Computer Science & Computer Engineering


ITS requires the use of their Virtual Private Network (VPN) when connecting to many campus resources from off-campus. This includes many of the services the Computer Science Department provides. The VPN makes your off-campus connection appear to be coming from on campus, and in doing so it encrypts the traffic between your computer and the campus network. With the VPN active, you can imagine yourself sitting on the UW–L campus.

macOS and Windows

This process describes how to install Cisco's AnyConnect software and use it to connect to the campus VPN.

Go to and log in with your campus username and password. This will not connect you to the VPN, but rather allows you to download AnyConnect. Find the AnyConnect button in the menu on the left pane of the page. From there you will see a page with a link to Start AnyConnect ... which will prompt you to download and install the AnyConnect software. Follow that prompt.

Once AnyConnect is installed, start the AnyConnect client, and point AnyConnect to connect to AnyConnect will prompt you for your campus username and password, and it might also prompt you for a Duo code. Once connected, your computer will appear to be on the same campus network as campus computers.

When you are done using the campus computer, don’t forget to log out of AnyConnect.


Depending on your configuration, you might find it possible to configure your computer to use the VPN in that same place you configured your WiFi connection. If this is the case, then remember to use as the VPN server, and log in using your campus credentials.

As an alternative, you can install the command-line program openconnect, which you can run like this with root privileges:

openconnect -v -u USERNAME --passwd-on-stdin

When run this way, openconnect will expect a password, but it does not prompt for one; simply type the password blindly. Once you type the password, openconnect will continue in an interactive mode. It might ask for additional information, such as a Duo code. Leave the command running, and complete your work in another terminal.

When you are done using the campus computer, don’t forget to log out of the VPN. With openconnect this is a matter of terminating the program by pressing Ctrl-C.


The Help Desk can help you solve any problems you encounter with the campus VPN.