How do I Connect to VPN using Duo 2FA with a SMS Text Message?


All faculty, staff and students have the ability to use a Duo text message (SMS) when accessing our Cisco VPN using the AnyConnect application.

*Please note:  The VPN client requires UNCW Two-Factor Authentication through the Duo application. 2FA provides an additional layer of security to your UNCW account. If you have the Duo application installed on your personal smart device, Cisco Anyconnect will push a request to allow access to the application when you login. If you do not have the ability to respond to the push notification you can change the method of delivery to receive a text message via your phone number on file and enter a passcode instead.


  1. On your computer, launch VPN - Cisco Anyconnect.
  2. Verify that "UNCW VPN" is selected in the dropdown menu, and then click "Connect."

    A screenshot of the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client - showing UNCW VPN in the dropdown section and the Connect button.
  3. You will be prompted to enter your UNCW account credentials. 
  4. Enter your UNCW username (without "").
  5. Type in your UNCW username and password. The "DUO option" field is for Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), which uses DUO. Please type "sms" in the field, and DUO will send a text message to your registered phone.

    The password and Duo Option text will appear as asterisks (see below).

    Cisco AnyConnect login screen showing username, password, and DUO options. SMS is typed in and appears as asterisks.
  6. This will instruct Duo's Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to text a one-time-use passcode to your phone number on file. 

    An example of the Text message received from using the SMS option. Text reads, "UNC Wilmington OTP Passcode. Do not share this code. (will expire in 5 minutes): 12345"
  7. On your computer, the Cisco AnyConnect login screen will reset, clearing the password field.
  8. Please ensure your UNCW username is still in the "Username" field, and retype your UNCW account password. In the "Duo Option" field, enter the 7-digit passcode that you received on your phone. Remember, when typed, your password and Duo Option will appear as asterisks. Please select "OK" when you are finished. 

    Cisco AnyConnect login screen showing username, password, and DUO options. "Enter SMS Code Here" is typed in the DUO option field to help indicate where you type the passcode..
  9. Cisco AnyConnect should now be successfully connected to UNCW VPN. 

If you need further assistance, please submit a service request or CHAT with TAC.

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