Working from Off-Campus

If you need to access Brown resources from home or while you're traveling, this guide will help you get connected.

Some Brown resources are easily accessible from any internet connection, but others require configuration. Before you travel off-campus or expect inclement weather, read this guide to understand what you'll need to do to access computing resources from off-campus. Some resources may require you to configure your computer while you're still on campus.

What services will you need to access?

Here are some of the services that Brown community members frequently access from home. If you require access to specific applications not listed below, contact the IT Service Center or your computing representative to find out how to access them from off campus. We recommend testing your access to these applications from off campus before you plan to work remotely.

Only Requires a Web Browser / Internet Connection

Requires VPN

Find out more about VPN below

Requires a Remote Desktop Connection

Find out more about Remote Desktop Connections below

  • Brown Software which must be used on campus 
    Application specific details can be found on each application's page on the Brown Software Distribution web page.
  • Administrative Applications (such as FRS, HRS. Odyssey, BRU)
    remote into your desktop - see below for details

VPN: Virtual Private Network

In the list of services above, you will notice that some require VPN. A VPN is a "virtual private network" - a technology that allows you to create a secure connection to the Brown network. Instructions for connecting to Brown's VPN

Remote Desktop Connection

Remote desktop access allows you to log into your campus computer from another machine. Most members of the Brown community will NOT need to configure remote desktop access. If you do require access to a service which requires remote desktop access, make sure you read the instructions and configure and test your access from off campus before you need to work off campus.

Conducting Virtual Meetings

Phone and Video conferencing can be alternatives to in-person meetings. Note that outgoing video chat requires a webcam. Follow the links to learn more about the available options.

Telephones and Voice Mail

Checking Voice Mail from Off Campus

  1. Dial (401) 863-9000
  2. When the system picks up the call, press the [#] key
  3. Enter your 5-digit voicemail number. In most cases, this is the same as your telephone extension, but if you share an extension with others, it may be different and can be requested by emailing
  4. Enter your password as instructed.

Changing Your Greeting

If you are working off-campus, you may want to change your greeting to reflect that you are not physically in your office or to provide an alternate number.

  1. Access your Voice Mail using the instructions above
  2. Press [4] (Personal Options)
  3. Press [3] (Greetings)
  4. Press [1] (Personal Greeting)
  5. Press [2] (Record Personal Greeting)
  6. Press [1] (Record personal greeting that will play to callers when you are away from your desk)
  7. Press [#]
  8. Press [#] one more time to confirm the change.
  9. Press [*] to return to the Main Menu or exit

Forwarding Your Phone to an Off-Campus Number

  1. Contact Telecommunications to request that Off-campus Forwarding is programmed on your phone.
  2. Before you leave the office, set up your phone to forward to your number. See the Call Forwarding section of the Single Line or Multi-Line phone guide for instructions.

Off-campus Checklist

Before you leave campus, make sure you've done the folllowing:

  • Back up your files - put files you will need to access on your Departmental File Share (instead of your hard drive) or in Google Docs
  • Make sure you know your usernames and passwords for your Brown account (e.g., jcarberr) and your Google account (e.g.,
  • If you need to access services which require VPN, set up and test VPN from home
  • If you need to forward your campus telephone to your personal number, make sure you have contacted Telecommunications well in advance to enable that feature.
  • If you will need remote access to your campus computer, set up and test access from off-campus (and don't forget your computer name)
  • Plan with your team members to make sure you can all reach each other and conduct remote meetings
  • If you're planning to video chat or conduct remote meetings, test your preferred method at home and make sure your audio and video are correctly configured
  • Bringing your laptop off-campus? You will still need to VPN or remote into your desktop for certain services because you are off campus. Also, don't forget the power adapter and any accessories such as your mouse.