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Is VPN the only way to connect to the HSU networks remotely?

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No. In fact, your first choice for remote connectivity should always be to use Secure FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to connect to your network folder. That approach is much simpler and ties directly into HSU's network access control system, so it's just as secure but much simpler and more reliable to use. The VPN system is really designed to be used only by those people who are already connecting to their office computers remotely using Remote Desktop or VNC.