Best VPN for Mac

By Ivana Vojinovic February 17, 2021

Conventional wisdom has it that Macs are impenetrable and immune to viruses and intrusions. For the longest time, built-in malware and a unique OS architecture kept Apple users safe from bad actors. But as Mac products grew in popularity, so too did the appetite of cybercriminals to breach these devices.

Mac users are increasingly starting to realize that they too need antiviruses and VPNs. Besides protecting you from malicious parties by concealing your identity online, VPNs are crucial for hiding your browsing habits, bypassing censorship, and accessing geo-blocked content. So check out our best VPN for Mac buyer’s guide to help you make the right purchasing decision.

Best VPN for Mac in 2021

  • Privacy settings tailored for Macs
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Great speeds
  • Pricy monthly plan
Price $2.25/mo
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  • Network Lock switch
  • HD sports streaming
  • Tor-compatible
  • Only five devices on one plan
Price $8.32/mo
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  • 4K streaming
  • User-friendly interface
  • Available across multiple platforms
  • Doesn’t allow torrenting
Price FREE
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  • Extremely safe
  • Onion router
  • Double VPN
  • Expensive
Price $4.89/mo
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  • The most privacy-oriented VPN on the market
  • WireGuard protocol
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Small server network
Price $5/mo
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  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Multiple protocols to choose from
  • Good for gaming
  • Limited number of servers
  • Only a few P2P servers
Price $2.5/mo
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  • Most affordable VPN
  • No-ads browsing
  • Unlimited devices can connect
  • Occasionally slow
Price $2.49/mo
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  • Proprietary Hydra protocol
  • Antivirus included
  • Gaming-ready
  • Expensive
Price $7.99/mo
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  • Secure storage with higher-tier plan
  • Unblocks Netflix and Disney+
  • VoIP-compatible
  • Limited number of streaming services
Price $3.75/mo
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What a VPN Is & Why You Need One On Mac

Even if you haven’t used a VPN before, you’ve probably noticed the VPN ads that pop up on almost every site imaginable, signifying the software’s growing popularity. But before you decide to buy the best VPN for a Mac, you should know what this product actually does.

The acronym VPN stands for “virtual private network”; connecting to one helps protect your online privacy by hiding your IP address, location, and browsing history. It imposes your own private network over a public network – tunneling your connection to a remote VPN server. This hides your IP address and location while tricking both your device and the website you accessed into thinking you connected from another country. The country being displayed depends on the server you are connected to.

You might think that only people with something to hide need the best secure VPN for Mac. But VPNs aren’t just used to keep your browsing private: VPN software providers help you unblock geo-restricted content and, more importantly, guard your personal information that is at constant risk of being stored or sold even if you have utterly unremarkable browsing habits.

1. CyberGhost

" Best All-Rounder VPN "

  • VPN protocols
    OpenVPN, L2TP/ IPSec, IKEv2/ IPSec, PPTP
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    7,000+
  • Max number of connected devices
    7
  • Price range
    $2.25-$12.99/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Privacy settings tailored for Macs
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Great speeds
  • Pricy monthly plan

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Privacy settings tailored for Macs
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Great speeds
  • Pricy monthly plan
  • VPN protocols
    OpenVPN, L2TP/ IPSec, IKEv2/ IPSec, PPTP
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    7,000+
  • Max number of connected devices
    7
  • Price range
    $2.25-$12.99/month

CyberGhost VPN is a top VPN for Mac computers. It’s compatible with practically any device, but the Bucharest-based provider designed its software specifically for Macs. It imposes a strict no-logs policy, therefore storing no data, not even about your bandwidth usage. Your privacy is further guaranteed with 256-bit encryption.

CyberGhost relies on the OpenVPN protocol – the optimal industry choice. This provider also has one of the biggest server networks on the market, with over 7,000 servers in 90 countries, including specialized servers for torrents and streaming with excellent connection quality.

The software unblocks Netflix and other streaming services such as Hulu, HBO GO, and BBC iPlayer. Torrenting also works well, with minimal speed losses, making this the best VPN for Mac torrenting.

However, all these features don’t come cheap. The monthly subscription fee is $12.99. If you sign up for an annual plan, the price goes down to $3.99/month, while the two-year package costs $3.49/month – that’s a 73% discount on the original price.

The monthly subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and simultaneous connections for up to 7 devices, which is slightly more than what other providers offer.

And although it’s costly without a long-term subscription, the software’s many impressive features still make it the best VPN for Mac and iPhone users.

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2. ExpressVPN

" Best for Quick Downloads "

  • VPN protocols
    Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Number of servers
    3,000+
  • Logs
    No
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Pricing range
    $8.32-$12.95/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Network Lock switch
  • HD sports streaming
  • Tor-compatible
  • Only five devices on one plan

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Network Lock switch
  • HD sports streaming
  • Tor-compatible
  • Only five devices on one plan
  • VPN protocols
    Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Number of servers
    3,000+
  • Logs
    No
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Pricing range
    $8.32-$12.95/month

Much like a James Bond villain with a secret lair on a remote island, ExpressVPN is safely nestled in the British Virgin Islands. But unlike a villain, ExpressVPN is there to help those looking for the best VPN for Mac and Android.

This company’s service is provided by a network of 3,000 servers across 95 countries. Although other providers, like CyberGhost or NordVPN, have more servers, this is still perfectly adequate. ExpressVPN’s strength doesn’t seem to lie in numbers, anyway, as the software enables you to browse with speed losses of no more than 5% – an entirely unnoticeable drop in most cases.

What’s more, ExpressVPN is perfect if you are searching for the best VPN for Apple for streaming videos. It unblocks Netflix content restricted to certain parts of the world, giving you access to regional libraries in HD. Traditionally, ExpressVPN has been one of the most capable providers when it comes to circumventing Netflix’s VPN defenses. This VPN is also ideal for torrenting and is compatible with Tor. It even has its own Tor Onion website – a rare feature for a VPN.

ExpressVPN features prominently on all “best VPN for your PC and Mac” lists, partly due to its impeccable privacy track record. Thanks to where it’s located, the company operates outside the scope of Western intelligence-sharing agreements. This allows it to adhere to a strict no-logs policy. The software also relies on the OpenVPN protocol and employs 256-bit encryption.

An obvious downside is that you can connect to only five devices with one paid plan, which might be limiting for some users. ExpressVPN also ranks as one of the priciest options. While the software is widely regarded as the best VPN for Apple’s Mac, a monthly subscription will cost you $12.95. However, if you choose the annual plan, the price drops to $8.32/month.

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3. Hola VPN

" Best free VPN app for Mac "

  • VPN protocols
    IKEv2, IPsec, PPTP, L2TP
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    Yes
  • Number of servers
    1,500+
  • Max. number of connected devices
    20
  • Price range
    Free - $19.99/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • 4K streaming
  • User-friendly interface
  • Available across multiple platforms
  • Doesn’t allow torrenting

Things we liked / disliked:

  • 4K streaming
  • User-friendly interface
  • Available across multiple platforms
  • Doesn’t allow torrenting
  • VPN protocols
    IKEv2, IPsec, PPTP, L2TP
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    Yes
  • Number of servers
    1,500+
  • Max. number of connected devices
    20
  • Price range
    Free - $19.99/month

Hola VPN is a product of an Israel-based company called Hola Networks Ltd. The service was launched in 2012 with the goal of improving Internet connections through advanced routing technologies. Hola VPN aims to make the web faster, more open, and cheaper to operate.

If you decide to give Hola VPN a chance, you’ll be able to test the app on any platform you choose. It can be installed on Windows and Mac PCs and added as a browser extension to Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. All those on the lookout for the best VPN for iPhone will be glad to know that Hola VPN has an app that can be downloaded to any ​​iOS device.

There are three Hola VPN subscription plans: Pro, Premium, and Ultra. Hola VPN Pro is a free plan, however, it comes with some limitations, such as a daily time limit and the inability to stream in HD resolution. It can be used on a single device, and it gives you access to a decent number of servers.

The Premium plan costs $14.99 a month, but if you opt for the three-year plan, you’ll pay $107.55 every three years, which brings the price down to $2.99 per month.

If you’re looking for the best VPN for torrenting on your Mac, Hola might not be the best choice as it doesn’t allow torrenting on its servers. The website explicitly says it blocks BitTorrent traffic, which can be a turnoff for some users.

The Ultra plan is a bit pricier option; however, it has some extra features. The monthly subscription costs $29.99, but if you sign up for the three-year contract, the monthly fee will be reduced to $7.99. With this plan, you get access to 1,500 servers, and you can simultaneously protect 20 devices. Hola VPN Ultra also comes with a smart DNS service, 4K video streaming, and 24/7 technical support.

