When Should I Use VPN?
UCSF VPN can be accessed one of two ways: using the Pulse Secure VPN client on your computer, or using the VPN web portal at https://remote.ucsf.edu. Both of these methods require Duo two-factor authentication.
Pulse Secure VPN client
The Pulse Secure VPN client is an application that runs on your desktop, laptop, or mobile device, and which allows you to connect directly to the UCSF network as if you were on campus. When you are connected to the UCSF network, all of your applications will work they same way they do when you are on campus. Pulse Secure VPN simplifies access when you are not on campus, so make it your first choice when connecting remotely. More information about how to Install and Use Pulse Secure VPN Client (Windows & Mac) is available, or call the IT Service Desk for assistance.
Use of the Pulse Secure VPN client is required to run
- A full desktop email client, like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail, from your desktop or laptop;
- A terminal session to access a server's command line;
- A remote desktop session, to connect to another computer at UCSF.
The Pulse Secure VPN client is not required to
- Use the native email client on your iOS or Android phone or tablet;
- Use cloud applications like UCSF Outlook Web (email.ucsf.edu), Box, DocuSign, Qualtrics, or Zoom.
The UCSF VPN web portal at https://remote.ucsf.edu is your best option for accessing UCSF applications when you are on a non-UCSF computer. There is no software to install, just open a web browser and connect. Once logged in, you will see a list of commonly-used UCSF web applications, any bookmarks you've created, and a search bar. Type any web address into the search bar, and it will load as if you were on the UCSF network. Everything that you can access from remote.ucsf.edu is also accessible using the Pulse Secure VPN client, so we recommend installing the Pulse Secure VPN client on computers you use for UCSF work. You can find more information about the VPN web portal on our VPN Frequently Asked Questions, or call the IT Service Desk for assistance.