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7 Best FREE VPNs for Mac and Safari (Tested & Updated 2022)

Macs are becoming a more popular target for hackers. I’ve been a long-time Apple fan because I always felt safer using its products. However, as the company’s gained more customers, hackers have started targeting Mac users more and more. Unfortunately, VPN Safari extensions are largely unavailable (especially not free ones). A better option to stay safe is to use a full VPN app.

Using a VPN app, your entire Mac is protected, including your traffic in Safari. Plus, there are many available for free. I tested 30 free VPNs on my Macbook Pro and shortlisted the best ones that are safe to use (some of them even performed well for streaming!). Unfortunately, as most free VPNs do, they have some limitations.

While I was determined only to shortlist completely free VPNs, my top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It isn’t 100% free, but it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. In addition, it has industry-leading security features, superfast speeds, and unlimited bandwidth that make it super safe and great for streaming — no free VPN can match it. Since it’s backed by a money-back guarantee, you can test ExpressVPN out risk-free. I made sure they’d hold true to their word, and I got all my money back in 3 days with no hassle.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Free VPNs for Mac and Safari — Tested in May 2022

  1. ExpressVPN — Strong security features to safeguard your Mac and Safari browsing sessions. Superfast speeds and 3,000+ servers in 94 countries. You can try ExpressVPN on your Mac risk-free for 30 days because it offers a money-back guarantee.
  2. CyberGhost — Huge server network, fast speeds, and optimized servers for easy access to streaming and torrenting. It offers a trustworthy 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out with your Mac for free.
  3. ProtonVPN — This free VPN has unlimited data, so you can browse and stream on your Mac as much as you want, but it has slow speeds and a tiny selection of servers.
  4. Avira Phantom VPN — Free native Mac app with IP/DNS leak protection that passed my tests, but you only get 1GB of data per month and it doesn’t come with a kill switch.
  5. hide.me — Robust security features to keep your Mac protected for free, with a decent 10GB of monthly data allowed, but it doesn't work with streaming sites.

And 2 more free VPNs for Mac and Safari

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now

Best Free VPNs for Mac and Safari — Full Analysis (Updated May 2022)

1. ExpressVPN — Secure Mac App With Lightning-Fast Speeds and a Global Network

  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch
  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Unlimited data and superfast speeds
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, Apple TV, and more
ExpressVPN Offer May 2022: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN has great security features to keep all the vital information on your Mac safe (this includes any activity in Safari, as well). It comes with AES 256-bit encryption. This is the strongest encryption standard, so your IP will be hidden from anyone looking to steal your data. To protect you even when the VPN suddenly disconnects, the automatic kill switch will block your internet connection. In addition, it also offers IP/DNS/WebRTC leak protection. I tested 15 of its servers and didn’t find any IP/DNS leaks.

Screenshot of leak tests done on ipleak.net while connected to ExpressVPN

While connected to a server in Texas, ipleak.net only showed the IP and DNS addresses of ExpressVPN's server, so I knew my real info wasn't accessible

It uses RAM-based servers, meaning your browsing history is automatically deleted upon each reboot of the server. It also adheres to a zero-logs policy, so ExpressVPN will never store any of your information. This policy has been proven by audits — independent security companies verified that ExpressVPN truly doesn’t keep any logs. Moreover, it’s headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.

ExpressVPN has unlimited data and superfast speeds, so I was able to browse and stream without any delays. It even offers a proprietary protocol (Lightway) that's optimized for minimal speed loss while keeping your data secure. When I switched from OpenVPN to Lightway, I immediately noticed a speed boost of about 15%. Using this, I tested more than 20 servers using my MacBook, and my speeds averaged 54.2 Mbps. You only need 25 Mbps to stream in 4K, so I never had to worry about buffering.

You can unblock tons of content with ExpressVPN's network of 3,000 servers in 94 countries worldwide (and they all support torrenting, too). This allowed me to access Netflix regions in the UK, Germany, Australia, and the US. Plus, I could use my HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney+ accounts. The VPN even works in China and other countries with strict censorship (like Turkey and Iran). However, the team at vpnMentor recommends you check the local laws if you plan to use a VPN in a country that regulates their use to be sure you don't break any laws.

ExpressVPN’s native Mac app is compatible with OS X El Capitan (10.11) and newer, and it's super easy to use. I didn’t have to manually search for the best server in a country, as the Mac app automatically connected me to the fastest server available. It even allows you to save shortcuts to your favorite websites and apps. You don’t need to be a tech expert to use this VPN.

You can even use split tunneling to choose what traffic passes through the VPN. I use this feature when I want to access local sites while I’m torrenting through the VPN tunnel on my Mac. You’ll also never have to worry about losing access to your online banking and domestic streaming sites since you can exclude them from the VPN with this feature.

It's true that ExpressVPN isn’t really free. However, it is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows you to test all ExpressVPN’s premium features risk-free. You can ask for your money back if you’re not satisfied. I tried the policy myself to make sure it's legitimate and asked for a refund using its 24/7 live chat support. The support agents always responded in 2 minutes or less. After the support team member asked me a few user-satisfaction-related questions, they approved my refund. I had my money back in 3 business days.

Start Risk-Free With ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — Mac App With a Large Server Network to Access Content Worldwide

  • 7,909 servers in 91 countries
  • Unlimited data and lightning-fast speeds
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more
May 2022 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 82% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost’s Mac app lets you access a vast network of 7,909 servers in 91 countries. I tested more than 15 servers in the US and could unblock my US Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max accounts while traveling abroad. The VPN also comes with specialty servers for streaming and torrenting. The streaming servers are optimized for high speeds and reliable access to streaming sites — its torrenting connections offer strong security and fast downloads. This way, you'll have no problem finding a reliable and speedy connection.

Since it provides tons of strong security features, you don’t have to worry about your online data being exposed. It has AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, automatic WiFi protection, HTTPS redirect, and leak protection. To be sure you can rely on this, I ran 5 of its servers through a leak test and didn’t find any IP/DNS/WebRTC leaks. This ensures that the private information on your Mac and within the Safari browser is protected from various cyberthreats.

Screenshot of CyberGhost app settings showing where to toggle automatic WiFi protection

I recommend choosing "Always connect" just to be safe

CyberGhost has a strict zero-logs policy, so it won't store or sell your data, either. This means that your online activities can’t be logged. Plus, it releases transparency reports every 3 months that show you how many requests are made for its data (and that it has never had anything to share). On top of that, it's headquartered in Romania (a country outside of the 14 Eyes Alliance). With CyberGhost, you can use your Mac and browse Safari without having to worry about your privacy.

You can stream, browse, and play games without slowdowns. I tested 15 of its servers and had an average speed of 45.6 Mbps; plus, optimized servers increased my download rate by 15%. Those fast speeds also come with unlimited data and are more than fast enough for streaming your favorite shows in high quality on your Mac (you only need 25 Mbps to stream in UltraHD, so my speeds were almost double what you need).

It only took me 3 minutes to download and install the app on my MacBook. CyberGhost also has an easy-to-use Mac app, so it’s a great option if you're new to VPNs.  After the installation was complete, I could find and connect to a server in just a couple of clicks.

Although you have to pay for a plan upfront, CyberGhost offers a money-back guarantee, so you can test it with your Mac for free. Unfortunately, the short-term plan only gives you 14 days to test CyberGhost out. To get the 45-day money-back guarantee, you'll have to sign up for a long-term plan. However, the refund policy is super straightforward — it took less than 5 minutes for my return to be issued.

When I tested this, the support agent asked me a couple of user-satisfaction-related questions, then quickly issued my refund. Within 5 days, I saw the money in my bank account again.

Start FREE With CyberGhost

3. ProtonVPN — Unlimited Data for Non-Stop Streaming and Browsing on Your Mac

  • Unlimited data and decent speeds
  • 24 free servers in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan
  • 1 device connection
  • Can unblock: Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, Kodi
  • Compatible with: Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and routers

ProtonVPN lets me stream and browse on my MacBook for as long as I want. You can watch Netflix without any limits because free users have no data caps. Altogether, there are 24 free servers in Japan, the Netherlands, and the US. All of these servers gave me access to Netflix and let me watch shows and movies in HD.

It keeps everything on your Mac protected from hackers with its great security features. The VPN has AES 256-bit encryption, Perfect Forward Secrecy, IP/DNS leak protection, the Wireguard and OpenVPN protocols, and a kill-switch. To test the kill switch, I kept a browser open while I changed locations. The page was unavailable whenever a new server was connecting, so I can confirm the kill switch works as advertised.

