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Cisco AnyConnect VPN


There are some prerequisites that you must meet before you can install and use AnyConnect. If you're connecting from a business location, you might have to check with the ITS support team there to help get you connected.

  • You must be granted permission to access the VPN. If you haven't been granted access and you'd like to have it, fill out the Network Security Request Form.
  • You need to be off-campus. The purpose of the VPN is to create a secure connection to the ETSU network from off-campus. Trying to establish a connection while on-campus would be redundant. If it were permitted, it could cause networking issues.
  • Your account must have permissions to install programs.
  • Depending on which web browser you're using, you'll need to have the latest version of Java installed or be able to install ActiveX controls in Internet Explorer. You can get the latest version of Java at

A note about User Account Control:

Windows Vista and Windows 7 contain a security feature called User Account Control (UAC). It's designed to alert you whenever a program attempts to make changes to your computer so that you can either permit or deny the changes. During our testing on Windows Vista, we did not receive any UAC prompts during installation. UAC was active in its default state. We tried both a standard user account and an administrator account.

If you receive any UAC prompts, simply click on Continue or Allow. If you are asked for login credentials, enter the credentials for an administrator account or contact your IT support team.


To start accessing the AnyConnect VPN, navigate over to  Internet Explorer may prompt you that there's a problem with the website's certificate.  On this screen, choose the option that says "Continue to this website".  In other browsers such as Firefox, you may have to go through a few steps to confirm an exception for the security certificate.  Once you get past that, you'll come up to the login screen.

VPN Login
On this screen, simply enter your username and password and click on the Login button.  There is no need to put etsu\ in front of your username.  After the system successfully verifies your username and password, you'll be given a screen notifying you that you've successfully established a connection and that it should conform to the ETSU code of ethics and acceptable use policy.

Successful connection
After you click on the Continue button, you'll come up to a screen where the VPN client software will be downloaded and installed. The process differs depending on which browser you're using. In this guide, we used Internet Explorer 8 and Mozilla Firefox 3.6.8

Internet Explorer

When you're using Internet Explorer, it will attempt to install the AnyConnect using an ActiveX control. At first you'll get a yellow bar asking if you want to install the control.

ActiveX Prompt

You'll need to click on the bar and choose to install the ActiveX control. You'll then get another prompt confirming that you want to install the control.

IE Installation Prompt

The installation will continue as described below the Firefox section.

Mozilla Firefox

With Mozilla Firefox, and most likely other web browsers, AnyConnect will use a Java installation routine. During the process, you may get a Java warning like the one below..

Java warning
At this point, click on the Yes button.  A screen will come up and tell you that it's analyzing your computer.  You may get another security alert stating that the certificate issuer is untrusted or unknown.

Security alert
Click on the Yes button to proceed.

Finishing Installation

After you get past the ActiveX control or the Java screens, you'll get a screen showing the software download and installation.


After a few moments, you'll be given a screen that says that the connection has been established.

Connection Established
If you look at the image above, it has an icon circled in red.  You should see the same icon in the lower-right portion of your screen near the clock.

Controlling VPN connection

After you've made a successful connection to the VPN, you can right-click on the icon mentioned above and choose "Disconnect". When the connection is gone, the yellow padlock portion of the icon will disappear. To reconnect, right-click on the icon again and choose "Connect". You'll be given a different style of login screen.

Client connect

Your username should automatically appear in the Username field.  Simply type in your password and click on Connect.  After a few moments, you'll be given a connection message similar to the one before.

Client conduct

Click on the Accept button to continue.  You may be given the security alert again regarding the certificate issuer.  Click on the Yes button to proceed.  The yellow padlock will reappear in the icon to signify the connection.

Troubleshooting Installation

There are a few things that we noticed may happen during the installation of the AnyConnect client.

AnyConnect crashes after launching

If you get an error message after AnyConnect has logged in, restart the computer and try again.

Suggestion for manual installation

manual install

If you get a window suggesting the manual installation, this usually happens when you don't have Java installed. You can get the latest version at

Add to trusted sites

Trusted sites

If you get a screen suggesting that you add the site to the Trusted Sites zone, most likely the account you're using doesn't have permission to install software.

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