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 Best VPN for Mac
A good VPN for Mac offers top security features with 256-bit encryption to encrypt your traffic to protect your Mac devices from data leaks and cyberattacks. After testing 150+ VPNs, we bring you the 10 best VPNs for Mac, with ExpressVPN taking the lead.

Despite Mac’s reputation as a system immune to cyberattacks and privacy threats, the fact is that malware attacks on macOS are still persistent, with Shlayer Trojan affecting one in every ten Mac systems. The rising trend demonstrates that macOS is far from secure as popularly assumed.

Therefore, we have finalized a list of the best VPN for Mac based on rigorous testing criteria so you can obtain top-notch online protection and unblock geo-restricted channels like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC Player on your macOS.

We have tested these VPNs on MacBooks and iMacs to see how it works. We have then tested these VPNs on various performance criteria to bring you only the best of the best. Let’s see what each best VPN for Mac has to offer.

Quick Overview: The Best VPNs for MacBook in September 2021

Here is a brief overview of the best VPNs for Mac in 2021:

  1. ExpressVPN: The Best VPN for Mac. Offers excellent unblocking ability, fast speed (85.8 Mbps on 100 Mbps base connection), and top-notch 256-bit encryption. Offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries. Available for $6.67/mo and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee to help you try out the service risk-free.
  2. Surfshark: Budget-friendly VPN for Mac. Highly affordable VPN for macOS costing only $2.49/mo. With flagship features, like CleanWeb, WhiteLister, and Split Tunneling. Offers 3200+ servers across 65 countries with a speed of 75.12 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection. Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and allows unlimited multi-logins. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  3. NordVPN: Best Secure VPN for Mac. Comes with powerful features like kill switch, Dark Web Protection, Nordlynx, OpenVPN protocol, and more. Offers 5200+ servers across 60 countries with obfuscation technology and allows 6 multi logins. Offering a speed of 82 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. Available for $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  4. CyberGhost: User-friendly VPN for Mac. Offers easy-to-use apps with tons of features and a trendy UI for Mac users. Comes with optimized servers for Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, including 7000+ servers across 90 countries. Offers a speed of 71.4 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. Available for $2.25/mo with a 45-day money-back guarantee too.
  5. Private Internet Access: Best VPN for Torrenting on Mac. Thousands of P2P optimized servers with SOCKS5 proxy and a kill switch. The largest server park with 35500+ servers across 78 countries. Offering 64 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection. Available for $2.08/mo and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Plus 5 other best VPNs for Mac | How we tested these VPNs | FAQs    

 

Side-by-Side Comparison of 10 Best VPNs for Mac in 2021

Here is a brief comparison table of the 10 top-rated VPN for Mac in 2021:

VPNsExpressVPNSurfsharkNordVPNCyberGhostPIAPrivateVPNVyprVPNIPVanishSaferVPNZenmate
Mac CompatibilityOS X 10.10 Yosemite or laterOS X 10.12 Sierra or laterOS X 10.12 Sierra or latermacOS 10.12 Sierra or latermacOS 10.13 High Sierra or latermacOS 10.12 Sierra or latermacOS 10.12 Sierra or latermacOS 10.13 High Sierra or latermacOS 10.13 High Sierra or latermacOS 10.13 High Sierra or later
SecurityAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256-bitAES 256-bitAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256 BitAES 256-bitAES 256-bit
Servers3,000+ in 94 Countries3,200+ in 63+ Countries5,200+ in 59 Countries7000+ in 90 Countries35,500+ in 78+ Locations150+ in 62 Countries700+ in 70+ Countries1,600+ in 75 Countries950+ in 30 Countries3,800+ in 79+ Locations
Kill Switch
StreamingNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer,  and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer,  and More
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers
Pricing$6.67/month$2.49/month$3.67/month$2.25/month$1.67/month$2.55/month$1.67/month$3.75/month$2.33/month$1.64/month
Safari Extension
Torrenting SupportAll ServersAll ServersSome serversSome ServersAll ServersAll ServersAll ServersAll ServersAll ServersAll Servers
More InfoExpressVPN ReviewSurfshark ReviewNordVPN ReviewCyberGhost ReviewPIA ReviewPrivateVPN ReviewVyprVPN ReviewIPVanish ReviewSaferVPN ReviewZenmate Review
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The Best VPNs for Mac – In-Depth Analysis [September 2021 Updated]

After testing 150+ VPNs on various criteria, such as speed, macOS compatibility, server network, encryption, and more, we bring you the 10 best VPN clients for Mac in 2021.

