Remote Access

NC State students, faculty, and staff can access the campus network remotely—from their homes and from other computers outside the realm of Unity or Engineering.


The most common reasons why you would want remote access:

  • File transfer—Copying files between your computer and the campus network.  the campus AFS file system.  AFS only? (RAS or VCL)
  • Running applications—Accessing campus computers to run software for class, homework, research, and so forth.

What You Need

Depending on exactly what it is you need to accomplish via remote access, the prerequisites may vary.  At a glance, you need one or more of the following:

  • Unity username and password to verify your identity (required)
  • High-speed broadband connection
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) software

High-speed Broadband Connection

We strongly recommend a high-speed broadband connection, particularly for the following purposes:

  • Transferring large files
  • Transferring multiple files
  • Running complex, graphics-intensive applications

While wireless connections are supported, remote access is wiser.  Otherwise, you will likely encounter a significantly slower experience. For some file transfers, users might prefer the college’s Velocity server, which is open to all NCSU.

Virtual Private Network

Accessing the campus network remotely requires Virtual Private Network (VPN) software whenever you need an encrypted network connection between you and the NC State network, allowing you access to restricted services.

For complete details, see the OIT site, Virtual Private Networking (VPN) Service.


Behind the Scenes

Should you require technical support at any time, knowing what happens behind the scenes could help you communicate with the ITECS Help Desk more efficiently.

When connecting to campus remotely, you are connecting to a remote-access server through campus and college Remote Access Services (RAS) or the Virtual Computing Lab (VCL).

We support connecting to campus remotely from Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.  At our end, the connection is with one of the following:

  • Windows and Linux applications on RAS servers
  • Windows and Linux applications on VCL

Your classification at the university determines which RAS server you are authorized to use:

Who Are You? Available Remote Server
NCSU faculty, staff and students
Engineering faculty, staff and students

RAS Servers

RAS servers run Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

Remote Access Services

All NC State Remote Access Services (RAS) employ open-source technologies wherever possible.  For privacy protection, RAS uses secure, encrypted communication.