Top 5 Best VPNs for Mac (Updated in February 2022)
Let’s be blunt: you don’t want people seeing what you’re doing on the Internet. Whether it be looking at adult websites, trying to get around government firewalls to get to censored information, or want to use torrents and don’t want nasty letters from your Internet Service provider when you do.
Or you’re at a public Wi-Fi and don’t want that guy sitting in the corner with the packet sniffer to see all of your banking information and start buying jewelry for his girlfriend with your credit card.
This is why using a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider is a good idea. Nobody can tell what you’re looking at or downloading, because your connection through VPN is encrypted. All the Internet provider, whether it be your cable company or where you work, knows is you’ve connected to a VPN, and that’s it. What you do from there is private, and only for you to know.
Just remember – there’s a difference between having a VPN, and a VPN provider or tunnel. Anyone can set up a VPN between any two or more computers. This way they can all communicate with each other without anyone snooping in. A VPN provider lets you make an encrypted connection to a network that then connects you to the rest of the Internet. Depending on the speed and quality of the VPN connection, it’s just like connecting directly through your local Wi-Fi or Internet connection.
The following is a list of the best free VPNs for Mac. A really good VPN connection can cost anywhere from 10 to 30 a month, but these are just as good for getting started.
VPN Testing Statistics
The List: The Best Free VPNs for Mac
So with that, let’s go over the list of the best free VPNs for Mac users.
NordVPN employs military-grade, 256-bit key AES encryption to keep your online data safe. If you are serious about protecting your online identity and anonymity, you will be better served by purchasing a full-featured VPN. We believe that NordVPN is your best choice.
Deal: Get one of the best VPNs out there with 70% OFF. For a limited time only, you can get NordVPN for only 3.49 a month.
Some of the features that bring NordVPN on top of the list:
- The ability to hide your IP to keep your Internet activity anonymous.
- Support for six simultaneous connections that can be used on your Mac as well as Windows, iOS, and Android devices.
- Fast speeds with 5100 servers in 62 locations.
- Privacy – strict no logs of user activity.
- Built-in ad and malware blocking.
- Automatic kill-switch that shuts down your connection if your VPN connectivity is interrupted.
- Onion over VPN routes traffic through Nord’s VPN and then sends it to the Onion Router for added protection, such as when accessing the dark web.
- SmartPlay technology that ensures access to over 400 geo-restricted streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu,Pandora, and Amazon Prime.
- Double data protection sends your data through two VPN servers before reaching its destination, effectively encrypting your data twice.
- Torrenting/P2P allowed.
- 24/7 live chat.
How to use Nord VPN for Free:
- Start your risk-free NordVPN trial, you can cancel your subscription at any time. There are no costs.
- NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Flexible pricing plans make it easy to try this valuable privacy tool.
We didn’t pick TunnelBear just because it’s an adorable name with a mascot that looks like what would happen if Mario was turned into a bear and came out of a warp pipe.
Pro Deal: Save up to 67% of TunnelBear Annual Plan. Click here to get a discount. You can secure up to five devices with one paid TunnelBear account.
TunnelBear, like the other services, features protections like AES 256-bit encryption and no logging.
What TunnelBear adds is a strong push for protection with:
- VPN blocking protection: Some websites and Internet services will block users if they detect that the connection is coming in from a VPN. TunnelBear has systems that make these connection less detectable, so your communication can still go through while protected.
- Vigilant Mode: This is a very cool feature. If a security issue is detected at any point, then TunnelBear will cut off all unsecured traffic until connections are properly restored. So when something tries to breach the connection, you can be assured that people can’t try to get around and see what’s happening through unsecured channels.
- TunnelBear has services in 20 countries, and it’s expanding all the time.
How to use TunnelBear for Free:
- 500 MB of available data, the free data will renew monthly.
- You can get another 1 GB if you tweet about them or refer a friend.
ProtonVPN provides their security with what they call the “Secure Core”. Rather than just have their users connect and then route them to the Internet through one location, they protect users by forwarding the traffic through multiple servers. This means that people won’t be able to find out where the original computer connected from, increasing your privacy.
