How to create a VPN connection on MAC

When you're off-campus and not directly connected to the Rhodes network e.g. ADSL Internet from home, you will not be able to connect to certain network applications and services.  In this case you will need to establish a VPN connection from your remote connection.

Rhodes' Virtual Private Network (VPN) server allows staff and students using a PC on the Internet (i.e. not on campus or connected to Rhodes' network directly) to virtually connect to the Rhodes network.  The effect is that the PC becomes connected to the Rhodes network, and thus has full access to resources on the campus network.

Access to the VPN server is automatically granted to all staff at the University, and available to students via a Support Request based on need with an accompanying letter from the HOD.  Below are the configuration instructions for your PC to make use of the VPN on an Apple Mac (OSX).

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- Click on the Apple Menu in the top left corner, then...


- Select System Preferences
pic 1 vpn mac

- Double Click on the Network Icon


-Click Add + at the bottom of the network connection services list.

(if you still have your old VPN connection it is recommended you remove this now by clicking on the - )


- On the Interface pop-up menu, choose "Interface > VPN"


- On the VPN Type pop-up menu, choose L2TP over IPSEC and name the connection: Rhodes VPN then click Create

- You will now see your new connection listed


- Click the new "Rhodes VPN" connection and under server address type in: vpn.ru.ac.za



- Enter the account name for the VPN connection (this will be the same as your RU username)
- Click Authentication Settings, leave the PASSWORD field blank (anyone can connect from your device if you leave your credentials saved, so for security reasons it is best left blank)
- Under Shared Secret type: vpn.ru.ac.za
- Click OK, then click Connect (You will only be able to test the VPN connection when you are not directly connected the Rhodes network)

Select “Show VPN status in menu bar” to use the VPN status icon to connect to the network and switch between VPN services.


To remove the VPN configuration, select the VPN network connection service in the list and click Remove. 

Last Modified: Thu, 26 Mar 2020 21:50:58 SAST