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Install & Configure the Cisco VPN Client (Macintosh OS 10.3, 10.4, & 10.5)

Virtual Private Networking (VPN) software creates a secure, encrypted connection between your computer and the campus network. Members of the University community can use VPN software to connect securely to the campus network from off-campus (e.g., to access some campus servers or online library databases).

Note: If your Macintosh computer is running OS 10.6 or above, please use the VPN client that comes with the operating system.

Contact the OIT Help Center

To connect to the VPN, members of the University community should contact the OIT Help Center. OIT will work with you to assess your specific needs and determine if the VPN is the right solution for you. If the VPN meets your needs, OIT will provide you with the VPN group name and password. This information is required to configure the VPN client software.

Obtain & Install Cisco VPN Software

  1. Cisco VPN software is available to members of the University community at no cost from the Supported Software & Downloads pages.
  2. On the Supported Software & Downloads page, (under VPN), find and click on Cisco VPN (Macintosh), then in the Download box (on right) click the version you want to download.
  3. On your computer, find and double-click the Cisco VPN installer. The Cisco VPN Client window will open.
  4. In the Cisco VPN Client window, click Cisco VPN Client.mpkg and follow the installation prompts. Note: You will be prompted for your administrator password. Once the installation is complete, you will see a message that reads "The software was successfully installed". Click Close to exit the installer.

Configure Cisco VPN Software

  1. Open the Cisco VPN Client.
  2. In the VPN Client window, click New at the top to add a new connection entry.
  3. In the VPN Client / Create New VPN Connection Entry window, enter:
    • Connection Entry: umass
    • Host: vpn1.oit.umass.edu
  4. On the Authentication tab, select Group Authentication, then:
    • In the Name field, enter: umass or the group name you received from the OIT Help Center.
    • In the Password field, enter the password you obtained from the OIT Help Center.
    • In the Confirm Password field, enter the password again.
    • Click Save.
  5. In the VPN Client window, under the Connection Entries tab, look for the new connection (umass). If it is visible, you have successfully created a new VPN connection.

Connect to the VPN Server

Note: Before you can connect to our VPN server, you must be connected to the Internet.

  1. Open the Cisco VPN Client.
  2. In the VPN Client window, under the Connection Entries tab, make sure the umass connection entry is selected and click Connect.

    Note: If there is a period of 30 minutes or more where you do not use any network software on your computer, you may be disconnected from the VPN server. There is a 30 minute idle timeout on VPN sessions if you do not use any network software for 30 minutes. If this happens, you will have to reconnect to the VPN server.

  3. The VPN software will attempt to establish a connection to the VPN server. When prompted for your NetID and password, enter them and click OK.
  4. A VPN Client | Banner window will open. Click Continue to complete the login process.