Connecting to UC Merced's VPN


VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPNs are necessary because some applications - often older administrative ones - are not designed to run securely across the Internet (they do not encrypt passwords or data). Additionally, some applications and electronic materials have licensing restrictions that permit access only to those with UC Merced network addresses. Both of these problems are addressed by UC Merced's VPN facility, which encrypts all data exchanges and provides a UC Merced network address to remote users. Essentially, configuring a VPN client on your computer to connect to UC Merced's VPN will create a tunnel between you and UC Merced to protect your data from being seen by others.

Identifying Your Operating System

Apple Mac OS X

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the upper left corner of your screen.
  2. Click on "About This Mac"
  3. On the window that appears, below the Apple logo and the line that reads Mac OS X, there will be a line starting with "Version 10."
    1. If it starts with "Version 10.4...", then you are running Mac OS X Tiger.
    2. If it starts with "Version 10.5...", then you are running Mac OS X Leopard.
    3. If it starts with "Version 10.6...", then you are running Mac OS X Snow Leopard.

Microsoft Windows Family

  1. Click on the Start button or Windows Orb button, usually located in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Right-click on "Computer"
  3. Right-click on "Properties"
  4. On the right-hand side of the window that appears, note the Operating System
    1. Windows XP
    2. Windows Vista
    3. Windows 7
    4. Windows 8

Identifying Your Windows Operating System Type (ie. 32-bit or 64-bit)

  1. Click on the Start button or Windows Orb button, usually located in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Right-click on Computer
  3. Right-click on Properties
  4. On the right-hand side of the window that appears under System, note the System type
    1. Windows XP Users: If you read a line on the properties page that reads 64-bit, then you are running Windows XP 64-bit. Otherwise, you are running Windows XP 32-bit.
    2. Windows Vista, Windows 7/Windows 8 Users: If a line reads 32-bit Operating System, then you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7/Windows 8 32-bit. : If a line reads 64-bit Operating System, then you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7/Windows 8 64-bit.

Obtaining the VPN Client

You can download the Cisco VPN Client for your operating system from here:


Installation (Windows 32-bit, 64-bit and Mac OS X only)

Windows 32-bit

  1. Run the installer.
  2. Click Unzip
  3. Click OK when the files have been successfully unpackaged to the designated folder location.
  4. The installer will appear. Click Next
  5. In order to proceed with the installation, you have to agree to the End User License Agreement (EULA). Click on I Accept the License Agreement to continue.
  6. Keep the recommended default location for Destination Folder and Click Next
  7. Click Next
  8. Click Next
  9. Note: You may encounter an Error 1406 code as displayed by the pop-up window below. You can safely Click Ignore.
  10. After the installation is complete click Finish.
  11. 11. A pop-up window will prompt to restart the computer. Be sure you save all your documents and Click Yes for the restart.

Windows 64-bit

Summary: This document outlines how to install, configure, and connect to UC Merced's VPN, using Cisco's AnyConnect software. Using AnyConnect allows users to remotely access UC Merced's resources, while away from campus.
Note: If you see a security alert displaying information about a Server Certificate not being trusted or unknown, select the corresponding option that will allow you to continue or proceed. This is OK.
Installing Cisco AnyConnect onto your Windows 64-bit PC

  1. In your web browser, connect to From there, you may see a notice stating that the Security Certificate is invalid. Select the option to continue.
    1. For FireFox users, you will need to add an exception. This can be done through the popup window (FireFox 2.x) or using the link to add an exception on the bottom of the page (FireFox 3.x)
    2. For Internet Explorer 8 (or later), click on the option to continue onto the website
  2. The website will then present a login page for user credentials.
    1. Enter your UCMNetID in the Username field
    2. Enter your UCMNetID password in the Password field
    3. Under Group, Click on the drop down arrow and select UCM_SSL_VPN. Once you have entered your UCMNetID and password, Click on the Logon button.

  3. Click Continue, when you see the notice that reads "UC Merced SSL VPN Service - For Students, Faculty, and General Staff".
  4. A new web page will open, loading a Java program that will check your system for required client files. Proceed with allowing the installer to perform its task and accept the setup files for download and installation. Once complete, the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client will launch and allow you to connect automatically. You are now authorized to access your UC Merced's resources.

    Note: The installer will display visual instructions, if it needs you to change a setting.

