Possible VPN Restrictions When Travelling

When accessing certain U of G systems from off campus, you need to have VPN installed on your laptop/device. Utilizing VPN, or a Virtual Private Network, is a security requirement at U of G and greatly decreases the risk of sensitive data being intercepted by malicious parties.

Some users may run into issues when attempting to use VPN in remote or rural areas. Potential limitations of VPN use could include the following:

  • VPN is typically banned in countries that have authoritative laws, such as (but not limited to) China, North Korea, Iran, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Turkey, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Belarus, and Turkmenistan.
  • Small internet service providers in rural areas in Canada/other countries may block or restrict VPN.
  • Even though the VPN service has only modest speed requirements, connections supplied by small internet service providers in rural areas in Canada/other countries may not provide consistent and sufficient speeds to allow an effective connection. In many cases upgrades to faster speeds may be available, however, likely at a cost to the user. Please contact your service provider to explore options.
  • A poor internet connection can reduce the quality of VPN experience, ranging from poor connections speeds to an inability to connect altogether.

As a result, CCS cannot guarantee VPN access in all situations, and it becomes the responsibility of each end user to understand the limitations of their environment. Before travelling, we advise users to familiarize themselves with the VPN laws and limitations of the destination country. This could involve contacting the foreign embassy or an internet provider in the region. If it appears that accessing VPN may prove difficult while travelling, users may need to plan ahead to delegate time-sensitive work.

If you have not yet installed VPN on your laptop, CCS has provided simple, step-by-step instructions for both Windows and Mac. This can be done yourself or with the support of your college/departmental IT administrators.