The University of Otago VPN (Virtual Private Network) service allows you secure access to University electronic services and databases as if you were using the staff network on campus.

Do you need to use the VPN?

Before you begin installing AnyConnect VPN, find out about what the VPN service is, who can use it and what you'll need to use it for:

About the VPN service

Have you used AnyConnect VPN before?

Please see new information about connecting to the University's new VPN service

Permission to install software?

The AnyConnect VPN client software enables your computer or mobile device to connect to the University of Otago's VPN service from off-campus. You will need administrator rights to install software on your computer — if you don't have this permission, see the related answer: Installing AnyConnect VPN without administration rights (staff login required).

Downloading and installing Cisco AnyConnect VPN software on a desktop computer or laptop (Windows/macOS)

If you already have an older version of AnyConnect VPN software, you don't need to remove it before installing the new one. The installer will automatically upgrade all previous versions and retain all the settings.

If you have the older Cisco VPN software installed on your desktop, you don't need to remove this as you can use it on your remote computer or device while you are installing AnyConnect to ensure that you have continuous VPN access.

It's not possible to use the Apple/Cisco VPN software built in to macOS to access the University VPN as this software is not currently supported by the University of Otago VPN Service.

  1. Go to the University of Otago AnyConnect software installation website to start the automatic installation process [opens in a new window].
    • Google Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari are the suggested browsers to use
  2. Enter your University username and password. You may be prompted to agree to the University’s Remote Access Procedure, click Continue.
  3. Click the Download button and save the installer file.
  4. Locate the installer file on your computer, and double click it to start the installation process. Follow through the regular installation prompts.

You cannot use the University's VPN service while you are still connected to another University network.

Connecting with Cisco AnyConnect

  1. When the software is started for the first time the AnyConnect connection window will open. Type the following URL into the field to connect to the UO-VPN-STAFF service: and click Connect.
    Screenshot of Cisco AnyConnect prompt showing the new VPN service profile entered
  2. You will be prompted to enter your University username and password to connect. Agree to the University’s Remote Access Procedures prompt to continue.

When you no longer require the VPN service, remember to click Disconnect.

New VPN service

On 23 March 2020, the University launched a new VPN service to cater for the increased numbers of staff working from home.

If you have connected to the VPN service before this date, you will have the "UO-VPN-SSL" profile visible in your AnyConnect VPN client. Follow the procedure below to add a new profile "UO-VPN-STAFF" to your AnyConnect client on a Windows or macOS computer. Make sure that you use this profile to connect to VPN, and it will become the default after you connect the first time.

If you are using the AnyConnect app on a mobile device, you will not be able to edit the profile so you will need to add the UO-VPN-STAFF connection as a new profile.

Please follow the instructions for setting up a new iOS or Android connection.

  1. Double-click on Cisco AnyConnect in your apps list or system tray icon to open.

    Screenshot of Cisco AnyConnect prompt showing the older VPN service
  2. Cancel the logon prompt if it comes up. Click in the box where it currently says "UO-VPN-SSL" and enter Click Connect.

    Screenshot of Cisco AnyConnect prompt showing the new VPN service profile entered
  3. It might take a bit longer to connect initially, but once you are connected, click Disconnect then Connect again and you will see "UO-VPN-STAFF" in the box — this is the new VPN service that you need to use from now on.

    Cisco AnyConnect prompt showing the new VPN service profile as default

Using Cisco AnyConnect VPN software on mobile devices

Supported mobile operating systems

All iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices running Apple iOS 10.3 and later are supported for the AnyConnect client software version currently available to download from the UO-VPN server. However you may require a third-party app to access departmental file servers and shares via VPN on an iPad.

Please check the Cisco website for more information about Android versions that can use AnyConnect:

Android Supported Devices

Mobile devices using the Windows Mobile/Phone or Symbian (Nokia) operating systems cannot be used to access the University of Otago’s VPN service as they are not supported by AnyConnect VPN software.

Please refer to the tip sheets below for instructions for installing and using the AnyConnect app on your mobile device:

If you have any problems setting up AnyConnect or connecting to the VPN, contact AskOtago:

Freephone 0800 80 80 98 (within New Zealand)
Tel +64 3 479 7000

Last updated 19/05/2022 10.01 AM

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