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Connecting to the UCL VPN with macOS

This guide explains how to connect to the UCL Virtual Private Network (VPN) which will enable you to access to a variety of UCL services and resources from outside of UCL.

Please note: If you are using macOS 11/Big Sur please see Connecting to the UCL VPN with macOS 11/Big Sur

This guide is aimed at...

  • Staff
  • Students
  • IT Administrators
  • SLMS staff
  • Researchers

Before you start...

Important notice

When connected to the UCL VPN service, ALL your traffic will be sent through the UCL network, regardless of whether the destination is a UCL address or an address on the Internet.

Anti-virus requirements

An anti-virus is required to access the UCL VPN service. We recommend staff and students use Sophos Home* for home/personal machines. For UCL machines please contact ISD IT Purchasing.

*You must create a Sophos account to use Sophos Home Free (registration includes a 30-day trial for Sophos Home Premium). After the trial period, you will automatically revert to the Free version if you choose not to upgrade.

If you use Mac OS 10.15 (Catalina) please see Catalina Support and Known Issues for further setup information.

Instructions

If you have already completed the Installing the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client steps you can skip to Connecting to the UCL VPN.

Installing the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client

Please note: You are installing the application onto your machine/device and configuring the client entirely at your own risk and no guarantees can be made that they will work.

  1. Download the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client installation file (your UCL user ID and password may be required)
  2. When prompted, choose Open with or Save File (options depend on which web browser you are using)
  3. If the installation file does not mount automatically, open the file from the location it was saved and double-click to mount
  4. Double-click the AnyConnect.pkg file to begin the installation process (Fig.1)
    Fig.1 – Cisco AnyConnect installation file
  5. Click Continue on the Welcome and License Agreement windows (Fig.2)
    Fig.2 – Welcome to the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Installer window
  6. Agree to the terms of the software licence agreement (Fig.3)
    Fig.3 – Agree to the terms of the software licence agreement prompt
  7. Ensure only VPN and Posture are selected and click Continue (Fig.4)
    Fig.4 – VPN and Posture options checked in Custom Install window
  8. Click Install to start installing the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (Fig.5)
    Fig.5 – Start installation window
  9. You will be prompted for a password. This is your local computer password and not your UCL user ID and password.
  10. When successfully installed click Close (Fig.6)
    Fig.6 – Installation successful window

Connecting to the UCL VPN

  1. Open Cisco AnyConnect by going to Applications > Cisco > Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client from the Finder or by searching "Cisco AnyConnect" from Spotlight (command + spacebar)
  2. In the server address box (Fig.7), enter vpn.ucl.ac.uk and click Connect
    Fig.7 – Ready to connect window
  3. You will be prompted for your username and password (Fig.8)
    Fig.8 – Username and Password window
  4. Enter the following details:

    Group: RemoteAccess
    Username: Your UCL user ID
    Password: Your UCL password

  5. If you do not have an anti-virus installed or your anti-virus has been disabled/is not up to date you will receive a Login denied message. Please ensure your computer meets the anti-virus requirements before attempting to connect again.
  6. If your computer meets the anti-virus requirements you will receive a notification saying you are connected to vpn.ucl.ac.uk (Fig.9) The Cisco AnyConnect icon in the menu bar will also display with a padlock (Fig.10) You will now be able to access services (e.g. MyHR and MyFinance) that are not available outside the UCL network.
    Fig.9 – Connected to UCL VPN notification

    Fig.10 – VPN connected icon
  7. To disconnect from the UCL VPN click the Cisco AnyConnect icon in the menu bar and select Disconnect (Fig.11)
    Fig.11 – Disconnect option in Cisco AnyConnect menu
  8. The icon in the menu bar will now display without a padlock (Fig.12)

    Fig.12 – VPN not connected icon
  9. For subsequent connections to the UCL VPN click on the Cisco AnyConnect icon in the menu bar and select Connect (Fig.13)
    Fig.13 – Connect option in Cisco AnyConnect menu

Help and support

If you require technical assistance, you can contact the IT Services desk.

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