Vpn Setup For Mac

With a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can achieve security and privacy online. However, the process to install a VPN for Mac can seem tricky or daunting if you are not familiar with it.

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In this article we”ll show you:

Actually, the process is quite easy, regardless if you are a beginner or an advanced Mac user. Let us show you how to install a VPN for your Mac!

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  • A VPN connection allows you to securely connect to an otherwise private network over the Internet. Your Mac has built-in support for managing VPN connections and in this guide we’ll go through how to setup, manage and connect using a VPN.

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What is a VPN?

A VPN can allow you to build a secure connection between your computer to a different network through the internet. You can use VPNs for many reasons. These include shielding activity on public Wi-Fi, accessing region-restricted content, and possibly connecting to a business network to work from home.

VPNs work by forwarding your traffic directly to the network you have created a secure connection with. Essentially, you are connecting your PC, tablet, or another device to a server on the internet. This connection allows you to use the internet or a private network using that server”s connection.

People choose to use a VPN for many reasons. Perhaps the biggest goal is to help protect themselves from cybercriminals. Paired with an antivirus program, this can help keep you and your Mac safe while browsing online.

This security is even more critical if you tend to access the internet on unsecured connections, such as at your local library, favorite coffee shop, or the airport. These connections make it incredibly easy for hackers to gain access to your information, including passwords to your banks and social media accounts.

A VPN may also speed up your WiFi connection. It’s also worth noting your Mac doesn’t have a VPN or ‘create VPN’ feature built-in, nor is there Mac VPN server associated with your machine, so you’ll need your own. Most cost money – and be wary of free VPN services; you’re often just giving them your information, which they may be selling to advertisers.

Keep in mind that while VPNs offer an increased level of security, they can”t help someone with unsafe browsing habits. Just remember to protect yourself by not downloading suspicious files, clicking on potentially spoofed websites, or other risky browsing behaviors.

How to Choose a VPN for Mac?

First, you need to ensure that the software you choose is has a macOS version. Some VPNs offer dedicated Mac software, though it is not always as supported as Windows is when it comes to custom VPN clients.

You also want to ensure that the VPN service can do what you need it to do. While most providers offer similar features in encryption, performance, and server locations, they can differ in other areas.

  • Privacy: While all VPNs hide your IP address and location, they may not offer complete privacy. For instance, they may have different data logging policies, limit the number of connections and browser extensions, and have limited security features.
  • Streaming support: Most VPNs claim that they unlock content streaming sites, not all actually do. If this is why you are looking into a VPN, you may want to spend more time looking at reviews or try to find one with a free trial.
  • Amount of available servers: Some VPNs have limited servers in even more limited locations. First, this could slow down your browsing and streaming speed as more people connect to fewer servers. Second, having fewer server locations means you are severely limited to where you can appear to be browsing. If you want to browse region-restricted content, having more server locations is a must for you!
  • Protection across all devices: Some VPN services do not provide support to protect each device you have. The better ones will provide licenses across multiple devices. This means you can hopefully protect everything from your desktop to a laptop to a smartphone!

If you choose to use a VPN service that has its own app, you want to research it before downloading it.

Some VPN apps flaunt themself as being free. However, they have to make money somehow! Usually, they sell user data to third parties, still putting your privacy at risk.

Some third-party VPN apps may also install adware on your system, completely undetected! So, be sure you know what you are getting into before you download a third-party VPN app.

How to Install a VPN for Mac

Now it is time to learn how to install a VPN for Mac. Since specific software setups can vary, these steps are just in general. Be sure to follow any setup steps recommended by the software.

You will also want to ensure that your macOS is up to date or that your VPN app is compatible with the macOS your system is operating.

  1. Register with a VPN. This process usually involves payment.
  2. Get the Mac-specific VPN software.
  3. Install the Mac app. Usually, this is as simple as double-clicking on the .dmg file and following the on-screen prompts.
  4. Run the VPN app. Be sure to have your account details ready for the first run. Usually, you need to have administrative privileges for this.

Once the app has launched, be sure to review the preferences and settings carefully. Sometimes, important settings are automatically disabled. In multiple VPNs, you must manually enable options like firewall-based kill switches and DNS leak protection.

Also, you want to make sure that your chosen VPN uses the OpenVPN protocol. This protocol ensures that your app does not default to a less secure VPN. Refurbished mac mini.


When you finish reviewing the settings, select the VPN server you need and select “Connect.”

Shimo is an app for Mac that lets you both connect to and configure a VPN, or manage your VPN. Setting up a VPN in Shimo is roughly the same process as it is via your Mac’s settings, but it makes managing your VPN connection(s) much simpler.

