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How to use the Commonwealth VPN

Best practices and useful guides

Table of Contents

Username and Password

For internal Commonwealth users:

The user's UPN (User Principal Name):

Ex. Joan Smith's email address is "joan.smith@mass.gov".  Her username is "joan.smith@mass.gov".


The user's AD password. 

This is the same password used to log in to the user's PC, O365 products and services, etc.

For external users and those not in the Commonwealth AD:

The guest/external user's organization email address:

Ex. Joan Smith's email address is "joan.smith@companyx.com".  Her username is "joan.smith@companyx.com".


The guest/external user’s organization email password.

After EOTSS grants the user access to VPN, the user will receive a system-generated email invitation with instructions to set up MFAPlease see EOTSS MFA Instructions for Guest Users 

Important: If the guest/external user requires a password reset, they must reach out to their organization’s Help Desk for assistance.  The guest/external user does not have a separate password for Commonwealth VPN - they use the credentials provided by their organization to sign in.

How to use the Pulse VPN Client

First-time users may find the following resource helpful:

Instructions for VPN: Connecting, Disconnecting and Remote Desktop Connection (RDP)

VPN - Best Practices

  • Only use VPN for things that require VPN. There are many tools you can access without VPN.

  • Be thoughtful and considerate to everyone on the network and remember to disconnect from VPN when you don't need it.

  • Remind co-workers about using VPN in a sustainable way on internal calls or meetings.

  • Move files from your Desktop into OneDrive or Sharepoint, where they can be accessed from anywhere and used in a secure environment. Each person has access to 1TB of file space.


When using VPN remote access, any local network devices available to the computer prior to the VPN connection (e.g., networked home printers and other computer resources) may not be available when the VPN client is connected.  If this occurs, to use or access local network home printers and other local computer resources, the VPN session must be disconnected. 

Please note: EOTSS End User Services will NOT troubleshoot home wifi/internet connectivity issues. If you are unable to connect to your home wifi/internet, please contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

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