Although it is generally believed that Apple products, mainly MacOS, are somewhat superior to the ones of Microsoft (Windows), the Mac users shouldn’t be too complacent about the integrity of their personal data.
The cybercriminals, as well as the government authorities, both of which dream about laying their hands on your sensitive information, are getting more and more resourceful in breaching various firewalls and deciphering the encrypted data. In most countries, including the US and the UK, the ISP (Internet Service Provider) is obliged to keep logs on its users and give the government access to their private data.
Therefore, all Mac users could benefit from some extra security measures. But instead of trying to build an impregnable security system, which consumes a lot of system resources and can’t provide total protection, you could just use a VPN. It will conceal all your online activities, so you would be able to surf the Web completely undetectable.
Best VPNs for Mac Users
A VPN can serve not only as a means to hide your online activity but also as a “key” for unblocking geo-restricted content. Yes, we’re talking about Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services/websites that aren’t available to most users around the globe.
This can be pretty frustrating, but with a VPN, you can switch to a different server location (and choose one located in America, England, or any other country) and enjoy your favorite shows with a couple of clicks.
Without further ado, we would like to give you our list of the best VPNs for Mac. Naturally, they all have their pros and cons, but it’s safe to say that every single VPN in this review is money well spent.
Best Mac VPN: quick links
- 256-Bit Encryption And KillSwitch
- Comes With Its Own DNS servers
- 148 Server Locations In 94 Countries
- It’s Very Expensive
- Simultaneous Protection Only For 3 Devices
ExpressVPN has been the leader of Virtual Private Networks for years now. It excels at providing high (and stable) connection speeds, keeping the hackers/government agencies at bay, and provides an impressive list of features. Those include Split Tunneling (allows you to hand-pick which programs/apps should be protected by the VPN) and Kill Switch. Add AES 256-bit encryption, IP address masking and support of OpenVPN, and you’ll understand why ExpressVPN is always on top.
Is ExpressVPN Good for Privacy and Security?
ExpressVPN never logs traffic data, DNS queries, or any other data that could potentially hurt the privacy of a user. They stick to the no-logs policy and even allow you to pay with Bitcoins. Security has always been one of this provider’s strongest suits. With the aforementioned 256-bit encryption, secure servers, and amazing browser extensions, it took online privacy to another level (more in our review).
The company’s HQ is located in the British Virgin Islands. You might’ve heard about the “barbaric” online privacy laws in the United States. Well, you won’t have to deal with any of that with ExpressVPN. Again, they do not log your browsing history, traffic, IP address, or anything else that can be later used to pinpoint your location.
Torrenting and Streaming with ExpressVPN
The fact that this VPN service is very stable and almost always provides high connections speeds automatically makes it an excellent pick for the fans of torrenting and streaming. With 2000+ servers to choose from, you’ll find the fastest and most reliable one in just a couple of clicks. Besides, with ExpressVPN, you can unblock any restricted connect from across the globe.
ExpressVPN Usability On Mac
Express VPN is compatible with all devices that run on MacOS, from MacBook to Mac mini. The dedicated Mac client is considered to be one of the best ones on the market.
The installation of this VPN client is very straightforward and takes only a couple of minutes. Just go to the official website, choose the plan you like, use one of the available payment methods, and download the client.
The interface is equally stylish and professional. Everything is within reach, and you can see that the team took its time with the clients/apps.
ExpressVPN Pricing Plans
Here are the available packages:
- Exclusive deal – $6.67 a month (save 49%) – 15 months – $99.95;
- $9.99 a month – 6 months – $59.95;
- $12.95 a month – 1 month – $12.95.
As you can see, ExpressVPN is far from being the cheapest VPN for Mac, but given its extraordinary level of security and download speed, it is well worth its price. There is no free trial, but you can take advantage of the 30-day Money-Back Guarantee.
- Six simultaneous connections
- No-Logs policy
- Double encryption
- Desktop version lacks advanced settings
- Mobile versions have some bugs
First of all, NordVPN has one of the largest collections of servers out there – 4900 servers in 62 countries around the globe. It was launched in 2012, and over the years the company managed to turn it into one of the most commercially successful Networks. Compared to ExpressVPN, NordVPN is more reliable and you’ll rarely (if ever) experience any drops in speed and performance.
Is NordVPN Good for Privacy and Security?
If you are wondering whether this VPN is secure, then you should know that they use the latest IKEv2/IPSec protocols (along with OpenVPN, of course). So, rest assured that your MacBook will be well protected from cybercriminals and intelligence agencies.
