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Mac OS setup - IKEv2/IPsec manual setup


The IKEv2/IPsec connection method is one of the alternative options for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Mac. This connection method is preferred by privacy enthusiasts, 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, is a bit more complicated to set up, and is only available on Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) or newer.

What makes this connection method so unique is that the only file that needs to be downloaded and installed is the NordVPN digital certificate. Mac OS provides the connection application itself - it's built right into Mac OS.

Other connection methods can be found here:

  • 1. First, download the NordVPN IKEv2 certificate to your Mac. The easiest way would be to open this link on the Mac 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", 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. To find one, simply go to our server list. All available server addresses are listed there.
  • 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.