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Connecting to the UW Internal Network Remotely Using VPN


Remote access to some resources requires the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. This document describes how to use a VPN connection to access UWSS or UWSA network resources such as file shares and databases.

Process Considerations:

  • These instructions are for Windows or Mac OS only. Additional operating systems are unsupported.
  • UWSA or UWSS employees use their network credentials to authenticate (NOT your UW-Madison NetID).
  • Connecting to the VPN requires that the Cisco AnyConnect client be installed on your computer, instructions can be found below.
Click on the links below to skip directly to a section:

Instructions for Installing or Updating the VPN Client Through the Software Center

Installation of the Cisco AnyConnect client can be installed from Software Center on your UWSS or UWSA issued computer.

  1. Perform a search for “Software Center” and click on the icon to open it.
  2. In Software Center, under the “Applications” tab, select the “Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (VPN)” application.
  3. Click on the “Install” button to start installing.
  4. Once installation is complete close the Software Center.
  5. Proceed to “Connecting to the VPN” below.

Manually Installing the VPN Client on a Personal or Mac Device

  1. Open a web browser and go to:
  2. At the login window, select your organization in the “GROUP” drop-down menu, fill in your user ID and password, and click “Login”.
  3. Complete the requested Okta Multi-factor Authentication.
  4. Select the Continue button to proceed.
  5. The AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Download web page should now appear.
  6. Select the “Download for Windows” button. The AnyConnect client should start downloading
    1. VPN download page
  7. Select “Open” on the downloaded file and the AnyConnect client installation should start.
  8. Select the "Next" button to continue and the License Agreement window.
  9. Select the "I accept …" option.  Select the "Next" button to continue.
  10. At the "Ready to Install" window select the "Install" button to proceed with the AnyConnect client installation.
  11. If you have a previous version of the AnyConnect client installed, you should see the "Files in Use" window. Select the "Ok" button to continue with the AnyConnect client installation. When the installation has completed, you should see the window shown below.

    Select automatically close and click ok

  12. Select the "Finish" button to complete the installation.

Connecting to the VPN

  1. Search for "Cisco AnyConnect" in your Start menu or Finder to launch the VPN client.
  2. Enter in the URL to connect:
    Note: After you have connected for the first time, the URL will default to UWSS or UWSA. You will not have to enter in the full URL after the first login. The AnyConnect window will now have UWSS or UWSA options in the drop down box to the left of the Connect button. Select the UWSS or UWSA option as-needed to connect to the VPN in the future.
  3. Complete the Okta Verification Screen
    1. There is a known issue when using the VPN. MacOS customers should utilize Okta Verify on their Mobile device as their MFA factor. Other MFA methods on MacOS may fail. Please contact the Help Desk if you have questions or concerns.

      AnyConnect Okta Login

  4. Select the "Accept" button to complete the VPN connection process. The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobiltiy Client should appear as a circular icon with a lock symbol on your taskbar.

    Click accept

  5. To disconnect from the VPN, click on the Cisco AnyConnect icon and select the "Disconnect" button in the VPN window.

    VPN Icon in system tray

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KeywordsInformation, Technology, Network, Connectivity, Okta, VPN   Doc ID102941
OwnerEric B.GroupUW–Shared Services
Created2020-06-10 11:27:54Updated2023-08-14 16:27:14
SitesUW–Shared Services
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