VPN stands for virtual private network. VPNs are used to provide a virtual connection to a network elsewhere. You can set up a VPN which uses university internet.

Some restricted resources can only be accessed outside of Oxford by using VPNs. VPNs are also required to use the OWL WiFi.

VPNs can also be used to get around some internet blocks on local WiFi.

When connected to the VPN, all traffic goes through the Oxford connection. You are therefore bound by the IT Rules and Regulations.

To use your VPN you need to use your remote access account (same as your Eduroam account, see the remote access account section).



VPNs require the installation of Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client.

Downloading Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client

  1. Log in to the IT Services self-registration pages at https://register.it.ox.ac.uk/self/software.
  2. Select VPN Client.
  3. Choose the correct version of Windows for the download.
  4. Choose to save the file to a convenient storage location.
  5. Run the VP AnyConnect installer that is downloaded. This may come up automatically on your browser or you may have to find the storage location and click on the installer.
  6. Follow the instructions on the installer.

Using the VPN

  1. Ensure that you’re connected to the internet.
  2. Start the VPN program via the Start menu.
  3. The Cisco AnyConnect window should pop up in the bottom right corner of the screen. It should show ready to connect.
  4. Type vpn.ox.ac.uk into the blank box and click connect
  5. Use your Remote Access password to log in.
  6. The Cisco icon in the system tray will show a padlock it if works and it will not show one if it doesn’t work.

Logging off the VPN

  1. Right click on the VPN icon in the system tray.
  2. Select VPN disconnect when the menu comes up.
  3. The padlock will disappear off the icon.
  4. If you want to reconnect then right click the icon again and choose VPN connect.



For the VPN to work, you must be connected to 3G or WiFi.

Follow these steps to set up VPN.

  1. Go to Settings -> General and then select VPN. Select Add VPN Configuration.
  2. Select IPSec in the configuration menu and then fill out the configuration menu as follows.

    Description: IT SERVICES VPN
    Server: vpn.ox.ac.uk
    Account: Your Remote Access Account ID
    Password: Your Remote Access Account Password

  3. Save this configuration
  4. When you go to settings again you will see a VPN bar. Move the slider to on to activate it. You will then have to log on using your Remote Access account. Move the slider to off to




Setting up the VPN

  1. Follow this link to the IT services Software Registration and Downloads: https://register.it.ox.ac.uk/self/software
  2. Select VPN client from the list.
  3. Select VPN shared credentials.
  4. Make a note of the IPSec secret when it pops up in a new window.
  5. Open System Preferences which you can find in the Apple menu or the Applications folder.
  6. Click the Network icon to bring up the Network window.
  7. Click the + at the bottom of the left-hand pane to bring up a dialogue window to add a new network interface.
  8. Set Interface to VPN
  9. Set VPN type to Cisco IP Sec
  10. Change the Service Name to something you will remember e.g. VPN (OUCS)
  11. Click create to add the new interface.
  12. Set the Server Address to vpn.ox.ac.uk
  13. Set the Account name and Password to your remote access account name and password
  14. Click Authentication Settings to bring up another dialogue window. Click Shared secret and fill it in with the text information that you obtained earlier. Set the Group Name to oxford. Click OK to return to the Network window.
  15. Click Apply to complete configuration of the VPN.
  16. To make a connection, simply click Connect.

Connecting the VPN

  1. Open system preferences and click the network icon.
  2. Select the VPN connecting and click connect.
  3. Disconnect by clicking the disconnect button within the network window.