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To help students who are finishing up their coursework from off-campus, the IT department has rolled out a remote lab system through which users can connect to designated lab computers. In order to use the system, students must first establish a VPN connection to campus. For help setting up the VPN client on a personal computer, follow the steps in this knowledgebase article. This system was developed at Syracuse University and made available to other universities through a public domain license.

1. To access the remote lab launch page, visit On the "Connect" tab, you should see several virtual labs available to you. Note that if you are a Mac user, you will need to download the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection app from the App Store. This link is also available from the remote lab launch page under the section Download - Remote Desktop Client.

2. To initiate a connection to a lab computer remotely, you must first make a reservation. Choose a lab from the pools to which you have access, and click the green "Make My Reservation" button. You will see a message informing you that you should return to the webpage if your connection is disrupted.

3. Click the green "Connect to Remote Lab" button. This will trigger the download of an .rdp file. If you are offered the choice between opening and downloading the file, choose "Download".

If the file does not appear in your list of downloads, or if you do not see the download dialog box pop up, check in the address bar to ensure that your browser has not automatically blocked the download.

4. Launch the RemoteLabReservation.rdp file you downloaded, and a remote session into the lab computer will be established. You may see a message like the one below, warning that the remote connection originates from an unknown publisher. Click the "Connect" button to continue.

5. Next you will be prompted to enter your credentials to start the connection. By default, this will be a set of local credentials, which will not work for a lab login.

6. Click on the text "More choices" and then on the "Use a different account" option to bring up a new screen where you can enter both your Valpo username and password. Prepend your username with valpo\ to ensure that the connection uses your Valpo account, e.g. valpo\jsmith1. Click "OK"  to launch the remote desktop connection.

Be sure to save your work often to an H: or S: drive folder! Anything you save to the Desktop or the Documents folder will not persist when you initiate a new remote session.

When you have finished working on the lab computer, do not close the connection window. Instead, choose "Power", then "Restart" from the Start Menu. This will ensure that the reservation in the remote lab web interface is cleared and the PC is made available for the next user. At this point, the red "Clear My Reservation" feature is not functioning as expected. Please do not click that button!

IMPORTANT: When you have finished your session on the remote lab computer, be sure to disconnect from the VPN to free up your license for other users.