4. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    If they have configured IPSec on the gateway server it can use a bunch of encryption methods. I only ever part configured a PPTP gateway so I don't recall all that much on what methods but I do remember kerberos and 128-bit floating around.
     
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  5. NetRyder

    NetRyder Tech Junkie Folding Team

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    Here's a guide that UCLA provides for us (and here's the one for Vista, if you need it). If you can find the settings for your university VPN, and it supports PPTP, you can just follow that guide and change the hostname/IP of the VPN server.

    Once you're connected to the VPN, everything's pretty transparent. You can leave it connected all day if you need to, and it shouldn't cause any problems.
     
  6. vertigo

    vertigo OSNN Senior Addict

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    thanks for the help guys, but i contacted the university's tech departement and they said they don't give out the settings. so i just installed the cisco client (and you were right, it's not that bad), ran it, logged in, and it connected successfully.

    now, however, i cannot access ANY of the university's web pages, including the home page, while all other sites work, it just takes ages "loading" then times out, both firefox and IE. when i disconnect the client, all is well again. needless to say, email didn't work either way :(

    any suggestions? my firewall has been set up to allow the connection, windows firewall has been disabled completely. the tech support guys are helpless, since problem/answer probably isn't on their "script" they read from.

    running xp pro, got adsl broadband/router
     
  7. Cilix

    Cilix OSNN Junior Addict

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    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Unfortunately, if they are using Cisco equipment and especially if they have a PIX, you HAVE to use the Cisco VPN client as most of their routing and router protocols are priopertary to Cisco and will not work with other VPN clients in my experience. Even though the encryption is the same whether it be IPsec, TKIP, AES etc, it just dont work very well without the VPN client. Also, if they dont give out their settings then you pretty much have no choice. :(

    EDIT: Do an ipconfig and verify the settings with their support. The client may not be connecting properly or giving you the proper settings.