I'm attempting to change the settings of a Cisco IPSec VPN connection which was set up through OSX's built in VPN client in system preferences. The VPN functions as expected, allowing me to access protected servers at my company. I would like to access other websites on the internet through this VPN (youtube, wikipedia, whatever). As far as I can tell, my regular web browsing is not being directed through the VPN.

This apple support page says there is a setting called "Send all traffic over VPN connection" which can be enabled through the Apple menu > System Preferences > Network > Advanced > Options dialogue. However, when I select the VPN from the network interface list and click the "Advanced..." button, there is no "Options" tab or button. I see a dialogue with two tabs, "DNS" and "Proxies". There is no options button or "Send all traffic over VPN connection" anywhere to be found.

So, what gives? Does this have to do with what kind of VPN I am connected to (Cisco IPSec)? Is it related to the VPN's settings? Regardless, how can I route normal browsing through the VPN?

  • What type of VPN connection is this. In some cases all traffic will be sent through the VPN connection anyway (when active) so the option in obsolete (and thus not available). Example: Cisco VPN... no option. VPN (PPTP) ... option availble.
    – sdmeyers
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 19:19
  • @sdmeyers not really sure what kind of connection. All I really see is "Cicsco IPSec". Where would I check the setting type? Based on my (limited) understanding of VPNs, I believe my traffic is not being routed through it though. The VPN server is located in the US, and when I look up my current IP address I see that the host is in the non-US country in which I am currently located.
    – Pwnosaurus
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 19:29
  • 1
    Google "What's my IP" to see your public IP address before and after connecting to your vpn, it should be different here. VPN will not change you local IP address.
    – sdmeyers
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 19:53
  • Mac's Cisco IPSec client seems to behave exactly as desired - VPN server provides the list of protected routes and these are appended to Mac's system routing table. Having the opposite problem here though... I have 10.x.x.x.x and 172.x.x.x routes in my netstat -rn, but I'm somehow only allowed to access 10 - not 172.
    – tishma
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 13:50

2 Answers 2


I guess not all VPN connections of the build-in VPN client in Mac have that option.

The PPTP and L2TP do offer the option: Open your network settings:

enter image description here

Select your VPN connection and click on the advanced button.

A new window will pop up with three check-boxes under the heading "Session options". The last one of these checkboxes is the one you want: "redirect all traffic over VPN".

However, like you said. The advanced button does not pop up with Cisco IPSec.

I found this thread (https://superuser.com/questions/91191/how-to-force-split-tunnel-routing-on-mac-to-a-cisco-vpn) that maybe could be an answer to your problem (if you use it to route the whole ip range):

Any one know how to hack the routing table (on a mac) to defeat the forcing of VPN routing for every thing over a cisco VPN? pretty much what I want to do is have only 10.121.* and 10.122.* addresses over the VPN and everything else straight to the internet.

The following works for me. Run these after connecting to the cisco vpn. (I'm using OS X's built-in cisco client, not the Cisco branded client.)

sudo route -nv add -net 10 -interface utun0
sudo route change default

Replace "10" in the first command with the network that's on the other side of the tunnel.

Replace "" with your local network's gateway.

I put it into a bash script, like this:

$ cat vpn.sh 

if [[ $EUID -ne 0 ]]; then
    echo "Run this as root"
    exit 1

route -nv add -net 10 -interface utun0
route change default

I also found an explanation on how to run this automatically when you connect the VPN, but it's late on Friday and I don't feel like trying it :)



I have since left the job where I was using the Cisco VPN, so this is from memory.

The "10" in the first command is the network that you want to route over the VPN. "10" is short hand for "". In Tuan Anh Tran's case, it looks like the network is "".

As for which gateway to specify in the second command, it should be your local gateway. When you log into a VPN that prevents split-tunneling, it is enforcing that policy by changing your routing tables so that all packets are routed on the virtual interface. So you want to change your default route back to what it was prior to getting on the VPN.

The easiest way to figure out the gateway is to run netstat -rn before logging into the VPN, and look at the IP address to the right of the "default" destination. For example, here's what it looks like on my box right now:

Destination        Gateway            Flags        Refs      Use   Netif Expire
default             UGSc           29        0     en1
10.0.1/24          link#5             UCS             3        0     en1           0:1e:52:xx:xx:xx   UHLWIi         55   520896     en1    481          7c:c5:37:xx:xx:xx   UHLWIi          0     1083     en1    350          UHS             0        0     lo0

My gateway is -- it is to the right of the "default" destination.

  • This answer provides the opposite of what was being asked.
    – sdmeyers
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 20:47

Cisco VPN servers normally send out a list of routes to private networks so you don't end up sending all of your traffic through the VPN server. To overcome this issue, you can try the suggestions here to migrate from CiscoVPN to the native OS X IPSec VPN by decrypting passwords saved in CiscoVPN PCF files or manually set up routing.

Hope it could help.

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