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Technology Resources for Researchers Working Remotely

In coordination with the Illinois governor's and Illinois Tech's efforts to respond to COVID-19, the Office of Technology Services (OTS) and the Office of Digital Learning (ODL) have assembled resources, which will be continuously enhanced, to assist you in engaging in your research remotely.

If you have any questions about accessing these resources, please email the OTS Support Desk or leave a voicemail message at 312.567.3375; this voicemail is being monitored during Support Desk hours.

PLEASE NOTE: Every member of the Illinois Tech community who will be using university-technology resources remotely is strongly encouraged to use Illinois Tech's secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) to minimize the possibility of a security incident.

Download VPN Software

The VPN is your gateway to accessing Illinois Tech's network and applications, such as Banner and

To download the VPN installation package:

  • Windows and Mac: Click here
  • Android: Search Google Play for "Cisco AnyConnect"
  • iOS: Search Apple App Store for "Cisco AnyConnect"

Access the VPN

Ocient Computational Center (OCC) and Research Data Center (RDC) Support

  • Researchers can access equipment via the VPN. Please contact the Office of Technology Services through the applicable support link if you are trying to reach the OCC and RDC so that the OTS team can ensure you are using the correct VPN profile.

  • If you are a reseacher without a server on which to do your research, please send an email to OTS to learn more about GridIIT and the Open Science Grid (OSG).
  • For remote data-center support, please contact the OTS team through the above-listed support links, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Both environments and their computing equipment are being monitored 24/7. In the event of an outage, an engineer will sent to the site to address the issue.

Access to Your Own Work PC Environment

  • Download the VPN (see above) and access it by using your Illinois Tech credentials.
  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) —The remote desktop protocol allows you to access the documents on your office desktop and hard drive from any location as if you were working at your office computer. To access the RDP, first download the VPN (see above) and thereafter set up your remote desktop. By accessing the RDP through Illinois Tech's secure VPN, you are doing your part to be cybersecurity conscious and complying with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations.

Team Projects

  • There are many tools available for collaboration through the Google Suite apps to which all members of the Illinois Tech community have access.

    • Google Drive - This app stores your documents and more, allowing you to invite other users to view, download, and/or collaborate on any of the files you designate.
    • Google Docs - If you want group input on a document, you can use Google Docs and determine who on your team will have different privileges, such as editing or viewing.
    • Google Sheets - This app allows users to create and format spreadsheets, charts, graphs, and pivot tables online. It is akin to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, but unlike Excel, with Google Sheets you can work on a spreadsheet, for example, simultaneously with other users. This app is compatible with Microsoft Excel file formats.
    • Google Slides - This is a presentation program that allows users to create and edit presentations online, collaborating with other users in real-time. You can imbed videos or animation, too. Users can access revision history to see prior versions of the same presentation, sorted by date and who made the change. The app is compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint file formats.
    • Google Forms - This is a survey administration app that features all of the collaboration and sharing features found in Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides. You can collect information from users through a targeted survey, poll, or quiz that you can personalize to your audience using photos, logos, or one of the existing curated themes. Your audience's responses are then automatically collected and populated in real time into a Google Sheet that includes charts, saving you time and effort.
  • is a file-sharing network service provided by the university for storing your files. You can access this service by connecting to the VPN and mapping the file share in Windows 10on your computing device.

Voice Services

Private and Group Chat Rooms

  • Google Hangouts Chat (formerly known as Google Chat) - This app in the Google Suite allows you to ask questions, collaborate in group chats, create a virtual chat room for team projects, and more.

Audio and Video Conferencing

  • Google Meet Instructions (formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet) - This app provides high-quality audio and video conferencing for meetings of up to 250 participants with real-time captioning available through the app's speech-to-text functionality. Share the Google-Meet link and participants can join with just one click! You can include participants from other countries with international dial-in numbers and enjoy smooth integration with your Google Calendar, allowing for seamless scheduling and easy access to all your meetings' details. You can even record your meeting provided you receive its participants' prior consent. To learn more about how to record a meeting, please click here for instructions or watch a quick video tutorial.

Academic Software

Library Resources

Hardware Devices You Can Borrow (If Needed*)

*Social Responsibility - When deciding whether or not you need a hardware device to continue your work, please keep in mind that Illinois Tech's supply of mobile internet devices and laptops are limited. Please only request a device if you have no other options. 

  • Mobile Internet Device (aka "hotspots")

If you do not have Internet access or if the access you have is significantly limiting your ability to work in your off-campus location, you can borrow one mobile internet device, aka a "hotspot," from a limited number of hotspots at no cost from the OTS Support Desk. The hotspot will connect you to the Sprint data network during this COVID-19 period. 

If you would like to borrow a hotspot, please first check Sprint’s coverage in your area, and if you feel it would help, please email the OTS Support Desk to check on availability and make arrangements.  Restrictions apply. 

Please note:  Connection speeds vary and any hotspot connection will be considerably slower than other alternatives such as broadband.  The speed is likely to be sufficient for your email and basic web browsing, but it is unlikely to be adequatel for video.

  • Laptops

If you do not have a desktop, laptop, or tablet at your off-campus location, you can borrow one laptop from a limited supply of laptops at no cost from the OTS Support Desk.   If you would like to borrow a laptop, please email the OTS Support Desk to check on availability and make arrangements.  Restrictions apply. 

General Helpful Information

It may not be technology-related but to ease your remote experience, please see below if the subject is of interest to you.

What If I Need Help?

  • Please send an email to the OTS Support Desk or leave a message in the Support Desk's monitored voicemail at 312.567.3375.
  • Click here for Support Desk hours.