The Kill Switch feature will also make sure that your privacy is never in danger. The provider follows the no-logs policy, just like ExpressVPN. In addition, they also have a massive number of servers with the Double VPN feature. They put the user’s traffic through not one but two servers thus making the connection literally impenetrable.
The NordVPN HQ is located in Panama, a country that is very open when it comes to online privacy. They keep absolutely no logs, and that includes time stamps, traffic logs, bandwidth, etc. Again: there’s no government surveillance in Panama, and that’s exactly why we called NordVPN the most secure and reliable Network.
Torrenting and Streaming with NordVPN
Stability is this Network’s second name. It might not be the fastest offer on the market, but, again, if you put reliability and durability first, then you won’t be disappointed with its performance. Furthermore, specific servers give users unique IP addresses.
Good news for users from China with its Great Firewall and other authoritarian governments where Internet traffic is heavily regulated: NordVPN offers a solution called the obfuscation servers which entangle the traffic making it impossible to trace. And, thanks to SmartPlay, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite streaming services and websites (Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other restricted online services) with just a single click of the mouse.
NordVPN Usability On Mac
The team responsible for the clients and the apps did a fantastic job, and we are happy to say that the Mac version works like a clock. It’s fast, intuitive, straightforward, and won’t take much time to get used to. Performance is on par with the best apps on the market.
Just like any other modern-day VPN, Nord VPN is incredibly easy to download, install, and use. The interface is very friendly, and you’ll make sense of it all within minutes.
NordVPN Pricing Plans
Here are the available packages:
- Exclusive deal [$2.99 a month], save 75%, 36-months – $107.55
- [$3.99 a month], save 66%, 24-months – $95.75
- [$6.99 a month], 12-months – $83.88
- [$11.95 a month] 1-month – $11.95
Yes, there are more than enough plans to choose from, and the yearly plans are pretty generous. Besides, along with the 30-day money-back guarantee, NordVPN also comes with a 3-day free trial.
- Fast and simple in use
- Great performance
- Five simultaneous connections
- The interface has some bugs
- No torrenting on US servers
If fast is what you’re looking for, then CyberGhost might be #1 on your list. CyberGhost is a VPN provider based in Romania.
By the way, this country is perfect for the provision of VPN software for Mac due to its official stance on intelligence gathering by the transnational spying agencies, particularly the notorious 14 Eyes.
With this VPN, you can protect up to 7 devices, take advantage of 1250+ servers, enjoy amazing 24/7 customer support, and the fancy Mac client. And, it’s incredibly fast.
Is CyberGhost Good for Privacy and Security?
The Constitutional Court of Romania has deemed unconstitutional the EU legislation concerning online security (which involved the covert data gathering). This decision puts the country out of 14 Eye’s hands reach, and it means that CyberGhost will not share any information about their customers and their online activities with any international law enforcement agencies.
Moreover, they fully comply with their strict no-logging policy, so you can surf the Internet without leaving any traces whatsoever. Security-wise, CyberGhost features 256-bit encryption and all the latest protocols (including OpenVPN).
We already learned that CyberGhost’s HQ is in Romania, they keep no logs, and they put the privacy of their customers first. So, even if the Romanian government would suddenly change its online privacy laws, the company would still have nothing to show them, just because there would not be any logs to show in the first place.
Torrenting and Streaming with CyberGhost
As for the technical features of CyberGhost, it offers an enormous number of servers, which amount to 2800+, and good streaming capacities. You can choose from the variety of servers which are located in 64 countries, depending on your browsing needs.
However, we would recommend using European servers since they offer better downloading and streaming speed. Furthermore, this VPN service is great for passing different access restrictions, mainly Netflix.
CyberGhost Usability On Mac
While the Mac systems are the new normal today, they used to lag behind the Win systems, and to this day, the Microsoft OS is still getting more top-of-the-line clients than any of its rivals. Thankfully, that’s not the case with CyberGhost. The dedicated Mac client is equally stylish, smooth, and user-friendly (read our CyberGhost VPN review).
All you have to do is choose a plan, download it, and click install – the program will do the rest. The interface is quite fancy and comes with clear images. Scrolling through the list of available servers, configuring the VPN, and watching your favorite streaming service is easy and fun.
CyberGhost Pricing Plans
Here are the available packages:
- Exclusive deal $2.5 a month (save 81%) – 3 years – $90;
- Exclusive deal $3.69 a month (save 71%) – 2 years – $88.5;
- $5.25 a month (save 56%) – 1 year – $63;
- $11.99 a month – 1 month – $11.99.
