VPN - Set Up and Connect to VPN on Your Computer

Davidson's VPN (virtual private network) capability allows access to certain Davidson network resources while working off-campus. VPN is available to all employees by default. VPN is made available to students only for research purposes; access should be requested by the professor. 

Install the Cisco AnyConnect application on your computer

  1. Launch a browser and open https://vpn.davidson.edu
  2. Choose the appropriate Group for your needs*:

    01-Regular encrypts and protects only communications between you and the Davidson campus. This improves your Internet speed but is less secure, so use this from a trusted network like your home when you only need to securely access on-campus resources.

    04-Tunnel encrypts and protects all your traffic. This improves privacy and security, but commercial Internet sites will load more slowly. Use this when traveling, or in public or untrusted locations like coffee shops, airports, and hotels.

    *One Important note: Every once in a while, a resource may only be available over 04-tunnel. If you still cannot connect using 01-regular, try disconnecting from VPN, then reconnecting under 04-Tunnel. 
  3. Enter your Davidson username (not your email address) and network password
  4. For 2nd Password, you can enter either a six-digit Duo code or the word "push" to receive a Duo push notification
  5. At this point, an "automatic installation" of the Cisco AnyConnect application will either succeed or not. If the installation succeeds, you can proceed to Step 7. If not, please continue to the next step of these instructions.
  6. If the automatic installation was unsuccessful, click on the link to download the manual installer for the Cisco AnyConnect client.
  7. Find the manual installer file (probably in your Downloads folder) and double-click on the file to launch it. Work your way through the installation process, entering your admin password if prompted. 
    • If you use Linux, the installer will come in the form of a shell script.  Run this script as root or an elevated user.
  8. Once the installer is finished, run the program entitled Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. On the Mac, this program will be in your Applications folder. In Windows, look in Programs or All apps.  In most Linux window managers, the app will be searchable.  The installer will also give directions on how to launch the app in the command line.

    On the Mac, you can search for the app by clicking on the Spotlight icon (magnifying glass in the upper right corner) and typing cisco. Similarly, in Windows 10 you can click on the Start button in the lower right corner and type cisco

  9. Once the Cisco AnyConnect app is launched, you should see the VPN Ready to connect dialog box. Type in vpn.davidson.edu and click on the Connect button.
  10. In the resulting dialog box, enter your Davidson username and password. In the "second password" field, you can enter the word "push" to receive a Duo push on your mobile device or you can enter the code generated by Duo. You can leave the Group drop-down list box set to 01-Regular to enable secure access to Davidson campus resources or select 04-Tunnel to encrypt and route all internet traffic via Davidson's network.
  11. Once VPN is successfully connected, you should see a tiny circular icon with a lock. On the Mac, this icon will appear in the Menu Bar in the upper right corner. On Windows, the icon will appear in the System Tray in the lower right corner. In either case, you can click on this icon to either disconnect or connect to VPN from this point forward.

Note: Linux users can also use OpenConnect on our VPN, but we recommend trying the Cisco app first.

Access VPN on your mobile phone or tablet


Request Help