Virtual Private Network (VPN): How to Connect to

What is new? During the fall of 2023, DoTS is upgrading campus workstations to the latest version of the Cisco Secure Client (formerly known as "Cisco AnyConnect"). This app unifies VPN, Anti-Virus, and Umbrella DNS protection in a single application. This new experience will roll out over the next few months to campus workstations.

UWRF's VPN service is not available for personally-owned devices. This service works only with university-owned devices.
Also, it is highly recommended the initial connection to VPN be done on campus. That way if it doesn't work, DoTS can provide much better troubleshooting help.

If you have any trouble connecting to the VPN or are unable to reach a specific service, please contact DoTS.

Connecting to the UWRF VPN

  1. Open the Cisco Secure Client application.
    • If you do not currently have the app installed, visit Self-Service (MAC) or Software Center (PC) to install the application
  2. In the box to the left of Connect, if you see anything but or UWRF VPN-STAFF, highlight the existing text and type ( might not be present in the drop-down; you may need to manually type it.)
    1. NOTE: If you get a "The VPN connection failed due to unsuccessful domain name resolution" message, re-enter the connection URL and try connecting again.
VPN Connection Window
  1. Enter your username and password as well as your Duo method. The first time you connect you will see that this box says Second Password. On subsequent connections, this box will change to Duo Method.
Initial Connection to Subsequent Connections to

Start Before Login Module (Windows Only)

The Cisco Secure Client on Windows has a feature that allows you to start the VPN connection prior to signing into a workstation. It's called Start Before Login (SBL). This is advantageous in a few ways. It allows the system to communicate with campus prior to login processes starting, which greatly speeds up the login process when off the campus network. Using SBL also allows all network drives to map automatically, just like they do when logging in on campus. This feature is also helpful if you forget to log into a computer for the first time before leaving campus. 

Using This Feature

Connect the system to the internet, either via a wired or wifi connection. Prior to signing into the workstation, at the login screen, select the the "two screens" icon in the lower right corner of the screen (boxed in red below). This option will not show if the system is locked, only if it is not logged in.

Within a few moments, the Cisco Secure Client VPN login dialog appears. Follow the steps outlined above to connect to the VPN. Once connected, log into your workstation normally.


Article ID: 5188
Wed 4/22/15 7:44 AM
Fri 3/1/24 3:25 PM

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