Secure Remote Access


The Secure Remote Access service provides students, faculty, and staff with the ability to connect to restricted University resources while off campus, using Wireless PittNet, or using Wireless-PittNet-Fast. The service encrypts traffic between a user's computer and the University's network. Once connected, you have access to hundreds of digital research journals, databases, and other services. Access can also be configured for specific needs, such as departmental file servers.

Secure Remote Access can also be used to create SSL-based VPN connections to access information sources that reside behind University firewalls. The service includes a security check or "health check" to help ensure that remote computers accessing University machines do not pass on viruses, worms, and other security threats. The Pulse client can be used to enable Secure Remote Access through desktop and laptop computers, and the Pulse app can be used to enable Secure Remote Access through mobile devices.

No client software program is required to use the Secure Remote Access service; a Web browser is all you need to connect!  (A separate, supplemental VPN service (known as IPSec) is also available to meet more specialized needs. It provides the same functionality as the Secure Remote Access service but requires installation of the Cisco IPSec VPN client.)

Supported Operating Systems and Web Browsers

If your operating system or web browser is NOT on the following list, but still works with Secure Remote Access, please be advised that it is not guaranteed to be compatible with future service upgrades.

  • Windows 7 with Internet Explorer 8.0, Firefox 3.5 with Sun JRE 6
  • Windows Vista with Service Pack 1, Internet Explorer 7.0 or 8.0, Firefox 3.5 with Sun JRE 6
  • Mac OS X (10.5 and 10.6) Safari 3.2 with Sun JRE 6

Note: If you are using Internet Explorer 10 with Windows 8, you must turn on Compatibility View.

Access the Secure Remote Access service >

You can use the service through one of two connection methods: Web Connect and Network Connect:

Web Connect

Web Connect

Web connect allows users to access secure, online resources while off campus. It provides a faster login than Network Connect, but it can only be used to access Web resources. Note that Web Connect is no longer needed to access online journals and other content through or EZProxy can be used to access these resources while off campus. Learn more >

To use Web Connect:

  1. Log in to with your University Computing Account username and password.
  2. Select Web Connect from the Connection Method drop-down menu.
  3. Click the Log In button.
  4. Click one of the links below the Web Bookmarks section.

Network Connect

Network Connect

Network Connect allows faculty and staff access to departmental servers and databases which reside behind Enterprise network firewalls. Your Responsibility Center Administrator can tell you more about specific services available in your department.

Network connect provides access to University resources that might be used by complex applications running on your computer, such as KeyAccess for installing Faculty Computing Program software and departmental resources that are behind a firewall. You must request Network Connect by calling the Technology Help Desk at 412 624-HELP [4357].

Using Network Connect with Mobile Devices

You can also use Network Connect on compatible mobile devices by downloading the Junos Pulse client. View our help sheet for detailed instructions on using it with iOS and Android devices.

Health Check Requirements

Your computer must meet the following requirements to use Network Connect:

  • Operating system is Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Windows 7, or Windows 8.
    Note: Macintosh and Linux systems pass the Health Check.
  • Microsoft Automatic Software Update turned on so you can receive the latest security patches.
  • A compatible anti-virus software program is installed (see our help sheet for details).
    Note: Symantec Endpoint Protection is the University's recommended and officially supported anti-virus solution. It can be downloaded at no cost via the Software Download Service at My Pitt (
  • A software firewall must be installed and enabled on your computer.

Using Network Connect

You must be approved by your Responsibility Center Administrator to access Network Connect:

  1. Open a Web browser (such as Internet Explorer) to
  2. Enter your University Computing Account username and password.
  3. Select Network Connect from the Connection Method drop-down menu.
  4. Click the Log In button.
  5. Start the application that requires a secure connection, such as a database client, or KeyAccess. To browse the Web, you must use the links provided in the Secure Remote Access welcome screen.
Tags: Secure Remote Access SRemote