VPN Connection and Installation

Rensselaer's VPN (Virtual Private Network) service, which is available to all faculty, students, and staff, provides a secure connection between an off-site user and the RPI campus network, allowing remote users access to secured campus resources such as the Microsoft Exchange Server.


Please note that the link provided below and this particular VPN service will only work from off campus; users cannot connect from on campus.

Desktop Computers/Laptops: To install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client (SSL-based), open a Web browser window and navigate to the Cisco SSL VPN Service website, then enter your RCS userID and password to authenticate to the system. Once you have logged in, the system should guide you through the various steps for installing the Cisco AnyConnect client. You must have Java installed on your computer in order to do this. You will connect to vpn.net.rpi.edu and enter your RCS credentials for authentication.

Mobile Devices:  Download the free Cisco AnyConnect app from your mobile device app store.  Set the server to vpn.net.rpi.edu and leave all other settings as default.  You can not be connected to the campus WiFi when installing and using this app.

Important Notices

  • Some Windows 8.1 users may receive a “Failed to initialize connection subsystem” error message when trying to connect to Cisco AnyConnect.  Please use the steps provided below to correct the problem.
  1. Close the Cisco AnyConnect Window and the taskbar mini-icon.
  2. Right-click vpnui.exe in the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client folder. (Look for this file in C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client\).
  3. Click on the Run compatibility troubleshooter button.
  4. Select Try recommended settings.  (The wizard suggests Windows 8 compatibility.)
  5. Click Test Program to open the program.
  6. Close the program.
  7. Some users may need to repeat the above steps for vpnagent.exe, the local service that supports the client user interface.
  • Windows Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) is not compatible with the AnyConnect VPN client. If you attempt to install it, you will receive an error on the install stating "The VPN client agent was unable to create the interprocess communication depot." Turning off ICS and reinstalling will fix the error.

Please refer to Microsoft's instructions on how to disable ICS on Windows 7.

  • A new version of the SSL client for Windows was uploaded to the campus VPN server in September 2012. If you are not at the current version when you connect, an upgrade will automatically begin. No user intervention is necessary. However, be aware this update may take a few minutes and delay your connection establishment. Subsequent connections, after your client has been updated, will be unaffected.