I'm looking for the easiest way to connect to my computer and servers at work (all using Windows) from my iMac (using Mac OS X.5) at home, without having to use a VNC or LogMeIn.

It's a small network using a Router with VPN.


Addition: VPN PPTP is supported (Why is it so important to know?)

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    Perhaps update the question and tell us what type of VPN is supported (pptp/openvpn/...). – Zoredache Jun 16 '09 at 16:36

What type of VPN? I assume probably over PPTP if so then Mac OS X has a built in PPTP client. You can find more info here Mac OS X PPTP


Edition: VPN PPTP is supported (Why is it so important to know?)

In short: Because the built-in VPN client supports it. :)

There are several vpn-protocols plus some vpn-server vendors add proprietary features to the protocols they support. Like Cisco added the "Mutual Group Authentication" to the IPSec protocol. VPN clients that support IPSec but not support Mutal Group Auth cannot connect to a Cisco server if that feature is enabled and set as mandatory.

  • Ok, very clear! Thank you for that explanation. I thought it was abvious to have a PPTP VPN. Can't know everything! – waszkiewicz Jun 17 '09 at 15:35

Note that OS X has a different default than Windows when it comes to redirecting all traffic over the VPN. The remote VPN server may or may not actually allow such traffic. Windows by default sends all traffic over VPN, but a Mac does not. (On a Mac, the Advanced button shows an option "Send all traffic over VPN connection". Windows has a simular option.)

When all traffic is sent through the VPN, then even "normal" web browsing is done through the remote VPN server. This might be useful when traveling in some countries that filter certain web sites. As the VPN connection is encrypted, using it for all traffic might also be more secure when not knowing who can listen in to the network (hotel, internet café, Starbucks WiFi, ...) that is used to connect to the internet. And it might be a bit more secure as any "hacker" (or spyware) who has gained access to the workstation will be disconnected as soon as the VPN connection is started. It depends on the security of the VPN server whether or not such unwanted traffic could be re-established through the VPN server.


In my case I had to go as far as installing a VM of one of our laptop builds onto my mac. We're locked down pretty tight and there are some dependant resources that need to be installed and running before our VPN server will accept a connection and authenticate into our network.

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