Screenshot of ProtonVPN's kill switch

You don't need to worry about your online data being exposed when using ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN was developed by former CERN scientists — the same people who made the top encrypted email service, ProtonMail.  The creators also located the company in Switzerland, outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This means that ProtonVPN is not obligated by law to share your personal information with the authorities. Moreover, it comes with a strict no-logs policy that has been audited and verified by independent security companies.

ProtonVPN comes with good speeds on nearby servers for buffer-free streaming. During my tests with my MacBook, I had strong speeds of 31.2 Mbps on its local servers in the Netherlands. However, when I connected to its long-distance servers in Japan and the US, my speeds dropped to 13.4 Mbps. In addition, since the free VPN doesn’t have an extensive server network, they are often overcrowded. Although it claims you can't torrent on free servers, it worked for me (but the download rates were 80% slower than my normal connection).

It offers a native Mac app that is compatible with macOS Sierra (10.12) and newer. The setup is super easy, and it only took me 2 minutes to install and connect to a server. I also found a way to overcome the 1 device limitation — you can install it to your router. There are easy-to-follow tutorials for this on its site, but a bit of tech knowledge is definitely a plus. This way, you can use it with your laptop, tablet, mobile phone, and more.

Even though all 3 server locations let me access Netflix, I did notice that only Netflix Originals were available. These are offered in every region, so the free servers don’t let you access content exclusive to these countries. However, it was better than getting blocked by an error message, and there was still plenty to watch.

In addition, ProtonVPN doesn’t offer 24/7 customer service, so I had to contact them by email. Even though it took 3 days to get a response from support, it was still very informative and helpful.

Start FREE With ProtonVPN

4. Avira Phantom VPN — Unlimited Connections Lets You Protect All Your Mac Devices

  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Fast speeds with up to 1GB of data per month
  • 1 free server (nearest location)
  • Can unblock: Only local sites (the free plan only connects to local servers)
  • Compatible with: Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android

Avira Phantom VPN lets you connect as many devices as you want. That's a pretty rare feature for any VPN, especially a free one. I tested it out by connecting it to my Macbook Pro, my iMac, and my iPhone. I was browsing on Safari with each device, and I didn't notice any difference in the performance. Plus, I was happy to see it passed leak tests with each device too.

Screenshot of test performed on Ipleak.net while connected to Avira Phantom VPN

The test showed me that none of the websites I visited could see my IP address

You can trust Avira Phantom VPN to be responsible with your data because it has a strict no-logs policy. While reading through it, I found that it doesn’t log any browsing history, IP addresses, or personal information. This means it keeps your Mac secure without storing data that can be used to track you.

It has some impressive speeds, so you won’t experience any annoying slowdowns on your Mac. My speeds averaged 34.5 Mbps during my tests. This allowed me to stream in HD as you only need 5 Mbps for that. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with unlimited data like ProtonVPN; Avira Phantom has a data cap of 500MB per month. This is only enough for small activities like checking emails and browsing. Luckily, you can get 500MB more if you sign up with your email address.

The VPN comes with a native Mac app that is compatible with macOS Sierra (10.12.4) and later. One minor con is that you can only connect to 1 server (but it does allow torrenting). You have to use the ‘nearest location’ feature, which automatically assigns you a server that’s close to where you are. It's not a good option if you want to unblock geo-restricted content. However, this free VPN is still a great option if you want to stay safe on your Mac and Safari.

The only downfall is that the free service doesn't provide direct customer support. You have to upgrade for support via email, phone, and social media. Fortunately, Avira’s website has an extensive database with answers to the most frequently asked questions. I even found video tutorials on how to install the VPN on my MacBook.

Start FREE with Avira Phantom VPN

5. hide.me — Top-Notch Security Features to Protect Your Mac Devices

  • AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection
  • 10GB of data per month and fast speeds on all 5 free servers
  • 1 device connection
  • Can unblock: YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram
  • Compatible with: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers

The free version of hide.me has military-grade security features that prevent anyone from stealing the data on your Mac. You can choose from a wide range of VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, Wireguard, SoftEther, SSTP, and IKEv2. It also comes with AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, Stealth Guard, and IP/DNS leak protection. When I tested its 5 free servers, I didn’t find any IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks.

