Macs are typically considered to be relatively secure when it comes to internet security. Apple devices contain sophisticated built-in software to protect against malware and cyber threats. Despite this, Macs are not impenetrable and even Apple’s state-of-the-art security software cannot protect your device from every internet risk.
If you want to ensure your Mac is completely secure when you are using the internet, you will need to install a VPN or Virtual Private Network. A macOS VPN will protect your personal information and identity from threats such as malware, hacking, and identity theft.
Even if you don’t believe that virus protection is necessary for your Mac, it is still a good idea to consider at least installing a VPN. Despite that you may not be overly concerned about malware threats, a VPN will give you private internet access and protect your Mac from sinister threats such as hacking. Using a VPN is especially useful if you frequently use unsecured and unprotected public WiFi networks.
Not only does a Mac VPN add a layer of extra protection when you are browsing the internet, but it will also be useful to overcome location-blocks or to access censored content. By utilizing a Mac VPN, you can gain access to foreign streaming sites, websites that are blocked by your school or office, and even prevent your ISP (Internet Service Provider) from suppressing your internet speed.
Whether you travel a lot for business and want to catch up on your usual shows while abroad, or you simply want to watch a foreign film, installing a VPN on your Mac will give you access to a host of Netflix and Amazon Prime libraries.
As an Apple customer, it makes sense to choose the best VPN for Mac that seamlessly matches the sophistication and quality of your device. Thus, choosing the right Mac VPN for your computer is vital. We will help you find the perfect one.
Most Mac customers consider their devices to be well-protected by built-in software and thus avoid installing additional security software. Apple computers feature sophisticated technology to protect against malware and threats. This software ensures that no malware is downloaded; prevents suspicious websites from loading; scans files before they are downloaded; and, ensures that the computer’s system files can’t be altered without your permission.
The built-in Mac features offered by Apple are great, and they do provide a significant amount of protection, especially in comparison to Windows systems, which do not have such a sophisticated level of security. Apple laptops have IKEv2 and L2TP/IPSec protocols incorporated into their system. However, these protocols are only limited privacy features and will not offer you the same security as a VPN.
Only a VPN will offer you leak protection, DNS leak protection, location anonymity, and the ability to stream overseas content. While it is helpful to know that your Mac has a decent level of security, it is still best to install and use a VPN. They will offer an additional layer of protection and anonymity to ensure all of your information and internet activity is encrypted when you are using your Mac.
VPN providers work to offer their customers a secure and private network through which to browse the internet. Although VPN services for Mac vary, most use virtual connections to reroute and encrypt the user’s data, ensuring it cannot be accessed or stolen by spies or cybercriminals.
Most VPN services encrypt your information by passing it through a secure tunnel of servers making it hard to decrypt. Encryption importantly protects your browsing activity from potential hackers. High-quality VPNs will ensure that your personal information cannot be read or decrypted by anyone trying to access it. Therefore, your internet banking details, personal information, and passwords cannot be stolen.
A VPN also gives you an added level of protection when you are using public WiFi networks, which are typically more susceptible to threats. These networks are often a simple target for cybercriminals and hackers due to the lack of security measures, and Apple devices are not immune to such cyber-security threats. Typically, if you use a public network, anyone with access to the same network could potentially track all of your activity and personal information, leaving it susceptible to attack.
Without a VPN the personal information on your Mac, including your email and bank username and password, your private photos, and credit card details, are unprotected. We thus recommend installing a VPN if you frequently utilize public hotspots to keep your personal information safe. A VPN is one of the best ways to protect your device when you are using public WiFi.
Also, because a VPN works by rerouting your information through various server locations, you can use it to hide your location. In today’s world, almost all of our internet activity is tracked. Apps, websites, and your ISP (Internet Service Provider) can typically see your country and even precise geographic location with often alarming accuracy. However, using a VPN on your Mac can hide your location or make it appear as if your activity is coming from an alternate location.
A VPN works by encrypting your information and rerouting through a different server, meaning that your online activities remain private and confidential. It will hide your browsing activity and history from your ISP, who will thus be unable to compile a profile of your internet activity. Your ISP can typically see which websites you frequently visit, what content you stream, and how long you usually spend on the internet.
