setup VPN for Mac

To set up a VPN connection on your Mac, you need the following details.

  1. Server IP address or fully qualified domain name
  2. Username and password
  3. Connection type (L2TP or PPTP)

For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll be using dummy information. While there are “free” VPN services out there we could use, I take the safety and security of your Mac (and mine) very seriously! If you would like to know more about commercial VPN services, I’ll be exploring these later.

All VPN settings can be entered into System Preferences, under the Networkpreference pane.

Step 1: Open System Preferences and then select Network

Step 1 Open System Preferences and then select Network
Step 1: Open System Preferences and then select Network
Network Preferences
Network Preferences

Step 2: Click + and then select VPN under the interface option. Specify either PPTPor L2TP.

Step 2 Click  and then select VPN under the interface option Specify either PPTP or L2TP
Step 2: Click + and then select VPN under the interface option. Specify either PPTP or L2TP

Step 3: Select Configuration and then Add Configuration. Name it “Server 1”.

Step 3 Select Configuration and then Add Configuration Name it
Step 3: Select Configuration and then Add Configuration. Name it “Server 1”

Tip: In the steps above, I asked you to add a configuration named “Server 1”. This step is actually optional and you can in fact just enter it under the defaultconfiguration. The reason for adding a configuration is that some users find they have multiple VPN settings. OS X can manage multiple VPN settings using theconfiguration option. For example, you may have a VPN profile (another name for a your VPN settings) for an office in the US and one in Australia.

Step 4: Enter the VPN server’s IP address (or FQDN) and user name.

Step 4 Enter the VPN servers IP address or FQDN and user name
Step 4: Enter the VPN server’s IP address (or FQDN) and user name.

Step 5: Select Authentication Settings… and then enter the password. Note: If you selected L2TP as the VPN type then this is panel is where you’d also enter theshared secret.

Step 5 Select Authentication Settings and then enter the password
Step 5: Select Authentication Settings and then enter the password.
Note If you selected L2TP as the VPN type then this is panel is where youd also enter the shared secret
Note: If you selected L2TP as the VPN type then this is panel is where you’d also enter the shared secret

Step 6: Make sure Show VPN status in menu bar is selected, then click Apply.

That’s it, you’re ready to go! On your menu bar, you’ll see a new icon that looks like a luggage tag. Click this and then select Connect VPN. Once it’s connected, you’ll see a timer starting.

When a VPN connection is established you will see a timer on the menu bar
When a VPN connection is established, you will see a timer on the menu bar

Now we’ve established a VPN connection, go back to System Preferences and you’ll see some connection information, including your VPN’s IP address.

System Preferences will also display connection details such as IP address and time connected
System Preferences will also display connection details such as IP address and time connected

By default, your Mac will only pass necessary traffic via VPN, such as accessing a file server or other machines or sites that are on the same network as the VPN server. This is because most VPN connections can be quite slow, so your Mac doesn’t want to slow your Internet experience down needlessly. However, we can override this.

Go back in System Preferences and select Advanced….

Go back in System Preferences and select Advanced
Go back in System Preferences and select Advanced.

Straight away, we see an option to Send all traffic over VPN connection. Ticking this and then saving the changes will mean your Mac will pass all network traffic over the VPN. It is generally not recommended since it can make your Internet connection appear very slow and you may also find accessing servers and printers on the network you’re physically on is stopped.

For all the data to be passed over the VPN once the option is enabled, we need to set the service order. This is the order that your Mac passes data over the network. We must have the VPN as the first service in the list. To do this, select the drop down cog menu and select Set Service Order… From here, you can drag the services into the required order, making sure the VPN is at the top.

Set the VPN to be the highest in the list of services

After payment you receive IP Address( server), username and password.

NoodleVPN.com