We’re living in a time when most of our lives are closely entwined with the Internet and the devices we use to access it. In addition to making our lives significantly easier and more fun, this has brought certain disadvantages and hazards such as our privacy being threatened, content being actively kept from us, or worse - our information and devices being targeted by hackers.
These problems - the latter one especially - has started to increasingly affect the owners and users of Apple’s desktop computers and MacBooks. This has led many of them to start looking for a suitable virtual private network (VPNs) to protect themselves and gain access to various regionally restricted content.
VPNs are platforms designed to help solve the above problems, assigning the user a virtual IP address matching the location he or she needs in order to access certain content or simply to hide their private information from prying eyes.
There are several things you need to pay attention to when deciding upon a good VPN service for your Mac device. First, it has to have a dedicated Mac client. Second, it needs to provide sturdy security and privacy levels. Finally, it needs to provide good performance, especially if you intend to use it for streaming content unavailable at a specific location.
We scoured the market for the best VPNs for your Mac and here’s what we found:
Best VPN on the market… with a price to match
Dedicated Mac client: Yes | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Maximum connections: 5
ExpressVPN is the best VPN service in the industry, which is why its price is a bit higher than among the competition. It has bullet-proof security thanks to the 256-encryption, a kill switch, and a split tunneling tool, as well as the capacity to unblock both popular and less known streaming (and other) services otherwise unavailable or censored in specific regions.
Other great features include servers scattered across 94 countries, P2P support, and a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee that serves as a free trial.
Its Mac client features a simple and clean interface that everyone will easily get around in, even if they’re total VPN beginners. For instance, connecting is possible via just one simple click on the button.
There are some advanced options as well, such as setting up a wireless hotspot via your device’s wired connection. This allows you to connect your local devices to the VPN without having to set up the provider’s services on them.
ExpressVPN also offers a Safari browser extension and iOS app, giving you a full cross-device Mac VPN experience.
Superior Mac VPN at low cost
Dedicated Mac client: Yes | Number of servers: 6,500+ | Maximum connections: 7
CyberGhost prides itself with a straightforward and intuitive user interface for its Mac client, as well as many other outstanding features that will make you opt for this VPN vendor instead of any other.
First of all, it has more than 6,500 servers in over 110 locations, allowing you to attain high speeds, download torrents, and access to all sorts of localised content like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, ESPN, Vudu, Hulu, FOX, Showtime, Canal+… The list is huge.
Needless to say, your privacy is protected with all the usual security measures often found in a big VPN name - strong encryption, a kill switch, as well as some extras like a blocker of ads, malware, and trackers.
Support is available via live chat if you run into any issues, and there’s a 45-day money-back guarantee if you're not 100 per cent satisfied with the service.
All you need and then some
Dedicated Mac client: Yes | Number of servers: 5,500+ | Maximum connections: 6
NordVPN is a veteran in the VPN sphere, with clients to fit quite a few platforms. One of them is the Mac app which provides users with more choice in comparison to many, although both this app and the iOS one may feel a bit basic.
While the default OpenVPN version can be downloaded straight off the website, you can also get your hands on the IKEv2 one if you look it up in the App Store. Speaking of OpenVPN, the provider allows you to manually set it up without installing any of the apps.
Onto the features - the P2P support is there, as is the bufferless unblocking of the video-on-demand platforms that include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney Plus, and others, thanks to its SmartPlay technology implemented by default in all of the VPN’s apps.
The provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee which allows you to fully test the service and ask for a refund within 30 days if you don’t want to continue using it.
Great VPN doesn’t have to be expensive
Dedicated Mac client: Yes | Number of servers: 1,700+ | Maximum connections: Unlimited
Unlike most other VPN providers, Surfshark will let you connect as many of your Mac (and other) devices as you like. In addition to the lack of the limitation on simultaneous connections, you likely won’t feel the effect of Surfshark on your wallet as it will only deduct $1.99 per month under the 24-month contract. In addition to a low price, it offers a free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you thought you couldn’t get decent service at such a low price, you’re wrong. Surfshark has all the security features boasted by the competition, including a kill switch, the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, as well as the 256-bit encryption.
It doesn’t stop at superior security either. Getting this VPN will also let you access quite a bit of content that might be blocked in some countries for various reasons. This includes various localised versions of Netflix (South Korea, Poland, Italy, and India, just to name a few), BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook, YouTube, and more.
If you want to test it out, you will need to sign up and pay for a package, but you’ll be able to ask for a refund within 30 days of doing so and you’ll get it, no questions asked.
US-based VPN specialising in blazing speeds
Dedicated Mac client: Yes | Number of servers: 1,400+ | Maximum cionnections: 10
IPVanish is a US VPN service that provides all the usual features - a kill switch, connection protocols (OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP), split tunneling, as well as military-grade 256-bit encryption. On top of it all, it ensures ultra high speeds, especially if you choose the option to be automatically connected to the most suitable server for your location.
This is especially ideal for those that intend to use it for downloading large files and streaming some popular geo-restricted services that include Netflix US (although no other localised versions are available, and neither is BBC iPlayer).
There are more than 1,400 servers at your disposal and they are all owned and managed exclusively by IPVanish, making it a top tier VPN provider. The servers are also P2P-optimised so you won’t have any problems using them for large file-sharing via torrenting clients.
An increasingly popular practice among VPN providers is offering a risk-free money-back guarantee and IPVanish is no different. You have 30 days to change your mind and request a refund.