VPN (Virtual Private Networking)

Williams VPN

Running the VPN client allows you to establish a secure connection to the college network.  Your computer acts as though it were here on campus.  Among other things this allows a keyserver connection to run Williams licensed software from off-campus. The VPN connection is limited to Faculty, Staff  and Students who are doing academic or administrative work.

For OIT issued computers the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client VPN is already installed.  For other devices (ex. personal, mobile, etc.) or to re-install on a college computer please click the appropriate OS below to see installation instructions:

    1. In the Applications folder open "Self Service" find and install the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client.  Once installed you can find the App in the Cisco folder in your applications folder.
    2. When you first launch it you'll need to enter the Server Address: ssl-vpn.williams.edu (this is a one time entry) then click connect.
    3. You will then be presented with a login screen. Use your short username e.g. xyz13 without the @williams.edu and the password you use for email. Students connect to Student-SSL-Split, Faculty and Staff connect to Fac-Staff.

    NOTE: If you need to install the VPN client from off campus or on a personal computer please follow the instructions below.

    1. Download the VPN client, called Cisco AnyConnect, from the software download site   (look for Cisco AnyConnect on the first page). Click the Mac Download link.
    2. Log in to the Williams OIT download site using your short username e.g. xyz13 without the @williams.edu and email password.  Click Download. This downloads a .dmg file to the download location on your computer.
    3. Open the download then run the AnyConnect.pkg file. During the installation you may be prompted by your computer to authorize the install.  You may need to enter your computer login to approve.
    4. During the installation, UNCHECK all the optional components so that you are only installing the VPN package as noted above.
    5. When the install is done please reboot.   You will find the Cisco AnyConnect Mobility client inside the Cisco folder in your Applications folder.
    6. When you first run it enter the Server Address: ssl-vpn.williams.edu  (This is a one time entry) then click connect.
    7. You will then be presented with a login screen. Use your short username e.g. xyz13 without the @williams.edu and the password you use for email. Students connect to Student-SSL-Split, Faculty and Staff connect to Fac-Staff.
    1. Download the VPN client, called Cisco AnyConnect, from the software download site.
    2. When you run it you will be warned that this is an unknown application.This is OK!  Click the More info link and choose Run Anyway.

      You will be prompted at least one more time as to whether you want to install the software.  Keep clicking Allow. You will have to reboot. After rebooting you will have the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client in your program list from the Start menu.
    3. When you first run it enter the Server Address: ssl-vpn.williams.edu (This is a one time entry) then click connect.
    4. You will then be presented with a login screen. Use your short username e.g. xyz13 without the @williams.edu and the password you use for email. Students connect to Student-SSL-Split, Faculty and Staff connect to Fac-Staff.
    1. On an iOS device (iPhone, iPad), open the App Store, then search for Cisco Anyconnect. You may get up to three results from the search. You’ll want to install the Cisco Anyconnect (not Cisco Webex and not Cisco Anyconnect Legacy).
    2. Open the app and choose Add VPN Connection.
      Click on Server Address and type in: ssl-vpn.williams.edu
      Click done to exit the connection editor.
    3. Now you have a connection set up for the Williams VPN.
      Clicking on the connection should ask you for your Williams user name (ex. abc1 or jsmith) then your Williams network password.
      Entering your network credentials and accepting the pollicy will connect you to our VPN
    1. On an Android install the following app from the Google Play store:
      AnyConnect ICS+ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cisco.anyconnect.vpn.android.avf
    2. Open the app and choose Add VPN Connection.
      Click on Server Address and type in: ssl-vpn.williams.edu
      Click done to exit the connection editor.
    3. Now you have a connection set up for the Williams VPN.
      Clicking on the connection should ask you for your Williams user name (ex. abc1 or jsmith) then your Williams network password.
      Entering your network credentials and accepting the pollicy will connect you to our VPN

Please make sure to disconnect from the VPN when you are done. Also keep in mind most things you need to do off-campus do not require a VPN connection. For a full list and instructions see the Working From Home FAQ.

If you have any questions call the HelpDesk: 413-597-4090 or email: [email protected]

Web Browser Proxy

The VPN client and the proxy server, while appearing to meet some of the same needs, are mutually exclusive. You do not need to run the VPN client or the Proxy server to connect to most Library databases. If in fact, you still run the proxy server please do not attempt to run it while the VPN is connected. For more information see the library’s documentation here: https://library.williams.edu/doing-research/researching-off-campus/