10 Best VPNs for Mac (TRUSTED & FAST) in August 2020

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With so many average VPNs out there, finding a great VPN service for macOS is frustrating and time-consuming. I’ve tested 300 VPN apps on my Macbook Pro and found most of them are useless. They were either painfully slow, unable to bypass geoblocks, or logged my browsing activity.

macOS already provides powerful built-in security features. A VPN needs to offer more than just basic protection. During my tests, I discovered a handful of VPNs that stand out and offer additional features to secure your Mac.

Every VPN on my list has been handpicked based on its performance and usability. I’ve tested each of them rigorously to confirm that they are safe, fast, and anonymous.

My number one choice is NordVPN because it’s easy to configure with your Mac, offers lightning-fast speeds, and cranks up your online security to the maximum.

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Short on time? Here are the best VPNs for Mac
  1. NordVPN – Best all-round performer with an intuitive Mac app full of features. It’s easy to configure for Mac, affordable, and great for bypassing geoblocks.
  2. ExpressVPN – Quick and secure connections on a dedicated macOS app with split tunneling so you can customize your connection. Plus, there’s a solid iOS app to complete your Apple suite.
  3. Surfshark – Unlimited simultaneous connections make it ideal for large households, plus there are extra privacy features for total anonymity, even in China.
  4. CyberGhost – An intuitive and user-friendly service that’s great for beginners with optimized servers for streaming and P2P.
  5. Private Internet Access– Optimized for macOS with high-end security, multiple protocols, and solid P2P support.

And five more premium VPNs for Mac | Our VPN Research Methodology | FAQs

Secure Your Mac Today!

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NordVPN offers a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee. We tested NordVPN’s refund policy, and it’s quick and easy to get your money back if you’re unhappy with the service.

The VPNs That Didn’t Make the Cut

A lot of VPNs claim to support macOS, but their apps fall short and lack important features, like encryption and kill switches. I found many VPNs that match this description, and I would never be comfortable recommending them to you. So, I decided to include a shortlist of the VPNs you should avoid.

>>PureVPN: I was able to download PureVPN on my MacBook, but I discovered that it uses weaker encryption and its no-logs policy is confusing. You can opt to manually configure a stronger encryption protocol, but doing so drastically reduced my speed. I didn’t have a fast connection even when I was using the lower-level encryption, so I’d steer clear.

>>Betternet: Betternet works with Mac, but it gave a poor performance. There’s no automatic kill switch, it’s slow, and it can’t unblock popular streaming sites, either. It does offer the highest standard of encryption, though, so you can use it to surf the web anonymously, but I don’t recommend it for optimal performance on Mac.

>>RapidVPN: RapidVPN doesn’t have a native app for macOS or iOS—only Windows or Android. You can manually configure it with macOS through TunnelBlick, but it’s time-consuming and not really worth the trouble. It doesn’t have as much to offer as the elite VPNs on this list, either.

The Best VPNs for Mac – Full Analysis (Updated August 2020)

Even after weeks of testing over 300 VPNs, I only found a handful that truly deliver more than just basic security for your Mac. These services offer seamless macOS apps, extra privacy, and the endless possibilities of unrestricted internet access. 

1. NordVPN – #1 for Speed, Security, and Streaming

NordVPN Devices

  • Two macOS clients available
  • Advanced encryption and automatic kill switch
  • Zero-logging policy
  • Works in China
  • Super-fast speeds
  • SmartPlay feature designed for streaming
  • Works with: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, SlingTV, HBO
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Chrome, Linux, Firefox, routers

NordVPN is our top choice for nearly everything online because it’s affordable, easy to use, and super secure. It can also bypass the toughest geo-restrictions.

It’s the only VPN I found during testing that offers two macOS clients. The app I downloaded straight from NordVPN’s website uses OpenVPN, while the other, available on the App Store, uses IKEv2.

I found both apps easy to set up, with only a few steps involved. The IKEv2 version is recommended for better performance, but the OpenVPN client worked perfectly when we tested it from different locations, with no noticeable speed loss. It’s worth noting that OpenVPN is the best protocol for restrictive regions where you need higher security—it worked great in China during our tests.

