Best VPN for Mac in 2021

To ensure your Mac is completely secure when you are using the internet, you should install a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A macOS VPN will protect your personal information and identity from threats such as malware, hacking, and identity theft. Some of the best VPNs for Mac users are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost.

Best VPN for Mac

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 helps bypass geo-blocks and 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.

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What are the Best VPNs for macOS?

Your Mac operating system might be relatively secure. However, only VPN software can protect your online privacy and security and stay safe on the internet. Here are the best VPNs for macOS:

#1

VPN Service: NordVPN

Max Speed: 115000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 6
Number of Netflix Libraries: 7
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Boxee Box, Chromecast, ChromeOS, FireOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Roku, Windows
  • proiconFast connection
  • proiconZero-log policy
  • proiconMore than 5000 worldwide servers
  • coniconFew payment options
  • coniconSplit tunneling unavaible
  • conicon6 Devices Maximum

NordVPN

NordVPN is an excellent VPN service that offers a range of speed, security, and privacy features at a reasonable price, making it one of the best VPNs for Mac. The VPN service is compatible with a range of devices, including macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS mobile devices.

  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Zero-logs policy
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming services
  • Great VPN app

A NordVPN subscription will ensure all of your macOS devices are secure. NordVPN provides advanced data encryption to ensure all VPN users’ information and identities are safe when browsing and streaming.

It has a large VPN server network of more than 5,400 servers across 60 countries, enabling users to hide their location as well as making sure that the NordVPN 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 a high priority for NordVPN. The ‘Double VPN’ option serves to encrypt your data and information twice over by rerouting it through two different servers. NordVPN also importantly employs a no-logs policy, meaning that user information is never stored.

The NordVPN Mac client’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. You 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.

In the client, you edit security settings and enable the kill switch. The kill switch protects against leak protection by blocking internet traffic if the VPN connection fails.

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.

Price Starting At: 3.29 $ / monthly 39.48 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 5400+
#2

VPN Service: CyberGhost VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 7
Number of Netflix Libraries: 4
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Roku, Windows, Xbox 360
  • proiconLocated in privacy-friendly Romania
  • proiconAccepts Bitcoin as a payment option
  • proiconNoSpy server network
  • coniconLimited Netflix unblocking capability
  • coniconNo phone support
  • coniconUses virtual servers

CyberGhost VPN

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 7,200 servers in 89 countries.

  • 7,200 servers in 89 countries
  • NoSpy server network
  • Based in privacy-friendly Romania
  • More servers than other VPN services
  • Can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+

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, gives you additional peace of mind in 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, and a favorites list. The VPN client even prevents trackers, block ads and avoid suspicious sites, keeping your Mac completely safe.

CyberGhost offers 7 simultaneous connections per plan, 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 has live chat and email support to guide you through any issues. There is also a range of helpful support guides available on the provider’s website.

Price Starting At: 2.25 $ / monthly 29.25 $ / annually
For New Users: 45 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 7200+
#3

VPN Service: Surfshark VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: Unlimited
Number of Netflix Libraries: 15
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
  • proiconUnlimited simultaneous connections
  • proiconUnblocks streaming services
  • proiconBased in privacy-friendly country
  • coniconNo phone support
  • coniconNo 12 month plan
  • coniconFew payment methods

Surfshark

Surfshark is an excellent choice 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 an unlimited number of devices.

  • 3200 servers in 63 countries
  • Compatible with Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and Windows
  • Chrome and Firefox extensions
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Kill switch

Regarding security, this VPN service features powerful 256-bit AES encryption as well as secure IKEv2, Wireguard, and OpenVPN protocols.

Additionally, Surfshark offers ad and URL blocking, P2P support on almost all of its servers, a kill switch, 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 provides 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 limit the information stored, simply disable the crash reporting option in the Settings section of the app.

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 YouYube, 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 its best-priced plan costs just $2.21 a month. The service also offers a 7 day free trial for iOS and Android and there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you are unhappy with the service after signing up.

Price Starting At: 2.49 $ / monthly 29.66 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 1040+
#4

VPN Service: StrongVPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: 12
Number of Netflix Libraries: 13
Information sharing: 14 Eyes Member
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, ChromeOS, FireOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
  • proiconGreat customer service
  • proiconUnblocks Netflix
  • proiconMany payment options
  • coniconExpensive monthly plan
  • coniconLimited subscription plan options
  • coniconDoesn't work with iPlayer

StrongVPN

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.

  • 950+ servers in 24 countries
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • 12 simultaneous device connections
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Configurable VPN settings

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. Although the VPN 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 Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, and Linux.

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-logs policy so that none of your VPN connection details or activity will be tracked, stored, or sold to third parties. 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 stores 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 in case you run into any difficulties with the VPN service. The provider’s website also features an extensive range of VPN setup guides.

StrongVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, but it comes 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.

Price Starting At: 5.83 $ / monthly 69.96 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 -day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 950+
#5

VPN Service: ExpressVPN

Max Speed: 58000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
Number of Netflix Libraries: 12
Information sharing: None
OS support: Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows
  • proiconPlenty of payment methods
  • proicon24 hours live chat support
  • proicon30 days money back guarantee
  • coniconMore expensive than competitors
  • coniconOnly 5 simultaneous connections
  • coniconNo servers in Russia

ExpressVPN

Although ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPN providers on the current market, it offers some of the best connection speeds and security features, making it worth the high price tag.

