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

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


The PittNet 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 accessing departmental databases and servers 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 PittNet VPN role for you. A PittNet 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 PittNet 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 Center 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. Pulse Secure Icon
  2. Once installed, open the Pulse Secure app. A welcome window appears asking for an email address or URL.
  • If you are a Pitt user, enter "sremote.pitt.edu" in the Corporate email or URL field and tap Submit.
  • If you are a UPMC user, enter "sremote.pitt.edu/upmc" in the Corporate email or URL field and tap Submit.    Pulse Secure Welcome Window
  1. If you are running through the first configuration of the app, you should be presented with a confirmation window indicating that "sremote.pitt.edu" will be the default configuration. Scroll to the bottom of the window and tap the Save button. Pulse Secure Add a Connection Window
  2. The Pulse Secure app should present a small Connection box with "sremote.pitt.edu" filled in. Tap the Connect button. Connection Box
  3. The app should present a condensed version of the University's PittNet VPN homepage 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. Pulse Secure Login Screen
  4. The following window should present you with a choice of roles to connect with. This is why it is important to know the name of the PittNet 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. Pulse Secure Role List
  5. The Pulse Secure client app will initiate 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. Pulse Secure VPN Connection


Saving your Username and Role ID for Quick Session Initiation

Once you have set up a profile (referred to as a "Connection") on your mobile device, saving additional information to the profile information will 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. Pulse Secure Default Connection Window

  2. The Pulse Secure app should return a Connection Details window with "sremote.pitt.edu" listed as the Connection Name. You can use this window to log your username so that it is saved for future sessions. You can also enter the required PittNet 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 window. When you have entered your username and role name, tap the Save button. Pulse Secure Connection Details



Creating Separate Pulse Profiles for Multiple PittNet VPN Roles

If you have access to more than one PittNet 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. Click the ellipses icon in the upper right corner of the original Connection listing (step one from the previous section). Then enter a more specific name in the Connection Name field in the Connection Details window 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 window. This is done by tapping the circular icon at the bottom of the display that is immediately to the right of the home icon. Connections Icon

  2. Tap the plus sign icon in the upper-right corner of the Connections window to initiate the creation of a new profile. Pulse Secure Connections Window

  3. The Pulse Secure app will bring up a Add a Connection window 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 PittNet VPN purposes.
    • Enter the role ID in the Role field.
    • Toggle the Make this my default connection slider if you would like the profile you are creating to be the top choice on the Connections page when you open the Pulse Secure app.Add a Connection Window

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