NordVPN uses military-grade encryption across both its macOS clients, which seals your data and keeps it hidden. AES 256-bit is the highest standard of encryption available, so there’s no risk of anyone accessing your browsing history.

There’s also DNS and IPv6 leak protection to stop your IP address and DNS requests from accidentally being exposed. It successfully passed all of my leak tests, even after testing 253 servers.

You can use NordVPN’s DoubleVPN feature (on the OpenVPN version) to add an additional layer of encryption by routing your traffic through two servers. You don’t need this level of protection for regularly browsing, though, and we found it slows speeds by a further 5% on average.

There’s an automatic kill switch for macOS, which blocks your traffic if anything disrupts your VPN connection, so you’re not exposed. It successfully stopped my episode of Normal People on Hulu when I tested it.

Advanced obfuscation settings let you bypass censorship undetected by masking your VPN traffic to look like normal internet traffic. This feature is so powerful that one of our operatives used it to bypass The Great Firewall of China on their MacBook. We tested it from the UAE and Turkey, too, and we managed to unblock all censored sites with no problems.

NordVPN’s enormous global network means you can hop on to any server worldwide. It has 5,390+ servers in over 59 countries, all of which offer lightning-fast speeds. Just check out my speed results.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Base speed UK location 11 ms 55.73 Mbps 11.88 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 10 ms 52.76 Mbps 11.30 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 16 ms 48.63 Mbps 11.06 Mbps
Quick connect US server 154 ms 47.58 Mbps 11.22 Mbps
Manual connect US server 234 ms 32.11 Mbps 10.89 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 487 ms 39.40 Mbps 9.27 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 35 ms 53.71 Mbps 11.32 Mbps

At most, I only lost 42% of my speed, which is a fantastic result considering I was connected to an international server. Even in Australia, I maintained a steady speed of way above 35 Mbps. Browsing on my MacBook was super quick, and I didn’t notice any delay at all. I was also able to stream in HD quality on all of its international servers.

NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature makes it ideal for streaming on Mac. It detects the best server for you to bypass a geoblock and makes the change automatically. It worked with every streaming site my colleagues tried from the UK, US, Australia, India, and Turkey. There are even servers optimized for P2P sharing.

If you have any questions, I recommend NordVPN’s 24/7 live chat. The agents are always quick to respond and offer advice. Best of all? You can try it risk-free with a no-questioned-asked 30-day refund policy.

Want to know more? Explore our NordVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

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2. ExpressVPN – Most Flexible macOS VPN

  • 3,000+ servers worldwide
  • 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN for macOS
  • Network Lock
  • DNS and IP leak protection
  • Split tunneling
  • VPN connection sharing from Mac
  • Works with: ESPN, FOX, CBS, Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Chrome, Linux, Firefox, routers, Xbox One, PS4
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ExpressVPN consistently proves itself during our tests as a lightning-fast, safe, and incredibly flexible VPN. It’s highly compatible with macOS, from Yosemite (10.10) to Catalina (10.15), so you’re guaranteed access on your Mac.

It uses advanced 256-bit AES encryption and the OpenVPN protocol in its macOS apps—a personal favorite of mine because it delivers on speed and security for best performance.

The macOS app comes fully fitted with a Network Lock feature, which functions the same as an automatic kill switch. This means if your VPN connection drops or something compromises your Mac, your traffic is blocked automatically, so nothing falls outside of the VPN. It works seamlessly, and I loved the fact it reconnects you automatically, too.

You also have DNS and IP leak protection for more privacy. And it offers a strict no-logs policy–I examined it carefully, and there are no loopholes. It doesn’t hold any identifying data. In fact, ExpressVPN is one of the few I’ve tested that uses RAM storage, which requires power to write data. This means that every time a server is rebooted, it’s completely wiped clean, so nothing is left behind.

One of the most unique things about this VPN is the fact you can set your Mac to share your VPN connection over WiFi. This means you can use your VPN on devices that don’t usually support VPN apps, like game consoles or your Apple TV. It only took me a few minutes to set up, and there’s a video that walks you through the process, too.