Many ISPs sell their user’s information to third parties, creating a significant threat to our data security and privacy online.
So, if internet privacy is important to you, it is a good idea to install a VPN. A VPN is a crucial addition to your device, especially if your level of internet activity usage is high, or you often exchange confidential information online.
Also, if you want to stream foreign content, it will be necessary to install a VPN to do so on your Mac. If you enjoy watching sport or television shows on foreign streaming sites that are blocked in your location, a good-quality VPN can typically give you access to sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.
Apple devices are some of the most secure available, but that does not mean that you should not use a VPN on your MacBook Pro. There is no built-in VPN on your Mac device and Apple software is not immune to threats from spies, malware, and cybercriminals. Thus, using a VPN is extremely important, even on your MacBook Pro. There is a range of VPN apps and clients that are specially designed to work seamlessly with your Mac device.
The issue is not your Mac, rather the public nature of the internet as a whole. Using a good VPN will run your data through an encrypted tunnel, ensuring your online activity, geographical location and personal information remain secure and hidden from others, even if you choose to use a less secure public WiFi network. A VPN will also prevent your ISP from tracking and monitoring your activity on the internet.
Apple has always taken care to make sure its devices are extremely safe and secure, but advertisers and ISPs pay no heed to the type of device you are using. Therefore, we recommend that you use a VPN to add another layer of security to your MacBook Pro.
It makes sense to choose a Mac VPN that is highly compatible with your Apple device and functions seamlessly with macOS software. However, you will also want to select a provider that offers a full range of features such as a kill switch and a transparent no-log policy to ensure optimal privacy and security online.
If you are choosing a VPN for streaming purposes, it is necessary to consider the speed and performance level of the available servers, to make sure you can watch your favorite shows in high definition and without buffering.
Below are some of the features to look for when choosing a Mac VPN.
Built-in kill switch: While a Mac VPN does add an important additional layer of protection to your device, no service is completely impenetrable and Apple devices are not immune to IP leaks. So, it is vital to look for a VPN service that has a built-in kill switch to prevent your real IP address from becoming exposed. A kill switch will stop the transfer of information if the connection fails, ensuring that no unencrypted data is transmitted.
Compatible with OpenVPN: Every VPN provider works to protect your personal information by passing it through an encrypted tunnel. However, there is a range of different data encryption protocols. It is a good idea to look for a service that has an extensive choice of protocols and for one that supports OpenVPN, which is considered to be the most sophisticated and secure protocol available.
Connection speed: Some VPN services can slow down your internet connection speed, however, this need not be the case. Quality Mac VPNs offer good internet speeds that are sufficient for streaming or gaming. Protocols can also affect the speed of the VPN. The L2TP protocol has been shown to offer especially high speeds. The distance of your device from the server will also play a role in this, so choosing a server that is close to your actual geographical location will ensure quicker speeds.
Compatible with macOS: As an Apple customer you are used to the quick and reliable nature of your device, so you likely want to choose a VPN that complements your MacOS system. Thus, it is necessary to opt for a VPN provider and client that work seamlessly with your Mac.
No-log commitment: Every VPN server will have a slightly different logging policy. It is a good idea to look for a provider that has a transparent no-log policy so that none of your personal information is stored should authorities request it. It is important to look carefully at the provider’s policy statement to make sure there aren’t any hidden exceptions.
Multiple MacOS VPN servers: It is also important to choose a VPN with a decent number of servers available. A VPN connection with servers in a higher number of locations will give you a better chance of accessing geo-blocked sites. A good number of VPN server locations also ensures that a single server does not become overwhelmed by too many users at once, which may slow down internet speeds and inhibit the VPN provider’s performance.
Fair price: There is a huge range of VPN options for Mac, all with different pricing plans. It is usually the most cost-effective to choose a year’s commitment to a plan. Look for a VPN plan that contains a money-back guarantee or a free trial before you commit to an extended period of subscription. It is also important to remember, that the lowest-priced plans often won’t offer a complete range of features and they often come at the cost of a lower connection speed.
