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How to connect to NordVPN with IKEv2/IPSec on macOS

The IKEv2/IPsec connection method is one of the alternative options for connecting to NordVPN servers on your macOS. This connection method is preferred by privacy enthusiasts, as well as Apple itself, as IKEv2/IPsec security protocol is currently one of the most advanced in the market. Having said that, this manual set-up lacks the additional features of the native NordVPN app and it is a bit more complicated to set up. Alternatively, you can use our IKEv2 application that can be found in the app store.


Manual Connection setup

1. First, download the NordVPN IKEv2 certificate to your macOS. The easiest way would be to open this link on the macOS itself:

Once downloaded, open the certificate file from the Downloads folder.

2. The Add Certificates window will appear. Click Add to add it to the login keychain.

3. Right-click the NordVPN Root CA certificate in the login keychain, and select Get Info.

4. Next to When using this certificate, find IP Security (IPsec) and Extensible Authentication (EAP), and select Always Trust. Leave any other fields as Never Trust. You will have to enter your Mac password to make these changes. After that, close the keychain.

5. Click on the Apple on the upper hand corner of the screen. Then click on System Preferences.

6. In System Preferences click on the Network icon.

7. When the network screen pops up, click on the + icon in the lower-left corner of the screen (you must have administrator privileges).

8. The new network screen will pop up. Under the Interface drop-down list select VPN. Under the VPN Type drop-down list select IKEv2. In the Service Name field, you can type anything you want, we recommend that you call the service NordVPN (IKEv2) and Click Create.

9. The settings for the new VPN connection will now be displayed. In the Server Address and Remote ID fields type in the hostname of a NordVPN server.

Server Hostname - For the sake of the tutorial, we have used NL#37, but you should connect to a server suggested to you at You can find the server hostname right under the server title.

On your Mac:

10. Click on the Authentication Settings… button. Select Username as the Authentication method, then type in your NordVPN service username and password. Click OK, then click Apply button.

You can find your NordVPN service credentials (service username and service password) at the Nord Account dashboard. Copy the credentials using the buttons on the right.

11. Check “Show VPN status in menu bar” (optional), click Connect, and then click Apply.

12. You will now be connected. You can also check the box Show VPN status in menu bar then you’ll be able to connect to your VPN from the status bar.


Tip: Your VPN connection safety depends on your account password too. Don't forget to use a strong password on your account, as it will help you to avoid credential stuffing attacks and will keep your connections safe and uninterrupted.

As generating and remembering strong and secure passwords is not an easy task, we recommend downloading our free password manager — NordPass. It generates secure passwords for you and stores them safely, letting you avoid time-wasting password resets in the future.

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