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How To Setup OpenVPN On Mac OS X

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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


OpenVPN is a popular VPN protocol that is used to implement VPNs on a wide variety of systems. A VPN based on OpenVPN protocol is considered quite secure since it offers a very high level of encryption. In this article, you will learn how to setup OpenVPN on a Mac OS X machine. The setup process is extremely easy and anyone with basic knowledge of Mac computer should be able to configure the VPN within minutes.

How to Configure OpenVPN for Mac

Before you configure the VPN, it is vital to ensure that your computer is up-to-date with the latest updates from Apple. Click on the Apple menu and then on “Software Update” option to manually update your copy of Mac OS X. Once the update procedure is complete, follow the steps given below to setup the VPN:

Step 1:  The OpenVPN client is not yet bundled with Mac operating system so we need to download and install it manually. The easiest way to configure OpenVPN on a Mac is to use the Tunnelblick utility which offers a GUI based OpenVPN solution for Mac computers. Download the latest version of Tunnelblick application from code.google.com/p/tunnelblick.

Step 2:  Next, you need to mount and install Tunnelblick application. Double click on the .dmg file that you downloaded from Tunnelblick’s site and then click on Tunnelblick.app icon to start the installation process. Click on Install button to install the Tunnelblick application at its default location. Keep in mind that you will need Administrator privileges for installation so keep the administrator userid and password handy and type them in when asked for. Once the installation is complete, you will come across “Installation succeeded” message. (Refer to Image 2a, Image 2b, Image 2c, Image 2d and Image 2e)

Step 3:  Click on the Launch button to run the Tunnelblick application. Enter the administrator userid and password in the next screen and then click on OK button. In the “Check for Updates” screen, click on “Check Automatically button. Since we haven’t configured OpenVPN yet, you will come across a message informing you that Tunnelblick’s configuration folder is not yet ready. Click on Quit button in order to create the configuration folder at ~/Library/openvpn/ location. (Refer to Image 3a, Image 3b, Image 3c and Image 3d)

Step 4:  Download the OpenVPN configuration files from your VPN provider’s website and extract them to ~/Library/openvpn/ folder. The configuration files contain important security and authentication information that allows you to connect to VPN service. It is possible that your VPN provider may provide a separate configuration file for each VPN server that they offer so make sure to download and extract configuration files for all the servers that you wish to connect to.

Step 5:  Once the configuration process is complete, you will see Tunnelblick icon at the right hand corner of the menu bar. To start using the VPN service, simply click on the icon and click on Connect option. Enter your VPN account username and password details in the next screen and click on the OK button. Once the connection is established, the icon will change in the menu bar. To stop using the service, simply click on the icon again and click on the Disconnect option from the menu. (Refer to Image 5a, Image 5b and Image 5c)


July 17, 2013
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