Best VPN for Mac
- Panama based
- 3rd party audited
- Huge servers network
- Dedicated servers for streaming
- Dedicated servers for torrenting
- 30 day money-back guarantee
- Great 3 years deal
- Big servers network
- Great for streaming
- RAM-only servers
- Quick VPN connection initiation
- Works in restricted and censored locations
- Swiss based
- 3rd party audited
- Secure Core - Double VPN
- Free plan with 10 locations
- Firewall & Secure Hotspot
- Custom plan builder
It’s a common misconception that Mac users don’t benefit as much from using VPNs as Windows users. Although Apple systems are generally considered to be less prone to malware attacks (and are better equipped to deal with malware if they are targeted) – there is actually a wide range of benefits from using a VPN for Mac, beyond just the added security it provides.
What is a Mac VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a technical capability that creates a private connection across a public network. What this means in practice is that VPN users are able to send and receive data through public or shared networks in the same way they would if their device was directly connected to a private network. The key appeal for many users is therefore the enhanced security that a VPN generally offers. The term VPN is often used interchangeably with ‘encryption’. Although encryption is often an inherent part of the security measured afforded by a VPN, there are actually additional benefits.
However, it also offers the opportunity to unblock restricted sites, through a process known as ‘tunnelling’. This is useful for getting round firewalls. Some sites, especially media streaming services like Netflix and the BBC will have country-specific firewalls in place. However, the process of tunnelling gets round this. Firewalls judge where a user is accessing the site from based on their IP address. Using a VPN effectively disguises where your IP address is based, meaning that the firewall doesn’t block your access.
How to set up a VPN on Mac
It’s very easy to set up a Mac VPN – simply download an app from your chosen VPN service provider. There are plenty of options out there; some of our favourites are PrivateVPN, SaferVPN, SurfShark, ProtonVPN and Windscribe. Once you have downloaded the programme, simply install it on your Mac like you would any other program. Then, simply go in to the program to run the VPN when you want to unblock restricted sites, allow P2P filesharing and torrenting.
A free Mac VPN or a paid-for VPN?
There are lots of free Mac VPNs, but also lots of paid options available. It can be tricky to find the best Mac VPN when there are so many to consider. Tech security is a global industry, so you might find that some of the best VPN for Mac are from companies you’ve never come across before, from different countries around the world. Cost is an important consideration, but it’s also worth thinking about what features you need from your VPN. Free services tend to be based on a limited number of servers. This can often slow down the speed of data transfer you’ll experience when you use it, or you may find that there are actually limits imposed on the amount of data transfer allowed through the VPN. If you want a reliable service which doesn’t limit your usage, a paid VPN is generally a better long term solution.
Best free VPN for Mac
There are several reliable and safe VPN Mac options out there, but one of the highest performing, and most popular is Proton VPN – which offers both a free and subscription service. Windscribe and TunnelBear also regularly top the tables as some of the best free VPN Mac options, so if you’re looking for a free VPN Mac option, there are plenty to choose from.
Best VPN for Mac overall
This Swedish VPN provider is routinely considered to be one of the best VPN for Mac providers – one of its most interesting selling points is that it has a range of subscription plans, but it includes all of its premium features across each of its plans. This means no speed limits, no server switch limits and no VPN protocol or other server location limit. They have a very active social media presence, and regularly communicate with their followers about the latest updates. Online reviews are generally very favourable, and PrivateVPN is usually rated highly on all of the best Mac VPN league tables.
SaferVPN make some bold claims about being the fastest VPN provider on the market. It’s a reputable VPN company, who provide a reliable service to circumnavigate geographical restrictions on streaming services. However, it gets marked down for poor speed performance compared to other Mac VPN providers, and it’s worth noting that the service will not work in China.
Surfshark routinely gets excellent reviews, both for its speed and as a great value for money option as a Mac VPN. It has a wide range of features to explore, and is able to unblock Netflix access, which is one of the most sought after streaming services accessed through a VPN. The company offers a good selection of technical support essentials, has a no-log policy, and includes a kill switch that protects your privacy if your internet connection drops unexpectedly.
The company behind ProtonVPN have a solid track record in security – they are also responsible for ProtonMail, one of the most popular fully encrypted email services. Based in Switzerland, the company doesn’t have as many servers as some of it’s competitors, it nevertheless provides a reliable, secure and relatively cost effective service. Although there is a free option, there is also a very highly rated paid version. A subscription will allow you to use it on up to ten devices, and also has a kill switch. There are several other security features including DNS leak protection.
Windscribe is another highly rated VPN for Mac users. It offers a good value subscription, with a flexible range of plans. It can unblock Netflix, iPlayer and other streaming services, and has an effective kill switch. On the cons list, you may wish to consider the fact that it doesn’t offer 24/7 support, and no live chat function – unlike some of their major competitors.
There are a range of VPNs for Mac users, some free VPN Mac-focused options and some paid for. It’s possible to find usable, safe free VPN Mac providers, however if you want an optimum service, it is a sensible investment to find a reliable paid plan service. If you want to enjoy a full range of streaming, P2P filesharing and torrenting services, or watch Kodi with VPN, then a paid for plan is the best option to go for.