Along with these features, it includes:
- Security with AES-256 encryption
- Forward Secrecy where each connection receives new encryption key, so even if someone traced your transmissions before, they can’t use that information to decrypt new ones.
- Legal protection being based in Switzerland, where privacy laws are the strongest in the world.
How to use ProtonVPN for Free:
- Here you can register and download ProtonVNP for free. The free version offers 1 VPN connection, servers in 3 countries and No ads.
ProtonVPN also features no logs so users don’t have to worry that their information will be betrayed later. They include clients for Windows and Mac VPN connections. As an added plus, ProtonVPN has physical security from the use of an old fallout shelter. War never changes, but with strong physical and encryption security, ProtonVPN can keep your connection secure.
Hotspot Shield is one of the most popular choices out there.
It has a free VPN option that includes both 128 and 256-bit AES encryption, and features like:
- Connection for up to 5 different devices. Most of the free VPN offerings only allow one connection at a time, while HotSpot Shield allows 5 different devices to connect through the same account.
- Kill Switch: When a connection issue through the VPN occurs, the computer can start trying to use the regular insecure connection rather than the secure encrypted VPN connection. The Kill Switch stops all communication from the computer to the Internet until the VPN connection is restored, so the traffic that needs to stay private is “always” private.
- 2500 servers across the globe. This means wherever you go, there’s going to be a local connection that keeps up the speed and security.
How to use Hotspot Shield for Free:
Windscribe comes with a free version. For those who want a little bit more, the price is affordable starting at 4.08 a month and going down with a longer commitment.
Every list is going to have Windscribe on it. It meets all of our target points:
- Secure with AES-256 encryption.
- Private by not keeping logs. Which means even if someone requests they identify what a customer accesses, they can’t because they don’t store the information.
- Robust with servers in 55 countries and 110 cities, so you know wherever you go there’s a way to connect reliably.
- 10 GB per month of bandwidth traffic.
Windscribe provides a VPN client for Mac, but also has Windows and Linux clients for users of other operating systems. Even better, it can be integrated into browsers like Chrome or Firefox with an extension, so you can just connect the browser through their VPN, and off you go.
Honorable Mention: VPN Gate
VPN Gate is interesting because it’s the outgrowth of an academic project. It’s made up of public VPN relay servers, so it’s a community of people working together to provide secure communications for others. It allows protection for people trying to get through government firewalls or just wanting to secure their connection over public Wi-Fi connections.
Being a university project, it has clients for any number of operations systems, including a Mac VPN client.
Because of this, it has some features the others don’t:
- No registration. Every other service listed requires people to register in the hopes that eventually they’ll move to the paid version. VPN Gate doesn’t have a paid version, so it doesn’t need registration – just install the client and go.
- Additional users: Users can register to host VPN servers to add to the project, so it’s always growing as the community pitches in.
VPN Gate is a fascinating experiment, and for those just looking to do some secure browsing without a ton of extra features, it’s a great fit.
The Qualifications for Best VPN Service
Picking the best VPN for Mac OS X comes down to three things:
A VPN is no good if you can’t connect to it. The biggest issue with free VPN providers is they usually provide fewer servers or slower access speed, and reserve the better systems for paying customers. Kind of a “try it out and upgrade later” system.
People use a VPN provider to keep their browsing and download habits private. So the connection has to use current encryption algorithms to keep hackers and other undesirables out.
There’s not much of a reason to connect to a VPN provider that makes you feel like you’re using an old dial-up modem. A good VPN provider provides fast access so you aren’t spending all day waiting for something to happen.
It’s Your Privacy
Your information, your browsing habits, your connections with the world are your business, and not anyone else’s. Don’t give up your privacy to use a public connection, or even within the privacy of your own home. A good VPN for Mac can let you explore the world without fear. Hopefully, this list has helped make your life easier, and more secure.
Download HMA VPN for Mac The VPN client tailor-made for macOS Monterey (12), Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina and Big Sur.
Pick Lightning Connect to immediately get the fastest server.
Choose one of 280 locations around the world.
Browse, stream, shop, and live your online life privately and securely.
Download HMA VPN for any Apple computer
HMA VPN software will work on MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models that have at least 200 MBs of free memory and run:
macOS Monterey (12), macOS Sierra (10.12), macOS High Sierra (10.13), macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Big Sur (11)
Top features in HMA VPN for Mac
Pick from 280 locations across 210 countries: No one else comes close.
