Set up OpenVPN for iOS (iPhone/iPad)


These instructions will show you how to set up OpenVPN on iOS (iPhone/iPad) mobile devices.


You only need to complete steps 1, 2 and 3 once. You will need to complete step 4 each time you connect.

In this article:

  • Step 1. Request access
  • Step 2: Set up your office computer for Remote Desktop Connection
  • Step 3: Download and set up OpenVPN on your home computer
  • Step 4. Connect and start a Remote Desktop Connection
  • Additional: How to access a shares and other resources

Step 1. Request access (if you need to)

OpenVPN works on a per-user permission basis. As such, you normally have to request access to resources like your desktop PC or other protected resources not normally accessible from off campus.

However, there are some exceptions listed below which are automatically available to relevant staff that you don’t need to explicitly request and will just work for you. If in doubt about your OpenVPN permissions, please check your OpenVPN Account Details.

For off campus access to Agresso and iTrent

Staff who can access Agresso are automatically given access to: https://agrlive.essex.ac.uk/agresso/Login/Login.aspx

Staff who have access to iTrent (People Manager etc) are automatically given access to: https://ihr.essex.ac.uk/tlive_web/wrd/run/etadm001gf.open

For Remote Desktop Connection and access to other resources and services

If you require more than the default access to Agresso and/or iTrent, then you must email the IT Helpdesk at it.helpdesk@essex.ac.uk with the following details:

  • your Essex ID
  • your office computer's S number (if you want to use Remote Desktop Connection)
  • details of other resources or services you want to use that can't be accessed via Remote Desktop Connection

Please allow one working day for us to activate OpenVPN on your account - we'll send you a confirmation email once it's done. Once you have been given access continue to the next steps.


Step 2. Set up your office computer for Remote Desktop Connection

Perform the following steps on your office computer if you want to use Remote Desktop Connection.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Right-click Computer.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Click Remote settings.
  5. Ensure that Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop is selected.
  6. Click Select Users... and ensure that your name is listed as a remote desktop user.
  7. If your name isn't listed, click Add and type in your login name using the format CAMPUS\mylogin. Click OK.

This is all you need to do on your office computer.


Step 3. Download the OpenVPN app on your device
  1. Go to the Apple Store and search for the OpenVPN app from OpenVPN Technologies, Inc. Install the app.
  2. Now open a web browser on your device and type in this URL: http://bit.ly/2cbibkM - this will download a file required to connect.
  3. Once the download is complete, open the file and if prompted, choose to open with OpenVPN.
  4. When the OpenVPN app launches, there should be a message saying 1 new OpenVPN profile is available for import. Click the green + (plus) to import the profile.

This is all you need to do to do for step 3.


Step 4. Connect
  1. Open the OpenVPN app.
  2. In the OpenVPN app, enter your University login name and password, then slide toggle the slider under the word Disconnected. Do not use a leading CAMPUS\ or trailing @essex.ac.uk. You can choose whether to Save your password at this point.

You should now be connected to OpenVPN.


Additional notes
Remote Desktop Connection

For remote desktop access, download your preferred remote desktop app. We recommend using Microsoft Remote Desktop app which you can download from the App store.


Access network shares

It may be possible to map a network drive to your device, however, we do not currently provide instructions for this - so feel free to experiment!

Access to other resources

If your OpenVPN profile grants access to other internal only resources (e.g. intranet websites etc), you should now be able to connect to those resources.




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