Top 10 Best VPNs for Mac

Top 10 Best VPN Services for Mac Users

Students using MacbookMac fans, don’t fret; there are VPNs for you too. And they are built specifically to leverage Apple’s renowned security.

VPNs are fine-tuning their services to mesh with Macs as completely and elegantly as possible. Therefore, Apple device owners can enjoy fast, flexible, and secure connections without any noticeable drop off in performance. This is excellent news for the Mac platform and its users who want to be protected from hackers, trackers, and malware. You can move around the internet anonymously and safely, leaving no tracks behind for governments, bad actors, or even your ISP.

But selecting the best VPN for Mac is a demanding and time-consuming task. We have shortlisted what we consider to be the top 10 VPNs for Mac. The criteria we used to draw up this list included usability out of the box. Who wants a steep learning curve getting in the way? And the all-important factors of speed and privacy.

Each of the ten VPN providers we showcase here is great at complementing the Mac, working with the Mac platform, not despite it. For no one wants a workaround service that is forcing a square peg into a round hole. And satisfying no one in the process. So here are our Mac-friendly picks.

 

ExpressVPN logo

Specification details

  • 30,000 IP addresses
  • 3,000 plus servers
  • 160 VPN server locations
  • Five connections permitted
  • Three months for free with their yearly plan

This VPN service may not be the cheapest, but it’s arguably the best. And right now, it is offering a rather tasty annual subscription of $6.67 per month, with a further three free months thrown in for good measure.

Over the years, ExpressVPN has continually proven itself to be one of the speediest VPNs available. It is big on privacy, too; both factors maneuvering this Mac-friendly VPN into the pole position.

Based, say the company, around TrustedServer technology, no logs are retained of customers’ online movements. ExpressVPN is very much renowned in the privacy world. It has suffered the seizure of servers by law enforcement, who found the no logs claim to be entirely accurate at that time. It’s unlikely that the situation has changed.

ExpressVPN also scores well on how easy it is to set up and use. Customer service is spot on, plus there are very helpful and detailed guides and FAQ for self-help.

Importantly, and you should be looking for this with all VPN services, ExpressVPN is armed with a kill switch. This tool ensures that if the VPN connection drops for any reason, there is no leakage of your data outside the VPN tunnel.

NordVPN logo 2

Specification details

  • 5,000 IP addresses
  • Well over 5,000 servers
  • VPN servers in 62 locations
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Three free months on their two-year $3.71 per month promo deal

As you would expect from this stalwart of the VPN industry, NordVPN has embraced the Mac wholeheartedly. And to be fair, who doesn’t?

NordVPN is one of the most recognized brand names in VPN and supports Mac users. It gives users six simultaneous connections, which is handy if you are a tech nut or wish to protect your whole family.

The company has earned a robust reputation and today is pretty much a by-word for speed and reliability.

If, however, you don’t wish to commit yourself to two years, the annual subscription package is still a sub-$5 package. Suppose you are going away or only want a short-term deal. Their rolling monthly contract at $11.95 is still marginally cheaper than many others.

For your extra security, a killswitch and compatibility with the Tor browser come as standard with all its packages. All the deals, too, are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee should you change your mind or are unhappy with the service.

We suspect you won’t want to do that as NordVPN represents excellent value for money on speed and security.

Surfshark logo

Specification details

  • Well over 3,000 servers to choose from
  • VPN servers in 65 locations
  • Great features
  • Unlimited devices
  • Great for Macs

No Mac-friendly VPN review would be complete without including these guys somewhere near the top of the pile.

Though the dorsal-finned one isn’t the biggest VPN beast around, what it lacks in size, it makes up for with functionality.

As well as being feature-rich, Surfshark is no slouch either in the speed stakes. It is consistently fast and often leaves other much bigger rivals in its wake.

However, as good as these two factors are, what makes Surfshark stand out like a black fin cutting through the water is its support for an unlimited number of devices. This means you can protect all your gadgets and all those of your family. Not to mention smart TVs and routers. Or you could protect your entire office with one subscription.

This is incredibly awesome by any metric. Throw in their malware protection, ad and tracker blocking, 24/7 support, access to 15 Netflix libraries, and you have one of the most tempting Mac-friendly VPN offerings available.

Surfshark is also hot on price to round off the package. You can sign up for a six-month contract and pay just $6.49 per month. A recent promo had the price down to $2.21 per month on a two-year contract, though.

