How to install and connect to the VPN - Windows OS

  • Use checkvpn.uwaterloo.ca to see your computer's VPN connection status.

  • The instructions below work for the following web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer

Video instructions

This video outlines how to access the VPN using the Duo Mobile push option. See step 5 below for instructions for other authentication methods (e.g. 6-digit code, bypass code, Yubikey).

How to install

  1. To begin, log into the VPN website with your 8-character username (e.g. j25rober)  and password

    • Most can use https://cn-vpn.uwaterloo.ca/+CSCOE+/logon.html, but depending on where you are on campus, you may need to use https://vpn-inside.private.uwaterloo.ca


      a.     Before accessing the installation file, you will be asked to sign in using your 8 character username (e.g. j25rober), password and second password. The second password is used to authenticate your DUO account.

      Second Password:

      • Type push for Duo Mobile push; enter ‘push2’ to receive the prompt on a secondary device, ‘push3’ to receive the prompt on a tertiary device, etc.

To avoid multiple prompts on your phone, accept the push within 10 seconds.

  • Type sms for text codes; you will get a text message with 10 codes. Re-enter your password, and type the first code in the second password field.

  • Type phone to get a phone call; enter ‘phone2’ to receive the prompt on a secondary device, ‘phone3’ to receive the prompt on a tertiary device, etc.

  • For Duo hardware token or Duo app, enter the 6-digit code from the token or app

  • For a Yubikey, touch the YubiKey with your cursor in the text box

    b.    Accept the Duo 2FA prompt on your device to continue to the next step.

  • From the VPN download page shown below, click Download for Windows to download the installation file.

  • Select Save.

  • Go to your Downloads folder (via File Explorer) and double-click on the installation file. 

  • Click Next to start AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Wizard.

  • Click Install on the Ready to Install window.
     

  • Accept  End User License Agreement  and click  Next .
     

  • Click the Finish button.

How to connect

The installation process only needs to be done once. After the client is installed, you can use the "Start Menu" item to launch the client connection window.

  1. Search for Cisco AnyConnect in the Windows start menu and launch the application. 

  2. If you haven't connected before, you will need to specify the VPN server:

    1. cn-vpn.uwaterloo.ca : Accessed from off-campus and from wireless when on-campus

    2. vpn-inside.private.uwaterloo.ca : Accessed from on-campus, wired connections only

  3. Click Connect

  4. This brings you to a login window where you can authenticate with your credentials. Under the 'Group' drop-down menu, select 'UW-General-Campus'. Note: 'UW-General-Campus' is the recommended profile. 'UW-Campus' should be used as an alternative profile.

    1. Enter your 8-character username into the username field (username@uwaterloo.ca or username@edu.uwaterloo.ca will not work)

Duo two-factor authentication (2FA) and the VPN

Two-factor authentication (2FA) will be required in order to connect to the VPN starting November 17, 2020. In the 'Second Password' field, enter one of the following, then click OK.

For Duo Mobile push (app): 

To avoid multiple prompts on your phone, accept the push within 10 seconds.

  • Open your Duo app, select University of Waterloo, enter the code in the second password field [Recommended option], or

  • Enter ‘push' or 'push1’ to send the prompt to your primary device, or

  • Enter ‘push2’ to receive the prompt on a secondary device, ‘push3’ to receive the prompt on a tertiary device, etc.

For Duo hardware token: enter your 6-digit code

For Duo Bypass code: enter your bypass code

For SMS codes: enter ‘sms’; you will get a text message with 10 codes. Re-enter your password, and type the first code in the second password field.

For Yubikey: enter the code generated by touching the Yubikey

For Phone Call: enter 'phone'

  • Enter ‘phone2’ to receive the prompt on a secondary device, ‘phone3’ to receive the prompt on a tertiary device, etc.

  • If you are not receiving Duo phone calls, you may have a setting that is blocking the phone calls. Some possible solutions include adding the Duo phone number, (306) 900-4884, to your device whitelist, or if the service is blocking unknown callers, add the Duo phone number as a contact on the device.

    • iPhone: 'Silence Unknown Callers'

    • Telus/Koodo: 'Call Control'

    • Android: 'Block Unknown Callers'

    • Call Control or Call Blocker app

    • Any anti-spam service



If you are having issues connecting, please confirm the AnyConnect client settings, including location and log in details


Confirm VPN connection

When the VPN client is running, you will see an icon in the taskbar notification area (lower right corner of Windows). This can be used to control the VPN connection:

  • Right click to close the Cisco AnyConnect client

  • Double-click to open the Cisco AnyConnect client

Settings at a glance

If you already have the Cisco VPN client installed, you can use the following settings to connect: (Username is your 8 character username, e.g. j25rober)

  • Server/connect to address: cn-vpn.uwaterloo.ca

  • Username: 8-character username

  • Password: password

Need Help?

Contact the IST Service Desk online or 519-888-4567 ext. 44357.

 

Article feedback

If you’d like to share any feedback about this article, please let us know.