Working From Home

By Ross Madden
Published on March 2, 2020 9:08 am MT
Updated on May 21, 2020 12:24 pm MT
Posted in General CNSIT, Knowledge Base, The Cloud

UPDATE: ACNS has posted official information for working remotely. Be sure to read up on this as well to help you form your work from home plan: https://www.acns.colostate.edu/keep-working

In the world today, working from home can be necessary. Whether you are under the weather and need to quickly respond to something as if you were on campus, or need to stay abreast of the work day while caring for the kiddos during a teacher work day, the ability to access and address work items can be very useful.

One very important thing is to take action in setting up these processes today. Think about your work flow and what resources you would need access to in order to work from home. Don’t wait until you are already at home either – you will be happy you tested this ahead of time and worked out the kinks.

General things

There are a few things you should all be doing already (and if not, should start as soon as possible). These are not specifically geared toward working from home, but do provide a benefit for that use case.

OneDrive

Start using OneDrive to store your files. Not only will your files be backed up in the cloud rendering them resistant to ransomware, they will also be available from anywhere in the world and from any computer. At the core, OneDrive can be accessed from the O365 portal at https://portal.office.com or via the OneDrive client available for Windows and MacOS computers. Start using this from your on-campus computer today!

Configure OneDrive client for Windows
Configure OneDrive client for MacOS

Microsoft Teams

Start using Microsoft Teams to communicate and work with your various work groups. Teams is part of O365 and is already available to you. It has video conferencing capabilities, file sharing, collaboration tools, and other features and is a part of our current Microsoft licensing suite.  Training videos can be found here:  Microsoft Teams Training Videos

Microsoft Teams is also the official recommendation for online instruction in terms of live lectures which can be recorded and posted to Canvas. https://www.acns.colostate.edu/microsoft-teams

If you would like a Microsoft Teams setup for your group – please let CNSIT know: https://cnsit.natsci.colostate.edu

Canvas and Online Instruction

As a student or instructor, your use and understanding of Canvas (https://canvas.colostate.edu) as CSU’s online learning system should already we well under way. If not, please be sure to brush up on this technology. Canvas is a key tool for remote instruction.

Additional information for instructors can be found here including directions for moving your course to an online Canvas course!

https://canvas.colostate.edu/instructors

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the Canvas support team at: cns_canvas@colostate.edu

Here is an additional list of other Online Teaching Resources:

https://www.natsci.colostate.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/03/psy-100-online-teaching-guidebook-sp20-3.21.20.pdf

https://www.acns.colostate.edu/microsoft-teams

First thing first – VPN and DUO

It is always a good idea (and in many cases, essential) to first connect to the CSU VPN when working remotely. We already have a good series of articles set up for connecting to the VPN and using DUO – please check these out first!

https://wp.natsci.colostate.edu/cnsit/csu-vpn-duo

O365 Portal – Most (if not all) of the way already!

The O365 portal located at https://portal.office.com is a quick way to access most of what you will need to work remotely. This method does not require you use a specific computer nor does it require you to first connect to the CSU VPN (although – using the VPN with this is not a bad idea) as all access is through a web browser.

When logging in you must be sure to format your username as eName@colostate.edu. You will use your CSU eID password as usual.

The O365 portal will allow you to access your CSU e-mail, OneDrive files and SharePoint data. To access your SharePoint data, it is important to know what the SharePoint site name is – this is usually in the form of a URL. Alternatively, you can pre-populate the SharePoint area of your O365 portal with your sites by “favoriting” them. Refer to this article for information on doing so:

https://wp.natsci.colostate.edu/cnsit/how-to-view-all-of-your-sharepoint-sites

For most users, this is all you will need.

Remote Desktop for the Complete Experience

Important: The information below has some specific details about computer naming conventions that apply to the Biochemistry, Biology and Chemistry departments within CNS. If you are viewing this article from another department, be sure to adjust the instructions for your area’s naming convention or specific computer name/ip address.

Connecting to your computer on campus involves a little bit of premeditated setup. The scenarios we will cover here are limited to Windows and MacOS in terms of the client (home computer) and server (computer on campus you are connecting to).

Setting up your computer on campus

The first note is that the computer must be left on (you cannot connect to a computer if it is off). You will need to gather some information about your computer and possibly make/request a few changes in order for remote access to be established.

