VPN is short for Virtual Private Network.

What is a VPN?

A VPN provider is capable of creating a encrypted tunnel for your internet/network traffic from your device to the VPN provider. For example, if you use Mediacom's internet service and if you were to use a VPN, Mediacom would not be able to view your internet activity. They would ultimately see that you are visiting only one site.

Although your internet activity is hidden from your ISP (in this example, Mediacom), your internet activity can be seen from the VPN service that you use. Recently, ISPs in some states are now able to sell your internet activity data to third parties. However, if you use a VPN to prevent this, your VPN could sell your internet activity as well. It is up to you whom you trust more with your internet activity data.


  • A VPN is capable of creating a secure encrypted tunnel between your device and the VPN provider.
  • When using unfamiliar and potentially unsafe networks, it prevents the ISP from viewing your internet activity


  • VPNs do not provide anonymity
  • Not all VPNs are trustworthy
  • VPNs do not offer privacy from web sites that collect data about you.
  • VPNs are not as regulated as ISPs

What does Gustavus provide?

Gustavus does not provide a VPN service for employees, however we recommend using Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection or Virtual Lab. If you are using a 3rd party VPN on campus, you will not be able to get to campus online resources.