Cisco Anyconnect Browser



This document describes the Cisco AnyConnect Mobility Client captive portal detection feature and the requirements for it to function correctly. Many wireless hotspots at hotels, restaurants, airports, and other public places use captive portals in order to block user access to the Internet. They redirect HTTP requests to their own websites that require users to enter their credentials or acknowledge terms and conditions of the hotspot host.



Cisco recommends that you have knowledge of the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.

Components Used

The information in this document is based on these software versions:

Start Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client In Windows 8 or 10: Open the start menu (charms menu) and click on any blank space. Start typing “anyconnect” and you will see the program icon pop up. Right click this and select “pin to start” if you’d like to access it quickly in.

We are here to provide you simple step by step instructions to Install Cisco Anyconnect VPN Client on Windows 10. Though the latest edition is well compatible with Windows 10, Microsoft Edge browser doesn’t have the necessary plug-in for its web-based automatic installation. Hence, this guideline will help you to install it correctly. The Cisco AnyConnect embedded browser gives us no way to log him out of [email protected], and the Azure SAML page gives us no way to switch accounts. Since I am god awful at explanations, here is a link to someone else having pretty much the same issue but with Pulse instead of Cisco AnyConnect. The Cisco AnyConnect client (version 4.6 and newer) works with an embedded browser that is directed to the ASA (defined in the VPN connection profile). The request is redirected to Azure AD (the identity provider) which prompts for authentication, including multi-factor authentication with OATH TOTP.

  • AnyConnect Version 3.1.04072
  • Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Version 9.1.2

The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you understand the potential impact of any command.

Background Information

Many facilities that offer Wi-Fi and wired access, such as airports, coffee shops, and hotels, require users to pay before they obtain access, agree to abide by an acceptable use policy, or both. These facilities use a technique called captive portal in order to prevent applications from connecting until users open a browser and accept the conditions for access.

Captive Portal Remediation Requirements

Support for both captive portal detection and remediation requires one of these licenses:

  • AnyConnect Premium (Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN Edition)
  • Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility

You can use a Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility license in order to provide support for captive portal detection and remediation in combination with either an AnyConnect Essentials or an AnyConnect Premium license.

Note: Captive portal detection and remediation is supported on the Microsoft Windows and Macintosh OS X operating systems supported by the release of AnyConnect that is in use.

Captive Portal Hotspot Detection

AnyConnect displays the Unable to contact VPN server message on the GUI if it cannot connect, regardless of the cause. The VPN server specifies the secure gateway. If Always-on is enabled and a captive portal is not present, the client continues to attempt to connect to the VPN and updates the status message accordingly.

If the Always-on VPN is enabled, the connect failure policy is closed, captive portal remediation is disabled, and AnyConnect detects the presence of a captive portal, then the AnyConnect GUI displays this message once per connection and once per reconnect:

If AnyConnect detects the presence of a captive portal and the AnyConnect configuration differs from that previously described, the AnyConnect GUI displays this message once per connection and once per reconnect:


Caution: Captive portal detection is enabled by default and is nonconfigurable. AnyConnect does not modify any browser configuration settings during captive portal detection.

Cisco Anyconnect Browser Support

Captive Portal Hotspot Remediation

Captive portal remediation is the process where you satisfy the requirements of a captive portal hotspot in order to obtain network access.

AnyConnect does not remediate the captive portal; it relies on the end user to perform the remediation.

In order to perform the captive portal remediation, the end user meets the requirements of the hotspot provider. These requirements might include payment of a fee to access the network, a signature on an acceptable use policy, both, or some other requirement that is defined by the provider.

Captive portal remediation must be explicitly allowed in an AnyConnect VPN Client profile if AnyConnect Always-on is enabled and the Connect failure policy is set to Closed. If Always-on is enabled and the Connect Failure policy is set to Open, you do not need to explicitly allow captive portal remediation in an AnyConnect VPN Client profile because the user is not restricted from network access.

False Captive Portal Detection

AnyConnect can falsely assume it is in a captive portal in these situations.

  • If AnyConnect attempts to contact an ASA with a certificate that contains an incorrect server name (CN), then the AnyConnect client will think it is in a captive portal environment.
    In order to prevent this issue, make sure that the ASA certificate is properly configured. The CN value in the certificate must match the name of the ASA server in the VPN client profile.
  • If there is another device on the network before the ASA that responds to the client's attempt to contact an ASA by blocking HTTPS access to the ASA, then the AnyConnect client will think it is in a captive portal environment. This situation can occur when a user is on an internal network and connects through a firewall in order to connect to the ASA.
    If you must restrict access to the ASA from inside the corporation, configure your firewall such that HTTP and HTTPS traffic to the ASA's address does not return an HTTP status. HTTP/HTTPS access to the ASA should either be allowed or completely blocked (also known as black-holed) in order to ensure that HTTP/HTTPS requests sent to the ASA will not return an unexpected response.

AnyConnect Behavior

This section describes how the AnyConnect behaves.

  1. AnyConnect tries an HTTPS probe to the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) defined in the XML profile.
  2. If there is a certificate error (not trusted/wrong FQDN), then AnyConnect tries an HTTP probe to the FQDN defined in the XML profile. If there is any other response than an HTTP 302, then it considers itself to be behind a captive portal.

Captive Portal Incorrectly Detected with IKEV2

When you attempt an Internet Key Exchange Version 2 (IKEv2) connection to an ASA with SSL authentication disabled that runs the Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) portal on port 443, the HTTPS probe performed for captive portal detection results in a redirect to the ASDM portal (/admin/public/index.html). Since this is not expected by the client, it looks like a captive portal redirect, and the connection attempt is prevented since it seems that captive portal remediation is required.


Cisco Anyconnect Browser Login

If you encounter this issue, here are some workarounds:

  • Remove HTTP commands on that interface so that the ASA will not listen to HTTP connections on the interface.
  • Remove the SSL trustpoint on the interface.
  • Enable IKEV2 client-services.
  • Enable WebVPN on the interface.

This issue is resolved by Cisco bug ID CSCud17825 in Version 3.1(3103).

Caution: The same problem exists for Cisco IOS® routers. If ip http server is enabled on Cisco IOS, which is required if the same box is used as the PKI Server, AnyConnect falsely detects captive portal. The workaround is to use ip http access-class in order to stop responses to AnyConnect HTTP requests, instead of requesting authentication.

Cisco Anyconnect Web

Disable the Captive Portal Feature

Cisco Anyconnect Browser Windows

It is possible to disable the captive portal feature in AnyConnect client version 4.2.00096 and later (see Cisco bug ID CSCud97386). The administrator can determine if the option should be user configurable or disabled. This option is available under the Preferences (Part 1) section in the profile editor. The administrator can choose Disable Captive Portal Detection or User Controllable as shown in this profile editor snapshot:

Cisco Anyconnect Browser Pop Up

If User controllable is checked, the checkbox appears on the Preferences tab of the AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client UI as shown here: