What Are the Pulse Secure Remote Access VPN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)?


Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides secure remote access from a device to restricted/private resources across a public network. Virginia Tech's SSL VPN service referred to as Remote Access VPN is a subscription service that allows you to access Virginia Tech resources remotely across the globe. This service does not provide any end-to-end encryption, but does encrypt the traffic between your device and the VPN device.

Top of page


Top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Connection Speed Slow When Connected to VPN?

It is common when you are connected to All Traffic over SSL VPN, since all your traffic is routed through campus which introduces latency.

If this happens on a Windows computer on both profiles, follow these instructions: Disable Juniper Networks Service Adapter.

Top of page

Who Is Eligible for VPN Service?

All current Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students are eligible to access Remote Access VPN. Remote Access VPN is provided as a bundled service with Virginia Tech wireless network access or Virginia Tech wired Ethernet service.

Top of page

How Do I Know if I Am Subscribed to VPN Service?

You can check your subscription status on the VT Accounts page. A check mark next to Wireless LAN Service and Remote Access VPN indicates your subscription status.
Image of the above instructions

For more detailed instructions, see Registering Online for eduroam Wireless LAN Service.

Top of page

Where Can I Find the Packages and Instructions for VPN?

A link to the installer file or application can be found within the following knowledgebase articles that contains instructions for your operating system or device:

Top of page

What Pulse Secure Client Version Does Virginia Tech Recommend?

We recommend Pulse Secure client versions above 9.1.15. We do not support clients versions below 9.1.12 and you will not be able to connect to the VPN. You can download the recommended client version from the links in the Where Can I Find the Packages and Instructions for VPN? section of this page.

Top of page

What Are the Supported Platforms or System Requirements?

Please refer to the links below to check if your operating system (OS) is currently supported:

For security reasons, we ask you to upgrade your device to the latest version to receive any patches for vulnerabilities. Network Infrastructure & Services (NI&S) is unable to support OS’s that are no longer supported by the OS manufacturer.

If you are using a Virginia Tech owned device, you must have an administrator account to install these packages. If you don't have an administrator account, contact your Network Liaison or contact 4Help by clicking Get Help on the 4Help Portal.

Top of page

Why Did the Installation Fail after I Downloaded the VPN Package?

  1. You must be an administrator to install this package. If you are not an administrator, please contact your Network Liaison.
  2. If you are an administrator and the installation still fails, check the below links to see if your OS version is supported.
  3. If the problem persists, please contact 4Help by clicking Get Help on the 4Help Portal.

Top of page

How Do I Remove Existing Packages on Windows before I Install a New Package?

Download and run the troubleshooter from Fix problems that block programs from being installed or removed. Select Uninstalling and select Pulse Secure from the list of applications. (You must be an administrator to run this tool.)

Top of page

Why Am I Unable to Authenticate and Get the "Credentials Were Invalid" or "Authentication Rejected by Server. (Error:1319)" Error?

Your user name is your VT Username (PID) (before @vt.edu, example username: iamvpngod(iamvpngod@vt.edu)) and use your Network Password and 2-factor authentication.

Top of page

How Can I Manually Add Connections in the Pulse Secure Client?

On your Pulse Secure client, at the bottom-left corner, click the plus sign ("+") and enter the information below:

Top of page

Which Connection Profile Do I Use?

Virginia Tech offers two connections profiles:

For most people, b) - VT Traffic over SSL VPN is the recommended connection profile, since it provides access to all Virginia Tech resources and avoids latency for regular internet traffic.

You can read more about those profiles at What is the difference between two Pulse Secure VPN Connection profiles? What profile do I use?

Top of page

How Do I Specify the Method for or Type of 2-Factor Authentication?

Once your network password is submitted and accepted, you will be prompted with a secondary authentication screen. Your username will be populated automatically; in the other box, type the method of 2-factor authentication you would like to use. If you have multiple devices setup for Duo authentication, you can append the number (for example, push1 for device 1 and push2 for device 2) of the device along with the method of your choice. Below are the available methods:

For more detailed and step-by-step instructions, see the appropriate knowledgebase article below:

Top of page

Why Does My Connection Time Out after a Few Hours?

Your VPN connection is set to be timed out every 1440 minutes (24 hours). You will be prompted for session extension 30 minutes before your current session expires. If you miss the extension prompt, you can manually extend your session any time from the session options on the client (You have to authenticate again). Your session will also be terminated if there is no activity over VPN for more than 60 minutes.

