PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure): Connect to a Chromebook with the Pulse Secure Client | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure): Connect to a Chromebook with the Pulse Secure Client


The PittNet VPN (Pulse Secure) service provides students, faculty, and staff with the ability to connect to restricted University online resources when off-campus or while using PittNet Wi-Fi. The service encrypts traffic between a user's computer and the University's network. You can download and install the Pulse Secure client from the Chrome Webstore to use the PittNet VPN service on a Chromebook.

The Pulse Secure client enables you to use the service in Network Connect mode on a Chromebook. Network Connect provides faculty and staff with access to network firewall-protected resources (such as departmental servers or databases) that they have been approved to use. Network Connect also enables you to use Secure Shell (SSH) or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), also available as downloads from the Chrome Webstore, when accessing remote computers.

In order to use Pulse Secure to access these resources, your Responsibility Center Account Administrator must have already created a Network Connect role for you. A Network Connect role is a special set of permissions that grant you access to specific network resources. You will need to select your Network Connect role when using Pulse Secure.    

If you use the University’s PittNet VPN service, either through the recommended Pulse client or via the IPSec client, you will need to use multifactor authentication for your secure, remote connections. This requirement affects all students, faculty, and staff who use the PittNet VPN service.

Install the Pulse Secure Client and Set Up a Profile

First, download and install the Pulse Secure client on your Chromebook:

1. Visit the Chrome Webstore
Chrome Address Bar

2. Search for Pulse.
Chrome Web Store Search

3. Locate the Pulse Secure App, then click the Add to Chrome button.
Chrome Web Store

4. Follow the on-screen prompts to download and install Junos Pulse Secure on your Chromebook.

5. Open the Pulse Secure client from the launcher icon available in the lower left-hand corner of the Google Chrome desktop screen.
Google Chrome Desktop
Note: You may need to search for Pulse Secure (using the Search or Type URL field), then click Add It. Add Pulse Secure Screen

6. Go to the system tray and open the pop-up menu, then select VPN disconnected.
System Tray Showing VPN Disconnected Message

7. Click Pulse Secure.
VPN Setup

8. Enter a name for the connection and sremote.pitt.edu for the URL. Click the Save button to continue.
VPN Setup Add Connection Screen

Establish a PittNet VPN


Pulse Secondary Password Screen

In the secondary password field, type either PUSH, a passcode you will generate, PHONE, or SMS. Here is how each option works:

Pulse Secure Icon

  1. Go to the system tray and open the pop-up menu, then select VPN disconnected.
  2. Select the profile that you created from the list of connections.
  3. Choose the type of connection you would like to establish (for example, Network Connect) and click Continue.
  4. Enter your University Computing Account username and password and click Continue.
  5. A new window will display with a Secondary Password field for multifactor authentication.
  6. Use one of the following methods:
  1. 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).
  2. 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.Duo Generate Key Screen
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Pulse Failure Screen

  1. 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.
  2. Tip: You can quickly open future Pulse Secure connections by clicking the Pulse icon in your system tray, selecting your Profile, and clicking Connect.


    Pulse Secure System Tray Screen

  3. When you have completed your Network Connect session, click the Disconnect button in the main Connections window.

Get Help

The 24/7 IT Help Desk at 412-624-HELP (4357) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your technology-related questions. Questions can also be submitted online.