Remote Access

A resource for employees to connect remotely using Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), Cisco AnyConnect VPN (also referred to as RESCUE) or the Citrix Access Gateway (CAG).

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How can an employee connect remotely?

VA offers staff and contractors three ways to connect remotely.

yourIT Service Portal

Cisco AnyConnect VPN (Rescue)

The Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client is only for use on VA Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) and is installed on all GFE laptops. More information is below.

VA Telework

  • Citrix Access Gateway (CAG)

  • Cisco AnyConnect VPN (RESCUE)

Go to the yourIT Self Service Portal

Tips for telework

    Optimize your WiFi

    • Place your router in a central area of your home and elevate it off the floor in an upright position.
    • Make sure there are no obstructions around the router, and it’s not near items that may interfere with the WiFi signal, including walls, furniture, metal surfaces, Bluetooth devices, other electronic equipment (e.g., TVs and computers), appliances (e.g., refrigerators and microwaves).
    • Check to see if different locations in your house offer better connectivity. If you are connecting via a wireless network and your preferred location has a poor connection, consider purchasing a wireless extender to increase the signal for that area.
    • Avoid using unsecured WiFi networks
      • Secure your home WiFi networks with a password.
      • VA WiFi and hotspots (often provided by VA OIT as Verizon MiFi devices) are approved WiFi connections.
    • Check to see what the highest-level security setting your router and devices will support. If they support WPA2, use that, since it is superior to the WEP protocol. If they do not support it, use WPA, not WEP, since WEP is less secure and can reduce internet speeds.
    • If wireless connectivity continues to be problematic and your router provides the ability to connect an ethernet cable, you may want to consider this.

    Your internet service

    • Your internet company or cable provider allocates a finite block of capacity to each of its customers. As more and more people start to work from home in your neighborhood, overall speeds may decrease. Expect decreased speeds during peak usage times.
    • There are various services available to test your internet speeds, and often your internet service provider or cable company will have these tools on their website. If you find that your speeds are slower than you expect, you need to contact your internet service provider.
    • Check your provider’s website to see whether there are any local internet outages in your area. If there are, the problem is one beyond your device or connection.

    While Connected to the VA Network (CAG or VPN)

    • Maintain relationships with team members and managers through agency-approved tools, such as Webex, Teams, or Slack. Share calendars with team members.
    • Make sure your availability status in Teams or Slack is accurate. If you can’t be disturbed, change your status, but don’t use it to be avoided.
    • Be mindful of different time zones and working times — respect free and busy times, even if you are working when others are not.
    • When participating in meetings, find a quiet space and join the meeting from somewhere free of loud background noise. When not speaking, remember to mute your phone to minimize background noise.
    • Avoid using video features while connected.

    Other tips

    • Take regular breaks throughout the day. Teleworking can tempt you to work through breaks and lunch, but this isn’t a good practice long term. Your mind and your body need to take breaks to stay productive.
    • Spend time with your friends and family.
    • Communicate often. Email, instant messages, and phone are all available to you to communicate. Without being face-to-face, a lot can get lost in translation, so reach out often.
    • Make sure you get enough sleep. It’s tempting to stay up late when you’re working from home. Getting enough rest is essential for your health and for your productivity at work.
    • Web browsers store data from websites that you visit to make revisiting them quicker in the future, and if it gets too large, it can slow your computer down. To clear the cache or change the caching behavior, go to settings or use the help system. Note: If using a GFE or CAG, some browser settings are not available.
    • You should have antivirus software installed on your personal computers. Most internet service providers make it available for free to help protect their networks.
    • Back up your files and data regularly.
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