If you want to use a VPN for Mac, the options seem endless. Choosing a VPN client for Mac is only one step in the process – there’s still the matter of setting it up, and possibly syncing settings across Macs! Let”s show you how to configure a VPN on macOS.

Importing a Settings File

For some network connections for businesses, your administrator may supply a VPN settings file. You can import this file for easy setup. There are two ways to go about this:

  1. Double-click the settings file to open the Network preferences. This allows the settings to import automatically.
  2. Click the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of your screen and click on System Preferences. Click the Network icon. Click on the Action pop-up menu and click on Import Configurations. Then, select the VPN settings file and click on Import.

Living in your menu bar, this VPN client allows quick-glance access to your connection, and tells you which VPNs you use may be connected; especially handy if you have multiple VPN providers. Shimо also shows connection data in real-time so you know how long you’ve been using your VPN, and the incoming/outgoing traffic.

Manually Configure a VPN for Mac

Vpn Setup For Mac

Perhaps you want to use the built-in VPN client that comes with macOS. This client supports the PPTP, IKEv2, and L2TIP/IPsec VPN protocols.

Apple doesn’t make it hard to set up a VPN on Mac, but it also doesn’t make it easy. Keep in mind these steps require you to choose your VPN first. The main advantage of these connections is that you can set them up without having to download a separate VPN app to use them.

To manually configure the built-in VPN client:

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the upper left corner of your display and click on System Preferences.
  2. Click the Network icon.
  3. Click the + (plus) button on the lower left-hand corner of the box.
  4. Click on Interface and then VPN from the dropdown menu in the dialog box.
  5. In VPN Type, select the VPN protocol you want to use.
  6. Choose a name for the VPN connection and enter that into Service Name. It does not have to be anything specific.
  7. Click Create.
  8. Using the settings provided by your VPN service, fill in the server details, including the Server Address and Account Name. Check the option to Show VPN status in the menu bar. Then, click Authentication Settings.
  9. Enter the Password (or other user authentication supplied by your VPN Service) and Shared Secret, then select OK.
  10. Usually, you won”t have to change any other settings. However, you should still click on the Advanced button. Check the option to Send all traffic over VPN connection. Then, click on OK to save your changes.
  11. Click Apply in the lower right-hand corner, then click on the Connect button.
  12. Your VPN should now connect. When done, select the Disconnect button.

There you go! You’ve just linked a VPN to your Mac, and it’s connected. Pretty simple, but is that all there is to do? Yes and no.

When using the built-in macOS VPN client, be aware that it does not have WebRTC leak protection. Be sure not to use a vulnerable browser. If you are, you need to disable WebRTC manually. If you are using Safari, this is not a worry as it is not susceptible to WebRTC leaks.

Also, check with your VPN service to make sure that there are no unique settings that you need to enable/disable to log in from the built-in macOS client.

Testing a VPN for Mac

Regardless of the VPN, you end up using; the testing process is the same.

In the notification bar, macOS displays an icon when you connect to the VPN. This icon lets you know that you are connected. If you want additional access to details and options, you can click on the icon.

Toggle across networks easily

You can connect to as many private networks as you like with Shimo, a dedicated VPN client for Mac. Stay on the safe side!

Perhaps best of all, Shimo allows you to set up triggers easily. If you use a VPN for public WiFi networks, you can choose to trigger them to activate when you connect to a chosen network. This feature is especially handy for setting a VPN to activate geographically; travelers may want to hide their location, or your work network may require a specific VPN to access files.


A VPN is only as good as your WiFi connection, and there are also smart ways to manage that. WiFi Explorer provides deep analysis of your WiFi connection, and offers up advice on why your connection may be troubled, even monitoring 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands of the same connection.

NetSpot is another great app which can use a map of your home to isolate poor coverage areas as well as provide per-connection troubleshooting. It’s a great app to have for homes with guest WiFi networks, and especially nice for those with VPN connections used at home.

How to Sync VPN Settings Across Macs

Have multiple Macs? You’ll probably want to sync your VPN settings across devices. Apple’s settings can be synced across machines, but it doesn’t work seamlessly all the time, and there are plenty of times you don’t want all of your settings synced!

To sync VPN data, Shimo is your best bet. Doing it Apple’s way means you have to reconfigure on each Mac you have, and that’s time-consuming.

Shimo allows you to use it across any Mac you own as it’s license-based. Best of all, it syncs your settings outside Apple’s scope, so activating Shimo on a new Mac activates all your settings. It’s as simple as it gets!

Connecting Your Mac to Your VPN

Once you initially set up your VPN, connect to it in the future is a breeze!

  1. Click on the Apple menu and then on System Preferences.
  2. Select the Network icon.
  3. Select your VPN service on the list at the left-hand side of the box.
  4. If a Configuration pop-up menu appears, choose the appropriate configuration.
  5. Click the Connect button.

