Over the latter decade, there has been an increase in cyberattacks that affect macOS users. This means that you’re not protected by the make of your device alone and you should be looking for additional methods to safeguard your security. Meanwhile, privacy is a growing issue regardless of your device type. All of this is why getting a VPN for Mac makes a lot of sense.

Using a VPN will highly increase your privacy and security on Mac computers.

VPN’s secure your network traffic by encrypting your sent data, making it secure from hackers and even your internet service provider. The best VPNs also guarantee access to geo-blocked services like Netflix and secure torrenting. Below you will find the Top 8 VPNs that we recommend for Mac users.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN service logo
  • Pricing: starts at $3.49/month
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 6
  • Features: separate app versions with OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec protocols for ultimate personalization, obfuscated and dedicated servers, tough encryption

NordVPN has a wealth of strong security features (AES-256 encryption, two types of kill switch, leak protection, Double VPN, Onion over VPN) and one of the largest networks in the world. It consists of 5700+ servers in 59 countries. All this and more is available for a fee of $3.49 per month billed every 3 years, all of which you can also pay with cryptocurrencies.

Moreover, it is capable as a shield against government agencies looking for copyright infringements to punish, so you can torrent to your heart’s content, especially when NordVPN offers a free SOCKS5 proxy.

Mac users tend to have more devices than Windows users. As such, when you get NordVPN, you can use it on 6 devices at the same time (it also has dedicated apps for iOS, Android, Windows devices, and more).

2. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN service logo
  • Pricing: starts at $1.99/month
  • Number of simultaneous connections: unlimited
  • Features: offers two-factor authentication (2FA), HackLock™ technology that detects traces of your hacked personal information online, a BlindSearch tool that lets you perform web search queries in complete privacy

Surfshark VPN is great, but it also offers some insane deals, starting from $1.99/month for a two-year plan! It has military-grade encryption, OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, a kill switch, and multi-hop. There’s also a Camouflage Mode that unblocks the internet in China and other restrictive countries.

Even though Surfshark boasts only 1700+ servers, they seem to be working efficiently, providing fast speeds over 60+ locations. Torrenting is allowed, and Netflix US can be unblocked, so you can put that connectivity to good use.

Another argument for using Surfshark on Mac is that its app is as secure as the Windows version – something that’s rarely the case even among premium VPNs. There’s even a 7-day free trial available on App Store, so you can try Surfshark right away, without providing payment details.

3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN service logo
  • Pricing: starts at $2.5/month
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 5
  • Features: system, app and LAN level kill switch, proprietary Chameleon protocol, automatic port selection

VyprVPN has 700+ of their own servers in 60+ countries, allowing them to achieve better performance than thousands of questionable third-party servers ever could.

The security level of this VPN rivals any other. It has military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection, as well as the proprietary Chameleon protocol to bypass censorship.

If you’re serious about your Mac’s safety, we advise you to get the VyprVPN premium plan as the regular one allows only three devices at the same time and doesn’t have the Chameleon protocol, thus losing some of its glamour.

VyprVPN is good for Netflix – you’ll be able to unblock Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and many other streaming platforms.

However, it’s not the cheapest nor the fastest VPN service for Mac, and doesn’t have anonymous payment methods.

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN service logo
  • Pricing: starts at $3.82/month
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 6
  • Features: strict no-logs policy, stealth VPN, port forwarding

PrivateVPN is a very cheap premium service that’s one of the few to offer not only a 30-day money-back guarantee but also a 7-day free trial. Combine that with 6 simultaneous connections allowed along with extensive router support and that’s some real bang-for-your-buck.

While the PrivateVPN for Mac looks the same as the Windows version, it has fewer features. Some users might miss a kill switch, Application Guard, and DNS leak protection.

This service has only 150 servers in 60+ countries but still manages to provide fast speeds. Those should be enough for streaming and torrenting.

When it comes to additional features, it’s smart to get PrivateVPN just for the streaming as it unblocks Netflix and other streaming services. This VPN has dedicated servers for accessing each content platform or its country-specific media library.

5. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access service logo
  • Pricing: starts at $2.85/month
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 10
  • Features: great kill switch, Handshake Naming System, very cheap

Private Internet Access (PIA) offers military-grade encryption, kill switch, and leak protection. Its 3300+ server list is spread out over 46+ countries. Although very cheap, PIA is nevertheless a great VPN for Mac.

Its intuitive and user-friendly VPN client is virtually identical to that of Windows. All menus are self-explanatory and easy to navigate.

Furthermore, Private Internet Acess unblocks Netflix US and works great with Kodi. PIA also allows torrenting on all servers. For that matter, you’ll be able to use port forwarding or SOCKS5 proxy.

Save for being based in the US, the only drawback of this provider is the lack of a 24/7 live chat. Should you decide to purchase Private Internet Access, you’ll get a 7-day money-back guarantee.

6. IPVanish

IPVanish service logo
  • Pricing: starts at $6.49/month
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 10
  • Features: excellent security, good server list, 24/7 live chat support

IPVanish has been able to make themselves known for their excellent security. This provider uses military-grade encryption, offers free SOCKS5 proxy, and TOR compatibility.

