What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
Virtual Private Networking is a method by which a user can access an organization's internal network over the Internet in a secure manner. A VPN provides users who are not on that internal network, secure access to resources inside it. This is done by creating tunnels that wrap data packets destined for the internal network and then encrypting those packets to send them across the Internet. More detailed information can be found at Wikipedia.
That's great, so why should I use Purdue's VPN service?
By using Purdue's VPN service you can access resources that are only available on campus from the comfort of your own home. You could map your home directory to a drive on your own computer, print anything to any campus printer so you can pick it up when you get to campus or access course materials you might not otherwise be able to access from home. You don't necessarily have to be at home either: Purdue's VPN service can be accessed from anywhere in the world, any time of day or night.
OK I'm sold. How do I get connected?
Most importantly, how you connect depends on whether you have administrator access on your computer. If your department's IT staff administers your computer, you will need to contact them to install the VPN client for you. If you maintain your own computer, you can go to the AnyConnect portal and follow the instructions to get connected. Help articles are available in GoldAnswers if you need additional information.