Enjoy servers that operate at 20 Gbps, making us one of the fastest VPNs on the market.
Get the best connection speeds and stability with a protocol implementation built atop Apple’s own stack.
Connect to the fastest server with just one click using our Smart algorithms.
Stay connected to HMA VPN as you move from network to network — unless it’s a network you trust.
Randomize your IP address, from every 10 minutes to once a day, and keep trackers guessing.
Block all internet traffic, either to individual apps or your entire system, if your connection to our VPN drops.
Rely on our own No Log DNS servers to handle your URL requests, keeping them private and clear of threats.
Protect yourself from IPv4, IPv6, and DNS leaks to make sure your private data stays protected.
Test and verify server speeds easily so you know which connections are optimal.
Cover up to 5 devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers.
Why HMA is the right VPN for your Mac
Access content from any country
Access foreign content like a local, enjoy your favorite shows, and bypass government or workplace censorship of sites like. Wikipedia, and YouTube.
Prevent hackers from stealing your passwords, banking details, or any other private data on public Wi-Fi. It can even protect your device from malware, phishing, and spam sites.
Conceal your personal information and your location (IP address) online from snoops like your internet service provider, and put an end to manipulative pricing and messages.
Try HMA VPN risk-free with our 30-day money-back guarantee
- Lightning Connect, Split-Tunneling, Kill Switch, more!
- Unlimited installs with 5 simultaneous connections
How to set up OVPN on macOS
Our easy and secure VPN client is the best and fastest way to ensure your security online. The VPN client works on Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra El Capitan.
Quick and simple installation
Optimizes your connectivity
Killswitch to prevent data leaks
Hassle-free 10-day money-back guarantee
Version 2.5.0 | File size: 74.7 MB | Released 2023-07-03 Requires macOS 10.12 or later | Changelog
SHA256 (Apple M1): 723f512fb1b6c91565c14bba4fba9d10e67a809369b1b58643e49160abc3e5f8 SHA256 (Intel x86): f783bf4fcdf7efc73f31d2ea2936fb7d5e7303b3e5720038f4fce9ad35970a41 SHA256 (High Sierra): 84722a716ef6f437a269791c15b800bb313fc048a0e5d1b778b586763fa6e55f
VPN client for High Sierra can be downloaded here. El Capitan (10.11) Sierra (10.12) require a legacy version of the desktop client. If you cannot use the OVPN app, you can use the official OpenVPN or WireGuard clients.
OVPN protects you, without getting in the way
Prevent hackers and governments from monitoring your online activities. OVPN ensure that you can browse anonymously, safely quickly. We can guarantee a totally log-free VPN service through our transparent actions together with our solid physical and software security.
Regardless if you want to use WireGuard or OpenVPN, OVPN’s premium networking partners will deliver high speeds and low latencies when connected to our VPN on your macOS computer.
Our Mac VPN provides a significantly better user experience than other alternatives since the desktop client contains additional security improvements and is easier to use.
Fast and user-friendly
Privacy wherever you are
OVPN has VPN servers in 32 cities spread out in 20 different countries.
Access streaming services from anywhere by using OVPN.
Support is currently added for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Peacock TV Channel 5.
Fastest VPN server automatically
The VPN client chooses the fastest VPN server automatically. But you can also choose to connect to specific countries. All countries are displayed in the selection list, but you can also choose to connect to specific VPN servers.
Killswitch DNS leaks
To prevent traffic leaks, the macOS client has a built-in killswitch that automatically surpresses your internet connection in case your device loses the connection towards the VPN server.
The desktop client also ensures that your computer uses OVPN’s DNS servers to prevent DNS leaks. The VPN client monitors the DNS settings every second to block software from modifying the DNS servers.
User-friendly but powerful
The VPN client for macOS is very simple to use and supports both WireGuard and OpenVPN. No configuration files or manual configuration changes are required. A simple click is all that’s needed. Several settings are available if you want to customize the functionality.
The client is updated automatically as soon as a new version is released.