Screenshot of hideme's Stealth Guard feature

You can attach all your favorite apps so they always move through the VPN tunnel

I found that hide.me doesn’t store any personal browsing history from your Mac sessions. It has a minimal logging policy, that ensures it doesn't track your online activities. However, it does log your VPN username and the IP addresses you’ve used. Although I was worried about that, I was happy to read that the data is anonymous and gets erased every few hours, so it's not stored for long. In addition, hide.me is located in Malaysia, which is good for privacy since it's outside the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance.

You get fast speeds and 10GB of data for free every month with hide.me. So, I had plenty of bandwidth to torrent a 500MB file — it only took 3 minutes. The superfast speeds also let me stream and browse without interruptions. During my MacBook tests, I found an average of 25.6 Mbps.

Even though the free plan only allows for 1 device connection, it gives you access to plenty of features. For instance, I was able to use split tunneling to access local content (like the news) without turning my VPN off. Downloading its native Mac app is easy, and it's compatible with macOS Catalina (10.15) and up.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t access any popular streaming sites like Netflix or Disney+ with its 5 free servers (Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, US East, and US West). However, I was happy to find that all its servers support P2P traffic. This means that hide.me is a great VPN to help you stay protected while torrenting on your Mac.

For any questions that may arise, you can reach out using hide.me's 24/7 live chat. When I had a question about downloading the VPN, a live agent replied within 2 minutes. They explained that you can download the app without signing up or registering, which is really convenient.

Start FREE with hide.me

6. Hotspot Shield — Catapult Hydra Protocol for Fast Browsing on Mac

  • Fast speeds with 15GB of data per month (500MB per day)
  • 1 free server in the US
  • 1 device connection
  • Can unblock: YouTube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram
  • Compatible with: Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android

Hotspot Shield’s Mac app uses the unique Catapult Hydra protocol to improve speeds when you're browsing. During my speed tests, I had an average speed of 18.4 Mbps. This is impressive since the free server it offers is located in the US (which is more than 5000 km away from my location).

You can use your Mac without having to worry about your online safety. Hotspot Shield has top-notch security features that keep your IP hidden, including AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection. I performed several leak tests and didn’t find any IP/DNS leaks.

Hotspot Shield lets you use 500MB of data per day, which is plenty for checking emails and updating social media. You can also download small files. However, I ran out of data after watching a video in SD for 30 minutes. This means that it’s not enough to stream your favorite shows on your Mac in one sitting.

The VPN offers a native Mac app that doesn’t require you to sign up or register. It's compatible with macOS Sierra (10.12) and higher, and it also offers built-in malware protection to block suspicious websites and protect you from potential malware infections. However, be aware there are in-app ads with a free account and they do get a bit annoying.

A minor con is that the VPN’s headquarters are located in the US (inside the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance). In addition, while reading through its logging policy, I did find that it keeps some anonymous logs of the device and the amount of bandwidth you’re using. However, since they cannot identify you with this data, it is still a good VPN to keep your Mac safe.

Hotspot Shield doesn’t offer its 24/7 live support with its free service. Luckily, it provides an extensive FAQ section and troubleshooting guides on its website. There's also an option to email support if you can't find an answer to your question. When I emailed a question regarding the protocols, I received a helpful response from a representative within a few hours.

Start FREE with Hotspot Shield

7. TunnelBear — Easy Setup to Start Browsing on Mac Within Minutes

  • 500MB of data per month and decent speeds
  • 2,600 free servers in 49 locations
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: Youtube, Spotify, Facebook, Instagram
  • Compatible with: Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android

TunnelBear offers a user-friendly Mac app that is easy to set up. It only took me 5 minutes to download and install the VPN. Moreover, you can connect to a reliable server with only 1 click, and it has an adorable interface with cartoon bear animations. This makes it fun to use and a good option for beginners. The app is compatible with macOS Sierra (10.12) and up.

 I ran its servers through a leak test and didn’t find any. That's because TunnelBear has robust security features that protect your Mac’s online data. These features include AES 256-bit encryption, OpenVPN support, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection.

It doesn't store any of the metadata on your Mac. The VPN's strict no-logging policy gets audited yearly, and TunnelBear also publishes an annual transparency report. Any time requests are made for data on its servers, it has nothing to share. This means that although it’s based in Canada (within the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance), you don’t have to worry about your online data being logged or shared.

