Cisco VPN Client Interface

The Cisco VPN Client for Windows supports two interfaces: CLI and GUI. This book will focus on the GUI interface of the 4.6 client. Once you have installed the client, go to Start > Programs > Cisco VPN Software Client > VPN Client to access the GUI. Sometimes the application is referred to as the "VPN Dialer," after the older 3.x application name.

Operating Modes

The VPN Client has two operating modes:

  • Simple Mode, shown in Figure 12-1

    Figure 12-1. VPN Client GUI: Simple Mode

  • Advanced Mode, shown in Figure 12-2 (this is the default mode)

    Figure 12-2. VPN Client GUI: Advanced Mode

With either mode, at the top of the window in the window bar is the name of the application and version number: "VPN ClientVersion"


You also can view the client type and version by right-clicking the VPN Client IPsec session icon (padlock) and choosing About VPN Client.

Below the window bar are the menu options. You'll notice that there is a difference between what the Simple and Advanced Modes display. Table 12-2 explains the menu options available for each mode. To toggle between the two modes, go to Options and choose Advanced Mode if you're currently in Simple Mode and Simple Mode if you're in Advanced Mode. For the most part, the remainder of this chapter will focus on the use of the Advanced Mode display.

Table 12-2. VPN Client Mode Menu Options

Menu Option

Simple Mode

Advanced Mode

Connection Entries

Connect to a VPN gateway and import a new session

Connect to a VPN gateway and create, add, modify, duplicate, delete, and import a session


View statistics and notifications

View statistics and notifications and reset statistics


Not available

View, import, export, enroll, verify, delete, and change password for certificates


Not available

Disable logging, clear the log, change log settings, and view and search the log file


Change to Advanced Mode and set the application preferences

Specify application to launch, change automatic initiation parameters, configure Window login properties, enable/disable the Cisco Integrated Client (CIC) firewall, change to Simple Mode, and set the application preferences


View version information and pull up help

View version information and pull up help


Simple Mode is best if you don't want users to have access to many of the GUI options. To enforce the usage of Simple Mode by your users and to ensure that they don't use the GUI to change from Simple to Advanced Mode, be sure to set AdvancedView=0 in the vpnclient.ini file and then precede it with an exclamation point (!)this will gray out the option in the Options menu. Advanced Mode should be used if users must have the capability of modifying the Cisco VPN Client settings, such as adding or deleting sessions, turning on and off the stateful firewall, or using the logging function of the client.



To change the application preferences for the VPN Client in either Simple or Advanced Mode, go to Options > Preferences in the menu bar. Here are the options you can enable or disable:

  • Save Window Settings When enabled, the application automatically will save any viewing changes you've made to the VPN Client Window upon exiting the application.
  • Hide Upon Connect When enabled, this minimizes the VPN Client window to the Windows taskbar when an IPsec session is established.
  • Enable Tool Tips When enabled, tool tips are displayed in Advanced Mode whenever you put your cursor over the toolbar buttons below the menu bar.
  • Enable Connect History Display When enabled, the VPN Client displays the session history of previous connections.
  • Enable Accessibility Options When enabled, the VPN Client doesn't display the VPN Client icon in the taskbar, but minimizes the VPN Client, enables sound and visual notifications for all dialogs and text edit boxes, and enables connecting and disconnecting of IPsec sessions (you'll need to restart the client to enable these features).
  • Enable Connect On Open When enabled, the VPN Client, upon starting, will connect automatically to the Easy VPN Server in the default user profile.

Advanced Mode Toolbar Buttons and Tabs

The toolbar icons displayed in the toolbar (below the menu selections in the menu bar) differ based on the tab you select. There are three GUI tabs:

  • Connection Entries Displays the connection entries (user profiles) that exist on the client. The buttons in the toolbar allow you to perform an action against a selected connection entry, or even create a new one. You can also use the Connection Entries option in the main menu to perform the same process. Figure 12-2 shows the VPN Client with the Connection Entries tab selected. Below the tab are the actual user profiles in the Profiles subdirectory of the VPN Client installation. In this example, there is only one entry, called "POD6." This entry connects to an Easy VPN Server with an IP address of and uses IPsec/UDP (transparent) for its session.
  • Certificates Allows you to import, export, enroll, verify, view, and delete certificates using the toolbar buttons or the entries under the Certificates option in the main menu. When this tab is selected, the window below it changes to view all installed certificates.
  • Log Allows you to view the client's log file contents. When this tab is selected, the icons change in the toolbar to allow you to disable logging, clear the log file, change the log settings, or pull up the log in a separate windowyou also can perform these functions from the Log menu option in the menu bar.

As you'll notice in Simple Mode (Figure 12-1), there are no tabs or toolbar buttons. The only thing you have access to below the menu bar is a drop-down selector of the VPN gateways you can connect to, and a Connect button to establish an IPsec session using the user profile that is currently being displayed).


In the 3.x client, the three tabs don't exist in one GUI interface. Instead, they are three separate programs: VPN Dialer (Connection Entries tab in the 4.x client), Certificate Manager (Certificates tab), and the Log Viewer (Log tab). The 4.x client software combines all of these applications in one common GUI, making it easier to interface with the Cisco software.

Part I: VPNs

Overview of VPNs

VPN Technologies




Part II: Concentrators

Concentrator Product Information

Concentrator Remote Access Connections with IPsec

Concentrator Remote Access Connections with PPTP, L2TP, and WebVPN

Concentrator Site-to-Site Connections

Concentrator Management

Verifying and Troubleshooting Concentrator Connections

Part III: Clients

Cisco VPN Software Client

Windows Software Client

3002 Hardware Client

Part IV: IOS Routers

Router Product Information

Router ISAKMP/IKE Phase 1 Connectivity

Router Site-to-Site Connections

Router Remote Access Connections

Troubleshooting Router Connections

Part V: PIX Firewalls

PIX and ASA Product Information

PIX and ASA Site-to-Site Connections

PIX and ASA Remote Access Connections

Troubleshooting PIX and ASA Connections

Part VI: Case Study

Case Study


The Complete Cisco VPN Configuration Guide
The Complete Cisco VPN Configuration Guide
ISBN: 1587052040
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 178
Authors: Richard Deal © 2008-2020.
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