University Laptops


Direct Access connects your University owned and managed Windows laptop to the University network (your H: drive and, where applicable, shared network drives) whenever you are off campus and have an internet connection.

No need to login – Direct Access is a secure, always-on connection. Access is via Windows Explorer or Computer, as on your desktop PC at work.

Devices that do not support Direct Access

If your device does not support Direct Access, please use one of our other remote access solutions. See the Personal Devices tab for guidance.

Personal Devices

Remote VPN

Remote VPN is our browser-based, remote access solution for personal devices (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Windows Mobile, Android).

Remote VPN provides you with secure, authenticated, access to personal (H: drive) off campus or over the University wireless network.

  • If you need to access a shared network drive (e.g. a team drive) via the VPN, please contact the Service Desk.

All you need is an internet connection - open a web browser and login to the VPN with your usual University username and password. The first time you login, you may need to install the VPN components.

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)

Use the VDI to access electronic resources (e.g. electronic journals and library catalogues) and software including MS Office when working off campus on your personal device (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android).

You can access the VDI in two ways: via your web browser; by installing the VMWare Horizon client on your computer.

Note: The number of users who can log into VDI at any one time limited. The VDI will prompt you if there are no virtual desktops available; you can try connecting again later.

Remote Desktop access

In some instances, it may be possible to grant remote access from a personal device to a desktop on campus.

Please contact the Sevice Desk in the first instance, providing a brief business case and authorisation from your line manager.

Other Services

Other services for registered staff and students of the University and for authorised external (e.g. consultants, visitors, etc.):

SSH gateway

  • Secure, authenticated remote access solution for any device
  • Access via ssh client
  • Access to Linuxserv, HPC (Maxwell) and other ssh servers
  • Service hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year
  • Access should be requested via Service Desk -




Remote access may be granted where contractors are engaged to install, operate and support University IT Systems.

It is the IT Services Service Owner and/or the Business Owners responsibility to agree and authorise contractor access, including level of access and any associated procedures.

Business Owners should request access via the Service Desk in the first instance and should read and comply with Guidance Notes on Contractor access to University of Aberdeen IT Systems.


Use Outlook Web Access (OWA) to access your university email and calendar remotely via a web browser from any location that provides internet access.