Information Services Division


Connecting to the UCL VPN with Microsoft Windows

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 and firewall requirements

An anti-virus and firewall are required to access the UCL VPN service. We recommend you use the UCL supported anti-virus and firewall program FSecure. This is available for UCL staff and students for use at work and home from the UCL Software Database.

Alternatively, Sophos is also available however only provides anti-virus so you will need to use Windows Firewall.

For Windows 10/11 users, Windows Defender Antivirus and Windows Firewall are supported.


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.

Fig.1 – AnyConnect Setup Wizard welcome screen

Fig.2 – End-User License Agreement
Fig.3 – Install button on Ready to Install screen
Fig.4 – AnyConnect Setup Wizard exit screen
  1. Download the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client installation file (your UCL user ID and password may be required)
  2. When prompted, choose to Save or Run the file (options depend on which browser you are using)
  3. If the file has been saved, open the file from where it was saved and run it
  4. Choose to accept the security warning and run the file
  5. You will be presented with the Client Setup Wizard welcome screen (Fig.1)

  6. Read and accept the End-User License Agreement and click Next (Fig.2)

  7. Click Install to begin installation (Fig.3)

  8. Allow the User Account Control to install the software on your computer
  9. When the installation has finished, click Finish (Fig.4)

Connecting to the UCL VPN

Fig.5 – Server address box and Connect button

  1. After installation, open the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client from the Windows Start menu
  2. In the server address box (Fig.5), enter vpn.ucl.ac.uk and click Connect

  3. You will be prompted for your username and password (Fig.6)

    VPN log in screen

    Fig.6 - Enter your username and password screen
Fig.7 – Login denied prompt with issues listed
Fig.8 – VPN client connected icon
Fig.9 – VPN client connected icon in task tray
Fig.10 – VPN client not connected icon
  1. Enter the following details:

    Group: RemoteAccess
    Username: Username: Your UCL userID@ucl.ac.uk
    Password: Your UCL password

    The Remote Access VPN now uses Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), this provides additional security and means you won’t have to enter your credentials every time you log in. 

    There are more details on how MFA works on the link below: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/services/stay-secure/multi-factor-authentication-mfa

  2. If you do not have an active anti-virus and firewall installed, you will see the following Login denied prompt (Fig.7) You will need to rectify these issues, then attempt to login to the client again.

  3. When successfully logged in, the client will connect you to the UCL VPN service and a connected icon (Fig.8) will be displayed in the task tray (Fig.9) You will now be able to access services (e.g. MyHR and MyFinance) that are not available outside the UCL network.

  4. To disconnect the VPN, click the Disconnect button
  5. When the VPN client has disconnected, the VPN icon in the task tray will appear as in Fig.10

Help & Support

For further help and assistance you will need to contact IT Services.


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