First, you should record the name of the computer on campus you want to connect to. For most of the machines on the CNSIT controlled networks, the catalogue process has given them a unique name based on our CNSIT naming convention (https://wp.natsci.colostate.edu/cnsit/interpreting-the-cnsit-naming-convention). This name will be displayed on a white label somewhere on the computer. With this computer name you will then know your computer’s FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name) by appending “.natsci.colostate.edu” after the CNSIT computer name. For example, if your on-campus computer name is MEDFOR1802DTW02 then your FQDN would be: MEDFOR1802DTW02.natsci.colostate.edu

You should also record the IP address for your computer on campus. To get this information follow the appropriate steps below:

Windows 10: https://www.windowscentral.com/node/52448
MacOS: https://www.wikihow.com/Find-Your-IP-Address-on-a-Mac

If the computer on campus is a Windows computer, the setup should already be in place for administrator accounts to connect via remote desktop. If the account you use is not an administrator account, please contact CNSIT to request the account be added to the remote desktop access group. You will need to provide the CNSIT name for this computer you have already recorded as well as the username of the account you will be using to log on (please let us know if this username is your CSU eName) – https://cnsit.natsci.colostate.edu

If the computer on campus is a MacOS computer, you will need to contact CNSIT to request remote access be set up. https://cnsit.natsci.colostate.edu

Setting up your computer at home

The setup for your home computer depends on the combination of OSs in use.

Windows at home and Windows on campus

This setup requires you are running Windows 10 at home (Windows 7 and older will not work) and is a fairly simple setup – using the built in Microsoft Remote Desktop program.

You can launch the Microsoft Remote Desktop by searching for this in the Cortana search bar located next to your start menu. Once opened you will need to provide the FQDN computer name or IP address which you have recorded when you set up the computer on campus. Simply typing this FQDN computer name or IP address in the “Computer” text box and hitting enter will contact the correct device. It will then ask you to log in. You will use the username and password for the remote computer in the login in step. If you are using a CSU eName account to log in, you should prepend your eName with “COLOSTATE\”. For example: COLOSTATE\eName

Windows at home and MacOS on campus

Connecting to a MacOS computer on campus requires extra software. We currently are seeing the best performance using Teamviewer (free for home use). This is available at the link below:

https://www.teamviewer.com

You will need to install the Teamviewer program on both the MacOS computer at work and your Windows computer. Teamviewer does require administrative access to install, so let CNSIT know if you are going this route and need us to provide credentials to install this software.

Once the Teamviewer is installed on both locations (and running on the MacOS computer on campus), you must launch it from your home computer and enter in the IP address you have recorded in the previous step (the FQDN computer name may not work with Teamviewer from off campus). The connection process should walk you through the connection. Please let us know if you have trouble – https://cnsit.natsci.colostate.edu

MacOS at home and Windows on campus

Connecting to a Windows computer from a MacOS computer requires the installation of the Microsoft Remote Desktop program from the MacOS App Store. This is a free download from the following link (should launch the App store):

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-remote-desktop-10/id1295203466?mt=12

Once you have that installed, you can launch this from your Applications folder. You will first add your on-campus computer by clicking on the Connections->Add PC menu item found at the top of your screen when Microsoft Remote Desktop is active. You will now need to type the FQDN computer name or IP address (this was collected when you set up the on-campus computer) in the “PC name:” text box and hitting enter will contact the correct device (all other settings are optional in this setup dialog). It will then ask you to log in. You will use the username and password for the remote computer in the login in step. If you are using a CSU eName account to log in, you should prepend your eName with “COLOSTATE\”. For example: COLOSTATE\eName

MacOS at home and MacOS on campus

Connecting to a MacOS computer on campus requires extra software. We currently are seeing the best performance using Teamviewer (free for home use). This is available at the link below:

https://www.teamviewer.com

You will need to install the Teamviewer program on both the MacOS computer at work and at home. Teamviewer does require administrative access to install, so let CNSIT know if you are going this route and need us to provide credentials to install this software.

Once the Teamviewer is installed on both locations (and running on the MacOS computer on campus), you must launch it from your home computer and enter in the IP address you have recorded in the previous step (the FQDN computer name may not work with Teamviewer from off campus). The connection process should walk you through the connection. Please let us know if you have trouble – https://cnsit.natsci.colostate.edu

Back to top of page