During my MacBook tests, it had decent speeds on local servers. When I tested 8 of its European servers, I got average speeds of 14.6 Mbps. However, on long-distance servers, my rate decreased by 40%. Luckily, you can use its extensive server network to connect to a server nearby and optimize your speeds for smoother browsing.

Its GhostBear Mode helps you bypass censorship and deep packet inspection (DPI). It makes your encrypted data look like non-VPN traffic. This means you can use it on your Mac to bypass strong firewalls and VPN-specific blocks.

Unfortunately, TunnelBear has a data cap of 500 MB per month, which is far too little to stream in high quality. However, since I couldn’t unblock any streaming platforms with it, this VPN isn't a good option for streaming anyway. Luckily, you can get an extra GB of data if you tweet the company. I tweeted them through a pop-up in the app when I downloaded it and the extra 1GB was added to my account less than 2 minutes later.

Start FREE with TunnelBear

Quick Comparison Table: Best Free VPNs for Mac and Safari

VPN Speeds Data Limit Per Month macOS compatibility Logging Policy Server Locations Sign Up Required
🥇ExpressVPN Fast Unlimited OS X El Capitan (10.11)+ Strict No-Logs 94 Yes
🥈CyberGhost Fast Unlimited Sierra (10.12)+ Strict No-Logs 91 No
🥉ProtonVPN Average Unlimited Sierra (10.12)+ Strict No-Logs 3 Yes
Avira Fast 1GB (500 MB without signing up) High Sierra (10.13)+ Keeps Anonymized Logs 1 No
hide.me Fast 10GB Catalina (10.15)+ Strict No-Logs 5 No
Hotspot Shield Fast 15GB
(500MB/day)
Sierra (10.12)+ Keeps Anonymized Logs 1 No
TunnelBear Average 500MB Sierra (10.12)+ Keeps Anonymized Logs 49 Yes

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Now

Warning: Risks of Free VPNs

Many free VPNs for Mac are unsafe and can’t be trusted with your data. All of the free VPNs on our list were tested to ensure their safety.

These are some of the dangers when downloading a random free VPN:

  • Free VPNs can collect and sell your data. Free VPNs often sell Mac users' data to third parties for a profit. Always check the free VPNs’ logging policies to ensure your online data is protected.
  • Free VPNs can leak your data due to weak security features. They often don’t have the budget to keep their security protocols up-to-date, which leads to IP/DNS data leaks on your Mac. In addition, you miss out on important security features such as a kill switch and military-grade encryption.
  • Free VPNs can be infected with harmful viruses and malware. A lot of free VPNs have malware and viruses embedded in their app. Furthermore, because most free VPNs need advertising to make a profit, they often don’t have built-in ad blockers. This means they can bombard your Mac with ads and even increase the risk of infecting your device with malware.

The best way to stay safe on your Mac is to use a low-cost VPN. They offer military-grade security features and come with a strict no-logs policy. Plus, they don’t have limitations like data caps, slow speeds, and small server networks. Luckily, the top services offer a money-back guarantee so that you can test them for a limited period of time. You can always ask for a refund if you’re not impressed.

Free VPNs to Avoid

Unlike the free VPNs for Mac on my list, these free VPNs are dangerous to use. They can share your data with third parties or include malware and viruses.
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.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today

Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Mac and Safari

I’ve decided to share the key features I tested to determine my shortlist. This way, you can make your own informed decision when choosing the right free VPN for Mac and Safari:

  • Really free. I tested every VPN and ensured that it’s either completely free or backed by a reliable money-back guarantee.
  • Easy-to-use Mac app. I made sure that all the VPNs on this list come with full-featured native mac apps that are all easy to install and use.
  • Strong security and privacy features. I ensured that all VPNs on this list have military-grade security features like AES 256-bit encryption and IP/DNS leak protection. Moreover, I read through every logging policy to ensure that the VPNs on my list keep your data private.
  • Fast speeds and enough data. I checked all the data limits and tested the speeds of all the VPNs on my list to ensure that you can browse, stream, and torrent without annoying slowdowns.
  • Allows P2P downloads. I made sure that most VPNs on my list support P2P file sharing.
  • Ability to unblock some streaming sites. Most free VPNs cannot unblock streaming sites at all. The only VPNs on this list that could unblock streaming sites were ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and ProtonVPN.
  • Responsive customer support. I made sure that it was easy to get in touch with customer support or find answers on the VPN’s website.

