We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
Advertising Disclosure

vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

7 Best FREE VPNs for Mac and Safari in 2024 — Safe and Fast

James Everard Updated on 12th January 2024 Fact-checked by Christine Johansen Senior Writer

While Macs have a reputation for being secure, the internet comes with its own set of threats. The number of security and privacy concerns online is on the rise, so a free VPN might seem like a budget-friendly solution. However, even choosing the wrong free Mac VPN can put you at great risk — some aren’t trustworthy.

The good news is that there are tried-and-test free VPNs for macOS you can depend on. I've tested a multitude of free VPNs, focusing on features like security, privacy, speed, and server options. Based on my findings, I’ve shortlisted the top-performing and safest free Mac VPNs that you can use on your MacBook Pro, Air, Mac Mini, or even iOS devices.

However, you’re always better off using a low-cost premium VPN, like ExpressVPN. It’s not 100% free, but it has no limitations. You get industry-leading security features, fast speeds, and unlimited data, which is something that free Mac VPNs usually lack. It comes with a money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days. If you’re not completely satisfied, getting a full refund is very easy.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free Mac and Safari VPNs in 2024

  1. Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    Best for Mac/Safari with unmatched speeds, full browser extensions, and no data limits.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  2. CyberGhost VPN
    CyberGhost
    Specialty servers for smooth torrenting and streaming on Safari, with an intuitive Mac app.
  3. Proton VPN
    Proton VPN
    Totally free for Mac with unlimited data and strong security, but struggles with streaming services.
  4. Avira Phantom VPN
    Avira Phantom VPN
    Free with unlimited connections for macOS/iOS, but lacks a kill switch for privacy.
  5. hide.me VPN
    hide.me
    Fully free VPN for Mac with numerous security customizations, but restricted to 1 device.

See 2 More Free Mac VPNs

Best Free VPNs for Mac and Safari — Full Analysis (Updated 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Overall Best Mac VPN With Fully Equipped Browser Extensions

Best Feature Full-featured browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox
Security Audited no-logs policy, malware protection, and a kill switch
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Max, Prime Video, iPlayer, DAZN, and more
Money-Back Guarantee 30 days

While there’s no Safari extension, ExpressVPN offers highly secure Chrome and Firefox extensions. Its interface looks similar to the main app, and it gives you access to all 3,000 servers. Unlike most browser extensions, which are usually just proxies, it works as a “remote control” for the main app. Meaning, it integrates the same level of privacy and security into your browsing sessions.

Screenshot showing ExpressVPN's extension for Chrome browserYou can set the extension to auto-connect each time you launch the browser

Of course, the desktop app also protects your Safari sessions. The Chrome/Firefox extensions are mainly a convenience, and don’t offer extra protection. So rest assured, if Safari is your go-to browser, your data is still kept safe by the app.

ExpressVPN had the fastest speeds of any VPN tested. I ran speed tests with Ookla on Safari using my MacBook Pro. With a local server in UK Docklands, I got 124.69Mbps — just 5% lower than my base speed. Its distant locations were fast, too. I had 113.26Mbps from New York (5,500km away); over 4 times what’s needed for Ultra HD.

The app runs natively on silicon Macs. Most VPNs are only optimized for Apple’s older Intel processors. This causes slowdowns and drains your battery when you use it with newer models. On the other hand, ExpressVPN detects which processor your Apple device uses to give you fast speeds and optimal performance.

ExpressVPN gives you access to 3,000 servers in 105 countries, so you can change your IP address with your Mac. I also like that you can create shortcuts for easy access to your favorite apps and sites on the app’s home screen.

Although it’s not free, you can try ExpressVPN on Mac and Safari risk-free, since it comes with a money-back guarantee. This gives you 30 days to claim a refund if you’re not impressed. You can count on this policy, too. I requested my refund via 24/7 live chat and got a reply within seconds. The money was back in my account within 5 days.