What makes Hola such a strong contender for the best free VPN software for Mac is its ability to unblock all major streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and BBC. It has high-speed connections and affordable subscription plans. It’s easy to download and use, and doesn’t require any advanced technical knowledge. The installation process lasts only a few minutes, and the app is extremely user-friendly. Should it fail to meet your expectations, you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back policy by submitting a refund request through the website.

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4. NordVPN

" Best CyberGhost VPN Alternative "

  • VPN protocols
    NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    5,400+
  • Max number of connected devices
    6
  • Price range
    $4.89–$11.95/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Extremely safe
  • Onion router
  • Double VPN
  • Expensive

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Extremely safe
  • Onion router
  • Double VPN
  • Expensive
  • VPN protocols
    NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    5,400+
  • Max number of connected devices
    6
  • Price range
    $4.89–$11.95/month

NordVPN is one of the best-known VPN providers, and for many Apple users, it’s the best VPN for Mac. Its nearly decade-long existence and millions of satisfied users are the best testaments to the effectiveness and reliability of this VPN.

NordVPN has an enviable server network, counting 5,409 server units across 59 countries, so you’d be hard-pressed to find a location in the world that does not have a NordVPN server nearby. The software comes with malware protection too, so it’s the perfect choice for those in need of the best antivirus and VPN for Mac. Besides having a strict no-logs policy, NordVPN has successfully undergone several independent security audits that underscore its commitment to user privacy. Of course, NordVPN also has a no-logs policy, so you can rest assured that it won’t be able to provide any identifiable user information to a third party.

In terms of bypassing restrictions, NordVPN has exceptional unlocking abilities: It allows you to access geo-blocked content on popular streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlay, and Hulu. This is also the best VPN for a Mac in the USA because it’s based in Panama and doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the Five and Fourteen Eyes data collection agencies. You’ll be well-protected while downloading and uploading content at consistent and usable speeds.

However, NordVPN’s basic plan is more expensive than most of the products on our list. However, while a monthly subscription fee is $11.95, a two-year plan costs only $4.89/month. One paid plan allows you to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously – one more than the competition average. The longer subscription plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee, too, allowing you to switch to other top VPN for Mac options if you’re not satisfied.

Judging by NordVPN reviews on TrustPilot, this provider truly is a user favorite.

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5. Mullvad

" Best for Total Privacy "

  • VPN protocols
    OpenVPN, WireGuard
  • Unblocks Netflix
    No
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    769
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Price range
    $5/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • The most privacy-oriented VPN on the market
  • WireGuard protocol
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Small server network

Things we liked / disliked:

  • The most privacy-oriented VPN on the market
  • WireGuard protocol
  • Flat-rate pricing
  • Small server network
  • VPN protocols
    OpenVPN, WireGuard
  • Unblocks Netflix
    No
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    769
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Price range
    $5/month

Mullvad is a lesser-known VPN provider with a smaller network than the other products on our list. It has only 760 servers in 37 countries, and most of them are located in developed countries. Still, we feel comfortable characterizing it as the best OpenVPN client for Mac because of the level of privacy it offers its users.

You don’t need an email or password to access Mullvad – instead, the software generates a 16-digit code that serves as your credentials for using the service. This is excellent news for users who are wary of leaving any kind of personal information online.

In addition, Mullvad doesn’t collect or store any information about its users apart from the amount of time you have left on your subscription and the number of devices you connected to its network. Several other features support Mullvad’s claim about being the best VPN for Macs, including its use of the OpenVPN protocol and 256-bit encryption.

Mullvad’s main downside is its inability to unblock Netflix. This might be a pretty major thing for some users, even if they’re not avid Netflix watchers. If Mullvad wasn’t this cheap, it wouldn’t be a forgivable offense, but the low price and the fact that Mullvad does work with HBO GO are its saving grace. As far as torrenting goes, all of Mullvad’s servers allow P2P traffic, and, just like the other best VPN providers, the software performs well on speed tests.

Mullvad has a few more tricks up its sleeve, too: It grants you the option to install the WireGuard protocol, an advanced VPN protocol with improved cryptography.

As mentioned before, this software is very affordable. The monthly subscription comes in at only $5, which is considerably less than many other VPN providers. The fee has not changed since Mullvad’s conception, meaning you’ll be paying the same amount for however long you use their VPN. Those who are in the market for the best VPN client for macOS and are especially concerned about maintaining their anonymity should definitely consider Mullvad.