It is not the cheapest option, but it is one of the finest in terms of security and user-friendliness. And, the 1-year-plan is more affordable compared to ExpressVPN.
- Intuitive interface
- Easy installation
- Affordable pricing
- Limited torrenting capabilities
- Not the most private VPN
SaferVPN is perhaps one of the most budget-friendly VPNs for Mac. But its strongest suit is the incredibly simple and user-friendly interface. We’re not saying that all the other VPNs we reviewed today are hard to understand and use, but if you’ve never had to deal with one, we suggest you go with SaferVPN. Besides, it’s rather fast and reliable, which is a huge plus.
Is SaferVPN Good for Privacy and Security?
DNS and IPv6 leak protection, Kill Switch, and 256-bit encryption turn this VPN into a brick wall. As far as privacy goes, even though the company follows the no-logs policy, it’s not as private as ExpresVPN or NordVPN. Every time you use the service, they log the session start/end dates, the amount of data you transmit during that time, the servers you connect to, and from which country you do that. Some privacy, huh?
Torrenting and Streaming with SaferVPN
One of the things that make SaferVPN stand out is its download speed. The average download speed of the European servers of SaferVPN is 79 Mbps; with the US servers, it may drop to 57 Mbps. With that kind of speed, streaming will be very enjoyable. However, P2P transfers (used for torrenting) are pretty bad. The team is working on improving the experience, but for now, it’s disappointing.
SaferVPN Usability On Mac
The Mac client is just as great as all the other ones. Everything is fast and easy here, just like it should be in a modern VPN. Recently, the company updated all of its clients and apps, and now they look and work even better. There are also some fantastic add-ons that turn SaferVPN into one of the best Networks on the market.
SaferVPN is one of the best VPNs for Mac in terms of the easiness of installation and the interface intuitiveness. SaferVPN doesn’t require system reloading after installation; therefore, it has a super-fast installation time. The entire process of registering, paying for the plan, and installation will take no longer than 3 minutes.
SaferVPN Pricing Plans
Here are the available packages:
- Exclusive deal [$2.29 a month], save 80%, 36-months – $82.26
- Exclusive deal [$2.99 a month], save 73%, 24-months – $71.77
- [$4.99 a month], save 55%, 12-months – $59.88
- The user interface looks awesome
- Great performance on short distances
- Disappointing performance on long distances
- Torrenting is not available
Not all users are willing (or capable) to purchase the plans of the best VPNs listed above. For those of you who are not engaged in active streaming or downloading, we present TunnelBear, the best free VPN for Mac.
TunnelBear has all characteristics of the top VPNs, including AES-256 encryption and decent speed. But the best part is that TunnelBear offers a free plan that includes 500MB of data every month. It’s not much, but if you plan on using VPN, for example, only to protect your bank account, these 500 megabytes will be more than enough.
If it’s not the case, and you need your vpn to be a more versatile tool, we have prepared another detailed review of free VPNs for Mac for you. Just bear in mind that none of them is as good at protecting your privacy and security as TunnelBear.
Privacy And Security
AES-256 will make sure you’re safe and sound. The company doesn’t keep any logs, as they always put the privacy of their customers first. There’s even a Kill Switch feature built-in (here, it’s called VigilantBear).
The company’s HQ is located in Canada (Toronto, to be exact). And while the US is out of linebad when it comes to online privacy laws, Canada is not nearly as strict. Besides, as we just learned, they keep no logs.
Torrenting And Streaming
Sadly, torrenting is not an option with this VPN right now. It used to work great, but in 2020, TunnelBear has been having all kinds of problems with it. The same goes for streaming. If you want a VPN for watching Netflix/other streaming services, TunnelBear is one of the worst choices. Even SaferVPN is better.
Usability On Mac
The Mac client is friendly and intuitive. It is fast, never breaks down, and everything is right there in front of you.
These days, the downloading/installation process of a VPN is always extremely smooth and fast. Just follow the on-screen instruction, and you’re all set. The interface might look a bit “cartoony,” but in reality, it’s actually pretty well-constructed and you’ll get used to it in no time.
Here are the available packages:
- Exclusive deal [$5.00 a month], save 50%, 12-months – $59.99
- [$9.99 a month], 1-month – $9.99
- [Free], 500MB of data every month
GooseVPN – Lacks Some Features But Offers A Great Deal
- User-friendly interface
- Great performance
- It’s Highly Affordable
- No kill switch
- Only 77 server locations
The affordable plans are this VPNs biggest selling point, but we’ll talk about that a bit later. Compared to ExpressVPN, Nord, and CyberGhost, it may not be as feature-packed, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be protected 24/7.
