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How to Setup a VPN on your Mac - MacUpdate Blog

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Do you want to remain completely anonymous online, protecting your personal data and browsing habits? Do you fancy watching region-blocked content, for instance, Netflix shows?

Consider using a VPN (short for Virtual Private Network). A VPN will let you remain anonymous online, keeping you safe from many internet threats. The other benefit when using a VPN is that you can go on public Wi-Fi without worrying about hackers.

Note: even a good VPN service won’t make you completely secure and anonymous online. Learn more about Clario - digital privacy and security solution.

However, before installing VPN, let’s take a look at some downsides you might be facing upon using it:

  • Your Mac might work significantly slower than usual. In other words, if you are downloading big files using a VPN, it will take much longer to do that.
  • A good and reliable VPN service may be costly to use.
  • Some services may simply not work properly on a VPN.
  • It might seem too complicated for some not-so-savvy users.

Nevertheless, even with all the downsides considered, if you’re asking yourself, “How do I set up a VPN on my Mac?”, then this tutorial guide will walk you through the steps to set it up.  

How to Set up a VPN on your Mac

Generally, there are two ways to connect to a VPN service provider:

  1. Use the macOS built-in networking framework

  2. Use the VPN provider's own connection application.

How to setup VPN services through MacOS server without apps:

  • Go to the Apple menu, choose System Preferences, and choose Network.

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  • Click the Add button, select VPN in the Interface drop-down list

  • Choose what kind of VPN connection you want to set up in the VPN Type drop-down list:

For instance, if you want to configure L2TP on your Mac, then you need to select L2TP over IPSec.

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Name your VPN service and click Create.

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  • Once a new L2TP VPN configuration appears, enter the server address and the account name for the VPN connection.

  • Select Authentication Settings and enter the information that the network administrator provided you with (VPN password, Shared Secret, etc)

  • Click OK and then Connect.

  • Select Show VPN status in menu bar to use the VPN status icon to connect to the network and switch between VPN services.

Tip: removing the VPN configuration is not difficult, simply select the VPN network connection service in the list and click  (minus symbol).

Apps for VPN and how to set up a VPN with an app:

There are different providers of VPN services out there, such as Mullvad, Windscribe, NordVPN, and TunnelBear just to name a few. Here’s how to set up a VPN with an app:

  • Choose, download and install the VPN app that fulfills your needs.

  • Open Network preferences by double-clicking on the VPN’s icon, and the settings will be imported automatically.

Note: If double-clicking the file doesn’t open Network preferences, go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences and click Network. Then click the Action menu, then choose Import Configurations.

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  • Select the file, then click Import.

  • Follow the instructions.

Amazing! You have successfully completed the setup and can now you use your VPN provider.

The Bottom Line

Using a VPN involves both pros and cons. When properly chosen, it might be a good thing to take advantage of, but everything depends on your place and needs. If it’s just for use at home, for instance, there is no need to use a VPN app as that might significantly slow your Mac’s performance. However, it’s a great idea to use a VPN server for Mac when you use public WI-Fi.


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