CyberGhost logo

Specification details

  • Over 6,600 servers in 89 countries
  • Strong encryption
  • Mac-friendly protocol
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling

Navigate your way to CyberGhost, and you will find a subscription package they say will turbo-charge your Mac privacy.

But is it all marketing smoke and mirrors? Or does it stack up in the real world?

According to CyberGhost, another prominent VPN service provider, you can bag their Mac-loving VPN service for just $2.25 per month. However, this is a promo deal and won’t last forever, so head over right now to check if it is still live or not. But be aware you would be tying yourself down to a three-year contract with three free months tacked on to the end.

Still, even without a promo, CyberGhost is very competitive on price. Their annual deal is a very reasonable $3.99. And like all their subscription is covered by a 45-day money-back guarantee.

All good, but is it compatible with Macs?

Yes. According to CyberGhost, their specially-built Mac VPN service uses the IKEv2 VPN protocol and 256-bit encryption to throw an invisibility cloak over users’ traffic. The stealth-mode protection also covers you when you are using a public WiFi hotspot.

Being based in Romania, CyberGhost is under no obligation to keep logs, so they don’t. Romania is not a member of any of the international ‘Eyes’ surveillance alliances.

PIA logo

Specification details

  • More than 23,000 servers in 77 countries
  • Mac-friendly
  • Multiple payment methods including Bitcoin and major gift cards
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Supports up to ten devices

Another good VPN for Macs is Private Internet Access, a VPN service whose tagline is ‘Always use protection’.

Sage words, indeed.

They currently have a promo deal going at $2.19 per month on their three-year package. But if you don’t fancy being chained down that long, their yearly plan is a very reasonable $3.33 per month.

But is it any good for Mac lovers?

Curiously, the landing page for their Mac OS offering contains a pull quote from PC Mag. We’re not sure what they were thinking there. But moving on.

Private Internet Access claims the highest speed and “most encryption’. Don’t they all, though?

However, to be fair, Private Internet Access does a pretty decent job for Mac users. Plus, all their deals include free email breach monitoring, something other VPN providers charge as an add-on.

Crucially, they are adept at unlocking new content on geo-restricted video streaming services, including Netflix, HBO, Disney +, Amazon Prime Video, and a host of others.

You can pay via Bitcoin and even major gift cards such as Walmart, Best Buy, Starbucks, and many others for an added layer of anonymity.

VyprVPN logo

Specification details

  • Easy sign-up
  • Works well with Mac desktops and mobile devices
  • Split tunneling and WiFi hotspot protection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Multi-language support

Any review of the top 10 VPN for Macs should always include VyprVPN. It’s an unwritten rule, plus they have a cool name.

However, VyprVPN easily books a place in any Mac review of VPNs simply because it is good at what it does. It promises and then delivers what it promised, a commodity that is often sadly lacking these days in the sphere of online service provision.

They are currently offering a great deal. A two-year contract where you get one year free plus up to 30 connections, all for just $1.66. Is it possible to go any lower? However, you will need to be fast as the offer is time-limited.

But even if they pull the deal before you arrive on-site, their annual deal at $3.75 per month is a respectable sub-$5 offering.

As well as working well with all kinds of Macs, VyprVPN is available in Mandarin, English, Spanish, French, and German.

However, the ace in the VyprVPN is their Chameleon protocol technology, which gives censors and geo-restrictions the slip. You can easily watch all your favorite video streaming services at lightning-quick speeds and HD, even in China and other heavily censored countries.

IPVanish logo

Specification details

  • Servers in over 75 locations worldwide
  • Unlimited device
  • User-friendly Mac app
  • 24/7 phone and live chat support
  • Fast connections with no speed limits

The favorite of many, IPVanish, like all the others here, offers a dedicated Mac service. As you would expect from a quality service like IPVanish, their Mac offering is a solid affair that won’t let you down.

Mac users can be confident that IPVanish will run an impressive defensive line for you without costing the earth. They are not the cheapest; it has to be pointed out.

The headline price of $3.49 per month is a touch disingenuous. The price shoots up to $9.99 per month after the first month. A better option for you may be their annual deal, which costs $27.99 per year for the first year, then $79.99 after that.

However, you can add on 250 Gb of storage for a little extra. It works out cheaper than buying 200 Gb from Google. So you may wish to factor this into your decision-making process.

