How to use Cisco AnyConnect VPN


In order to access Bowdoin resources while off campus there are three steps that you will need to complete.

  1. You will first need to request access to VPN
  2. Install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client
  3. When you use the VPN client, you will need to have access to your Duo 2-Step challenge device (usually your mobile phone).

MacOS / and Windows


MacOS / Windows

How to use Cisco AnyConnect for MacOS and Windows

After the application has been installed and you have restarted your computer, you can use the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software.

  • For MacOS: In Finder go to Applications - Cisco and open the "Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client"
  • For Windows: Open the "Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client" from the Start Menu or by searching for it

  • In the AnyConnect windows that opens, enter in the address line

  • To connect, click Connect
  • A username and password screen will appear.
    • In the Username field, enter your Bowdoin username 
    • In the Password field, enter your Bowdoin password
    • In the Second Password field you have some options (you only need to do only 1 of the following).
      • With the Duo App installed on your mobile device such as iPhone or Android:
        • In the Second Password field, type the word Push and click Ok.  A notification will be sent to the Duo app on your phone where you can approve the request.
        • Or, Open the Duo app on your mobile device, click the icon next to Bowdoin College and enter the number generated into the Second Password field.
      • Without the Duo App installed on your mobile device:
        • In the Second Password field type the word SMS to get a code texted to your phone and enter that code in the second password field.
        • Or, In the Second Password field type the word Phone to receive a phone call and authenticate on the keypad of your phone.
      • With a Duo key:  If you have the Duo key that generates a random number, enter that number in the Second Password field or authenticate with a USB Duo key.
  • Click Ok to connect to VPN

Type the phrase in the second password field To...

To send a Duo Push request to your phone (if you have Duo Mobile App installed).
Review the request and just tap Approve

Note: If you do not see a notification, you will need to open the app to see the request.

phone Authenticate with a phone call
sms Get a new batch of SMS passcodes.
Note: Your login attempt will fail &mdash log in again with one of your new passcodes.
or you can enter in a passcode

Log in using a passcode that was either:

  • generated with Duo Mobile
  • sent via SMS
  • generated by your hardware token
  • provided by the service desk.

We have created a short video demonstrating how to use the Cisco AnyConnect Client.



Install Cisco AnyConnect App

The Cisco AnyConnect app is available as a free app from the iOS App Store. Follow these steps to install the app and configure it for use.

  • Open the App Store on your iOS device and search for Cisco AnyConnect. Once located, download and install the application
  • Once downloaded, tap the icon to open the Cisco AnyConnect app

  • One the main screen, tap Connections

  • Tap on Add VPN Connection...

  • Fill out the fields. You can put anything for the description you would like. For the server address, enter as shown below. Tap Save when done.

  • iOS will prompt you if you'd like to add VPN Configurations. We recommend you tap Allow. This will add the VPN configuration you have configured to the iOS native VPN controls in the Settings app.

  • Enter your iOS passcode when requested.

How to use Cisco AnyConnect for iOS

To start VPN from within the AnyConnect App, follow these instructions.

  • Within the app, tap the slider next to AnyConnectVPN

  • The authentication window will open. Enter your Bowdoin username on the "Username:" field, your Bowdoin password on the "Password:" field and type in push on the "Second Password:" field.
  • Tap Connect
    • By entering push, the Duo Two-Step app will send a notification to your mobile phone for you to accept, which will then allow VPN to connect.

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