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How To Setup L2TP VPN On Mac OS X

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

If you are constantly worried about your online privacy and security of your data then you need to seriously consider using a VPN to secure your online sessions. The L2TP protocol is often used to implement virtual private networks as it offers top grade security with maximum compatibility. In this article, you will learn how to setup L2TP/IPSec VPN on your Mac computer. As you will soon discover, the whole setup process is extremely simple and it should not take more than few minutes to configure a VPN connection from scratch.

How To Configure L2TP/IPSec VPN On Mac OS X

Before setting up the VPN, it is highly recommended that you update your copy of Mac operating system. In order to upgrade your system, just click on “Software Update” option available in the Apple menu. Once the updates are complete, follow the steps below to setup the VPN:

Step 1:  The first step is to invoke System Preferences screen by clicking on Apple menu and then on System Preferences option. In the system preferences screen, click on the Network icon. (Refer to Image 1a and Image 1b)

Step 2:  Next, click on the “+” icon located at the bottom left corner. However, if you see a locked padlock icon at the bottom then you need to click on the padlock icon first, enter your system password and then click on the “+” icon to create the new connection. (Refer to Image 2)

Step 3:  In the network interface screen, you need to specify the type of network connection that you wish to create. Click on VPN in order to initiate the creation of a VPN connection. (Refer to Image 3)

Step 4:  Next, you need to specify basic details about the new VPN connection. Select “L2TP over IPSec” in the VPN Type dropdown box since we want to create a new L2TP VPN connection that uses a pre-shared IPSec key. Also, type an easy to remember connection name in the “Service Name” input box. It is advisable to use your VPN company name along with the name of the VPN server country/city as the connection name as it will allow you to locate and connect to the correct VPN service quickly. Click on the Create button to finalize these settings. (Refer to Image 4)

Step 5:  Next, you need to enter technical details about the new VPN connection. Click on the newly created VPN connection name that appears in the left pane and enter the configuration details for it in the right pane. Type the VPN server IP address or URL in the “Server Address” box, VPN account username in the “Account Name” box and set the encryption level as specified by your VPN provider. Make sure the checkbox next to “Show VPN status in menu bar” is selected and then click on “Authentication Settings” button. Enter your VPN account password in the Password box and pre-shared IPSec key provided by your VPN provider in the “Shared Secret” text box. Click on OK to finalize the authentication settings.

Click on the Advanced button and ensure that the “Send all traffic over VPN connection” option is selected in the Options tab. Click on OK button and then on the Apply button to save the VPN settings. (Refer to Image 5a, Image 5b, Image 5c, Image 5d and Image 5e)

Step 6:  In order to test the connection, click on the new network token icon that appears at the top right corner and select the Connect option. As soon as the connection is established, you will see a timer displaying connection time next to the network icon. To disconnect from the service, simply click on the icon again and select the Disconnect option. (Refer to Image 6a and Image 6b)

July 17, 2013

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