Useful Features

  • Works in China. ExpressVPN’s advanced security features (like automatic obfuscation on every server) allow it to work in China and other countries with strict censorship.
  • Proprietary Lightway protocol. ExpressVPN’s own speed-optimized and secure protocol that’s fully compatible with Mac.
  • MediaStreamer DNS service. This lets you stream in HD or even UHD on devices that don’t usually support VPNs, such as game consoles and Apple TV. Setup takes under 5 minutes.
  • Strong privacy protection. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands and outside of the 14 Eyes jurisdiction, so it isn’t legally obliged to hand user data to any government. Plus, it uses RAM-only servers that wipe your data upon each reboot.
ExpressVPN Offer February 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. CyberGhost — Specialty Servers Optimized for Streaming and Torrenting on macOS

Best Feature Specialty servers for reliable streaming and torrenting
Security Private NoSpy servers, and Block Content that prevents some ads and malware
Works With Netflix, Disney+, Max, Prime Video, iPlayer, and more
Money-Back Guarantee 45 days

CyberGhost’s Mac app is easy to use because it has servers organized for specific activities. For instance, it has connections designated for streaming, gaming, and torrenting. I tested 3 torrenting servers on my MacBook Pro and could download a public domain 1GB file in under 4 minutes. They each worked without hesitation.

Screenshot showing how to go from simple to expanded view on the CyberGhost appCyberGhost has 100+ specialty streaming servers

Its nearby connections are fastest — but I didn't lose much speed over distance while testing it on my MacBook, either. I got 123.24Mbps while testing UK Berkshire on my iMac. Its USA Los Angeles server produced 99.69Mbps — that’s still pretty impressive.

NoSpy servers give you extra privacy protection — these change your IP address on your Mac to one from CyberGhost’s most secure servers.  They’re owned and managed in CyberGhost’s Romanian headquarters (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance). Many VPNs only provide rented servers in shared facilities, posing the threat of third-party interference.

While there’s no Safari extension, CyberGhost offers free extensions for Firefox and Chrome. Unlike ExpressVPN, it doesn’t give you access to the full app or specialty servers, but you get locations in the US, Germany, Netherlands, and Romania, which isn’t bad for a free VPN proxy extension.

The full app isn’t 100% free, but you can test CyberGhost with Safari on Mac with its 45-day money-back guarantee (with a long-term plan). I tried the guarantee by requesting my money back through 24/7 live chat. The agent approved, and I got my money back 5 days later.

Useful Features

  • Block Content. Prevents malicious ads, sites, and links from loading as it works at the DNS level. This is particularly useful for torrenting on Safari (and client apps) because P2P seed sites are rife with dangerous content.
  • WiFi Auto-Protect. Auto-Protect ensures that when you use public or unsecured WiFi, your iPhones and iPads are safe, and your data won’t leak.
  • Competitive prices. It’s one of the cheapest VPNs available (its lowest price is $2.03/month). So if you decide you like it after your money-back guarantee expires, you can get a subscription for a low cost.
  • Virtual locations. These are IP addresses from strictly-censored countries (like China or the UAE), but the servers are located in privacy-friendly countries.
February 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

3. Proton VPN — Unlimited Data to Browse Safari Safely and Without Restrictions

Best Feature Unlimited data to browse as much as you want on Mac and Safari
Security Highly reputable VPN developed by CERN, with reliable leak protection and a kill switch
Works With Peacock, YouTube, Spotify, Instagram
Free Trial Free-forever plan

Even though it’s completely free, Proton VPN equips you with a decent amount of features. For one, you get unlimited data with Proton VPN’s free plan. Most free VPNs restrict you to as little as 500MB/month, barely enough to watch a whole movie in HD. You can technically stream hours of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared YouTube clips with Safari without hitting any limits.

Screenshot of the Proton VPN app connected to a server in the Netherlands over a browser streaming a YouTube videoWith free locations in Netherlands, Japan, and US, Proton gives you access to servers in 3 continents

For a completely free VPN, it has impressive security credentials. Its headquartered in a secure facility in Switzerland, where there are exceptional privacy protection laws. A kill switch and leak protection are included to keep your Mac browsing private. Plus, its proprietary Stealth protocol can bypass tough firewalls.

Some free VPNs only allow access to one server, but Proton VPN offers 120+ servers across 3 countries (US, Japan, and Netherlands). Despite this, during busy times, my Safari browsing slowed down to as slow as 7Mbps, but you can double your speeds on Mac with its Accelerator feature. Once activated, my speed boosted above 10Mbps.

As with all free VPNs, there are a few drawbacks. You only get one device connection, so I had to choose between my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone. Plus, it doesn’t work well with most streaming platforms. And with no UK location, you can’t get a UK IP if you need one on Mac.

