How to share a VPN connection from your Mac

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This tutorial guide will walk you through the steps to share your VPN connection from an Apple Mac computer.

In order to share your Mac’s VPN connection over Wi-Fi, your Mac must be connected to the internet with an ethernet cable.

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Set up an L2TP VPN on your Mac
Configure your L2TP VPN
Connect to your L2TP VPN
Set up your VPN for sharing
Start Internet Sharing
Stop Internet Sharing
Disconnect your L2TP VPN


Set up an L2TP VPN on your Mac

Click on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen, then select System Preferences

go to system preferences

In the System Preferences menu, click the Network icon.

go into the network preferences

In the Network window, click on the plus (+) sign at the bottom of the left panel to add a new service. In the pop-up window, select the following options:

Interface: VPN
VPN Type: L2TP over IPSec
Service Name: [choose a name for your VPN connection]

Then click Create.

add l2tp vpn

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Configure your L2TP VPN

For these next steps you will need your username, password, and a server address. You can find these under the Manual Configuration (PPTP and L2TP-IPSec) section of the Setup ExpressVPN page.

To find your ExpressVPN account information, log in to your ExpressVPN account, click on Set Up ExpressVPN, then click on Manual Config on the left-side of the screen and choose PPTP & L2TP-IPSec.

To copy your username and password, click on the ‘copy’ icon in the top-right corner of the username and password field.

copy pptp and l2tp info

Enter the following details:

Configuration: Default
Server Address: [server address of your choice]
Account Name: [username]

Check the box next to “Show VPN status in menu bar” to see your VPN connection status in the menu bar.

mac l2tp details

Next, click on Authentication Settings…. On the User Authentication screen, enter your password, then enter ‘12345678‘ for Shared Secret. Click OK.

enter mac l2tp password

Next, click on Advanced…Check the box for “Send all traffic over VPN connection”, then click OK.

send all traffic l2tp

Click Apply to save all of your settings.

click apply

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Connect to your L2TP VPN

Click Connect to start your VPN connection.

connect mac l2tp vpn

You are now connected to an ExpressVPN server.

Note: Do not run or connect to the ExpressVPN app on your Mac when preparing to share your L2TP connection.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Set up your VPN for sharing

Return to the System Preferences menu, then click on Sharing.

go into the sharing preferences

In the Sharing menu, select Internet Sharing from the left panel. The Internet Sharing options will appear on the right side of the screen. Set the following settings:

Share your connection from: [the L2TP VPN connection you just created]
To computers using: check the box for Wi-Fi

share l2tp vpn

Select Wi-Fi Options…, and enter the following details:

Network Name: [choose a network name]
Channel: [leave as default]
Security: WPA2 Personal
Password: [choose a password]
Verify: [re-enter your password]

Then click OK.

configure your internet-sharing network

Anyone wishing to connect their device to your VPN network will need the password you’ve just set.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Start Internet Sharing

On the Sharing menu, check the box next to Internet Sharing.

You will see a prompt asking you to turn on Internet sharing. Click Start.

start sharing l2tp

When Internet Sharing has been activated, a green light will appear next to the text: “Internet Sharing: On”.

internet sharing on

In your menu bar, you now have two new icons.

The following icon shows your VPN connection status.

vpn connection in menu bar

The following icon shows your Internet Sharing status.

wi-fi sharing status in menu bar

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Stop Internet Sharing

To stop Internet Sharing, return to System Preferences > Sharing.

Uncheck the box next to Internet Sharing.

stop internet sharing

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Disconnect your L2TP VPN

To disconnect your L2TP VPN, go to System Preferences > Network.

Click Disconnect.

disconnect l2tp manual

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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