Mountain Lion Server Part 15: VPN

Mountain Lion Server Part 15: VPN

In this screencast tutorial I cover how to set up VPN on Mountain Lion Server. VPN allows you to remotely connect to your network in a secure way. In this tu…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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22 Responses to Mountain Lion Server Part 15: VPN

  1. Todd Olthoff says:

    I haven’t used a set up like that so I’m not sure on all the steps. Do a search for DynDNS VPN and Mountain Lion Server and see if there is an article on set up. Sorry I can’t be of more help:(.

  2. macintoshpixel says:

    I have a dynamic IP Adress. So I have to use services like no-ip. I opened all ports, still not working. Do I have to set up the host name the same as the server provided by no-ip? And I don’t understand, what you actually type in the username field. Can you set this up as you want?

  3. macintoshpixel says:

    Thanks for your video. I want to use VPN for Apple Remote Desktop to use it with my MacBook and my iMac. Am I right, when i say that i have to use my DynDnS Ip as the IP host for VPN?

  4. Todd Olthoff says:

    Magnus, You don’t change the hostname or server address on the server itself. You only need to do this on the client machine (the one you are trying to connect to VPN like a laptop or iOS device). If you only changed the info there then you may have ports that are not opened on your router or a firewall running that is blocking it. Any of those in the way?

  5. Magnus Braathen says:

    And there I changed the hostname correctly aswell, no effect either :(

  6. Magnus Braathen says:

    I changed the “server address” to my public IP (, it had no effect sadly :(

  7. Todd Olthoff says:

    Magnus, Too funny:). Yeah there is enough that I sometimes speak faster than I think, hence the corrections later:). As far as your situation, go into the client machine-system preferences-network where you see VPN edit the hostname to be your public IP address instead of the hostname. That should clear it up.

  8. Magnus Braathen says:

    Hostname – Airport utility –> internet –> IPv4 Adress? Yes, it’s a .private network. As you might have figured from the first part of the comment, I have an apple router, more specific a Time Capsule. Sorry for not including info in my first comment :( You have tons of good tutorials! I love the fact that you explain everything in detail, with explanations of acronyms. Every time I see the little red box correcting yourself it makes me laugh :p, the series is pretty long for home users,butgood

  9. Todd Olthoff says:

    Magnus, So sorry it isn’t working for you:(. Are you on a .private network? If so, put the public IP address instead of the hostname in the hostname field of your VPN set up. That usually clears it up for those using .private. Also check that you have the ports open on your router. Hope that gets it up and running for you.

  10. Magnus Braathen says:

    As a lot of other people I also get the nasty “The L2TP-VPN server did not respond.” message. I’ve followed your tutorials since the start, any idea to what is causing this problem? While trying to connect from my iPhone over 3G I get the error message “The Server is unreachable.”

  11. Todd Olthoff says:

    I’m not positive as I am a bit rusty on Windows but yes they use a different protocol.

  12. Matty S says:

    Ah yes, makes sense. I’m assuming this worked when I used VPN on my ASUS Router because it was using windows’ Bonjour equivalent which still worked via this protocol?

  13. Todd Olthoff says:

    Bob, Not sure why it isn’t working. Are you using the firewall? Sometimes that blocks the connection. Are you putting the external IP in the hostname field on your laptop?

  14. Todd Olthoff says:

    When you use VPN remotely Bonjour doesn’t work over VPN. So though you will get a local IP address you won’t see any of your local computers, etc. like you would if you were on your local network. This is a limitation in the bonjour service unfortunately. I am looking at other ways to get this to work for those who really want the bonjour connection. You could use another software client like Slink for now (see my tutorial on slink on my channel) but I hope to have another work around.

  15. Bob Boberson says:

    I have the same problem as ausmusjo. When I set up my server I have the vpn hostname as server.XXX.private, and then on my laptop I have my external IP address put in and it says server did not respond. I don’t knows what’s wrong here.

  16. Matty S says:

    Hey Todd, for some reason my VPN isn’t acting as thought I’m on the local network. I can’t see any other available computers. I can however connected to the server and have access to all my shared files and connect to my File Maker data bases but I don’t see the available servers in my remote list (in FM) much like I can’t see the other computers. Only way to connect is by searching for them with an IP address. Any idea why this is? I used to use my router for VPN and that worked properly.

  17. Todd Olthoff says:

    Paul, Thanks so much for the kinds remarks. Glad you are enjoying the tutorials. As far as your airport issue, is one of your airports extending your network? Or do you have two networks at the same time? That could cause some issue if you do. Your VPN shouldn’t be causing you to drop internet. When you say it happens when you turn internet on is that just the service in server? Or are you trying to run VPN on your server from the client software? Do a search for my website for my email.

  18. Paul Johnson says:

    I appreciate your excellent tutorials on Server. For the most part I was successful installing Server. However, I’m still not able to use VPN. If I start AirPort Utility I see the nice green lights beside the Internet, AirPort Extreme 1, and AirPort Extreme 2 (I have 2 routers at home). However, when I turn on VPN the green light by ‘Internet’ turns to amber. That’s an error, correct? Can you suggest the best forum for presenting the issues I’m having with VPN and seeking some advice?

  19. Niclaus C says:

    Here Is my conundrum– I have the server configured as you have taught and it work beautifully while on my network. However, as soon as I move to a new network and try to access VPN it gives me: “The server is unreachable”. What am I doing wrong??? Please help. Thanks for the video series by the way, it is great!

  20. Todd Olthoff says:

    ausmusjo, You don’t need to use an outside DNS service to use VPN. You can create a .private host name, set up your VPN, and you are set (you just need to put your public ip address in the hostname spot on your client machines). dyndns is usually used to auto update ip addresses for dynamic ip services (where your public ip changes). If you don’t have your ip change much and don’t mind checking it you should be fine.

  21. ausmusjo says:

    If im trying to use OS X Server to VPN and connect to my computer from work or a friends house, do i need start a webpage that contains a .com or .net address to use VPN? Or can i use sites like dyndns or no-ip to create a host name? I just dont now where to start and setup my computer the right way. I have an Airport Extreme and im running Mountain Lion and OS X Server and im using comcast for an ISP…any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  22. Todd Olthoff says:

    ausmusjo, Sorry to hear you are having issues with VPN. I don’t use dyndns myself so I don’t know exactly what is going wrong but it is probably related. Do a search for dyndns and lion server or mountain lion server. There appear to be some articles related to it that might help (I can’t post links in comments). Are you trying to use your dyndns name as your host name? If so that might be your issue. Try it with a .private first and see if it works.

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