Quick Guide: How to Set Up a VPN for Mac and Safari

  1. Download a VPN. My top recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has a native Mac app, robust security features, and superfast speeds (You can even try it risk-free as it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee).
  2. Connect to a server. If you want to keep your speeds as fast as possible, make sure to connect to a server nearby.
  3. Start browsing! Now you can safely browse on your Mac.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today

FAQs About Free VPNs for Mac and Safari

Is there a free VPN browser extension for Safari?

No, I didn't find any free VPNs with Safari extensions during my tests. There used to be a few, but it has become more difficult to get extensions approved by Apple over the years. However, there are many great (and free!) VPN apps available for Mac that protect your data in Safari as well as your entire Apple device.

If you're particular about using a browser extension, most VPNs offer them for Chrome and Firefox, so you can still use them on a Mac if you have one of those browsers installed.

What is the best free VPN to unblock Netflix on Mac?

For reliable access to Netflix's regional libraries, I recommend my top 2 listed Mac VPNs. They both come with money-back guarantees, which lets you try them out for a limited time with the guarantee of a full refund within that period. This gives you access to their large server networks which unblock Netflix reliably. Plus, they have unlimited data and superfast speeds for buffer-free streaming.

From the 100% free options, ProtonVPN let me easily access Netflix on my Macbook — but only Netflix Originals. This is somewhat helpful, but this content is available everywhere Netflix is available anyways.

Unfortunately, most truly free VPNs won’t work at all due to the IP blocks that Netflix constantly updates. Free VPNs simply don't have the funds to upgrade their technology fast enough to keep up. In addition, they often come with other limitations, such as data caps and slow speeds that make streaming almost impossible. For Netflix, my recommendation is to use a premium service’s free trial or money-back guarantee instead.

Can I get a free VPN for Mac without registering?

Yes, you can. Many free VPNs for Mac don’t ask you to enter your email address or create an account to download the VPN. Avira Phantom VPN, hide.me, and Hotspot Shield all don’t require you to register.

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

For the most part, no, because free VPNs are usually only available for 1 device connection at a time. However, Avira Phantom VPN has a free tier that actually lets you connect unlimited devices. That's super rare for a free VPN. On top of Mac, it also lets you download apps for devices running iOS, Windows, or Android operating systems.

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

It will lower your speeds quite a bit more than a low-cost premium VPN will. Free VPNs offer a limited number of servers that are often overcrowded. The more users on a server, the slower the speeds tend to be. Some free VPNs throttle your bandwidth, which slows your connection down even more. This is done to encourage you to upgrade to a paid plan.

The fastest free VPN on our list (Avira Phantom VPN) was still around 63% slower than ExpressVPN on average. If you're concerned about speed, then it's best to try a low-cost premium VPN that comes with a money-back guarantee.

Why do I need a VPN for Mac?

Without a VPN, all of the personal information on your Mac can easily be exploited by hackers and other malicious third parties. A Mac VPN protects your online privacy because it encrypts your personal data and hides your online traffic from your ISP, hackers, and other malicious third parties. This way, you don’t need to worry about your online data being logged and shared. Moreover, a VPN allows you to access geo-restricted content from anywhere.

You might think that just because you run a Mac, you're safe from these threats. But, the threat of cyber attacks was growing twice as fast for Mac users as it was for Windows users in 2020. A VPN is a great way to safeguard your Mac in spite of these growing online threats.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free Today

The Bottom Line

Out of all the free VPNs I tested, ExpressVPN was the best. Truthfully, it's not 100% free, but it was no match against any of the truly free VPNs on this list. While the free options are safe, they come with limitations that make them a poor choice for long-term use (capped speeds, not enough data, small server networks, and poor unblocking abilities to name a few). ExpressVPN doesn't have any such limitations and some of the best security features available.

It comes with a trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee. When I tested the guarantee to make sure they stood by their word, I wasn't disappointed. I contacted the 24/7 live chat team to request a refund and the agent didn't pressure me to stay at all. They just asked why I wanted to cancel and after explaining, my refund was approved. So, I can honestly recommend trying ExpressVPN out yourself because it is risk-free. It only took 3 days for me to get my money back in full.

The best VPNs for Mac and Safari with money-back guarantees are…

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About the Author

Kristel is a tech researcher and writer with a keen interest in online privacy and cybersecurity. She advocates for digital freedom.

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