Why VPN  | First Time | Using | FilesMap Shared Drives | Terminal Session | Remote Desktop | Change Password | Session Length | Number of Sessions | Logout | Firewall | Updates | Help

Why Use a VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) gives you a secure way to get access to files. The Connect2 VPN gives you a secure way to connect to Engineering College resources from outside of the college and off campus. You can use Connect2 to get secure access to files in your home directory and files in shares; engineering email; ICON course sites; the license server to run software; and Remote Desktop (for faculty and staff). Once you have the VPN correctly configured, when you use https://connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu (or https://vpn.engineering.uiowa.edu) your connection and session, which includes your password, is secure.

The University of Iowa also has a VPN so you can securely connect to University of Iowa resources. If you are at a conference where your access is only web-based, you can use the web-based connection to UI Anywhere.

The UI also has an iPhone/iPod Touch VPN client you might wish to use.

To get to the Engineering VPN, go to https://connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu or https://vpn.engineering.uiowa.edu after reading the First Time Only section below.
If you have a CCAD account, use https://connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu/ccad after reading the First Time Only section below.
If you have an IIBI account, use https://connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu/iibi after reading theFirst Time Only section below.

First Time Only - Set up Network Connect

What and Why

The Network Connect part of Connect2 must be set up so that you can access software that requires a connection to the Engineering Computer Network (ECN). Network Connect assigns an Engineering College network address to your computer via the VPN, thus creating a secure connection that makes your (wireless, home, dorm, or on the road) computer appear as if it were connected to the ECN. Your computer still has its local IP address and all network traffic not destined for the College network will still use your normal network connection. For example, your browser connection to the Engineering College Network would go through the VPN but your browser connection to YouTube would not. This local-looking connection allows you to run licensed managed software or the full Outlook client (not the OWA), or use Remote Desktop.


The first time you run connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu from your home computer or laptop, log in with an account that has administrator rights. Open a browser and go to https://connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu (or /ccad or /iibi)

Enter your Engineering account ID and password. The Internet Security dialogue box asks for permission to Run or install software from Juniper Networks, Inc. Check Remember this decision and click Allow.

Next you see the Connect2 home page (part of home page shown).

In the Client Application Sessions section, click the Start button at the right end of the Network Connect line. The screen changes to a message "Please wait... Launching Network Connect. This may take several minutes." You are asked to allow installation of a Java applet that will allow Network Connect to run on your computer. Allow the applet to be installed.

If you never get the request to install the Java applet, you may not have Java installed on your computer or you may be running an older version of Java. Go to the Java Tester home page and click the Test the version of Java your browser is using link on that page. Also at that site you can find out what version of Java you have installed and if your browser is set to run Java scripts.

After Network Connect has been installed, you can use it from a regular account. There is no need to log in again as administrator to use Connect2.

When Network Connect is running, there is a padlock icon in the lower right corner of the screen.

You can also install Network Connect separately and run it without using a browser.

Using Connect2

Start the Program

To get to the Engineering VPN, go to https://connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu or https://vpn.engineering.uiowa.edu
If you have a CCAD account, use https://connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu/ccad
If you have an IIBI account, use https://connect2.engineering.uiowa.edu/iibi

If you connect to the CCAD or IIBI VPN, note that the files you have access to and the screens that appear will be different than those illustrated below.


On the Connect2 home page, you see that under Files you have quick access to your home directory (H: on Windows computers) as well as My Documents, which is the area into which Microsoft programs like Word wants to save files by default. Windows calls this area "Documents". Clicking on the H-Drive link opens a view of all your home directory files. In addition there are buttons to Bookmark Selected, Delete, Download, Upload Files, and create a New Folder. Clicking on the Unix-Home link opens a view of your Linux/Unix files. You have access to home directory files and can use them as though you were logged into your office computer.


You can use Connect2 to upload and download files to the computer you are logged into. If you need only to transfer files, you will find that a file transfer program like FileZilla is faster.

Map Shared Drives

   Once logged into Connect2, you can map any shared drives that you have access to when logged into a computer in the Seamans Center.   In the Browse area at the top right of the Connect2 screen, enter the drive path in the text input field. For example, if you have access to the shops share, enter \\shops.drive.engin.uiowa.edu\shops and click Browse. You may be asked for credentials (login ID and password). You see the files available in the shared drive. To save that mapping, click the Bookmark Current Folder icon in the top right of the screen. The next screen shows you the bookmark name, which is the share name but can be changed, and an area to add a description. To save this bookmark, click Add Bookmark at the bottom left of the screen. When you next see the home Connect2 page, you have that shared drive listed in the Files section of the screen.

Terminal Sessions

You can create terminals sessions, similar to using SecureCRT. Click the icon with the "+" and terminal screen to create a session you can use whenever you use Connect2. Many sessions require using SSH Secure Shell as the Session Type; connecting to login.engineering.uiowa.edu requires a secure session.

Remote Desktop

Microsoft Remote Desktop allows you to connect your local (home) computer to a remote (your engineering office) computer. For security reasons, you must start Network Connect before running Remote Desktop to connect to your on-campus computer. If you need access to files on the C: or D: drive of your office computer or if you want to run programs installed locally on your office machine, use Remote Desktop with Connect2.

Students who want access to a Windows lab machine should use VDI.

Change Password

If your password has expired, you can log in to the Connect2 VPN using your expired password. Go to Preferences (upper-right corner), then select the General tab. The resulting page lets you change your password by entering the old password and a new password two (2) times.

Session Length

If Connect2 sees no keyboard activity for 25 minutes, you get a dialogue box warning you that your session will expire in 5 minutes due to inactivity. Click OK to extend the Connect2 session or Cancel, as appropriate.

All Connect2 sessions are ended after 12 hours.

Number of Sessions

Each user of the VPN can have only one (1) VPN session active at a time. If you do not sign out (see Log out below) and only close your browser and try to start another Connect2 session within 30 minutes, you will get the message that there are no licenses available. That is because you are still using your one (1) license from the session started by not ended by signing out.

Log out

When you are done with your session, return to the Connect2 home page (click the Home icon) and the click the Sign Out icon. The Connect2 toolbar, as shown, is always located in the upper right of the Connect2 screen. If you only sign out of an application you are running and close the web browser without logging out of the VPN, you will not be able to use the Connect2 VPN again for 30 minutes.


If you use a firewall on your local (to the College) computer, that machine should allow the address 172.30.79.xxx for in-coming VPN connections.


New Network Connect clients are released regularly. ECS installs these updates and each time an update is installed and you run Connect2, your browser will ask about installing updates from Juniper Networks; allow installing those updates.


For help setting up or using Connect2, talk to the consultant at the Engineering Help Desk, 319-335-5055, 1253 SC.