Troubleshooting VPN

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The setup files and installation instructions are available here.


Troubleshooting Your VPN Connection

If you are having trouble connecting to VPN, follow these steps. For performance issues while connected, see the section below on performance.

These steps are in order of difficulty. Contact the IT Service Center or your ITSC or DCC if you need additional assistance.

  • Uninstall and Reinstall
    • This resolves most issues. Make sure to restart between uninstalling and reinstalling.
    • On macOS, uninstallation can be difficult as outlined in F5 Networks' article here. We have created and attached a small app to our KB article that you can use to perform the removal part of those instructions. Make sure that the F5 client is not running.
  • Malware
    • Perform a virus scan on your computer. 
    • If you need assistance with this, you can reach out to the IT Service Center via chat or by phone for remote assistance or stop by our office.   
  • Network Drivers (PC)
    • Outdated or corrupt network drivers on your PC can also cause issues. We suggest going to your computer's manufacturer's support site and downloading the most recent network drivers. 
    • Update your drivers in the following order:
      1. Uninstall the existing F5 software installation.
      2. Restart your computer.
      3. Download and install your driver software.
      4. Restart your computer.
      5. Download and install the latest version of the VPN software.
      6. Restart your computer.
      7. Launch the VPN software and attempt to connect. 
  • Other Issues
    • You may have installed other VPN software as a result of working with other institutions. Uninstall any unused VPN software and make sure to disable any that you are not currently using.
    • Some hotel and business wifi networks do not permit SSL VPN connections to be established.


Troubleshooting VPN Performance Issues

If you are able to connect, but performance while connected is significantly degraded, follow the steps below. Contact the IT Service Center or your ITSC or DCC if you need additional assistance.

To get to the bottom of a VPN performance issue, Brown’s IT staff will need your answers to a few questions:

  • Does this happen on other devices in your house?
  • Are there others in your household (either on the VPN or off) who may be taxing your home network by, for example, connecting to classes, playing internet games, or streaming video?
  • Is the problem intermittent or persistent?
  • Who is your Internet Service Provider?

Next, if the issue is NOT caused by others making heavy use of your network, follow the steps below to troubleshoot your home network. 

1. Uninstall/reinstall VPN (see above under “connectivity”)

If the issue is unresolved, continue through the next steps, recording information and saving it to a text file as directed.

2. While NOT connected to VPN:
  • Record your IP address. Click this link: https://www.whatsmyip.org/ and take note of the resulting IP address. It will look something like this:  108.12.231.43
  • Record the DNS server in your home network.
          > For Macs, find the DNS server in System Preferences > Network > Wifi > Advanced button > DNS tab. It will look something like this: 192.168.1.1
          > For Windows, follow the first set of steps on this page ("Find your DNS using the Settings app") It will look something like this: 192.168.1.1
  • Run a Speedtest.  Go to speedtest.oshean.org and click the big GO button. It will run an upload and a download speed test. Record both resulting numbers, measured in Mbps.
          > Repeat the speedtest, and record the second pair of numbers. They should be roughly the same as the first; if they are not, run the speedtest a third time, again recording the results.
  • Run a traceroute to vpn.brown.edu, and record the results by copying and pasting into a text file.
          > For Macs, follow the steps in this link to get traceroute results.
          > For Windows, follow the steps in this link to get traceroute results. Use the command:   tracert vpn.brown.edu
3.  WHILE connected to VPN:
  • Run a speedtest at speedtest.oshean.org and record the resulting upload and download speed results.
          > Repeat the speedtest, again recording the numbers.
  • Note: Speed test results when connected to the VPN are dependent on many factors, including your ISP-provisioned speed. Based on limited CIS internal testing and user reports to CIS, no results higher than 30Mbps upload/download have been observed to date. Results of less than half that reported maximum are common.
4.  Export Big-IP client logs:
  • For Macs, Open the Terminal (use spotlight to find and run it) and paste the following command into the prompt:      
     zip -j ~/Desktop/edgeclientlogs.zip ~/Library/Logs/F5Networks/*
             This will save the logs to your desktop in a zip file.
  • For Windows, right-click on the Big IP icon in your taskbar. Select "Diagnostic report" and save the resulting file F5DiagnosticsReport.html to your desktop.

 (Full reference for capturing logs: https://support.f5.com/csp/article/K00819308 )

5. Create a ticket with the “Submit a Request” button here.  
  • Include ALL of the information from the initial questions above, AND the results of the troubleshooting steps 2 through 4 above.  We will work with our vendor to resolve the issue. 
  • Important: due to the heavy demand on our IT staff at present, we ask that you specify the level of urgency in the ticket's description.


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