VPN - Setup for Windows


  • How do I connect to the OSU VPN on Windows?


  • Oregon State University
  • Student, Employee
  • VPN
  • Windows


For details on who can use the VPN, please see: Who is Eligible for VPN Access? 


Note: You will need local administrator privileges to install the Cisco AnyConnect client.

Install Cisco AnyConnect Client

  1. Navigate to https://oregonstate.box.com/v/cisco-vpn-clients
    • Note: you will need to sign in to Box with your OSU account in order to access the VPN installers.
  2. Open the most recent updated folder. Download the version that corresponds to your system:
    • For most Windows PC and laptops (x86 and x64 CPUs): anyconnect-win-<version>-core-vpn-predeploy-k9.msi
    • For mobile devices/tablets using specialty ARM64 processor: anyconnect-win-arm64-<version>-core-vpn-predeploy-k9.msi

NOTE: If you are working on an OSU owned machine, you will need to call the Service Desk for Administrative access to install the VPN client

  1. Run the downloaded MSI installer.
  2. Enter your local administrator username and password when prompted. (Or call the service desk for administrative access if you are on an OSU owned machine)
  3. The installer may prompt for a reboot after the installation is finished.

Connect to VPN

  1. Open Cisco AnyConnect VPN software.
  2. Enter vpn.oregonstate.edu in the blank white-space and click Connect.

    Caution: If you see "sds.oregonstate.edu" in the server name, please change it to "vpn.oregonstate.edu".

  3. A Cisco AnyConnect Login screen will appear with a connection type window behind it.
    • Full tunnel vs. Split Tunnel selection: Hidden behind the login screen will be another window labeled "Cisco AnyConnect | vpn.oregonstate.edu" where you can select your connection type. 
    • If you can't see the connection type window, click and drag the login window out of the way.
    • Full tunnel is the initial default for most users. If you switch from full tunnel to split tunnel, the split tunnel option will remain selected in future. For details about which to use, see: VPN - Full Tunnel vs. Split Tunnel
  4. Enter your OSU username and password in the login window and click "Login". You will be prompted to do Duo two-step login.
  5. A Cisco AnyConnect window will appear; select "Accept" to connect
  6. You are now connected to the VPN. An icon in the system tray with a closed padlock shows that you are connected. You can right-click this icon and choose to disconnect or quit the VPN connection.


Known Issues

"Could not connect to server"

When trying to connect to the VPN, you may receive the following error: "unable to contact vpn.oregonstate.edu - could not connect to server; please verify internet connectivity and server address."

  1. Check your client version to make sure that the installation was successful:
    1. Right-click on the Cisco AnyConnect icon in the system tray and select "About."
    2. The version displayed should be 4.8.02042 or higher
  2. Make sure that you are connected to the Internet before attempting to connect to the VPN.
  3. Confirm that the server name is entered correctly: vpn.oregonstate.edu

"The VPN Client Driver Encountered an Error"

When trying to connect to the VPN you may receive an error message saying "Repairing VPN Adapter" followed by another error stating "The VPN Client Driver encountered an error."

If there are any other VPN clients installed on the computer try uninstalling them, along with Cisco AnyConnect, then reinstall AnyConnect. If you are able to connect to the OSU VPN you should then be able to reinstall your other VPN client(s).

Can't Save Username and Password in Login Screen

This is intended behavior. You cannot save your username and password in the login screen, and will need to re-enter them each time you connect to the OSU VPN.

Update VPN Client to Latest Version

If someone is using an older version of the VPN client there can be an issue where the DUO prompt does not accept/recognize the security key option.  Upgrading the VPN to the latest version will rectify this issue.


For assistance, contact the Service Desk.

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Article ID: 51154
Wed 3/28/18 11:26 AM
Tue 7/16/24 11:06 AM