Its paid version did much better during testing, though. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test Proton VPN’s premium version for free with your Mac and see if it works better for you than the free plan.

Useful Features

  • Create Profiles. You can assign a country, server, and protocol for your favorite apps/sites on Safari or Mac. This way, you’ll have quick access to reliable connections for your chosen activities.
  • No in-app ads. Many completely-free VPNs monitor your browsing and bombard you with annoying and intrusive “targeted” in-app ads. You won’t get a single ad like that with Proton VPN.
  • Responsive customer support. While you don’t get 24/7 live chat, there is a ticketing system with a knowledgeable and friendly support team. I tested it out by logging onto the website on Safari, and I got a reply within 12 hours. Many free VPNs only offer a searchable FAQ.
  • 100% open-source. Unlike most free VPNs, Proton is open-source. That means anyone can check its code to fix bugs, and suggest improvements.

4. Avira Phantom VPN — Protect All Your Apple Devices With Unlimited Connections

Best Feature Cover all your Apple products with no connection limitations
Security Free antivirus package, and Block Malicious Sites and Content
Works With Local sites (the free version connects to your nearest server)
Free Trial Free-forever plan

Avira Phantom VPN offers unlimited device connections, which is rare even with premium VPNs. I connected my MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini, iPhone, and 2 iPads. This didn’t compromise my connection quality, and I could stream YouTube clips on Safari on each device.

You get access to your nearest location, so I didn’t experience server crowding. I got a solid 66.73Mbps from UK - London in my tests on my MacBook, although that was 49% below my base speed, making it one of the slower VPNs on my list.

Screenshot showing the home screen and server list on Avira Phantom VPNYou don’t have to sign up to use Avira Phantom VPN, so you can use it on all your macOS and iOS devices

Every server supports torrenting, which is rare for a completely-free VPN for Mac. That wasn’t much use to me since my nearest location is in the UK, and the UK blocks popular torrenting sites. But using a torrent I already had on my MacBook, I could download a file using uTorrent Web on Safari at decent speeds.

You can use Avira Phantom VPN without registering, but you only get 500MB/month. If you sign up with an email address, you get 1GB/month. The free version doesn’t offer a kill switch, although there were no leaks whatsoever during my tests. And a small privacy concern is that Avira is based in Germany, within the 14 Eyes Alliance.

Useful Features

  • Antivirus protection. Avira Phantom VPN can scan your Mac’s hard drive for viruses and quarantine any suspicious files. It also gives you real-time protection against any threats you encounter while browsing on Safari.
  • Junk Cleaner. I freed over 6GB of disk space using Avira’s basic Junk Cleaner (you need the premium version to get a full clean-up).
  • Password Manager. All devices on your free plan are covered by Password Manager, so you can browse Safari on unlimited devices without having to reset any passwords.
  • DNS leak protection. Leak protection automatically safeguards all of your data on your macOS, iOS, and iPad devices.

5. hide.me — Highly Secure With Tons of Features For a Free Mac VPN

Best Feature Various security settings to fine-tune your VPN protection
Security A kill switch, leak protection, Stealth Guard, no registration required
Works With YouTube, Spotify, Instagram
Free Trial Free-forever plan

For an entirely free Mac VPN, hide.me offers a nice array of security features. Stealth VPN is a feature that lets you specify how the VPN responds to your network and apps. For instance, you can select Bind Internet to VPN — this protects your entire network. Otherwise, Limit Apps to VPN prevents vulnerabilities by blocking specific apps from the internet when the VPN is disconnected.

Screenshot showing the settings panel on hideme (free version)With hide.me, you also get Split Tunnel and Support — which is unique for a completely-free VPN

It also offers the SSTP and SoftEther protocols, which are designed to help the VPN work on restrictive networks or in countries, like China. SoftEther is also speed-optimized. I tested it on my MacBook Pro and got 118.46Mbps from a local server in the UK, around 11% below my base speed. I then connected to the US and was surprised to find speeds only marginally slower, at 116.12Mbps.

You get unlimited data per month. Plus, there are 8 locations (US East and West, Canada, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, France), which is more than most completely free VPNs.

A premium account gives you streaming servers in 15+ countries, but you can’t access any of them for free. I couldn’t even log into Netflix. It worked smoothly for streaming YouTube videos on my MacBook, though. Plus, the free plan supports P2P traffic.

