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VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection

C&CZ manages a VPN server, which makes it possible for all users to gain secure access to the network with their Science username and password. A RU-central VPN service EduVPN can also be used with RU-account and RU-password.

The computer at home (or anywhere on the Internet) becomes part of the campus network. In this way users can get access to services that are normally only accessible from computers on campus. The most common of such services are connecting to disk shares or to special servers. As of November 2015, the VPN is based on IPsec.
For the use of the University library one does not need VPN, because the library has a proxy website, that can be used from anywhere on the Internet after logging in with your RU-account and RU-password.

The instructions below to install the VPN will be expanded by C&CZ and probably also by employees/students.



  • VPN-server/gateway: vpnsec.science.ru.nl

VPNsec setup Windows 10

  • Windows: Just add a *new* VPN with server vpnsec.science.ru.nl, that's all. Detailed instructions are below.

From Windows Settings, take the following route:

  • Networks and Internet
  • VPN
  • Add a VPN connection
  • Fill in
VPN provider Windows (built-in) default choice
Connection name Science-VPNsec choose something
Server name or address vpnsec.science.ru.nl provide as stated
VPN type Automatic default choice
Type of sign-in info User name and password default choice
User name (optional) Science account optional
Password (optional) Science password optional
  • Save

VPNsec setup Windows 7/8

  • Windows: Just add a *new* VPN with server vpnsec.science.ru.nl, that's all. Detailed instructions are below.

From the windows Control panel, take the following route:

  • Network and Internet
  • Network and Sharing Center
  • Setup a new connection or network
  • Connect to a workspace -> Next
  • Use my Internet connection (VPN)
  • Fill in the Internet address: vpnsec.science.ru.nl
  • and connection name, for example: Science VPNsec
  • You'll be prompted for your Science username and password.

VPNsec setup macOS

  • OS X 10.11 El Capitan and higher: Download and install vpnsec-macosx.mobileconfig to your Apple computer.
    Adapt the Authentication Settings... in System PreferencesNetworkVpnSec to match your Science account and password.
  • OS X 10.7 Lion and higher: install strongSwan with "IKEv2 EAP (Username/Password)". The strongSwan App has a known problem. The current solution is, however, not very easy. Or use the OpenVPN service.

VPNsec setup iOS

  • iOS (iPhone/iPad): Download and install vpnsec.mobileconfig to your iPhone/iPad. Tested on iPad with iOS 9, according to documentation iOS 8 should work too, but is yet untested.

VPNsec setup Android

  • Android: Install the strongSwan app with "IKEv2 EAP (Username/Password)". NB: some special characters in the password should be escaped using a "\"

VPNsec setup Linux

OpenVPN for Linux

For e.g. Linux users that have trouble getting VPNsec working on their systems, C&CZ provides an OpenVPN service.

Setting up OpenVPN on Linux

Make sure you have the openvpn package installed. For Debian based distributions (like Ubuntu), run:

sudo apt-get install openvpn

Next, download the openvpn configuration file:

wget https://gitlab.science.ru.nl/cncz/openvpn/raw/master/openvpn-science.ovpn

Starting OpenVPN on Linux

Startup the OpenVPN tunnel as follows:

sudo openvpn openvpn-science.ovpn

You'll be asked for your science login name and password. Hit Control+C to terminate the OpenVPN connection.

All traffic through OpenVPN

Use OpenVPN's --redirect-gateway autolocal option (or put it in the config file as redirect-gateway autolocal)

OpenVPN for macOS

This starts with the choice of OpenVPN client software: The OpenVPN protocol is not one that is built into macOS. Therefore a client program is required that can handle capturing the traffic you wish to send through the OpenVPN tunnel, and encrypting it and passing it to the OpenVPN server. And of course, the reverse, to decrypt the return traffic. See OpenVPN.net for several options.

Next, download the openvpn configuration file:


SSH SOCKS-Proxy to access journals (linux)

There is a convenient alternative to VPN or the UB proxy website described above to access online journals from anywhere. With SSH one can start a so called SOCKS Proxy-server, which can be used by web-browsers.

  • Login to your Science account with ssh:
 ssh -D 8942 lilo.science.ru.nl       # (or any other login-server)
 (Enter password if required)

If your Science username (e.g. "peter") is different on your local username use:

 ssh -D 8942 peter@lilo.science.ru.nl

The -D flag starts "dynamic" application-level portforwarding. The port number (here 8942) can be any number above 1024 and below 65536. If a port is already in use by another process try a different number.

  • Tell the web browser to use the server. In Firefox:
 * Edit - Preferences - Advanced - Settings
 * Select "Manual proxy configuration"
 * SOCKS Host: localhost      Port: 8942
 * Select SOCKS v5
 * OK

Chromium and Google Chrome can be called from the command line with the proxyserver option:

 chromium-browser --proxyserver="socks5://localhost:8942"

If you now go to a journal website i.e., J. Chem. Phys., you should see "Your access is provided by: Universiteitsbibliotheek" and you should have the same access as from within the Radboud University domain.

Run ssh in the background

With these flags:

 ssh -f -N -D port 

ssh will run in the background (-f) and only setup the proxy server but not actually logon (-N).


The "netstat" command may be used to troubleshoot problems:

 netstat -at

will show all active and non-active tcp sockets. In the above example you should see something like:

 MYPC:/home/peter $ netstat -at
 Active Internet connections (servers and established)
 Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State      
 tcp        0      0 localhost:smtp          *:*                     LISTEN      
 tcp        0      0 localhost:8942          *:*                     LISTEN      
 tcp        0      0 *:ssh                   *:*                     LISTEN      
 tcp        0      0 localhost:ipp           *:*                     LISTEN      
 tcp        0      0 peter.home:36953        postvak.science.r:imaps ESTABLISHED
 tcp        0      0 peter.home:36808        lilo3.science.ru.nl:ssh ESTABLISHED
 tcp        0      0 localhost:smtp          *:*                     LISTEN      
 tcp        0      0 localhost:8942          *:*                     LISTEN