How to Check For Vpn on Mac

VPNs are becoming increasingly popular in today’s world. Most of the time, VPN acts as a security tool that helps to encrypt your Internet connection when using public Wi-Fi, bypass the country’s censorship, or accessing the geo-restricted content. When connecting to a VPN, you need to ensure that your connection is secure, and no one can access your sensitive data via the VPN.

The challenge of checking for VPN on Mac is that the Mac device doesn’t come with a pre-installed VPN checker. MacOS has a limited built-in network tool that can check for connectivity issues but doesn’t provide any information about VPN connections. For that reason, we need to find third-party software that can work for us.

Video Tutorial:

The Challenge of Checking for VPN on Mac

MacOs supports various VPN protocols such as PPTP, IKEv2, L2TP, OpenVPN, etc. But the challenge is that once connected, MacOS doesn’t show any information about the VPN status. Besides, It can be tricky or confusing for non-tech people to determine if they are connected to VPN or not. Also, users can accidentally connect to unsecured public Wi-Fi, which can lead to data exposure. Consequently, it’s essential to have a method that monitors and verifies VPN connections accurately and reliably.

Things You Should Prepare for

To check for VPN in Mac, you’ll need to prepare the following;

  • Stable Internet connection
  • Administrator or root privileges on the device
  • VPN software already installed on your Mac

Method 1: Using Terminal

The terminal is a powerful tool that enables you to access and modify various settings on your Mac. To check if your VPN is running in Terminal, follow the steps below:

1. Open spotlight search by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the upper-right corner of your screen
2. Type "Terminal" in the search field and hit enter
3. Once the Terminal opens, type the following command:

  • sudo ifconfig

4. In the command output, look for the tunnel interface that your VPN created. This interface is usually named utun0, utun1, utun2, etc.
5. If you can see the tunnel interface, it means that your VPN is running


  • It’s built into MacOS, so no additional software is needed
  • It’s a reliable method that shows you the status of active interface on your Mac, including VPN.


  • It requires Terminal commands, which can be technical for non-techies.
  • It may not work if the VPN provider used a different tunnel interface name or the network configuration or you’re using a VPN client that doesn’t create an interface.

Method 2: Using Third-Party Software

MacOS doesn’t have a pre-installed VPN checker. It is essential to install third-party software to identify and monitor VPN connections accurately. Here are some of the VPN checker tools we recommend for Mac:

  1. VPNSecure
  2. CyberGhost VPN
  3. Express VPN

Steps to use VPNSecure VPN Checker

1. Download and install VPNSecure from its official site
2. Launch the VPNSecure app and sign in to your account.
3. Click on the "Status" button on the top right corner to verify if you’re connected to VPN or not.


  • It’s easy to use and doesn’t require technical knowledge
  • Compatible with different VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, SSTP, IKEv2, etc.
  • Some VPN apps come with additional features, such as kill switch, malware blocking, ad blocking, etc.


  • Some third-party VPN apps are freemium and offer limited functionality.
  • It requires downloading and installing additional software on your Mac.

Method 3: Using System Preferences

The system preference feature on MacOS is used to customize and set different network preferences on your Mac, such as VPN. Using this method, you can view the available VPN connections on your Mac.


1. Go to the top menu bar, click on the Apple logo and choose "System Preferences."
2. Click “Network” from the options
3. A Network window will open; check the status of VPN connection in the left pane.
4. Your active VPN connection will show as connected and connected IP address.


  • Pre-installed on MacOS, no need of third-party software
  • It’s simple and easy to use


  • It only shows the status and not the detailed information about the VPN connections.
  • The Mac system preference doesn’t offer additional features such as kill switch, malware blocking, etc.

Why Can’t I Verify My VPN on Mac?

VPN connection can fail or get disconnected on Mac due to various reasons. Below are some of the reasons, and their fixes:

1. Incorrect Login Credentials – Ensure that the login credentials you entered are correct. If you can’t remember the password, you might need to reset it using the VPN provider’s website.
2. Internet Connection – Ensure you have a stable internet connection.
3. Outdated VPN App – Update your VPN app to the latest version if it’s out of date.
4. Firewall Blockage – Check if your system firewall is blocking the VPN connection. You can temporarily disable the firewall and try connecting again.

Additional Tips

  • Always update your VPN app to the latest version
  • If you’re using a public Wi-Fi, always use VPNs to encrypt your connection and prevent data theft.
  • Read users reviews and ratings before downloading and installing third-party VPN apps
  • TorGuard has a guide on how to check if you are connected to VPN from different devices including Mac

5 FAQs about Checking for VPN on Mac

Q1: Can I check for VPN on my Mac without installing third-party software?

A: Yes, you can use the Terminal to check if your VPN is running.

Q2: How do I know if my VPN connection is secure on Mac?

A: If your VPN software has a kill switch feature, then it is secure. A kill switch feature ensures that all internet traffic on your Mac is automatically blocked if the VPN connection gets disrupted, thus preventing data leakage.

Q3: What’s the difference between free and paid VPNs?

A: Free VPNs have limited functionality and often come with ads or data caps. Paid VPNs, on the other hand, offer more advanced features such as ad blocking, malware scanning, and unlimited bandwidth.

Q4: Can I use VPN on my Mac without any speed implications?

A: Yes, you can use VPN on your Mac without significant speed implications–though, it depends on your internet speed and the VPN provider you’re using.

Q5: Can Mac automatically connect to VPN on startup?

A: Yes, some VPN apps have "Auto-connect on startup" in their settings that enable you to connect automatically to your configured VPN every time your Mac starts up.

In Conclusion

Using VPNs on Mac is essential to ensure privacy and security on the internet. MacOS doesn’t have a pre-installed feature for checking VPN status. Fortunately, there are various methods, including using Terminal, Third-party software, and system preference, that you can use to verify your VPN connection. By ensuring that your VPN is secure and active, you can keep your sensitive data protected at all times.{"@context":"”,"@type":"FAQPage","mainEntity":null}