Cisco AnyConnect Licensing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Updated:December 16, 2020

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Updated:December 16, 2020

Table of Contents




This document provides answers to frequently asked AnyConnect licensing questions. Please see the AnyConnect Ordering Guide for detailed licensing information.

With AnyConnect 4.x, Cisco introduced a new licensing model. Based on feedback, we found that device based session capacity planning and per appliance license management was a constant guessing game and operational challenge. Moreover, with the growing number of mobile devices needing VPN connections combined with older ASAs being refreshed to newer platforms there were also budget concerns with having to rebuy licenses. To help address these issues, we moved AnyConnect to a total unique user, term-based licensing model. This greatly simplified licensing calculation and consumption in a number of areas.

First, going with a total user count is very much in line with general trend towards enterprise license / seat count model which enterprises can track and manage much better than endpoints. Second, focusing on user vs endpoint removes the variability that comes when the remote end-user has multiple devices connected simultaneously, a common issue with knowledge workers. Third, focusing on total users removes having to guess how many people need service and then having to buy pandemic licenses, which sit idle most of the time. This is also more in line with general business trend of enterprises trying to make employees more productive and thus always connected. Fourth, moving to a term based model allows budget planning to shift from a bursty CAPEX and ongoing support budget exercise to a more smooth OPEX planning process. Finally, creating a standalone bundled endpoint license separate from the headend gives you choice when selecting different headend platforms and services. This model allows you to avoid additional license costs when the head end box is swapped out or additional capacity is added or when other services are added (e.g. AnyConnect Apex investment for VPN services can be leverage along side Cisco Identity Services Engine).

Cisco AnyConnect services continue to be competitively priced and very much in line with Cisco’s other software pricing initiatives such as Cisco ONE.

In terms of the actual offers, AnyConnect 4.x collapsed the complex older AnyConnect licensing model down into two simple tiers. The first is AnyConnect Plus, which includes basic VPN services such as device and per-app VPN (including 3rd party IKEv2 Remote Access VPN head-end support), always on, basic device context collection, and FIPS compliance. AnyConnect Plus also includes other non-VPN services such as the AnyConnect Network Access Manager 802.1X supplicant and the Cloud Web Security module. In the 1H of CY 2015 with AnyConnect 4.1, AnyConnect Plus also added AMP for Endpoint distribution capabilities through the AMP Enabler. Existing AnyConnect customers can think of AnyConnect Plus as similar to the discontinued AnyConnect Essentials. The second offer is AnyConenct Apex, which includes more advanced VPN services such as endpoint posture checks, next generation encryption (including Suite B), SAML authentication, and clientless Remote Access VPN as well as all the capabilities of AnyConnect Plus. In the 2H of CY 2015 with AnyConnect 4.2MR1, AnyConnect Apex added the Network Visibility Module, a new endpoint flow based capability that collects user and endpoint behavior on and off premises. Existing AnyConnect customers can think of AnyConnect Apex as similar to the discontinued AnyConnect Premium and Shared. With both AnyConnect Plus and Apex continuing to add additional features and services, the value of AnyConnect term-based offers has and will continue to increase over time.

Cisco AnyConnect services continue to be competitively priced and very much in line with Cisco’s other software pricing initiatives

