Connecting to University Resources

Best Practices and Recommendations for Connecting to University Resources

  • Only connect to trusted networks (i.e., your home password-protected network, not public WiFi) when working off-campus
  • Always use a VPN to connect to university resources and NEVER save university data to your personally-owned computer.
  • Be sure to use only university trusted cloud storage sites (Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive) when storing files and collaborating on university work.
  • Avoid changing your password from home unless prompted by the Office of Security and Access Management or the Kent State Helpdesk. If instructed to do so, only change your password via the university VPN

Continue reading for more detailed information.

Using Your Personally-owned Computer or Devices

Ideally, all university business should be conducted on a university-owned computer; however, in these unusual times, it is understood that this may not be a realistic expectation for all faculty and staff. We recommend that, if you do have access to a university-owned laptop, you complete any university business exclusively on that machine. However, if you must use a personally-owned computer, please keep the following in mind:

  • Use a VPN to connect to university resources (see below)
  • NEVER save university data locally
  • Make sure that you have antivirus software installed on your machine – to download, search "Sophos" on 

Securely Connecting to University Resources

Traditional websites and some services that require you to log in with your Kent State credentials are accessible from anywhere (be sure you are on a trusted network). However, some university resources require secure access via a VPN when working off-site. To do this, you will need to make sure that you have the University's VPN installed.

To install the VPN

  • Download the VPN from the software catalog by searching “VPN” then selecting "View Details". You will receive step-by-step instructions while downloading the VPN.
  • View the VPN article if you need additional information.

Try to restrict VPN usage to accessing those systems that require it.

Requires VPN Does Not Require VPN
File Shares Email
Banner Microsoft Teams
Cognos Blackboard Learn
Document Imaging Blackboard Collaborate
Workflows Kaltura
WebFTP LinkedIn Learning
Jabber Library Resources
Empower Timekeeping*  

* Accessible to supervisors only


Manually Mapping Shared Drives 

You may need to access your departmental shared drive to access files. To do this from off-site, you will need to connect to the VPN (see instructions above). 

To connect on a Windows computer

  1. For Windows 10, open File Explorer from the Start menu, select This PC from the left pane. Then, on the Computer tab...
    For Windows 7, open computer by selecting the Start button, then clicking Computer...
  2. Select Map network drive.
  3. In the Drive list, select a drive letter. (Any available letter will do.)
  4. In the Folder box, type the path of the folder or computer, or select Browse to find the folder or computer.
    If you do not know the address of your shared drive, contact your local support person.
  5. Select Finish.

More detailed instructions if needed.

To connect on a Mac computer

  1. Click the Finder icon from the Dock
  2. Click the Go menu option, then Connect to Server...
  3. Enter the Server Address (smb://server/share) provided by your local support person, then click Connect
  4. If prompted, enter your Kent email address and password (unless you were told to use alternate credentials)
  5. If the connection is successful, a new window will open containing your newly mounted network drive, simply close this window.
    There should now be an icon on the desktop for your mounted network drive.

Open a ticket if further assistance is needed.