Despite that you may consider your Mac to be relatively secure, it is still a good idea to consider a VPN to protect your data privacy and security. To ensure you are properly protected online, we have compiled a list of the best VPNs for macOS computers below.
NordVPN is a good choice for a high-quality VPN service that offers a range of speed and security features at a reasonable price, making it one of the best VPNs for Mac. Their VPN is compatible with a range of devices including macOS, Android, Linux, and Windows.
A NordVPN subscription will ensure all of your macOS devices are secure. The sophisticated client for computer and macOS app makes it simple and easy to use. NordVPN provides advanced data encryption to ensure their users’ information and identity are safe when browsing and streaming.
It has a large range of more than 3,000 network servers in over 60 countries, enabling Mac users to hide their location as well as making sure that their servers do not become overwhelmed or congested.
NordVPN provides its customers with fast speeds and utilizes a range of protocols including the advanced IKEv2/IPsec protocol, giving Mac users much more choice and control compared to its competitors. OpenVPN offers additional security; the Wireguard protocol ensures some of the fastest VPN connection speeds; and the NordLynx protocol, which is designed by Nord, provides network speed and user security.
With NordVPN, connections are quick and reliable. The VPN is also successful at unblocking popular streaming sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, making it a great choice if your main goal is to stream foreign television programs or movies.
Online security is of the highest quality with NordVPN. Their ‘Double VPN’ option serves to encrypt your data and information twice over, by rerouting it through two different servers. NordVPN also importantly ensures a no-logs policy meaning that user information is never stored.
The company does use your computer’s hard-drive storage, which is a higher security risk because it needs to be wiped manually. However, NordVPN is working to switch to complete volatile memory (RAM). Additional security features include an encrypted chat option and web proxy extensions.
The software’s interface is simple to use, even for those users that are new to VPNs. The interface shows a simple blue map displaying all available NordVPN servers. The user can simply connect to a VPN server by choosing one on the map or by using Nord’s ‘Quick Connect’ option. This feature is great because it connects users to the quickest and physically closest server connection in a single click.
Turning NordVPN off is done simply through the click of a button. In the client, the user can alter the settings of their VPN to select a specific server to auto-connect to, or to choose for the kill switch to be activated automatically when you use the VPN connection. The kill switch will protect against leak protection by blocking internet traffic in the case that the server network fails.
The company is also developing other essential services such as a desktop file encryptor and a password manager. NordVPN is a popular choice among MacOS users. If you are looking to enhance your privacy and anonymity online, this service has worked hard to build user trust in recent years.
NordVPN provides high-quality support to its macOS customers. There is a 24/7 live chat option with support available in several languages including English, French, and German. While NordVPN is one of the most costly VPN providers, the price is reflective of its high-quality features. There is also a free 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you peace of mind.
StrongVPN gives Mac owners access to more than 950 locations in 24 countries. The service also allows users to connect up to 12 devices simultaneously. It is seamlessly compatible with iOS and macOS and is a great simple VPN option for Apple customers that are new to using a VPN.
StrongVPN is one of the simplest VPNs available for Mac. It focuses on the basics, making it quick and simple to surf the internet safely. Impressively, it enables up to 12 simultaneous connections on one subscription, which is significantly more than most of its competitors. While there isn’t an extensive range of additional options like some other VPN services, all the necessary features are there. StrongVPN’s simplicity will suit VPN novices or those looking for a lack of complications.
The client interface opens to reveal a simple location map with a connect button. The optimal server for your location is chosen by default, however, you can also manually choose from the list of locations. Despite that the server locations are somewhat limited, there is enough to meet the needs of most customers.
StrongVPN can be installed on a range of systems and devices including macOS, Android, Linux, and Windows. Its app is compatible with Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android.
The service can be used to access a large range of Netflix libraries including those in Japan and the United States, as well as Youtube, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video. However, you may have issues unblocking the more troublesome BBC iPlayer.
The provider utilizes powerful 256-bit encryption and also operates a strict no-log policy so that none of your details or activity will be tracked, stored, or sold to third parties. So, even if the government requests server data, there will be no personal information stored to connect individuals to their internet activity. The only information that StrongVPN store is the information you use when you set up your account, such as your payment details and email address.
