Getting Started! - Global Protect AlwaysON VPN

Global Protect AlwaysON VPN

Quick Links: |  Basic Troubleshooting  |


What is Virtual Private Networking (VPN)

virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network, such as the network at Chico State, across a public network (from home, coffee shop, etc) and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks via an encrypted tunnel as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running on a user's device (PC, smartphone, etc.) across a VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.

California State University Chico has deployed the Palo Alto Networks Global Protect VPN to fill this role.


What is an "AlwaysON" VPN?

Just like it sounds, the AlwaysON VPN client installed on all state and university-owned laptop and desktop hardware will automatically connect back to campus when the device is attached to an appropriate network connection. This can be manually disabled by the end user but it will eventually reconnect. This allows the university to keep the device up to date with patches and security updates while helping maintain device inventory.


Why should you use VPN?

Whether you are on or off campus, you can better protect yourself by using a VPN connection. Rather than blindly trusting that everyone connected to the wifi in the airport lounge or at the coffee shop has good intentions, the VPN is an additional step to help secure and protect not only your own data but the university as a whole. The AlwaysON VPN client makes this relatively seamless to the user as it will automatically reconnect and thus encrypt the connection. 


How do I get the VPN?

State or University owned devices:

 - All newly configured University owned devices will be deployed pre-configured with the Global Protect AlwaysON VPN client. There are a series of requirements the device must meet in order to successfully install and use the AlwaysON VPN client. If you need assistance connecting to the VPN, you can submit a service request by visiting the IT Service Catalog and selecting "Help installing and configuring software" (or CLICK HERE), calling ITSS at 898-4357, or emailing

Personal or Private devices:

- Due to the requirements mentioned above, personal devices owned by students or faculty will not work on the AlwaysON VPN. For those devices, please see the Global Protect OnDemand VPN.


Additional Wireless Security Considerations

All wireless networks should be treated with extra caution as they are more vulnerable to attackers wishing to steal your information. We recommend that whether you are using campus wireless, using public Wi-Fi spot at a local coffee shop, or using a hotel's Wi-Fi while traveling, you use your Chico State VPN connection to keep your information secure. Even if you are off-campus and are only connecting to non-campus web pages or resources, we strongly recommend connecting to your Chico State VPN as a way to secure and encrypt all of your data between your computer or device and the Wi-Fi hotspot. That way an attacker monitoring Wi-Fi in that area will much less likely to be able to steal your data.


How does this thing work?

To be forwarded directly to the Global Protect AlwaysON VPN support page that covers your operating system, please click one of the following links:

Windows Global Protect AlwaysON VPN  |  macOS Global Protect AlwaysON VPN  |  

Please note that the various flavors of the Linux operating system are not supported by the university at this time.


Basic Troubleshooting:

All OS Versions:

Are you actually connected to the Internet?

- The AlwaysOn VPN does not provide an internet connection, it only provides a secure tunnel back to the campus network through your current connection. You must first connect to your network of choice before your system can establish that secure tunnel. Please contact the on-site tech support for your hotel, conference, etc. in order to get instructions on how to connect to their network.

Are you behind a "captive portal" for wifi registration? (Hotel, airplane, conference, etc)

- The AlwaysOn VPN component does not bypass these captive portals, and depending on how the portal is set up you may see a "Cannot connect" message from the VPN after connecting. Open your browser and make sure that you are able to connect to the internet (,, etc) and make sure these pages load correctly, 

My system says "Connection Failed - Gateway ao-vpn-gw: Could not connect to the GlobalProtect gateway. Please contact your IT administrator"

1.  After ensuring you are connected to the internet, open your browser and visit

  a.  If you cannot load this webpage, you may not have a reliable internet connection or you may be behind a captive portal. Please see previous troubleshooting items

  b.  If you can load (sign-in is NOT required) and the AlwaysON VPN will not connect, you may need to contact ITSS directly for additional troubleshooting.


Please do not leave the comment section blank! Provide constructive feedback to make this page better. Further inquiries can be forwarded to ITSS in Meriam Library 142, or via phone at (530) 898-4357.

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Article ID: 73349
Fri 3/8/19 11:24 AM
Tue 4/18/23 2:19 PM