Topics Map > IT Operations > Customer Support and Policies > VPN
Departmental VPN - Pulse Secure Client - Configuration
An overview of the configuration of the Pulse Secure client for any applicable operating system.
Purpose of the Pulse Secure Client
To securely tunnel most internet traffic from your computer through our connection here at the university. This is important not only for security, but generally for the successful connection of network drives and other similar resources that are only available through our secured networks. The VPN connects you to our secured network.
The Pulse Secure Client does run security checks on your computer, just like the web interface. Failure to adhere to these policies will result in the connection being denied.
Important Notes Before Installation
- Please read our considerations page before continuing.
- This is written with the assumption that the customer has been able to log in through the VPN web site (vpn.<department>.umd.edu). Your department will be one of the following: Eng, Math, or Physics. If you haven't looked at our documentation regarding logging in to the departmental VPN web site, please see this article.
- This also assumes the customer has administrative access to the system that they're installing the client on.
- This assumes that you are required to have the Pulse Secure client for the work that needs to be accomplished. The Pulse Secure client isn't needed for everything in our environment. (An example of an unnecessary installation would be a Tier 3 department staff computer. This type of system is already connected to our secured network.)
Installing the Pulse Secure Client
- Open the VPN web interface (vpn.<department>.umd.edu), scroll down, and look for the following line:
- Click the “Start” button on that line. This will initiate the client installer.
Accept any installation prompts to allow the program to install. This will differ between operating systems slightly.
- When the program gets installed you will see its icon either in your taskbar (Windows) or at the top of your screen near the network icon (Mac OS):
- When the connection is complete you will notice that there is a little green arrow on the above S icon indicating that Pulse Secure is online/connected.
Using the Pulse Secure Client
If you are using the Pulse Secure client regularly to connect to a network drive or other resource, you will not have to use the web interface each time to get to it. Simply open the client from your start menu or by searching for it on your computer. You can use the Start menu in Windows 10 or the Finder in Mac OS to locate the client.
- Open the client.
- When running the client you will find a pre-existing connection that was populated during the installation process. Click the “Connect” button that is next to it.
- Your client will run through the usual host checker policies and prompt you for authentication. Use your standard directory ID and password, just like you would on the web interface.
- If you are required to use a second form of authentication, you will see the "Secondary Password" field displayed. This uses the Duo application or key generator that you use for many campus systems. You can type the word "push" here to have the app on your phone display a prompt for the Duo authentication.
The client will then connect.
- If you receive an error message when trying to connect, please read it carefully and fully. Many of the messages that you receive will be regarding failed policies or settings. Several of them are easy to resolve if you follow the directions or suggestions indicated by the Pulse Secure client. If you cannot solve the error message, please contact the Service Desk.