That”s it! You now know how to install a VPN for Mac! Once you connect to your selected VPN, you can start browsing the internet with privacy and security. Learning how to install a VPN for Mac is just that easy!


VPNs can speed up your WiFi connection speeds, hide your location from service providers, and help keep your browsing anonymous from websites. It’s a handy tool to have for the privacy-minded, and worth the spend.

Shimo is a better, more user-friendly option for managing your VPN connections. It makes all the fine-tuning much simpler, which can make your VPN feel much more like a powerful tool than something to hide behind.

We also like NetSpot and WiFi Explorer for managing your WiFi connection. The two apps are similar, feature-wise, so choose whichever is right for you.

Want to install all of your apps in one easy go? Check out a free trial of our app to get everything you need.

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Using a VPN on your MacOS is always a good idea. Sometimes you can’t use your VPN provider’s software for this, so you’ll have to set up the connection yourself. In that case, simply follow these steps:

1. Make sure you have the correctlogindetails. Are you still looking for a VPN provider? We recommend ExpressVPN:


2. Go to System Preferences and select ‘Network‘.

3. Add the VPN connection by clicking ‘+’ in the lower left corner. Fill in the correct login information and choose ‘Apply’.

4. Select the VPN connection from the list and click ‘Connect‘.

Would you like to know how to install a VPN on your Mac with VPN software, or do you simply want more information? Find out more by reading the rest of our article below.

If you are serious about keeping yourself safe online and want to ensure that cybercriminals aren’t able to access your personal data, a VPN is the way to go. This secure connection will help you stay safe while browsing. Many Mac users would prefer to be able to set up their own VPN on MacOS without installing third party software. Thankfully, this can easily be done. To make manually configuring your VPN as simple as possible, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide for you to follow.

Note: Before setting up a VPN on your MacOS, you’ll need a VPN subscription and the associated login details. If you haven’t chosen a VPN yet, check out the best VPN providers for MacOS or scroll down to see which VPN we think is the very best for MacOS.

Vpn Setup For Pc

How to set up a VPN on MacOS

If you wish to set up a VPN on your Mac, you’ll first need to be logged into your device as an administrator, so you have the rights to adjust the network and security settings. If you don’t have these rights, contact your computer’s main administrator.

Optional: Depending on your VPN, you may need to download a security certificate for your login keychain. Your login keychain is a ‘safe’ of sorts, in which you store login details and other confidential data. Information about certificates can be found on your VPN provider’s website.

If the provider uses a certificate, right click on the certificate in your keychain and click ‘Get Info’. Make sure the settings of your certificate look like this:

Step 1: Go to your VPN settings

Sonicwall Vpn Setup For Mac

Now you’re ready to set up your VPN on MacOS. You’ll first have to navigate to your System Preferences. You can find this in the menu that opens up when you click on the Apple logo in the top left corner. Click first on System Preferences, then on the Network icon, as can be seen below:

Step 2: Add a VPN Connection

When the Network menu appears, click the small ‘+’ icon located below the list of possible network connections.

This will open a pop-up box in which you can enter your VPN details:

  1. Select the VPN option from the dropdown menu behind ‘Interface’.
  2. Choose your preferred VPN protocol type in the second box. The options offered will depend on your firewall settings and router. Generally, the IKEv2 protocol is the safest protocol to use when setting up your VPN via Mac’s settings.
  3. Choose a name for your VPN connection and type it into the box behind ‘Service Name’. You can pick any name you like, such as the name of your provider or the type of connection. As long as it’s a recognizable name to you, it’ll do.

Click on the ‘Create’ button, and you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step 3: Setting up your VPN on MacOS

Now that you’ve added a VPN connection, you’ll need to log into your chosen VPN service. Once you’ve clicked ‘Create’, you’ll be taken to a different menu. It will ask for the following information: Server Address, Remote ID, and Local ID.

Fill in the boxes by following these steps:

  1. Your server address can often be found in your VPN provider account details. This is the VPN-server you’d like to use. If you can’t find it, contact the customer service of your VPN service.
  2. Set the external ID as the name of your chosen VPN service provider, or simply enter the server address again. Depending on your VPN provider, one or both of these options are possible.
  3. Filling in the local ID is optional, so feel free to leave this box blank.
  4. Click the button “Authentication Settings…”.

Step 4: Authenticate your account and connect

Once you’ve entered your connection details, you’ll need to enter your login details in order to access your VPN service. By clicking on the button “Authentication Settings”, you’ll be sent to the following screen:

Choose the option “Username” from the dropdown menu, then fill in the login information you received when you set up your VPN account.