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6. SaferVPN

" Best for unblocking streaming "

  • Protocol
    IKEv, PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    700
  • Countries
    34
  • Max number of connected devices
    5

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Multiple protocols to choose from
  • Good for gaming
  • Limited number of servers
  • Only a few P2P servers

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Multiple protocols to choose from
  • Good for gaming
  • Limited number of servers
  • Only a few P2P servers
  • Protocol
    IKEv, PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    700
  • Countries
    34
  • Max number of connected devices
    5

SaferVPN is another smaller provider on our list that has a reputation for being easy to use and fast. We put it to the test to see if it belongs on the best VPN for Mac speed leaderboards.

SaferVPN gained popularity between 2014 and 2016. During that time, it provided free accounts to dissidents in Turkey, Iran, and Bangladesh as they grappled with government censorship online. This proved that SaferVPN’s software is effective and gave the company a PR boost.

One of the software’s main features is that it gives users the option to choose different VPN protocols. The protocols include IKEv, PPTP, L2TP, and OpenVPN. We suggest OpenVPN, which is widely regarded as the most secure. But you can also try others like PPTP for streaming or torrenting

SaferVPN might not be the best VPN for torrenting on Mac because only several of its servers are P2P compatible. However, the connection was stable and fast during speed tests on both P2P and regular servers, which is great news for any user planning to torrent.

SaferVPN unblocks Netflix, granting users access to HD streaming content. Many avid gamers consider this product to be the best VPN for Android and Mac and best suited for gaming due to its fast and stable connection quality.

Unfortunately SaferVPN does not have a vast server network, which means you might have to connect to far-away servers that could result in higher latency.

On the privacy side, it adheres to a strict no-logging policy, includes the kill switch feature, public Wi-Fi protection, and a 256-bit encryption. If you wish to add to your anonymity, you can pay for the service using Bitcoin. But SaferVPN is on the expensive side. A one-month subscription fee is $12.95. The monthly rate goes down to $3.29 if you sign up for the two-year plan. And while SaferVPN might not be the  best VPN for Mac users, it certainly has a lot to offer.

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7. SurfShark

" Best Budget VPN "

  • VPN protocols
    OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    3,200+
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Price range
    $2.49–$12.95/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Most affordable VPN
  • No-ads browsing
  • Unlimited devices can connect
  • Occasionally slow

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Most affordable VPN
  • No-ads browsing
  • Unlimited devices can connect
  • Occasionally slow
  • VPN protocols
    OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    3,200+
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Price range
    $2.49–$12.95/month

Surfshark is another provider based in the British Virgin Islands vying for the title of the best VPN for Mac.

The software has some of the most affordable plans on the market. The monthly subscription fee is nearly identical to that of NordVPN – $12.95 – but the genuinely frugal option is the two-year plan, which costs only $2.49/month. If two years is too long for you, there are other offers with various discounts, too.

Affordability sometimes equals lackluster features, but not with Surfshark. This service successfully unblocks Netflix US, UK, France, India, Japan, and the Netherlands, practically unlocking all Netflix region-specific content. In addition, Surfshark’s servers are P2P-compatible, meaning you won’t have to switch servers every time you want to torrent.

Any provider hoping to be the best iOS VPN has to perform well on macOS, too, and Surfshark does exactly that. The app runs smoothly and is easy to use. When it comes to the server network, SurfShark’s 3,200+ servers in more than 65 countries are pretty admirable for a smaller-scale VPN in this price range.

SurfShark also has multiple protocols available, including OpenVPN and Shadowsocks, which are based on SOCKS5. Besides the kill-switch option, which shuts down your internet connection if you’re disconnected from the VPN, Surfshark also has the NoBorders mode, a feature reserved only for the top-rated VPN providers. NoBorders allows you to connect to the VPN in countries where the technology might be restricted or prohibited and where other services might not be able to help you.

Surfshark might not be the fastest VPN around, but the speed test results show a reliable and stable connection. In most cases, the speed loss shouldn’t have a visible impact on your browsing or streaming experience. All things considered, Surfshark is one of the best VPNs for Mac users on a budget.

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8. HotSpot Shield

" Best Free Plan VPN "

  • VPN protocols
    Hydra, OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    1,800+
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Price range
    $7.99-$19.99/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Proprietary Hydra protocol
  • Antivirus included
  • Gaming-ready
  • Expensive

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Proprietary Hydra protocol
  • Antivirus included
  • Gaming-ready
  • Expensive
  • VPN protocols
    Hydra, OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    1,800+
  • Max number of connected devices
    5
  • Price range
    $7.99-$19.99/month

Like some of the other entries on our list, Hotspot Shield initially gained global recognition thanks to political activists. During the Arab Spring protests, this VPN was used to circumvent online censorship. Today, the US-based provider is especially popular among those looking for the best free VPN software for Mac, but Hotspot Shield’s plans, in general, are considered to be some of the best on the market.

