VPN Installation for Mac OS

These instructions are for the following Apple macOS versions:

  • Apple macOS X 10.11 or newer

Installation Options

Choose the installation option that best fits your circumstances.

Automated installation option

  • Java for OS X is required for this installation.
  • The latest version of Oracle Java is recommended for the best functionality.
  • If you select this option, follow the Instructions for Automated Installation below.

Manual installation option

  • Operating system: MacOS 10.11.0 or newer
    NOTE: This software may work on older versions of macOS but is not officially supported by Cisco or NC State OIT.
  • Free hard disk space: 50 MB
  • Minimum display resolution: 1024 by 640 pixels
  • Administrator privileges: For installation
  • Security and Privacy setting:
    Allow apps downloaded from:
    “App Store and Identified developers.”
    For details, see https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202491.
  • If you select this option, follow the Instructions for Manual Installation below.

Instructions for Automated Installation

  1. Using Safari web browser, go to NCSU Remote Access VPN Service
  2. Enter your Unity ID and password.and press the Login button.
    The Cisco AnyConnect VPN will launch and the install will begin automatically.
    NOTE: If Java is not installed on your machine or cannot be detected, you will be presented with an option to manually download and install Cisco AnyConnect VPN.
    To do so, select OK and go to the Instructions for Manual Installation below.
  3. If Java is detected, the download will proceed:
    NOTE: If you receive this error message: “Web-based installation was unsuccessful” then close the browser window and go to the Instructions for Manual Installation below.
  4. You will be prompted to approve the digital certificate provided by the appliance. It should say: “The digital signature from “Cisco Systems, Inc” has been verified.”
  5. To begin the initial installation of the AnyConnect VPN client, click Allow.
    Oracle Java will be utilized to install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client to your computer.
  6. At the prompt to enter your Name and Password, enter the local ID and password that you use to log in to your Mac.
    This is granting access to install the vpndownloader.app.
    The Cisco AnyConnect client application will begin to install.
    You will be prompted with an ‘Installation was successful’ window.
  7. The client will initialize your first connection to the NC State SSL VPN network via the AnyConnect VPN Client.

Subsequent Login

Once the client is installed you will not have to log in to NCSU Remote Access VPN Service again.
Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Under Applications, open the Cisco folder.
  2. Double-click Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client to launch the application.
  3. In the Connect to: field, verify that vpn.ncsu.edu is selected.
  4. Click the Select button.
  5. When prompted, enter your Unity ID and password to log in.
    A symbol with a lock will appear in the taskbar in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  6. To terminate the VPN connection: Right-click on the lock symbol in the taskbar and select Disconnect.

Instructions for Manual Installation

Download the installer

Go to: https://go.ncsu.edu/vpnmac

You may be asked for your Unity ID to login to the download software.

Install the software

  1. In the Finder, locate the installer you downloaded:

  2. Double click on it to uncompress it. A new installer file will be created.
  3. Double click this file: NCSU-Campus-Cisco_Secure_AnyConnect4.5.03040.pkg

  4. In the  Introduction window press the Continue button (lower right).
  5. In the Destination Select window click on the volume desired for installation (usually Macintosh HD).
  6. Click the Continue button (lower right).
  7. In the Installation Type window press the Install button (lower right).
  8. In the macOS, Authorization Dialog window enter the name (Unity ID) and password.
  9. Press the Install Software button (lower right).

  10. When the installation is complete, in the Summary window, press the Close button.


Using the VPN software

Locate the app

  1. In the macOS Finder: open the macOS boot volume (typically named Macintosh HD).
  2. Open the Applications folder.
  3. Open the Cisco folder inside it.
  4. In the list, locate Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.app

Connect to vpn.ncsu.edu

  1. Double click on Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.app
  2. In the Ready to connect field, type: vpn.ncsu.edu
  3. Press the Connect button.

  4. Enter a UnityID and password and press the OK button
  5. In the upper right side of the macOS menu bar, a locked AnyConnect icon:  indicates a completed connection to vpn.ncsu.edu.

Disconnect the VPN session

When you finish using your VPN session, be sure to do the following:

  1. On the macOS menu bar, click the AnyConnect icon: 
  2. From the VPN menu, select Disconnect.
  3. A red and white X badge on the AnyConnect icon:    indicates the client is disconnected.