Why use a VPN

One of the points we covered in the podcast interview with Sally Taylor was the importance of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection. I’m not sure, but I suspect that the importance of this type of connection is not well understood. This seems to be particularly relevant to the advantages for online access to libraries.

Along the way I discovered the link with Google Scholar was more accessible when linked into a VPN. The behaviour is slightly different for Firefox and Explorer (I think — at least that is how is worked for me!) – but essentially, if I am linked into a VPN, Google Scholar searches provide information contextualized to UBC – with library catalogue links, etc. Very cool.

I took a bit of time yesterday and through together a quick overview of VPN connections. I uploaded it into my course. Not sure if others will find this useful, but I thought I would share it here:

Why Use a VPN When Researching Online.

Last year I actually found that is was not only library resources this applied to. One of my students was in England, and she had difficulty accessing a required movie resource from the a public site. Turns out these films were only available to North American web sites. Once she accessed via a VPN she was good to go.

Hope this is useful to others!

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2 Responses to Why use a VPN

  1. Tim Wang says:

    Add one more, it can “break through” the Chinese proxy server (censorship screener). 🙂

  2. Jerry Helsh says:

    I agree VPN is a great service for many university/college students. But it is also important for businesses that have employees who work at home.

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