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This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to install a VPN for Mac so you are protected with an anonymous connection to the Internet.
Using a virtual private network (VPN) for your Mac will secure Internet activity on both your home network and public WiFi connections.
This makes it impossible for your Internet Service Provider (ISP), hackers, app developers, and government to monitor and log your online activity.
Also because of recent events, many individuals are now required to work from home, which has caused a boost in Internet usage across the globe.
Unfortunately, as a result, many hackers are taking advantage of this through malicious apps, websites, phishing, and other online privacy attacks.
Therefore, having a secure Internet connection on your computers, phones, tablets, and streaming devices are becoming more important than ever!
When choosing a quality VPN provider for your Mac, you must make sure the VPN service is compatible with macOS.
Our VPN provider of choice, IPVanish, supports Mac OS X 10.10 and higher.
IPVanish VPN has become the world’s most popular VPN due to its low price, blazing-fast download speeds, zero log policy, and support for most operating systems.
This VPN for Mac guide is organized into the following sections:
- The Benefits of Installing VPN on a Mac
- How To Install VPN On Mac using the OpenVPN Protocol
- How to Install VPN On Mac using the IKEv2 Protocol
- How To Configure Your IPVanish Settings
- Frequently Asked Questions about IPVanish for Mac
The Benefits of Installing VPN for Mac
By installing IPVanish VPN on your Mac, you will experience an encrypted connection to the Internet, which will hide your activity online. This includes online activities such as downloads, streaming, sites visited, etc.
A VPN will also change the IP Address that your Internet service provider assigns to your account which makes it impossible to trace where your connection is coming from.
Here are some of the features where IPVanish shines.
IPVanish VPN does not record any of your activity or connection data while using their apps. Privacy is their main priority.
If VPN connection on your Mac is lost, the kill switch built into the software will block all network traffic until the secure connection is reestablished.
IPVanish VPN will automatically suggest the fastest server for your connection based on ping and location.
For those who travel, a VPN is a great tool to use when traveling and connecting to public WiFi hot-spots.
It will also encrypt your traffic on your Mac and make it impossible for hackers to intercept your connection to the Internet.
IPVanish will allow you to use up to ten simultaneous connections per account, which means that you can utilize the service on other Internet-connected devices such as computers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, and more.
IPVanish provides apps and setup instructions for macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Fire TV Stick & Fire TV, Linux, Chrome OS, and routers.
IPVanish VPN is known for their fast download speeds because of their revolutionary network which includes over 40,000 IP addresses on 1,300+ servers in 75+ locations.
As of this post, IPVanish VPN servers are located in North America (797), Europe (451), Oceania (83), Asia (62), South America (32), and Africa (12).
IPVanish supports multiple VPN protocols including OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP, and IKEv2.
The IKEv2 protocol performs best on Mac and allows for faster download speeds which we cover in the tutorial below.
For more detailed information on VPNs, we highly suggest viewing our in-depth VPN Guide below.
IMPORTANT: Before installing IPVanish VPN on your Mac, you must register for an account.
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IPVanish backs their service with a 30-day money back guarantee.
In the screenshot guide below we are using a MacBook Pro with MacOS Mojave version 10.14.6.
This tutorial will provide you with steps on how to install IPVanish VPN by downloading the app from the IPVanish website. This uses the OpenVPN protocol.
There is another method for installing IPVanish VPN on Mac computers using the IKEv2 protocol, which we cover as well.
How To Install VPN On Mac Guide
Install VPN on Mac using the OpenVPN Protocol
1. After you have registered your IPVanish account, log in to your account at www.ipvanish.com and then click Apps on the top menu.
2. Select the Download Now button.
3. Click the Download Mac App button.
4. Select the downloaded IPVanish app from your Downloads folder.
5. Drag the IPVanish VPN app icon to your Applications folder.
6. Open you Applications folder and locate the IPVanish VPN app.
7. Click Open when prompted with this message.
8. Next login to IPVanish with your registered username and password.
9. You will then be redirected to the IPVanish VPN interface for Mac computers. To connect your VPN simply click the CONNECT option.
- You will also notice the three options above CONNECT. I suggest leaving those options to default, as this will ensure you are connected to the fastest IPVanish server near your location.
10. That’s it! You have successfully installed IPVanish VPN on your Mac. Notice the green ON icon on the upper right side of your screen.
11. Feel free to explore the different Server Lists within the IPVanish app. Just keep in mind we suggest using the default best available server option for optimal performance.
12. You can also check out the Map option to view the different IPVanish server locations across the world.
- You can view the complete server list within your IPVanish Control Panel
13. To view account information simply select the Account option on the left menu. This will provide you with account status, renewal date, and an external link to your customer dashboard on the IPVanish website.
Install VPN on Mac using the IKEv2 Protocol
Note: In order to install IPVanish VPN on your Mac using the IKEv2 protocol, your Mac computer will need to be running macOS 10.12 and above.