Q.  What factors contributed to changing the AnyConnect license models?
A.   We have taken in to account feedback from customers over many years requesting a simplified licensing model. As such, the new license model eliminates all of the add-on licenses complexity while also allowing for co-existence of license types. The new model provides shared licensing across all options without the need to have hardware in place to enforce licenses and eliminates the requirement to purchase AnyConnect licenses on a per ASA basis (assisting with HW migrations). Moreover, the new model has built-in pandemic support. Please note that all term licenses include support and software entitlement, so purchasing these licenses will always grant you access to the current software releases.
Q.  What are the available authorized (user) counts for the new AnyConnect licenses?
A.   The Plus and Apex licenses are available via banding-based licenses (L-AC-PLS-LIC= and L-ACAPX- LIC=) that allow you to select a specific user count (e.g. 873), a specific term length (e.g. 30 months) and start date (e.g. term starts on date X, up to 60 days in the future). The price per user per month decreases as the user count increases and/or the term length increases. Whenever possible, this method should be used to order Plus and Apex term licenses instead of the LAC-PLS-xYR-G/L-AC-APX-xYR-G method. The L-AC-PLS-LIC= and L-AC-APX-LIC= ordering method will provide more flexibility for user counts, term duration and simpler renewals.
Q.  How is the 4.x conversion being handled for the mobile versions of AnyConnect?
A.   Use of AnyConnect on iOS and Android without an active Plus, Apex or VPN Only license (term or contract) expired on April 30, 2016. AnyConnect customers with Essentials/Premium and Mobile (discontinued) licenses may no longer use this software. Newer platforms such as Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 Mobile, BlackBerry 10 and Google Chrome OS have always required active Plus, Apex or VPN Only licensing.
Q.  Can I buy a perpetual AnyConnect license? Can you tell me more about AnyConnect Only and AnyConnect Plus Perpetual?
A.   Yes. AnyConnect Plus is offered as a perpetual license in addition to the 1, 3 or 5 year terms.
Cisco also offers a perpetual VPN-only license. This provides the equivalent functionality of prior AnyConnect Premium plus Advanced Endpoint Assessment plus Mobile plus Phone VPN.
The VPN-only Licenses are designed for VPN only environments that have a large number of potential end users but very infrequent use (e.g. university with 10,000 students but with only 100 active users at any one time). With either the Plus Perpetual or VPN only licenses, you must separately purchase support services or you will not be eligible to access software or tech support.
AnyConnect Only is licensed based on a single headend device and simultaneous connections (not authorized users). For active/standby pairs, only the primary headend is required to have a VPN Only license. VPN Only licenses are an alternative to the AnyConnect Plus and Apex model. No other AnyConnect function or service (Web Security Module, Identity Services Engine Posture, Network Visibility, ASA Multi-context VPN, etc) is available with the AnyConnect Only licenses. VPN Only licenses do support Clientless SSL VPN, third party IPsec IKEv2, Suite B and VPN HostScan with an ASA. The VPN Only licenses cannot be transferred, rehosted, shared, combined, split, or directly upgraded to another VPN Only license size. These licenses do not coexist with Plus or Apex licensing or any retired AnyConnect licenses.
Both VPN Only and Plus Perpetual licenses require a SWSS contract on all head-ends in order to be eligible for SW access, updates, and technical support.
Q.  Are there any additional limitations of the AnyConnect-only licenses?
A.   Yes. The AnyConnect-only licenses are concurrent endpoint based vs total active user with AnyConnect Plus and Apex. The VPN-only are applied per individual ASA and there is no sharing of licenses between ASAs, unlike AnyConnect Plus and Apex, which provide this capability. For active/standby pairs, only the primary headend is required to have a VPN Only license. The VPN-only licenses are not portable, which means that when a new ASA is purchased additional licenses also need to be purchased. VPN-only license are not additive meaning that you can’t start with a set number of licenses (e.g. 500 at time x) and then increase capacity over time (e.g. add 100 more at time x + y). Nor can they be bought to service burst capacity requirements. And as mentioned previously, VPN-only licenses require the purchasing of support services whereas support is built into the term contracts for AnyConnect Plus and Apex.
Q.  How do I determine how many licenses to purchase?
A.   The AnyConnect Plus and Apex model is based on total authorized users that will make use of any AnyConnect service, not simultaneous connections (either on a per-ASA or shared basis) and not total active remote access users. As such, a user can connect with as many devices as he / she wants as long as the you have available hardware capacity and have not exceeded your purchased authorized user count. It is your responsibility to purchase additional authorized user licenses if their usage needs increase. If you currently support 30K simultaneous user connections but have 50K users who need AnyConnect services, you would be required to buy a 50K license. If you have 100K users who need AnyConnect services, you would be required to buy a 100K license. For unattended environments where there are not really individual users on the other side of a connection, each unattended device is considered a unique user.
Q.  How do I know if I need AnyConnect Plus or Apex license?