VPN servers in 32 cities across the globe
All hardware used to operate OVPN is owned co-located by us. The VPN servers operate without hard drives as the operating system only resides in RAM. Taking the no log policy to new extremes.
Vienna, Austria Sydney, Australia Toronto, Canada Zurich, Switzerland Erfurt, Germany Frankfurt, Germany Offenbach, Germany Copenhagen, Denmark Madrid, Spain Helsinki, Finland Paris, France London, Great Britain Milan, Italy Tokyo, Japan Amsterdam, Netherlands Oslo, Norway Warsaw, Poland Bucharest, Romania Gothenburg, Sweden Malmö, Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Sundsvall, Sweden Singapore, Singapore Kyiv, Ukraine Atlanta, USA Chicago, USA Dallas, USA Denver, USA Los Angeles, USA Miami, USA New York, USA Seattle, USA
How to setup a VPN on a Mac
With a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you can achieve security and privacy online. However, the process to install a VPN for Mac can seem tricky or daunting if you are not familiar with it.
In this article we’ll show you:
Actually, the process is quite easy, regardless if you are a beginner or an advanced Mac user. Let us show you how to install a VPN for your Mac!
Online privacy guarantee with Setapp
Establish a secure environment on Mac with Setapp, 180 best apps that take good care of your online presence.
What is a VPN?
A VPN can allow you to build a secure connection between your computer to a different network through the internet. You can use VPNs for many reasons. These include shielding activity on public Wi-Fi, accessing region-restricted content, and possibly connecting to a business network to work from home.
VPNs work by forwarding your traffic directly to the network you have created a secure connection with. Essentially, you are connecting your PC, tablet, or another device to a server on the internet. This connection allows you to use the internet or a private network using that server’s connection.
People choose to use a VPN for many reasons. Perhaps the biggest goal is to help protect themselves from cybercriminals. Paired with an antivirus program, this can help keep you and your Mac safe while browsing online.
This security is even more critical if you tend to access the internet on unsecured connections, such as at your local library, favorite coffee shop, or the airport. These connections make it incredibly easy for hackers to gain access to your information, including passwords to your banks and social media accounts.
A VPN may also speed up your Wi-Fi connection. It’s also worth noting your Mac doesn’t have a VPN or ‘create VPN’ feature built-in, nor is there Mac VPN server associated with your machine, so you’ll need your own. Most cost money – and be wary of free VPN services; you’re often just giving them your information, which they may be selling to advertisers.
Keep in mind that while VPNs offer an increased level of security, they can’t help someone with unsafe browsing habits. Just remember to protect yourself by not downloading suspicious files, clicking on potentially spoofed websites, or other risky browsing behaviors.
How to Choose a VPN for Mac?
First, you need to ensure that the software you choose is has a macOS version. Some VPNs offer dedicated Mac software, though it is not always as supported as Windows is when it comes to custom VPN clients.
You also want to ensure that the VPN service can do what you need it to do. While most providers offer similar features in encryption, performance, and server locations, they can differ in other areas.
- Privacy: While all VPNs hide your IP address and location, they may not offer complete privacy. For instance, they may have different data logging policies, limit the number of connections and browser extensions, and have limited security features.
- Streaming support: Most VPNs claim that they unlock content streaming sites, not all actually do. If this is why you are looking into a VPN, you may want to spend more time looking at reviews or try to find one with a free trial.
- Amount of available servers: Some VPNs have limited servers in even more limited locations. First, this could slow down your browsing and streaming speed as more people connect to fewer servers. Second, having fewer server locations means you are severely limited to where you can appear to be browsing. If you want to browse region-restricted content, having more server locations is a must for you!
- Protection across all devices: Some VPN services do not provide support to protect each device you have. The better ones will provide licenses across multiple devices. This means you can hopefully protect everything from your desktop to a laptop to a smartphone!
If you choose to use a VPN service that has its own app, you want to research it before downloading it.
Some VPN apps flaunt themself as being free. However, they have to make money somehow! Usually, they sell user data to third parties, still putting your privacy at risk.
Some third-party VPN apps may also install adware on your system, completely undetected! So, be sure you know what you are getting into before you download a third-party VPN app.