  • Network Lock kill switch
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • 3,000+ servers in over 94 countries
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • 24-hour customer support

ExpressVPN combines high connection speeds with protection and security through its TrustedServer technology. You will have access to 5 simultaneous connections and over 3,000 servers in more than 94 countries.

There is a range of reasons why ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Mac. It offers a quick and reliable VPN connection thanks to its Lightway protocol and 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 ExpressVPN’s powerful encryption is highly effective. The service uses 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 launch a VPN connection.

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 in the VPN settings. Some of the features include the Network Lock (ExpressVPN’s adaption of the kill switch), as well as a Smart Location option to connect the user to the best available VPN server address.

The ExpressVPN service utilizes 265-bit encryption by default through OpenVPN UDP. The macOS app also features a split-tunneling function enabling you to decide which data is tunneled via the VPN connection, and which traffic goes through your regular network.

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.

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.

Price Starting At: 6.67 $ / monthly 99.95 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 3000+
#6

VPN Service: TunnelBear VPN

Max Speed: Unlimited
Type of IP offered: Shared
Simultaneous connections / Users: 5
Number of Netflix Libraries: Not available
Information sharing: 5 Eyes Member
OS support: Android, iOS, macOS, Windows
  • proiconFree VPN service
  • proiconMilitary-grade encryption
  • proiconUser-friendly apps
  • coniconBased in Canada (Five Eyes)
  • coniconNo refund policy
  • coniconNo live chat support

TunnelBear VPN

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 VPNs for novices.

  • Good for users new to VPNs
  • Easy to use
  • Annual independent security audits
  • Good connection speeds
  • Great privacy features

TunnelBear VPN is likely not the best option for those looking for a VPN service 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.

VPN servers can sometimes seem overwhelming and complicated, but TunnelBear is great for users who are not technology experts but still want the best experience online. 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 the best VPN service for beginners.

The provider does have a limited number of VPN 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 it does have 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.

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.

TunnelBear’s monthly plan comes in at a decent price of $9.99 a month. However, the most cost-effective option is the 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 offer customers a money-back guarantee, which is quite disappointing.

Price Starting At: 3.33 $ / monthly 59.88 $ / annually
For New Users: No money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 20+
Table of content

Best VPN Service for Mac

What is a Mac VPN?

There is no complex answer to the question, what is a Mac VPN? A Mac VPN is simply a VPN service that is compatible with macOS and offers support for Mac users. With a Mac VPN, users can enjoy many benefits including more security on the web and increased internet freedom.

How Do I Set Up a Mac VPN?

It isn’t difficult to set up a Mac VPN since many VPN services offer native apps for this operating system. However, if you’re unsure of how to download and set up a Mac VPN, you can always find guides on the VPN service’s website.

How Do I Change My VPN Location on Mac?

One of the best things about a VPN is that it can change your location and IP address. By knowing how to change your VPN location on your Mac, you can access geo-blocked content and route your data through a safer country.

What is The Best Free VPN for Mac?

If you want a VPN to protect your Mac on the rare occasion that you use a public WiFi hotspot, then a free VPN service may be suitable.

While many people opt for a free service, it is important to remain cautious if you decide to do so. Free VPNs are free for a reason. 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 service 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. Your Mac may be at more risk of exposure to threats and cybercriminals 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. A free provider also won’t offer the same kind of 24/7 live chat support as a paid option.

Despite this, there are some free VPNs that are relatively safe and effective. Here are some of the best free Mac VPNs:

TunnelBear VPN

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 policies, 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

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 your data usage; however, this is deleted 3 minutes after you log out. Windscribe’s VPN client also features an integrated ad-blocker firewall, making it a relatively good option if you are considering a free VPN.

Do I Need a Mac VPN for Torrents?

It is a good idea to use a VPN if you want to P2P file share on your Mac. The best VPNs for torrenting on a Mac will come with advanced security features to hide your torrenting activity and ensure you stay safe at all times.

How Do I Get Fast Speeds on a Mac VPN?

Fast speeds are essential if you want to torrent, stream video content, or have an enjoyable internet experience on your Mac. The fastest VPNs for Mac usually offer great protocol settings, optimized settings, and reliable connections.

Do I Need a VPN Service on a Mac?

Most Mac customers consider their devices to be well-protected by built-in software and don’t bother 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 to privacy features and will not offer you the same security as a VPN.

Only an excellent VPN provider 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 service. 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.

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, especially on public wi-fi networks.

VPNs can also change your location. So, if you want to stream foreign content, you can install a VPN on your Mac to do so. A good-quality VPN can typically give you access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ libraries worldwide.

How to Choose a Good VPN for macOS

Below are some of the features to look for when choosing a Mac VPN.

Built-in kill switch: 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 VPN connection fails, ensuring that no unencrypted data is transmitted.

Connection speed: 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.

No-logging policy: Look for a provider that has a transparent no-log policy so that none of your personal information or browsing data is stored on the provider’s server network.

Multiple servers: A VPN 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 an annual plan. Look for a VPN with a refund policy or a free trial before you commit to an extended period of subscription.

Author Cliff Durward

Hi, I'm Cliff. I'm based in Cleveland, Ohio, with my wife and two kids. I have a keen interest in cybersecurity and have been writing about it for around a decade now. Due to my background in computer science, I am familiar ...
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PrivacySharks » Best VPN Services 2021: What You Need To Know » Best VPN for Mac in 2021
Last updated: November 22, 2021