A.   The Plus license provides similar connectivity as was available with the original Essentials license while the Apex license provides many of the same capabilities from the Premium or Shared license. A full breakdown of features is noted in the AnyConnect Ordering guide.
Q.  What ASA versions are the AnyConnect Plus/Apex licenses compatible with? Can these licenses be used with both the original ASA 5500s and 5550-Xs?
A.   There are no restrictions on ASA versions for the Plus/Apex licenses. Any ASA capable of supporting AnyConnect will support the new license model. Certain features, i.e. per application VPN will require newer ASA versions/HW. The licenses are compatible with both original and current ASA models. PAK registration is specific to the ASA 5500/5500-X and does not happen for the ASAv, Firepower or Cisco ISR / ASR / CSR 1000V VPN head-ends, however the contract registration still needs to be completed in order to enable software download access and receive tech support.
Q.  What license is needed to enable IKEv2 VPN from 3 rd party VPN clients to the ASA?
A.   The AnyConnect Plus license is required for third party IKEv2 VPN client support. This is similar to how AnyConnect Apex is required for clientless support. AnyConnect Apex which includes all Plus functionality can also be used to enable IKEv2 VPN from 3 rd party VPN clients.
Q.  How many AnyConnect Plus licenses are needed when standards-based IKEv2 Remote Access VPN access is utilized on the ASA or Apex licenses when access to the ASA is clientless?
A.   The AnyConnect Plus or Apex users license count needs to service the total unique users utilizing AnyConnect, Third party IKEv2 access, or clientless services (be they active on the network or not).
Q.  How many ASAs can I use with my AnyConnect Plus or Apex license?
A.   You are eligible to use a Plus or Apex license with as many ASAs as you own during your license term as long as you do not need exceed your purchased authorized user license. Upon purchasing either license option, a Product Activation Key (PAK) will be provided which is used to unlock these services on multiple ASAs. Plus / Apex licenses are not locked to a single ASA as the Essentials or Premium / Shared licenses were.
Q.  How do I order AnyConnect Plus or Apex with the ASA as the headend?
A.   AnyConnect Plus or Apex license(s) are ordered separately from the head-end. AnyConnect Plus or Apex licenses are not tied to a specific ASA / headend but rather to your overall deployment. The most cost effective way to purchase a license is to cover your entire deployment. That being said, AnyConnect Plus and Apex will eventually be an optional item under certain ASA bundles along side other security subscriptions. Please refer to the AnyConnect ordering guide for additional details.
Q.  How do I order AnyConnect licenses for multiple independent customers?
A.   It is important to order each license for a separate customer as its own line item, preferably as its own unique Sales Order so that the end user customer information is correctly recorded and that that support services can be entitled correctly. If you order multiple quantities for either the top or second level AnyConnect PIDs during the ordering process, you will receive entitlement for what you purchased but it will not generate additional Product Activation Keys. If your intention is to order for different customers, you should be ordering for each customer as their own separate order. Minimally you must order each license as its own unique top level line item, not by increasing the quantity for one single shared line item.
For example, if ordering an AnyConnect Plus Perpetual License, you would not order: L-AC-PLS-P-G Qty:2 or specify quantity 2 on the next level down, instead you would place two separate line orders, both for L-ACPLSG with Qty: 1.
Q.  How many Identity Services Engine deployments can I use with my AnyConnect Plus or Apex license?
A.   An AnyConnect Plus or Apex license(s) can be used across any number of Identity Services Engine appliances or deployments as long as you do not need exceed the authorized user license count. Please note that purchasing either license option along side Identity Services Engine does not require any PAK file registration or loading into Identity Services Engine (AnyConnect’s PAK files only get applied to the ASA). So in an Identity Services Engine deployment, AnyConnect Plus and Apex licenses are just a right to use license.
Q.  Can AnyConnect Hostscan/Posture be used without Cisco Identity Services Engine?
A.   Yes. AnyConnect 4.x still supports Hostscan functionality for VPN only posture with the Cisco ASA. AnyConnect 4.x also has a unified posture agent that works across wired, wireless and VPN but this requires Identity Services Engine 1.3 or greater. A AnyConnect Apex license is required for both options.
Q.  Is a Cisco AnyConnect Plus license required with a Cisco Identity Services Engine Plus license?
A.   No. However, using a Cisco AnyConnect Plus license with Cisco Identity Services Engine Plus enables the collecting and sharing of endpoint context for VPN uses cases. Please note that the Cisco AnyConnect Plus license will work with the Identity Services Engine Base license, but the detailed endpoint information will not be collected.
Q.  What are the different services enabled by Cisco Identity Services Engine Apex as opposed to Cisco Identity Services Engine Apex with Cisco AnyConnect Apex?
