Private Internet Access client fails to connect in OS X Yosemite

I have been using PIA as a VPN provider for some time now and have no complaints about the access speed. Setting up the PIA client on Windows was a breeze. Configuring OpenVPN to connect to PIA in my Ubuntu box was easy.

Few months ago, I switched over to a Macbook Pro. I downloaded the Mac OS X VPN client from the Client Support area of the PIA website and installed it successfully. But, when attempting to connect to one of their US VPN Tunnel Gateway, the connection did not go through and seamed frozen in the ‘connecting’ phase.

Few weeks zipped by the time I came across a solution listed at the PIA Discussion Forum.

The PIA blog post by dvh listed three alternatives to fix the problem:

  1. Configuring PIA client to use TCP on behalf of UDP.
  2. Disabling the OS firewall.
  3. Whitelist PIA executable in the Firewall settings.

I do not prefer using a TCP connection with the VPN tunnel as the three way handshake would slow down my connectivity.

It did not make sense lowering system security so as to connect to the VPN tunnel. Therefore, disabling OS firewall was not an acceptable choice.

The last option of adding PIA OpenVPN executable to the whitelisted applications in the Firewall settings made sense. I could implement the fix by following the below steps:

  • Open: System Preferences (Cmd+Space and Type: System Preferences)
  • Choose: Security and Privacy followed by Firewall on the tab-bar.
  • Click: + icon within the Firewall dialog box to add the PIA OpenVPN program to the whitelist. This executable is listed in /private/tmp folder and named pia_openvn.

On completion of the above steps, the PIA Mac client was able to connect to their gateway successfully.


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