The first step towards online security is setting up NordVPN correctly. Follow these simple steps to install the app and connect to a VPN server.
Table of contents
- Downloading and installing
- Setting up and using the application
- Choosing between different servers
- You can download the OpenVPN version of NordVPN for macOS on our website:
Alternatively, you can use the direct link:
- Go to your Downloads folder and double-click on NordVPN.pkg.
- A new Install window will pop up, guiding you through the installation process.
- Open your Launchpad and click on the NordVPN icon.
- 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.
- A privacy notification will appear. Click Agree & Continue.
- If you have a NordVPN account, click Log In in the top-right corner of the screen and enter your email address and password. If you are a new user, click Sign Up at the top-right corner of the screen to create an account.
Tip: Don't forget to use a strong password for 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 downloading a free password manager like NordPass. It generates secure passwords for you 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 whenever and wherever you need then, even offline.
- The Quick Connect button in the top-right corner of the screen will automatically connect you to a server recommended by our smart algorithm.
- On the main screen of the app, you will see the country list and map. You can browse through the servers in the left sidebar menu. You can also connect to a specific country by clicking on its pin on the map. Once connected, the country pin will turn green. The PROTECTED status label at the top of the screen means you’re connected to a VPN server. Additionally, as of version 6.0.0, you can also use the preset feature.
- 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.
- All the servers in the left sidebar are sorted 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.
- To connect to a specific server, click on it.
- 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.
- You can add a server to your favorites by clicking the heart symbol next to it. Hover over a country in the sidebar and click on the three-dot menu. Click on Servers and pick your favorites from the list.
- Your favorite servers will appear in a newly-created category named My Favourites. You can connect to your favorite servers the same way you connect to any other server.
- Click on Preferences in the top-left corner of the app to manage extra features, such as Connect on launch, custom DNS, CyberSec, and Kill Switch.
- Auto launch when computer starts launches NordVPN when you start your computer.
- 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, and is usually used for web browsing.
- Auto Connect connects you to a server automatically when the app launches:
- Connect to specifies which country the app should automatically connect to.
- Presets. They allow you to save setting configurations. There's a section dedicated to it below!
- Kill Switch shuts down specified programs if you lose VPN 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.
Presets allow you to load up a specified set of configurations, including server number, type, protocol, and more - at a click of a button! You may find many uses for this feature, including, but not limited to: instantly loading up a streaming service or a game, along with the necessary settings to experience a smooth session.
How does it work?
It begins on the preferences page, as depicted above. You can either edit an existing preset or create your own one by pressing Add new.
In this case, we will be adding a new one, and building it up from scratch. After pressing Add new, you will see a menu that will allow you to select the settings you would like to use. At first, you need to give the preset a name. Next, you will be presented with a selection of available VPN protocols. If you change it from the default setting 'Use recommended..." you will also get access to altering the server type. Here you can set a specialty server or any regular one as your type.
Depending on the server-availability of the type that you select, you may also have the choice of selecting either a specific region or server number.
Finally, you may also add either a web page or an app to the preset. It will be displayed under the preset name on the main screen.
If you press on Add link, a field will appear where you can insert the URL of the website you would like to have easy access to. After inserting the URL, press Enter in order for it to be registered.
When you're done setting up the configuration, simply press Save preset, and it will be added to the main screen.