Setting up VPN on devices other than Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android

The Northwestern VPN allows you to connect to the Northwestern network when you're off campus. There are two VPN clients you can use: (1) the native VPN client that comes with your operating system (as long as it supports L2TP over IPSec), and (2) the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client. Devices you can use includes Chromebooks, Windows Phones, Linux computers, and BlackBerry OS phones. Use the general information below to set up VPN on your device.

Due to a number of factors, VPN clients may experience difficulties establishing or maintaining a connection in some situations or locations. Common examples include public wireless networks at cafes and bookstores, restricted networks at hotels and conference centers, and countries with restricted Internet access policies. In most situations where one of the VPN clients won't work properly, the other one will.

If applicable to your device, we recommend you configure both clients to give you flexibility, and the ability to connect to the Northwestern VPN regardless of your location. Note that the support for any of these devices and systems is best effort.

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.

Native VPN client software

You can add Northwestern VPN to any device that supports L2TP over IPsec. Consult your device's VPN documentation for specific instructions, and use the following details to connect to Northwestern's network. Not all clients will need all of the following details.

  1. Server/Internet Address/Gateway:
  2. Name: Northwestern VPN
  3. VPN Type: Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPsec (L2TP/IPsec)
  4. Authentication Mode: hybrid (server certificate + xauth)
  5. Secret/Shared Key: northwesternvpn
  6. Username/Account Name: NetID
  7. Password: NetID password

Cisco AnyConnect VPN software

Note for members of Feinberg School of Medicine: Cisco AnyConnect VPN will not work on Feinberg-managed computers due to increased HIPAA security standards. If you find yourself in a place where you can't use the native VPN client, contact Feinberg IT at

  1. Install and open Cisco AnyConnect on your device. Download links for desktop clients can be found at Downloads for other devices can be found on your respective device's app store (e.g., Google Play store for Chrome OS, Microsoft App Store for Windows Phone, etc.).
  2. Open Cisco AnyConnect, then add a new VPN connection with the server address ; enter your NetID and NetID password when prompted. Specific user guides for supported devices are available at

VPN on Linux using openconnect + command line

The Northwestern VPN uses L2TP over the IPsec protocol. It requires "plugins" to native Linux network manager applications such as Network Manager on Ubuntu. These plugins are not guaranteed to work due to mismatched protocol versions between the plugin and the Northwestern VPN servers. If you cannot connect using the native VPN client or the Cisco AnyConnect client, please try the following configuration.

Establishing NU VPN on Linux systems using openconnect + command line:

  1. Install openconnect: eg`apt-get install openconnect`
  2. `sudo openconnect`
  3. Use `-u netID` and `echo PASSWD |` pipes to set up a log in script

For additional assistance please contact the IT Support Center at 847-491-4357 (1-HELP), via chat at or via email at

Keywords:cisco "any connect" anyconnect chromeos chrome "windows phone" linux ubuntu L2TP IPsec blackberry Mac   Doc ID:74655
Owner:IT Support Center .Group:Northwestern
Created:2017-07-18 08:52 CDTUpdated:2019-02-19 12:37 CDT
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