VPN Instructions for Cisco Secure Client

This page is intended for Extension staff and contains VPN-related instructions for off-campus, Illinois network connectivity.

The Cisco Secure Client (ie Cisco VPN) is a VPN or virtual private network that bridges any network to the Illinois network.  This ensures connection to network-specific services (like Chrome River and Banner) and our Extension shared drive.  

Check that Cisco VPN is installed

Before seeking to install Cisco VPN for yourself, please visit the Windows menu and begin typing to search for "Cisco..." OR find the program in the alphabetical list of programs.

If you are using an Extension computer that does not have Cisco VPN installed, please install it via Software Center or submit a help ticket for Extension IT to assist you. 

Download and Install Cisco VPN

If you are using a personal computer running Windows, please follow the instructions below:


  1. Visit the UofI Webstore or access this link directly to the product page: Cisco VPN
  2. Select Add to Cart
  3. Complete your Illinois Login
  4. Select Check Out


  1. Double-click on the downloaded product to run the install
  2. If prompted, "do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer," click Yes.
  3. The Setup Wizard will launch. Click Next.
  4. The End User License Agreement (EULA) will prompt you to accept the terms. Choose "I accept..." and click Next.
  5. The installation window will run its course and complete. You may be prompted to reboot your computer.

Starting Cisco VPN

  1. Find and click on Cisco Secure Client listed alphabetically in Windows menu.
    • Tip: Add this to your taskbar by right-clicking the program from the Windows menu, hover over More >, and click Pin to Taskbar.
    • The first field for VPN server should read: vpn.illinois.edu
  2. Click the Connect button.
    • Leave the default Group: 1_SplitTunnel_Default 
    • This is the most common choice and should be sufficient for Extension accesses. See About VPN Profiles for information about the alternatives.
  3. Username: your netID
  4. Password: your password
  5. OK

The Cisco VPN icon in the icon tray will display a Lock symbol to indicate Connection.

Disconnecting from Cisco VPN

When you are finished using the VPN connection, it is good practice to disconnect; a VPN will slow your internet speed slightly.  Even though it's hard to say if you'll notice the difference, you might decide to turn off your VPN to improve your internet speed.  However, Cisco VPN will automatically time out after 24 hours.
  1. Click on the icon tray.
  2. Click the Cisco VPN icon.
  3. In the window that appears, click the Disconnect button.

Additional Notes

  • Cisco VPN may time out earlier if your computer is idle for 3 hours.
  • When starting up your computer remotely, the Shared Drive may appear to have a red X to indicate disconnectedness, especially if your Connection timed out.  Reconnecting should enable you to access the Shared Drive despite the appearance of the X.

KeywordsVPN, Cisco, AnyConnect, Secure, Mobility, Client, Windows, Work from Home, WFH, Shared Drive, remote   Doc ID99063
OwnerJane K.GroupUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
Created2020-03-18 14:07:12Updated2024-05-15 10:14:31
SitesUniversity of Illinois Extension KB
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