The Internet has evolved to become one of the most useful tools that people have access to. In fact, it’s even possible to run an entire business from your computer.
It’s important, though, to take the necessary steps to protect your data while you’re online. While safe browsing habits are always good to practice, you won’t be fully protected unless you’re actively using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
But, not everyone knows how to set one up.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to set up a VPN on Mac.
Wait, What Exactly Is a VPN?
As previously mentioned, a VPN is a ‘virtual private network.’ As the name implies, you’re creating a private connection between you and the information you’re accessing.
Using one will allow you to conceal your computer’s IP address (or even make it appear like your device is located in an entirely different city). In areas where certain websites are blocked, a VPN will also allow you to circumvent it.
So, you’ll be able to both conceal your identity as well as protect your browsing history/Internet activity from being compromised. This is especially useful to prevent the theft of personal info, such as your social security number or bank login information.
Regardless of why you need a VPN, using one is a good habit to get into if you frequently use networks that are accessible to the public.
Setting up a VPN on Mac
There are a few steps to complete before your VPN will be ready to use, but you won’t have much trouble handling them. Before you begin, though, you’ll need to find a VPN provider online.
There’s a large handful of VPNs to choose from, but a quality VPN will always accomplish the same task. When searching, look for attributes like:
- Reasonable price
- Accessible support
- Reliable security
The best way to find a reliable provider is to read company reviews and research them on your own.
When you do finally decide, you’re ready to begin.
Apple Network Settings
In the top-left corner of your screen, click the Apple icon (). Then, select ‘System Preferences.’
In the menu that appears, click ‘Network.’ In the bottom-left corner of this menu, click the plus (+) symbol in order to create a new network connection.
Click ‘Interface,’ and then ‘VPN’ from the menu that drops down.
When asked to select the ‘VPN Type,’ select ‘L2TP over IPSec.’ This is a common type of VPN, but yours may vary depending on which VPN you’re using. You can find out its type by looking through the application info.
Now, you’ll be able to give your network a name. It doesn’t have to be a specific name, so you can enter whatever you’d like. Afterward, click on ‘Create.’
After Creating The Network
Enter your ‘Server Address’ and ‘Account Name’ in the menu that appears. To find this information, consult the VPN you’re using. Some VPNs refer to the account name as the ‘username,’ so keep this in mind if you can’t find it while looking.
Afterward, click ‘Authentication Settings.’
Enter the correct information in the ‘Password’ and ‘Shared Secret’ field, and then click ‘OK.’
Click ‘Apply,’ and then ‘Connect.’
Then, your VPN will be fully functional. Whenever you wish to turn it off, you can click ‘Disconnect’ on this menu. If you want to quickly access your VPN settings, you can click the box that says ‘Show VPN status in menu bar.’
Still need more help on how to set up a VPN on your Mac? You can visit this link for more information: https://setapp.com/how-to/how-to-setup-vpn-on-mac
Using a Third-Party VPN Setup on Mac
If you wish to configure your VPN without using your Mac’s ‘Settings’ application, the process is just as straightforward.
After downloading your VPN and paying the required amount for its service, launch the installer application that you can download from your VPN provider. Occasionally during installation, you may be asked to grant the installer permission (although whether or not this happens will depend on your VPN).
Afterward, you can launch the VPN application, choose your IP address settings, and connect to the server. Then, you’ll be all set to browse anonymously.
A Word of Caution
When choosing a VPN provider, it’s important that you avoid those who offer VPN services for free.
Running VPN servers doesn’t happen for free, so the provider needs to make money somehow. If you’re able to use the product at no cost, then you’re paying with your personal data and not your money.
These types of VPNs consolidate records of user browsing history and Internet activity and sell it to third parties who use it as marking info. Ironically, this is exactly what VPNs are supposed to prevent— the compromise of your personal info.
While uncommon, there are even free VPN services out there that can install harmful software onto your computer. So, it’s worth it to budget for a paid service in order to prevent these complications from arising.
Knowing How to Set up a VPN on Mac Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information about in mind, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your personal data as safe as possible.
Want to learn more about helpful info about technology? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.