IT Tip of the Month: Connecting to a Network Drive when Away from Campus

Welcome to the first in a new series of IT Tips that we hope will enhance how you work!

Network drives are convenient in that they allow individuals to create files that are automatically shared with others in a department. These drives, and the documents stored in them, reside on the College’s file servers¬† and are easily accessed from your college-owned computer when you are connected to the SMCM network in your office.

What happens when you need to print, update, or distribute a document to others from home or elsewhere off-campus?

In order to access your files on a network drive, you will need to do two things: (i) access the College’s Virtual Private Network (VPN);¬† and (ii) manually map your drive.

Connecting to the College’s Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The VPN allows college faculty and staff to securely connect to the SMCM network without being physically plugged in via ethernet cable. This will allow you to directly connect to your network drive in the second step without the need for an internet browser or FTP program. Follow the instructions per your operating system found in our How-To library page on setting up a VPN. Once you have successfully connected to the SMCM network, you can map your drive.

Manually Mapping your Drive

After connecting via VPN to the SMCM network, you should be able to find and connect to the desired network drives that you can normally access on campus. Just like if you were on campus, you need to have permissions to access folders before you can view them. Follow the instructions per your operating system found in our How-To library page on mapping a network drive.

If you have any questions at either stage, submit a ticket at itsupport.smcm.edu, or call the IT Support Center at 240-895-4357 (xHELP).

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