Husky OnNet

Last updated: August 17, 2022


Husky OnNet provides a secure connection for remote access: Husky OnNet (HON) provides individual users (current UW students, faculty and staff) with a secure connection to the UW network from remote locations, such as from home, a coffee shop, at the airport, etc, while using a third-party Internet Service Provider (ISP), such as Comcast or CenturyLink.

Husky OnNet is a free individual VPN for UW students, faculty and staff: HON is a virtual private network (VPN) software application available free for UW students, faculty and staff to download from UWare. A VPN is critical to help protect personal and University data and information on the UW network.

There is also a VPN service for departments: The Husky OnNet Department (HON-D) service is available to UW departments/units that wish to allow connections for certain individuals from on- or off-campus locations to departmentally restricted network resources. General access to the UW network via Husky OnNet is insufficient to access restricted department/unit network segments. Learn more about the Husky OnNet – Department (HON-D) service to support secure connections from both on- and off-campus locations to departmentally restricted subnets using a departmentally controlled authorized users access list.

About Husky OnNet

Husky OnNet is the branded name of the UW VPN service provided by UW-IT. The underlying technology is from F5 Networks; the apps are called F5 BIG-IP Edge client applications.

Get Husky OnNet for MacOS, Windows, Linux


  • Internet connection
  • Appropriately configured computer running current operating systems for MacOS, Windows, or Linux
  • Up-to-date Husky OnNet app downloaded from UWare

Eligible Users

  • Current UW faculty, staff and students
  • Authorized Husky OnNet – Department users
  • Sponsored NetIDs for which the Assign Husky OnNet Services tool has been used by the sponsor to authorize access; requires valid UW budget.

UW Medicine & clinical departments should NOT use Husky OnNet to access restricted UW Medicine resources. Users in UW Medicine & clinical departments should visit UW Medicine Remote Access for access to restricted UW Medicine resources, or email UW Medicine IT Services at for more information.

Note: While ineligible persons may be able to download and install the application, access will be denied after entering an ineligible UW NetID.

Need Husky OnNet for a mobile device?

Husky OnNet uses the F5 Access client application for mobile, which is available for a number of devices, including iOS, Android, Chrome, and others in appropriate app stores.  See the Husky OnNet FAQs for additional information for configuring mobile devices.

Why Husky OnNet?

Most organizations, UW included, have network-connected resources and applications that are available ONLY to computers and devices that are members of the network. This refers to internal, non-public resources and applications unavailable to devices connecting from the internet at large. These include teaching and learning tools, research databases, financial applications, administrative applications, departmental servers, printers, desktops, subscription-based online journals, and more.

What is a VPN and how does Husky OnNet work?

A visual representation of a computer connecting to networks via a vpnIf you try to connect remotely to the UW’s private network via a third-party internet service provider (ISP) like Comcast or CenturyLink, without first using Husky OnNet or another UW VPN your access will be denied. This is because your device was assigned an IP address on that ISP’s network, not on the UW’s network. What you need is the UW network to recognize your computer or device. That’s where Husky OnNet or another UW VPN comes in.

Using Husky OnNet, you create a secure, encrypted connection to the UW network from within the ISP connection is created. HON assigns a UW network IP address to your computer or device and allows the UW network to “see” it as a local member and provide access.

When do you need Husky OnNet?

You will need to use Husky OnNet (or another UW VPN) to remotely connect to resources on the UW network and those resources that are restricted to the UW network.

These non-public UW network resources and applications include:

  • teaching and learning tools
  • research databases
  • financial applications
  • administrative applications
  • departmental servers
  • printers
  • desktops
  • subscription-based online journals

When you are off-campus, what can you access?

The table below illustrates what resources can be accessed with various connections and Husky OnNet configurations.

Using just an internet
Using an internet
connection with
Husky OnNet active
“UW Campus Network Traffic” option selected “All Internet Traffic” option selected
Any public internet site
Resources accessible only from the UW network:
e.g., printers, desktops, file servers
Off-campus resources accessible only to users connecting from the UW Network
e.g., various subscription-based services

For most Husky OnNet users, the “UW Campus Network Traffic” option is all that is needed. This option allows access to most necessary UW network resources without routing all Internet use through the Husky OnNet service. Only users who need to access resources that are not located on the UW campus, but are restricted to connections from the UW networks, need to use the “All Internet Traffic” option.

When don’t you need Husky OnNet?

You do not need Husky OnNet or another UW VPN for email, webpages, Google Drive, Office 365, Workday, Canvas, or DropBox, among others.

Appropriate use of Husky OnNet

When you run Husky OnNet, all UW campus network traffic goes over the Husky OnNet connection and is subject to the UW Appropriate Use Policy.

All users are bound by the Terms and Conditions for use of this software, regardless of operating system or device.

Husky OnNet is not appropriate for use in the following situations:

  • Any connection to the UW network that must persist beyond 72 continuous hours.
  • Off-campus locations that are leased or owned by UW and have a UW facilities code (e.g., building designator or facility number). In these cases, please contact UW-IT at for appropriate UW network connectivity for your location.
  • Off-campus areas that provide UW Wi-Fi access.
  • Off-campus areas that require physical UW telephones.
  • Off-campus situations requiring the origination or receipt of Big Data or large data transfers.


Husky OnNet for MacOs and Windows

UW-IT can assist users in downloading, installing, and making a successful connection to the UW network using Husky OnNet on a MacOS or Windows operating system.

UW-IT support is NOT available for the following:

  • Getting an ISP connection
  • Troubleshooting an ISP connection
  • Configuration or compatibility issues on your device
  • Devices not running a current version of MacOS or Windows operating system
  • Devices not using the UWare-supplied versions of the MacOS or Windows Husky OnNet applications
  • Devices running a Linux operating system
  • Issues or problems related to non-UW-IT services accessed via Husky OnNet (?)
  • Access to Husky TV or Philo services are not permitted via Husky OnNet

Husky OnNet for Linux

The Linux browser helper app available through UWare  should work with Chrome or Firefox and the following Linux operating systems:

  • Ubuntu 16.0
  • OpenSuse leap 42.1
  • LinuxMint 18
  • Fedora 24
  • Debian 8, with Firefox browser. Chrome is not supported on Debian 8
  • CentOS

As with various other F5 apps (e.g., iOS and Android), the Linux helper apps are provided as-is.

More information to help get started can be found in Husky OnNet FAQs in the section “Getting Started with Linux and Husky OnNet”.

Husky OnNet for iOS, Android, etc.

Husky OnNet uses the F5 Access client application, which is available for a number of devices, including iOS, Android, and others in appropriate app stores.

You will need to configure an F5 BIG-IP Edge client application if you download one from your device’s app store.

  • UW Campus Network Traffic Only (recommended):
  • All Internet Traffic (special requirements use only):

See the Husky OnNet FAQs for additional information.

Note: UW-IT cannot answer questions about these applications.

Other UW support

  • Where available and supported, contact your departmental IT

AskF5 online support