Blog by an Apple Certified Tech

Configuring VPN client on iPhone & Mac OS X 10.6

Today we are going to discuss the details of .pcf files and the way to configure it in iPhone or Mac. Once the configuration part is complete I will talk a little bit about how to decipher the .pcf file. You might be aware of the new option added in System Preferences under Network which is CISCO VPN. Yes, it means you don’t have to install the application if you need to connect to VPN. Indeed, Mac OS X is the most advance OS in today’s world – Oh we would discuss its greatness later on, lets talk about making the VPN work for you:

On Mac OS X:

Launch System Preferences
Go to Network
Now click on the plus ‘+’ sign (which is meant to create a new service)

On the iPhone:

Go to Settings
Now go to General
Under Network, select VPN  
Now select Add VPN Configuration

Enter the details in these fields from your .pcf file. To get the value that needs to be entered, you need to open your .pcf file which could be save on your machine. To know where the .pcf files are saved on your Mac, you can visit this link.

If you open the .pcf file using any text editor available on your Mac, you’ll see list of options and related values — these are the key terms that you have to enter in the Mac or iPhone network preferences. For example, your organization's server address is the value/text written under the corresponding Host value in the .pcf file.

Under authentication tab (in Network settings) in VPN option, we need two important entries: the Group Name and the Shared Secret or Group Password. Group Name is found in the configuration file under the GroupName line in the .pcf file that you have opened in text editor. The last field that's necessary to make the VPN connection is something called the "Shared Secret" (it is also know as Group Password in many organizations). To know what the group password is, you have to see the value under: enc_GroupPwd. If you are unable to decipher the value as it is encrypted, drop me an Email at: or visit my next post.
If you need any more information on this topic, please feel free to contact me via Email.


Anonymous said...

This is something i had been lookgin fior. thank ya

Ravi Peterson said...

Thanks for mentioning it.