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The instructions below work for the following web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer

How to install

  1. To begin, log into the VPN website with your WatIAM credentials.
  2. From the VPN download page shown below, click Download for Windows to download the installation file.

  3. Select Save.

  4. Go to your Downloads folder (via File Explorer) and double-click on the installation file. 

  5. Click Next to start AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client Wizard.

  6. Click Install on the Ready to Install window.

  7. Accept  End User License Agreement  and click  Next .

  8. Click the Finish button.

How to connect

The installation process only needs to be done once. After the client is installed, you can use the "Start Menu" item to launch the client connection window.

  1. Search for Cisco AnyConnect in the Windows start menu and launch the application. 

  2. If you haven't connected before, you will need to specify the VPN server:
    1. cn-vpn.uwaterloo.ca : Accessed from off-campus and from wireless when on-campus
    2. vpn-inside.private.uwaterloo.ca : Accessed from on-campus, wired connections only

  3. Click Connect

  4. This brings you to a login window where you can authenticate with your credentials. Under the 'Group' drop-down menu, select 'UW-General-Campus'. Note: 'UW-General-Campus' is the recommended profile. 'UW-Campus' should be used as an alternative profile.

    Please enter your 8-character username into the username field, not  username@uwaterloo.ca or username@edu.uwaterloo.ca


  5. Two-factor authentication (2FA) will be required in order to connect to the VPN starting November 3, 2020. In the 'Second Password' field, enter one of the following, then click OK.

    1. For Duo Mobile push: enter 'push'
    2. For Duo hardware token or Duo app: enter your 6-digit code
    3. For Duo Bypass code: enter your bypass code
    4. For Yubikey: enter the code generated by touching the Yubikey

If you are having issues connecting, please confirm the AnyConnect client settings, including location and log in details.

When the VPN client is running, you will see an icon in the taskbar notification area (lower right corner of Windows). This can be used to control the VPN connection:

  • Right click to close the Cisco AnyConnect client
  • Double-click to open the Cisco AnyConnect client

Settings at a glance

If you already have the Cisco VPN client installed, you can use the following settings to connect: 

  • Server/connect to address: cn-vpn.uwaterloo.ca
  • Username: 8-character username
  • Password: password

Need Help?

Contact the IST Service Desk at  helpdesk@uwaterloo.ca  or 519-888-4567 ext. 44357.