A.   Identity Services Engine Apex is the license tier to enable compliance context collection and the use of that information as authorization attributes within Identity Services Engine policies. For example, using a third-party MDM/EMM platform to detect and control access based on “PIN lock status” and “jailbreak status” requires an Identity Services Engine Apex license. The Identity Services Engine Apex license count required in this use case is the maximum number of potential concurrent MDM/EMM enrolled mobile endpoints active on the network and controlled by Identity Services Engine, and not every MDM/EMM enrolled endpoint. Identity Services Engine Apex with AnyConnect Apex enables AnyConnect as the unified agent for PC compliance along with all the additional value-add Cisco AnyConnect services such as “always on,” trusted network detection, etc. As in the previous example, the Identity Services Engine Apex license count would be for the maximum number of concurrent sessions where Cisco AnyConnect acts as the unified agent in the Identity Services Engine deployment for posture, etc., and not, necessarily, every endpoint that will be running AnyConnect. The number of Cisco AnyConnect Apex licenses needed is based on all the possible unique users that may use Cisco AnyConnect Apex services and not each and every device running Cisco AnyConnect. Please note that AnyConnect Plus and Apex fall under a separate user-based license structure, which is different from the Identity Services Engine endpoint session-based license structure.
Q.  I am using AnyConnect for a non-VPN service or a Cisco IOS ® head-end. What licenses do I need to purchase?
A.   License requirements are determined by headend used and the services available in that head end. For example, AnyConnect Plus is required for VPN service to Cisco IOS ® head-ends though you could also use AnyConnect Apex. To use AnyConnect’s posture capabilities with Cisco Identity Services Engine 1.3 you must order AnyConnect Apex as well as Identity Services Engine Apex. For other use cases including Network Access Manager, Cisco Secure Web Appliance, etc. you must have AnyConnect Plus but again they could also use AnyConnect Apex.IOS head-ends must also have a Security License before AnyConnect services can be used. AnyConnect is compatible with ISR G2, CSR 1000V and ASR 1000 platforms. Available features varies by platform. Please note that the physical Product Activation Key (PAK) registration on the Cisco licensing portal is only applicable to the ASA. For ASAv and IOS head-ends as well as non-VPN use cases, please store the PAK in a safe place as proof or purchase. You will still need to complete Contract registration for SW Center access and TAC support.
Q.  What is the minimum OS version required for the ISR G2 or CSR 1000v to support AnyConnect?
A.   ISR G2 – IOS 15.0(1)M, CSR1000v – IOS XE 3.12 S.
Q.  Can AnyConnect Plus or Apex licenses be shared between ASA and IOS VPN environments?
A.   Yes, as long as the authorized user count is not exceeded and the license is only used during the purchased term, the license may be used with any headend covered by the license. PAK registration does not apply to non-ASA headends.
Q.  I am only using Network Access Manager. What licenses are required?
A.   Network Access Manager capabilities require a Plus or Apex license per authorized (unique) user.
Q.  How do I order AnyConnect Plus or Apex licenses with any other headend or service?
A.   AnyConnect Plus or Apex license(s) should be ordered separately for other headend or services outside of the ASA.
Q.  Can I order the AnyConnect Network Visibility Module standalone?
A.   No. The Network Visibility Module is only available in the AnyConnect Apex licenses. Please note that the Network Visibility modules makes use of AnyConnect’s trusted network detection function in the VPN module but excluding this capability, it can function without other AnyConnect modules.
Q.  Can I mix and match AnyConnect Plus and Apex or is it one or the other. And does Plus and Apex remove need for Shared and Flex licenses?
A.   Yes. AnyConnect Plus and Apex licenses can be mixed within the same deployment. AnyConnect Plus and Apex both provide the same cross deployment capabiltiies as the discontinued Shared licenses. AnyConnect Plus and Apex are licensed based on the total users for the specific AnyConnect service being used so no matter how often they connect nor how many devices they use, the new AnyConnect Plus and Apex licenses remove the need for Flex (Business continuity) licenses.
Q.  Can I mix and match AnyConnect Plus, VPN or VPN Only licenses with older Essentials or Premium licenses?
A.   No. Discontinued Essentials or Premium licenses do not co-exist on the same hardware as newer Plus, Apex or VPN Only licenses. Additionally, VPN Only licenses do not co-exist on the same hardware with Plus or Apex licenses.
Q.  Does ASAv support remote access utilizing AnyConnect Plus and Apex licenses?
A.   Yes. But please note that ASAv, which utilizes Cisco Smart Licensing, doesn’t require any AnyConnect license to be physically applied to the actual platform.
The same licenses must still be purchased and you must still link the Contract number to your ID for SW Center access and tech support.
Q.  What licensing does a AnyConnect connection from a Cisco IP phone require?
A.   AnyConnect Plus (or Apex). Previously Phone VPN required both a Premium license AND a Phone VPN license. Please note that this is for VPN Phone and NOT UC Proxy. UC Proxy licenses are not related to AnyConnect licenses.
Q.  Why does a part expand 99999 times when I buy an AnyConnect Plus perpetual or non-banding AnyConnect Plus or Apex license?
A.   This is normal. These parts expand to allow you to register your AnyConnect Plus or Apex license to all of your ASA serial numbers. This expansion SKU is not applicable to the newer banding-based Plus (L-ACPLS- LIC=) or Apex (L-ACAPX-LIC=) SKUs or the VPN Only SKUs (L-AC-VPNO-xxxx=). See the AnyConnect Ordering guide for details on license registration per SKU type.
Q.  How do the new licenses work with the ASA?
