How to Setup a VPN on Mac

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Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) makes your online browsing secure and private. Though, on a Mac, installing a VPN can be a bit perplexing for those not familiar with the way to do it. In this guide, we will show you how to set up a VPN on Mac.

In this article we'll show you:

  1. What's a VPN
  2. How to choose a VPN for Mac
  3. How to install VPN
  4. Importing settings file
  5. Manually configure a VPN
  6. Testing a VPN
  7. Sync VPN settings across Macs
  8. Connect your Mac to VPN

What is a VPN?

VPNs create secure bypassed connections through different networks between your computer and the target server. VPNs are used for many reasons, like accessing region-locked content or connecting to work servers to enable a work-from-home environment.

This security is most importantly significant in areas where public WiFi is being used, for instance, it can make it incredibly easy for hackers to gain access to your computer and gain access to your personal information.

Though, one must always make sure to pick VPN software by verified services. And that using a VPN does not restrict mitigate risky browsing behaviors.

How to Choose a VPN for Mac?

First, your choice of software has to be macOS compatible.

You also want to ensure that the VPN service can do what you need it to do. Such as encryption, performance, server locations, and data limits.

Privacy: Make sure that the VPN you’re choosing offers the appropriate number of connections and security features that you require.

Streaming support: Also make sure that your choice of VPN actually unlocks content streaming sites and doesn’t just say that it does.

Amount of available servers: Make sure that your choice of VPN has enough servers in enough locations. Otherwise, you might experience slow and erratic connections in very limited locations. 

Protection across all devices: Make sure that your VPN has licensing to provide protection across each device you might have.

In addition, make sure that your “free VPN” is actually free because some apps advertise it so but aren’t actually free and gather your data to sell it forward to 3rd parties without your consent. And make sure the VPN doesn’t breach your data or install adware on your Mac. Verify the app you are installing through reviews and such.

Best VPN App for Mac, FastestVPN

FastestVPN is designed to work on multiple operating systems including Apple devices.

Want a smooth streaming, or maybe lag-less gaming? FastestVPN is a great tool that is at your disposal.

And it’s available to download from App store. At the moment, FastestVPN is offering a limited-time lifetime VPN deal for just $20 and you'll also get free cloud storage and free password manager with the subscription.

How to Install a VPN for Mac

  • Now, let us move forward with the VPN setup on a Mac
  • Sign up for a VPN
  • Also, ensure that your MacOS is up-to-date.
  • Sign up for a VPN. This process usually involves payment.
  • Download the VPN software, macOS variant.
  • Install the app. This is as simple as double-clicking on the .dmg file and following the on-screen prompts.

Launch the app, once it has done so, enter your account details to fully activate the app, then you need to review settings and preferences and tailor them according to your needs. Many times important settings can be automatically disabled. Enable such settings like “firewall-based killswitches”, and, “DNS leak protection” if they are disabled.

Choose the OpenVPN protocol, this makes sure that your VPN stops defaulting to a less secure VPN.

  • Once done, select the server you want and click, “Connect”.
  • Now that the app setup is done, it’s time to set up the VPN.
  • Let's show you how to configure a VPN on macOS.

Importing a Settings File

In some cases, you are provided/supplied with a pre-configured settings file, which can remove the hassle of configuring the VPN with your own hands, you can import this file in two ways.

  1. Just open the settings file with a double-click, which can usually automatically import settings.
  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.

 

Manually Configure a VPN for Mac

You can also configure the built-in VPN client that comes with the MacOS. The MacOS client supports the IKEv2, L2TIP, and IPsec VPN Protocols

Keep in mind these steps require you to choose your VPN first. This built-in VPN client is advantageous in the sense that you don’t have to download a 3rd party VPN.  But the question still remains, how to change VPN on Mac?

To manually configure the built-in VPN client

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the upper left corner of your display, then click on System Preferences.
  2. Click the Network icon. 
  3. Next, click the ‘+’ (plus) button on the lower left-hand corner of the box.
  4. Add new vpn connection
  5. Click on Interface, and then VPN from the dropdown menu in the dialogue box.
  6. In VPN Type, select the VPN protocol you want to use. 
  7. Select VPN from the drop-down menu
  8. Choose a name for the VPN connection and enter that into the Service Name. It does not have to be anything specific.
  9. Click Create.
  10. 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.
  11. Enter the Password (or other user authentication supplied by your VPN Service provider and Shared Secret, then select OK.

Make sure to go over to advanced settings and click on the “Send all traffic over VPN connection” option to check it. Then apply the changes. Usually, you would not have to do this, but sometimes it can be necessary. 

Then click on the Connect button.

And that’s, you have changed VPN on Mac. You should have a working VPN now. Voila! And when your VPN work is done, just click on “Disconnect”.

You just created a working VPN connection. Simple, right? But are you done? Yes and no.

The macOS VPN client does not have WebRTC leak protection. So, make sure to use a secure browser like Brave. Safari is not recommended because it has vulnerabilities and is susceptible to WebRTC leaks.

Also, make sure to check that your VPN service doesn’t require any unique log-in settings enabled or disabled.

Testing a VPN for Mac

The FastestVPN app does not need testing and it includes a smart connect option as well. And the app "Connect" button changes colors depending on the state of your connection, which is very handy.

Additionally, to ensure that your VPN performs optimally, make sure your Wi-Fi connection if it is a Wi-Fi connection, is placed strongly. For instance, You can do that with a Wi-Fi signal analyzer app. A Wi-Fi signal analyzer app will ensure the best possible placement of your connection, from where the signals will be best utilized.

How to Sync VPN Settings Across Mac

Do you have multiple Mac devices? Then the VPN settings can be synced across all those devices. Though, you might have to tinker a bit, because it isn’t always fully seamless.

Connecting Your Mac to Your VPN

  1. Click on the Apple menu and then on System Preferences.
  2. Afterward, select the Network icon.
  3. Next, select your VPN from 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.
  6. That's it! You can now install a VPN on your Mac. Now, just connect and start browsing securely. It’s that simple.

Conclusion

In conclusion, VPNs can be so handy. This is because they’re secure, fast, they can hide your location from service providers. Additionally, they keep you anonymous, and are well worth the spend.

Thus, FastestVPN is the best VPN on Mac to configure on your Apple devices to avail all the quality features of a VPN.

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