VPN Access in OS X

Please be aware that the PPTP connection protocol is no longer available in Mac OS Sierra.

Instructions for setting up a L2TP over IPSec VPN connection to the Physics network using OS X 10.11 and later

  1. Open Terminal from Applications > Utilities and with the sudo command create a directory called /etc/ppp (e.g. sudo mkdir /etc/ppp) and with a text editor create a file called /etc/ppp/options (e.g. sudo nano /etc/ppp/options) and edit the file so it contains the following text:
    refuse-eap
    usepeerdns
    defaultroute
    require-mschap-v2
    noauth
    idle 5000
  2. You will now need the Oxford University shared secret password, to do this you need to go to the Software Registration and Downloads web page and login with your SSO account. Once on this page select VPN client from the list. On the next page that appears select VPN shared credentials. A window containing the information should now pop up on your desktop. Make a note of the IPSec secret as you will need this information later on (it will be referred to as the shared secret) and then close the window using the close window link.
  3. Now open Systems Preferences > Network
  4. Click on the + sign near the bottom left corner of the window you've just clicked on
  5. Click on the up/down arrow on the right of the "Interfaces" menu item and click on "VPN" (in lower half of options)
  6. A menu item called "VPN Type" will appear - set this to "L2TP over IPSec"
  7. Give it an appropriate name you'd like to use e.g. "Oxford Physics VPN"
  8. Click "Create" and now enter the following settings:
    Server Address: vpn.physics.ox.ac.uk
    Account Name: your physics account username
  9. Now click on Authentication Settings and set the User Authentication to password and enter your physics account password and in the Machine Authentication enter the shared secret that you obtained earlier and click OK.
  10. Click "Advanced"
  11. Ensure that under "Session Options" that you have selected "Send all traffic over VPN connection" and click OK
  12. You may also wish to select the "Show VPN status in menu bar" option.
  13. To test connect your system outside the physics network either via the eduroam network or from home and click Connect

Instructions for setting up a PPTP VPN connection to the Physics network using OS X 10.5 Leopard to OS X 10.11 El Capitan.

  1. Open System Preferences
  2. Click on Network
  3. Click on the + sign near the bottom left corner of the window you've just clicked on
  4. Click on the up/down arrow bit on the right of the "Interfaces" menu item and click on "VPN" (in lower half of options)
  5. A menu item called "VPN Type" will appear - set this to "PPTP"
  6. Give it an appropriate name you'd like to use e.g. "Oxford Physics VPN"
  7. Click "Create"
  8. For server address, put vpn.physics.ox.ac.uk
  9. For Account name, put Physics\\username (replacing username with your central physics username)
  10. Click "Advanced" (towards lower-right corner)
  11. Ensure that under "Session Options" that you have selected "Send all traffic over VPN connection"; click "OK"
  12. To test this out when you are external to the departmental network, click the "Connect" button

Categories: Apple | Astrophysics | Mac | OS X | Remote Access | Theory | VPN