GlobalProtect VPN: Configuring GlobalProtect on a Computer


This article contains instructions for all users on how to configure and connect to the GlobalProtect VPN on a computer for the first time and how to manage connection gateways and portal addresses.

Audience: Students, Faculty, Staff, or other USNH account holders who need to configure the USNH VPN on a computer.

This article assumes the GlobalProtect VPN Client is already installed.  The client should be automatically installed on USNH-managed computers.  For personal computers, see GlobalProtect VPN: Installing GlobalProtect on a Personal Device.

Note: The GlobalProtect VPN client looks virtually the same on Mac and Windows.  Screenshots in this article may be from either platform.



Task: To open the GlobalProtect VPN Client on your computer.



Step 1 - Click on the GlobalProtect VPN client icon in your top menu bar (Mac OS) or bottom system tray (Windows).

Client icon showing Not Connected status (white globe with no check mark) - Mac OS on left, Windows on right

Step 2 - The GlobalProtect VPN client will open just below (Mac OS) or above (Windows) the icon.



You have opened the GlobalProtect VPN client on your computer.  You are ready to configure or connect to the USNH VPN.

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Task: To configure and connect to GlobalProtect VPN for the first time



Step 1 - Open the GlobalProtect VPN client on your computer.

Step 2 - If this is a first time install, you will be prompted to enter a Portal AddressType in either portal address, they behave identically:


These portals provide the VPN client with its needed configuration.  These two portal addresses provide configurations for all campuses and are interchangeable and for optimal flexibility you should configure your GlobalProtect client with BOTH address.  This portal address entry will be saved by the VPN client the first time you click Connect.

Step 3 - Click the "Connect" button.  GlobalProtect will use the computer's default web browser (set through the operating system settings) to complete your authentication and connection.

GlobalProtect client with Portal filled in, ready to click "Connect"


Step 4 - GlobalProtect authenticates through the same Microsoft Single-Sign On (SSO) and MFA as email and Canvas.  If you are not already signed in, you will be directed to sign into Microsoft using your (fully qualified username, like and password along with your preferred method of multi-factor authentication (MFA), as below.

GlobalProtect VPN SSO Login Page


Step 5 - Once your sign-on is authenticated, GlobalProtect will go through its connection process, which involves opening two separate browser windows/tabs in the computer's default web browser (you can change the default web browser in the computer's operating system settings), one after the other.  This is normal and required for the VPN to log itself in.  You may be prompted to allow links to be opened.  Note: Going forward, it will be simpler if you check the box to "Always allow ..." before you click "Open Link", if available in your default browser. This example image is from a Google Chrome browser.

These "paloalto networks" browser windows/tabs will open each time you connect, but generally do not need to be interacted with (other than allowing GlobalProtect to Open Links if requested).  You must wait while these two browser windows/tabs process your VPN connection.

Pop up asking for permission to open links, with "Always allow..." checked.


Step 6 - After the connection process is completed, your GlobalProtect VPN client will show that it is "Connected".  At this point it is safe to close the two browser windows/tabs.  

Note: If you close either browser window before the VPN has finished connecting, the connection may fail and you will have to try connecting again.



You are connected to the USNH VPN through the GlobalProtect VPN client from PaloAlto Networks for the first time. You should be able to access your VPN-protected resources.

Your GlobalProtect VPN client is now configured to allow you to connect whenever you need to use the USNH VPN. 

Proceed to the next task to set your preferred connection defaults.

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Task: To select which Connection Gateway to use and to set a Preferred Gateway to use by default, if desired.

Initially, the system connects you to the "Best Available" Connection Gateway, but that may not be your preferred default, or you may need to use a different Connection Gateway to access certain resources.


Step 1 -  If your GlobalProtect VPN is already connected, skip to Step 2.  If it is not connected, open the GlobalProtect VPN client and click "Connect", then wait for the VPN connection to complete.

Step 2 - Open the GlobalProtect VPN client to see which Connection Gateway you are connected to.

VPN connected with the "Change Gateway" drop down marked by a red box.


Step 3 - If you want to connect to a different Gateway, click on "Change Gateway" and select the gateway you want instead.

  • GlobalProtect will first disconnect the existing gateway, then re-connect to the newly selected gateway with its usual connection process which involves opening two separate browser windows/tabs in your default web browser, one after the other.
  • You must wait while these two browser windows/tabs process your VPN connection.

Step 4 - Once GlobalProtect is connected to the Gateway you want to set as your default, then click on the "star icon" next to the Gateway name to mark it as your Preferred Gateway.

VPN Connected with UNH-GW marked as the Preferred Gateway


Step 5 - Going forward, when you click the "Connect" button, GlobalProtect will automatically connect to your Preferred Gateway. You can always use "Change Gateway" to connect to a different gateway if you need to for any reason.



You have set a preferred gateway if you want to. You know how to connect to a different gateway if you need to do so.

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Task: To manage GlobalProtect VPN Portal Addresses in Settings (Adding a second Portal)



Step 1 - Open the GlobalProtect VPN client.

Step 2 - Click on the GlobalProtect Menu (lines in upper right corner) and click on "Settings".

GlobalProtect with a red box around the menu in the top right.


Step 3 - In the “Manage Portals” section of the Settings, you can edit, add, or remove VPN portal addresses.  Portals listed here will be available to choose when you connect to the VPN.  To add the other portal address, the one you didn't add during setup above. click the "plus" (+) sign above the Manage Portals box and enter the address of the portal you are missing. 

When finished, you should see both portal addresses listed here.


GlobalProtect Manage Portals in Settings > Connections



You have both GlobalProtect VPN Portal Addresses available from the Portal drop down.

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Further Readings

GlobalProtect VPN: General Information and Resources

GlobalProtect VPN: Installing GlobalProtect on a Personal Device

GlobalProtect VPN: Running the USNH VPN


Need additional help?

Visit the Technology Help Desk Support page to locate your local campus contact information or to submit an online technology support request.  For password issues you must call or visit the Help Desk in person.  


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Article ID: 4787
Thu 9/21/23 11:17 AM
Wed 11/8/23 4:35 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office