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Manual IKEv2/IPSec for 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 Mac. The easiest way would be to open this link on the Mac itself: https://downloads.nordvpn.com/certificates/root.der.

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“, select Always Trust. You will have to enter your Mac password to make these changes. Then 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 hand 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  https://nordvpn.com/servers/tools/ . 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 Username and Password. Click OK, then click Apply button.



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 status bar.

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