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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.


Zoom and Cisco WebEx are two other video conferencing tools.





  • 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.


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.

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.


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 you resources, Please follow these instructions to download:
  3. To connect, open the Cisco Any Connect client and first try connecting to “Connect at Home.” If this does not work, we have implemented a temporary VPN service.
  4. To access the temporary VPN service, open the Cisco AnyConnect client as per usual and click in the window to type and then select Connect.


    • If your client is configured to auto connect to one of the pre-existing profiles (i.e. Connect from Home), you will need to type quickly to interrupt the connection and enter the new name. The remainder of the login process will be the same.
    • Unfortunately you will need to re-enter each time you connect. A reminder that this is a temporary solution and when we have permanent solution in place, you will return to the Connect From Home (or other profiles) that you have been using to date.

5. When you complete the task that requires VPN, please disconnect to allow others to use it.

6. Moving forward, try other secure file storage options offered by McMaster.

This virtual desktop service allows users to access UTS Student Labs anywhere there is internet connectivity.


  • Please see the link above for instructions to download.
  • At this time, the Virtual Desktop service (VMware Horizon Client) has a capacity for 330 simultaneous users to access licensed software, such as Autodesk Inventor, ASPEN and more!
  • This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Virtual Desktop tips:

  • Please log onto the Virtual Desktop to use the software you need and then promptly logout so that others can access this service.
  • Check that the client can run on your device. It can run from the following platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, Windows, Windows Store, and Chrome OS.


Adobe has provided temporary at home access for all McMaster students.



  • The Adobe Creative Cloud is temporarily available to McMaster students.
  • This service includes programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Premiere Pro.
  • Big thank you to the Faculty of Humanities team for working with Adobe to make this temporary service possible!

WORK FROM home tech tips

Use the following checklist to ensure you have tools in place to work from home. Don’t forget to do a test-run to make sure your equipment works as expected.

Gather files and applications to help you perform your daily tasks

Check that the device you use for remote work is updated and secure

Ensure you have the materials you need to work remotely