A virtual private network (VPN) allows you to join a private network using an existing public network by creating an encrypted tunnel between two hosts.

Establishing a VPN connection creates a secure tunnel between your off-campus computer or mobile device and the PNW network, allowing you to access services and resources that are configured to only allow access to devices on the PNW network.

When to Connect

You do not need to connect to the VPN to access the majority of PNW resources remotely.  You should always attempt to connect and use the resources that you need without the VPN first, and then only connect if you are unable to work without connecting.  This frees up space in the VPN for those that require it.

The following resources will require a VPN connection to access from off-campus (this list is not comprehensive):

You do not need a VPN connection to access these common resources (this list is not comprehensive):

  • E-Mail
  • Office Applications
  • MyPNW Portal
  • Brightspace
  • Success Factors
  • R: and H: Drives
  • Google Drive
  • Ariba
  • Concur
  • Zoom
  • WebEx

How to Connect

Beginning with Fall 2021, PNW will be migrating from CheckPoint VPN Client to Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client. Instructions on how to install the client and how to log in are found below. CheckPoint VPN Client will no longer be available after October 1st, 2021.

Effective November 3, 2020, VPN2.PNW.EDU will no longer be available.  All users should point their VPN clients to VPN.PNW.EDU.  Instructions for adding new addresses to the VPN Client can be found below.

Cisco AnyConnect software is available through the ITAP Purdue CommunityHub page.

Visit ITAP CommunityHub .

After logging in with your BoilerKey, click on the option for Antivirus and Security Software.

You will see options for Cisco AnyConnect for Personally Owned Computers and Cisco AnyConnect for University Owned Computers. You will be able to choose your operating system and download the software by following the prompts.

It will download a zipped folder to your computer. Unzip this folder and then install the software. If you need assistance with these directions, please contact the CSC at 219.989.2888 or via the Virtual Helpdesk.


Cisco AnyConnect is also available on many University Owned Windows computers by going to the Microsoft Software Center in your Start Menu.

Screenshot of Cisco AnyConnect Log in

AnyConnect can use a general portal to connect, or specialized portals for teams accessing specific tools and services.

The general portal is webvpn.pnw.edu.

You will use your username and your BoilerKey to log into the VPN client.

Any teams that use specialized portals will have that communicated to them directly.

  1. Quit AnyConnect
  2. In Finder use Go-> Go to Folder… to open this directory: /opt/cisco/anyconnect/profile where you will find one or more files that end in .xml
  3. Copy the xml files to the Desktop or another folder, leaving no .xml files in this directory (You can also delete this file if you wish)
  4. Start AnyConnect, type your VPN site and connect (The original VPN site will still show in the pre-filled list until you enter in this new site)
  5. Quit AnyConnect and relaunch – you should now see the VPN site last entered either pre-filled in, or in the pulldown menu of choices.