After filling in your username and password, you can select the option ‘Show VPN status in menu bar’ at the bottom of the screen. This will make the VPN status icon pop up at the top of your screen, so you can more easily adjust your settings. This can be very useful if you wish to quickly connect to your VPN network or switch between VPN services at a later point.

Finally, to create the VPN connection, click ‘Connect’. You have now successfully configured your VPN on MacOS!

Vpn Setup For Mac Windows 7

What is the Best VPN for MacOS?

If you want to use a VPN on your Mac computer, there are a few things to look out for. Not all VPNs are suitable for Mac computers, after all. That’s why you might want to pay attention to factors such as compatibility with Apple products, speed, and additional options the VPN offers. ExpressVPN turned out to be the best option when we tested VPNs for Mac. In addition to high connection speeds, this VPN provider has a network containing over 3,000 servers in 94 countries.

ExpressVPN is a very user-friendly service, meaning everyone will be able to use it. You don’t need a lot of technical experience to be able to work with this VPN. In addition, ExpressVPN’s customer service is very helpful. Therefore, ExpressVPN often is the best choice for a VPN for general use.

3 months for free with a one-year subscription
  • Very easy to use VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries

Would you like to know more about other VPN providers? Make sure to have a look at our top 5 best VPN providers of this moment!

Setting up your VPN on MacOS using VPN-software

Installing your VPN through the settings of your operating system isn’t always the best way to go. If you use a paid VPN provider, such as ExpressVPN, we strongly advise that you use their official software. This software often supports more VPN protocols and uses DNS servers to prevent DNS leaks. In addition, it often includes a kill switch, which automatically shuts off your connection in the event of a VPN server failure. In short, you’ll generally be more secure when you use VPN software over setting the connection up on MacOS yourself.

Installing VPN software on MacOS works as follows:

Vpn Setup For Mac

  1. Subscribe to a VPN provider and create an account.
  2. Download the VPN software from their official website.
  3. Install the software by following the indicated steps.
  4. Log in to the software with your account. This is often a matter of filling in the username and password combination you created in step 1.
  5. Optional: choose the desired VPN server. Depending on what you wish to do online, you can choose a suitable server location. Do you want to watch the American version of Netflix? Then choose an American server. If you’re abroad and would like to watch your local streams online, simply choose a server in your home country. Finally, if you just want to browse the internet safely, choose the server closest to you for the fastest connection.
  6. Turn on the VPN. For most VPN software, this is done with one click. If you haven’t chosen a server location, the software will likely automatically select the closest or fastest server.

Why use a VPN on MacOS?

There are many reasons why people might decide to start using a VPN. Here are the most common ones:

  • Your data is encrypted, providing extra protection against hackers and cybercriminals (as well as other parties who might be listening in, such as governments and businesses);
  • You can use public networks safely;
  • Your location and IP address will be hidden;
  • You can download torrents and other files anonymously;
  • Bypassing regional blocks on social media and streaming services (such as Netflix) is easier;
  • You can bypass censorship in certain countries;
  • Speed limits put up by your ISP will no longer apply to you;
  • You might be able to get access to services that can normally only be used within the network of a company or institution. This is especially useful when working from home.

In short, setting up a VPN on your Mac is always a good idea. You probably use this device for most of your daily internet activities. With a VPN, your online privacy and freedom will instantly be enhanced.

Final Thoughts

Some MacOS users might choose to manually set up their VPN. This article explained how to do this successfully step by step. Using this method usually isn’t necessary, because most premium VPNs offer software that will set up the connection for you automatically. We therefore recommend using VPN software, which is often simpler and more secure. A VPN that’ll work perfectly no matter which way you choose to install it on your Mac, is ExpressVPN.

Setting up a VPN on Mac – Frequently Asked Questions

If you need a quick answer to your question, we might be able to help you out. Simply click one of the questions below to see the answer.

The easiest way to set up a VPN is to install the provider’s software. As long as the VPN is compatible with MacOS, we recommend this. It’s also possible to install a VPN manually by adjusting the system preferences of your Mac. Setting up your VPN on MacOS this way can be useful when you want to be able to configure all the VPN’s settings yourself or when you aren’t satisfied with your provider’s software.

A VPN comes with a number of major advantages. The secure connection will protect your online data, you’ll get access to specific networks (including your company’s network when you work from home) and your privacy will be maintained. Moreover, a VPN also increases your internet freedom. In short, a VPN on Mac will give you more privacy, security, and options on the internet.

Best Vpn For Mac Os

Install utorrent for mac. When choosing a VPN for your Mac, you’ll have to look whether the service is compatible with Apple products, whether it won’t slow down your connection too much, and which options it offers. We’ve independently tested many VPNs and concluded that ExpressVPN currently is one of the best VPNs for Mac.