Troubleshoot VPN Connectivity Issues

You can download the latest version of the VPN software here. You can also try connecting to Brown's VPN using a browser-plugin method. Refer to this KB Article on compatibility and instructions.

If you need any assistance in doing the below fixes, please reach out to the IT Service Center or stop by our office.


Uninstall and Reinstall

Often times, simply removing the software, restarting and reinstalling is all that is needed to fix connection issues. Please make sure to restart. This is an important step as uninstalling software often requires restarting to allow for additional changes to be made to your system.

On macOS, uninstallation can be difficult as outlined in F5 Networks' article here. We have created and attached a small app to our KB article that you can use to perform the removal part of those instructions. Make sure that the F5 client is not running.



Malware can affect the behavior of your computer's software and network connections. Although you may not think you have malware, we strongly suggest running anti-malware scans on your computer to confirm it's clean.

If you need assistance with this, you can reach out to the IT Service Center via chat or by phone for remote assistance or stop by our office.


Firewalls and Anti-Virus Software

Using protection software is important. However, strict anti-virus software or firewalls may prevent the VPN software from connecting. Make sure to allow exceptions within your software to allow the F5 Edge Client to connect.

You can temporarily disable your protection software and attempt to connect to Brown's VPN to at least determine if the issue is due to your AV/firewall. You may have to go as far as removing/uninstalling the software completely in order to connect. If this is the case, you may need to consult with the AV's/firewall's developer on how to properly configure it to allow the VPN software to connect.


Your Computer's Hosts File

On both Mac and PC, there is a file known as the hosts file. This can be modified by software installed on your computer. If modified, it can block or redirect your network traffic and could affect your ability to connect to Brown's VPN. Resetting the file may allow the VPN software to connect.

Please note that some software on your computer may require this file to be modified to work correctly. If this is the case, you would need to modify this file to remove any entries that block Brown's VPN.

If you need assistance with this, you can reach out to the IT Service Center via chat or by phone for remote assistance or stop by our office.


Network Drivers

Outdated or corrupt network drivers on your PC can also cause issues. We suggest going to your computer's manufacturer's support site and downloading the most recent network drivers. 

We suggest you update your drivers in the following order:

  1. Uninstall the existing F5 software installation if you haven't done so already.
  2. Restart your computer.
  3. Download and run the driver software.
  4. Once completed, restart your computer.
  5. Download and install the latest version of the VPN software.
  6. Restart your computer.
  7. Launch the VPN software and attempt to connect.


Other VPN Software

While working with other institutions, or your employer, you may have had to install another VPN software on your computer. If you do not use this software, please make sure to uninstall it before installing Brown's VPN software.

If you need to use more than one VPN software, try uninstalling all VPN software, restarting, and re-installing them one by one. For each VPN software, make sure to install it, restart, and connect successfully to it. Once you have done that, disconnect it, and proceed to the next one.

If issues persist afterward, you can contact the IT Service Center for further troubleshooting F5 Edge Client. You may also need to reach out to the support team for your other VPN software.

In some cases, running more than one VPN software causes incompatibility issues that prevents them from working together. You may need to use a different computer if this is the case.

Advanced VPN Troubleshooting (Windows)

  1. Uninstall the VPN Software.
  2. Restart.
  3. Reset Internet Explorer. This guide helps. Make sure you do this with Internet Explorer and not Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is searchable in the Start Menu.
  4. Restart
  5. Install the VPN software again and attempt connection.

If that doesn’t work, you can try these more advanced steps.

  1. Uninstall the VPN software.
  2. Restart.
  3. Perform a search for Device Manager in your Start Menu. Or right-click on the Start Button and click on Device Manager.
  4. Click on View, at the top, and click on Show hidden devices
  5. Then, expand the Network Adapters in the device list.
  6. Right-click each adapter, and then select Uninstall device > Uninstall. Make sure to NOT have the Delete Driver... selected.
  7. After uninstalling the adapter, select the Start  button > Power > Restart.
  8. The adapters should reinstall on startup
  9. Reconnect to your wireless network
  10. Install the VPN software
  11. Attempt to make a VPN connection using this software.

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