Note: this page is out-of-date.  Contact the technical staff if you have questions about setting up VPN access.

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) provides a mechanism whereby a machine outside of the CS department's trusted network can securely access the department's resources. Typically, users connect to the VPN when they have access to a high speed internet connection, i.e. a cable modem or another university intranet, and require access to departmental resources which are not typically provided outside the firewall.

Departmental VPN servers

The department provides an OpenVPN server. This server has two configuration types available for download: Browncs and Browncs-gateall. Browncs routes only traffic destined for a brown CS department IP through our VPN, leaving your computer to route other traffic as it sees fit. Browncs-gateall passes all traffic through the CS department. While browncs-gateall is not optimal for continual use, it does have some benefits over browncs - for example, if you wish to access Brown University Library services or other university-based web services.

Setup Overview

To use the Brown CS VPN, you will need to know your LDAP account password. See the LDAP page for more information.

After installing an appropriate OpenVPN client (see OS specific instructions below) download the Brown CS OpenVPN client certificate and config files.

Configuration Files

***The client certificates in these packages will be renewed every year.***

Detailed Setup and Configuration

Windows Instructions
Mac OS X Instructions
Linux Instructions


If you've followed the directions here and still can't connect to the department's VPN, then contact our technical staff for help.