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ARD/VNC Border Firewall Block July 2021

What’s Happening

On July 27, 2021, ISC will block inbound Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) and Virtual Network Computing (VNC) traffic on the University border firewalls. This block follows the successful implementation of the RDP block in June of 2020. Campus representatives at Firewall Governance have approved this change, which will significantly improve Penn's information security posture. We do not expect this update to cause any service disruptions or downtime.

Alternative Connection Methods

In March of 2020, ISC launched the University Client (GlobalProtect) VPN service for the entire campus community, which provides encrypted and authenticated access to the PennNet network using PennKey and Two-Step Verification. The University Client VPN service provides access to the general campus network, creating a similar experience from a remote location as if connected to PennNet on campus.

While we are optimistic that the University Client VPN will reduce dependence on both ARD and VNC, users will continue to be able to use these protocols after they have successfully connected to the VPN service.

*NOTE* Some areas on campus have local firewalls which may continue to block inbound ARD/VNC and thus require the use of a specific School/Center-provided VPN. If you have questions on if you need a specific VPN client, please contact your Local Support Provider. See the Get IT Help directory to find your Local Support Provider.

User Guides

ISC has created an extensive user guide for getting started with the University Client VPN service. ISC has also created a comprehensive troubleshooting guide for the University VPN. We encourage our campus IT colleagues to share these guides with their ARD and VNC users and if any issues arise to contact ISC Client Care for further assistance. 

Additional Resources

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Client Care at,, or 215-898-1000