Connecting to the UC Merced Network via Cisco AnyConnect for the First Time

  1. Launch the Cisco AnyConnect SSL VPN program located inside your Start Menu.
    1. Windows Vista or Windows 7 Users - Launch the Cisco AnyConnect program by clicking on Start | All Programs | Cisco | Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client.
    2. Windows 8 Users - Launch the Cisco AnyConnect program by clicking on Start - Cisco AnyConnect.

  2. Under Group, Click on the drop down arrow and select UCM_SSL_VPN
  3. Enter your UCMNetID in the Username field
  4. Enter your UCMNetID password in the Password field
  5. Click Connect
  6. Following a successful connection, a banner will appear stating that the VPN Service is for Students, Faculty, and General Staff. Click Accept.
  7. The banner will disappear. You are now connected!

You will now see an icon in your system tray, displaying two green globes; this indicates the VPN connection was successful. From now on, every time you start the Cisco AnyConnect program, it should automatically connect for you.
Disconnecting from the UC Merced VPN on Cisco AnyConnect

  1. Right-click on the Cisco AnyConnect icon located in your system tray and Click Disconnect or Exit; both work to disconnect.

Mac OSX - Tiger & Leopard

  1. Open the .DMG file
  2. Using Finder, you will have the Cisco VPN Client as a connected Drive. Click Cisco VPN Client.mpkg
  3. A window will drop down asking if you are sure. Click Continue.
  4. Click Continue on the Introduction window.
  5. Click Continue on the License window.
  6. A window will drop down, asking if you agree with the license. Click Agree in order to proceed.
  7. Click Install on the Installation Type window.
  8. Note: You may be prompted to enter your Mac's Administrator Username and Password. Enter those credentials and Click OK.
  9. After the installation is finished click Close

Mac OSX - 10.6 Snow Leopard - 10.9 Mavericks

  1. Click on the Apple icon and select System Preferences.
  2. Next click on the Network icon under Internet & Wireless
  3. Next click on the + on the bottom left hand corner to add a new Interface connection
  4. A window will pop-up, asking to select the interface and name for the service.
    1. Set Server Address to by typing this into the field
    2. Set Account Name to match your UCMNetID by typing this into the field
    3. Set Password to match your UCMNetID Password by typing this into the field
  5. After clicking on Create, it should take you back to the Nework window pane.
    1. In the Server Address field, enter in:
    2. In the Account Name field, enter in your UCMNetID
    3. In the Password field, enter in your UCMNetID password
  6. Next, Click on Authentication Settings.
    1. Under Machine Authentication, be sure that Shared Secret is selected.
    2. Set Shared Secret to ucmstaff by typing this into the field. This is the VPN standard group password.
    3. Under Group Name, type: ucm_staff and Click on OK. Notice there is an underscore between ucm and staff.
  7. The VPN interface connection is now created and configured. Next, Click on Connect.
  8. Note: If you receive a prompt to apply the changes, click on Apply.
  9. A VPN Connection window will pop-up, asking for a password. Enter in your UCMNetID Password and click on OK.
  10. Congratulations! You are now successfully connected to UC Merced's VPN. Click OK to continue.

Configuring the Client

Although the screen may look a little bit different between Operating Systems, the steps to configure the client software remains the same.

  1. Launch the Cisco VPN Client
  2. Click on New.
  3. In the Connection Entry: box, type UC Merced
  4. In the Description: box, type UC Merced VPN
  5. In the Host: box, type
  6. In the Name: box, type ucm_staff
  7. In the Password: box, type ucmstaff
  8. In the Confirm Password: box, type ucmstaff
  9. Select Allow Local LAN Access under the Transport tab. This will allow you to continue accessing your local resources.
  10. If you do not use a dial-up internet connection then skip to step 14.
  11. Click the Dial-Up tab
  12. Check Connect to Internet via dial-up
  13. In the Phonebook Entry: box, find your connection. If you cannot find your connection, check the radio box that says Third party dial-up application and choose your application. If you are not sure how you connect to the internet, please contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for technical assistance.
  14. Click Save

You will now see your connection in the list of connections.

Connecting Using VPN

  1. Select the VPN Connection (I.E. UC Merced)
  2. Click Connect
  3. In the Username: box, type your UCM NetID
  4. In the Password: box, enter your UCMNetID Password
  5. Click OK
  6. You are now connected! Click Continue.


Right-click on the padlock icon located in the system tray and choose Disconnect.


Looking for help?

We offer a number of tutorials and FAQs available in the Guides & FAQs section.
If you have any questions, problems, or comments, please contact the IT Help Desk via email at, via phone at 209.228.HELP (4357), or visit them in the Classroom and Office Building room 132A.