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Off Campus Access: Library Access via VPN


The VPN provides GW faculty, staff, and students with seamless, integrated access to all electronic resources. Users must have a GW UserID to use the VPN.

To login from off-campus, users must know their GW UserID and the associated password.  GW's Identity and Access Management

  • allows user to set up their GW UserID or reset their password.
  • provides instructions for users who experience difficulty setting up their GW UserID.

Instructions for connection via the VPN (Recommended)


Download and install the VPN client, Cisco AnyConnect.

Connecting to the VPN

  1. On your computer, start the program Cisco AnyConnect.
  2. Login to VPN with your GW UserID and password. 
    • Accounts created before May 22, 2022: Your GW UserID is the portion of your email address prior to @.
    • Accounts created after May 22, 2022: Your GW UserID is your GWID (G#).
  3. You can now access databases, e-texts, and e-journals via the Himmelfarb Library website without any additional logins.

For additional information, go to GW Information Technology: Software.


Students, Faculty & Staff: GW SMHS Help Desk at 202-994-4948 or

VPN Frequently Asked Questions

What is VPN?

VPN is software which can be used for off-campus access.  For off-campus access, VPN allows your computer to function as though it is on the GW campus and therefore allows you to access most databases, e-texts, and e-journals without additional logins.

How do I download the VPN?

To download the VPN, access the GW's AnyConnect downloads website and login with your GW UserID, the username and password associated with your GW email account.

How do I login to VPN?

If you download the software Cisco AnyConnect from GW VPN GW's Division of Information Technology, the GW profile is included by default and you will simply need to enter your GW UserID (the portion prior to the @) and password.

If you need to re-establish the GW profile, please enter the following address in Cisco AnyConnect:

Do I need to download and install software to use VPN?

Yes. You should access the GW's AnyConnect downloads website to download the VPN software. This site will prompt you to login in order to access the download; login with your GW UserID, the username and password associated with your GW email account.

I have a copy of an older VPN which I downloaded to my computer. Will it still work?

GW began using AnyConnect for VPN beginning in December 2014.  Prior versions of GW's VPN have ceased to function.

How can I access Himmelfarb Library's databases, e-texts, and e-journals using VPN ?

GW's VPN works by allowing your computer to function as though it is on the GW campus. Therefore, after logging into the VPN, you can access Himmelfarb Library's databases, e-texts, and e-journals directly from Himmelfarb Library's website without any additional logins.

I'm using VPN but can't get into Himmelfarb Library's databases, e-texts, and e-journals or the GWU network. What should I do?

  • Check that you are logged into VPN. In order for VPN to work, you need to access AnyConnect and connect each time that you use it.
  • Check that VPN is connected. VPN may logoff automatically after periods of inactivity. If this occurs, you will need to login again. To check if VPN is running:
    • Look in the lower right-hand corner of your computer screen.
    • The VPN is represented by an icon that looks like the globe with a yellow padlock on top. If the padlock is in the closed position, then the VPN is running. If you mouse over the icon, it should tell you if AnyConnect is connected or disconnected.
    • To connect or disconnect the VPN, click on the icon and then click on Connect or Disconnect.

Which browsers and operating systems work with VPN?

The VPN is not browser dependent. You should be able to use any web browser available on your computer.

I'm having trouble accessing or running VPN. Who can I contact for assistance?

The Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library
Questions? Ask us.

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