Setting up a Virtual Private Networking connection on a Mac is easy and straight forward. In the following steps I’ll show you how to set up a VPN connection on your Mac.
Choosing A VPN Service
In order to use a VPN service, you need an active VPN account. If you already have an active VPN account skip this section and continue reading from “Setting Up a VPN Connection”.
When choosing a VPN service, avoid the “Free” options because they are slow, limited in bandwidth, and loaded with advertisements. Instead, select an inexpensive VPN service such as HideMyAss (HMA). I use the HMA service because it is easy to use and offers excellent value (I can use it on my iPhone and iMac at the same time without paying more, for example). HideMyAss’s logging policy doesn’t bother me because I mainly use it to watch U.S. Netflix. There many VPN providers other than HideMyAss you can consider as well, such as StrongVPN or PureVPN. However, make sure you choose a VPN service that offers many servers in different countries, and that isn’t too expensive. For a list of leading VPN service providers, visit VPN Tips.
Setting Up a VPN Connection
I’ll now walk you through the steps of configuring your system to connect to your VPN provider.
- Open “System Preferences”, click “Network” under “Internet & Wireless”
- Press the “+” symbol on the bottom left to create a new service. You’ll see a new window that looks like this:
- Choose “VPN” under “Interface”, and type in a name in the “Service Name” text box. Under VPN Type, choose the VPN type (protocol) your provider assigned to you.
The most common VPN protocol is “PPTP”. Windows, Mac, and Linux all have built-in native support for PPTP. The biggest benefit of using PPTP is you don’t have to download additional drivers to set it up. In my case, I use “PPTP” which is what HideMyAss VPN supports. Finally, click “Create”.
- You should see a screen like the following:
In the “Server Address” field enter the address of the VPN server, then click “Connect”.
- The “VPN Connection” window will appear. Enter the username and password your VPN provider assigned to you and then click “OK”.
- In the “Network” window, choose the VPN service you just created on the left and click the “Advanced” button. In the Advanced window make sure “Send all traffic over VPN connection” is checked.
Congratulations! You have successfully setup a VPN connection on your Mac. Next, you may want to consider setting up a VPN on your iPhone as well.
Image Credit: David Sedlmayer