The provider prides itself on speed, with good reason: Hotspot Shield performed admirably without any noticeable loss in connection during speed tests. Of course, we can’t crown it the fastest VPN around, because some of its reviewed counterparts had similar results, but there’s no doubt that Hotspot Shield meets all expectations you might have from a premium VPN product.

Like any other good VPN for Mac, Hotspot Shield unblocks Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Its high speeds guarantee quality streaming.

Hotspot Shield also has 1,800 servers across 80 countries. It’s powered by Catapult Hydra, a proprietary protocol that is said to be 2.4 times faster than OpenVPN. This speed difference should prove significant when you’re streaming, torrenting, gaming, or performing any other internet activity that relies on high-speed connections.

You can also expect to get a password manager, as well as malware, identity theft, and robocalling protection with this safe VPN for Mac. The software runs smoothly, and the company offers customer support via email and live chat. It also adheres to a no-logs policy and allows P2P sharing. Although the free plan comes with all the safety features available, it limits you to 2 Mbps in speed and 500 MB of bandwidth, and you only have access to a single server, which is located in the US. Using the free version also means you will receive targeted ads.

A one-month subscription with this software is $12.99, dropping to $7.99/month if you sign up for the annual plan. Those looking for the best VPN for their Macbook will find Hotspot Shield attractive.

9. IPVansih

" Best VPN protocols "

  • VPN protocols
    IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    1,600+
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Price range
    $3.75-$4.99/month

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Secure storage with higher-tier plan
  • Unblocks Netflix and Disney+
  • VoIP-compatible
  • Limited number of streaming services

Things we liked / disliked:

  • Secure storage with higher-tier plan
  • Unblocks Netflix and Disney+
  • VoIP-compatible
  • Limited number of streaming services
  • VPN protocols
    IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP
  • Unblocks Netflix
    Yes
  • Logs
    No
  • Number of servers
    1,600+
  • Max number of connected devices
    Unlimited
  • Price range
    $3.75-$4.99/month

IPVanish was founded in 2012 by Mudhook Media Inc., a subsidiary of Highwinds Network Group. It’s a reputable commercial VPN used by millions of clients worldwide to protect their privacy and ensure safe browsing. Hundreds of VPN reviews on Trustpilot praise IPVanish as the best VPN for Macbook due to its extensive network of servers, effective security measures, and zero-logs policy.

With an IPVanish account, you’ll be able to use the app for all your Mac devices. The configuration process is quick and straightforward, and the only thing you need to do is choose the connection you want to secure. Moreover, the app is available on other platforms, including Android, Windows, and Linux. The best thing is that you can connect an unlimited number of devices at the same time.

Although IPVanish provides an excellent VPN-for-Mac service, it isn’t available for old macOS versions. However, if you have macOS 10.10 or any newer version, you don’t need to worry. With 1,600+ servers in dozens of countries around the world, you can rest assured that you’ll always have a reliable connection.

IPVanish is especially praised for its zero-logs policy; this means the company doesn’t track your internet activity and collect information on how you use its VPN. In other words, it doesn’t have any of your personal information to share or sell to third parties. This is the best VPN for iPhone users who want to protect their messages, emails, or other activities. Also, you don’t need to provide detailed information to purchase this VPN. Aside from your name and payment method, IPVanish doesn’t require anything else.

Another notable feature is the kill switch, which automatically disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection is interrupted for any reason. Once the connection with IPVansih is reestablished, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off.

IPVanish is a relatively cheap VPN solution, with a monthly fee between $3.75 and $4.99 depending on subscription length. Additionally, they regularly offer discounts, so you could probably pay even less if your timing is good enough.

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Methodology For Reviewing VPNs for Mac

Privacy

Today, the best VPN service for Mac has a multitude of functions. But even with all the bells and whistles, its primary purpose remains to preserve your privacy online. That’s why we focused extensively on privacy features in our reviews. Without proper privacy-focused features, VPNs just turn into glorified location-spoofing tools, putting your anonymity at risk and, in some cases, putting you at risk of legal action.

The first thing to look at is the provider’s logging policy, which determines whether and which user data is being stored. Any provider considered to be the best VPN client for Mac computers keeps no identifying logs. That includes any information about the user, his location, and browsing history. Keep in mind that almost all providers store non-identifying logs, which are generally used for metrics and network improvements.

