Tech Handbook: Additional Information

4.1 Share and Home Drives

Share (S:) and home (H:) drives are both storage systems contained on the University network and are sometimes referred to as network drives. A share drive is one to which multiple people have access. Each department has its own folder and subfolders contained on the share drive. The department chair can designate which individuals or groups of people (faculty, staff, instructors) within their department have access to the various folders. Every employee has a home drive, which is their own personal network drive that they can use for as long as they are employed with the University. These drives are protected by the UA security firewall and the data is backed up in real-time to Atlanta, at a secondary storage facility. For directions on how to access the share drive via VPN, see

4.2 UA Box

All faculty, staff, students, and instructors also have access to UA Box, which is an enterprise version of the Box document sharing system. Similar to Dropbox, UA Box can be used to share files and other documents among multiple individuals. However, because it is an enterprise version, UA Box is protected behind the firewall, and thus can be used for sharing sensitive information such as job applications and student information. Information on how to set up an account can be found at

4.3 DUO

DUO is a two-factor authentication system that provides additional security to our myBama, email, and VPN accounts. It works by requiring your username & password plus an additional source (phone, mobile device or numerical passcode) to access the account. Please see for more information on how to set up and manage a faculty or staff DUO account.

4.4 Virtual Private Network (VPN)

The virtual private network (VPN) allows faculty and staff to securely access systems on the UA network while using a public network connection. The following list describes when it is typically necessary to connect to the VPN.

  • The VPN is necessary to remotely access data on faculty or staff office systems from off campus using either a desktop or laptop. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is necessary to log into the faculty or staff office computers from another computer either on or off campus.
  • When faculty or staff who normally use University laptops are off campus, they must connect to the University Network through the VPN in order to access shared folders/files. No RDP is necessary.
  • It is necessary to connect to the VPN when using a computer off campus to access folders/files on an office PC or folders/files on the share drive or home drive. In order to do this, the faculty or staff should first log into VPN, then log into RDP.
  • Email can be accessed remotely through Office365 at No VPN connection is necessary for this connection; however, this connection will not provide access to local files or files on the share drive and the user will need DUO to log in.
  • Self-Service Banner and Banner INB can both be remotely accessed without using VPN.
  • Remote Desktop (RDP) can be used by a faculty or staff to access files on a campus computer from another computer that is also located on campus.
  • In some special cases, users may access servers using Secure Shell (SSH) through the VPN as well.

Individuals can set up a VPN connection on their home computers by using the directions found at

To access the VPN through a mobile device (iPad or phone), faculty and staff will need to download the AnyConnect app. The server address is and will require UA login credentials to connect.

DUO is required to access the UA VPN. For more information, see