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Office of the AVP & CTO


IT Continuity Tools & Services

Whether it is due to weather, a scheduled absence, emergency or illness— online collaboration and productivity tools provide continuity. This page provides an overview of IT tools and services that allow you to work from home.

Expandable List

Microsoft Teams provides chat, video and audio conferencing.


  • Teams is the McMaster-recommended platform for calls while working remotely. Teams also allows you to share and collaborate on documents.
  • Learn more about how you can leverage Teams to collaborate, communicate, and share information.
  • Check out this video on how to set up an inclusive Teams virtual meeting. Online teaching advice available here.

Avaya telephone service options are available for remote work.


  • The above resource outlines telephone service options available for remote workers.
  • We are working to provide essential service employees (i.e. HR, IT) with remote work telephone services first so they can best support the campus through this transition.

Zoom and Cisco WebEx are two other video conferencing tools.

All eligible McMaster faculty, staff and active students now have access to licensed accounts. In some cases, users may need to make an additional request to obtain a zoom license.


  • While licenses are available for the campus community, University Technology Services (UTS) strongly recommends that students, staff, and faculty members use Microsoft Teams for any sessions or interactions containing sensitive information.
  • Please note: Students do not need an account to act as a participant in a zoom meeting.
  • For an overview of Zoom features, check out the Zoom Quick Start Guide.


  • Request a Webex account to start creating your own synchronous interactive sessions at or get WebEx support at the link above.
  • 24/7 support is also available from WebEx at 1-866-229-3239.

Email will continue to be available and can be accessed via web browser or mail client.



  • If you have a supported email client (i.e. Outlook), you can also access mail via your desktop client.
  • More information on email resources is available here.

OneDrive and Teams are recommended platforms for remote file storage and sharing.



  • OneDrive allows you to store your documents, photos, and folders in a secure cloud and access them from anywhere, share them with other people, and sync them across your devices.

MacDrive is another option for document storage. You can access it using your MACID credentials.


  • MacDrive is a tool for file storage only. We recommend using OneDrive for file storage, sharing, and collaboration needs.

If you have concerns about the confidentiality of the information in your documents please review the McMaster Document Storage Guidelines.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) may be required to connect to McMaster resources from off campus. Expanded capacity now available.



University Technology Services now has a permanent VPN solution in place. The ‘Connect-from-Home’  VPN has the capacity to meet the University’s operational needs as we work from home.

  • Customers should now migrate back to the normal ‘Connect -from-Home’ service.
  • Users are asked to STOP using the temporary VPN ‘TechVPN.McMaster.CA–  this temporary network is no longer supported as of April 14, 2020.

The following are steps to take when accessing your files and resources remotely:

  1. First try accessing your resources without the use of VPN.
    • Tools that do not require VPN: Supported email clients, MacDrive, JIRA service desk, electronic resources through the Library (database, journal, e-book), FHS Virtual Desktop Images, and Office365 tools such as Teams or OneDrive.
  2. If you do need VPN to access your resources, Please follow these instructions to download:
  3. To connect, open the Cisco Any Connect client and connect to the “Connect at Home” network.Tip: If you are stuck and don’t have that option, enter and login. This will populate the drop down with VPN profiles. You can then disconnect and return to using “Connect From Home”.
  4. When you complete the task that requires VPN, please disconnect to allow others to use it.
  5. Moving forward, try other secure file storage options offered by McMaster.

IT support professionals across the University are working together to provide remote support for McMaster-owned devices.



  • IT support personnel are here to support their customers from home with their McMaster-owned computers and devices.
  • This may include the need to fix McMaster-owned computers and devices, provide new computers or transfer computers among staff.
  • Each Faculty or Department may have specific needs, however the document above outlines how the IT community works together to provide support.

Information Box Group