First truly effortless VPN for Mac
ClearVPN is your all-access pass to any content on the web in a 100% secure environment. Expand your online experiences via VPN shortcuts
Best VPN app for Mac, ClearVPN
If you’re looking for a one-click VPN solution, we couldn’t resist recommending you one app. It’s a combination of VPN reliability and stunning personalization. Meet ClearVPN, a dedicated VPN app for Mac and iPhone available with Setapp membership.
ClearVPN is a secure VPN tool that protects your browsing and gives you access to anything on the web via handy shortcuts. Want to watch Netflix movies restricted in your region? ClearVPN will take you to the place where they are available. Faster gaming? Check. Want to go a traditional way and change your location? Not a problem.
ClearVPN covers all your online needs and it’s a tool you can absolutely trust. While the premium subscription is a bit on the pricey side, you can get it via Setapp alongside 220 other apps for 7 days free, then 9.99/month.
How to Install a VPN for Mac
Now it is time to learn how to install a VPN for Mac. Since specific software setups can vary, these steps are just in general. Be sure to follow any setup steps recommended by the software.
You will also want to ensure that your macOS is up to date or that your VPN app is compatible with the macOS your system is operating.
- Register with a VPN. This process usually involves payment.
- Get the Mac-specific VPN software.
- Install the Mac app. Usually, this is as simple as double-clicking on the.dmg file and following the on-screen prompts.
- Run the VPN app. Be sure to have your account details ready for the first run. Usually, you need to have administrative privileges for this.
Once the app has launched, be sure to review the preferences and settings carefully. Sometimes, important settings are automatically disabled. In multiple VPNs, you must manually enable options like firewall-based kill switches and DNS leak protection.
Also, you want to make sure that your chosen VPN uses the OpenVPN protocol. This protocol ensures that your app does not default to a less secure VPN.
When you finish reviewing the settings, select the VPN server you need and select Connect.
Shimo is an app for Mac that lets you both connect to and configure a VPN, or manage your VPN. Setting up a VPN in Shimo is roughly the same process as it is via your Mac’s settings, but it makes managing your VPN connection(s) much simpler.
If you want to use a VPN for Mac, the options seem endless. Choosing a VPN client for Mac is only one step in the process – there’s still the matter of setting it up, and possibly syncing settings across Macs! Let’s show you how to configure a VPN on macOS.
Importing a Settings File
For some network connections for businesses, your administrator may supply a VPN settings file. You can import this file for easy setup. There are two ways to go about this:
- Double-click the settings file to open the Network preferences. This allows the settings to import automatically.
- Click the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of your screen and click on System Preferences. Click the Network icon. Click on the Action pop-up menu and click on Import Configurations. Then, select the VPN settings file and click on Import.
Living in your menu bar, this VPN client allows quick-glance access to your connection, and tells you which VPNs you use may be connected; especially handy if you have multiple VPN providers. Shimо also shows connection data in real-time so you know how long you’ve been using your VPN, and the incoming/outgoing traffic.
Manually Configure a VPN for Mac
Perhaps you want to use the built-in VPN client that comes with macOS. This client supports the PPTP, IKEv2, and L2TIP/IPsec VPN protocols.
Apple doesn’t make it hard to set up a VPN on Mac, but it also doesn’t make it easy. Keep in mind these steps require you to choose your VPN first. The main advantage of these connections is that you can set them up without having to download a separate VPN app to use them.
To manually configure the built-in VPN client:
- Click on the Apple icon on the upper left corner of your display and click on System Preferences.
- Click the Network icon.
- Click the (plus) button on the lower left-hand corner of the box.
- Click on Interface and then VPN from the dropdown menu in the dialog box.
- In VPN Type, select the VPN protocol you want to use.
- Choose a name for the VPN connection and enter that into Service Name. It does not have to be anything specific.
- Click Create.
- Using the settings provided by your VPN service, fill in the server details, including the Server Address and Account Name. Check the option to Show VPN status in the menu bar. Then, click Authentication Settings.
- Enter the Password (or other user authentication supplied by your VPN Service) and Shared Secret, then select OK.
- Usually, you won’t have to change any other settings. However, you should still click on the Advanced button. Check the option to Send all traffic over VPN connection. Then, click on OK to save your changes.
- Click Apply in the lower right-hand corner, then click on the Connect button.
