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About VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a technology that allows user devices to securely connect to a corporate network from remote locations with an Internet connection.

About VDI

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure refers to using a virtualized desktop that ultimately lives on a server. The device that you use to access it , typically a laptop, serves as a terminal.

Some members of staff have already been set up to use VPN. If that's you, you may continue to do so. Anyone else needing remote access to network resources will use VDI. Here's what to expect:

  • All VDI users will have access to a "generic" desktop that is just like logging into a computer in an HCC classroom, lab, or library.  You'll have access to network resources and internal tools, and can make and save changes on the network. However, your computer will not retain any work that you save to it during a VDI session. If you create folders or documents on your computer whle using VDI, they will not be there when you login again. 

  • Anyone who is using a HCC laptop and logging in with their HCC account (some newer loans are using a generic HCCUser account and are exempt from this) must connect to the campus network, either Wi-Fi (HCC-eq OR HCC-User) or Ethernet (or VPN, if previously set up), at least once every 30 days, or their credentials will expire on the laptop. This is especially important for anyone whose password changes. Be sure to login regularly!

  • Some users were set up with a VDI agent on their office computers to allow them to log into their computer through VDI. The office computer must remain on for it to work. This only works when using VDI on a Windows computer; no Mac or Chromebooks.  We have had varying reports of issues connecting through VDI when the computer was left logged in locally, but otherwise is working well. 

Confused? Uncertain? IT is available to help! Contact the Help Desk at or 413.552.2075 and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.