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

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With so many average VPNs out there, finding a great VPN service for macOS is frustrating and time-consuming. Is it definitely compatible? And does it come with all the features you need? Well I’ve tested over 300 VPN apps on my MacBook Pro and found a handful that stand out with their additional features to secure your Mac.

Each of the 10 VPNs on this list have been handpicked and extensively tested for performance and usability, so you know they’re 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. Want to find out which other services made the list? Keep reading to see all my recommendations.

Short on time? Here are the best VPNs for Mac

  1. NordVPN – Best all-round performer with Mac. Bulletproof security, fast, and great for bypassing geoblocks.
  2. ExpressVPN – Quick speeds, highly secure, and split tunneling functionality so you can do more with your Mac while using the VPN.
  3. Surfshark – Ideal for large households with unlimited simultaneous connections, plus extra privacy features for even more anonymity.
  4. CyberGhost – Intuitive and user-friendly service that’s great for beginners, with optimized servers for streaming and more.
  5. PrivateInternetAccess– Fully optimized for macOS with high-end security, multiple protocols, and solid P2P support.

And 5 more premium VPNs for Mac | Our Research Methodology | FAQs

Make Your Mac More Secure

Macs already come fitted with tight security measures, but that doesn’t mean these are bulletproof. Everything you do online can still be seen and tracked by people watching your every move—whether that’s your ISP, surveillance, or an identity thief. This can make you vulnerable to DDoS attacks, phishing scams, data sharing, and much more. Essentially, you leave a trail of your information and browsing activity wherever you go. But a VPN stops that.

A VPN offers end-to-end encryption, wrapping your traffic and personal data in an encrypted tunnel as soon as it leaves your Mac. This tunnel is completely invisible to any outsiders and separate to usual internet traffic, which means no one can see you. No one can look at what sites you’re visiting, steal your bank details, check your search history, or send you scam emails full of viruses. You’re truly anonymous.

You can also use a VPN to bypass geoblocks, such as for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and many more. Using your VPN, you can connect to servers in different countries, which changes your IP address to that location so any of these sites thinks you’re a resident there. That way, it unblocks geo-restrictions for you so you can do as much as you want with your Mac with no boundaries.

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The Best VPN for Mac – Full Analysis (Updated 2020)

Even after weeks of testing over 300 VPNs, I only found a handful that truly deliver more than just basic security protection for Mac. The 10 on my list all offer seamless compatibility with Mac, extra privacy, and endless possibilities for a truly unrestricted internet.

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

NordVPN Devices

NordVPN’s Key Features

  • 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, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, routers, browsers

NordVPN is a top choice of ours for nearly anything online, because it’s affordable, easy to use, and super secure. It can also bypass the toughest of 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 really easy to set up, with only a few steps involved. The IKEv2 is recommended for better performance on your Mac, but the OpenVPN client worked perfectly when we tested it from different locations, with no noticeable dip in speeds.

NordVPN uses bulletproof 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/IPv6 leak protection to stop any accidental exposure of your traffic or IP address.

You can also use NordVPN’s DoubleVPN feature (OpenVPN version) to add an additional layer of encryption by hiding your traffic behind two servers. Most users won’t need this level of protection, though, and we found it slows speeds slightly (although only by a further 5%).

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 mimicking your VPN traffic as normal internet traffic. This feature is so powerful that one of our operatives even used it to bypass The Great Firewall of China on their MacBook. We tested 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 5,400+ servers in over 59 countries, all of which offer lightning-fast speeds. Just check out my speed results.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed UK server 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 lost 42% of my speed, which is a fantastic result. 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 anywhere around the globe.

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 our operatives tried from the UK, US, Australia, India, and Turkey. There are even servers optimized for P2P sharing.

If you have any questions, I’d 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 ask 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 – Best For Flexibility On Mac

ExpressVPN’s Key Features

  • 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, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, routers, browsers, Windows

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 Cataline (10.15), so you’re guaranteed access on your Mac.

