Cisco VPN Start before logon - Tutorial

A new feature of Cisco AnyConnect VPN is the ability to login to VPN before entering your netID and password. This allows immediate protection provided by the VPN and the ability to login using a UofI netID on a new computer.

Commonly, when a new Windows computer is ready to be picked up or delivered.  The crucial first step for the owner of that computer was to sign in using your netID on campus or connected to IllinoisNet.  This would pull down the user profile from the university network and seamlessly connect.  If this is not done and the owner is off campus or not connected to IllinoisNet, when they try to login with their netID, they will get this message:

Image of Domain Error when logging in to a new computer

The Cisco AnyConnect Start Before Logon allows you to select the option to connect to a VPN first and then login with your netID.  This can be done anywhere with an internet connection.
Note: You do not have to always connect to the VPN before logging in.  The first time you log into this computer is the crucial time you need to do the following procedure.


How to connect to the Cisco AnyConnect VPN at the login screen

1. From the login screen, select the button on the bottom right that looks like this: 

Image of CiscoVPN Start-Before-Logon button

2. Cisco AnyConnect VPN will now boot up and will soon prompt you for the server you want to connect to: vpn.cites.illinois.edu.  Then login with your netID and password.  Click Connect and you will be connected to the VPN

Image of CiscoVPN Server window

3. Login to the computer with your netID and password. 

4. The computer will now pull down your profile from the university network.  Note: This can take some time so please have patience.


That's it! You have successfully pulled down your user profile from the university network and can use the computer freely. 

Note: From now on you will NOT HAVE TO CONNECT to the VPN before logging in to the computer.  


If you have questions or concerns about the information above, please contact your IT department.