eduVPN - making the Internet safer


eduVPN offers staff, researchers and students an easy and secure connection to the Internet wherever they are
eduVPN - making the Internet safer
This page refers to a service in development, and that has not yet been launched. Watch this space…

We don't always have eduroam available, and public wireless networks can be unsafe: while the free, public WiFi that's available in shopping malls, restaurants, and in taxi ranks might look attractive, their convenience and popularity mean they're also very attractive to cybercriminals. Every time you use one, you might open your online activity and personal data up to a variety of threats including eavesdropping, password theft, malware distribution, and worse. There's even a chance you could have logged on to a malicious hotspot that just looked like the one you were expecting.

eduVPN solves this by creating a so-called Virtual Private Network (VPN) — a secure, encrypted tunnel between your laptop or smartphone and a central server — that protects your Internet traffic from prying eyes. It's just like the commercial VPN solutions you see advertised, but it is operated by the same people who bring you eduroam and is available for free to staff, students and researchers from participating higher educational institutions.

Why another VPN service?

While many universities in South Africa offer VPN services, they're often focused on providing secure access back to your campus rather than simply protecting your Internet access. eduVPN, on the other hand, aims to provide you secure Internet access that's fast and reliable. However, if your institution uses eduVPN internally, it can also give you access to protected resources on your institution's network such as storage, administrative systems, etc.

Like eduroam, eduVPN is developed by the international research and education community, and provided by national research and education networks around the world. Through reciprocal arrangements, with eduVPN you have the opportunity to choose which country you are in and access the Internet securely using a network close to you, without having to tunnel it back all the way to South Africa. This makes eduVPN especially useful for people who travel internationally.

Getting started with eduVPN

You have two options:

Use an eduVPN app

The easiest way is to use an eduVPN app. The following apps are available for these platforms:

When you start the app for the first time, select South Africa. You will then be asked to log in through your institution's single sign-on portal.

Afterwards, you can select the profile (eg a country) you want. Then click connect at the bottom of the page.

When your status is green, it means that your VPN is working (takes about 10 sec.)

Use your favourite client

You can also choose to download a VPN configuration file. You'll be asked to log in with your institutional credentials, and then you'll be able to access the config file.

Then open the configuration file with your favourite VPN client (for example, Tunnelblick).

Getting help

Users of the eduVPN service that are having difficulty logging in should contact their home institution's IT service desk.

Other support-related queries should be directed to our service desk.

South African eduVPN Instances

TENET operates two guest instances of eduVPN, one in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town. Both are connected to our network at 10Gbps and have IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity.

They may be found at guest.eduvpn.ac.za.

Privacy and policy

TENET's eduVPN service is established in accordance with global eduVPN policy, as described at eduvpn.org.

Use of the service is subject to TENET's standard acceptable use policy as well as the acceptable use policies of your home institution.

TENET is in the process of developing a privacy statement for its eduVPN guest service. However, a general privacy statement for all services is available.