Help Desk

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a “secure tunnel” between your computer and the USF St. Petersburg Campus network. The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility VPN Client is required to access the USF St. Petersburg Campus network from off campus. The Cisco AnyConnect VPN client works with several different operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, and Apple iOS. While accessing network resources through the VPN you are subject to all University policies and agreements.

With a USF St. Petersburg Campus VPN account, you will be able to access the files and folders (you already have access to) that are saved on university shared network drives (e.g., Q, R, S, T, U) and your personal network drive (P). Website editors will be able to access editing privleges. Faculty and staff will also be able to reach the online USF business systems available in the myUSF portal (eg., GEMS, FAST, FAIR).

VPN Requirements

In order to use the USF St. Petersburg Campus VPN, you need to:

  • Be an USF St. Petersburg Campus faculty or staff member with an active employee status
  • Have an active Bayboro account
  • Have an active USF St. Petersburg Campus VPN user account
  • Install the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility client on your device

USF St. Petersburg Campus VPN Client Installation and Configuration Instructions

The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client is available for most devices.

If you are using a USF St. Petersburg Campus owned and managed device you will need to open an incident with the Help Desk to have the client installed.

VPN for Windows Install Guide

  1. Open Internet Explorer and navigate to
  2. Within the Internet Explorer window, click on the Settings icon and select Internet Options.
  3. Click on the Security tab and then click on the Trusted sites icon.
  4. Click on the Sites button in the Internet Options window.
  5. Verify that is in the “Add this website to the zone:” text field and that “Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone” has a check mark next to it. Click the Add button.
    The website address will be added to the list of websites. Click the Close button on the Trusted sites window.
  6. Click the OK button to close the Internet Options window.
  7. In Internet Explorer, on the USFSP VPN webpage you will see the VPN Service Login screen. Enter your USFSP VPN username and password and then click Login. Verify that “usfsp-anyconnect” is selected in the GROUP drop-down box before clicking Login.
  8. The AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client will begin to install. You will receive a message to install the ActiveX Control. Depending on your version of Internet Explorer the look of this message may differ. Click Install to continue. Click Yes on any security or User Account Control prompts.
  9. When the installation completes you will receive a message that the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client has connected to the USFSP VPN.

VPN for Apple iOS Install Guide

Owners of supported Apple mobile devices* can install and configure the Cisco AnyConnect iOS App to access the USFSP network from off campus. The Cisco AnyConnect iOS App will only connect you to the USFSP network. A separate app is required to access shared drives. Installation and configuration instructions are provided below.*Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. iOS 8.1 is recommended, but the Cisco AnyConnect iOS App is supported on iOS 6.0 and above. 


  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Search for “Cisco AnyConnect”.
  3. Tap on the GET button and then tap INSTALL for “Cisco AnyConnect” by Cisco Systems, Inc.
  4. Locate and tap on the Cisco AnyConnect App Icon.
  5. Tap OK on the notification message: “Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client extends the Virtual Private Network (VPN) capabilities of your device. Do you want to enable this software?”
  6. On the left side of the screen, tap on Connections.
  7. In the “VPN Connections” section, click Add VPN Connection…
  8. In the Description section, enter “USFSP VPN”.
  9. In the Server Address section, enter “”.
  10. Tap Save at the top of the “Add VPN Connection” section.


  1. Make sure you completed all of the installation instruction steps (see above).
  2. Open the Cisco AnyConnect App.
  3. Tap on the AnyConnect VPN slider switch to begin a secure VPN session.
  4. An “Authentication” prompt will open. Enter your USFSP VPN username and password in the fields provided. Verify that “usfsp-anyconnect” is selected in the group field. Tap on Connect when all information has been entered.
  5. The AnyConnect VPN slider switch will turn green when you have successfully connected. You will also see a VPN icon in the top left portion of your screen.


Once you connect to the USFSP network using the Cisco AnyConnect App you will be able to access applications in the myUSF portal. Accessing files from the shared drives will require a separately configured App. There are several apps (both free and paid) available from the Apple App Store that will provide this functionality. Campus Computing is unable to support these third-party apps and any issues encountered with them are up to you, the end user, to resolve on your own. If you would like to install and configure one of these types of apps, please check out the “Information for Advanced Users” section for more details.