As mentioned previously, you must also register for an IPVanish account, if you haven’t done so already.
1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left corner of your screen, select System Preferences, and choose Network.
2. Click the Plus Button (+) on the bottom left side of your screen to add a new connection.
3. Choose the VPN option in the drop-down menu for Interface. For VPN Type choose IKEv2. And enter in whatever title you prefer for the Service Name. Then click Create.
4. You are then directed to this screen.
5. Enter the required fields. See further directions below.
- Server Address: Choose an IPVanish server to connect from. You can view the IPVanish server list in your Control Panel.
- Remote ID: Enter in the following address – *.vpn.ipvanish.com
- Local ID: Enter in your IPVanish Username here.
6. After entering the required fields click Authentication Settings. Make sure the drop-down menu under Authentication Settings is set to Username.
- Enter in your IPVanish username and password and click OK
7. Once you have entered everything from the steps above, click Connect.
8. If prompted with this message click Apply.
9. That’s it! You have successfully installed IPVanish VPN on your Mac using the IKEv2 protocol.
- Notice on the left menu you can see that IPVanish VPN is now connected. To turn off IPVanish simply select Disconnect on the main Network menu.
10. We recommend verifying your new IP address and server location by going to DNS Leak Test where your new details will be displayed.
Difference Between OpenVPN and IKEv2 VPN Protocols
After going through these installation guides some of you may be wondering what the difference is between OpenVPN and IKEv2 VPN protocols?
In the shortest terms, the OpenVPN protocol is one of the most popular open-source VPN protocols due to its tight security, simple configuration, and platform compatibility.
However, OpenVPN protocols typically have slower speeds compared to IKEv2 protocols.
The IKEv2 protocol is another popular open-source VPN protocol because of its network switching capabilities and faster speeds compared to OpenVPN protocols.
However, a downside to the IKEv2 protocol is a more complex configuration process on devices.
For more information on VPN protocols, refer to our in-depth guide below.
Common Questions about IPVanish for Mac
Why should I choose IPVanish for my Mac computer over other VPN providers?
By using IPVanish, you are guaranteed that your VPN service provider will not keep any logs of your activity, automatically block all network traffic when your VPN connection is lost, prevent any IPv6 addresses from leaking, block firewalls that detect OpenVPN connections, and prevent other devices from communicating with your Mac when you’re sharing a local area network (LAN).
How many servers are available on IPVanish?
As of this writing, there are more than 1,300 servers across 75 locations to choose from. That means you can connect to a server in Australia, the United States, or even the United Kingdom and gain access to more than 40,000 shared IP addresses.
Can I use a free VPN for my Mac computer?
Yes, technically you can use a free VPN on a Mac but we NEVER recommend using free VPNs. You can find more information on free VPNs, and why we don’t recommend using them in our article below.
What operating system (OS) does IPVanish support for Mac?
It supports Mac OS X 10.10 and higher.
Can I change the VPN Protocol in IPVanish for Mac?
Yes, you can. As you’ll notice in our screenshot tutorials above you are able to use the OpenVPN and IKEv2 VPN protocols on your Mac.
Upon attempting to log in, IPVanish displays the message, “Authentication Failed.” Why is this so?
Your access will be restricted when your account has already expired, you’ve entered the wrong username and/or password, or the server is currently encountering a system issue.
Make sure that you have the correct login credentials and that your account is active. If a server issue persists, however, contact IPVanish’s 24/7 customer support.
Should I purchase separate IPVanish plans if I have multiple devices connected to the Internet?
IPVanish supports up to 10 simultaneous connections on multiple devices so you don’t have to spend on additional plans.
For VPN installation instructions on other popular devices, refer to our guides below.SAVE UP TO 74% WITH THIS TIME-SENSITIVE DEAL
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IPVanish provides a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied so you have nothing to lose.
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VPN for Mac Frequently Asked Questions
What is a VPN and why do I need it?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that allows you to privately and securely browse the internet. Yes to remain anonymous online you need a VPN on all your devices that access the internet.
Is a VPN legal?
Yes. A VPN is 100% legal to install and use in most countries including the U.S. However, in some countries VPNs are not legal to use.
How does a VPN work?
A VPN works by routing your device's internet connection through a private server instead of your internet service provider (ISP). This will mask your IP Address to any websites you visit.
What devices can a VPN be installed on?
a VPN is available for installation on almost every electronic device you can think of. This includes PCs, Iphones, Android phones, Amazon Fire TV devices, and many other popular electronic devices.
How much does a VPN cost?
While some VPN services are free, most quality VPN services charge less than $5 per month.
Can you be tracked if you use a VPN?
A VPN encrypts your IP Address from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) making your online activity anonymous.
Should I use a VPN at home?
Yes. If you are accessing the internet at your home we recommend using a VPN for your online privacy.
Should I use a VPN on my phone?
Using a VPN on your phone is not necessary, but recommend if you want to hide your internet activity.