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Technology at SCU

How to Access VPN

How to Access the VPN

The VPN (Virtual Private Network) service is available to all staff and faculty at Santa Clara University. When using VPN from off campus, you will be able to access resources that are only available while connected to the SCU network.

VPN and 2FA

The process to connect to the VPN has an additional layer of security called "2-factor authentication" (2FA). More information is available on SCU's 2FA page. You must enroll in 2FA, to access to the VPN service. 


VPN Quick Start

  • Enroll in Duo 2FA.
  • Download the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software.
  • Install the VPN software.
  • Launch the VPN.
    • Type into the “Connect” box.
    • Use your SCU username and password.
    • Complete the 2FA step.
      • Recommended: Acknowledge the Duo push to your registered 2FA device.
      • Alternatively: Add a comma and Duo 2FA passcode when you enter your password to the password field.
      • Details about VPN and Duo are below.


Download and install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software

To download and install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software, start here:

  • Enter your SCU username and password, then click “Login.”
  • For detailed, step-by-step instructions, click on the “Instructions” button on the bottom right.
  • To install the software, click on the “Download” button and follow the prompts.

Important note: You will need administrative access to complete the installation on your computer. If you do not have administrative access, please contact the Technology Help Desk at (408) 554-5700.  Please provide your computer name or asset tag number when you call.


Launch the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software

  • Type into the “Connect” box.
  • Use your SCU username and password.
  • Complete the 2FA step as shown below:

new login screen for VPN -- now with VPN


Each time you connect to the VPN, the client software will automatically receive any needed software updates. It may take a moment or two for these updates to be processed.

Once you’re connected, you’ll see the message “Connected to” as shown below:

VPN AnyConnect Connected


Click on the “Disconnect” button when you are done using the VPN. For security reasons, the VPN has a 12-hour session limit; you will automatically be disconnected after 12 hours.


VPN and 2FA 

When you connect to the VPN, Duo will automatically use your default 2FA method to complete the authentication process. For most VPN users, this will be a push sent to the Duo application on your smartphone; just click "Approve" and you will be logged in to the VPN immediately. This is the recommended method for 2FA for VPN.

For people who do not use the Duo push method, the VPN 2FA process requires an extra step to first get a passcode; then, you will enter the passcode along with your password when you login to the VPN. Each passcode can be used once, so you will need a new passcode every time you use Duo.

To get a passcode:

  • You can generate a passcode using your Duo smartphone application. Detailed instructions are on the SCU 2FA page, under Using Duo When Your Smartphone Doesn't Have Service.
  • You can generate a set of 10 passcodes. Detailed instructions are on the SCU 2FA page, under Getting Advance Codes via SMS Before You Travel.
  • If you have problems with either of these methods, the Technology Help Desk can create a passcode for you.

To enter the passcode:

When you log in to the VPN, type your SCU Username in the Username box; then in the Password box, type your password, then a comma, then your passcode. No spaces!
For example, if your password is pass123word and your passcode is 123456, then you would type pass123word,123456 

Please note, the VPN cannot use a phonecall, a hardware token, or TouchID as a 2FA method. 

You can view and manage your Duo 2FA options here (click on the tile that says "Manage Duo 2FA").


IT, VPN, Network, How To