ExpressVPN has a super-fast and reliable network of 3,000+ servers. I consistently held a decent speed of 36 Mbps or above. In the US, I hit 44.83 Mbps, so I didn’t notice any speed loss or delay while I was browsing, streaming on Netflix, or even battling on Fornite from my MacBook.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Base speed UK location 11 ms 55.73 Mbps 11.88 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 13 ms 51.70 Mbps 11.08 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 13 ms 51.64 Mbps 10.55 Mbps
Quick connect US server 148 ms 44.83 Mbps 7.09 Mbps
Manual connect US server 103 ms 39.85 Mbps 9.75 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 287 ms 36.97 Mbps 6.44 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 32 ms 42.13 Mbps 11.09 Mbps

ExpressVPN also has a split tunneling feature that lets you route certain apps through the VPN and leave others unencrypted, with your real IP address. I chose to encrypt my Safari browser, but leave my other MacBook apps outside of the VPN, and it worked seamlessly. It also increased my connection speed slightly.

Your subscription comes with five simultaneous connections, so you can use it across your other iOS devices, too. I especially like the iPhone app as it’s full of all the best features and easy to use.

There’s a 24/7 live chat ready to answer your questions and a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can give it a test run.

Want to know more? Explore our ExpressVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

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3. Surfshark – Best for Multi-Device Users

  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • IKEv2 and OpenVPN for Mac
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Camouflage Mode
  • MultiHop servers
  • CleanWeb security suite
  • Fast speeds
  • Works with: Hulu, SlingTV, HBO Go, Netflix, Hotstar, BBC iPlayer, ITV Player
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Apple TV

Surfshark is a personal favorite of mine because it has extra features that fight through tough geoblocks and help you avoid detection. It’s also unique because it has unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can use as many devices as you like at once alongside your Mac.

Surfshark comes with the highest standard of security, AES 256-bit encryption. Its macOS apps use IKEv2 for optimal speeds, but you can still configure OpenVPN with your Mac if you prefer. It’s a manual installation, but it only took me 10 minutes to set up.

You also have an automatic kill switch and private DNS on every server, which means that Surfshark handles all of your DNS requests itself —it’s not something I often see with VPNs. This reduces the risk of man-in-the-middle attacks and leaks because there’s no third party involved. I ran a few leak tests on Surfshark’s US, Australian, and German servers, and it passed each time.

Its built-in security suite, CleanWeb, protects you from ads, trackers, malware, and phishing attempts. I watched three hours of YouTube with no ads, and it even blocked the ads on Google, too.

One of the things I love about Surfshark is its ability to fly past geoblocks. Its NoBorders Mode makes it perfect if you’re looking to bypass tough restrictions, including those used by Netflix and BBC iPlayer. This feature automatically identifies the blocks and finds the best server for you to bypass them quickly and easily, without you having to do anything.

It also offers obfuscation through its Camouflage Mode, which is ideal for accessing the internet in restricted locations like China. Our operatives used Surfshark to bypass The Firewall, and we also tested it from Turkey, Russia, and the UAE with no problems.

I also tested the MultiHop feature, which adds even more privacy to your connection. This lets you connect to two servers at once, so it’s even easier to stay undetected. It only decreased my download speed by 25.8%, which surprised me, as I expected the extra security to cause heavy speed loss. Here are my speed results.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Base speed UK location 11 ms 55.73 Mbps 11.88 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 13 ms 51.70 Mbps 11.08 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 13 ms 51.64 Mbps 10.55 Mbps
Quick connect US server 148 ms 44.83 Mbps 7.09 Mbps
Manual connect US server 103 ms 39.85 Mbps 9.75 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 287 ms 36.97 Mbps 6.44 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 18 ms 54.52 Mbps 11.18 Mbps
MultiHop server 98 ms 41.35 Mbps 8.52 Mbps

No matter where you connect, Surfshark offers fast, reliable connections—even all the way in Australia, I only lost 33.66% of my speed. It operates a fast-growing network of 1,700+ servers in 63+ countries, all of which you can use for P2P sharing on your Mac.

