Pitt VPN (Pulse Secure): Connect with the Pulse Secure Client
The Pitt VPN (Pulse Secure) service provides students, faculty, and staff with the ability to connect to restricted University resources while off campus or using PittNet Wi-Fi. The service encrypts traffic between a user's computer and the University's network.
These instructions explain how to use the Pulse Secure Client with the Pitt VPN service. When you are off campus, Pulse Secure is the recommended method for establishing a remote desktop connection to your office computer or for accessing departmental databases and servers that reside behind network firewalls.
In order to use Pulse Secure to access these resources, your Responsibility Center Account Administrator must have already created a Pitt VPN role for you. A Pitt VPN role (sometimes referred to as a "Network Connect" role) is a special set of permissions that grant you access to specific network resources. You will need to select your Pitt VPN role when using Pulse Secure.
If you use the University’s Pitt VPN service, either through the recommended Pulse client or via the IPSec client, you will need to use multifactor authentication for your Pitt VPN connections. This requirement affects all students, faculty, and staff who use the Pitt VPN service.
Downloading the Pulse Secure Client
Before downloading the Pulse Secure client, check to see if it is already installed. Windows users should look for the Pulse Secure client icon in the system tray, located in the lower right-hand corner of your screen.
Macintosh users should look for the Pulse icon in the upper right-hand corner of their desktop (the Finder).
Note: The Pulse Secure client used to be marketed as "Junos Pulse" and featured a different logo (see below). If your system has an older version of Pulse installed, you should upgrade to the latest version of the Pulse Secure client.
Download Pulse for Windows or Mac
Students, faculty, and staff can download the Pulse Secure client from the Software Download Service at My Pitt. Log in to My Pitt and enter "software" into the AskCathy Service Discovery search field. Click on the link for the Software Download Service.
The Pulse Secure client software for Windows and Macintosh PCs is listed under the vendor Pulse Secure as "Pulse VPN Desktop Client."
Download Pulse for UPMC Users, Sponsored Account Holders, and Other Affiliates
The Pulse Secure client is available for download at technology.pitt.edu/pulseclient for individuals who do not have access to the Software Download Service through My Pitt. No University login is required.
Download Pulse for Mobile Devices
The Pulse Secure client is available for download on the Apple App Store (iOS), the Google Play store (Android) and the Microsoft app store (Windows Phone).
Install the Pulse Secure Client and Set Up a Profile
The instructions below explain how to install Pulse Secure on a laptop or desktop computer running Windows or macOS. For instructions on using Pulse with your mobile device, please refer to our mobile instructions.
- Open Pulse Secure. For Windows systems, the application should be listed in the Start menu under Pulse Secure.
- Click the plus-sign icon to create a profile. Note: On older versions of Junos Pulse, the plus sign is located in the lower left-hand corner of the Connections window.
- In the Server URL field, enter sremote.pitt.edu. Leave the Type field at its default setting.
- In the Name field, enter a name for your Profile (for example, Pitt VPN Connection). Click Add to save the profile.
Establish a Pitt VPN Session
Note: You must already have registered a device for multifactor authentication before you can complete the steps below.
In the secondary password field, type either PUSH, a passcode you will generate, PHONE, or SMS. Here is how each option works:
- Click the Connect button next to your profile.
Note: In steps 2 through 4, you can save your settings with the “Save settings” checkbox. Saving your settings (which includes saving your password in step 3) will save you time when connecting in the future, but it also presents a security risk if someone other than you also has access to the computer.
- Select the Pitt VPN role you would like to use. Click Connect.
- A new pre-sign in notification will display similar to the one shown below. This page explains your options for using multifactor authentication. Click Proceed.
- Enter your username and password as you normally would and click Connect.
- A new window will display with a Secondary Password field for multifactor authentication.
- Provide your multifactor authentication credentials
- Type Push and click Connect. Accept the Push notification on your smartphone or tablet. Note that you must have the Duo Mobile app installed on your smartphone or tablet (if you haven't already installed the app, you can download it from your device's app store).
- Generate a passcode by tapping the key icon within the Duo Mobile app on your smartphone or tablet or by using your hardware token. Enter the passcode into the Secondary Password field and click Connect.
- Type phone in the Secondary Password field and click Connect. This will call the default phone number you registered for multifactor authentication. Answer the call and press 1.
- Type sms in the Secondary Password field and click Connect. Your authentication attempt will fail, but you will receive a passcode on your registered device. Enter that passcode into the Secondary Password field on the Pulse window with the "Credentials were invalid" message and click Connect again.
Note: You can also add a number to the end of these factor names if you have more than one device registered. For example, PUSH2 will send a login request to your second phone, PHONE3 will call your third phone, and so forth.
- Your connection will be established. The Pulse Secure tray icon will display with a green arrow pointing up when you have made a successful connection.
- When you are finished, click Disconnect next to your profile in the Pulse Secure client. You can also click the Pulse icon in the system tray, select your profile, and click Disconnect.
- Tip: You can quickly open future Pulse Secure connections by clicking the Pulse icon in your system tray, selecting your Profile, and clicking Connect.
Advanced Tips: Creating Separate Pulse Profiles for Multiple Pitt VPN Roles
Some individuals may use multiple roles with the Pitt VPN service. For example, you may have one role that you use to connect to your office computer from home, and a second role that you use to connect to a departmental database from home.
You can create individual Pulse Secure profiles for each of your roles. You may find this to be a faster and easier method of connecting. To create a profile for a specific role, complete the steps:
- Click the plus-sign icon to create a profile.
- In the Server URL field, enter sremote.pitt.edu. Leave the Type field at its default setting. In the Name field, select a name similar to the Pitt VPN role you will be using. Click Add.
- Click the Connect button next to your profile.
- Select Network Connect and select the Save Settings box. Click Connect.
- Enter your username and password. Do not select Save settings if you are using a computer that others share. Click Connect.
- Select the Pitt VPN role you would like to use and select the Save Settings box. Click Connect.
- You will be connected. The next time you open Pulse, you can quickly connect directly to this role.