A.   You will receive a multi-use product activation key per Plus or Apex license purchased. This multi-use product activation key gets activated on each ASA at After activating the key, the ASA is unlocked for its maximum hardware capacity. Complying with the unique/authorized user counts and term limits are honor system and are not physically enforced by the ASA or AnyConnect. If you purchase more than one Apex license or a Plus and Apex license, we ask that you register each PAK to each ASA, although doing so does not change the resulting license key generated for the ASA. This is to ensure that if you open up a support case in the future that there is a record of your license purchase. Note: It is important that you do *not* select to register all quantity on the license tool or you will deactivate your product activation key. By default the Cisco licensing site will not let you do this, but if you have a pop-up blocker enabled, this function is not enforced.
Q.  What happens if I lose my Product Activation Key (PAK)?
A.   The Product Activation Key (PAK) should be treated like cash. If you lose your product activation key before using it, the only other method we can use to locate it is with the Sales Order #. If you have previously used this PAK to register an ASA, the PAK can be located in the license portal for the user who performed the license registration. Cisco can look up this information based on a serial number used for a prior registration.
Q.  I purchased Plus/Apex licenses 5 minutes ago and want to make use of it immediately. How can I do so?
A.   The Plus/Apex model requires a Product Activation Key (PAK) to enable an ASA and entitle support/SW access. As such, it is not possible to deliver the ASA license before the Product Activation Key is generated. Please see the ordering guide link below for obtaining a one-month temporary ASA license. Please note that licenses cannot be used the second you receive eDelivery notification. It may take up to 24 hours for your license PAK to become active on the License portal.
Q.  Why am I receiving a Serial number cannot be blank error message when registering a license?
A.   You most likely accidentally pasted in a trailing space after your serial number. Please remove any additional spaces after your serial number and resubmit your request. The other cause of this is that you clicked the Add Device button which is intended to add more than one Serial Number at initial registration, but you did not actually add any other Serial Numbers. For this situation, please click the Delete Device button and submit again without the blank space which is there to add an additional serial number.
Q.  How do I access the AnyConnect v4.x Software Center on and receive TAC support entitlement?
A.   When you purchase any term Plus or Apex license (or SWSS for Plus perpetual or VPN Only), a contract number will be generated for your purchase, this usually takes at least a few days from the time the license PAK is electronically delivered. Please speak with your reseller if you have not received this contract number from them. The contract number needs to be attached to your ID in order to enable SW Center access and the ability to open a TAC case. We recommend that you link your contract to their ID by mailing with the Contract # and their ID. It is very important that your customer profile address information matches the address information on the contract prior to attempting to link a contract or sending an email. The contract number is not the same as your Product Activation Key (PAK).
Q.  What happens with my ASA license key during a RMA?
A.   All ASA license keys get stripped during RMA, this is a normal part of the RMA process at Cisco and is not specific to this license. Since the Product Activation Key is multi-use, you do not need a RMA case to initiate a transfer, you just reregister your PAK to your new ASA SN.
Q.  How does license expiration work? Does something start counting down once I install a license on my ASA?
A.   The countdown is based on the same way that all term-based licenses work at Cisco, there is nothing AnyConnect specific as part of this. The contract is set to become active one day after ship (these are electronically delivered licenses). So as a specific example, if an order ships on October 25 th 2014, service start date is October 26 th.
Q.  Will a reboot be required after installing the license key on an ASA?
A.   While there is nothing in the new licenses that specifically dictates an ASA reboot, the ASA licensing code has varied over more than a decade on how it behaves when a new license is installed. As such, we cannot promise one way or another whether a reboot will be required, a lot of this will depend on the current license installed and ASA software version as certain features will never disappear fully until the device is rebooted. As such, you should plan for reboots to be safe. You can stagger this whenever they want.
Q.  Are any special precautions required for converting from Shared licensing?
A.   Make sure you replace the licenses on all of the participant devices and disable shared licensing on those devices before replacing the license on the device currently acting as the shared license server.
Q.  Are there any special steps required for converting from Essentials licensing?
A.   Your new Plus, Apex or VPN Only license key will not use the Essentials option. In order to make use of your new license key, you must disable the AnyConnect-essentials feature on your ASA by issuing a “ no AnyConnect-essentials” under “ webvpn”. When installing your new license key you will receive a warning that needs to be agreed to telling you that the Essentials key will not be in the new license you are installing. As long as you have properly disable AnyConnect essentials on your ASA, you are OK to proceed. Some ASA versions may require a reboot when installing new license key to ensure it is properly activated.