It’s 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 closely 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 other 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 games consoles or your Apple TV. It’s really easy to set up and only took me a few minutes, but there’s a video that walks you through the process, too.

ExpressVPN’s speeds are super-fast and reliable across its network of 3,000+ servers. I consistently held a decent speed of 36 Mbps or above. Even 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
Starting speed UK server 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 which 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.

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 still 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.

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3. Surfshark – Best For Multi-Device Users

Surfshark’s Key Features

  • 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, iOS, Windows, Android, Apple TV, Chromebook, Linux

Surfshark is a top choice of ours for staying super private, because it comes with 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 see often 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, Australia, and Germany servers, with success every 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 relevant 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 for any Mac users looking to bypass tough restrictions, including those used by Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

It also offers obfuscation through it’s 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
Starting speed UK server 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

CyberGhost’s Key Features

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

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

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.

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.

CyberGhost also features a built-in ad blocker, alongside protection against malicious websites and an online tracking blocker. These are all essential for maximizing you’re privacy while you’re surfing Safari on your Mac, as they keep you protected from any accidental information sharing with websites and viruses 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 Mac apps you want to launch automatically after you establish a VPN connection, so you’re always protected whenever you use them.

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 less 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.

Its speeds are fast, but not the quickest of 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 anything less than HD for after a full five hours of testing.

Connection Ping Download Speed Upload Speed
Starting speed UK server 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 devices.

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. 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.

Private Internet Access’s Key Features

  • 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, HBO GO, HBO NOW, Showtime, ESPN, YouTube
  • Compatible with: macOS, iOS, Apple TV, Windows, Android, 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 Mac users.

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 restricted locations because it uses a different port to stay undetected. 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, but I also 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 6pm, 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
Starting speed UK server 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 so it’s easier to seed files.

You have 10 simultaneous connections with your subscription. I tested the app on 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 no live chat, but the ticketing feature is a good tool. Agents always respond to me in less than 24 hours.

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

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6. VyprVPN – Good Choice for Restricted Locations

Small assortment of technological devices compatible with VyprVPN.

VyprVPN’s Key Features

  • 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, iOS, Safari, Apple TV, Android, Windows, 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 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, which means you can 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 managed to get onto Netflix, Safari, and Facebook 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 network of 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 far 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 anything interrupts your VPN connection. It even offers an 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 on servers by default, so I didn’t even need to turn anything on to use it. Macs already have a firewall, but these aren’t invincible. And it’s always better to double up protection if you can.

There’s a strict zero-logging policy which 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.

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7. IPVanish — Multiple Security Protocols for macOS

IPVanish’s Key Features

  • 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, iOS, Linux, Chromebook, Windows, Android, browsers

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 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 address if your device accidentally sends a request to your ISP for a local IP address. 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. 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 device.

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

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8. SaferVPN – Easy to Use and On-Hand Support

A small assortment of devices compatible with SaferVPN.

SaferVPN’s Key Features

  • 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, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, routers, browsers

We like SaferVPN because its user-friendly and, like the name says, it’s completely safe to use. It’s also reliable for unblocking popular streaming sites, including those with the toughest proxies 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 device on public hotsposts, keeping 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 for security-conscious Mac users 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 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 on 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.

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9. PrivateVPN — Compact and Reliable

PrivateVPN Devices

PrivateVPN’s Key Features

  • 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, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, browsers, 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 three features combined provide you with the securest connections, safe from any leak. And the 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 to your ISP. 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 does 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 from Turkey and the UAE without any trouble. And our operatives didn’t report 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 much 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, and it really is no logging. 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.

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10. ZenMate – Advanced Security Features

ZenMate’s Key Features

  • 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, iOS, Windows, Android, Chromebook, Chrome, Firefox

ZenMate is a reliable VPN that comes with its military-grade encryption and a modest server network. Plus, we like it because its 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 compatibility with 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 unlocking your favorite streaming sites, too—our team were able to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu from various locations, including Turkey. We couldn’t get onto Vudu or ESPN, though, unfortunately, so It doesn’t deliver the full streaming package.

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 6-9pm, 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.

