How To Set Up A VPN On Mac

How To Set Up a VPN On a Mac

In Mac OS X, OS X Lion, Tips & Tricks by Michael Allen13 Comments

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.

  1. Open “System Preferences”, click “Network” under “Internet & Wireless”
  2. Press the “+” symbol on the bottom left to create a new service. You’ll see a new window that looks like this:
    setup VPN on Mac

    Choose “VPN” from the “Interface” select box

  3. 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.
    setup VPN on Mac PPTP
    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”.
  4. You should see a screen like the following:
    setup VPN on Mac server address
    In the “Server Address” field enter the address of the VPN server, then click “Connect”.
  5. The “VPN Connection” window will appear. Enter the username and password your VPN provider assigned to you and then click “OK”. setup VPN connection on Mac VPN connection
  6. 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.
    setup VPN on Mac send all traffic over VPN connection

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


  1. PPTP is no longer available for macOS 10.12 (Sierra) and above. Thus, you may either select an alternative VPN protocol or use a commercial VPN client: httpss://

  2. Question do you need to set up a VPN Connection when using Microsoft’s Remote desktop app on a Mac Pro I connected just fine using the App inside our building but now shes having a hard time connection when on a conference trip

  3. Hello! So i’m currently in country that blocks all the VPN sites I can subscribe to. How do I deal with that?

  4. so i went thru this intruction process. it all worked fine, but even when the vpn is active, it still shows the ip address of the wifi that i am using in the hotel. what have i missed? i have double checked it. something simple no doubt.

  5. I have a MacbookPro i use as my remote device to access my iMac at my store. Do I have to begin this process on my iMac?

  6. My business has a static internet connection. Will this VPN (hidemyass, for instance) work with a static internet connection?

    1. HMA! Pro VPN (or other VPNs) will work just fine with a static IP addresses.

  7. Thank you! Nice tutorial on setting up hidemyass on Mac. Is there a tutorial for how to setup VPN on iPad?

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