Connecting to a File Server via OpenVPN on Mac OS X 10.5

This topic assumes you already have Open VPN set up on your system. If you need help with that, please see this tip.

How to connect to your company file server when you are not on the compan LAN, but otherwise have high speed access (Starbucks, hotel/home connection, high speed wireless, etc.).

Launch the Viscosity application


Viscosity is the application used to create the VPN "tunnel" or connection. It may already be running on your system; if so you’ll see a small icon in the upper left of your Menu bar that looks like an unlocked lock. If not, find and double click on the Viscosity application inside your Applications folder. The window above shows you how to access your Applications folder. Note – the application automatically updates itself, so ocasionally you may see a request to install the update. It’s OK to allow this to happen.

Viscosity Menu Item


If you look closely, the only thing that changed when you launched Viscosity was the addition of this item in the menu bar at the top left of the screen. Look closely!

Viscosity Menu Item … again


When you click on the Viscosity menu, a list of available VPN settings. You probably only have one connection, but you can certainly have as many VPN connections as you need. To initiate a connection, just release the mouse on Connect…

Successful connection


If the connection was successful, you’ll get a green Viscosity icon. At this time, you are connected to your remote network.

Connecting to remote file servers


Once you have made the connection, head back to the Go menu in the Finder and choose Connect to Server…

Connect to Server


The main difference between connecting to a server via a VPN and a local connection is that VPN connections don’t pass the Bonjour names of servers or show up at all – so you have to know the IP address or name of your intended connection. Enter the IP address of the server you want to connect to, and press Connect. If you don’t want to have to remember your server’s IP address, you can drag the Server Address Field into the Favorite Servers window. Once you’ve done this step, you’ll see the familiar dialog box to allow you to select which share point to mount.

Printed version

To download a PDF file with this tip, click here.

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