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The first step towards online security is setting up NordVPN correctly. Follow these simple steps to install the NordVPN app and connect to a VPN server.
Note: NordVPN supports macOS 10.15 Catalina, macOS 11 Big Sur, macOS 12 Monterey, and macOS 13 Ventura.
Table of contents:
Downloading and installing
Setting up the application
Connecting to servers
- Dark Web Monitor
- Kill Switch
- Threat Protection
- Other Apps
Downloading and installing
- Download NordVPN for macOS on our website:
Alternatively, you can use the direct link:
- Go to your Downloads folder and double-click on NordVPN.pkg.
- 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 orconfirm it with a fingerprint.
- A new Install window will pop up, guiding you through the installation process. Choose to continue.
- Click on "Install".
- A message will appear confirming that the app was successfully installed, choose to close the window.
Setting up and using the application
- Open your Launchpad and click on the NordVPN icon.
- 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.
- If you want to log in, you will be redirected to your NordAccount where you will need to enter your registered email address and password. You can also sign in using a Google account, Apple ID or by entering a code.
- If you are a new user, you will need to create a new NordAccount by entering your email address and other required information.
- After completing any of the above steps, you will be prompted to open the NordVPN app. Agree to always allow NordAccount and grant access to the app.
- After successful login, you will be introduced to our main NordVPN application window.
Connecting to servers
- The Quick Connect button in the top-right corner of the screen will automatically connect you to a server recommended by our smart algorithm.
- 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.
To connect to the Specialty server, hover over one of the specialty server categories, and click on the three-dot menu to select a Country or Server.
- To connect to a specific country, click on it.
NordVPN application settings
To change applications settings and find various features click on the three horizontal lines at the bottom-right corner of the app.
- Auto launch when computer starts opens the NordVPN app automatically every time you turn your device on.
- VPN Protocol lets you to choose from 2 different connection protocols (OpenVPN and NordLynx).
- Automatically check for updates will help you to use the latest version of the NordVPN app.
- Help Us Improve makes NordVPN better by sending us aggregated anonymous data.
- When using untrusted network you will automatically be connected to a network that is not added to a Trusted network list.
- Connect to a specific country from the list.
- The current network shows the network you are currently connected to.
- Trusted network list excludes VPN connections to listed Wi-Fi networks. So you won't be connected to a VPN on trusted Wi-Fi networks.
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.
- Meshnet feature helps you to access devices over encrypted private tunnels. To find more information click here.
- Statistics show you more information about your connection.
Dark Web Monitor
- Dark Web Monitor scans the internet for any credential leaks associated with your registered NordVP e-mail address. To find more information about it click here.
- Kill Switch helps to prevent unprotected access to the internet when your traffic does not go through a NordVPN server. You can find more information about Kill Switch here.
- DNS ensures tighter security and privacy for your traffic. You can configure your device manually to use private NordVPN DNS servers. read more about DNS servers here.
- Threat Protection is a feature that automatically blocks ads, trackers, and malware URLs. It can also delete any downloaded malware. For Threat Protection to work, an active VPN connection is not required. To learn more about it click here. Also, on a Windows device, you may choose Threat Protection Lite. This feature protects you from ads, unsafe connections, and malicious sites while connected to the NordVPN server.
- Appearance settings let you add an application to your dock, menu bar, or both. Also, it offers you to choose the app theme between systems, dark and light mode.
- Other Apps offers you other Nord Security products.