There is also 24/7 customer support and limited phone service in case you run into any difficulties with the service. Their website also features an extensive range of VPN setup guides.
This Mac VPN does not offer a free trial but it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee to give you assurance. StrongVPN’s 12-month plan costs $69.99 per month, making it relatively cost-effective in comparison to some of its competitors. The service also gives users the option of paying anonymously with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The StrongVPN plan also comes with access to 250GB of secure cloud storage which normally retails at $9.99 per month.
Despite that ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive Mac VPN providers, it offers some of the best connection speeds, so don’t immediately discount it because of the price.
ExpressVPN combines high connection speeds with protection and security through its TrustedServer technology. You will have access to five simultaneous connections, and over 3,000 servers in more than 94 countries. ExpressVPN is constantly expanding its service. It is currently testing a new protocol, Lightway, which should further increase connection speeds.
There is a range of reasons why ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Mac. It offers a quick and reliable VPN connection in many countries with unlimited bandwidth. This makes it a great choice for users looking to unblock foreign streaming content on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, etc.
Some VPN services can unblock streaming services such as BBC iPlayer, but users are often met with low resolution and buffering. ExpressVPN allows customers to achieve high-definition quality and a good speed with a range of streaming services, such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Hulu.
If you are looking for a VPN for internet privacy and anonymity rather than for streaming and gaming, ExpressVPN’s powerful encryption is highly effective. The service uses the highest-grade 256 bit AES encryption, which is used by the military and governments. When browsing through an encrypted ExpressVPN server, you will have the peace of mind that your information and location are kept private and completely confidential.
For the protection of your IP address, ExpressVPN also provides DNS leak protection as well as its Perfect Forward Secrecy option which ensures the encryption keys are altered at the start of each browsing session. This keeps your real IP address hidden, making sure you are protected every time you utilize the VPN.
The ExpressVPN MacOS client has a sophisticated design that is compatible with the high functionality of Mac systems. It is simple to use and offers a range of features that can be activated by the user. Some of the features include the Network Lock (ExpressVPN’s adaption of the kill switch), as well as a Smart Location option, which reflects NordVPN’s Quick Connect feature and will connect the user to the best available VPN server.
The ExpressVPN service utilizes 265-bit encryption by default through OpenVPN UDP. The macOS app also features a split-tunneling function. ExpressVPN is constantly expanding its service. It is currently testing a new propriety protocol, which may further increase connection speeds. In 2021, the company intends to release Lightway, its proprietary protocol.
ExpressVPN has an exceptional iOS app as well as a Safari browser extension, meaning it is highly compatible with macOS. The ExpressVPN MacOS app supports several languages including English, German, Russian, Spanish, and Japanese.
The provider offers 24/7 live customer support through a live chat. So, if any issues arise while you are using ExpressVPN, you can chat with a member of their customer service team.
ExpressVPN’s sophisticated features are great for MacOS users. If your Macbook uses a wired internet connection, it is possible to set up a wireless hotspot for other local devices, enabling them to connect through the Mac VPN without having to install ExpressVPN.
While the service is slightly more costly than other VPN options, ExpressVPN is perhaps the best Mac VPN. It is a good choice for those users looking for the optimal experience for macOS. ExpressVPN may not offer a free trial period, but it does promise a 30-day money-back guarantee, which will give you a complete refund if you are unhappy with the service, to put your mind at ease.
TunnelBear VPN’s mission is to offer a simple, affordable, and reliable service for Mac users. It may not be one of the largest VPN providers nor does it have the most extensive list of features. However, it does offer value for money, good connection speeds, and one of the most extensive privacy statements. Its simplicity and ease of use also make it one of the best Mac VPNs for VPN novices.
TunnelBear VPN is likely not the best option for those looking for a VPN to stream foreign content, as it may not succeed in unblocking Netflix, iPlayer, or Amazon Prime Video. TunnelBear is, however, successful at unlocking Disney+ and Youtube’s library.
