Using the Caltech VPN Client on Windows

The following instructions assume you have a working Cisco AnyConnect client. If you haven't installed the client yet, links to instructions can be found on the right-hand menu.

Connecting with the AnyConnect Client

On Windows, locate the Cisco AnyConnect program in your Start menu. The exact location of the program in the Start menu will depend on your version of Windows and how it is configured. For example, if you used the AnyConnect client recently, or have just installed it, the menu item will be in your recent list.

If you don't see the AnyConnect menu item in Windows, click on All Programs. If you're using Windows XP, choose the Program Files menu item. You should see a Cisco menu item, followed by a Cisco AnyConnect menu item. You may have to click on the Cisco menu item to see the AnyConnect menu item.

Once you've selected the AnyConnect menu item, the client window will appear on the screen. The window will indicate that the client is ready to connect and the button will read Connect. Click on the Connect button to begin connecting to the VPN.

The login dialog will appear on the screen. The Group drop down menu will appear. Click on it if you would like to select a different connection profile. The Username field will be filled in with your username. The Password field will be blank. Enter your access.caltech password in the Password field and click on the OK button.

After a few seconds, the connection will be established. The client window will disappear but the connection will remain active. In Windows, you will see a lock icon in the System tray in the lower right corner


Left click on the icon to bring up the client window.

The window indicates that the VPN connection has been successful.

You can also right-click on the lock icon to bring up a small menu.

Choose Open AnyConnect to bring up the client window.

Choose VPN Disconnect to quit the current VPN session, but leave the client running.

Chose Quit to disconnect the VPN session and stop running the client.

Testing the VPN Connection

You can test your VPNconnection to verify that it is working correctly. Click on this Caltech link. You should see that you have an IP address starting with 131.215.249.xxx. Then click on this DSLreports.com link. You should see that you have your normal IP address as assigned by your ISP (if using Tunnel-Caltech-Traffic-Only), or a Caltech IP address starting with 131.215.249.xxx (if using Tunnel-All-Traffic).

Disconnecting the AnyConnect client

To disconnect the AnyConnect client, Right-click on the lock icon in the System tray or Menu Bar.

You'll see the AnyConnect client menu.

If the client window is minimized, Disconnect and Quit will behave exactly the same. The VPNconnection will be terminated and the client program will quit. If the client window is not minimized, Disconnect and Quit behave differently. Disconnect will terminate the VPNconnection, but leave the client window on the screen. Quit will terminate the VPNconnection and close the AnyConnect client, removing the window from the screen.

You can also use the client window to disconnect the AnyConnect client. When the connection is established, the window will change as in the following illustration.

Click on the Disconnect button.

The client window will remain on the screen. You can quit the AnyConnect client by clicking in the Close box of the window.

Preferences Settings

The AnyConnect client has several preference settings that can be adjusted. To see them, launch the client from the Start menu. Click on the "Advanced" link to open the Preferences dialog.

There are 4 settings that can be changed.

Connect on start-up will launch the AnyConnect client as soon as you have logged into your computer.

The Minimize on connect option will cause the client to automatically minimize after it has successfully connected.

The Enable local LAN access allows the user to access local resources (such as a printer). You may want this if you are connecting from home, but turn it off while traveling.

The Auto reconnect option will attempt to reconnect to the VPNservice if a connection is dropped.

Updating the AnyConnect client

The AnyConnect client has an auto-update feature. When new versions of the client are released, the updated clients are placed on the VPNserver. Then, when a client connects, it checks to see if there is a newer version of the client. If a newer version is found, it will download the update and apply it. You may see a window like this when you connect:

If you see this window, wait for it to finish before doing anything else. Don't interrupt the process. The installer will finish the process and the connection will proceed as normal.

Deleting the AnyConnect Client

If for some reason you need to remove the AnyConnect client from your computer, use the software management feature in the Windows Control Panel. Under Windows 7 it will be call Programs and Features; in XP it will be called Add/Remove Programs. Always use the function provided in the Control Panel; do not try to remove the client by deleting folders, using third party uninstallers, etc.