Useful Features

  • Split tunnel. You can use this to select specific apps to always use the VPN, such as Safari.
  • Extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These are also completely free and can be added to your browser with one click. They’re easy to use and convenient.
  • 24/7 live support. Even some paid VPNs don’t offer 24/7 live support, but hide.me has someone on hand to help you (even as a free user) whenever you may need it through live chat.
  • Headquartered in Malaysia. Its base is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes alliances.

6. Hotspot Shield — Proprietary Hydra Protocol for Fast Speeds on Safari and Mac

Best Feature Exclusive Hydra protocol is built for speed, low latency, and security
Security Built-in malware protection, a kill switch, DNS/IP leak protection
Works With Netflix US, Peacock TV, YouTube, Spotify, Instagram
Free Trial Free-forever plan

Its exclusive Hydra protocol is built to balance security and speed. While testing it on my MacBook, Hydra had marginally better latency and 2% faster speeds than WireGuard. This protocol is also harder to detect, which allows it to bypass firewalls and work in China. On the other hand, IKEv2 is great for iOS devices; it’s adept at switching between different data sources when you’re on the move.

Streaming Twisted Metal on Peacock while connected to Hotspot Shield Basic on MacOur US team of testers had no issues streaming Peacock in HD with Hotspot Shield Basic

Like Proton VPN, Hotspot Shield provides unlimited monthly data for free. This is great if you’re like me and often find yourself down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos. I never had to worry about getting interrupted by data caps.

The free plan for Mac includes one US server location. Our US team got an impressive 115.63Mbps from LA and was able to stream Netflix US in HD.

Hotspot Shield is based in the US, within the 5 Eyes jurisdiction. The company also admits to keeping anonymous logs of data and device usage. A free account allows 1 connection, and Hotspot Shield monetizes its free accounts with ads (which do get a little annoying).

Useful Features

  • No registration required. No need to submit your email address or register an account.
  • Split tunneling. Enable or bypass individual websites, which I found a little less convenient than hide.me because I couldn’t simply assign Safari as my VPN browser.
  • Support via FAQ and email. Helpful email support is available, but you have to go through a FAQ before you can access the form.
  • Ideal for gaming from the US. Since Hotspot Shield’s Basic plan only offers a US server location, it’s good for smooth gaming from within the US. Our testers from the US tried it with multiple games and had low ping.

7. TunnelBear — A Quirky App for Mac That’s Fun and Easy for Newbie Users

Best Feature The bear-based app is easy to use and fun for beginners
Security AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, IP/DNS leak protection
Works With Netflix US, ITVX, All 4, YouTube, Spotify, Instagram
Free Trial Free-forever plan

TunnelBear’s Mac app keeps VPN use pain-free. Server locations are visualized on an animated map. When you click one, an animated bear burrows from your actual location and tunnels to your destination. There are plenty to choose from because a free account gives you access to all 47 of its locations.

Screenshot showing the TunnelBear app and the animated bear tunneling to a location in the USYou can also use the dropdown menu next to the connect button to choose from TunnelBear’s 47 locations

Speeds are impressive on nearby servers. I got 118.93Mbps when connecting to UK - London, just 8% below my base. USA - New York was understandably slower at 75.11Mbps, but that’s still fast enough to stream in Ultra HD.

It offers 2GB/data per month, which is enough to watch a couple movies in HD quality. Not a ton of data compared to other free VPNs, but it’s enough to make the VPN usable for downloading 1 large torrent file or a few weeks of light browsing.

TunnelBear is based in Canada, within the 5 Eyes Alliance — but it’s still safer than most free Mac VPNs. It has an annual app security audit, and releases regular transparency reports. Plus, it’s given 20,000+ premium accounts away to non-governmental organizations such as campaigners and protestors, underlining its integrity as a company.

Useful Features

  • GhostBear. Disguises your VPN connection as regular internet traffic to bypass firewalls.
  • VigilantBear. This kill switch ensures there are no leaks in case your connection drops while on your Mac.
  • Autoconnect. Connects to VPN on startup so your browsing is always private.
  • TCP Override. Slightly slower, but more reliable if your connection is unstable (not available for iOS or iPad).

Quick Comparison Table: Best Free VPNs for Mac (and Safari)

I can confidently say that every VPN in this list is safe to use. Aside from this, each offers unique features that impact their performance with various activities.