Q.  Is there any proactive contract renewal notification? How do I check when my contract ends?
A.   Proactive renewal notifications are not currently in place. As such, it is your responsibility to keep track of the expiration date. This is visible in the Sales Order Subscription field or SWSS line item and at any time by logging in to your linked account to your contract (CSCC), which will show the start and end date for the contract. For banding Plus/Apex SKUs (L-AC-PLS-LIC= and L-AC-APX-LIC=), you will also receive your license expiration date in your license registration email and the expiration date will be visible inside of your Cisco license portal when viewing your registered licenses. You will not be able to determine your AnyConnect license tier, authorized user count or expiration date from the ‘show version’ command of a head-end.
Q.  Will there be changes to proactive contract renewal notification?
A.   We are investigating enhancements in this area.
Q.  What happens to my older AnyConnect licenses when I install the new licenses?
A.   All older AnyConnect licenses will be removed and replaced by the new licensing model when you install your new Product Activation Key (PAK).
Q.  What part do I buy at renewal? How is the license handled on an ASA?
A.   Renewals should be handled using the L-ACPLS- LIC= (AnyConnect Plus) and L-AC-APX-LIC= (AnyConnect Apex) SKUs regardless of which SKU the original order was placed under. For both initial purchases and renewals, you must complete ASA device registration and share function with all ASAs. For renewals you do not do anything with the license key that will be emailed to you after that (there is no requirement to re-install a different license key on the ASA at renewal time).
Q.  Can I purchase/renew AnyConnect Plus or Apex licenses via the Cisco Service Contract Center (CSCC)?
A.   Banding AnyConnect Plus (L-AC-PLS-LIC=) and Apex (L-AC-APX-LIC=) licenses can be renewed via CSCC and are purchased via Cisco Commerce. Block-based Plus or Apex SKUs are renewed/purchased exclusively via Cisco Commerce. Please speak with your Cisco authorized reseller or Cisco account team for assistance purchasing or renewing a license. To simplify renewals, you should always use the banding SKUs going forward for both new purchases and renewals.
Q.  Am I required to upgrade to AnyConnect 4.x?
A.   You are not required to adopt AnyConnect 4.x as part of moving to the new licensing. However, AnyConnect 3.x is already End-Of-Life (no additional fixes will be provided). If you do not upgrade to an AnyConnect Plus or Apex licenses, you will not have access to newer AnyConnect versions. The Plus or Apex licensing does not require you to upgrade your AnyConnect software at the same time.
Q.  What does “PAK/s or Token/s xxxxxxx is / are either Invalid or Inactive” mean when attempting to register a license on
A.   Once a license PAK is generated, it can take up to 24 hours after the eDelivery license is delivered before the Product Activation Key (PAK) can be registered on the licensing portal. This message is what will be displayed when attempting to register a PAK which is not yet able to be registered. If more than 24 hours have passed since your license was eDelivered and you are still receiving this error, please open up a case with Cisco Global Licensing (GLO).
Q.  When were the new AnyConnect licenses available for purchase?
A.   Fall 2014. The AnyConnect Plus and Apex banding SKUs and VPN Only SKUs are available for purchase as of April 2016.
Q.  When were the original AnyConnect/VPN SKUs phased out?
A.   The phase out began January 2015 and completed as of August 31 st 2015. These older licenses can no longer be purchased.
Q.  How do I receive a trial AnyConnect Apex license for my ASA?
A.   Cisco offers 4-week Apex evaluation licenses that incorporate all Plus license functionality. To obtain an evaluation license, please visit: Select the following: Get Other Licenses -> Demo and Evaluation -> Security Products -> AnyConnect Plus/Apex (ASA) Demo License. Please note that the license unlocks the ASA functions, but does not grant access to the AnyConnect Windows/ Mac OS X/Linux software. Mobile versions of AnyConnect can be accessed via the Application store for the specific OS and can be trialed in conjunction with an evaluation license.
Q.  I installed my new license on my ASA but received a scary warning that certain features will be disabled.
A.   As long as the license features you were emailed are correctly displayed, this message can be safely ignored. Please say yes, write the key to memory and reboot the ASA to complete the license installation. The ASA will not be able to properly validate the features available in the key in some scenarios prior to rebooting. If the correct features are not displayed in your Cisco licensing email, please open up a case with Global Licensing (GLO) to resolve this prior to installing the key.
Q.  Where can I find the AnyConnect Supplemental End User License and Privacy Policy?
A.   The licensing terms and conditions are listed in the General Terms. The Cisco AnyConnect privacy policy can be found at:
Q.  What is the U.S. export classification for AnyConnect?
A.   Commodity Classification Automated Tracking System (CCATS): Self-classified / Mass Market
US Export Control Classification Number (ECCN): 5D992
US Encryption Registration Number (ERN): R104011
French ANSSI declaration approval #: 1211725
Q.  Can I use AnyConnect to make VPN connections with non-Cisco VPN headends?
A.   No, AnyConnect’s services may only be used with appropriately licensed Cisco equipment. Use of AnyConnect with non-Cisco VPN equipment is strictly prohibited by our license agreement.

