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Set up a VPN connection on your Mac

Set up a VPN connection on your Mac

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To connect to a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you need to enter the configuration settings in Network Preferences. These settings include the VPN server address, account name, and any authentication settings, such as a password or certificate. Contact your organization’s network administrator or VPN service provider for information about the settings you need to enter in order to connect to their VPN.

If you received a VPN settings file from your network administrator or VPN service provider, you can import it to set up your connection. If you do not, you can enter the settings manually.

Import the VPN settings file

On your Mac, do one of the following:

  • Double-click the file to open Network Preferences and import the settings automatically.

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Network, click the Action menu that pops up, then choose Import Configurations. Select the file, then click Import.

Enter VPN settings manually

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network.

    Open Network Preferences for me

  2. Click the Add button in the menu on the left, click the interface pop-up menu, and then choose VPN.

  3. Click the VPN Type pop-up menu, then choose the type of VPN connection you want to set up, depending on the network you’re connected to. Name the VPN service, then click Create.

    • L2TP is an extension of the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol that Internet Service Providers use to enable VPN over the Internet.

    • IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) is a set of security protocols.

    • IKEv2 is a protocol that sets up a security association in IPSec.

  4. Enter the server address and account name for the VPN connection.

  5. Click Authentication Settings, then enter the information you received from your network administrator.

  6. If selected by your network administrator, click Advanced to enter additional information such as session options, TCP/IP settings, DNS servers, and proxies.

    The additional information you can enter depends on the type of VPN connection you are setting up.

  7. Click Apply and then click OK”.

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

To remove a VPN configuration, select the VPN connection service in the list and click the Remove button.


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