Rensselaer's VPN (Virtual Private Network) service, which is available to all students, faculty and staff, is explicitly utilized to provide a secure connection between an individual off-site and the RPI campus network, allowing remote connections to secured campus resources.
As of May 15th multi-factor authentication is required for off campus VPN access - for more information please review this article.
Please note that the link provided below and this particular VPN service will only work from off campus; users cannot connect from on campus when connected to the RPI network via hard-wire or RPI WiFi such as rpi_wpa2.
Desktop Computers/Laptops/Macs/Linux: To install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client (SSL-based), open a Web browser window and navigate to the Cisco SSL VPN Service website, then enter your RCS userID and password to authenticate to the system. Anyone using the campus VPN network, vpn.net.rpi.edu, should be using this Anyconnect client. There are known issues with the built-in Mac OS client.
Once you have logged in, the system detects your operating system and prompts you to download and install the appropriate Cisco AnyConnect client.
- After install please reboot your device.
- Launch/open Cisco AnyConnect program. You will need to enter the Server name the first time: Faculty and staff please enter: vpn.net.rpi.edu Students please enter: vpn.stu.rpi.edu
- Click connect.
- Enter your RCS username and password to login.
NOTE: If you receive a Login Failed and your RCS password contains special characters, the Cisco VPN may not recognize them. Some characters to avoid in your password are single quote ('), slashes (/ \), and question mark (?). Please visit this link to change your password:
- Changing your password
- remember to wait at least 20 minutes after changing your password before trying to login
Mobile Devices: Download the free Cisco AnyConnect app from your mobile device app store. Set the server to vpn.net.rpi.edu and leave all other settings as default. You can not be connected to the campus WiFi when installing and using this app.
- If your VPN software recently updated it is necessary to shut down and restart your computer for the full update to complete.
- If you are receiving a Login Failed -- Some Windows 8.1 machines may receive a “Failed to initialize connection subsystem” error message when trying to connect to Cisco AnyConnect. Please use the steps provided below to correct the problem.
- Close the Cisco AnyConnect Window and the taskbar mini-icon.
- Right-click vpnui.exe in the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client folder. (Look for this file in C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client\).
- Click on the Run compatibility troubleshooter button.
- Select Try recommended settings. (The wizard suggests Windows 8 compatibility.)
- Click Test Program to open the program.
- Close the program.
- If still having a problem, please repeat the above steps for vpnagent.exe, the local service that supports the client user interface.
- Windows Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is not compatible with the AnyConnect VPN client. If you attempt to install it, you will receive an error on the install stating "The VPN client agent was unable to create the interprocess communication depot." Turning off ICS and reinstalling will fix the error.
- If you run into a problem installing on Linux you can try this: Open this link and login with your RCS credentials to view the install file.
Last Reviewed: 30-Apr-2021