- Your VPN should now connect. When done, select the Disconnect button.
There you go! You’ve just linked a VPN to your Mac, and it’s connected. Pretty simple, but is that all there is to do? Yes and no.
When using the built-in macOS VPN client, be aware that it does not have WebRTC leak protection. Be sure not to use a vulnerable browser. If you are, you need to disable WebRTC manually. If you are using Safari, this is not a worry as it is not susceptible to WebRTC leaks.
Also, check with your VPN service to make sure that there are no unique settings that you need to enable/disable to log in from the built-in macOS client.
Testing a VPN for Mac
If you use a VPN client like Shimo, the testing process will look like this: In the notification bar, macOS displays an icon when you connect to the VPN. This icon lets you know that you are connected. If you want additional access to details and options, you can click on the icon.
Toggle across networks easily
You can connect to as many private networks as you like with Shimo, a dedicated VPN client for Mac. Stay on the safe side!
Perhaps best of all, Shimo allows you to set up triggers easily. If you use a VPN for public Wi-Fi networks, you can choose to trigger them to activate when you connect to a chosen network. This feature is especially handy for setting a VPN to activate geographically; travelers may want to hide their location, or your work network may require a specific VPN to access files.
If you use a VPN service like ClearVPN, you’ll have a dedicated icon in the menu bar that changes the shade when your VPN is enabled — so you don’t even have to click on it. Another beautiful thing is that you don’t have to set up or test anything, ClearVPN will automatically connect to the best servers available, based on your task. Just choose what you want to do and click on the Activate button.
A VPN is only as good as your Wi-Fi connection, and there are also Smart ways to manage that. Wi-Fi Explorer provides deep analysis of your Wi-Fi connection, and offers up advice on why your connection may be troubled, even monitoring 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands of the same connection.
NetSpot is another great app which can use a map of your home to isolate poor coverage areas as well as provide per-connection troubleshooting. It’s a great app to have for homes with guest Wi-Fi networks, and especially nice for those with VPN connections used at home.
How to Sync VPN Settings Across Macs
Have multiple Macs? You’ll probably want to sync your VPN settings across devices. Apple’s settings can be synced across machines, but it doesn’t work seamlessly all the time, and there are plenty of times you don’t want all of your settings synced!
To sync VPN data, Shimo is your best bet. Doing it Apple’s way means you have to reconfigure on each Mac you have, and that’s time-consuming.
Shimo allows you to use it across any Mac you own as it’s license-based. Best of all, it syncs your settings outside Apple’s scope, so activating Shimo on a new Mac activates all your settings. It’s as simple as it gets!
Connecting Your Mac to Your VPN
Once you initially set up your VPN, connect to it in the future is a breeze!
- Click on the Apple menu and then on System Preferences.
- Select the Network icon.
- Select your VPN service on the list at the left-hand side of the box.
- If a Configuration pop-up menu appears, choose the appropriate configuration.
- Click the Connect button.
That’s it! You now know how to install a VPN for Mac! Once you connect to your selected VPN, you can start browsing the internet with privacy and security. Learning how to install a VPN for Mac is just that easy!
VPNs can speed up your Wi-Fi connection speeds, hide your location from service providers, and help keep your browsing anonymous from websites. It’s a handy tool to have for the privacy-minded, and worth the spend.
ClearVPN is the best VPN app to change your location, unlock content, or go anonymous on the web — both on Mac and iPhone. Shimo is a user-friendly option for managing your VPN connections. It makes all the fine-tuning much simpler, which can make your VPN feel much more like a powerful tool than something to hide behind.
We also like NetSpot and Wi-Fi Explorer for managing your Wi-Fi connection. The two apps are similar, feature-wise, so choose whichever is right for you.
Want to install all of these apps in one go? Check out a free trial of Setapp to get everything you need.
The best Mac VPN in 2023
If you’re a Mac user, a quality Mac VPN is an essential part of your online toolbox. From staying secure online to evading content blocks on Netflix and government censorship, the best VPNs of 2023 are remarkably versatile bits of software – but with so many to choose from, it can be tricky to make a decision.
