A VPN is a Virtual Private Network which encrypts network traffic from a remote computer to the Stanford VPN server, which then unencrypts it and passes it to the desired destination. General computer users in the School of Medicine can use Stanford University's Public VPN service to securely connect to Stanford resources from off-campus. You can access the VPN from a Windows, Mac or Linux system, and even from a mobile device running Android or iOS.
It is important to understand that after the network traffic passes through the VPN server, it is no longer in a safe network tunnel, and is only secured by the protocols being utilized for each connection. Be sure to continue to use appropriately secured communication methods such as HTTPS, SSH and SSL while connected through VPN.