How to use VPN on Mac (How and Why Explained)

Anton P. | August 30, 2023

Learning how to use VPN on Mac is simple if you use a trusted VPN service. You can also prefer the manual route, exercising the built-in VPN settings on Mac. 

However, manual setup requires some preparation, like having all the necessary details. For instance, you need a VPN server you have created or can access. Thus, skipping the manual setup and using a VPN provider takes less resources and time. 

Let’s see how you can manually configure a VPN on Mac or start using a ready-to-go VPN client. 

Learn how to use VPN on Mac computers.

Why use VPN on Mac

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) on Mac brings you more security and privacy when going online. It is an app that preserves your privacy and adds more protection to your device. The main motivations for using a VPN on Mac include the following: 

  • A VPN hides your IP address, so this identifier no longer accurately pinpoints your location. 
  • Internet traffic encryption stops entities from seeing what you do online. 
  • Encryption protocols used also offer protection on unsafe public networks and websites. 
  • When you send all traffic over VPN connections, your Internet Service Provider no longer sees your browsing activities. 
  • A VPN also includes other benefits, like finding better deals online. 
  • Traffic encryption also helps soothe internet speed throttling based on traffic type. 

How to choose a third-party VPN app 

It is best to choose your VPN provider carefully. Nowadays, most VPN products offer quality protection and features. However, fake VPNs exist and can bring more risks than benefits to your digital life. 

For instance, suspicious free VPNs might use outdated VPN protocols or log your activities. Thus, follow these suggestions when picking a product, be it a premium or free VPN. 

  • Visit expert websites to find reviews on various VPN products. 
  • Judge the VPN protocols, encryption, and other techniques a VPN provider uses. 
  • Read user feedback to see what issues they encounter and whether the app runs smoothly.
  • A no-logs policy is one of the most essential documents regarding VPNs. It guarantees that the provider does not track or log your activities. 
  • A 30-day money-back guarantee is a plus; you can test the product to see if it suits your needs. 

Privacy is a BIG DEAL!


How to use VPN on Mac (manual setup)

Macs offer built-in support for VPNs, but you do need a VPN server to prepare it for use. Then, you can start installing a VPN: 

  1. Click on the Apple logo in the left corner and open System Preferences
  2. Open Network from the settings. 
  3. Click the Add button located on the lower-left part of the window. 
  4. Pick the Interface pop-up option and choose VPN. 
  5. Click VPN type and choose which type you wish to use. The type indicates the protocols used. 
  6. Give your VPN connection a name and click Create
  7. Enter the Server Address and Account name
  8. Clicking Authentication Settings… lets you enter the information necessary to access the network server. After that, click OK
  9. If you click Advanced…, you have the option to make other changes in your VPN. 
  10. With everything set, click Apply
  11. If all the information is correct, you should be able to connect your Mac to a VPN. 
  12. Successful connection should also show VPN status in menu bar. 

How to use VPN on Mac with a VPN client 

These instructions are for using Atlas VPN on Mac computers. However, different products should also follow similar steps. 

  1. Install a VPN client on your Mac computer from the App Store. 
  2. Open the app and read the necessary notices.
  3. You need an account with the VPN service before connecting to servers. 
  4. Log into your account using supported login methods. 
  5. You can connect to free Atlas VPN servers without purchasing plans. 
  6. When using a VPN for the first time, you need to add VPN configurations (it happens automatically).
  7. Atlas VPN Premium plans bring more options for users, like many more VPN servers. 
  8. You can pay in multiple ways, including cryptocurrencies.  
  9. After you log into your account, you can connect to servers and check other VPN settings you can change within the app

Other tips for how to use VPN on Mac effectively 

Most VPN providers add settings so that you can customize your connection.

  • You can choose VPN protocols used for securing your connection. Atlas VPN supports IKEv2/IPSec and WireGuard®
  • Enabling Kill Switch protects your privacy when experiencing connectivity issues. 
  • The Auto-connect feature connects you to servers automatically after the app starts. 

A VPN offers other ways of protection. For example, Atlas VPN provides additional services like Shield and Data Breach Monitor.

*WireGuard® is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld.

Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.



© 2024 Atlas VPN. All rights reserved.