Carleton College

There are two different methods available for accessing your network drives from off-campus. Both solutions have strengths and weaknesses; the correct answer for you will depend somewhat on how you make use of these resources. It is a good idea, however, to set up your computer so it can use the VPN connection because that not only allows you to mount network drives, but also access other services that are typically available on-campus only.


The first method is based on a protocol called WebDAV. Click for instructions on using WebDAV to access Network Drives from off-campus.


  • Simple to set up
  • Does not require that any additional software be installed on your computer
  • It works best for downloading files to work locally on your computer


  • Uploading files larger than 25 Mb is slow
  • If you expect to be doing a lot of copying back and forth, you may find the VPN solution described below more suitable

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The second method uses something called a VPN, for Virtual Private Network. Essentially, it makes your computer behave as if it's directly connected to the Carleton network. For Macs, this is through software called "Tunnelblick" and for Windows, "OpenVPN".


  • Allows reasonably fast file upload and download times
  • Maintaining the connection allows you to easily move files back and forth
  • Gain access to additional on-campus resources


  • Requires software installation and configuration
  • Can only perform as well as the network connectivity you have

Directions for installing and using the VPN software can be found via the links below:

After you have installed the VPN software, you can find additional documentation for using the service here: 

Once you have installed and activated the VPN, your computer will effectively be connected to the Carleton network. You can then follow the instructions here to connect to your network drives.

If you have questions or problems using the VPN, ITS HelpDesk (x5999) may be able to help during business hours. Please note, however, that the level of support we are able to provide for home computers is limited.

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