VPN Self-Configuration Is A Risky Business For Mac Users

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How to setup VPN on your macbook along with details on risks associated and privacy settings.

4 min read
Updated: Jan 23, 2023

A VPN (a virtual private network) is great for hiding internet traffic, especially on Wi-Fi connections, or for accessing region-restricted websites. Setting up a VPN on Mac may seem confusing if you don’t know how. You can install and use a VPN on your Mac reasonably easily, even for beginners.

Select a VPN Service for Mac

The first step is to choose a good VPN service. If you want to install a VPN for your Mac, here are a few things to consider:

1. Privacy

As you may know already, all VPNs work by hiding your real IP address and accessing the internet using their IP instead. This will hide your actual physical location so that anyone will not know where you are from. It’s always good to take some time comparing each one of the top VPNs to find which one of them is actually the best in terms of privacy. Does it have encryption? Browser extension protection and extra security features? You can find the answers when you’re deep enough in the comparison.

2. Connection

Safety isn’t the only aspect we’re looking at here. Speed is also important. A good VPN will always try to protect you and give the best connection speed available for you. Usually, some VPNs offer a trial where you can feel the user experience directly. So first, try to test the speed using the free internet connection speed checker you can find on the internet. If the number’s good, then that particular VPN should be given top priority.

Most people would use the free VPNs, which are widely available on the market. There are also some who use self-configured VPNs, which can expose some dangers to some extent. So, it’s always better use ready to install VPN for macs, since they’re easy to use, and offer lots of good features. The price can be pretty affordable as well.

How to Enable VPN on MacBook Using VPN Settings

Before you can use a VPN on a Macbook, we have to make VPN settings first; all you have to do is:

  • Click the Network icon
  • Select it and click Open Network Preferences
  • Create a new connection by clicking the plus (+) icon
  • Click the part of the interface that will be selected
  • Click and select VPN
  • In the VPN Type section, select PPTP
  • Next, name the service name that was selected earlier. You can name it according to your wish
  • Select it and click Create
  • Next, enter the IP address of the VPN server and then the username that has been registered with the VPN configuration
  • When finished, then click Advanced.
  • Check the Send all traffic over VPN connection section to use the VPN service used for remote desktop (RDP)
  • Click Apply and then click Connect to start the connection
  • Enter your Password and User Name that has been registered on the VPN server
  • If it is already connected, a green Connected icon will appear.

Making Self-Configured VPN

On the market, generally, there are two types of VPN: free and paid. Free VPNs usually offer only basic protection while there are still some security risks lingering here and there. Most people use paid or premium VPNs, which offer better security for a price. 

However, besides the two, there’s also one type that’s not commonly used due to the level of complexity.

While we, as users, are given tons of options for Mac VPN, we can also create a self-configured VPN, which is really complex but a great alternative if you don’t have lots of options.

To configure the connection yourself, you need to know many things, starting from the VPN infrastructure to the VPN appliances, including the server. And this, of course, will take a lot of time. And as the icing on the cake, doing so also makes it possible for you to get exposed to dangerous risks, such as:

Understanding The Risks

Lack of VPN Mac Support

The first one is the lack of support. When you use a self-configured VPN, you will gain no support in case something terrible happens both on the connection and your device. Let us hope that the only thing that’s in the problem is the connection, not the latter one.

Rejected Connection

Most of the time, self-configured VPNs will only give you connection-rejected warnings. In case the same thing happens to you, especially multiple times, we advise you to drop the act and use the VPNs that are recommended by Apple only.

Unauthorized Connections

This problem rarely happens compared to the rejected connection. However, this can be way more problematic since it may open your personal data to many people, including hackers. When they get your data, that’s when everything ends. So, always be careful when you use such a connection, especially if you’re not experienced enough.

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Sophia Rodreguaze

@noeticsophia

Sophia is the contributing editor at noeticforce.com. She writes about anything and everything related to technology.

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