In a world where operating systems and platforms are vulnerable to hacking, government surveillance, and cyber-attacks, VPNs are essential for macOS.
Despite Mac’s reputation as a system immune to cyber-attacks 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.
The importance of deploying the best VPN is becoming more significant over time. However, many VPNs are out in the market, which makes it a bit confusing to find the best option.
Therefore, we have finalized a list of the best VPN for Mac based on rigorous testing criteria so you can acquire top-notch online protection and unblock geo-restricted channels like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC Player on your macOS.
7 Best VPNs for Mac – Fast and Safe for Internet Activities
The best Mac VPNs can help users unlock geo-restricted libraries, improve their online privacy, and more.
1. ExpressVPN – The Fastest VPN for Mac
The VPN supports torrenting with the ‘US servers’ and protects the IP address and DNS leak until the download completes. The AES-256 encryption is like other top VPNs and used by default in the ExpressVPN macOS app. Also, it offers an internet kill switch to defend against accidental data leakage.
You can use up to 5 simultaneous connections, and it is compatible with macOS Snow Leopard (10.6) to the latest macOS Catalina (10.15).
This VPN service’s only disadvantage is its high price of $6.67/mo . But if you can overlook that, then ExpressVPN is an excellent tool to improve your online privacy.
2. Surfshark – The Best Value VPN for Mac
Surfshark supports torrent/P2P activities and is quite secure for this purpose. The provider 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 location.
Other than that, Surfshark is a great choice if you need to amp up your privacy on the macOS. The provider adheres to a zero-logging policy, which is pretty reassuring: There are dedicated Surfshark clients for all leading devices and platforms, including macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Fire TV, and more.
3. NordVPN – The Best macOS VPN
You can download torrents with many P2P servers in the network on all versions of macOS. The security level rules out any potential IP leaks, thus allowing safe and anonymous torrenting with NordVPN. It uses the IKEv2 protocol for macOS along with AES-256 for encryption. Moreover, NordVPN has many security features such a DoubleVPN, CyberSec, and Onion over VPN.
The provider has a strong logging policy in place and refrains from storing any privacy-sensitive information about users. NordVPN’s apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and they can be manually installed on many other devices, including Roku, Kodi, firestick, etc. With one NordVPN account, you can set up 6 simultaneous connections.
The 2-year subscription of NordVPN can be acquired for $3.71/mo , which is somewhat pricey but within reasonable margins considering Nord’s capabilities. You can get some existing discounts through our NordVPN lifetime guide. Also, explore NordVPN free trial hack to get it for 30 days completely free.
4. PureVPN – A Secure VPN for Mac
Also, PureVPN has optimized P2P servers for torrenting that delivers fast speed with anonymity. The provider doesn’t suffer from an IP or DNS leak, making it a safe choice for torrenting. Its macOS app also features advanced auto protocol selection that automatically picks out the most optimal server for streaming, torrenting, gaming, etc.
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. You can setup PureVPN on Mac, Windows, Android, Fire TV, and iOS. It’s also compatible with DD-WRT routers and gaming consoles through the manual installation process.
All these features are available at a low price of $3.33/mo . The best part is that if you don’t end up liking their service, then don’t worry as it offers a 31-day money-back guarantee. Also, with one PureVPN account, you can connect 10 devices at the same time.
5. CyberGhost – A Popular Choice for Mac
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 users’ sensitive logs. The CyberGhost apps are available for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. For less common devices, you can follow instructions on their official website to set up the VPN.
It uses the AES-256-encryption to make your traffic unreadable for surveillance. There is a built-in Kill Switch that is always enabled by default and cannot be disabled in the Mac app. For extra security, it also provides DNS/ IPv6/ WebRTC leak protection.
It is fairly reasonably priced at $2.25/mo and comes with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. With one CyberGhost subscription, you can connect up to 7 devices at the same time.
6. VyprVPN – An Excellent Provider for macOS
Although it has some weaknesses, such as its inconsistency to unblock Netflix, some users claim that the VyprVPN works fine for Netflix, but I could not get the same result in my attempt. 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.
