A world where operating systems and platforms are vulnerable to hacking, government surveillance, and cyber-attacks, VPNs are essential for Mac computers.
Despite Mac’s reputation as a system immune to cyber-attacks and privacy threats, the fact is that malware attacks on Mac are still persistent with Shlayer Trojan affecting one in every ten Mac system. The rising trend demonstrates that Macs are far from secure as popularly assumed.
In light of these facts, the importance of deploying the best VPN for Mac is becoming more significant over time. However, with so many VPNs to choose from, it can be confusing to find the best one.
Furthermore, Geo-restrictions on streaming channels and other websites make it a serious issue that all Mac users face, preventing them from accessing their favorite content.
Therefore, we have finalized the 7 best VPN software for Mac on the basis of rigorous testing criteria so you can get the best online protection and unblocking capability on your Mac.
An outline of best Mac VPNs based on their performance
All VPNs mentioned in this list have their strengths and weaknesses. Some work better in certain departments, and some are more efficient in other areas:
- PureVPN – The Best-All-rounder of Mac for (streaming, torrenting & privacy).
- Surfshark – A wide range of privacy-boosting features for Mac.
- Ivacy – A value VPN with a balance of privacy features, cost and performance.
- ExpressVPN – A reliable VPN for anonymity with superior performance.
- NordVPN – A privacy-focused VPN with powerful security mechanisms.
Criteria to Identify the best VPN Software for Mac
The increasing severity of cyber-attacks and geo-restriction is making it tougher for VPNs to stay active for long periods. Keeping this in mind, we have used the following criteria for the inclusion of VPNs in this list, so only the most powerful and capable services are given a place here:
- Performance / Speed – The speed of the VPN based on tested results of Speedtest.net.
- Unblock Channels / Sites – The ability of the VPN to unblock US Netflix from abroad.
- Torrenting – Availability of P2P-optimized servers with IP leak protection.
- Servers – The number of servers under its network and Nearest to your location.
- Privacy – The logging policy and encryption standards to avoid surveillance.
- Compatibility – Support for MacOS and other devices with a simultaneous connection.
7 Best VPNs for Mac – Tested & Verified in 2020
The following are the top-rated Mac VPNs that are facilitating users to improve their online privacy, unblock geo-restrictions, and more. Keep on reading to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each VPN provider:
1. PureVPN – The Best All-rounder for Mac
PureVPN has earned the tag of best All-round VPN of Mac for multiple reasons. For starters, it has 2,000+ servers in over 140 countries.
Testing for its unblocking ability I attempted to stream the the show “The Office,” using a US PureVPN server. I was surprised to see that it managed to stream it on my first attempt:
While testing it on a 30 Mbps internet connection, PureVPN provided me a 15.02 Mbps speed on Mac:
Also, PureVPN has well-optimized P2P servers for torrenting that delivers fast speed with anonymity. The provider doesn’t suffer from an IP or DNS leak, so that makes it a safe choice for torrenting:
PureVPN comes with features like AES 256 bit encryption and OpenVPN tunneling. You can get features such as ‘Kill Switch‘ to protect their data leakage while using the VPN.
The zero-logging policy of PureVPN makes it well worth the attention of users seeking internet freedom.
You can setup PureVPN’s client on Mac, Windows, Android, FireTV, and iOS. It’s also compatible with routers and streaming consoles through the manual installation process.
If you don’t end up liking their service, then you can always get your money back with their 31-day money-back guarantee.
2. Surfshark – A Feature-Rich Mac VPN
Surfshark VPN is loaded with many features that the privacy-conscious users are likely to find highly appealing. Still, it is also efficient for quite a lot of other purposes. It has over 1,040 servers in 61+ countries.
Surfshark supports torrenting and is quite secure for this purpose. The provider doesn’t leak the IP or DNS traffic, which is proof to its security for torrenting purposes:
Other than that, Surfshark is a great choice if you need to amp up your privacy on the Mac. The provider adheres to a zero-logging policy which is pretty reassuring:
There are dedicated Surfshark VPN clients for all leading devices and platforms, including Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and more. Its also one of the fastest VPN service in our list.
It has a reasonable price at $1.99/mo and comes with a 30-days money-back guarantee. As such, Surfshark is the right competitor for Mac.
3. Ivacy – A Value VPN Choice for Mac
Ivacy is another Value VPN for Mac that works just about for any purpose for Mac users. The provider operates with a network of 1,000+ servers in 100+ countries.
Ivacy supports P2P on multiple servers If you frequently download torrents on your Mac, It caters to your privacy needs with a no-logging policy that assures none of the user information is kept in their records:
The provider uses AES-256-bit encryption, which effectively protects you from interceptions from malicious third-parties. Unfortunately, it lacks a ‘Kill switch’ feature for Mac, although it is available for Windows devices.
In addition, it offers a kill switch to guard against accidental information leakage. It also ranks at #1 in our best torrent VPN list.
The provider offers 5 simultaneous connections and is compatible with all MacOS versions still supported by Apple, including Catalina, Mojave, and Sierra.
The 2-year subscription of Ivacy is available for $2.25/mo . So, if you’re looking for a VPN with value-added features then Ivacy is an ideal one.
4. ExpressVPN – A Reliable VPN of Mac
ExpressVPN is a reliable VPN service with an excellent reputation on reddit and Mac communities. It is powered by 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, having a strong capability to bypass censored/restricted websites.
Furthermore, the VPN provider supports torrenting with the ‘US server’ and guards the user’s IP and DNS leak untill the download completes. It also ranks as #1 in our VPN for streaming 2020 blog.
The AES-256 encryption, like all top-rated VPNs for Mac, is used by default in the Ivacy app. In addition, it offers a kill switch to guard against accidental information leakage.
You can use up to 5 simultaneous connections and is compatible with MacOS Snow Leopard (10.6) to the latest macOS Catalina (10.15).
The only disadvantage of the VPN is its high price tag of $8.32/mo . But if you can overlook that, then ExpressVPN is an excellent tool to have to improve your online privacy.
5. NordVPN – A Privacy-Focused VPN for Mac
NordVPN is a renowned VPN client for Mac that is capable of defending your privacy against online threats. With NordVPN, you get over 5,000+ servers spread across 58+ countries.
You can download torrents with many P2P-servers in the network. The level of security rules out any potential IP leaks, thus allowing safe and anonymous torrenting:
The provider has a strong logging policy in place and refrains from storing any privacy-sensitive information about you:
It uses the IKEv2 tunneling protocol for MacOS along with AES-256 for encryption. Other than that, NordVPN is brimming with a lot of security-enhancing features such a DoubleVPN, CyberSec, and Onion over VPN.
NordVPN’s apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, MacOS, and it can be manually installed on many other devices.
The 3-year subscription of NordVPN can be acquired for $3.49/mo , which is somewhat pricey but within reasonable margins considering Nord’s capabilities.
6. CyberGhost – A Decent VPN Client for Mac
CyberGhost is a popular VPN that does the basics of a Macbook VPN in a decent manner. It boasts a robust network of 5,600+ servers distributed in over 86+ countries.
CyberGhost’s strength is its ability to download torrents files anonymously. The service has no problem with IP leaks as I found out when testing for it:
The logging policy is geared towards the user and stays away from maintaining any traffic or other sensitive logs of users:
It uses the AES-256-military gade technology for encrypting your traffic through its VPN tunnels. There is a built-in Kill Switch that is always enabled by default and cannot be disabled in the Mac app.
The CyberGhost dedicated apps are available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. For less common devices, you can follow instructions on their official website to set up the VPN.
It is fairly reasonably priced at $2.75/mo and comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. All in all, CyberGhost is a decent VPN that is fit for most purposes.
7. VyprVPN – A High-Performing Mac VPN
VyprVPN is a veteran VPN app for Mac with some powerful features and strong overall performance to tackle the threat of web censorship. The service has over 700 servers spread across 70+ countries.
Nonetheless, it has some weaknesses, such as its inconsistency with Netflix. Some users claim that the VyprVPN works fine for Netflix, but I was unable to get the same result in my attempt:
The provider allows p2p traffic on its servers and its strong security mechanisms ensure that there are no IP leaks to leave any reservations in your mind before downloading torrents:
VyprVPN has a zero-logs policy that has been independently audited by a third-party organization. That makes it great for privacy-focused users of Mac:
For encryption, it employs the AES-256, guarding users’ traffic against any outside interference. It is equipped with a kill switch and chameleon technology that obfuscates your VPN-originated traffic.
VyprVPN offers dedicated apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android, and even with routers. You can also apply manual setup on lesser-known devices.
The 2-year subscription plan is priced at $2.50/mo, which is quite affordable for a VPN that is as high-performing VyprVPN.
Why do you Need a VPN for Mac?
There are critical reasons that force users to install a VPN for their Mac. the privacy issues on Mac have always existed and still threaten users, increasing the demand for VPN services.
Although there’s a widespread belief that Mac is immune to privacy/cybersecurity vulnerabilities, recent statistics and developments have shown this to be false.
According to 3ric Johanson: “If you look at the number of published vulnerabilities in software and the number of users and compare Windows versus Mac OS you will discover that Mac OS has far more published vulnerabilities per user than Windows does so I think the data pretty much speaks for itself.”
Geo-restrictions is another problem for Mac users. Some streaming channels like BBC iPlayer only works with a UK IP address, while Netflix offers different content for all-regions.
How to use a VPN on MacOS
- Subscribe to a VPN from the list above.
- Download and Install the VPN app on your Mac.
- Enter your login credentials.
- Choose the ‘Nearest server’ location.
- Click the ‘connection’ button and perform your activities.
How to Setup VPN on Mac? (Manually)
Mac OS natively supports L2TP/IPSec and IKEv2 protocols. Your options, therefore, are only confined to these tunneling protocols if you’ve decided to perform the manual setup.
Follow these steps to install a VPN on Mac using the manual process and experience internet freedom.
1. Go to > Home Screen > System Preferences > Network settings.
2. Inside the Network settings menu, click the “+” sign.
3. Click on Interface in the dialog box that opens > Choose VPN.
4. Select a VPN type from PPTP, L2TP, or IKEv2.
5. Give a name to your connection in “Service Name” and press create.
6. A VPN connection will now appear on the left-hand menu with the name that you gave. Click on it.
7. Now, choose Default in the “Configuration” field.
8. For “Server Address”, enter your preferred server address provided by your VPN.
9. Enter the VPN user name in the “Account Name” field.
10. Click on “Authentication Settings” and enter your VPN password.
11. Check “Show VPN status in menu bar” and click on “Advanced”.
12. Now check “Send all traffic over VPN connection” > press OK.
13. Click “Apply” > press “Connect” button below “Authentication Settings”.
Note: If you set everything up correctly, you should now be connected to your VPN manually.
Setup VPN through Tunnelblick on Mac
- Go to the ‘Official website’ and download Tunnelblick.
- Now, Install Tunnelblick setup on your Mac device.
- When asked, select “I have configuration files”.
- Go to the Tunnelblick icon in the top right corner of your screen.
- Download and install .ovpn configuration files from your provider,
- Click open the downloaded .ovpn files: They should now open with Tunnelblick.
- Finally, click connect to one of the VPN servers to enable the VPN using Tunnelblick.
Does Mac have built in VPN?
Yes, Mac does have a Cisco-based built-in VPN. If you are part of a university or a workplace, they probably have a server address and authentication details necessary to setup the built-in VPN on Mac.
Does Apple recommend VPN?
Although Apple has made no official statements about VPNs, the company does offer a built-in VPN. This indicates that the company does implicitly recommend VPN services.
Mac VPN: Redditor’s opinion
Most threads on Reddit about Mac VPN services are in the archived. Thus, these threads consist of some random person asking for VPN recommendations, which other users are happy to offer.
Some of the most frequently recommended VPNs for Mac by Redditors include NordVPN. Free services are generally discouraged, as they must be, but ProtonVPN is quite frequently given a positive mention when it comes to Macintosh VPNs for free on Reddit.
Mac is a phenomenal series of computers that combine style with performance in a single sleek package. But everything precious requires protection from harm, especially in an age where cyber-attacks are becoming more frequent and severe with time.
Furthermore, geo-restrictions on websites are ever-present, and for streaming enthusiasts, this is a big problem. After all, what’s the point of Netflix if most of your desired shows/movies are accessible in a foreign country.
The most effective solution to these problems is the best VPN for Mac, which is (PureVPN), as it is known for its unblocking capability with great privacy features. If you need to stay safe while surfing the web at fast speeds on your Mac, then PureVPN is the best investment you can make for the Mac.