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Mac® Security Bible by Joe Kissell

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12.3. Choosing a VPN Provider

If you work for a company that uses a VPN, chances are that the corporate IT staff has provided ready-made instructions for connecting to it with your Mac. If so, you can skip this section and refer to the following section (about configuring your Mac for VPN access) only if you run into trouble with your setup. However, if you're in need of VPN capabilities and don't already have a company providing them for you, this section is for you.

As a Mac user, you may be looking into a VPN solution from any of several points of view:

  • You work for a large company that wants to provide its employees with secure remote access to its local network.

  • You want a way to access your home or small-office network securely from elsewhere in the world.

  • As an individual user, regardless of your location, you want a way to encrypt all your Internet traffic — protecting it from eavesdroppers and, perhaps, adding anonymity by obscuring the actual IP address of its origin.

If you're in the first category, one option is to configure a Mac on your network to function as a PPTP or L2TP-over-IPsec VPN server using the VPN Services feature built into Mac OS X Server. You may also be able to find third-party VPN servers available for Mac OS X. Another option is to forgo the use of a Mac altogether and instead install a dedicated VPN appliance. Companies such as Barracuda Networks, Cisco, and Juniper Networks offer a tremendous variety of equipment that may serve your needs. The use ...

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