Kill Switch would’ve been a nice addition, and sometimes, you may feel a lack in servers, but, again, nothing critical. The quick and friendly live customer support is a huge plus; the same goes for the nimble Chrome extension.
Is GooseVPN Good for Privacy and Security?
AES 256-bit encryption, support of all the modern-day protocols, and the no-logging policy turn Goose VPN is a solid pick for privacy and security. Sadly, there’s no Double Encryption, for that, you’ll be better off with ExpressVPN. But if you’re looking for some basic protection at an affordable price, then don’t count this Network out just yet.
The HQ is located in the Netherlands (Rotterdam, to be exact). This country is known as a liberal, open-minded state. Besides, the company follows the Zero-logs policy, and just like all the other VPNs we reviewed today, doesn’t keep any logs on the users (which is confirmed by many third-party organizations).
Torrenting and Streaming with GooseVPN
Both torrenting and streaming are available on selected servers. But we have to say that accessing geo-restricted content won’t always be easy. You might already know that streaming services are always “fighting” with VPNs and finding ways to block them. Right now, GooseVPN isn’t a perfect choice for unblocking US and UK websites/services.
GooseVPN Usability On Mac
Goose VPN is great for Mac users. It is very easy to install and use thanks to its intuitive interface. Navigation is also straightforward: all functional elements are right there in front of you. Although Goose VPN is not the best VPN for Mac from the standpoint of speed and the number of servers, it is an excellent example of a VPN that offers a very user-friendly client.
Don’t worry even if you have never used VPN before; Goose VPN will automatically set up the basic configuration allowing you to engage in secure browsing in a matter of minutes.
At first, the interface might not seem like much, but give it some time: soon, you’ll find yourself making good use of all the available features. As mentioned, it’s not the most feature-packed Virtual Private Network, but for the average user, it’s great.
GooseVPN Pricing Plans
Here are the available packages:
- Exclusive deal [$2.00 a month], save 85%, 2 years – $48.00
- [$1.66 a month], 1 year (with a 50GB limit) – $19.92
- [$12.99 a month], 1-month – $12.99
It is not the cheapest option, but it is one of the finest in terms of security and user-friendliness.
What is the best VPN for Mac?
Without at least some basic understanding of what it’s all about, you’re running the risk of wasting your money on a Network that’s moderate at best. Here’s what you should be looking for in a Virtual Private Network.
First of all, make sure that it follows the no-logs policy. That means the provider won’t have anything to give to the government when they request your personal logs, simply because they were never collected.
Security also matters (obviously). Features like Kill Switch (kills the connections whenever the VPN goes offline) and Double Encryption (puts your connection through two servers at the same time) will make sure you’re well protected. As far as the security protocols go, 256-bit encryption is the industry standard today.
Speed and performance come next. The more servers a provider has, the higher the speed will be. Besides, with more servers, a VPN has better chances to bypass the Netflix block. Top VPN providers offer special servers optimizes for torrenting and streaming.
Cross-platform compatibility also matters. Most VPNs allow to use 3-10 devices under one subscription, and some even offer unlimited connections. Chances are you’ll be able to use a VPN on all your devices. All our top picks are compatible with the major platforms, and some will also work on your TV and router.
|Best VPNs for Mac||Compatible Platforms and Devices|
|ExpressVPN||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chromebook, FireStick, Apple TV, Playstation, Kindle Fire, Nintendo, Router|
|NordVPN||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, Router|
|CyberGhost||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, FireStick, Android TV, Routers|
|GooseVPN||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV, Router|
|SaferVPN||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Router|
At the end of the day, it all depends on your needs. Our top picks come with a different set of features; some of them are better for privacy while others are great for accessing geo-restricted content. Anyway, you should be able to pick the service that would be the best value for money for you.
Best VPN for Mac Video Guide: How to Connect Apple Mac to VPN
As you can see, there are plenty of offers on the market to choose from. ExpressVPN is the “king of kings,” but for most modern-day users, all those additional features aren’t crucial. Therefore, you can go with something more affordable, like NordVPN or Goose VPN.
A free VPN is also a good choice, but only if you’re planning to use it on special occasions (otherwise, you’ll go over the traffic limit).
One final thing: while choosing a Network, always think about the things that matter to you the most: if it’s privacy, then go with TunnelBear or CyberGhost. If security is #1 on your list, pick a VPN with the best encryption, like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.