The macOS app is incredibly easy to use and only took minutes to set up, but there’s a 24/7 live chat if you need any support. Ready to sign up? It’s risk-free, with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more? Explore our Surfshark review to see the full results of our research and testing.

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4. CyberGhost – Great for VPN Beginners

  • 256-bit AES encryption and leak protection
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Ad, malware, and tracker blocker
  • 6,300+ servers, including optimized streaming and P2P servers
  • Easy-to-use apps
  • Reliable speeds
  • Works with: NBC, FOX, Sling TV, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, CBS All Access
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Safari, Linux

CyberGhost is always high on our list of recommended VPNs for beginners because it’s so easy to use. It has extra features that make it deal for VPN-newbies, including a super-quick setup and optimized streaming servers for specific platforms.

The Mac client uses the IKEv2 protocol, but you can configure OpenVPN manually, too. There are easy step-by-step guides on CyberGhost’s website you can use to set yourself up, but IKEv2 is fine for less-advanced users who want reliable, safe performance on their Mac.

It offers tough 256-bit AES encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and an automatic kill switch, which are essential for keeping you hidden on your Mac. I’ve never experienced a leak with CyberGhost before, and I didn’t during testing either.

CyberGhost also features a built-in ad blocker, alongside protection against malicious websites and an online tracking blocker. These are all essential for maximizing your privacy while you’re surfing Safari on your Mac, as they keep you protected from websites that can compromise your Mac’s security.

The ad blocker is great for avoiding annoying interruptions, too—it stopped tailored online shopping ads on my favorite news websites.

CyberGhost’s macOS app comes with Smart Rules, which I loved during testing. These let you decide which apps you want to launch automatically after you establish a VPN connection and whether you want to initiate the connection as soon as you start your Mac.

You can choose from 6,300+ servers in 89+ countries, making it one of the best-coverage VPNs I’ve tested. It’s great for avoiding congestion and slower speeds since fewer users are sharing the same servers.

It has servers optimized for streaming and P2P sharing, which makes it even easier to find the server you need. I selected the US server optimized for Disney+, which gave me 4K quality streaming, compared to HD on a manual US server.

It’s fast, but not the quickest of the vendors I’ve tested. Still, I maintained a steady speed of 10.81 Mbps in the US, which is more than quick enough for HD-quality streaming on Netflix—you need at least 5 Mbps. I didn’t experience a lapse in HD streaming, even after five hours of testing.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Base speed UK location 11 ms 55.73 Mbps 11.88 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 17 ms 37.53 Mbps 10.95 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 11 ms 17.90 Mbps 10.85 Mbps
Quick connect US server 191 ms 10.18 Mbps 8.19 Mbps
Manual connect US server 151 ms 20.61 Mbps 10.51 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 510 ms 6.72 Mbps 2.55 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 38 ms 28.93 Mbps 11.35 Mbps

You have seven simultaneous connections, which means you can connect your other iOS devices alongside your Mac. Or any other device, for that matter—I found it’s compatible with most popular operating systems.

There’s a 24/7 live chat that’s always helpful if you have any questions. And it also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, as long as you sign up for longer than 6 months. Otherwise, it’s only a 14-day refund. I had to go digging to find that information so you don’t get caught out!

Want to know more? Explore our CyberGhost review to see the full results of our research and testing.

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5. Private Internet Access – Compact, Reliable Service

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with Private Internet Access.

  • 256-bit AES encryption and multiple security protocols
  • SOCKS5 proxy
  • P2P sharing allowed
  • Strict no-logging policy
  • 3,200+ servers
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO GO, HBO NOW, Showtime, ESPN, YouTube
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Apple TV, Roku, Chromebook

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a smaller VPN that comes with tight security measures and an impressive ability to fly through geoblocks. We like it because it’s reliable for a huge variety of online activities, which also makes it ideal for your Mac.

PIA uses 256-bit AES encryption by default, which completely shields your data and traffic. I was also pleased to see that it offers a variety of security protocols in the macOS app, which is great because you usually don’t get much choice as a Mac user.