However, our advice is to avoid providers that keep any user logs. Logged data is constantly at risk of being obtained by government agencies, sold to third parties, or stolen by hackers.

Besides logging, we looked at some other safety features that providers on our “best VPN services for Mac” list have in place. These include the level of encryption, number of shared IPs, public Wi-Fi protection, and kill-switch options.

Torrenting

VPNs are often used for entertainment and file-sharing purposes. Torrenting is a type of P2P file-sharing technology that falls into a legal gray area. While the method is not illegal per se, the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material is. In countries like the US, the use of torrents for downloading protected content can result in legal action against the user. For that reason, the best VPN software for Mac didn’t initially have P2P sharing options. But the market has changed, and the majority of VPNs now allow torrenting, either on all or on specialized servers.

The no-logs policy plays a vital role in facilitating P2P sharing, as well. Since VPN providers don’t store any data, they are not in a position to inform ISPs or government agencies about which country a user is operating from and whether torrenting is a legal issue there. In our reviews, we examined whether the provider allows P2P sharing and the quality of the connection – a crucial aspect for torrenting.

Unblocking Netflix and Other Streaming Services

Netflix is the most popular streaming platform in the world, and the best VPN app for Mac should be able to provide access to geo-blocked Netflix content. Due to country-specific airing rights, Netflix reserves a portion of its content for particular regions, leaving many users without access to great TV shows and movies. The most coveted region library is the US one, which most top-class VPNs should be able to unblock.

Netflix is not available in countries that have a challenging regulatory environment, including China and North Korea. However, the service can be accessed by VPN users. Therefore, in our best VPN for macOS reviews, we tested whether a given VPN can unblock Netflix and other services, such as Hulu and BBC iPlayer. We also tested the quality and stability of the stream.

Servers and Connection Speed

Another essential feature to consider when looking at VPNs is the number of available servers around the globe. A large server base allows you to choose the one nearest to you and provides greater connection speeds. In our search for the best paid VPN for Mac, we also looked at the number of countries servers can be found in, and how many of them are specialized for P2P sharing.

Connection speeds are often directly linked to the provider’s server count. VPNs work by tunneling your connection to one of their servers, effectively spoofing your location, and hiding your activity from your ISP. During this process, you often lose a portion of your original download and upload speed. The extent of this decrease depends on the VPN provider’s network infrastructure and server base. Of course, the closer the server to your actual location, the better the speeds and stability. Therefore, a provider’s server count and connection quality were a crucial part of our search for the best VPN for Mac and iOS.

Price

Of course, like all things in life, safe browsing and anonymity usually come at a price. These costs vary depending on the provider, and some of them even have perfectly functional free options. The average monthly subscription fee ranges between $3 and $12, with discounts if you subscribe for an annual plan. Although you’d probably prefer to find a free VPN for your Mac, most gratis options come with significant drawbacks, so we recommend sticking to the best paid VPN instead.

Completely free VPNs can jeopardize your anonymity and tend to sell user information to advertisers or other third parties, as the companies behind them have to make money somehow. Some top-rated providers might have a free plan, but these often come with limited bandwidth, and users can only access a small number of their servers. In the best-case scenario, you’ll be able to squeeze in some free browsing before you go over the limit. Free plans offered by some of the best VPN services for Mac are actually meant to serve as free trials before you decide which paid option suits you best.

FAQ

Which VPN is best for Mac?

Our VPN for Mac reviews include a number of products with very impressive features. But deciding which one is best depends on your needs. ExpressVPN or NordVPN are generally the safest bet. However, if your main concern is privacy, Mullvad might be a better option.

What is the best free VPN for Mac?

While we don’t recommend using a free VPN due to the limited number of features, HotSpot Shield has a decent free option if you are short on cash or don’t want to invest in a paid plan.

Does Mac have a built-in VPN?

No, it does not. But you can take your pick and find the best VPN app for your Mac. With most well-known providers, the installation process is incredibly easy and quick – you shouldn’t face any issues when installing a VPN program on your device. Once you configure the service to your needs, you can browse and stream away from any prying eyes.

Is a VPN necessary for Mac?

Many people still believe Macs are somehow immune to the sort of dangers that Windows users face. This simply isn’t true, and Mac users are as vulnerable to bad actors as anyone else. Therefore, we recommend they opt for one of the products from our best VPN for Mac list.