For encryption, it uses the AES-256 to guard users’ traffic against any outside interference. It is equipped with a kill switch and chameleon technology that obfuscates your VPN-originated traffic. Its macOS app also features a NAT firewall that protects against hackers by blocking inbound traffic on your device.
VyprVPN has a zero-logs policy that a third-party organization has independently audited. That makes it exceptional for privacy-focused users of macOS. VyprVPN offers apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android, and even routers. You can also apply manual setup on lesser-known devices.
The 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.
7. Ivacy – A Useful VPN Option for Mac
Ivacy supports P2P on all servers and allows you to download torrents on your macOS. It also caters to the privacy need with a no-logging policy that assures none of your 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. It does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can test the service free of any risks.
The 2-year subscription of Ivacy is available for $1/mo You can also get Ivacy’s 7-day trial at $0.99 and test the VPN service on your Mac devices. So, if you’re looking for a VPN with value-added features, then Ivacy is an ideal one.
VPN Comparison Table
|Provider||Safari Extension||Allows P2P||Unblocks||Price|
|ExpressVPN||✓||All Servers||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, Disney, and more||$6.67/mo|
|Some servers||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, Disney, and more||$2.49/mo|
|Some servers||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, Disney, and more||$3.71/mo|
|Some servers||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, Disney, and more||$3.33/mo|
|All servers||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, Disney, and more||$2.25/mo|
|All servers||Netflix, iPlayer, Disney, and more||$1.67/ mo|
|All servers||Netflix, iPlayer, Disney, and more||$1/mo|
How to choose the Best VPN for Mac?
The increasing severity of cyber-attacks and Geo-restriction makes it tougher for a VPN service to stay active for a long period. Keeping this in mind, we have identified the best criteria that can help in choosing the best VPN for Macbook as per your requirement.
- Performance / Speed – The speed of the VPN based on tested results of macOS using speedtest.net.
- Unblock Channels / Sites – The capacity 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 mechanism as per standards to avoid surveillance.
- Compatibility – Support for macOS and other devices with a simultaneous connection.
Why do I need a VPN on Mac?
There are critical 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.
How to manually Set up 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 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 MacBooks:
- Open System Preferences (you can find it on the top left corner of your screen, under the Apple icon, or in your Dock).
- Click Network Settings > At the bottom of the list of connections, select “+.”
- Select Interface > Select VPN > Choose L2TP over IPSec.
- Set a name in the Account Name option.
- Go to Authentication Settings > Fill in your password and secret authentication provided by your VPN
- 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.
- Download Viscosity on your Mac device (it’s a paid service, but it comes with a 30-day free trial).
- Open the Viscosity.dmg file and drop the client in your Applications folder. The installer will automatically launch. Now, follow the installation process.
- Open Viscosity > Click Preferences. Once the client has been successfully downloaded, you can find Preferences under the Viscosity menu.
- Go to Connections > Click “+” > Select Import Connection. It will open a setup window.
- Select “From File” > Open .ovpn configuration file (OpenVPN file from your VPN provider).
- To finish the configuration, Set a username and password.
- 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.
- Download Tunnelblick.
- Select “I have configuration files.” These are OpenVPN configuration files that you got from your VPN.
- In Add a Configuration box, select Okay.
- In the Tunnelblick menu, Go to VPN Details.
- Select your .ovpn files and drag them into Tunnelblick. Make sure only to highlight .ovpn files.
- Select Apply to All and Only Me. And that’s it; you have set up Tunnelblick on your Mac device.
Let’s go through some frequently asked questions.
Does Mac have a 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 set up 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.
Which is the best VPN extension for Safari?
ExpressVPN offers the best VPN extension for Safari. It is both user-friendly and feature-rich. Unlike most VPN extensions for Safari, ExpressVPN offers DNS leak protection that protects your online browsing traffic.
macOS 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 trusted and effective solution to these problems is using the best VPN for Mac, for its unblocking capability with great privacy features. If you need to stay safe while surfing the web at fast speeds on your macOS, then ExpressVPN is the best option to go for.