VPNs with high speeds and unlimited data are ideal for data-intensive tasks like streaming, downloading, and gaming. For enhanced privacy, choose a free VPN that doesn’t require registration. Although the first 2 VPNs aren't entirely free, their money-back guarantees allow you to test their full-featured Mac/iOS apps. In contrast, the entirely free options have limitations.

Free Plan or Money-Back Guarantee? Speeds Monthly Data Limit macOS Compatibility iOS Compatibility # of Countries With Servers Free Chrome/Firefox Extension? Signup Required? Works in China?
🥇ExpressVPN 30-day money-back guarantee Extremely fast Unlimited High Sierra 10.13+ iOS 12+ 105 No Yes Yes
🥈CyberGhost 45-day money-back guarantee Very fast Unlimited High Sierra 10.13+ iOS 13+ 100 Yes, with limitations Yes No
🥉Proton VPN Completely free Fast Unlimited Sierra 10.12+ iOS 14+ 3 No Yes No
Avira Phantom VPN Completely free Average 500MB High Sierra 10.13+ iOS 12+ 1 Yes, with limitations No No
hide.me Completely free Fast Unlimited Catalina 10.15+ 7 Yes, with limitations No Yes
Hotspot Shield Completely free Very fast Unlimited Sierra 10.12+ iOS 13+ 1 No No Yes
TunnelBear Completely free Fast 2GB Catalina 10.15+ iOS 12+ 47 Yes Yes Yes

Tips on Choosing the Best Free Mac VPN

When determining the rankings of the best free VPNs for Mac, these are the primary factors I took into account:

  • Really free. I made sure every VPN on my list is either 100% free, or offers a reliable and tested money-back guarantee.
  • Easy-to-use Mac apps. All the VPNs on my list have native apps for macOS, iOS, and iPad, and are fully compatible with Safari. They’re easy to install and use on desktop Mac, MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini, and iPhone.
  • Strong security and privacy. Every free VPNs on this list comes with AES 256-bit encryption and IP/DNS leak protection to keep your online movements private (some free VPNs don’t). I also checked each privacy policy and have clearly stated what data (if any) each VPN gathers.
  • Good speeds and enough data. Most free VPNs for Mac will restrict one or both of these factors. I tested speeds and checked the data limits of each VPN so you can choose which best suits your needs.
  • Smooth streaming. Our worldwide team and I tested each free VPN for Mac with various streaming platforms in the countries where they’re available to make sure they’re good for HD streaming.
  • Customer support. I ensured each free Mac VPN offers some kind of support in the form of email or searchable FAQ. 24/7 live chat support is the most convenient, but usually only paid VPNs offer this.

Other Free Mac VPNs

A few other free VPNs for Mac that we tested were decent, but they didn’t make the top of our list. Still, here are a few free alternatives for you to consider:

  • Kaspersky Secure Connection — this free Mac VPN gives you unlimited devices and a few security features, like automatic WiFi protection and a malware blocker. Although, you don’t get a kill switch, you can only connect to your nearest server, and your data is limited to just 500MB per month.
  • Speedify — with this free VPN, you get 2MB of data and access to 5 simultaneous devices and its entire server network on your Mac. But it doesn’t work with any major streaming platforms and slows speeds significantly (despite its claims). Plus, it logs some user data and lacks a kill switch.
  • OperaVPN — you have unlimited data, servers in 3 regions (the Americas, Europe, and Asia) and adblocking. On the down side, it’s built into Opera Browser, so you can only use it with the browser on your Mac device. It also doesn’t offer a kill switch or let you choose the specific server in each region.

Expert Tip: Most Free Mac VPNs Aren’t Safe

When you use a free Mac VPN that isn’t a product of a paid service, the “product” usually becomes you and your data. VPN providers have to make money somehow and do so using various underhand techniques. Here are some of the dangers of downloading random, untested VPNs:

  • They log your data and sell it to third parties. Most free VPNs that do this don’t even lie to their customers. VPNBook and BetternetVPN both admit to monitoring user data in their privacy policies. Data they collect can include the sites you visit, the time and duration of your sessions, your device model and OS, and the size of your screen.
  • They bombard you with annoying ads. As well as selling your data to “affiliates and relevant third parties”, it can also be utilized to show you endless “targeted” ads, optimized to your browsing history.
  • They have compromised security and weak encryption. Free Mac VPNs often lack basic security features like a kill switch and IP/DNS leak protection. Many will leak your real IP address, and some don’t encrypt your data at all.
  • They can infect your Mac with harmful viruses and malware. That can cost you a great deal over time. You may not even notice that your shiny Mac is infected until apps start slowing down, freezing, and crashing.

