Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Created January 24, 2013 22:14
Star You must be signed in to star a gist
What would you like to do?
Routing tips for VPNs on OS X

Routing tips for VPNs on OS X

When VPNs Just Work™, they're a fantastic way of allowing access to a private network from remote locations. When they don't work it can be an experience in frustration. I've had situations where I can connect to a VPN from my Mac, but various networking situations cause routing conflicts. Here are a couple of cases and how I've been able to get around them.

Specific cases

Case 1: conflicting additional routes.

In this example the VPN we are connecting to has a subnet that does not conflict with our local IP, but has additional routes that conflict in some way with our local network's routing. In my example the remote subnet is 10.0.x.0/24, my local subnet is 10.0.y.0/24, and the conflicting route is Without the later route, I can't access all hosts on the VPN without manually adding the route after connecting to the VPN:

sudo route add -net 10 -interface ppp0

In the above case the VPN is a PPTP VPN that uses ppp0 as the network interface. With this additional route, I can now access all the hosts I need to on the VPN. This won't solve the case of trying to access addresses on the 10.0.y.0/24 subnet though.

Case 2: conflicting subnet between VPN and local network.

Fairly often a VPN on a private address space subnet can end up conflicting with a local subnet. For example if both the remote and local networks share the subnet then our VPN connection ends up being pretty useless as all of the remote addresses will end up being routed to the local network device.

It is possible to get around this in some cases as long as the VPN IP address doesn't conflict directly with a local IP address that you need access to. In this case we need to add a specific route for the remote IP:

sudo route add -host 192.168.0.x -interface tun0

In the above case I'm routing the host 192.168.0.x (replace the x with your specific address) via the tun0 device (in this case an OpenVPN connection).

Useful commands to debug routing issues.

The following command will show the existing routing table (IPv4 only):

netstat -nr -f inet

The following command will show you how a specific host will get routed:

route get HOSTNAME_OR_IP
Copy link

ttsakpc commented May 6, 2022

Hello, My home network is I connect to a VPN at work and sets 10/8 to go out ppp0 which does not allow me to do anything within my own home including printing. I have attempted to create a static route sending out en0 which is my wireless adapter. Apparently 10/8 is the bigger subnet and it just ignores the route. What options do I have to force out my wireless instead of the vpn interface ppp0? I understand that I wont be able to connect to anything in the company with that network.

Check setting the order of interfaces as described here

Copy link

bsd5 commented Jul 20, 2023

You're my hero! I have a VPN on the 10.1.x.x network and a local device at and have been trying to convince my computer on a network access it. The first route worked! I tried what seems like countless other options for the network to no avail.


Copy link

b1rdex commented Aug 8, 2023

In Big Sur, I have found the ip-up script method will work, but you have to use networksetup instead of route.

Actually, you don't have to create /etc/ppp/ip-up anymore (it doesn't work). You just run a command one time in terminal and it applies it to future connections automatically.

Works for me in Ventura:
networksetup -setadditionalroutes "You vpn name" (yes all routes should be in one command run)

Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment