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Installing the NordVPN OpenVPN application on macOS

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The first step towards online security is correctly setting up NordVPN. Follow these simple steps to install the app and connect to a VPN server.

Table of contents

  1. Downloading and installing
  2. Setting up and using the application
  3. Choosing between different servers
  4. Preferences

Downloading and installing

  1. You can download the OpenVPN version of NordVPN for macOS on our website:
    https://nordvpn.com/download/

    Alternatively, you can also use this direct link:
    https://downloads.nordcdn.com/apps/macos/generic/NordVPN-OpenVPN/latest/NordVPN.pkg


     
  2. Go to your Downloads folder and double-click on NordVPN.pkg.


     
  3. A new Install window will pop up. It will guide you through the process.

Setting up and using the application

  1. Open your Launchpad and click on the NordVPN icon.


     
  2. You will be asked for permission to install Helper, which is required to establish secure VPN tunnels. Enter your Mac's password and press OK.


     
  3. When presented with a notification about privacy, click on Agree & Continue.


     
  4. If you have a NordVPN account, click on Log In in the top-right corner of the screen, then enter your email address and password. If you don’t have an account, click on Sign Up at the top-right corner of the screen instead.



    Tip: Don't forget to use a strong password on your NordVPN account as it will help you to avoid credential stuffing attacks and will keep your account safe.

    As generating and remembering strong and secure passwords is not an easy task, we recommend to download a free password manager - NordPass. It generates secure passwords on a go and stores them safely, letting you avoid time-wasting password resets in the future.

    NordPass offers native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS, so you can reach your passwords when and where needed, even offline.

Choosing between different servers

  1. The Quick Connect button in the top-right corner of the screen will automatically connect you to a recommended server based on our smart algorithm.


     
  2. In the main app screen, you will see our country list and map. You can browse for servers using the left sidebar. You can also connect to a specific country by clicking on its map pin. Once connected, the country pin will turn green. The PROTECTED status label at the top of the screen shows that you’re connected to a VPN server.


     
  3. If you want to connect to a specific server, click on the Search... field in the top-left corner of the app. Enter a country, a category, or a specific server number (e.g., US 3612) to find what you need.


     
  4. The left sidebar displays all of our servers organized by country and specialty.



    For example, you can go to Specialty servers, hover over the Obfuscated servers category, and click on the three-dot menu to select a specific obfuscated server. Other specialty servers work the same way.




     
  5. To connect to a specific server, click on it.
  6. If you hover over a country in the sidebar, you can click on the three-dot menu to select a specific region or server to connect to.



Managing favorites

  1. You can add a server to your favorites by clicking the heart symbol next to it. First, hover over a country in the sidebar, then click on the three-dot menu. Click on Servers and pick your favorites from the list.


     
  2. Your favorite servers will appear in their own category, called My Favourites. You can connect to them like any other server.

Preferences

  1. Click on Preferences in the top-left corner of the app to manage extra features, such as Connect on launch, custom DNS, CyberSec, or the Kill Switch.


     
    • Auto launch - launches NordVPN when you start your computer.
    • Auto connect - connects you to a server automatically when the app launches.
    • Connect to - specifies which country the app should automatically connect to.
    • CyberSec - protects you from intrusive ads, malware sites, phishing links, and other threats.
    • VPN Protocol - makes NordVPN use UDP instead of TCP protocols. UDP is mainly used for streaming and downloading. TCP is more reliable, but also a little slower, usually used for web browsing.
       
  2. Other preferences:
     
    • Kill switch - shuts down specified programs if you lose connection. For example, if you add Skype to the list, NordVPN will close it whenever you disconnect. Since it takes a few seconds to reach a secure VPN server, this will prevent your data from leaking upon automatically reconnecting to the internet.


       
    • DNS - specifies a particular DNS server for the NordVPN app.


       
    • Appearance - sets the location of the NordVPN app icon.

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