Get New Licenses

Q.  Where can I learn more about the new licenses?
A.   The AnyConnect Ordering guide is available at:
Q.  My AnyConnect licensing question was not answered in this FAQ or in the Ordering Guide. Who can help answer my question?
A.   Please mail your question to
Q.  How do I register my AnyConnect license for use with Firepower Threat Defense (FTD) OS 6.2.1 and later?
A.   In order to utilize AnyConnect with FTD 6.2.1 and later, please use this link to open up a case with Cisco Global Licensing (GLO). Once you supply the required information and your entitlement is validated, they will populate your license entitlement in your Smart account. If the link above does not function for you, you may also mail
Subject: AnyConnect Smart License Sharing Request
Email Body:
Request: Please share the below AnyConnect license by provisioning Smart AnyConnect entitlement to the Smart
Account and Virtual Account as specified below.
Cisco ID:
Smart Account Name or Domain ID:
Smart Virtual Account Name: Default/Other
AnyConnect Product Activation Key (PAK):
AnyConnect License Type (Plus, Apex or VPN Only):
The above information is necessary to complete this request.
Q.  Can you please walk me through the initial license registration process for an AnyConnect Plus or Apex License (L-ACPLS- LIC= or L-AC-APX- LIC= only)?
A.   To register your AnyConnect Plus/Apex License (L-AC-PLS-LIC= or L-AC-APX-LIC=) start on the Cisco License Registration Portal

Assign Smart Account and SKUs


Assign to a Target Device

Note:      You will need to log in with your ID.