VPN servers can sometimes seem overwhelming and complicated, but TunnelBear is great for Mac users who are not technology experts, as it is easy to use and largely free from technical terms and jargon. The website instead focuses on the basics and offers simple, easy to understand explanations. While the simplistic nature of TunnelBear VPN is not for everyone, and it will likely not satisfy an expert user, it is one of the best VPN options for beginners.
The provider does have a limited number of server locations, but as long as it has the locations that you require, this shouldn’t cause too much of an issue.
The VPN is simple to set up and is compatible with most devices, with clients for Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android. It also offers extensions for Chrome and Firefox. However, it is not suitable for connection with gaming consoles, routers, or smart TVs.
While the client does not have a huge range of settings or features, those that are there are highly useful. The GhostBear addition hides your internet activity by making it appear like general traffic. While the VigilantBear is TunnelBear’s version of a kill switch. This feature blocks activity on the server network and prevents any potential data leakages by blocking internet traffic in the case that the VPN connection fails.
TunnelBear’s app features a simple world map displaying server locations as well as an additional location list. You can also choose to enable SplitBear to decide which trusted apps will use your normal internet connection, instead of being rerouted through the VPN.
The company is owned by McAfee and is located in Canada. It has a great privacy and a no-logs policy, meaning that your information and identity are always securely protected. TunnelBear does not store IP addresses, DNS Queries, or any other information that may link the user to their service. The only information that it does record is statistical data such as the version of your Mac device, frequency of use, and bandwidth.
TunnelBear VPN also gets its service and software audited by an independent public service every year. This high level of honesty and transparency greatly exceeds that of most of its competitors.
Customers can look for support on its helpful website, which presents answers to queries in a simplistic, easy to understand manner. There is no live-chat feature, but in the event of an issue, you can contact TunnelBear’s support team by sending a message on the website’s contact section.
The provider does offer a free account option, however, users are limited to just 500MB of data usage, meaning that this version can only be used for the simplest of internet tasks. Its monthly plan comes in at a decent price, of $9.99 a month. However, the most cost-effective option is TunnelBear’s three-year plan which costs just $3.33 per month. The three-year plan also offers the use of RememBear Password Manager, which is usually priced at a minimum of $2.50 a month.
For the one-year plan, customers can pay anonymously with Bitcoin, however, this is not available for the monthly or three year plans. The provider does not typically offer customers a money-back guarantee, which is quite disappointing.
Surfshark is a unique VPN service for Mac that offers an extensive range of features, is available in most regions, and has one of the best trial offers. Unlike some of its competitors, Surfshark enables users to connect on an unlimited number of devices.
Regarding security, this VPN service features powerful 256-bit AES encryption as well as secure IKEv2, Wireguard, and OpenVPN protocols. OpenVPN also gives users the option of higher-level security at the cost of slightly reduced speeds. Shadowsocks allows users to overcome VPN blocking on a range of websites. Often, apps can see past many VPNs by requesting your geographical location, however, Surfshark’s GPS Spoofing feature replaces your real location with the coordinates of the VPN server that you are using.
Additionally, this Mac VPN offers ad and URL blocking, P2P support on almost all of its servers, split tunneling, VPN chaining (which utilizes two servers for one connection), as well as zero-knowledge DNS servers. The VPN also runs on secure RAM-only servers.
Surfshark also importantly runs on a no-logs policy, and the only information that is stored about you is your billing details, email address, as well as some anonymous statistics such as connection data, crash reports, and performance information. If you want to further limit the information stored, simply disable the crash reporting option in the Settings section of the app.
The provider also includes a kill switch to ensure your personal information and identity are protected even if your internet connection is lost.
Surfshark is a great, easy to use option if you are looking for a good VPN for unblocking streaming sites. The company openly states that it can unblock Netflix libraries in at least 15 countries and it also enables users to access blocked Youtube content, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.
The Mac interface has a clean and simple layout, making it easy to use, even for those that are new to using VPNs. The client clearly shows a list of available servers in alphabetical order. There is also a Quick Connect feature that automatically connects to the optimal server, as well as other quick options such as Whitelister and MultiHop. SurfShark’s Whitelister feature allows split tunneling and enables users to decide which websites they want to be encrypted and those that they don’t.
The company provides 24/7 support via email, as well as live chat support if you experience any issues.
