Cisco AnyConnect (VPN) – Installation & Usage Instructions (macOS)

This article will demonstrate how to install and use Cisco AnyConnect VPN, which is required to access certain shared drives or services required by Deakin.

Note: Cisco AnyConnect automatically disconnects after a continuous period of inactivity, or if your computer is turned off/sleeps. You will need to re-log in to reconnect to required services.

Table of Contents

Installation Instructions

If you're installing for a Deakin-managed Mac, you simply need to search for Cisco AnyConnect in the Self Service application.

  1. First, please visit the Deakin Software Library and search for "Cisco AnyConnect".

    Alternatively, you can use the Categories sidebar and navigate to Connectivity Tools > Mobile Apps > Cisco AnyConnect.

  2. On the Cisco AnyConnect page, scroll down to "Download Cisco AnyConnect for Windows, Mac and Linux", and select it.

    You'll be prompted with a number of options. Select "Download for Mac" beneath the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. This will typically be the second option.

    In Deakin's Software Library, search for "Cisco AnyConnect". On the relevant page for AnyConnect, scroll down to "Download Cisco AnyConnect for Windows, Mac and Linux". Click on this field to expand it

  3. At Launchpad, open the downloaded .pkg file (typically named CiscoAnyConnect4.6-BYOD.pkg). The program will install the software and apply the required settings.

    If your AnyConnect successfully installed, please skip to Using Cisco AnyConnect.

    If your AnyConnect didn't install or ran into errors, please continue to step 4.

    At Launchpad, open the downloaded CiscoAnyConnect pkg file. The program will install the software and apply the required settings

  4. If you receive the error shown below, you can follow the following steps to fix it.

  5. Use Finder and locate the CiscoAnyConnect .pkg file.

  6. Control-click the CiscoAnyConnect .pkg icon, then choose "Open" from the shortcut menu.

  7. Click "Open".

  8. Click "Continue" and follow the prompts to install.

Using Cisco AnyConnect

Note: VPN services require you to use Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)
  1. Whenever your log into your computer, Cisco AnyConnect will automatically be docked in your active apps.

    If it's not open, navigate to your Applications, search for, and open, Cisco AnyConnect Security Mobility Client.

  2. In the window that opens up, you will be prompted with a drop-down menu with which service you'd like to connect to. Select the option you need, then select "Connect".

    For Unencrypted access (Use when using a "Trusted" wifi network such as your home wifi), please use "Deakin VPN Unencrypted Internet".

    For Encrypted access (Use when on public wifi, or working overseas), please type "Deakin VPN Encrypted Internet".


  3. A pop-up window will appear. Enter your Deakin Username, and your Deakin Password.

    Note: All Deakin staff and Students are required to use MFA (Multi-factor Authentication) with Duo Mobile. 

  4. As a Deakin staff member, student or anyone using MFA with Duo Mobile, you will be required to choose 'Send Me a Push' or 'Enter a Passcode' on the DUO login page.

    Open your Duo Mobile app, click confirm or get your passcode.

    Duo Mobile Users: To get your passcode, tap the drop-down menu for the Deakin University entry to reveal a 6-digit security code. 

    If you use Duo Mobile, open the app and tap the "Deakin University" entry dropdown menu to reveal a 6-digit code. If you use an MFA token, enter the number generated on the pager screen

  5. The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client will minimise as it connects you to the VPN session. Different pop-up windows will appear in succession with the message “Network access allowed.” This indicates a successful VPN connection.

    Note: Your web browser may pop-up as shown in the image below the first time you connect to the VPN, as your computer installs any required updates. You can ignore or close the pop-up browser window and it will not impact the connection. Clicking Start will only display the progress.

  6. If all log-in information is correct, you should log in successfully after a brief period of Cisco AnyConnect loading.

    If you need to disconnect, simply click the "Disconnect" button in the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client. Next time you need to connect to the VPN, please be aware you will be prompted to sign in again.

Usage Troubleshooting

Enabling your Firewall

Occasionally you might be unable to connect with the Cisco AnyConnect VPN if your firewall is disabled or otherwise turned off.

Attempt to troubleshoot by following the steps below:

  1. Choose 'System Preferences' from the Apple menu.

  2. Click 'Security' or 'Security & Privacy'.

  3. Click the 'Firewall' tab.

  4. Unlock the pane by clicking the lock in the lower-left corner and enter the administrator username and password.

  5. Click 'Turn On Firewall' or 'Start' to enable the firewall.

    Optional: Click 'Advanced' to customise the firewall configuration.

More Information

Note: The VPN will not work if you're on campus or connected to Deakin Wi-Fi. Similarly, System Scan will not work if your computer is connected to Deakin Wi-Fi or the Deakin wired network. If this is the case, you may see the below messages: