Setting up and using GlobalProtect VPN for macOS

VPN provides you with secure access to University services and the Internet when you are off campus. Northwestern is transitioning to a new VPN platform called GlobalProtect. GlobalProtect replaces three existing VPN clients: built-in native VPN clients, Cisco AnyConnect, and Pulse Secure SSL VPN. For details on the transition, see https://www.it.northwestern.edu/about/it-projects/vpn-migration-2019/overview.html. If you are a member of the Feinberg School of Medicine, you will continue to use your native Windows VPN client.

The portal address for GlobalProtect is vpn-connect.northwestern.edu.

GlobalProtect requires you to authenticate with your NetID and NetID password and Duo multi-factor authentication. If you need to register a phone for multi-factor authentication, see https://kb.northwestern.edu/mfa.

Northwestern IT is aware of VPN access issues from China. We tried implementing workarounds by changing our VPN public IP. However, within a few days of these workarounds Northwestern VPN was blocked again by the Chinese telecommunications agency. At the present time, we cannot provide a solution to using Northwestern VPN in China because the Chinese telecommunications agency continually searches for and blocks Northwestern VPN servers. We have heard anecdotally from some people that using a third party VPN service has worked for them, but we cannot confirm which, if any services, will work.


If your University-owned computer is managed by your department, you may not need to set up GlobalProtect. If you see the GlobalProtect icon (globalprotect-Mac-menu-icon.png) in your menu bar, skip the set-up instructions and go directly to connect to GlobalProtect.

Set up GlobalProtect

Note that your Mac must be running macOS Catalina (10.15), Mojave (10.14),  High Sierra (10.13), or Sierra (10.12).
  1. Go to https://chocolate.ci.northwestern.edu/Software/Titles/NU_Global_Protect/5.0.7/MacOS/NU_GlobalProtect_Signed.pkg to download the GlobalProtect installation package.
  2. Within your computer's Downloads folder, double-click the downloaded file to begin installation. When prompted, click Continue, then click Install.
  3. If you see a prompt about a PaloAlto system extension being blocked, click Open Security Preferences.
    PaloAlto extension blocked
    1. Click Allow, then close your preferences window.
      Blocked
    2. If prompted, enter your computer's administrative user name and password, then click Install Software. If you don't have administrative rights to your University-owned computer, contact your departmental tech support personnel.
    3. Restart your Mac.
  4. When the installation finishes, you will be prompted to move the installer the trash.
    Move installer to trash
  5. Click Close. Once installation is complete, GlobalProtect will appear in your menu bar at the top of your macOS desktop.

Connect to GlobalProtect

  1. Click the GlobalProtect icon in the menu bar, then click Connect.
    Global Protect Not Connected
  2. When prompted, enter your NetID and NetID password, then confirm your identity with Duo multi-factor authentication. You will then be connected to GlobalProtect.
  3. To disconnect, click the GlobalProtect icon again, then click Disconnect.
    GlobalProtect connected

See Also:

For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP) or via email at consultant@northwestern.edu.