Remote connections (VPN)

Connect to the office VPN and access files on the server from wherever you are. If you already have a VPN icon in the menu bar, skip to Connecting to the VPN and a server (below).

Configuring the VPN the first time

  1. Open System Preferences in the dock or Apple menu. Click Network.
  2. Look for the VPN in the list. If it’s present, click it and skip to step 6 to confirm settings.
  3. No VPN? Click the + button under the list of ports.
  4. Choose VPN from the menu and select VPN type L2TP.
  5. For the service name, type your company or group and click Create.
  6. Type the server address. It may be your company’s public IP address or domain.
  7. Type the account name you have on the server.
  8. Click Authentication Settings.
  9. Type your server password.
  10. Type the Shared Secret. If you don’t know the shared secret, ask the network administrator. Click OK.
  11. Check Show VPN status in menu bar.
  12. Apply changes and close System Preferences.


Connecting to the VPN and a server

  1. Click the VPN icon in your menu bar and connect to your network. Don’t have a VPN icon? See Configuring the VPN the first time (above).
  2. Click the Finder (desktop).
  3. Click the Go menu and Connect to Server (or type Command-K).
  4. Type the server address. Usually this starts with smb:// followed by the server’s private IP address or name. Click the + sign to add it to the Favorite Server list for next time.
  5. Or double-click a server in the Favorite Servers list.
  6. Click Connect.
  7. If asked, log in with your username and password.
  8. Check the box to remember the password.
  9. Select the volume (drive) you need and click OK.
  10. When you’re finished working on the network, drag the server icon from the desktop to the trash. Then click the VPN icon  and Disconnect. 


Server volumes should appear in the sidebar of all Finder, Open and Save windows. Mounted server drives usually show on the desktop as well. If not, click the Finder menu and choose Preferences, then click General and check the box to Show connected servers on the desktop.

Need to remote control a computer with screen sharing? Follow the steps for connecting to the VPN and a server (above). At step 4, type vnc:// followed by a server IP address or name. Click the + sign to add it to the Favorite Server list for next time. You may need to log in as an admin user of the computer to see the screen.

For logins, passwords or other computer addresses, contact your network administrator.

Learn more about sharing & networking.

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