After entering your PAK, click the Fulfill button. If you have just received your product activation key, please allow up to 4 hours for the key to be registered. If you try to register too soon, you will receive the following error message: PAK/s or Token/s xxxxxxx is / are either Invalid or Inactive

Please do not open a Licensing Case for this error message unless you have waited at least 24 hours after receiving your Product Activation Key. The License team cannot assist you with license registration prior to the PAK becoming fully activated for use.

If you currently share licenses inside of your organization under a Smart Account, select this account prior to clicking Next. This screen will tell you the specific license you are registering, the total number of authorized users you purchased (Quantity) and the License start and end dates.

In the ASA Serial number field, enter your ASA serial number. This serial number MUST be obtained by using ‘show version’. ASA 5500-X models have multiple serial numbers and it is important that you use the correct one or the key will not function.

Recipient and Owner Information

If for some reason you have incorrectly entered the key, you can use the Sharing Process described below to share from the incorrect Serial Number to the correct one, but you will save a lot of time doing this correctly the first time. For ASAv and non-ASA head-ends, this PAK registration process is not applicable. You will still need to link your Contract number to your ID for software access and technical support.

License Request Status


Platform = asa

If you have more than one ASA and you want to register licenses to those devices up front, you can do so by clicking the Add Device button. You can add additional ASAs later using the Share instructions below.

You must now confirm your email address. Optionally you can choose additional individuals to receive the license key notification. After doing so, you must then select that you agree with the license terms and click Submit.

You will receive a pop-up with License Request Status information. Check your email for the license. If you do not receive the email promptly, please check your Spam folder.

Below is a sample email with your initial license key. The key itself is in the Product Authorization Key section. The Serial number displayed must be the same serial number as ‘show version’ on your ASA reports or you will not be able to install the key.

Q.  Can you please walk me through the license sharing process for an AnyConnect Plus or Apex License (L-AC-PLS-LIC= or L-ACAPX-LIC= only)?
A.   License Sharing (adding additional ASAs that share this license)
To share to another ASA, return the Cisco License Registration Portal at and select Get Other Licenses - Share License Process – Get Activation Codes. Once you receive your activation code via email, you will return back to this same page and choose the Use Activation Codes option. You will need to repeat this process for each additional ASA you wish to share with. If you have multiple product activation keys for different user counts, terms or tiers, we recommend registering all license first to the initial serial number as it will make the subsequent sharing process easier since you will be able to share all available licenses at once.
Note: This process must be done using the ID that registered the original Product Activation Key. If this employee is no longer with your company, you will need to open up a ticket with Cisco Global Licensing for further assistance. Choose the Contact Us option on the License Registration Portal for further instructions on opening a licensing support case.

Get New Licenses


Share License Process

Activation Code


Share License Process


Source and Target Details


Recipient and Owner Information


License Request Status

You will need to select an ASA serial number that currently has the license you wish to share and the additional serial number. This serial number MUST match what is displayed under ‘show version’ for this license to function.
Below is a sample email you will receive with your Activation Code. If you do not receive this email promptly, check your Spam Folder.
Use the link in the email and select Get Other Licenses - Share License Process – Get Activation Codes.
Select all licenses you wish to share with this additional serial number. Confirm that both the source and target serial numbers are the correct serial numbers from ‘show version’. If not, you will need to start the sharing process again with the correct serial numbers.
Confirm your email address and enter any additional email address for the license to be sent to. Check the box to agree with the terms and click ‘Get License’
Your new license will be emailed promptly. If you do not receive the email, check your Spam folder. Your additional license will be found inside of the ZIP attachment.

Cisco Product license keys




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