Connect VPN using L2TP/IPsec on macOS

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Connect VPN using L2TP/IPsec on macOS

Today I will show you how to connect your Apple MAC to any VPN service that’s using the L2TP/IPsec protocol. L2TP over IPsec is a relatively common and secure protocol with most VPN service providers and workplaces supporting it, including ExpressVPN.



Before we start, you’ll need the following information (best to have it written or printed). If you’re connecting to a paid VPN service, just login and your details and settings will be there. If you are connecting via a workplace, please contact your Network Administrator and ask them for the following details:

Required Information

  • Your VPN username
  • Your VPN password
  • The server name or IP address (ie. or 102.562.243.12)
  • The pre-shared key PSK (PSK will be a series of characters like a password)

Connect via L2TP/IPsec on macOS

  1. Click System Preferences then Network
    Click System Preferences, then Network
  2. Click the Plus + icon to add a new connection
    Click the Plus + icon to create a new connection
  3. For Interface choose VPN, VPN Type choose L2TP over IPsec, give your connection a descriptive name, then click Create
    Select VPN, L2TP over IPsec, and name your connection, then click Create
  4. For Configuration choose Default, Server Address enter server name ( or IP address (123.456.789.12), Account Name enter your VPN username, check the Show VPN status in menu bar option, then click Authentication Settings
    Enter server address and your username, then click Advanced
  5. For Password enter your VPN password, for Shared Secret enter your pre-shared key (PSK), then click OK
    Click on Authentication, then enter your password and PSK (pre-shared key)
  6. Click Advanced…, then click the Options heading and check the Send all traffic over VPN connection option, then click OK
    Click Advanced, select Options, check Send all traffic over VPN connection
  7. Click Apply
    Click Apply
  8. To connect to your new VPN network, click the VPN icon top-right, then click on your VPN connection.
    Click the VPN icon, then click your VPN connection to connect
  9. You should now be connected to your L2TP/IPsec VPN network.

Video: Connect via L2TP/IPsec on macOS


Hopefully everything went well and you’re connected to you new VPN. If you had any issues, hit me up in the comments or socials/email.

See Also

Further Reading

Categories VPN, macOS


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