1. ExpressVPN – The Best VPN for Mac

ExpressVPN-best-vpn-mac

  • 3000+ fast speed servers in 94 countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.6
  • 95.3 Mbps on a 100 Mbps base connection
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, DAZN, Disney+ and more
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, Catalina, El Capitan, and Yosemite
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, browsers, and more  

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Mac with an excellent reputation on Reddit and Mac communities. It offers 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, helping users unblock Netflix and other restricted channels/websites. It offers the best security, performance, and unblocking ability.

ExpressVPN is really fast as during testing, it delivered an average speed of 95 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection, with less than a 7% drop in speeds. This drop in speed was barely noticeable. This is really impressive as no other VPN has reached that level during our tests. ExpressVPN also offers a Lightway protocol that is faster than OpenVPN and a great alternative to WireGuard protocol.

ExpressVPN’s app for Mac is very user-friendly and there is an Automatic connect button as well that connects you to the best possible server according to your location. Its servers are categorized into three sections – country, recommended, and recent. There is also a search bar, so you can search for your desired location.

ExpressVPN-macOS-app

We also tested this VPN on iPhone as well as its macOS app is a lot like its iOS app. Both are easy to use with advanced features. However, ExpressVPN’s iOS app lacks the kill switch feature that is available on the macOS app.

ExpressVPN is also one of the few VPNs that work in China. It has the ability to bypass VPN-blocking technologies imposed by the Chinese government and allows unrestricted access to the internet. ExpressVPN is also a great choice for other countries with a lot of internet censorship like Iran, UAE, Russia, and more.

With global server coverage, ExpressVPN makes bypassing geo-restrictions a piece of cake. It works with all the major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. We could also unblock Netflix US, UK, CA, JP, FR, and more with ExpressVPN. It also unblocked BBC iPlayer on its UK server in under 7 seconds which was very impressive. The speeds were also more than enough for streaming in Ultra HD quality without any lags.

ExpressVPN-working-with-BBC-iPlayer

ExpressVPN also offers a MediaStreamer feature that allows you to use it on Apple TV. With ExpressVPN, you can unblock popular sites like Hulu, HBO Max, and more on the big screen.

All ExpressVPN servers are P2P-friendly, which makes it a great option for downloading torrents. Also, with its fast speeds of 95.3 Mbps on a 100 Mbps base connection, you will have no problem downloading large files quickly. During testing, it only took us about 15 minutes to download a 3 GB file. As there are no bandwidth limitations, you can stream and download with ExpressVPN as much as you want.

The AES-256 encryption like other top VPNs is used by default in the ExpressVPN macOS app. Also, it offers an internet kill switch to defend against accidental data leakage. There is also a split tunneling feature that lets you choose which apps you want to use the VPN connection on and which ones should be out of the VPN tunnel. However, this feature is not available on macOS 11. 

Moreover, ExpressVPN is operating from the safe jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, which is outside the 5/9/14 eyes alliance and has an excellent no-logs privacy policy.

This VPN is available for just $6.67/mo and there is also a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free on your Mac. You can also cancel ExpressVPN and claim a refund. We got our refund within 6 days.

Try ExpressVPN for Mac30 Day Money-back Guarantee

2. Surfshark – Budget-Friendly VPN for Mac

Surfshark-mac-vpn

  • 3200+ servers in 65 countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.4
  • Infinite simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 75.12 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+ and more
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, Catalina, High Sierra, and Sierra.
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, browsers, and more

Surfshark is another best value VPN for Mac as it’s loaded with features that Mac users are likely to find appealing. This VPN is priced at $2.49/mo and it allows unlimited simultaneous connections on a single Surfshark account. Meaning, you can secure all your Apple devices (and other non-Apple devices) with Surfshark and also share it with your friends and family.

surfshark-vpn-for-mac-surfshark-mac-screenshot

Surfshark offers an easy-to-use app for macOS with access to 3200+ servers across 65 countries. It performs really well when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted content. With Surfshark, we managed to unblock various Netflix libraries (including US, UK, CA), Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.

surfshark-working-with-bbc-iplayer

Surfshark also supports torrent/P2P activities and is quite secure for this purpose. All its servers are P2P-friendly. It also offers reliable connection speeds for downloading large files. During testing, Surfshark managed a speed of 75.12 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection.

You can also choose from 14 servers that offer the MultiHop feature for an additional layer of security. The provider also doesn’t leak the IP or DNS traffic, which is proof of its security for torrenting purposes.

Its macOS app offers all the best features like an automatic kill switch, CleanWeb (adblocker), Whitelister (split tunneling), DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and MultiHop. Its MultiHop feature allows double encryption by rerouting your online traffic through two different countries. Therefore, it makes it impossible for your ISP, government authorities, or hackers to track your activities.

Other than that, Surfshark is a great choice if you need to amp up your privacy on the macOS. On Mac, you can choose from various security protocols including IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and Shadowsocks. Its Shadowsocks proxy is recommended for users in countries with heavy censorship like Chine, UAE, Egypt, and more. However, you will have to manually set it up on your Mac and iOS devices.

The provider adheres to a zero-logging policy, which is pretty reassuring. Surfshark is also audited by third parties, including Cure53. You can check the full audit report, as there were no major issues detected in its browser extension.

It also comes with a 30-days money-back guarantee so you can test it risk-free on your Mac for 30 days. Surfshark also offers excellent customer service with 24/7 live chat support so you can contact support and claim your refund.

Try Surfshark with Mac30 Day Money-back Guarantee

3. NordVPN – Best Secure VPN for Macbook

NordVPN-best-vpn-for-macOS

  • 5200+ servers in 60 countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.6
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 82 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, NBC, TF1, DStv, and more
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, Catalina, High Sierra, and Sierra.
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, browsers, and more

NordVPN is the most secure VPN for Mac with the best security and privacy features. NordVPN offers a huge global server network (5200+ servers across 59+ countries) and it unblocks hundreds of streaming platforms.

NordVPN offers a lot of security features on its macOS app. There is a DoubleVPN feature that encrypts your data twice for additional security. There is also an adblocker called CyberSec that works like a charm. We tested this feature on NordVPN’s browser extension and it removed all side banners and popups from web pages, making it one of the best VPNs with an ad blocker.

NordVPN-mac-app

NordVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption for data protection along with a wide range of protocols. You can choose from OpenVPN, NordLynx, IKEv2, L2TP, and more. There is also an internet kill switch feature that shuts down your internet connection in case of a VPN connection drop.

NordVPN works great with torrenting on Mac. It offers P2P-optimized servers in 45+ countries. Even if you start torrenting on a normal server, NordVPN will automatically redirect you to its P2P servers. During testing, we did not experience any connectivity issues and it was enough for uninterrupted streaming too. To boost download speeds during torrenting, NordVPN also offers a SOCKS5 proxy.

NordVPN also works with all the popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and more. During testing, we managed to unblock 30+ streaming sites, including niche websites like Crunchyroll. On its UK servers, we unblocked BBC iPlayer within 15 seconds. The speeds were also good for bufferless streaming, as it offered an average speed of 82 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection.

nordvpn-working-with-bbc-iplayer

NordVPN offers apps for various platforms such as Windows, Android, iOS, and more. You can even NordVPN with FireStick, Roku, Kodi, and other streaming devices.

NordVPN is available for only $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee too. You can also claim your refund by contacting customer support as it also features a human live chat option that is available 24/7.

You can learn more about its pricing plans and features in our NordVPN review.

Try NordVPN for Macbook30 Day Money-back Guarantee

4. CyberGhost – A Popular Choice for Mac with Optimized Streaming Servers

CyberGhost-best-vpn-mac-2021

  • 7000+ servers in 90 countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.1
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 71.4 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, and more.
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, and Sierra.
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, browsers, and more

CyberGhost is the most user-friendly VPN for Mac that is super easy to use and a great choice for beginners. CyberGhost offers 7000+ servers in 90 countries, and all these servers are organized into categories. These categories include servers optimized for streaming, torrenting, gaming, and NoSpy servers. You can easily choose the best server for your needs.

Cyberghost-macos-app

For P2P, you can connect to its torrenting optimized servers that are offered in more than 50 locations. These servers also show load percentage in the list, so you can connect to a server that offers better speeds, and isn’t too overcrowded. CyberGhost offered an average speed of 71.4 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection.

It even has servers dedicated to unblocking streaming sites like US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more. So, instead of connecting to a country server, you can choose a dedicated server for streaming service that you want to unblock on your Mac. CyberGhost’s BBC iPlayer server worked really well with BBC iPlayer and unblocked it within 9 seconds.

cyberghost-working-with-bbc-iplayer

CyberGhost also offers advanced security features for macOS users to boost their online privacy. There is 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and multiple protocols to choose from. You can choose between IKEv2 and WireGuard security protocols. For OpenVPN, you will have to manually configure it on your Mac device.

CyberGhost’s Mac app also contains an ad blocker that also blocks trackers and malicious websites. There is also a data compression feature that makes sure you stay within your bandwidth limit on your Mac.

You can connect up to 7 devices with a single CyberGhost account. What’s best is that you can even set it up with your router and use it on your other Apple devices to bypass restrictions. You can also set up CyberGhost on your Apple TV using its SmartDNS feature that is optimized for streaming.

CyberGhost is also reasonably priced at $2.25/mo and comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. There is also a 24/7 live chat feature that you can use to connect to agents in case you want to cancel and claim your refund.

Try CyberGhost with Mac45 Day Money-back Guarantee

5. Private Internet Access – Best VPN for Torrenting on Mac

PIA-vpn-for-mac

  • 35500+ servers in 78 countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.7
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 64 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Showtime, Voot, Hotstar, and more.
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, and Catalina
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, browsers, and more

Private Internet Access is the best VPN for torrenting on Mac. PIA performed exceptionally well while torrenting on Mac. All of its servers are optimized for P2P and it also offers a SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding feature to boost performance. Overall PIA is a strong choice if you want to torrent safely on your Mac devices.

One of the most distinguishing features of PIA is its large server network. PIA offers more than 35500+ servers in 78 countries. With so many servers to choose from, you will get good speeds. During testing, PIA delivered an average speed of 64 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection. However, on long-distance servers, you might experience slower speeds.

PIA’s macOS app is packed with all the latest security features. You can choose from AES 128-bit and AES 256-bit encryption. If you want faster speeds, you can select 128-bit encryption, but we recommend using 256-bit encryption to ensure the safety of your Mac device on unsecured public Wi-Fi.

PIA-VPN-Mac-app

There is also a kill switch feature that you can toggle on and off according to your needs. It also offers a feature called MACE, that blocks ads and malware. Despite offering all these features, its macOS app is easy to use with a clean interface.

One concerning thing about PIA is that it is headquartered in the USA (a major member of the 5/9/14 Eyes alliance). However, the provider offers a strict no-logs policy and is safe to use. PIA does not log any identifiable user data, so you are safe with this provider.

PIA is a highly affordable VPN for Mac costing only $2.08/mo . For this price, you also get 10 simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our PIA VPN review for more information.

Try PIA for Mac30 Days Money Back Guarantee

6. PrivateVPN – macOS VPN with Great Unblocking Ability

PrivateVPN-for-mac

  • 150+ servers across 62 countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.5
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit encryption
  • 63 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, Vudu, Voot, TVNZ, and more
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, Catalina, and El Capitan
  • Also works with Windows, iOS, macOS, Android, Linux, and more

PrivateVPN is a great macOS VPN with excellent unblocking ability. It is also super easy to use on Mac. It took us less than 2 minutes to get started and connect with PrivateVPN on Mac.

PrivateVPN offers industry-standard security features with 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch feature. Its kill switch is called Application Guard that shuts down all the apps in case of VPN disconnection. This feature is automatically enabled in the app. You can, however, switch it off in the app’s settings.

PrivateVPN allows you to choose between different security protocols. The default protocol for Mac is OpenVPN, and you can also choose between UDP and TCP. Similarly, both AES 256-bit and AES 128-bit encryptions are available to choose from.

PrivateVPN also offers a Stealth Mode feature that works in countries with heavy internet restrictions and censorship as China, Iran, and more. With this feature, you can also bypass geo-blocks and firewalls set at workplaces and schools.

Even though PrivateVPN features a small server network, it gave us consistent speeds of 63 Mbps on a 100 Mbps base connection. We could easily unblock Netflix US, and Hulu on its US servers without buffering. We could also stream in HD video quality easily without any stutters or lags.

All PrivateVPN servers are P2P-friendly, so it’s a great choice for torrenting as well. You can even configure port forwarding to boost your performance further.

PrivateVPN does lack in customer support department as its live chat feature is inconsistent and is not available at all times. However, there is email support that you can send your requests through. This VPN is available for $2.55 per month and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more information, read our PrivateVPN review.

Try PrivateVPN for Mac30 Days Money Back Guarantee

7. VyprVPN – VPN for Mac with Unique Security Protocols

VyprVPN-best-vpn-mac

  • 700+ servers in 70 countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.6
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 73 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and more.
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, and Catalina.
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, and more


VyprVPN is a veteran Mac VPN with powerful features and excellent overall performance to tackle the threat of web censorship. The VPN service has over 700+ servers spread across 70+ countries.

It works with a number of streaming services, including Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and many more. The provider allows P2P traffic on its servers, and its security mechanisms ensure that there are no IP leaks to leave any reservations in your mind before downloading torrents.

VyprVPN offers a Chameleon protocol that helps you unblock censored websites and geo-restricted sites easily. It does that by obfuscating your VPN traffic and making it look like regular internet traffic. Owing to this feature, you can also use VyprVPN in China on your Mac devices.

For encryption, this VPN service for Mac uses the AES-256 to guard users’ traffic against any outside interference. It is equipped with an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection. Its macOS app also features a NAT firewall that protects against hackers by blocking inbound traffic on your device. It adds an additional layer of protection to your Mac.

We also tested VyprVPNs speed and it was fast on most servers like the US, UK, Philippines, and more. We performed testing on a base connection speed of 100 Mbps and its US server managed to output an average speed of 73 Mbps. It was more than enough to enjoy 4K streaming without buffering issues.

VyprVPN also has a zero-logs policy that a third-party organization has independently audited. That makes it exceptional for privacy-focused users. VyprVPN offers apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android, and even routers. You can also apply manual setup on lesser-known devices like Linux, and more.

It also offers the WireGuard protocol that is also available for Mac devices. It also supports the OpenVPN protocol, so you don’t have to manually configure it on your macOS devices.

Its 36-months subscription plan is priced at $1.67/mo, which is quite affordable for a VPN that is as high-performing as VyprVPN. It also allows 5 simultaneous connections and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read our exclusive VyprVPN review to know more about its features and pricing.

Try VyprVPN with Mac30 Days Money Back Guarantee

8. IPVanish – Unlimited Connections for All Apple Devices

IpVanish-for-mac

  • 1900+ servers in 75+ countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.5
  • Infinite simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 54 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more.
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, and Catalina.
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, and more

IPVanish allows unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can protect all your Apple devices (and other non-Apple devices) at the same time on a single account. Its apps are also easy to use with a Quick Connect feature that connects you to the best server based on your location and network.

IPVanish offers 1600+ servers across 75 locations. You can filter these servers by region or latency. As a bonus, you can also see the load and pings of each server so you can choose the best possible option according to your online activity.

IPVanish works with popular streaming sites and we could easily unblock Netflix, HBO Max, and Vudu on its US servers. IPVanish also allows torrenting as all its servers are optimized for P2P. However, you might experience slower speeds on its long-distance servers. During testing, we experienced almost a 50% drop in speeds.

IPVanish does offer a SOCKS5 proxy and TOR compatibility to boost your online security while torrenting on your Mac. However, for better speeds, you will have to manually configure the proxy on your Mac according to your torrent client. You can also customize its OpenVPN protocol.

IPVanish also offers a Scramble feature that obfuscates your traffic. It makes your VPN traffic seem like normal HTTPS traffic. The Scramble feature will let you bypass VPN blocks in countries with heavy restrictions like China, UAE, and more. You might experience long loading times, but it works effectively.

What’s best about this VPN is that it is also affordable, available at a price of just $3.75/mo, which also includes a 30-day refund policy.

Read our IPVanish review for more information on this provider.

Try IPVanish for Mac30 Days Money Back Guarantee

9. SaferVPN – Strong Encrypted VPN for Mac

SaferVPN-for-mac

  • 950+ servers in 30+ countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.6
  • 12 simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 45 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more.
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite, and Catalina.
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, and more

SaferVPN is a great encrypted VPN for Macs with an advanced feature called automatic Wi-Fi protection. This feature automatically enables the VPN as soon as you connect your Mac device to a public Wi-Fi network.

SaferVPN detects unknown and unsecured Wi-Fi and warns you to connect to a VPN if it’s already not connected. This feature is also available for iPhones, iPad, and other Apple devices. It is super handy as you never have to worry about your data security.

Apart from that it also offers military-grade 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection. You can also choose between various protocols, including OpenVPN.

SaferVPN offers 950+ servers in 30+ locations. It’s a small network, but it does offer reliable speeds (45 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection). There is also an Automatic Location feature that connects you to the best possible servers available.

SaferVPN does work with Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming platforms, but sometimes the speed might not be great for streaming in Ultra HD video quality. You can also stream on multiple devices at the same time as SaferVPN also allows 12 simultaneous connections.

In addition, SaferVPN offers only a few P2P-friendly servers – Spain, the Netherlands, and Canada. So, if you are located far away from these P2P-friendly server locations, you will experience slow speeds for torrenting.

This VPN is available for $2.33/mo with a 30-day money-back guarantee. At this price, you also get 250 GB of SugarSync Secure Storage. There is also great customer support, with a 24/7 live chat feature, so you can get help whenever you want.

Read our in-depth SaferVPN review for more information.

Try SaferVPN for Mac30 Days Money Back Guarantee

10. Zenmate – Lightweight App for Mac

Zenmate-vpn-for-mac

  • 3,800+ servers in 79+ countries
  • App Store Rating: 4.2
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • AES-256-bit military-grade encryption
  • 35 Mbps speed on a 100 Mbps connection
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unblocks Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and more.
  • Compatible with Big Sur, Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, and Catalina.
  • Also works with macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, routers, and more

Zenmate offers a lightweight app for Mac with a simple and straightforward installation process. During testing, it took us under 4 minutes to get started with the app and connect to a server.

Zenmate offers around 3,800+ servers in 79 locations. These servers are categorized into three categories – All, streaming, and downloading. So, you can easily connect to a server according to your needs.

Zenmate performs really well in terms of streaming. During testing, we could unblock Netflix (UK, US), Disney+, and BBC iPlayer on its streaming optimized servers. It did offer slower speeds on its international servers, as on its US server, we got an average speed of 35 Mbps. It was, however, enough for streaming Netflix without any buffering or lags.

If we talk about torrenting, Zenmate only offers a few P2P-optimized servers and all of them are located in Europe. So, if you are living outside Europe, you will experience slower speeds over long distances.

Zenmate offers standard security features of 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection. It is however based in Germany, a part of 14 Eyes, but the company maintains a strict no-logs policy, so your data remains safe from third parties. Unfortunately, its Mac app runs on IKEv2, and it doesn’t support OpenVPN. IKEv2 is safe, but not as fast as OpenVPN.

There is no live chat feature, so you will have to resort to email support and get a reply within 24 hours. It is available for only $1.64/mo with a 30-days money-back guarantee. You can learn more in our Zenmate review.

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Testing Methodology: How to choose the Best VPN for Mac

The increasing severity of cyberattacks and geo-restriction makes it tougher for a VPN to stay active for a long period. Keeping this in mind, we have identified the best criteria that can help you choose the best VPN for Mac as per your requirement.

  • Mac Compatibility – Support for macOS versions, including macOS 11, 10.15, 10.14, and more with a simultaneous connection. We have included the best VPN for macOS with native apps that are easy to install and set up. Choose a VPN that is compatible with all the latest Mac versions and keeps up to date with macOS updates.
  • Performance / Speed – We tested the speeds of the VPNs based on macOS using speedtest.net. Choosing a high-speed VPN is a must because generally, VPNs tend to slow down speeds, so with a fast VPN, speed decline will not be noticeable. Make sure the VPN does not drop your speed by more than 30%.
  • Unblocks Sites – The capacity of the VPN to unblock geo-restricted sites like Netflix from abroad. The best Mac VPN should be able to unblock streaming sites and blocked channels on Mac from anywhere in the world.
  • Torrenting – Availability of P2P-optimized servers with IP leak protection. The VPN should offer multiple P2P servers so you can torrent safely on your Mac devices.
  • Servers – The best VPN for macOS should offer a large server network with global coverage so you can connect to any location you want to.
  • Privacy & Encryption – The logging policy and encryption mechanism as per standards to avoid surveillance. Similarly, it should also offer 256-bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and a kill switch.

Why Should I get a VPN for Mac?

There are many reasons that force users to install a VPN for their macOS. The privacy issues on Macbook 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 macOS, you will discover that macOS has far more published vulnerabilities per user than Windows does, so I think the data pretty much speaks for itself.

Geo-restrictions are another problem for Macbook users. Some streaming channels like BBC iPlayer only work with a UK IP address, while Netflix offers different content for all regions.

Therefore, with a VPN for Mac, you can protect your online privacy from ISPs and access geo-restricted content. Apart from the premium VPN services mentioned above, several free VPNs for Mac are available in the market. However, these VPN services come with data restrictions. Learn more about the best free VPN for Mac to see if they are worth their salt.


Quick Guide: How to Set up a VPN on Mac

  1. Choose a trusted VPN for Mac and subscribe. We recommend ExpressVPN as its Mac app is easy to use and it offers a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Download and install the app on your Mac and log in.
  3. Connect to a server of your choice.
  4. Start browsing safely on your Mac. You can now unblock geo-restricted sites and enjoy a private connection on your Mac.

How to Manually Configure a VPN on Mac

The best VPNs for Mac mentioned above have dedicated apps for macOS. Still, if you want to use a protocol or a security feature that isn’t available, you can always manually configure a VPN on your Mac device. For example, some VPNs don’t support OpenVPN for Mac, but you can manually configure it on your device.

Set Up L2TP Connection

L2TP is similar to OpenVPN and has built-in support for macOS. Follow these steps to set it up on your MacBook:

  1. Open System Preferences (you can find it on the top left corner of your screen, under the Apple icon, or in your Dock).
  2. Click Network Settings > At the bottom of the list of connections, select “+.” 
  3. Select Interface > Select VPN > Choose L2TP over IPSec.
  4. Set a name in the Account Name option.
  5. Go to Authentication Settings > Fill in your password and secret authentication provided by your VPN.
  6. Select Connect. And that’s it; you have set up an L2TP connection on your Mac device.

Set Up Viscosity

Viscosity is another OpenVPN alternative for Mac users. To set up Viscosity on your Mac device, you need your VPN provider’s OpenVPN configuration files.

  1. Download Viscosity on your Mac device (it’s a paid service, but it comes with a 30-day free trial).
  2. Open the Viscosity.dmg file and drop the client in your Applications folder. The installer will automatically launch. Now, follow the installation process.
  3. Open Viscosity > Click Preferences. Once the client has been successfully downloaded, you can find Preferences under the Viscosity menu.
  4. Go to Connections > Click “+” > Select Import Connection. It will open a setup window.
  5. Select “From File” > Open .ovpn configuration file (OpenVPN file from your VPN provider).
  6. To finish the configuration, Set a username and password.
  7. Go to the Viscosity menu, and find your VPN connection. If you can see your VPN connection, it means you have successfully set up Viscosity on your Mac.

Set Up Tunnelblick

Tunnelblick is a free, open-source client that is designed for using OpenVPN on a macOS device. To set up Tunnelblick on your device, you need to get the OpenVPN configuration file from your VPN provider.

  1. Download Tunnelblick.
  2. Select “I have configuration files.” These are OpenVPN configuration files that you got from your VPN.
  3. In Add a Configuration box, select Okay. 
  4. In the Tunnelblick menu, Go to VPN Details. 
  5. Select your .ovpn files and drag them into Tunnelblick. Make sure only to highlight .ovpn files.
  6. Select Apply to All and Only Me. And that’s it; you have set up Tunnelblick on your Mac device.

FAQs – Best VPN for Mac

Let’s go through some frequently asked questions.

There are many free VPNs for Mac that you can use, but we do not recommend them for various reasons. Most free VPNs are not safe because they have untrustworthy privacy policies and contain malware.

Free VPNs log your user data and sell it to third-party advertisers, thus violating your right to privacy. For example, Hola VPN was caught sharing identifiable user information to third parties and selling idle bandwidth of free users.

Similarly, free VPNs also throttle your speeds and have a few servers that are congested with users, thus offering extremely slow speeds that make the VPN hard to use. At best you can only browse the web because streaming is out of the question.

Therefore, it’s best to stick with premium VPNs for Mac such as ExpressVPN, and what’s best is that it also offers a minimum 30-day money-back guarantee so you can use it risk-free for 30 days on your Mac

ExpressVPN offers the best VPN extension for Safari. It is both user-friendly and feature-rich. ExpressVPN Safari browser extension also offers DNS leak protection that protects your online browsing traffic.

In general, VPNs tend to slow down connection speeds because your data takes a longer route to travel between servers, but it is not that drastic. For example, if you use a fast VPN service like ExpressVPN, you shouldn’t experience any noticeable drop in speed. Therefore, no VPN will not slow down your Mac device.

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that work in China and other heavily restricted countries like Iran, Russia, and more. We asked our friends in China to test it firsthand, and it works perfectly well on all Apple devices in China, including Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Macbook. You can access Facebook, Google, Instagram, Snapchat, and more in China with ExpressVPN.

However, if you are thinking about traveling to China, make sure to download ExpressVPN’s app beforehand, because its website is blocked in China. It is one of the few best VPNs for iPhone in China.

ExpressVPN, Surfshark and NordVPN are the best Mac VPNs for Netflix. You can unblock various Netflix libraries on your Mac device with these VPNs.

Out top recommendation is ExpressVPN because it also offers a Safari browser extension, so you can stream Netflix online without any issue. With ExpressVPN, we managed to unblock 20+ Netflix regional libraries without any issues and it was fast enough for Ultra HD streaming.

All the VPNs mentioned in this guide work with macOS Big Sur. When Big Sur was released there was a rumor going on that it allowed certain apps to bypass the VPN connections on MacBooks – however, that is not true. Our top recommendation for macOS Big Sur is ExpressVPN as it keeps up with all the latest Apple updates.

Yes, you can use a Mac VPN with other Apple devices, including iOS devices (iPhones and iPad). All the VPNs mentioned above offer native apps for both macOS and iOS devices, so you can use them and secure all your Apple devices.

We recommend getting ExpressVPN, as it offers 5 simultaneous connections and you can even download it on non-Apple devices with one subscription. You can even use it on your Apple TV.

No, Mac does not have a built-in VPN. You can manually configure a VPN on your macOS, but you will still need VPN credentials from a provider. However, the manual configuration is a lengthy process, so you’re better off using a VPN with native apps as it is much easier to set up and secure.

Using a VPN is the best and surest way to secure your Mac devices. As mentioned above, Macs have a lot of vulnerabilities, so with a VPN, you can have end-to-end encryption to guarantee safety from online threats. Here are additional tips on securing your Mac devices:

  • Use anti-malware software: Macs are more prone to malware as compared to Windows PC, so make sure to use a trusted anti-malware software. Some VPNs also offer built-in anti-malware software to protect your Mac from online threats.
  • Use a password manager: Macs have an iCloud Keychain built in the system that automatically generates a unique password and even encrypts them. This way you can secure all your accounts and keep them safe.
  • Use Safari browser: Apple recently updated Safari security by allowing users to prevent cross-site tracking in Safri on Mac. This is amazing, as Chrome collects a lot of user data to generate targeted ads.

Conclusion

Even though macOS come with a lot of in-built security features, there are still some vulnerabilities that are left untreated. To ensure 100% protection of your Mac device, you need a VPN. With the best VPN for Mac, you can add an additional layer of security and encryption to your Mac.

Similarly, with a VPN, you can also unblock geo-restricted streaming sites from anywhere in the world. Of the top 10 VPNs that we shortlisted for Mac, our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, as it offers the best unblocking ability, macOS compatibility with great privacy features.

There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free for 30 days. If you are not satisfied, you can always get a full refund, no questions asked.