Setting up built-in VPN for macOS - Feinberg School of Medicine use only

The Northwestern VPN allows you to connect to the Northwestern network when you're off campus. As a member of the Feinberg School of Medicine, you must use the built-in VPN client on your macOS computer to connect to VPN.

Northwestern IT is aware of VPN access issues from China. We tried implementing workarounds by changing our VPN public IP. However, within a few days of these workarounds Northwestern VPN was blocked again by the Chinese telecommunications agency. At the present time, we cannot provide a solution to using Northwestern VPN in China because the Chinese telecommunications agency continually searches for and blocks Northwestern VPN servers. We have heard anecdotally from some people that using a third party VPN service has worked for them, but we cannot confirm which, if any services, will work.


  1. Click Apple > System Preferences > Network
  2. Click the + button at the bottom left of the screen to add a new connection. (Note: You may need to click the LOCK icon to enable editing of Network Settings.)
  3. Complete the following, then click Create:
    • Interface: VPN
    • VPN Type: L2TP over IPsec
    • Service Name: Northwestern VPN
  4. In the Network window complete the following, then click OK:
    • Server Address:
    • Account Name: your NetID
    • Authentication Settings
      • Leave Password blank
      • Shared Secret: northwesternvpn
      • Click OK
    • Check Show VPN status in menu bar
    • Click Advanced.... Check Send all traffic over VPN connection and click OK.
    • Click Apply.
  5. Click the VPN symbol in the right of the top menu bar on your screen. Then select Connect Northwestern VPN


Keywords: tablet virtual private network
Created: 2020-01-24 23:05:31
Updated: 2021-03-17 15:10:56

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Article ID: 1829
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