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A Guide to Set Up a VPN on a MacBook

A virtual private network offers a plethora of benefits. The most notable advantages of using a VPN include access to geo-restricted content and overall improved internet privacy.

Some people have to use public Wi-Fi, which is a known safety and privacy hazard. Others want a smoother experience downloading and storing data.

However, despite the clear benefits, some people are reluctant to bother with virtual private networks. They don’t feel like the hassle is worth their trouble.

Having said that, setting up a VPN is relatively easy. If you are on a MacBook and want to learn how to enable a virtual private network on your device, this article should be a solid reference.


Setting Up a VPN via Mac Settings

One of the ways to have a VPN on your MacBook is by tinkering with the integrated VPN settings.

First, though, you need to have certain information, such as what VPN type it is and what login credentials you need to launch your account. Get the details from the VPN provider.

To start, open System Preferences and go to the Network tab. From here, click on the Plus sign so you can create a new network connection.

You will see a new window. Pick “VPN” from the top “Interface” box. For VPN type, use “L2PT over IPSec”. As for the Service name, it’s up to you what you want to call it.

After clicking the “Create” button, follow the instructions and fill in the missing information. Once the box is full, press “Apply” to save the changes. To launch a VPN, click the “Connect” button. Once you are done, you can use “Disconnect” from the same tab. 


Setting Up a VPN on Ventura

Sonoma is the latest macOS version. However, if you are still on Ventura, the VPN setup is a bit different.

You go to System Settings, click on the VPN tab, and pick VPN Configuration. Here, choose one of the available connection types. 

Once you do that, you will be presented with a new display where you will have to enter the name of the VPN service you want to use.

Finally, once you select a VPN provider, adjust the settings accordingly and proceed to enter your login credentials to launch the virtual private network.


Using a 3rd Party VPN Provider

Sometimes, dealing with the system settings can be annoying, especially when you have to go through multiple tabs. And even after you finish, you might run into problems connecting to a VPN.

A third-party app is arguably the most straightforward way to set up a VPN on a device. Go online and look at some of the best available VPN services.

Most are compatible with macOS because Apple device users are a large demographic. Finding a decent solution should not be an issue.

You will need to pay. A trick to save some money is to find someone’s referral account to spend less. Various streamers, YouTubers, influencers, etc., promote VPNs and offer exclusive discount codes. Be on the lookout for one!

After downloading and installing the correct VPN file, you should have no trouble entering your login information and launching the VPN. In case you do run into trouble, get in touch with the VPN customer support and seek their help.

Note that third-party VPNs are also available on other devices (so long as they are compatible). It comes in handy when you want to circumvent restrictions on mobile. For instance, if you found out that someone blocked you on an iPhone, you can change your location. Or, if you are traveling and want to watch geo-restricted content on your tablet, that is also an option.


The Argument Against Using Free VPN Services

Among all the available VPN providers, you might encounter services that offer themselves for free.

The temptation to use a free VPN is understandable. After all, if you don’t have to pay for something, it is a significant bonus. Over time, expenses for a VPN accumulate, even if you are lucky to get a few months for free via a discount code.

As a rule of thumb, you should avoid free virtual private networks. Despite advertising themselves as FREE, these VPN providers operate under a shady model. More often than not, they collect user data, which is the opposite of what a VPN should be doing.

The purpose behind this data collection is to sell it later. In some cases, a free VPN could also install adware and other malicious software on your device. 

At the end of the day, it is better to be safe than sorry. Hence, do not bother with free virtual private networks.




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