Are you looking to hide your IP address by setting up a VPN connection on your Mac computer? Good on you! Staying hidden, both from the websites you visit and your Internet Service Provider is definitely a good thing. The added benefits of a VPN, in some cases, include encryption, thousands of servers across the globe, and the ability to bypass VPN blocks imposed by various websites and streaming services. Yes, you’ll lose a little bit of speed with a VPN, but this is a small price to pay, trust us. With that in mind, this is how to setup a VPN on Mac.
To setup a VPN on Mac
All you require are VPN settings/configurations provided by your network administrator, the provider you bought a VPN from, a free VPN service, or even a good Samaritan who is willing to share his IP address with you.
Import a settings file for VPN
If you have configuration settings as a file, this makes the process incredibly easy. Here are two ways:
- Double-click the file.
- A network preferences window will open up.
- The settings will auto-fill.
- Click on Import.
- Click on the Apple menu (icon of an apple) in the top left corner of your screen.
- Click on System Preferences from the drop-down list.
- In that window, click on the Network option.
- You will see a list of existing connections in the menu on the left.
- Click on the Action pop-up menu (cogwheel/gear icon).
- Click on Import Configurations.
- Locate the file in your storage.
- Click Import.
- You can edit the name of the VPN connection under Service Name.
Steps to setup VPN on Mac manually
- Click on the Apple menu (icon of an apple) in the top left corner of your desktop.
- From the drop-down list, choose System Preferences.
- Click on Network in the list of utilities.
- Click on the plus (+) button underneath existing network connections.
- From the Interface drop-down list, choose VPN.
- As VPN Type, choose a VPN protocol.We recommend L2TP over IPSec. You can also choose IKEv2 if the network administrator approved of it.
- As Service Name, enter the name of the VPN connection.
- Click on Create.
- Enter the information given by the VPN provider.
- Server Address.
- Account Name.
- Authentication Settings.
- User Authentication.
- Machine Authentication.
- Click on OK.
- Optional. Put a checkmark in front of Show VPN status in the menu bar.This will make it easy to turn it on and off and check a VPN connection from the desktop.
- Click on the Advanced button to the right.
- Check the box in front of Send all traffic over VPN.This will encrypt your Internet traffic while connected to the VPN.
- Click on OK.
- Click on Apply if prompted.
- You can test the connection by clicking on the Connect button.
Using a dedicated application
The majority of VPN providers offer dedicated programs for Mac. During the installation, the VPN setup will automatically be added, giving you a choice on how you want to use a VPN. We demonstrated how to setup and connect to a VPN server using ExpressVPN and NordVPN in our how to make a VPN always ON article. You can use any VPN provider’s app following these steps, as the process is very similar.
Setting up a VPN on macOS 13 Ventura
Apple released macOS 13 as their latest platform for MacBook last year in 2022. Hence, we have also included the required steps for setting up a VPN on a MacBook using only the native settings. These are as follows:
- First, go to your Apple menu and click on System Settings.
- Now, click on VPN. It will be in the sidebar after you scroll down a bit.
- After that, click the Add VPN Configuration and choose the type of VPN you want to set up.
- Then enter a name in the Display Name Field.
- Now, you can either go with L2TP over IPSec or continue with the default configurations.
- If you want L2TP, click the Configuration pop-up menu and choose accordingly. Otherwise, continue.
- Now enter your VPN parameters, such as the Server address, account name, Password, and authentication method.
- Those who opted for L2TP over IPSec can further customize their settings for TCP/IP, DNS, and proxies.
- And those who chose IPSec over IKEv2 can customize DNS and Proxies.
- Lastly, click on Create.