Secure Remote Access — BSD VPN

*** BSD VPN access will be turned off on 3/1/22. Please use cVPN instead. *** 

The BSD Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides BSD staff, student or faculty, secure access University network resources as if you were on campus, no matter where you are in the world. However, you do not need the VPN to access library resources and most other campus resources. It is only necessary to access certain restricted resources, such as non-web-based file shares. If you are unsure about whether or not you need to use the VPN, check with your local support before installing the VPN software.

It’s important to note that while all of these changes improve the Biological Sciences Division’s security posture and bridge gaps between access to our systems; we have not disabled access to the university VPN system (cVPN). Our goal here was to add value without compromising current workflows.



  • Enables employees and collaborators within the Biological Sciences Division to securely access Systems hosted on the university network.
  • Protects the BSD by providing improved security; requiring two factor authentication as a default security setting, leveraging DUO.
  • Streamlines access for BSD resources by simplifying credential requirements.
  • Extends Access to research collaborators and BSD entities that would not otherwise have remote access because they lack CNET IDs.


Steps to follow for using the BSD VPN.

Step 1 – Check this page to see if your department is participating. If your department is listed as “unknown,” please consult with your local IT administrator for further details.

Step 2 – Enroll in the BSD Two Factor Authentication.

Step 3 – Install Cisco AnyConnect (BSD VPN Tool) at

Step 4 – Connect to the BSD VPN.  If needed, consult the appropriate instructions for Mac or Windows.

Step 5 – Go about your regular routine as if you were in the office.


If you have questions, or require technical assistance, please contact your respective Information Security Office:

Department Email
BSD Security
ITS Security
UCM Information Security Office



Training Documents


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.  Are there any advantages to switching to BSD VPN?

A1.  Yes. The main advantages are:

  • Simplicity: You use a single set of credentials to access BSD resources; and
  • Stronger Security: 2-factor authentication better protects you from the impact of password guessing and hacking. With 2FA, a bad guy needs to get your password AND steal your phone in order to gain access to information.
  • Broader Utility: The system extends VPN access to research collaborators and BSD entities that would not otherwise have remote access to university resources because they do not have CNET IDs. This simplifies vendor access as well as research collaborator access.

Q2.  Is the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care (DACC) taking part in the BSD VPN?

A2.  No. A vast majority of DACC personnel no longer have BSDAD accounts as part of the UCMIT/BSD/DACC email merger and account reconciliation project, and thus will NOT be able to connect to the new BSD VPN.  Please continue using the University CVPN along with your CNET credentials.

Q3. I currently use Cisco AnyConnect secure (UChicago cVPN).  Will I still be able to use that?

A3.  Yes. While these changes improve the Biological Sciences Division’s security posture and bridge gaps between access to our systems, we have not disabled access to the university VPN system (cVPN). The goal for BSD VPN was to add value without compromising current workflows. In addition, the University of Chicago’s VPN (cVPN) appliance and the Biological Sciences Division¹s VPN (BSD VPN) appliance are linked in a way that you can use the same version of Cisco AnyConnect but simply point it to the new system (

Q4. How do I access the BSD VPN?

A4. Windows users may find instructions at Secure Remote Access – BSD VPN – Connection Guide for Windows.  Mac users may find instructions at Secure Remote Access – BSD VPN – Step-by-Step Installation Guide for Macintosh.

Q5. Who can use the BSD VPN?

A5. BSD staff and faculty of the University are eligible to use the BSD VPN.

Q6. Can I use the BSD VPN if I’m running Linux?

A6. BSD ISO does not support VPN client on the Linux OS. We do, however, provide installer packages (32-bit and 64-bit) for advanced users who support themselves. Users may also, use OpenConnect as an alternative. However, this is client is unsupported and you are using it at your own risk.

Q7. Does the BSD VPN work with 64 bit OSes, like Windows 7 or Windows Vista?

A7. Yes.

Q8. Can I use the BSD VPN with Windows 98/ME/2000 or Mac OS 10.2/10.3/10.4?

A8. BSD ISO does not support the VPN for use with versions of Apple OS X older than 10.5 or versions of Windows older than Windows XP. However, the VPN may still work with those operating systems.

Q9. How do I connect to the BSD VPN with an iPhone?

A9. Download and install the free Cisco AnyConnect for iPhone application from iTunes. Connect to the server. Input your BSDAD username and password to authenticate.