Computers communicate via ports. For example, Port 139 NetBIOS is used for all Windows file and printer sharing. This port is the site for common hostile scans, worms and attacks. To ensure a secure and reliable network, on February 10, 2003 ports 135, 137-139 and 445 were blocked between the University network and external networks.
The decision to block these ports was made in consultation with the IT Risk Management Committee and Information Technology Committee of Council. Port blocking will improve the security on the University network, however, it may affect the tasks of some faculty and staff.
If you have an off-campus computer that connects to on-campus Windows shares (e.g. Windows "Map Network Drive" feature, directories, files, or printers) or log in to Windows machines on campus from off campus, you will not be able to do this.
You will need to use our Virtual Private Network (VPN) to securely access those files from your home (i.e. off-campus locations).
Port blocking does not occur inside the University network so there is no need to run VPN on the University networked computers.