Cisco isn’t a simple individual VPN (virtual private network) provider that doubles as a web service. Instead, it is a corporate VPN that tackles monumental tasks. These include creating and maintaining a network, monitoring traffic, protecting against external intruders, and overall management. Thus, it is unlike the popular VPN services that promote privacy and data security. Having said that, the following article will focus on how to use Cisco AnyConnect VPN on the supported platforms. But remember that the software is the end-user client and needs a pre-existing Cisco infrastructure to work efficiently. With that said, scroll down and learn more about it.
Things to remember before installing the AnyConnect client
Before setting up the client, a few requirements need to be met. The conditions are as follows:
- Internet sharing turned off — Users need to ensure that the internet connection sharing option on the device is disabled before they connect to the client. Also, disable any proxy servers, if available.
- Uninstall older versions of Cisco AnyConnect — Sometimes, pre-existing Cisco profiles can interfere with the new set of instructions. Similarly, any remaining leftover files from the previous setup can create a conflict with the new one. Hence, be sure to uninstall the older versions alongside Cisco profiles.
- Uninstall SSH Tectia — If your AnyConnect is not working, and your device is running the SSH Tectia, remove it from your device.
- Uninstall other VPN clients — You need to delete any preloaded or existing VPN client and its leftover files before installing and using Cisco AnyConnect VPN.
- Whitelist AnyConnect — Sometimes, your firewall/antivirus can block AnyConnect. Though there are plenty of reasons, simply make sure to whitelist it on your firewall/digital software.
- Review the Sleep mode on your device — When a device goes to sleep, it often disconnects the internet. But VPNs rely on an active internet connection since it’s a direct conflict.
Overview of Cisco AnyConnect usage
Cisco AnyConnect VPN is a powerful software that facilitates inter-business communication and creates a central network by merging remote workplaces/workforce. It provides robust security, multifactor authentication, and the latest security protocols. Although it logs lots of data, the focus is on reliability and quality of service. It can also interlope pre-existing nodes on your Cisco network to create modules. However, the condition is that your device can handle such a resource-heavy end-user client. Thus, to use Cisco AnyConnect, one should heed a few scenarios. Follow the below-mentioned step-by-step guide to achieve this. We also recommend reading our Cisco AnyConnect review to understand more about this service.
Use Cisco AnyConnect VPN on Windows
The all-time favorite platform to run the client is undoubtedly Windows. It supports Windows 7 and up. All you need to do is:
- Figure out the type of VPN you need on your device. The client offers two versions, one with full network traffic coverage and another with split tunneling.
- Go to the official Cisco website or your central network to download the client.
- Click on the link to download and select Windows to start the process.
- Make sure you don’t have an older version of Cisco AnyConnect running, as you can’t use this download to manually update the client.
- Once your AnyConnect Windows installer finishes downloading, double-click on the .exe file to execute it. It will launch the Windows Installation Wizard.
- However, if the device prompts you for authentication/permission, select Yes.
- Follow the instruction of the wizard. At the final screen, uncheck all the boxes except VPN for installation.
- Now click on finish to safely complete the process.
- After that, make sure you are running a stable internet connection as Cisco will slow down the internet, and an unstable network won’t be able to initiate the connection.
- Then, double-click on the AnyConnect icon to launch the client.
- Doing so will prompt you for an existing VPN. Unlike individual VPNs, you can’t use VPN servers to start the connection but the address of the central network with a pre-existing one. The client is only an end-user gateway that connects the device to the existing VPN.
- Hence, enter the relevant address and click on connect.
- The VPN client will now ask for your credentials. You can get this from your network administration, central network, etc.
- Now, the VPN will prompt the 2-factor authentication (2FA). Enter the relevant password/code.
- Once the connection is stable, it will display a message in the bottom right corner of the screen. Disconnecting is also easy as you just need to click on the disconnect button.
Mac users can utilize Cisco AnyConnect VPN this way
Keep in mind that the first few instructions for Mac users are the same as for Windows. You have to figure out which type of VPN to use and download the macOS client.
- Download the macOS client from the source.
- Click on InstallAnyConnect.pkg to initiate the Cisco installer.
- Now follow the instructions on the screen. After selecting the hard drive as the destination where you want to install the package, click on Install.
- The device will prompt you for authentication. Enter your macOS credentials.
- Once the client gets successfully installed, navigate to the “Applications” folder.
- Find the Cisco AnyConnect app and click on it to run it.
- It will prompt you for a VPN. Enter your central network ID.
- As in the previous setup, enter your VPN credentials and get past the 2-factor authentication.
- Click on “Accept” to initiate the connection.
Ways to run AnyConnect on iOS
We recommend using Apple App Store for downloading the client. The installation is simple, so proceed this way:
- Go to the aforementioned App Store and search for Cisco AnyConnect.
- You will find the app and then install it.
- After that, click on the app icon to launch it.
- On the page, click on Add VPN.
- Enter your VPN network ID and the VPN credentials.
- After that, enter the 2FA code.
- Once your device shows that a VPN is running, use the app to connect to the network.
User guide for Cisco AnyConnect VPN on Android
The Android setup is easy, too Follow these steps:
- Go to the Google Play Store and search for Cisco AnyConnect.
- Then, from the list of apps, click on AnyConnect ICS+ and install it.
- Now go to the home page and touch the app icon to launch it, allowing permissions.
- Then from the menu, select Connections and then Add VPN.
- You will have to provide the server address, which is the network ID.
- After you create the VPN profile, click on Done.
- Now go back to the app home page and click on the VPN you created.
- It will ask for your credentials, enter them, and then get past the 2FA.
- Click on Accept to initiate the VPN connection.