You can select OpenVPN and the newest protocol, WireGuard, and you can even use the SOCKS5 proxy. This is ideal for bypassing geoblocks in restrictive locations because it uses a different port to stay invisible. Our agents tried it on their MacBooks from inside the UAE with great results.

Your privacy is protected with DNS/IPv6 leak protection, so there’s no risk of anyone finding your browsing history or real location. I tried PIA’s own leak test, and it passed with flying colors. I tested five servers using an external site too, just to be sure. It passed all of our leak tests.

You’ll be pleased to know that PIA upholds a strict no-logs policy, which means you don’t leave any data trail behind. And there’s a kill switch, too. My VPN connection was actually interrupted once due to a surge in users on one server, and the kill switch blocked my stream on Hulu until the connection was restored.

I found PIA’s connections steady and reliable across its network of 3,200+ servers. The Quick Connect servers gave me even better performance, especially during peak times when servers were more crowded. Even at 6 PM, though, my speed always hovered above 20 Mbps while connected to a US server, so I could still stream hassle-free. Although my upload speed in Australia did affect the quality of my FaceTime calls.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Base speed UK location 11 ms 55.73 Mbps 11.88 Mbps
Quick connect UK server 38 ms 42.34 Mbps 9.76 Mbps
Manual connect UK server 44 ms 43.23 Mbps 9.89 Mbps
Quick connect US server 203 ms 22. 14 Mbps 5.75 Mbps
Manual connect US server 215 ms 19.87 Mbps 4.68 Mbps
Quick connect AU server 334 ms 12.96 Mbps 1.43 Mbps
Quick connect FR server 192 ms 34.67 Mbps 6.89 Mbps

PIA supports P2P sharing and offers port forwarding, which makes it reliable for torrenting on your Mac. We found it works best with the SOCKS5 proxy enabled, as the speeds are faster.

You have 10 simultaneous connections with your subscription. I tested the app on my iPhone and my iPad and found them just as easy to use. I also tested streaming on all three at once with no dip in performance.

There’s a 24/7 live chat, and a ticketed support system, too. I received a quick, efficient, and helpful response.

Want to know more? Explore our PIA review to see the full results of our research and testing. Or try it out yourself risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Small assortment of technological devices compatible with VyprVPN.

  • Chameleon security protocol
  • Works in China
  • NAT Firewall
  • Automatic kill switch for macOS
  • Strict zero-logging policy
  • 700+ servers worldwide
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, Showtime
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Safari, Apple TV, routers

We like VyprVPN for its speed and reliability, even with a much smaller server network. It consistently bypasses geoblocks whenever we put it through testing, with its own security protocol engineered for an excellent performance.

I was pleased to see VyprVPN’s Chameleon technology is available in the macOS app. This is a highly secure, fast protocol that uses 256-bit AES encryption with scrambling technology.

Its security protocol makes it easy to access the internet even from places like China because it hides your VPN traffic—we know, because we tested it 13 times from inside China and it bypassed the Great Firewall every time. OpenVPN is also available if you prefer, but I found the Chameleon protocol offered better speeds on my MacBook.

Usually, high security can cause a dip in speeds, but I didn’t notice much speed loss at all. I tried over 150 of VyprVPN’s 700 servers, with barely any drop in performance.

When I connected to a server in Australia, I only lost 68% of my speed, which is a pretty impressive result for such a distance. I was still able to browse quickly on Safari and make FaceTime calls with no fuzzy pictures or delay.

VyprVPN has an automatic kill switch for macOS, so you’re always secure even if something interrupts your VPN connection.

It even offers a NAT Firewall for extra protection, which blocks unrequested inbound traffic, stopping hackers and botnets before they can access your device. I like that this runs by default, so I didn’t even need to turn anything on to use it. Macs already have a firewall, but it isn’t invincible. And it’s always better to double up protection if you can.

There’s a strict zero-logging policy that ensures you leave no data behind, so no one can see what you’re up to or access any of your personal information.

VyprVPN has a true 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. I had no problem asking for my money back using the 24/7 live chat.

Want to know more? Explore our VyprVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

Try VyprVPN Today!

