Connecting to the Botany VPN on Mac OS X

Initial Configuration

You can use the built-in Mac OS X VPN client to connect to the Department of Botany VPN.  The setup is somewhat involved, but easy enough to do if you follow the instructions below.  You should only have to follow these instructions once to setup the VPN adapter on your system.  If you already have followed them once, skip ahead to the Connecting to the VPN Server section below.

Open the System Preferences. This can be done by either clicking on the System Preferences icon in the Dock or by going to Apple Menu > System Preferences.

Open the network pane by clicking the Network icon.

Click the Create a new service button. It is the plus symbol at the bottom left of the services panel.

In the window that appears, enter or select the following:

  • Interface: VPN
  • VPN Type: L2TP over IPSec
  • Service name:  Arbitrary, but I suggest UW-Madison Botany VPN

VPN Initial Setup


After you click the Create button, you'll be taken back to the first screen of the Network preference.  Fill it in as shown:
  • Server Address:  macvpn.botany.wisc.edu
  • Account Name:  As provided by Botany IT

VPN Setup 2



Click on the Apply button.

Click on the Authentication Settings... button.  

Enter the password you received from Botany IT in the Password: field under User Authentication.

Enter the shared key you received from Botany IT in the Shared Secret: field under Machine Authentication.

VPN Setup 3



Click OK.

Click Apply.

Close the System Preferences application.

At this point your system is ready to connect to the Botany VPN.

Connecting to the VPN Server

Once you have successfully configured your system to connect to the VPN, the actual connection process is trivial.  Look in the upper right-hand corner of your screen for the VPN quick-connect icon.  You can see it in the screen shot below.

Connect to VPN

Simply select the Connect UW-Madison Botany VPN option and the VPN will being connecting to the VPN server.  This process will take several seconds.  The connection is complete when the VPN quick-connect icon turns into a digital clock and starts counting up.

If the connection is not successful, a dialog box will be displayed announcing the fact with some extremely basic diagnostic information.  Please take note of the current date and time, and the contents of the dialog box and contact Botany IT with that information.

Disconnecting from the VPN Server

The process of disconnecting is just as easy as connecting. Simply look for the VPN quick-connect icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. You can see it in the screen shot below.

VPN Disconnect

Click on the VPN quick-connect icon and select Disconnect UW-Madison Botany VPN. The system will then disconnect you.




Keywords:mac osx vpn botany ipsec l2tp preshared key   Doc ID:20296
Owner:Henry M.Group:Department of Botany
Created:2011-09-15 15:14 CSTUpdated:2015-08-24 13:47 CST
Sites:Department of Botany
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