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VPN Install and Setup Guide for Mac


Fordham University's virtual private network (VPN), called Pulse Secure, extends the school's secure network through a connection over the Internet from any public location. Employees and authorized individuals use the VPN from their personal computer and/or mobile device for secure, remote access to University systems and software. 

To monitor traffic and manage security policies, all faculty and staff have been categorized into specific user groups, also called “connections.” Pulse Secure requires users to add their connection to the systems and software they need to access.   

View available VPN connections to University-issued applications and services.

Pulse Secure                                     

Use Pulse Secure to connect and disconnect the Fordham VPN on your personal devices.   

First-time users will need to download Pulse Secure and configure it to the VPN Connection that they require. Pulse Secure requires an antivirus to be installed to allow access to the VPN. Fordham IT provides antivirus protection to University-issued devices.

You may download Pulse Secure to all your devices, but only one device may connect at a time.  

Downloading and Installing 

  1. Retrieve the Mac Installer 
  2. Click on the Download button. Browsers may differ in the way they download the installer:
    • Safari: If prompted: Select Allow download > Select show downloads arrow on the upper right corner > Click on the downloaded file, ps-pulse-mac-installer.dmg 
    • Google Chrome: Double click on the downloaded button on the lower left-hand corner > Click on the downloaded file, ps-pulse-mac-installer.dmg 
  3. In the window that appears with the PulseSecure installer, double click to begin the install. 
  4. When the Install Pulse Secure dialog box appears, click Continue 
  5. Leave the defaults and click Install to continue 
  6. If you see "Installer is trying to install new software," enter your Mac password to allow installer to run
  7. If other messages appear that block the installation, click Allow so the installation can be completed 
  8. For Macs running Catalina OS 10.15, additional security steps are required:
    • Double click the lock icon to change the Security & Privacy settings  
    • Check the box Require password after 5 minutes after sleep or screen saver begins  
    • Check the box Show a message when the screen is locked and Set Lock Screen 
    • Check the option App Store and identified developers  
    • Double click the lock icon to save and lock the new Security & Privacy settings 
  9. Once all screens have completed, Pulse Secure is installed.  
  10. The capital S symbol for the Pulse Secure program appears in the upper right hand of the screen to show it is running  
  11. Click Finish to complete the install. 

After Pulse Secure is installed, follow the steps below to open and add connections.  

Configure Pulse Secure 

View VPN connections and what they access.

  1. Open Finder, click on Applications and search for Pulse Secure 
  2. Click on Pulse Secure icon > Open Pulse Secure 
    • In the pop-up window select the + on the bottom left-hand corner to add a connection 
    • Keep the default "Type" settings Policy Secure or Connect Secure 
    • Name the connection, i.e., Fordham VPN Plus 
    • Add the server URL,  i.e., 
    • Click the Add button to return to the Connections area 
  3. Repeat step 4 to add additional VPN connections if needed 

Please note that users are given access to specific connections. If access to a connection is needed, please contact IT Service Desk, 718-817-3999. 

Using the VPN Connections with Pulse Secure 

To connect a cellphone with the VPN, Duo multi-factor authentication needs to be installed and configured. ​​​​​​

  1. Click Connect, next to the VPN connection.  
  2. When prompted, type in your Access IT ID and password.
  3. You will be prompted for a secondary password which is your DUO. Choose from the options below: 
    Perform Duo Push authentication. You can use Duo Push if you've installed and activated Duo Mobile on your device.
    Perform phone callback authentication.
    Send a new batch of SMS passcodes. Your authentication attempt will be denied. You can then authenticate with one of the newly-delivered passcodes. 
    Numeric passcode
    Log in using a passcode, either generated with Duo Mobile, sent via SMS, generated by your hardware token, or provided by an administrator. Examples: "123456" or "2345678"
  4. After authentication is complete, a green checkmark will display next to the Pulse Secure icon on the Menu bar, located in the upper right corner.  


  1. In the Menu bar at the top right corner, next to the clock, select the arrow pointing up to display the miniature icons 
  2. Choose the Connection desired and select Connect 
  3. To disconnect, repeat steps 1 and 2, but choose the Connection and select Disconnect 
  4. User will need to reconnect every time the computer is restarted