Access Software from Home

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

The Windows Virtual Desktop Service (WVD) gives secure access, for students, to popular University software and your files whilst you are away from campus.

You can connect from anywhere, using most devices, including your PC, laptop, tablet or Chromebook. You will need a browser and an internet connection.

Additionally, the Azure Student Remote Access Service provides 24/7 access to dedicated School IT lab facilities, for students belonging to:

  • School of Computing
  • School of Computing & Engineering & Intelligent Systems
  • Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment
  • School of Engineering

Eligibility

Access to both Azure Student Remote Access Service and Windows Virtual Desktop are not automatic.

Students should attempt to download and install software locally where possible in the first instance. If not viable or feasible to do so, requests for access need to be submitted via the Course/Module Coordinator and/or Faculty Technical representative to the Service Desk.  Requests should include:

  • Required Application
  • List of student email addresses

The faculty technical representation and/or the Course/Module Coordinator will be the single point of contact for ISD in terms of communication and coordination and support for use of the application will be through Faculty technical representatives as normal.

How to access the Windows Virtual Desktop

Connect to WVD via Remote Desktop App

For the best experience in terms of speed and functionality, we recommend you download the Remote Desktop app for your device:

To configure the Windows app:
To configure the Mac app:
  • Install the Mac Remote Desktop App
  • Start the App and click on the '+' icon, then select "Workspace".
  • Enter the following discovery URL https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/api/arm/feeddiscovery when prompted.
  • Sign in with your University email address (eg Surname-A2@ulster.ac.uk) and network password
To configure the mobile (iOS/Android) app:
  • Start the app and press the '+' icon, then select "Add Workspace" or “Remote Resource Feed”.
  • Enter the following discovery/feed URL https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/api/arm/feeddiscovery when prompted.
  • Enter your University email address (eg Surname-A2@ulster.ac.uk), and network password
  • If you have the Microsoft Authenticator App on your device setup with your University student account for MFA, you will be redirected to this app. Select your student account and you will be automatically signed in.
  • If you have the Microsoft Authenticator App on your device for any other purposes, you will be redirected to this app. Press the ‘+’ icon, then sign in with your University email address (e.g. Surname-A@ulster.ac.uk) and network password.

Connect to WVD via your web browser

For the best experience in terms of speed and functionality, we recommend you download the Remote Desktop app for your device as advised above, however, you can also connect via your web browser, however this will be more restrictive:

Best Practice

Use WVD to access applications you can't get on your computer whilst you're away from campus.

There is no need to log in to WVD for the following:

  • To check your University email
  • To access Microsoft Office Applications (sign in with your University email address and network password)
  • Browse the Internet
  • To attend a MS Teams event as a guest or a Blackboard Collaborate event

Student WVD Software

Students can access a range of common and faculty specific applications (detailed below), in addition to standard software such as Microsoft Office 365 and various web browsers.

Please note: CAD and specialist software are not available currently via WVD. Some applications may not be available due to licensing restrictions.

  • ArcGIS 10.5 – ArcCatalog
  • ArcGIS 10.5 – ArcGlobe
  • ArcGIS 10.5 – ArcMap
  • ArcGIS 10.5 – ArcScene
  • Autodesk Autocad (TBC)
  • Autodesk 3D Studio Max (TBC)
  • Cloud Compare
  • ERDAS Imagine 2020
  • Furmark
  • Google Chrome
  • Google Pro Earth
  • IBM SPSS Statistics 26
  • MatchWare MindView 6.0
  • Microsoft Edge (Chromium)
  • Microsoft Office - Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Panopto
  • Primer 6
  • Sage 50 Accounts
  • Solidworks (TBC)
  • Visual Studio

Software available for download to your own device

Discounted and no-cost software titles are also available to download and install on own PC and personal devices:

Frequently asked Questions

Contact the Service Desk

In addition to core working hours, extended support is available from 5pm to 9am Weekdays, 24-hour Weekends, Bank Holidays and all year round.