Connecting to the campus VPN from the login screen

How to connect to the campus Cisco Anyconnect VPN before logging in to your computer

Extension Technology Services has pushed out an addon that will allow you connect to the campus VPN service from the login screen before you log on to your computer. This is useful for many reasons and will help you avoid many login issues when using your Extension PC while outside of the office.  Connecting to the VPN before login helps with the following issues:

  • When logging in to a computer for the first time with your NetID and password
  • Network resources such as shared drive are able to be connected immediately and will not show up with a red X
  • You will already be securely connected to the VPN before logging in and will not have to connect again after login
To connect to the Cisco Anyconnect VPN before logging in to the computer, start by pressing the button pictured below in the bottom right corner of the login screen.  

vpn button on login screen

The VPN connection window will launch and should have the correct address already in the blank.  If it does not, enter vpn.illinois.edu and hit connect. 

vpn connection address prompt

You will be prompted to enter your username and password.  Enter your University NetID and password here.  The default option for group of 1_SplitTunnel_Default should be fine in almost all scenarios.

vpn login prompt

If your Anyconnect software is not on the latest version you will be prompted to update.  We suggest hitting Defer here as the Software Center on your computer will handle updating your VPN software automatically once it checks in.

vpn update prompt

Once you have successfully connected you will see a new icon in the bottom right of the login screen indicating that you are connected.  If you would like to disconnect from the VPN at any time simply click this button and it will disconnect immediately.  

vpn connected button

The VPN connection will persist once you login to Windows and you will not need to connect again.  You will recieve a Windows notification once you have logged in telling you that the VPN is still connected.  

vpn connected notification in windows after login

You can double check your VPN is still connected by looking for this icon in the task tray.  If there is a lock on the icon your are currently connected to the VPN. 

vpn connected task tray icon with lock




Keywords:campus vpn cisco anyconnect login   Doc ID:110246
Owner:Matthew A.Group:University of Illinois Extension KB
Created:2021-04-14 10:10 CSTUpdated:2021-04-14 10:32 CST
Sites:University of Illinois Extension KB
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