Pitt VPN (Pulse Secure) Service: Using the Service with Your Mobile Device | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

Pitt VPN (Pulse Secure) Service: Using the Service with Your Mobile Device


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 Wireless PittNet. The service encrypts traffic between a user's computer and the University's network using virtual private network (VPN) technology. 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. These instructions explain how to use the Pulse Secure client app with your iOS, Android or Windows Phone mobile device.

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 (also 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.    


Download and Configure the Pulse Secure Client App

  1. Download the Pulse Secure client app from the Pitt App Store if you have it installed. Otherwise you can obtain the Pulse Secure client app from your device's relevant app store. Android devices use Google Play; Apple devices use the App Store. Windows Mobile users use the Microsoft online store.

  2. Once installed, open the Pulse Secure app. A welcome screen should appear asking for an email address or URL. Enter "sremote.pitt.edu" in the "Corporate email or URL" field and tap Submit.

  3. If you are running through the first configuration of the app, you should be presented with a confirmation screen indicating that "sremote.pitt.edu" will be the default configuration. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap the Save button.

  4. The Pulse Secure app should present a small "Connection" box with "sremote.pitt.edu" filled in. Tap the Connect button.

  5. The app should present a condensed version of the University's Pitt VPN home page with a field for username and password at the bottom. Enter your University Computing Account username and password in the two fields, leave the pop-up menu at "Network Connect" and tap Log In.

  6. The following screen should present you with a choice of roles to connect with. This is why it is important to know the name of the Pitt VPN role that has been set up by your Responsibility Center Administrator. For most users, there will only be one obvious choice. Tap on the appropriate role ID.

  7. The Pulse Secure client app will iniate the VPN connection and present a "Connection" box confirming that the session is up. You can end your VPN session by returning to the Pulse app and tapping on the Disconnect button.


Saving your Username and Role ID for Quick Session Initiation

Once you have set up a profile (referred to as a "Connection" by the Pulse Secure app) on your mobile/tablet device, you may want to save additional information to the profile information to speed up future sessions.


  1. Open the Pulse Secure app. Your default system connection link that was set up for "sremote.pitt.edu" should appear. Tap on the ellipses in the upper right corner of the "Connection" section to bring up the profile details.

  2. The Pulse Secure app should return a "Connection Details" screen with "sremote.pitt.edu" listed as the Connection Name. You can use this screen to log your username so that it is saved for future sessions. You can also enter the required Pitt VPN role name in the Role field so that you will no longer have to select it when initiating future sessions. For security reasons, you will not be able to store your University Computing Account password on this screen. When you have entered your username and role name, tap the Save button.



Creating Separate Pulse Profiles for Multiple Pitt VPN Roles

If you have access to more than one Pitt VPN role, you will need to set up additional profiles for your Pulse mobile/tablet installation. This process is relatively simple. You just need to know your respective role IDs.

Before you create an additional VPN profile, you may want to rename your original profile to something that will make it easy to differentiate once you have multiple profiles visible. This is done by clicking the ellipses icon in the upper right corner of the original "Connection" listing (step one from the previous section) and then entering a more specific name in the "Connection Name" field in the "Connection Details" screen that appears.

  1. In order to set up additional profiles for your mobile/tablet version of Pulse Secure, you need to navigate your app interface to the "Connections" screen. This is done by tapping the circular icon at the bottom of the display that is immediately to the right of the home icon.

  2. Tap the plus sign icon in the upper-right corner of the "Connections" screen to initiate the creation of a new profile.

  3. The Pulse Secure app will bring up a "Add a Connection" screen with fields that you can fill in to create an additional profile.
    • Enter a unique identifying name in the Connection Name name field to help you differentiate from the first profile that you created. It can be anything you like but should tie into the purpose of the role you will be accessing.
    • Enter a username in the Username field. For most users, this will be their primary University Computing Account username (and the same in all profiles). However, some users may have access to multiple account logins for Pitt VPN purposes.
    • Enter the role ID in the Role field.
    • Slide the slider next to "Make this my default connection" if you would like the profile you are creating to be the top choice on the "Connections" page that you see when you open the Pulse Secure app.

    Once you have entered all of the necessary information in the fields, tap the Add button.