As for pricing, Surfshark’s monthly plan is more expensive than many of its competitors, at $12.95, but the 12 months + 12 months free offer comes in at just $2.21 a month. The service also offers a 7 day free trial for Mac and Android. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are unhappy with the service after signing up.
CyberGhost is a great VPN that is specially designed for macOS, making it one of the best VPNs for Mac when it comes to user experience. It also offers nearly 7,000 servers in 89 countries.
CyberGhost’s software is specifically designed for use on Mac, which will give you one of the most optimal VPN experiences on your Apple device. Its exceptional Mac client also has an extensive range of useful features that will ensure you get the most out of the service.
Perhaps the best of these features is a filtering system, which displays the optimal server for your specific purpose, whether you are streaming Netflix or Amazon Prime, or downloading files. Its automated HTTPS redirection feature will make sure you are always using the best connection to every website.
Some VPNs can struggle to connect to Netflix or other streaming websites, however, CyberGhost’s dedicated streaming servers will allow you to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Youtube in a range of locations with ease. However, like many other VPNs, it may struggle to connect to the difficult BBC iPlayer site.
CyberGhost’s transparent no-logs policy, alongside an easy to use kill-switch and advanced encryption give you additional peace of mind knowing your personal information and identity are completely secure and protected. The no-logs policy means that your internet data, including internet history, search preferences, and location are not monitored, tracked, or stored by CyberGhost.
The iOS app is relatively minimal but features a simple connection button, a list of server locations as well as a favorites list. Their VPN client will even prevent trackers, block ads and avoid suspicious sites, keeping your Mac completely safe.
CyberGhost supports up to 7 simultaneously connected devices on its operating system, which is slightly more than most of its competitors. There is also a 7-day free trial when you sign up with CyberGhost’s iOS app and a 45-day refund guarantee.
The company also offers live chat and email support to guide you through any issues. There is also a range of helpful support guides available on their website.
More people are choosing to install a VPN as internet safety has become an increasingly popular concern, but is a free VPN a good idea?
If you want a VPN to protect your Mac on the rare occasion that you use a public WiFi hotspot, then a free VPN may be suitable. However, if you are looking for complete protection and security every day, it will be necessary to look for a paid VPN plan.
While many people opt for a free VPN, it is important to remain cautious if you decide to do so. Free VPNs are free for a reason. Firstly, the VPN provider needs to make a profit somehow. Most free VPNs make their money through adware or malicious advertising, or by selling users’ information to third parties for profit. So, choosing a free VPN can be counterintuitive, if your personal internet data ends up being sold by the VPN provider.
Free VPNs also usually come with a lower standard of encryption protocols such as PPTP, rather than an industry-standard powerful protocol such as OpenVPN. Thus, by choosing a free VPN, your Mac will typically be at more risk of exposure to threats and cyber criminals than if you were to choose a paid option.
Most free VPN services also place a limit on data usage, as well as connection speeds, meaning that they are often futile if you intend to stream content. Neither will a free VPN provider offer the same kind of 24/7 live chat support as a paid option. It is thus worth considering a paid subscription rather than choosing a free VPN, especially when some paid options can cost less than $3 a month.
Despite this, there are some free Mac VPNs that are relatively safe and effective, however, remember to always remain cautious when looking for a free VPN. Here are some of the best free VPN options for Mac.
Unlike many VPNs for Mac, TunnelBear offers a completely free, simple VPN service that is great for VPN novices. TunnelBear has one of the most transparent no-logs policy and it is also independently audited annually. However, users are limited to just 500MB of data per month with the free version, meaning that it is not suitable for more than the simplest online tasks.
Windscribe VPN offers a much more liberal 10GB of data every month. However, Windscribe’s free plan will limit you to just 10 server locations.
It also has one of the best privacy policies of any free service. This provider ensures private internet access for Mac users and does not store connection information, internet activity, or IP data. The only information that the provider will retain is your username, your chosen server, and the data amount, however, this is deleted 3 minutes after you log out. Windscribe’s VPN client also features an integrated ad-blocker a firewall, making it a relatively good option if you are considering a free VPN.Last updated: January 19, 2021