The IPVanish Mac version supports macOS 10.11 and greater, so you should have no problems in that respect. In addition, there is the choice of four protocols and two port choices, all wrapped up with IPVanish DNS, 3rd Party DNS, and 256-bit encryption.

SaferVPN logo

Specification details

  • Bank-level security
  • One-click connection for up to five devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 1300 plus servers

SaferVPN is a Mac-friendly VPN that has put a couple of lovely thoughtful touches into their service offering. More of which later.

But what let’s SaferVPN down a little is the pricing structure. You can only have their $2.50 per month tariff on a three-year deal, which seems a little mean. Especially so when the annual subscription comes in at $5.49, well over the sub-$5 threshold that you see elsewhere.

For that kind of money, you quite rightly expect a little more bang. And you do.

One feature that we like is the automatic detection of public WiFi hotspots. SaferVPN is on the case straight away, so you don’t need to remember to switch your VPN on to be safe.

The other feature that tips in SaferVPN’s favor is the macOS setup. It’s fast and straightforward, no messing around. If you click on the best server selection tool, you are automatically connected to the fastest Mac server available. This is way more efficient and reliable than guessing it yourself.

Thumbs up, too, for the 256-encryption, kill switch, and auto-selection of the optimal Mac protocol.

PrivateVPN logo

Specification details

  • Fast Mac browsing, streaming, and gaming
  • Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, etc.
  • 150 servers worldwide, some optimized for video streaming
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited bandwidth for up to six devices

Many great things have come out of Sweden; ABBA, Volvo, SAAB, and PrivateVPN.

Okay, the latter might not have the worldwide recognition of the others, but there’s nothing to stop that from happening. Especially since their Mac VPN service has been five star rated.

Remarkably, Private VPN has encrypted over 15,000 terabytes of data and has never had a single data breach. It’s little wonder customers have been standing by PrivateVPN for years, even after being with other VPN providers.

It is against this backdrop that PrivateVPN can correctly lay claim to operating a first-rate Mac service. There’s no manual configuration involved after you download their Mac app. It is one-click, and you’re off to explore the internet in complete anonymity and security.

They don’t have the most extensive portfolio of servers, so there may be a slowing of your connection speed at peak times. Generally, speaking it’s fast enough for streaming and most everything else, plus some servers are specifically optimized for Netflix, Hulu, and so on.

Overall, it’s a good Mac service. The best deal available is their two-year subscription billed at a very competitive $1.98 per month.

Zenmate logo

Specification details

  • Geared towards the Mac
  • Unlimited devices
  • Servers in 78 countries
  • Ultrafast connection speeds
  • PayPal payment accepted

Earlier in this review, we asked if anyone could go lower than $1.66 per month. The answer to this rhetorical question happens to be yes.

It’s time-limited, but ZenMate has cut you a deal at $1.64 per month. But you will need to move fast as it won’t be around forever. But don’t worry too much if you miss out. Their regular one-year deal works out at a very affordable $4.49 per month.

ZenMate works well with your Mac. You will get fast connection speeds that are good for browsing without a long wait. The Mac installation is reasonably quick; from start to getting online through your VPN tunnel, it will take less than five minutes, including the configuration.

The app for Macs is lightweight, so there’s no heavy baggage to lug around with you. One minus point is that there are no obfuscation servers available. So if you reside in Saudi Arabia or behind China’s Great Firewall, you will want to give ZenMate a miss.

Also, video streaming can be a bit slow, so you may wish to look elsewhere if you are a big Netflix fan. Otherwise, ZenMate is an excellent Mac-friendly choice for everything else.

Top 10 VPNs for Mac FAQ

Do you really need a VPN for a Mac?

Yes! Macs do have a reputation for being more virus-resistant than PCs as the bad guys play a numbers game. But suppose you want an extra layer of protection and under-the-radar internet. In that case, you need to buy a VPN service to safeguard your privacy and data.

Final Verdict

You will be pleased to hear that Macs and their owners’ safety is taken seriously by VPN providers. In the past, Mac owners have been blasé given the platform reputation for being virus-resistant. While that may still be true to an extent, why leave anything to chance?

Our review of the top 10 best Mac VPNs amply demonstrates there’s a VPN service to suit Mac owners and their budget. It’s time to grab yourself some privacy and encryption. Mac dedicated VPNs can do both without kneecapping your connection speed.