VPNs work by sending all your internet traffic through their own encrypted servers, and this does two key things. First, it makes sure that even if your data is intercepted, it will be totally unreadable, and secondly, it changes your IP address so that absolutely none of your online activity can be traced back to you or your location.
We’ve reviewed dozens of VPN providers on Macs, and here we’ve pulled together the 5 best Mac VPNs on the market. To take your pick from the top 3, check out the blocks below, or to dive deeper into why these VPNs have made the cut, simply keep scrolling.
ExpressVPN – The very best Mac VPN Perfect if you’ve got a Mac, ExpressVPN’s clean interface, huge range of servers, one-touch functionality and unrivaled privacy credentials makes it our top pick as a Mac VPN. What’s more, you can now bag 3 months FREE on the 12-month plan, and a 30-day guarantee means you can test it out risk-free.
Surfshark – Super Mac security for a bargain price If you want maximum bang for your buck, Surfshark is a great option. It’s not quite as powerful as Express, but at less than 2.50 a month you’ll have plenty of change left over to go towards Apple’s next ground-breaking gadget.
NordVPN – Mac VPN from the biggest name around NordVPN is a name you’ll have heard before, and it works great as a VPN for Mac. You’ll get incredible speeds and great security, and the apps tie in well with Apple’s ‘it just works’ philosophy – all for a very reasonable monthly price.
How to choose a Mac VPN
When making your choice, privacy should always come first – even if you’re only planning on streaming overseas Netflix. There are many great services that have been audited and offer zero-logging policies, so there’s no need to make sacrifices in this area.
Then, consider what you’ll be using your Mac VPN for. Do you torrent a lot? Make sure your chosen provider allows P2P on a good range of servers. Love TV? Ensure that your VPN has a flawless unblocking record. Good speeds are also a priority, but recent advances in VPN protocol tech means almost all VPNs are capable of delivering speeds far faster than the average domestic internet line.
Ticking all those boxes, along with well-designed apps and a stellar support service is ExpressVPN, our top VPN for Mac. In our hands-on testing it covered all the bases, it’s super simple to use, and works great on just about any device you own – especially Macs. However, there are a few rivals also worth considering, so read on to find to discover our top five Mac VPNs.
The best five Mac VPNs you can get today
Also works on: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android | Unblocks: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Money-back guarantee: 30 days | Number of servers: 3,000 | Maximum devices supported: 5
In our hands-on ExpressVPN review, it came out on top as our favorite VPN overall, and our decision is no different when it comes to awarding the top VPN for Mac. With excellent speeds thanks to its proprietary Lightway protocol, you’ll barely notice it’s switched on, but there’s more to the provider than just lightning-fast connections.
In terms of privacy, ExpressVPN owns all of its own ‘TrustedServer’ DNS servers, meaning at no point in the chain is your data ever handed over to a third party. Combine that with impenetrable encryption and a rock-solid, fully audited zero-logging policy, and you can feel safe in the fact that your personal info won’t be compromised.
ExpressVPN is also the best-performing VPN when it comes to streaming. It’s able to unblock a wide range of global Netflix libraries, as well as BBC iPlayer outside the UK, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and tons more. That’s a great performance when compared to other leading VPNs like NordVPN and Surfshark.
This all means you’ll have a ton more options when it comes to your weeknight binge watch, and with wide device compatibility (including Android, iOS, routers, and even devices like Amazon’s Fire Stick) you’ll be able to stream on any device you own. Plus, the MacOS app doesn’t lose any functionality compared to the Windows client, unlike some rivals.
ExpressVPN does have a slight downside – a single subscription is only good for five devices. However, in our experience that’s plenty, and if you’ve got more, you can log out of one device and use another.
That one small quibble aside, ExpressVPN is as close to perfect as any Mac VPN we’ve tested, and if you’re after the best of the best, look no further.
Get 3 months FREE of the best Mac VPN We keep our lives on our Macs, so it’s worth getting the best to protect them – and from our testing, ExpressVPN is top of the table. What’s more, Tom’s Guide readers can get 3 months FREE on the 12-month plan, and you’ll also have a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it out risk-free.
Excellent VPN for Mac at a bargain price
Also works on: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android | Unblocks: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Money-back guarantee: 30 days | Number of servers: 3,200 | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited