Isn’t it easy to just live in a fantasy world? To think you’re somehow immune to the security threats floating round the web for an easy prey.
Mac users sure do think this way.
However, if we’ve learned anything over the years, it’s the vulnerability of Macs to suffer privacy and security breaches.
We must not also forget that no operating system can do anything about issues such as government spying, censorship, and geo-restrictions.
As such, it definitely pays to improve your online freedom and security.
The most effective way to achieve this is by using the best VPN for Mac devices.
But the world of VPNs is a little complicated, containing hundreds of providers.
My aim in writing this blog is to help you narrow down your search for the right VPN and make true internet freedom a reality with top-notch privacy.
How to Choose The Right VPN?
Although you can find many Mac compatible VPN clients online, it is difficult to find one that is properly optimized.
I mean what’s the point of a VPN if it doesn’t run properly?
The main purpose of a VPN is to anonymize your online identity, enhance your privacy, and destroy censorship/geo-restrictions.
Since Mac does not allow users to tinker around with settings as much as Windows does, it is important that you pick a VPN that comes pre-configured with all the necessary bells and whistles.
5 Best Mac VPNs in 2019
The list of VPNs that I am going to show you shortly was prepared on the basis of a few criteria to sift the mediocre services from the best.
These are the criteria that went into making this list:
- Speed (Results gathered from our comprehensive fastest VPN blog)
- Mac compatibility
- Encryption algorithms
- Server network
- P2P compatibility
- Data logging policies
- Customer care
|VPN Providers||Price ($)||Special Deals||More Info|
Best Affordable VPN
$2.88 Per Month
Exclusive Discount 2 years Plan
Best Budget Service
$1.99 Per Month
2 Years Deal
Best for Geo-Unblocking
$2.99 Per Month
3 Years Plan
Best for Streaming
$6.67 Per Month
No Exclusive Offer
Best for Private Browsing
$2.75 Per Month
3 Years Deal
Once you choose a VPN, you can learn how to set it up with a step by step guide here.
1. NordVPN – Server Champ
When considering top tier VPN providers, NordVPN just can’t be left behind. Its rock-solid privacy at dirt cheap prices simply make it one of the most desirable VPNs for Mac users.
If we consider privacy, there are hardly any competitors that do it better than Nord.
After all, it offers features like AES-256-CBC ciphers, kill switch, OpenVPN and a huge arsenal of servers around the globe for ultimate coverage and uncompromised speeds.
NordVPN operates out of Panama, which puts it out of the reach of any regulatory authorities.
So you can rest assured your data is totally safe with Nord, because they don’t log any of it in the first place, holding true to their strict no data logging policy.
Therefore, whether you want to torrent or stream Netflix and chill NordVPN has definitely got you covered.
Since NordVPN offers a huge number of servers, it barely felt like I was connected to a VPN, which is really impressive.
Overall Mac Experience:
Nord offers an amazingly easy to install the client for Mac that’ll wow any minimalistic Apple user.
The interface is smooth and responsive, so much so that there are literally no lags or crashes in the Mac application.
Nord also offers an exceptional 24/7 email and live chat support along with the option to connect 6 devices simultaneously.
To top it off this provider also offers 30-day full money back guarantee and a three-day free trial with no credit cards required, so you can try out their service without any strings attached.
- Ultimate discount deal [75% off], $2.99 a month – 3 year plan.
- [66% off], $3.99 a month – 2 year plan.
- [41% off], $6.99 a month – 1 year plan.
- $11.95 a month – 1 month plan.
2. Surfshark – Cheapest Packages Guaranteed!
Surfshark is a rather underrated VPN service that you might have never heard about. However, with all its cool features and P2P compatibility, you would wonder why.
Surfshark packs some very nifty features in its client for Mac, which makes it stand out from the competition.
To name a few, it offers complete 256 bit AES encryption, Killswitch, IP masking, and DNS + IP leak protection.
Besides that, Surfshark offers a pretty decent server count, 1000+ servers in 60+ countries to be exact.
These servers are perfect for P2P activities as well as unblocking streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
In addition, it even has a built-in ad-blocker which is a convenient tool to have within the already strong Surfshark VPN package.
Besides the cool features and server count, downloading speed is really where this provider shines the most.
In fact, when I performed a speed test on my Mac, I experienced less of a speed drop then I expected.
That is extremely impressive considering it is one of the cheapest VPNs in the industry.
Overall Mac Experience:
Surfshark’s Mac OS application has a very intuitive design. It automatically connects you to the most optimum server depending on your geographical location.
You can also manually choose a server location of your choice, if there’s that particular geo-blocked website from that region you can’t open.
Apart from that, what I love about Surfshark is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections per subscription.
Surfshark also offers a full 30-day money back guarantee. So if you’re not satisfied with their service, you can always get your money back.
- Ultimate discount deal [83% off], $1.99 a month – 24 months plan.
- [50% off], $5.99 a month – 12 months plan.
- $11.95 a month – 1 month plan.
3. CyberGhost – Spookily Anonymous
If you prefer a very bare bone yet efficient VPN for your Mac, then CyberGhost is perfect for you.
I must admit I was a bit skeptical about this VPN at the beginning. But I was pleasantly surprised with its performance when I actually tested it for my review.
Talk about judging a book by its cover, right?
CyberGhost offers powerful encryption protocols (PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN among others), kill switch and IP leak protection for ultimate privacy.
Moreover, it has plenty of servers in a multitude of locations that support both P2P and streaming services without any data logging.
Speed wise, this provider didn’t disappoint me either. It easily managed to score pretty decent upload and download speeds.
Overall Mac Experience:
CyberGhost Mac OS client is amongst the most user-friendly applications I have ever used.
It automatically tweaks itself to offer the best experience depending on what you intend to do with it.
You can connect up to 7 devices simultaneously on one CyberGhost subscription plan.
As always, it offers a full 45-day money back guarantee for ultimate peace of mind.
- Ultimate discount deal [77% off], $2.75 a month – 18 months plan.
- $4.99 a month – 6 months plan.
- $11.99 a month – 1-month plan.
4. ExpressVPN – Fast & Best in its Class
ExpressVPN is the industry-wide leader in the VPN industry. Although not the cheapest option out there, its snappy speeds and one-click dedicated application definitely earns this provider a spot on my list.
Besides being super convenient, ExpressVPN also has some great security features up its sleeves.
This provider uses complete 256-bit encryption in conjunction with OpenVPN straight out the box so you technically don’t even need to tinker around with settings.
Just for reference, this level of encryption is virtually unbreakable by today’s standards.
The mobile application and the desktop client both come pre enabled with kill switch and split tunneling features for us clumsy folks out there.
This provider also offers strict no data logging policy and since it operates out of the British Virgin Islands, it doesn’t fall in the geographical jurisdictions of most regulatory authorities.
While most VPN providers in the industry get burdened down with encryption and tunneling protocols, Express VPN easily outperforms the competition with negligible speed drops.
The secret to this provider’s speedy performance is its strategically placed servers. Although not astronomical in number, its global coverage is impressive to say the least.
Overall Mac Experience:
ExpressVPN’s Mac OS application is an absolute pleasure to use. It is simple, clean and provides instant access to all your favorite servers.
They offer 3 simultaneous connections on one subscription and offers a full 30-day money back guarantee.
- Ultimate discount deal [49% off], $6.67 a month – 15 months plan.
- $9.99 a month – 6 months plan.
- $12.95 a month – 1-month plan.
5. PureVPN – Minimalistic & Affordable
PureVPN, in my opinion, is honestly a nice choice for Mac OS because it does its basic VPN functions well. Simply consider all the features, great applications, frugal prices and you will know exactly why it is a decent choice.
Since PureVPN is all about privacy, you’ll find tons of cool features in their client.
Speaking of which, PureVPN comes with privacy features like full 256-bit, OpenVPN encryption Protocols, and a handy-dandy kill switch option for an added measure of privacy and security.
PureVPN takes your privacy very seriously, which is probably why you’ll find a Split tunneling feature neatly integrated into their application.
Now if you’re a Mac OS user you’ll absolutely love this feature as it essentially allows you to create two separate channels for your network, one for your un-encrypted run of the mill data and other for your sensitive encrypted data.
But perhaps best of all, PureVPN does not log user data and since it operates from Hong Kong it does not have to abide by most regulations.
Downloading speeds were pretty solid with PureVPN. When connected to the US server, I managed to only loose less than 1 Mbps on my 30 Mbps connection.
However, uploading speeds is where it definitely struggled; only offering 3.74 Mbps.
Overall Mac Experience:
PureVPN has a very minimalistic client for Mac and offers one of the finest user experiences in my opinion.
It is dead simple to use and the option to simultaneously connect up to five devices to one subscription makes it dirt cheap to afford.
If you don’t end up liking their service, then you can always get your money back with their 31-day money back guarantee.
- Ultimate discount deal [74% off], $2.88 a month – 2 year plan.
- [63% off], $4.08 a month – 1 year plan
- $10.95 a month – 1 month plan.
Installing a VPN
So, now that you’ve made up your mind about the VPN you want for your Mac, it’s time to install it.
The VPNs that I have mentioned above in this list have well-functioning apps that are a breeze to install. But the process can get a little involved if you’ve got a VPN that lacks a Mac OS client, in which case you will have to manually set it up on your system.
I’ve written an instructional guide on how to setup VPN on Mac. Check it out if you need help with the setup.
The above-mentioned premium VPN services are more than adequate to level up your privacy and online autonomy on Mac. Although I do not recommend going the free route, there are a few very best free VPN services for Mac that you can try.
However, you should keep realistic expectations if you do decide to get a free VPN, as these almost always have bandwidth limitations and often don’t work as well for advanced tasks such as bypassing geo-restrictions.
Why Do You Need a VPN on Mac?
Mac OS users around the world are blinded by the misconception of privacy, so much so that most users do not tend to use any sort of privacy or antivirus tools with their Apple machines.
While it is true that Mac machines are more secure than their Windows counterparts, they are not immune to the exploits of cybercriminals.
The threats posed to user privacy are not limited to any single operating system. According to various statistical data presented by Cybersecurity ventures, the world will receive a massive hit of approximately 6 trillion dollars by 2021.
This just shows the extent to which our privacy is at risk on the web, irrespective of your OS.
In addition, geo-restrictions are a big nuisance, which are routinely encountered by users of streaming services such as Netflix.
A good VPN can allows you to bypass geo-restrictions, as well as any censored sites that may be blocked on your end for whatever reason.
To summarize, if you use a VPN, you can:
- Obtain online anonymity
- Access geo-locked content
- Bypass censorship
- Cloak your activity from surveillance
- Torrent anonymously
- Secure your most sensitive data
Apple and the Illusion of Privacy
The overall persona of Apple is that of a golden child, people often associate Apple as a company that never makes mistakes, however as we have learned over the years even Apple has had its fair share of controversies.
For instance, in the older mac OSX, Apple intentionally left back doors that could easily allow an attacker to gain control of your computer.
Another instance of clear disregard to user privacy in Mac apps is the case of the Dropbox app, which takes control of a user’s system with admin privileges, without even asking user permission.
In 2014, a security researcher found that some of his personal files which he believed were only stored in his encrypted MacBook Pro disk were uploaded to the iCloud without his permission.
These are only some of the stories that prove the false sense of privacy that Apple propagandizes.
It is difficult to trust your Mac with your privacy and confidential data when you know how easily it can deceive you and obtain this information without even bothering to ask permission.
This is exactly why you should always take measures to be in control of your own privacy.
Leaving yourself at the mercy of tech firms with a history of shameless privacy violations (I’m looking at you Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple) is a no-no.
VPNs with a reputation for their unflinching commitment to protecting user privacy can bring you the much needed autonomy, in a world where it is getting increasingly harder to keep your life private.
Does a Mac VPN Work with My iPad or iPhone?
Since Mac and iOS are both two different operating systems designed for different platforms of the same company, you can’t just transfer a VPN from your Mac to your iOS and get it working that way.
However, most VPN providers offer clients for a variety of devices, including macOS and iOS. So, if a VPN is available for Mac, chances are it will also have an iOS version.
Since you might want to run VPN on a multitude of devices at the same time, you shouldn’t forget to check how many simultaneous connections a VPN supports.
The VPN providers discussed above all support multiple logins, allowing you to secure all of your devices simultaneously hassle free.
Mac Compatible Protocols
Before we look at some Mac compatible protocols, it is best that you understand what a VPN protocol even is.
Well, a VPN protocol is basically a set of instructions that are required by two communicating machines to establish a secure connection.
Mac OS supports several different VPN protocols, but not all of these deliver the same performance and reliability.
|IKEV2||A fast and secure VPN protocol||Reconnects upon interruptions||Very fast||Very reliable|
|L2TP||A very stable and widely used protocol||Yes||Fast||Very reliable|
|PPTP||An outdated and insecure protocol which is not secure to use||Yes||Slow||Not reliable|
|OpenVPN||Stable, fast, and secure protocol||Yes||Fast||Very reliable|
What Reddit Has to Say?
Although I’ve already covered some of the best VPN software for Mac earlier on in this blog, I decided to explore what Reddit had to say about this topic.
There’s no mistaking the fact that NordVPN is quite hot among actual users as the following comments show:
VPNs are becoming almost a necessity for online users; even operating systems that were once considered invincible are now suffering from hard-core vulnerabilities and breach of privacy attacks.
All of the VPNs mentioned above have made it into my list only after rigorous testing of IP and DNS leaks, reliability, ease of use and speeds.
I hope you found this blog informative. Do try the above-mentioned VPNs. I am sure you will love them
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