The truth is, many free VPNs for Mac have questionable ways of profiting from you. Given the value of your Apple devices and personal information, it's risky to use an unreliable, free Mac VPN. While the completely free VPNs I've included on my list do have some restrictions, they are nonetheless secure for use with Safari, thanks to financial support from their paying customers.

Free VPNs to Avoid

In contrast to the featured free Mac VPNs I’ve recommended, the free VPNs that I’ll list below might pose a risk when used. They have the potential to share your data with external entities or contain harmful malware and viruses. It is advised to steer clear of the following free Mac VPNs as they are deemed unsafe.

The following free Mac VPNs are not safe and should be avoided:

  • Hola: Hola is not a VPN but a peer-to-peer network. This means that you share a network with all users, so you’re accountable for everyone’s online activities.
  • VPNBook: Keeps logs and infects your device with malware.
  • VPN Gate: Run by volunteers and stores user logs.
  • SuperVPN: Infested with malware.
  • TurboVPN: Downloads malware to your device.
  • BetternetVPN: Keeps logs to create targeted advertisements.
  • GOVPN: Leaks your IP and DNS and has embedded malware in its app.

Quick Guide: How to Get Started With Your Free Mac VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Download a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN. It’s fully equipped with fast speeds, unlimited data, and P2P support. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days.
  2. Connect to a server. Nearby servers tend to be the fastest, but its entire network is reliable and stable for any online activity.
  3. Start browsing. Your data is now hidden on your macOS and iOS devices, and your browsing is private on Safari and any other apps you use.

FAQs on Free VPNs for Mac and Safari

How do I change my IP on Mac?

You can quickly and easily do this with a VPN. All of the VPNs in this list will effectively change the IP address on your Mac when you connect to one of their private servers. In doing so, you’re hiding your personal IP address from cybercriminals and prying eyes. This also prevents your activities from being traced back to you, so you can go online privately and safely.

Keep in mind not all VPNs (free or paid) reliably mask your IP address. You can use an online tool to check for leaks. I usually use ipleak.net to ensure the VPN has changed the IP on my Mac successfully. You just need to take note of your original IP address first, connect to a VPN server, then visit the site. It should show the same location and IP as the VPN.

Is there a free VPN browser extension for Safari?

No, Apple's strict rules make it tough for VPNs to have Safari extensions. A better option, anyway, is to use a full VPN since it secures your entire device, including your Safari browsing sessions. Most VPN browser extensions are just proxies that change your virtual location on your browser but don't encrypt your data. A full VPN encrypts data, to make your browsing activity harder to trace.

I also recommend that you use a Safari Private Window for extra security. It prevents data tracking and logs you out of data-tracking accounts. Safari also offers additional privacy features that you can enable, like Cross-Site Tracking prevention, Cookie Blocking, and IP Address Hiding.

What is the best free Mac VPN according to Reddit reviews?

A few VPNs came up frequently, but I found Proton VPN to be Redditors’ top choice for a 100% free Mac VPN. Reddit users praise it for its reliability and strong security, paired with its unlimited data.

When it comes to more serious VPN use cases (like finding a VPN for China), many of the Reddit recommendations are for ExpressVPN since it offers a money-back guarantee. It’s not free, but you can try it out risk-free for some time. There are several comments stating that it’s worth it and they’re happy with the service. I can confirm this since I’ve been testing ExpressVPN for a long time now.

What is the best free VPN for Mac to watch Netflix?

I can't really recommend using a free VPN for Netflix as they usually have very slow speeds and strict data limits. However, our US team did find some decent free options that can work with Netflix US.

For smooth Netflix streaming, consider a low-cost premium VPN with a money-back guarantee. Premium VPNs offer unlimited data and no bandwidth caps, providing uninterrupted Netflix streaming on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad.

Can I get a free VPN for Mac without registering?

Yes. A few VPNs don’t require you to sign up or register. While you need an email address and a credit card to use a premium VPN with a free trial, your data is stored using bank-level security, so it’s completely safe. You can even register with a temporary email address for extra privacy.

