Over the past year or so, a lot has changed with the Mines network and computer system. We’re moving as quickly as possible to GMail for student email addresses and to a unified login for everything else. This login is called MultiPass.
One big use of MultiPass is for the Mines VPN, used for accessing on-campus resources from off-campus. Geekier folks will choose to just SSH into imagine.mines.edu with their username and multipass password, however if you want to route your internet traffic through the Mines campus the VPN, available at secure.mines.edu, is the way to go.
One cool thing about the latest VPN update, which also improves compatibility with next-generation operating systems like Snow Leopard and 64-bit versions of Windows, is that you can now log into the VPN from on-campus. If you’re wondering why you would ever want to do such a thing, note that the Mines wireless networks (CSMWireless, ResNetWireless, etc.) are unsecured, so normally any data sent over a wireless link is up for grabs for anyone with the right software.
Of course, banks and online stores have SSL webpages to keep traffic secure, however if you want to get the equivalent of running your computer on a secured wireless network (and then some) just log into the VPN. In my experience your speeds won’t suffer on a reasonably modern machine (the ailing Mines wireless network is the bottleneck these days) and you can rest assured that the weakest link of the SSL tunneled connection is your MultiPass.