  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec available for macOS
  • SOCKS5 proxies
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Scrambling technology
  • Automatic kill switch
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Works with: Netflix, Vudu, HBO Go, HBO Now, DAZN, ESPN,  YouTube
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux

IPVanish is an easy-to-use, reliable VPN that offers powerful unblocking capabilities. And we like it for its strong P2P support since it allows torrenting on all of its servers.

It upholds tight security measures, including 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN for optimal security and speed on your Mac device.

I found a few other security protocols on the list, too. It offers IPSec or IKEv2, which are good choices if you’re less fussed about security and want even better speeds. Although when I ran speed tests on all three protocols, there really wasn’t much difference between OpenVPN and the others. SOCKS5 proxies are also available.

You can use the scrambling option to hide your VPN traffic and access any site you need. I’d only switch this on if you really need it, as I found it slowed my speeds terribly. I lost an extra 58% of my speed when I tested a US server. The scrambling technique isn’t quite powerful enough for China—our operatives couldn’t use the internet at all from their MacBooks.

IPVanish comes with an automatic kill switch. And another thing I liked—it has an auto-reconnect option, too. If you select this, the app will try to reconnect you to the server automatically. So, rather than just blocking your traffic, it gets you back on the internet, too. It worked perfectly for me and only took 30 seconds to reconnect.

You can enable IPv6 leak protection in the app, which stops exposure of your IP if you’re visiting an IPv6-enabled page. I didn’t experience any leaks when I ran external leak tests. I wish it had DNS leak protection alongside this, though.

I found speeds steady most of the time and didn’t have much trouble browsing or streaming from my Mac. But at peak times, I experienced some frozen pictures on Netflix, and episodes took a while to buffer. While it works with Netflix and HBO, I couldn’t access BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, or Hulu at all.

There are 1,300+ servers to choose from, and the macOS app comes with a handy feature that lets you see the ping and load percentage on each.

If you’re a gamer, pay close attention to the ping as this can seriously affect your performance. I tried a US server with a ping of 367 ms, and it was near-impossible to play on Fortnite, but I switched to one that had 158 ms, which worked just fine. You can also use the quick connect feature to find the best server automatically.

IPVanish is generous with simultaneous connections—you have 10, so you can connect more than just your Mac. And they’re all protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Want to know more? Explore our IPVanish review to see the full results of our research and testing.

Try IPVanish Today!

A small assortment of devices compatible with SaferVPN.

  • AES-256 bit encryption
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Multiple security protocols
  • Automatic WiFi protection
  • Easy to use and quick set up on Mac
  • 24-hour free trial
  • Works with: Netflix, Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Sky TV, Showtime, ESPN
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, routers

We recommend SaferVPN because it’s user-friendly and, as the name says, it’s completely safe to use. It’s also reliable for unblocking popular streaming sites, including those with the toughest blocks, like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

SaferVPN is super secure. Its macOS app comes with AES-256 bit encryption and numerous security protocols, including IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN. The app automatically decides the best protocol for you. It only switched between OpenVPN and IKEv2 when I tested it—whenever I was streaming, it moved to IKEv2.

It also comes with automatic WiFi protection, so it’s good for securing your Mac when you’re using public hotspots to keep you safe from hackers and other privacy thieves who monitor these networks. It automatically connected me to the best server whenever I used public WiFi, so it keeps you protected straight away.

The macOS app is easy-to-use—set up only took me a couple of minutes, and it was quick to download, too. It comes with an automatic kill switch, which is essential if you’d rather not run the risk of exposing your internet traffic or IP address.

You can choose from 1,300+ servers. The Best Server selection tool gave me the most reliable performance, with my speeds only dropping by 40% on a US server. I had mixed results when I manually selected servers. In Australia, I lost nearly 96% of my speed by choosing a Melbourne server, which made just browsing online difficult.

It doesn’t store identifying logs, but closer inspection of SaferVPN’s privacy policy revealed that it does keep some information about your connection, like the date and time at which you began your session, the amount of data transferred, and where you connected to and from. Although it can’t be used to identify you specifically, if you’re really privacy-conscious and want total anonymity, it might not be for you.

SaferVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 24-hour free trial, so it’s easy to try out before you commit. And any issues can be resolved with the 24/7 live chat support—I found agents quick to respond and really helpful.

Want to know more? Explore our SaferVPN review to see the full results of our testing.

Try SaferVPN Today!

PrivateVPN Devices

  • Easy-to-use macOS app
  • 150+ servers
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Multiple security protocols
  • Stealth Mode to avoid VPN detection
  • No-logging policy
  • Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, DAZN
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, routers

PrivateVPN is a favorite of ours because even though it has a relatively small network, its connections are fast, reliable, and secure with bulletproof encryption.

It offers strong security for macOS with 256-bit encryption, OpenVPN support, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection. All of these features combined provide you with the securest connections, safe from any leak. And OpenVPN guarantees reliable, fast performance, too.

I usually rate PrivateVPN much more highly, but it’s missing something important for macOS—my tests revealed it doesn’t offer an automatic kill switch for Mac. This is disappointing because you could be at risk of exposing your internet traffic or real location. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend PrivateVPN in locations like China where you simply can’t risk revealing what you’re up to.

PrivateVPN has other advanced security features on offer, though. Thanks to its Stealth Mode, it can bypass tough VPN blocks and deep packet inspection. We accessed Netflix US from Turkey and the UAE without any trouble. And our operatives didn’t experience slow connections from the obfuscation technology, either.

You have 150+ available servers spread around the globe, but before you start to worry, you won’t suffer with congested servers.

I enjoyed fast, reliable speeds throughout my tests, even when connected to a server over 9,400 miles away in Australia. At most, I lost 54% of my speed, so I could browse, stream, and even game with no trouble. Netflix even let me stream in ultra HD.

You don’t need to worry about connection logs. PrivateVPN upholds a strict no-logging policy. There’s nothing held to identify you, and you can even sign up with cryptocurrencies for ultimate anonymity.

There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to give it a test run first.

Want to know more? Explore our PrivateVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.

Try PrivateVPN Today!

  • Reliable speeds
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Zero-logging policy
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Easy-to-use macOS app
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Showtime, HBO Go
  • Compatible with: macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Chrome, Firefox

ZenMate is a reliable VPN that comes with military-grade encryption and a modest server network. Plus, we like it because it allows P2P sharing on most of its servers.

It has advanced security, which includes the highest standard of AES encryption and an automatic kill switch for macOS.

I was pleased to see that ZenMate offers OpenVPN for macOS, though you do need to set it up yourself manually. There are step-by-step guides on the website to walk you through the process and I found it simple enough. ZenMate also offers a true no-logs policy for complete privacy.

You can choose from a modest network of 3,800+ servers in 74 countries, all of which offer steady connections. They’re reliable for unblocking your favorite streaming sites, too—our team was able to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu from various locations, including Turkey. We couldn’t get onto Vudu or ESPN, though.

Speeds are usually reliable, but you’ll definitely notice a loss around peak times. I lost 58% of my speed on a US server outside of peak hours, but it dropped by a further 34% between 6-9 PM, which was disappointing. Although it can unblock Netflix, the speed loss caused a lot of buffering and poor quality pictures.

I found the macOS app really easy to use and it only took seconds to download. I was set up and connected to a server within a couple of minutes.

Your subscription comes with five simultaneous connections so you can use multiple platforms at the same time. I tested it on my iPhone and iPad and the apps were easy to configure, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get it working with my Apple TV. There’s a 24/7 live chat available if you need any support.

Want to know more? Explore our ZenMate review to see the full results of our research and testing.

Try ZenMate Today!

Do I Need a VPN for Mac?

macOS is already fitted out with tight security measures, but it isn’t bulletproof.

Everything you do online can still be seen and tracked by hackers, surveillance agencies, and your ISP. If you’re not using a VPN, you’re essentially leaving a trail of your information and browsing activity everywhere you go.

A VPN protects you with end-to-end encryption. It wraps your traffic in an encrypted tunnel as soon as it leaves your Mac. This tunnel is completely invisible to outsiders and separate from regular internet traffic. No one can see what you’re doing online when you use a VPN. They can’t track the websites you’re visiting, steal your bank details, or check your search history. You’re truly anonymous.