Top of page

Why Does My Connection to VPN Authenticate Successfully, but It Never Establishes a Complete Connection?

Most times the computer firewall settings block the Virtual Adapter from establishing a tunnel to the VPN device. In your OS firewall settings, allow the Pulse Secure Client to make connections to public. If you need assistance with this contact your Network Liaison or contact 4Help by clicking Get Help on the 4Help Portal.

In a few cases some other VPN applications might already be using the Virtual Adapter and not allow sharing. If that is the case please uninstall those software packages and restart your device, before attempting to connect again.

Top of page

Why Is the "Connection Error Failed to setup virtual adapter. (Error:1205). (restart your system and try again)." Error Displayed When Authentication Was Successful?

You must enable the IPv6 stack on your network adapter (only for Windows and Mac computers) by following the instructions below:

>The IPv6 requirement is not dependent on your ISP's ability to provide you with an IPv6 address; this is because the VPN allocates you an IPv6 address and does need the IPv6 stack to be enabled on your network adapter.

Top of page

What IP Networks Are Routed Over VPN When I Connect to VT Traffic Over SSL VPN?

We currently route the following subnets over VPN when you connect to b) - VT Traffic over SSL VPN:

Top of page

How Do I Find My Network Liaison?

You can search for your department's liaison on the following web page: Network Liaisons.

Top of page

Why Am I Unable to Access the Library Resources I Need When I Connect to b) - VT Traffic Over SSL VPN?

We route most of Blacksburg Virginia Tech subnets over the VT Traffic over SSL VPN connection profile. But you can connect to All Traffic over SSL VPN and try accessing it. Once you verify connectivity, please report this to 4Help by clicking Get Help on the 4Help Portal so we can make changes.

Top of page

When Will the New Version Be Available?

The new version of the client became available on November 18, 2022.

Top of page

Which Versions Will Be Required to Upgrade?

Any Pulse Secure Client for Windows or Mac below 9.1.15 is affected by this.

Top of page

Which Pulse Secure Clients Are not Affected by the Upgrade?

Top of page

How Can I Upgrade the Client?

After an upgrade is released by Virginia Tech, when you log on to the VPN, you will be prompted to upgrade. This will be optional until February 17th, 2023. If you choose not to upgrade immediately, you can simply click Cancel. Automatic upgrades are only supported on Windows and Mac. 

On Linux, if you use the Pulse Client, you must download the installer package available from the link below and install it manually. If you use Open Connect client software, it is currently not affected and doesn't need any changes at this time.

Downloading, Installing, and Connecting to Pulse Secure Remote Access VPN in Linux

Top of page

I Was not Prompted for an Automatic Upgrade. Why?

It can take up to a couple of minutes for the upgrade prompt to be displayed. If it doesn’t, try disconnecting and reconnecting again. If you still don’t see an upgrade prompt, please follow the below instructions to perform a manual install using an installer:

Top of page

Does the Upgrade Require Administrator Privileges on the Device?

Testing in Windows reveals that the automatic upgrade does not require administrator rights. Mac OS computers may experience different results depending on how permissions on their computers are set up. Your departmental IT support should be able to assist in determining whether you have the permissions required.

Top of page

I Tried the Automatic Upgrade and It Failed. What Do I Do Now?

Try manually upgrading the client using the installers. You can download the new installers from the links below:

Top of page

After the Upgrade Process I Don’t See an “install successful” Screen. How Do I Know if the Upgrade Is Successful?

In some cases, especially in Windows, the installation finishes without a prompt. In this case you need to verify the client version to ensure the upgrade is complete. You can do this by opening Pulse Secure Client. On Windows you can find the version under HelpAbout; on Mac OS you can find this under Pulse Secure  → About Pulse Secure. The version number will be displayed as “9.1.15”.


Mac OS:

Top of page

What Happens after February 17, 2023 if I Am Still on Versions below 9.1R15 (9.1.15)?

We will be enforcing this strictly starting February 17th, 2023 and anyone with client versions below 9.1R15 for Windows, Mac, or Linux will not be allowed to access VPN until the client is upgraded.

If you tried these options, but are still having issues, contact 4Help by clicking Get Help on the 4Help portal.

Top of page