NCSU VPN

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NC State University's SSL VPN Service

To access secure campus resources at NC State University, VPN client software must be installed on the off-campus computer. When opened, the VPN client requires a username and password to verify the user's identity. Once the user's identity has been verified, the program connects the machine to a virtual NC State network, allowing access to restricted services.

All users should note that NC State University's Computer Use Regulations apply to VPN. For details, please view the VPN Acceptable Use Policy.

Please also review the system requirements for your operating system at these links:


Installing the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client

There are two methods for installing the Cisco AnyConnect client.

  • The first method installs the client automatically via the SSL VPN website.
  • The second method is to download the client from NCSU Comtech's website and install it manually. Manual installation can be used if the automatic method fails.

Method 1 - Automatically via Web Browser

Figure 1 - SSL VPN Login


  • Open your web browser and navigate to https://vpn.ncsu.edu/. See Figure 1 to the left.

  • Log in using your NC State unityID and password.

  • The webpage will detect whether the AnyConnect client is already installed, and will begin the install process if it does not find it.

  • Please note, you must have administrative privileges on your system in order to install the client software.
  • If you are using Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer, the installer will use ActiveX to install the client. Figure 2 below and to the left shows the start of this install.
  • If you are using Mac OS, a Linux distribution, or Microsoft Windows with any other web browser, the installer will use Java to install the client. Figure 3 below and to the right shows the start of this install. If you do not have Java, you can download it from here.
Figure 2 - ActiveX Install
Figure 3 - Java Install
  • Before the client begins installing, your operating system will likely ask your permission to allow the VPN site to install or run certain components. These prompts may come up as toolbars at the top or bottom of your browser, or they may come up as new dialogue boxes. Figure 4 shows a prompt for the ActiveX install, while Figure 5 shows a prompt for the Java install.
  • You may also be prompted to approve a certificate for the service.
Figure 4 - ActiveX - Permission to install
Figure 5 - Java - Permission to run
  • Accept or allow and provide administrative credentials as needed and the client installation will begin.
  • If the client install is successful, it should automatically connect to the VPN service. The SSL VPN website should then display a page similar to Figure 6 below. (NOTE: This particular view was captured from a Windows machine, but Apple and Linux machines should display a similar page.)
Figure 6 - Successful Install and Connection established


  • You now have an install of the Cisco AnyConnect client and can use it to connect to the NCSU VPN service.

  • The client can be launched by running the program on your machine, setting it to connect to vpn.ncsu.edu, and logging in with your NCSU unityID and password.

  • Alternatively, you can launch the client by returning to https://vpn.ncsu.edu/ and logging in again. The site will detect that the client is already installed and launch it automatically.

  • For more details on usage of the client, scroll to the bottom of this page to find the section, Using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client.

Method 2 - Manual Install

  • Please note, this method is required for Apple iOS devices.
  • For downloads and installation instructions specific to your operating system, navigate to NCSU OIT's installation instructions page.
  • Administrator or root privileges are required for manual installations.
  • For details on how to launch, configure, and use the application once installed, see the next section.

Apple iOS

  • From your iOS device, navigate to the OIT website provided above and click on the download link for Apple iPhone, iPad, & iTouch to download and install the app. Alternatively, you can go to the App store on your device and search for Cisco AnyConnect.
  • Once installed, start the app, click on "Add VPN Connection".
    • Give the connection a name, like NCSU VPN.
    • Set vpn.ncsu.edu as the server address.
    • Enable Network Roaming.
  • Save the connection and then set AnyConnect VPN to ON. You will be prompted for credentials. Use your NCSU unityID and password.


Using the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client

  • Once installed, you can launch the client and connect to the VPN through your web browser. Simply navigate again to https://vpn.ncsu.edu/ and authenticate with your NCSU unityID and password. The site will detect that the client is already installed and launch it automatically.
  • This method works from Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

  • If you prefer to manually launch the client, locate the shortcut on your system and open it.
    • Windows - Start > All Programs > Cisco > Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client
    • Mac OS - Applications > Cisco
    • Linux - Applications > Cisco > Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client
  • Enter vpn.ncsu.edu for the "Connect to" option
  • Enter in your NCSU unityID and password
  • Click Connect.

  • When the client is launched and connected, you will see an icon in your system tray. Figures 7 and 8 below show the appearance of the icon in Windows and Mac OS respectively.
Figure 7 - Windows tray icon and menu
Figure 8 Mac OS tray icon and menu
  • Clicking on the icon once will bring up the menu shown in the figures below as well, giving options to disconnect from the VPN or quit the client.
    • Windows - double-clicking the icon will bring up the client interface.
    • Mac OS - "Bring AnyConnect to Front" will bring up the client interface.