MacOS provides native support for connecting to the IT Services Cisco-based VPN service. Please note that IT Services support the current and two previous versions of macOS only; for details of supported versions please refer to the Apple Mac Support page.
This document contains instructions on how to configure the native VPN client that comes with macOS. In order to use the VPN service you will also need to have the necessary Remote Access Services username and passwords - for details see the main IT Services VPN Service page.
Please make sure that you have read the introduction and general requirements, which apply to all VPN clients, before attempting to configure your computer or mobile device to connect to the VPN.
There are a number of requirements necessary in order to use the VPN service on Apple Macintoshes; these are detailed below.
- Your computer must be running a supported version of macOS (see Apple Mac Support page for details).
- You computer must already have a connection to the Internet (e.g. via NTL, Compuserve, broadband, ADSL, etc., etc.)
- You must have a Remote Access Services account.
- You must be able to log on as an Administrator of your Mac.
3. Configuring and using the inbuilt VPN client
To use the macOS inbuilt support for Cisco VPN you will first need to open
[System Preferences], which you can do from the dock, the
[Apple] menu or by finding it in the
[System Preferences] window click the
Network icon to bring up the Network window.
+ at the bottom of the left hand pane to bring up a dialogue window to add a new network interface. Within the dialogue window make the follow changes:
Interfacedrop down menu to
VPN typedrop down menu to
Cisco IP Sec
Service Namefield to something that is meaningful to you, eg
Finally, click the
Create to add the new interface. This will return you to the Network window with the newly added interface ready to configure. To configure the interface make the following changes:
Server Addressfield to
Passwordfields to your remote access account name and password
Next click the
Authentication Settings... button to bring up another dialogue window which requires the following information:
Shared secretradio button and fill in the text field using the information that you obtained earlier
Group Namefield to
OK button to return to the Network window. If you are likely to use the VPN client regularly you may want to include the status of the VPN connection in your menu bar. If you do want to do this you must tick the check box labelled
Show VPN status in menu bar.
Finally, click the
Apply button to complete the configuration for this new VPN interface. The new interface should now appear in the left hand pane indicated by a locked padlock icon. Note that the status of the interface will show as Not connected.
To make a connection to the VPN service simply click the
Connect found on the Network window. (This can be found underneath the
Authentication Settings... button.) Once the connection has been established the Network window will show that the status of the VPN interface has changed to Connected and it will display the connect time and the IP address.
4. Connecting to the IT Services VPN service using the inbuilt VPN client
Once you have configured a network interface on your Mac to connect to the IT Services VPN service you can make a VPN connection whenever you need to. To connect via the inbuilt client:
Networkicon to switch to the Network window
Select the VPN connection you configured previously (in this example called
VPN (OUCS)) in the left hand pane
Connectbutton (found underneath the
Do remember to disconnect from the VPN service once you no longer need it by clicking the
Disconnect button within the Network window.
Alternatively, if you chose to include the status of the VPN connection in your menu bar by ticking the box labelled Show VPN status in menu bar during the configuration process you can connect and disconnect using the VPN icon in the top menu bar. Look for the VPN icon in the top menu bar and click the icon to bring up the drop down menu.
Simply choose the
[Connect] option from this menu to make a VPN connection. You can also use this menu to disconnect your session once you no longer need it.
5. Further Information
For information on firewalls and IP address allocations refer to the IT Services VPN Service technical details page.
If you have problems with the inbuilt client you may be advised to use the Cisco AnyConnect Client. Instructions are available from the Configuring the AnyConnect Client on Mac OS X Systems page.