Since the Lehigh campus network is connected to the internet, it is possible to connect via that network to Lehigh systems from off-campus. However, to do so, for most systems, one must connect through our primary gateway server, which provides a service called a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a network system that makes a secure connection between a client computer (or device) at a remote location (such as a personal machine at home or off-campus) and a protected, private network (such as Lehigh's campus network) over an otherwise insecure public network (such as the internet). Data passed over the public network is encapsulated and encrypted so that it can't be intercepted or tampered with. When a VPN connection is made between a client computer and the Lehigh VPN server, that computer essentially functions as if it were actually on-campus, inside the campus firewall that protects the campus network from the rest of the systems on the internet.
The Cisco AnyConnect software is the client software for connecting to Lehigh's VPN, and is the only method for accessing most services that are behind the network firewall. The instructions linked below enable Lehigh users to install that software on their personal devices.