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Connecting to the UCL VPN with macOS 11/Big Sur

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.

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.

For home/personal machines we recommend F-Secure 15 (available for free to students and staff from UCL's Software Database) or Sophos Home Free (you must create a Sophos account).

For UCL-owned machines we recommend F-Secure 15 (available from UCL's Software Database) or Sophos Enterprise (if available to your department – please contact ISD IT Purchasing).

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)
    Cisco AnyConnect installation file
    Fig.1 – Cisco AnyConnect installation file
  5. Click Continue on the Welcome and License Agreement windows (Fig.2)
    Welcome to the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Installer window
    Fig.2 – Welcome to the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Installer window
  6. Agree to the terms of the software licence agreement (Fig.3)
    Agree to the terms of the software licence agreement prompt
    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)
    VPN and Posture options checked in Custom Install window
    Fig.4 – VPN and Posture options checked in Custom Install window
  8. Click Install to start installing the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (Fig.5)
    Start installation window
    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. A System Extension Blocked (Fig.6) and Attention Required window (Fig.7) will open
    System Extension Blocked window
    Fig.6 – System Extension Blocked window

    Attention Required window
    Fig.7 – Attention Required window
  11. Read the Attention Required window and click Open Preferences
  12. If locked, click on the padlock in the lower left corner to make changes then click Allow next to System software from application “Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter" was blocked from loading (Fig.8)
    System Preferences Security & Privacy window
    Fig.8 – System Preferences Security & Privacy window
  13. Click Allow on the "Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter" Would Like to Filter Network Content window (Fig.9)
    Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter Would Like to Filter Network Content window
    Fig.9 – Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter Would Like to Filter Network Content window
  14. Click Dismiss on the System Extension Enabled window (Fig.10)
    AnyConnect System Extension successfully enabled window
    Fig.10 – AnyConnect System Extension successfully enabled window
  15. Cisco AnyConnect and the System Extension have now been successfully installed. You can click OK on System Extension Blocked window and Close on The installation was successful window (Fig.11)
    Installation successful window
    Fig.11 – 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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