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VPN, CISCO AnyConnect, Installing Cisco AnyConnect VPN for Mac OS

This page contains links to download and installation instructions for VPN software for Mac OS

University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff can use these directions to set up their Mac OS computers or devices to connect to the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

If you have a guest account, Technology Services recommends IllinoisNet Wireless for on-campus use. Contact your host for help downloading and installing the VPN if you need guest access for off-campus use.

Quick Start

  • Download the Mac VPN installation package from WebStore.
  • Install the software with administrator privileges.
  • Do NOT accept the system extension "socket filter". It is not needed for basic VPN, and will conflict with other socket filters (Mac OS 11, Mac OS 12). After installation is complete, go to Cisco folder inside Applications, and delete the application "Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter.app" as a work around for a known MacOS Socket Filter related issue.
  • VPN server: vpn.illinois.edu
  • Username: Your NetID
    (or, if you're a guest, your guest ID)
  • Password: Your Active Directory password
    (or, if you're a guest, your guest password)
  • Group: 1_SplitTunnel_Default
    (Note: This is the most common choice. See About VPN Profiles for information about the alternatives, such as Tunnel All for access to Library and WebStore resources.)

Detailed instructions are provided below.

Mac OS (Pre-Big Sur) Instructions

Downloading the VPN software

  1. Download the Mac VPN installation package from the WebStore.
  2. Save the file at an easy-to-find location, such as your desktop.

Installing the VPN software

  1. Go to the location where you saved the VPN installation package.
  2. Double-click on the .dmg file.
  3. The AnyConnect Installer will launch. Click Continue.

    Installer

  4. Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) when prompted: First click Continue, then Agree.

    Agreement

  5. If given a choice of which packages to install, select only the VPN item and click Continue. Depending on the installer you might not be given a choice.

    VPN Only

  6. The installer will estimate how much space is needed. Click Install.

    Install

  7. You'll be prompted that Installer is trying to install new software.
    NOTE: This prompt is not asking for your NetID; it asks for your local user name and password on that specific computer.
    1. Enter your local user name.
    2. Enter your local computer password.
    3. Click Install Software.

      Login

  8. After the software is installed, you'll receive the message "The installation was successful". Click Close.
  9. After installation is complete, your Applications folder will have a new Cisco subfolder containing the AnyConnect VPN.

    Mac OS Big Sur Instructions

    Downloading the VPN software

    1. Download the Mac VPN installation package from the WebStore.
    2. Save the file at an easily findable location, such as your desktop.

    Installing the VPN software

    1. Go to the location where you saved the VPN installation package.
    2. Double-click on the .dmg file.
    3. The AnyConnect Installer will launch. Click Continue.

      License agreement

    4. Accept the End User License Agreement (EULA) when prompted: First click Continue, then Agree.

      Agree to terms

    5. The installer will inform you of how much space it requires on your computer. Click Install.
    6. You will now be prompted for administrator credentials to install the software. Enter your credentials (this is an admin account on the computer, not necessarily your NetID and password) and click Install Software.

      Enter admin credentials

    7. The installer will continue, and a several popups will open. For the notification that displays AnyConnect System Extension Blocked, click OK. Do not approve the System Extension. 

      System Extension Blocked

    8. For more information on this, see VPN, Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter for Mac OS Big Sur.
    9. If you get a popup with a purple circular icon will now ask if you want to allow the Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter to filter network content. Click Don't Allow. If you get two of these popups, click Don't Allow for both.

      Allow socket filter


    10. The VPN has now been successfully installed.

      Installation successful

    Starting the software

    After you've completed downloading and installing, the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software will be installed in the Application folder's Cisco folder.

    Security Warnings

    Mac OS 10.14, 10.15, and 11 (Big Sur) will warn you that the Cisco software is trying to load an extension (it might be a kernel extension or a system extension, depending on your OS and the Cisco version). Only for MacOS 10.14 and 10.15 do you you need to approve this in order for the VPN software to work correctly.

    Do NOT allow the System extention in Big Sur or Monterey (there is a bug that causes a conflict in these OSs at least through Mac OS 12.3).

    To do this go to System Preferences > Security and Privacy and on the General tab you will see a notice that Cisco AnyConnect has requested to install a kernel extension and a button marked "allow".  If the icon in the lower left is "locked" you'll need to click on that to unlock for changes and provide an administrator password to make the button clickable. Verify that it says Cisco AnyConnect is requesting the change, and then click "allow".  Follow any other on screen directions, or dismiss any dialog boxes that say it has been allowed.

    Starting the software

    After you've completed downloading and installing, the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software will be installed in the Application folder's Cisco folder. On Mac OS Big Sur and later this is also an application named "Cisco AnyConnect Socket Filter.app" in this folder. Delete this application as a workaround for a known issue where Mac OS can not support more than one socket filter at a time. The Socket Filter is not required to use the campus VPN.

    Logging in

    When you launch the Cisco AnyConnect client, you'll be prompted to enter the VPN server you wish to connect to.

    • Enter vpn.illinois.edu.
    • Click Connect.

    When the connection process begins, you'll be asked for three pieces of information.

    • Group: 1_SplitTunnel_Default
      (Note: This is the most common choice. See About VPN Profiles for information about the alternatives, such as Tunnel All for access to library resources.)
    • Username: Your NetID
      (or, if you're a guest, your guest ID)
    • Password: Your Active Directory password
      (or, if you're a guest, your guest password)

    Note: If you want to access Library resources without logging in to the Library Gateway, you should change to the Tunnel All profile.

    When the VPN connects, a new icon will be added to your dock. The icon will show a lock image while the VPN is connected.

    Show the dock with the VPN connected.

    Disconnecting

    When you're done using the VPN connection, disconnect it.

    1. Click on the AnyConnect VPN icon in your task bar.
    2. In the window that appears, click Disconnect.

    Troubleshooting and the Statistics window

    The Cisco AnyConnect VPN client gathers information that can help you with troubleshooting speed or connectivity issues.  It may be helpful to open the Statistics window while troubleshooting with the Help Desk.

    To open the Statistics window:

    1. Click the graph icon toward the lower left corner of the VPN window.
    2. Choose among the tabs as directed to help your Help Desk consultant with troubleshooting.

      Troubleshooting

    More help

    For more help, contact the Help Desk during the Help Desk's hours of operation.




    Keywords:Mac, OS X, Cisco, AnyConnect, VPN, remote, Big sur, Monterey   Doc ID:47629
    Owner:Debbie F.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
    Created:2015-02-26 10:20 CDTUpdated:2022-05-17 09:59 CDT
    Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
    Feedback:  38   8