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The VPNs That Don’t Work With Mac

While a lot of VPNs offer compatibility with Mac, their apps fall short of important features, offer poor security, or simply lack the ease of use that you need. I found many VPNs that hit this criteria, and I definitely wasn’t happy to recommend them to you. Here are some to avoid.

PureVPN

I was able to download PureVPN to my MacBook, but my tests showed that it uses a weaker encryption level and its no-logs policy is anything but transparent. You can use a higher encryption level, but this drastically reduces your speed, and I didn’t have great speeds even with the lower-level encryption, so I’d steer clear. It can unblock streaming sites, though, and haas some other attractive features like split tunneling. Find out more in our our PureVPN review.

Betternet

Betternet works with Mac, but its performance was poor. There’s no automatic kill switch, it has slow speeds, and it can’t unblock popular streaming sites, either. Its privacy policy is also questionable—it keeps records of every site visited through its servers. While it claims these logs can’t be used to identify you, I can’t be sure. It does offer the highest standard of encryption, though, so you can use it to surf the web anonymously, but I wouldn’t recommend it for optimal performance on Mac. Read more in our Betternet review.

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield’s logs policy isn’t the most transparent I’ve seen. While it claims to not retain any identifying information about you, further digging during testing showed it does store things like your device identifiers, your real IP address, and network information. If you want complete privacy on your Mac, you might be better sticking with a provider that has a strict zero-logging policy. It’s reliable for many other things though, including its super-fast speeds and ability to fight through geoblocks—check out our Hotspot Shield review to learn more.

Research Methodology

You need a VPN that delivers great all-round performance for Mac, whether you need streaming, quick browsing, or just want to secure your device. That’s why I tested hundreds of elements in over 300 VPNs to find you a reliable performer 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 and your internet traffic and real IP address are always hidden.
  • No-logging policies for more privacy-conscious Mac users who want total anonymity from the minute they log on to the minute they log off.
  • Automatic kill switches and DNS/IPv6 leak protection for extra privacy if anything happens to fall outside of the VPN tunnel.
  • Any extra features that seal your privacy, such as ad and malware blockers, so you’re protected against annoying pop ups and any suspicious malware.
  • OpenVPN protocol as standard, because this open-source technology is regularly audited for security issues and delivers the best balance of speed and security in my experience.
  • Fast speeds, so no matter how far you push your data, you always have reliable connections free from annoying lag.
  • Large server network that allows you to connect to countries all over the globe so you can bypass geoblocks in different locations.
  • Ability to bypass tough proxies, including those used by streaming services like Netflix, so you always have access to an unrestricted internet.

Here’s our pick of the top premium VPN services today:

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 and IP address are encrypted, which means they can’t be seen by anyone else online—not your ISP, any hackers, identity thieves, or government surveillance agencies. Masking your IP address by using 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 online,  since no third parties can get access to your personal information, whether to serve you tailored ads, cold call you, or sell it on to other organizations.

❓ 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 that allow you to secure your Mac device, and give you access to an unrestricted internet, too. But after testing, NordVPN is my #1 choice because 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. Not only are free VPNs annoying, but their lack of security is risky for your online privacy—something that a VPN is designed to protect, not endanger.

Of course, there are some good free VPNs out there. We’ve found 10 solid free VPNs that offer great compatibility with macOS and only a few restrictions. It just depends whether you’re willing to compromise on performance for price.

⚖️ 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.

No matter where you live, it’s your responsibility to make sure you follow the law and your provider’s terms of service at all times. Remember, using a VPN for any criminal activity is always legal.

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 best all-round performance, I’d recommend NordVPN. Not only is it affordable, but the macOS app is easy to use, full of great features, and it offers the most advanced security measures of any VPN I’ve tested.

To make sure you get the best deal when you sign up, scan our VPN coupons and deals page to find great discounts for every provider on this list.

If you’re interested in securing your other iOS devices, too, why not check out our top picks of the best VPNs for iPhone and iOS?

Nord is offering 70% off their VPN for a limited time!