Are free Mac VPNs safe?

It depends, a lot of them aren’t — but all of the free Mac VPNs in this list are safe to use. They offer the security and privacy essentials needed to ensure your data is protected. This includes military-grade encryption, reputable protocols, and leak protection. Plus, none of them log any identifiable information from you.

These are just the minimum requirements a VPN should have to keep your Mac and all the data on it safe. If security is your primary concern, it’s worth upgrading to a premium VPN with more advanced features, like a kill switch, an audited no-logs policy, and some sort of malware prevention. The top 2 listed VPNs offer these features and more.

Will a free Mac VPN work on my other devices as well?

Yes, but you might have to log out before using another device. You can use any of the VPNs listed here on a number of devices. Generally, if the VPN doesn’t require you to create an account, you should be able to use it on as many devices at once as you want. If you’re required to sign up, then device connections tend to be limited to only one at a time.

Do any free Mac VPNs work in China?

Free VPNs rarely work in China, but I found a few. For a VPN to work in China, it needs strong security features and fast speeds. Server obfuscation is offered by a few of the free Mac VPNs in this list. This security feature allows the VPN to bypass tough firewalls and work in strictly-censored countries like China. It also adds a layer of privacy to prevent prying eyes from spying on your online activities.

On top of this, the Great Firewall limits speeds on sites from outside of the country, as it is. So, your free Mac VPN should be fast enough to prevent too much speed loss on top of that. Otherwise, it will be difficult to do much browsing at all.

How much will a free VPN impact my Mac's speed?

It depends. A speed-optimized VPN will keep your speed loss at a minimum. So you might only see speeds about 5-25% below your base. That said, some free Mac VPNs are super limited on speeds (I've seen up to 90% reductions!).

Free VPNs often deliberately cap speeds to prevent servers from overloading, and to encourage users to upgrade to premium subscriptions. They usually only have 1 to 5 locations, which causes speed loss due to server crowding. You’ll also get slower speeds from faraway server locations.

Does Apple have a built-in VPN?

No, Apple doesn't have a built-in VPN for macOS products. To use Mac’s VPN interface, you still need a VPN subscription that comes with IKEv2 or L2TP configuration files, like ExpressVPN. Most free VPNs don’t offer this, though. Plus, connecting a VPN via this method gives you limited options. It’s better to install a VPN’s native Mac app, so you have full functionality — from security settings to the location you connect to.

On the other hand, iCloud offers Private Relay for Safari (only). This is just a proxy connection, though, and a slow one at that. It doesn’t change your virtual location or encrypt your traffic. So it’s not as safe or beneficial as using a VPN.

Why do I need a VPN for Mac?

Yes, it’s worth having a VPN on MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac, and any other Mac device. A free VPN for Mac provides several advantages, whether it's for enhancing security or enjoying entertainment.

In countries belonging to the 5 Eyes Alliance (such as the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), ISPs are obligated to monitor and disclose your browsing data to government authorities. A reliable free VPN ensures the encryption of your Mac's data and hides its IP address, thereby protecting your Safari browsing activities from ISPs, government surveillance, and potential hacker threats.

It also enhances security on public WiFi, which is crucial for open networks. A VPN with a malware blocker safeguards against malicious content.

Get the Best Free VPN for Mac and Safari

All completely-free VPNs limit you in some way. But there are VPNs on my list that offer various features, including strong security, fast speeds, smooth streaming, and torrent support. Most completely-free services don’t offer all of the above. But you can still find one for any specific activity. That’s why I added a couple of premium services to my list so you can compare and contrast.

For the most complete Mac experience, I recommend ExpressVPN. It offers everything listed above, plus unlimited data and speed, and it runs natively on Apple silicone processors. While it’s not 100% free, you can try ExpressVPN without risk as it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If it’s not ideal for you, claiming a refund is quick and easy.

The best VPNs for Mac (and Safari) that come with money-back guarantees are…

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 84%!
3
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
4
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 67%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 82%!
Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

James conducts rigorous hands-on research and testing to evaluate dozens of VPNs for his articles. He's an advocate for digital freedom.

Did you like this article? Rate it!
I hated it! I don't really like it It was ok Pretty good! Loved it!
out of 10 - Voted by users
Thank you for your feedback