You can also use your VPN to access international streaming services, like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. When you connect to a VPN server in a different country, it changes your IP address so websites think you’re browsing from that region. This bypasses geoblocks for you, so you can do as much as you want with your Mac without any boundaries.

Your VPN can help you torrent anonymously, too. VPNs ensure you stay secure while you’re downloading and sending files by encrypting your traffic and hiding your IP address and location from your peers. Want a faster connection? If you’re stuck with congestion and throttling, a VPN can also improve your download speed.

Secure Your Mac Now!

Research Methodology

You need a VPN that delivers an all-round great performance on Mac, whether you’re streaming, browsing, or torrenting.

That’s why I tested hundreds of elements in over 300 VPNs. I wanted to find you a reliable, high-performance service no matter what you need a VPN for.

I looked at speed, server locations, P2P support, streaming, security and logging policies, price, customer support, and of course, usability. Here are some of the most important factors I assessed during testing.

  • Strong encryption, so you know your device is completely secure.
  • Strict no-logging policies, so your data is never recorded or sold to third parties.
  • Automatic kill switches and DNS/IPv6 leak protection for extra security.
  • Ad and malware blockers, so you’re protected from annoying pop-ups and malicious sites.
  • OpenVPN as standard, because it’s regularly audited for security issues and delivers the best balance of speed and security.
  • High speeds, so no matter how far you push your data, you always have a lag-free connection.
  • Large server networks so you can bypass geoblocks in different locations.

FAQs

💻 Do I need a VPN to protect my Mac?

macOS’ built-in security features are tough, but they’re not impossible to break through. However, they’re impenetrable when you pair them with a quality VPN.

With a VPN, your traffic is encrypted, which means it can’t be seen by anyone else online. Masking your IP address with a VPN is the best way to protect yourself against DDoS attacks, doxing, and internet surveillance. And, it’s the best way to avoid leaving a data trail, since third parties can’t access your personal information.

❓ What’s the best VPN for Mac?

After testing over 300 VPNs, I’ve only found 10 that I’m really happy to recommend.

All of the VPNs on this list offer impressive security features, but after testing them all, NordVPN is my #1 choice. It offers solid macOS support, super-fast speeds, and the best security measures you can find.

🆓 What’s the best free VPN for Mac?

There are many free VPNs out there, but they always come with a catch (or several). You’ll suffer slow speeds, lower-level security, a restricted server network, and usually, limited data and bandwidth. Free VPNs are annoying, and their lack of security is a risk to your online privacy—something that a VPN is designed to protect, not endanger. Some even track and sell your data. If cost is a factor, I’d strongly recommend SurfShark at just $1.94/month, with a risk-free 30 day money-back guarantee.

⚖️ Are VPNs legal?

VPN use is legal in most countries. The main exceptions are China, Iraq, Iran, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Oman, and the UAE. In these countries, VPN use is either a legal gray area or completely forbidden.

💡 Does Mac have a built-in VPN?

No, your Mac doesn’t have a built-in VPN. However, it’s super-easy to install and enable the right VPN on your Mac.

How to Install a VPN on Mac

1. Install your VPN – We recommend NordVPN for Mac because of its full-featured, easy to use Mac-compatible service.

2. Open the app on the Mac Launchpad and sign in or create and account.

3. Click the Quick Connect feature (if using NordVPN) or choose your desired server.

4. To ensure your Mac is always protected, navigate to your VPN’s settings (Preferences menu if using NordVPN) and select Auto Connect.

Bottom Line

After weeks spent testing over 300 VPNs, I only found 10 that met my strict criteria for security, speed, ease of use, and of course, compatibility with macOS. With any of the 10 VPNs on this list, you can enjoy a completely secure, private, and unrestricted internet, whether you’re looking to stream, browse, game, or even torrent anonymously.

For the best all-round performance, I recommend NordVPN. It’s fast, affordable, and the macOS app is easy to use. It’s full of great features, and it offers the most advanced security measures of any VPN I’ve tested.

To summarise, the best VPNs for Mac are…

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