Internet Sharing from my MacBook Pro (10.6.6) to other WiFi devices works fine.

But the moment I turn on the VPN connection (PPTP) on the Mac (which I would also like to share), the other devices cannot access anything anymore (everything works fine on the Mac itself).

What do I do?

5 Answers 5


OS-X treats a VPN connection as a totally separate connection from the device (airport, ethernet) it is transported on. So when you turned on your VPN, your airport or ethernet connection was no longer active.

If you want to share the VPN connection, you have to set up sharing for it the same way you did for your primary, non-VPN connection. They behave totally separately, for sharing purposes.


Linking to rodrigo.sharpcube.com is appalling. I lost hours of my life following it. It's a totally unnecessary wild goose chase into IPFW. Please avoid. The first answer from JRobert is accurate. Here is a more detailed step by step with images.


I'd suggest you follow the excellent blogpost by Rodrigo at http://rodrigo.sharpcube.com/2010/06/20/using-and-sharing-a-vpn-connection-on-your-mac/

Worked for me.

  • +1 I'll give that a try. Those manual settings for ipfw do not persist anywhere, right? (I don't want to break anything). Do I need to reboot to flush them out again, or just a VPN disconnect?
    – Thilo
    Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 12:56
  • in order to "flush" just issue a: ipfw -q flush, no need to reboot. Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 14:50
  • Martin is correct, no need to reboot. If you're obsessive compulsive like me, on OS X 10.6.x you can go to System Preferences->Security->Firewall (rightmost tab) and turn it off then on. You'll may be prompted for Administrator password. Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 16:21
  • 2
    Alas, this post by Rodrigo simply does not work. After losing hours trying to make it work, I painstakingly built a working shared VPN connection and documented it.. Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 0:28

To share a VPN connection on 10.7, using WaterRoof, follow these directions.

To share a VPN on 10.8 and above, do the same thing with IceFloor


Here are instructions for sharing your ExpressVPN connection on Mac OS X using Internet Sharing (uses L2TP.)

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