VPN for Macintosh computers - Instructions

Content section: 

VPN service is available to current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff.

  • The client software runs on your off-campus computer.
  • VPN allows you to access all our licensed resources as if you were using a campus computer.
  • Some programs require VPN for off-campus use:
    ARTstor (Macintosh only), JSTOR (Mac OS X), Luna Insight, the java client in UC Image Service, and the Connect function in EndNote.
  • VPN will work with all web browsers and most types of Internet connection, except AOL.

VPN software download and configuration problems are best handled by campus Information Services and Technology (IST):

Summary instructions

  1. Go to the campus Cisco VPN website.
  2. Download the current AnyConnect VPN client for your Mac OS.
  3. Install it on your computer (refer to this page for details).
  4. Run VPN before using article databases, electronic journals, etc.
  5. Always choose the Library VPN option.
  6. Disconnect VPN when your session is finished.

Detailed instructions

These instructions have been tested on Macintosh OS 10.6.3 and 10.5.7 and may also work with other versions (OS 10.4 or later).

NOTE: There may be special issues if your computer is behind a firewall. For more information see this UC Berkeley IST Knowledge Base article.

Downloading the AnyConnect software

  1. Have your CalNet ID and passphrase ready.
  2. This software is best downloaded using Safari, Mozilla, or Firefox, rather than Internet Explorer, because of the way these browsers handle "disk image" (.dmg) files.
  3. To download the software now, go to the campus Cisco VPN website.
  4. Click on the highest numbered version to see the download page.
  5. Find the software version that supports your version of Mac OS.
  6. Click on the appropriate link in the Name column.
  7. If prompted, log in with your CalNet ID and passphrase.
  8. The download process may start the installer program automatically (see below).
  9. If not, it will place an icon on your desktop
  10. Double-click the icon to run the VPN installer program.

Installing the software

  1. The installer places an icon on your desktop. Double-click it.
  2. This action creates a window containing the vpn.pkg icon.
  3. Double-click the icon and follow instructions on the screen.
  4. The installation process is similar to that for other OSX applications.
  5. When the installation is complete, you may drag the anyconnect-macosx-...dmg file and the vpn-... disk drive icon to the trash.

Using VPN

NOTE: You will need to run VPN each time you want to use article databases, electronic journals, or other licensed library resources on your off-campus computer.

  1. Click the magifying glass icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  2. In the Spotlight search box, enter: vpn
  3. Click on Cisco AnyConnect VPN client
  4. In the Connect to box, enter: ucbvpn.berkeley.edu
  5. Then click on Select.
  6. Pull down the Group menu and select 3-Library_VPN
  7. In the Username box, enter your CalNet ID.
  8. In the Password box, enter your passphrase.
    NOTE: In the future when you run the VPN client, steps 4-6 will be done automatically.
  9. Click on Connect.
  10. After a moment, a VPN icon will appear in your Dock.
  11. You are now connected through VPN and can access any licensed library resources.

NOTE: For more convenient operation in the future, right-click on the icon and select Keep in dock. You can then click on it whenever you want to log in.

NOTE: If your printer is connected via a wireless or other Local Area Network, and you wish to print while using VPN, pull down the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client menu at the top of your screen and select Preferences. Check the box for Enable local LAN access (if configured), then click Save.

Disconnecting VPN

NOTE: While the VPN software is running on your computer, all your Internet traffic is routed through the UC Berkeley campus network. To reduce the load on the network, disconnect VPN when your session is finished. This will not break your Internet connection.

  1. Look for the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client window on your desktop.
  2. If you don't see it, click the VPN icon in your Dock.
  3. Click on Disconnect.
  4. VPN is now disconnected and you can resume normal Internet use.

NOTE: If your connection is idle for 30 minutes, VPN will "time out" automatically.

For electronic resource access and availability questions please contact the Library via the Library Web Comment Form.

Questions? Ask Us!