Connecting to Your Work From Home

This guide provides an outline of what options are available in order to work from home more effectively. If you are connected to the IST Central Domain, you will have more options available which include connecting to your work desktop from home or connecting to the Terminal Server to access work applications. Click here to check if you are connected to the IST Central Domain. Where possible, we recommend using Google applications (G Suite) for remote work, connecting to your work desktop from home, or connecting to the Terminal Server to access work applications.

Tips

Your work laptop is the best way of accessing your work from home. Whenever possible, you should be using your work laptop at home during this time. 

Before accessing any work data from your home computer, be sure to review and complete the Working from Home Quick Checklist

Please be aware that in some cases the resources or applications you need will not be available remotely, which means you may not be able to do all of your work from home. If you encounter a specific resource or application that can’t be accessed remotely, please consult with your supervisor or IT support unit to discuss alternatives until normal work routines are restored.

Should I use the Campus VPN?

While the Campus VPN used to be the default method of connecting to campus resources, this is no longer the case. Campus VPN should be used only as required as it will be under heavy demand. Please review the guide below to determine if the campus VPN is required to complete your work from home and review alternatives. 


What do you need to access from home?
 

How you can use it from home
 
G Suite Applications
  • Gmail & Calendar
  • Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides
  • Google Sites

Teleconferencing and collaboration tools
 
  • Use Google Hangouts Chat and Meet* to connect and collaborate with your team(s) remotely
  • *Note: Meet dial-in numbers use US area codes, and long distance charges may apply. To avoid this, use the apps or websites whenever possible. 
Web applications (Applications accessed through a web browser)
  • For example: PeopleSoft, SupplyNet, GSMS, ARISE, or Slate
  • Ensure you know the web address of the application(s) you are accessing. You can export and import your bookmarks to transfer them to your home computer
  • In some cases, you may need to connect to the Campus VPN service to access a web application remotely. If the web application won’t load from your home computer, try connecting to the Campus VPN before going to the web address

Files saved locally on your computer    
 
  • IST Central Domain users are able to remotely access your work computer using the Direct To Desktop service
  • Consider uploading necessary files from your work computer to your Google Drive to allow you to access and edit them from your home computer. This is a secure way to access your files without the need for encrypted external hard drives
  • Before downloading files to your home computer, review the Working From Home Checklist
Microsoft Office Suite
  • IST Central Domain users are able to remotely connect to your desktop using the Direct To Desktop service
  • IST Central Domain users are able to remotely access the Terminal Server
  • If you are not supported by IST, contact your IT support unit for information on how to use Microsoft Office from home

 

  • Specialized Applications (3 Tier, Adobe Creative Cloud, Golden)
  • Network Drives 
  • IST Central Domain users are able to remotely connect to your desktop using the Direct To Desktop service
  • IST Central Domain users are able to remotely access the Terminal Server
  • If you are not supported by IST, contact your IT support unit for information on how to remotely connect to your domain/network resources. 

For more details, important considerations and connection instructions refer below.

Remotely Access Your Workstation (Direct To Desktop)

Overview

You can remotely connect directly to your workstation on campus using the Direct-To-Desktop service. Direct-To-Desktop is the preferred method to connect to your work from home.

Direct To Desktop is only available to computers that are connected to the IST Central Domain (STS.AD.UALBERTA.CA). 

What is available when using Direct-To-Desktop?

  • Any application installed on your work computer
    Any network drive on your work computer

Important Considerations

  • Do not shutdown and power off your computer on campus. Doing so, even if done remotely, will prevent you from connecting to it until it’s physically powered on.

Connection Instructions
How to Connect Using Direct-To-Desktop

Remotely Accessing the Terminal Server

Overview

The Terminal Server includes most of the applications available from a standard office computer, such as Internet browsers, productivity suites, and access to network drives.

When you’re not on campus and need to access these resources, you can connect remotely to a dedicated server that provides a full Windows environment and grants access to all of your on-campus network folders.  This is done using Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) which is included with Microsoft Windows and also available for other platforms (Apple App Store, Google Play, etc.). The server that provides this service is known as a Terminal Server (TS).

The Terminal Server is only available to the IST Central Domain (STS.AD.UALBERTA.CA) users. 

What's available on the Terminal Server?

  • Full Windows Environment 
  • Microsoft Office 2016
  • Adobe Reader
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Network Drives

Important Considerations

  • The Terminal Server is a shared resource that is currently under high demand. Only use it when necessary to access a specific resource.
  • Please don’t forget to disconnect when you are done so Terminal Server resources can be made available  for others to use.

Connection Instructions
How to Connect to the Terminal Server

Campus VPN

Overview

Some applications may require a secure connection to the campus network to allow you to access them. The Campus VPN service allows your home computer to securely connect to the campus network. Your computer does not need to be connected to the IST Central domain to use Campus VPN. 

Your department may also have their own VPN context. For example ccid@business. If so, please connect to that for access to your department’s specific resources.

Important Considerations

  • Campus VPN is a shared resource that is currently under high demand. Only use it when it is necessary to access a specific resource.
  • Please don’t forget to disconnect when you are done so VPN resources can be made available for others to use.

Connection Instructions
How to Connect to the Campus VPN Service