Materials VPN

The Department firewall now provides a Materials VPN service which allows external devices to join the Materials network in order to access restricted resources (e.g. windows fileshares) and to gain the benefit of the protection offered by the department's firewall.

All members of department are recommended to use the Materials VPN service instead of the University VPN service.

Getting started with Materials VPN:

  • Download GlobalProtect software from 
    (SSO login, materials members only, assume 64bit version, Win or Mac - ask IT staff if Linux)
  • Install downloaded GlobalProtect software
  • Open GlobalProtect 
  • Check GlobalProtect globe icon in system tray (grey=disconnected; blue=connected) click for more info.
  • Connect to  (SSO login)

Personal/other computers: If your computer is not on the Materials domain (ie. a personally owned or other computer) then you will need to manually open the Global Protect software and manually connect to with your SSO credentials whenever you wish to connect to the Materials VPN in order to access restricted resources on the Materials network (e.g. windows fileshares). Note that as usual your SSO authentication is time-limited and it will be necessary to reauthenticate periodically.

Materials computers: If your computer is configured as a member of the Materials domain (ie. most department-owned computers) after the initial connection it will now be able to receive domain policy updates via the Materials network.  One of these policies is set to reconfigure the Global Protect VPN client to automatically connect to (instead of and to automatically connect at all times whether on the department's wired network or whether external. Note that it is possible to temporarily disconnect (as shown in the image below).  Note that because the Global Protect software is connecting automatically there should no-longer ever be any need to use the university's Cisco Anyconnect software.

Traffic routing: When connected to the Materials VPN you should still able to access your local network e.g. local computers, local printers etc. (unlike when using the University VPN). However there is a small chance of address conflict if the departmental VPN network uses the same network addresses as your local network.  Generally network traffic will be encrypted and routed via the department network gaining protection from the department firewall, however some specific network traffic such as Teams is routed via the local network.

Troubleshooting: Additional information about the connection is available via system tray icon and selecting the top-right menu Settings.  (See images below).  If the GlobalProtect fails to connect to then please try to connect to instead which does not ask for your SSO credentials (materials domain-joined computers only). If network connection drops when connecting to GlobalProtect,check status via system tray icon and also check whether you have another VPN software also running at the same time causing disconnect/reconnect conflicts. If you continue to have problems connecting please contact Department IT staff via teams for screen-sharing assistance or email a screenshot of the problem to