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Off Campus Access: Library Access via VPN


The VPN provides GW faculty, staff, and students with seamless, integrated access to all electronic resources. Users must have a GW UserID to use the VPN.

To login from off-campus, users must know their GW UserID and the associated password.  GW's Identity and Access Management

  • allows user to set up their GW UserID or reset their password.
  • provides instructions for users who experience difficulty setting up their GW UserID.

Instructions for connection via the VPN (Recommended)


Download and install the VPN client, following the instructions on the Virtual Private Network (VPN) page managed by GW IT.

Connecting to the VPN

  1. On your computer, start the VPN client.
  2. Login to VPN using GW Single Sign-On, or your GW UserID and password if using the legacy client.
  3. Check your Two-Step Authentication (i.e. text, Authenticator app, etc.) to authorize your VPN login.
  4. You can now access databases, e-texts, and e-journals via the Himmelfarb Library website without any additional logins.

For additional information, go to GW Information Technology: Software.


Students, Faculty & Staff: GW SMHS Help Desk at 202-994-4948 or

VPN Frequently Asked Questions

What is VPN?

The GW VPN is a network that you can connect to using a program on your computer or mobile device to provide off-campus access to GW resources. VPN allows your computer to function as though it is on the GW campus and therefore allows you to access most databases, e-texts, and e-journals without additional logins.

How do I download the VPN client?

To download the VPN client (the program that connects your computer to the VPN), access the Virtual Private Network (VPN) page managed by GW IT.

How do I login to VPN?

Follow the instructions below to log in to the Palo Alto GlobalProtect VPN


The GW profile is included by default when you install the client.

If it is missing, enter the following in the box under Portal:


Click Connect and follow any prompts to log on through the GW single sign-on page ( + password).

If you are already logged in to another service, the single sign-on page may not appear.

Check your Two-Step Authentication (i.e. text, Authenticator app, etc.) to authorize your VPN login. For detailed instructions, please consult Microsoft Two Step Authentication for VPN.


Do I need to download and install software to use VPN?

Yes. GW IT provides links and step-by-step instructions to help you download and install the VPN client.

Can I use the VPN on my phone or iPad/tablet?

Yes - you can install the Palo Alto GlobalProtect app to your device. Instructions for setting up the GlobalProtect app are available via Himmelfarb Library's App Shelf.

I have a copy of an older VPN which I downloaded to my computer. Will it still work?

The Cisco AnyConnect VPN was retired on August 8, 2023. Since that date, the Palo Alto GlobalProtect VPN is the only client that works with the GW network.

How can I access Himmelfarb Library's databases, e-texts, and e-journals using VPN ?

GW's VPN works by allowing your computer to function as though it is on the GW campus. Therefore, after logging into the VPN, you can access Himmelfarb Library's databases, e-texts, and e-journals directly from the Himmelfarb Library website without any additional logins.

I'm using VPN but can't get into Himmelfarb Library's databases, e-texts, and e-journals or the GW network. What should I do?

  • Check that you are logged into VPN. In order for VPN to work, you need to connect using the VPN client each time that you use it.
  • Check that you have completed Two Step Authentication after submitting your login and password.  
  • Check that VPN is connected. VPN may logoff automatically after periods of inactivity. If this occurs, you will need to login again. To check if VPN is running:
    • Look at the notifications area in the lower right-hand corner of your computer screen.
      • Find the icon for your VPN client, and mouse over it to see if it is connected.
        Client Icon / text when connected Icon / text when disconnected
        Palo Alto GlobalProtect

        Palo Alto VPN icon (connected)


        Palo Alto VPN icon (not connected)

        Not Connected

    • To connect or disconnect the VPN, click on the icon and then click on Connect or Disconnect.

Which browsers and operating systems work with VPN?

The VPN is not browser dependent. You should be able to use any web browser available on your computer.

I'm having trouble accessing or running VPN. Who can I contact for assistance?