How to Use a VPN to Improve Security on Your MacOS Device

Posted on Dec 14, 2018 by Summer Hirst

Working on a Mac is super easy. There are no drivers and no fussy installation processes. There are several reasons why people buy Apple devices. They may cost more initially, but their value doesn’t drop down drastically after a few years like it does with most PC’s.

While Macs are known for their tight security, you can further improve the security on your device by installing and using a VPN.

Installing a VPN on your Mac can be very easy and can be done in several ways. Here we’ll discuss some of the most common ways to run a VPN on your Mac.

Using a Mac VPN app

Private Internet Access offers a custom application for Mac users. Follow these steps to install it.

  1. Open the Mac installer download page and download the application for PIA.
  2. Double click the downloaded .DMG file
  3. Find the user credentials in the email you’ve received from PIA. Enter these credentials in the app and click on Save.
  4. Go to the menu bar and you’ll find the Connect button. Click on it to connect to the default location. Or you can select the location from the drop-down menu.

With these simple steps, the VPN will be installed on your Mac and will be ready to use in just minutes.

Configuring a VPN manually

If you’ve got your VPN from another provider and they don’t have a custom app for Mac computers, here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Go to System Preferences.
  2. Select Network.
  3. Click on the + sign and select VPN.
  4. Select whether you want PPTP or L2TP.
  5. Go to Configuration and click on Add Configuration. Give it a name.
  6. Enter the server address and authentication settings as given by your provider.
  7. Make sure the checkbox that says “Show VPN status in menu bar” is ticked.
  8. Click on Apply.

Now your VPN is installed. Every time you need to connect, just select the VPN from the menu bar and you can connect and disconnect from there.

With the manual configuration steps given above, you can install PPTP and L2TP. If you want to use OpenVPN, which is the strongest protocol, you’ll need to install another application, such as Tunnelblick.

Using Tunnelblick

If your VPN provider doesn’t have a custom app for Mac and you want to use OpenVPN, you’ll need to use the Tunnelblick app. Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Download and install the Tunnelblick app for Mac.
  2. Get the configuration package from your VPN provider and unzip it.
  3. Select all the configuration files and open them. This will add the servers to Tunnelblick.
  4. Go to the Tunnelblick icon in the menu bar and bring down the drop down to see the servers.
  5. Select a server and click on Connect.
  6. Enter the username and password as given by your VPN provider.

You’ll be connected to the VPN. To disconnect, you can go to the drop-down menu on the Tunnelblick icon on the menu bar. Click on disconnect.

With these steps, you can install or configure a VPN on your Mac and stay safe from snooping and spying.