After comparing, we can say that IPVanish for Mac is just as secure as the Windows version. Both clients are informative and easy-to-use, with simple but nice design. Besides, this VPN also has an app for routers, which is still not that common feature even among premium services.

IPVanish provides decent speeds and global coverage with 1400+ servers in over 50 countries. You should be able to watch Netflix US and torrent on all servers.

If you’re completely submerged in Apple’s ecosystem, you’ll enjoy the fact that when you get IPVanish for macOS, you will also get the iOS app for your iPhone or iPad, as well as the ability to use the service on 10 devices at the same time.

7. Windscribe VPN

Windscribe VPN service logo
  • Pricing: starts at $1.00/month
  • Number of simultaneous connections: unlimited
  • Features: completely anonymous browsing, bypass any location-based filter, their network is SSL secured with 256-bit encryption

Windscribe VPN is a top macOS VPN service with AES-256 encryption, a firewall that protects from leaks and also works as a kill switch. It even offers a “stealth” protocol to bypass censorship.

Windscribe has a bunch of unique features, such as R.O.B.E.R.T., a tool to reduce ads and minimize malware risks. Once you download Windscribe, it will block all social media trackers, beacons, and browser fingerprinting.

At 480+ servers in 60+ countries, this is not the largest network, but it still delivers good performance. It will allow you to torrent safely, stream Netflix content unhindered, and unlock other geo-blocked streaming platforms. With that said, it’s not the most formidable unblocker on the market so those with subscriptions for lots of platforms may want to look elsewhere.

8. PureVPN

PureVPN service logo
  • Pricing: starts at $5.82/month
  • Number of simultaneous connections: 5
  • Features: port forwarding, split tunneling, impressive server spread

PureVPN has all the important security features (AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, leak protection) and a wealth of tunneling protocols. What’s more, it boasts 2000+ servers in a whopping 140+ countries, to choose from. PureVPN for Mac client connects quickly and establishes reliable connections.

If you’re looking for a solution to stream Netflix, torrent, or just looking for ways to improve your privacy online, try PureVPN. This service is more than capable of all those tasks.

While downloading and installing the VPN client is not difficult, and while customer support is available 24/7, the PureVPN macOS client itself could be more intuitive, especially when selecting Modes.

How we choose the best Mac VPN services

There are many factors that make or break a VPN. While these criteria can be debated, here’s what we chose to rate when picking the best services:

  • Security. This includes military-grade encryption, best protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2 or Wireguard), kill switch, and no IPv6/DNS leaks. If your VPN doesn’t have any safety measures it defeats the purpose of using the service.
  • Privacy. The provider should have a strict no-logs policy, allow anonymous registration and payments.
  • Performance. When connected to a VPN, your speeds shouldn’t suffer from lag spikes and significant speed drops. You want your system to be safe but you also want the performance to be reliable.
  • Entertainment. Does your VPN allow torrenting? Is it effective against geo-blocking, allowing access to Netflix and other streaming platforms?
  • Ease of use and customer support. Is the Mac app user-friendly? Does your provider offer 24/7 live support?
  • Price. Last but not least, the VPN should offer enough bang-for-your-buck and a solid money-back guarantee. A free trial is a bonus too.

Why use a VPN on macOS?

In theory, Mac computers are less vulnerable to all kinds of cybersecurity threats. Unfortunately, as security expert Eric Johanson once told cnet.com, if you compare that number of users and published vulnerabilities for Windows and macOS, you’ll see that the latter is losing the security battle on a per user basis. Now having in mind that this quote is almost a decade-old, let’s see the total numbers of malware for macOS, courtesy of av-test.org:

the total numbers of malware for macOS,

Suddenly Mac no longer looks so secure, does it? And as for hackers, they’re often not looking for the users with a particular OS, but ones with the largest footprint. And while VPNs are not antivirus tools, they can help minimize that footprint by increasing our privacy and security.

A large part of our privacy issues is caused by external forces, such as corporations that handle our data or government agencies that want to spy on us. The anonymization and encryption offered by VPN services is a great shield against these challenges.

Furthermore, even if you don’t care about your privacy or security at all, VPN services will help you entertain yourself – whether by helping you bypass geo-restrictions, securing your torrent downloads, or helping you get a Pay Per View cheaper.

What is the best free VPN for Mac?

There’s rarely a solution that is secure, fast and free. As with other things in life, if a service is free, you should always be asking why that is. Most often it turns out that a VPN that is free isn’t probably very fast or secure. It might also show you a lot of ads or just bluntly stell your usage information to third parties. There is no way to know.

We always recommend paid providers as they provide the best quality service, even if you’re paying a small amount as a few bucks every month. The servers that you’re using, they still require maintenance. Besides, some of the best free VPNs are made by the providers who also have a paid option. You can find the full list on Free VPN for Mac page.

How to set up a VPN with Tunnelblick on a Mac?

Mac has an open-source VPN client named Tunnelblick. It works with the OpenVPN protocol, so you’ll need a configuration file (.ovpn) for each of your provider’s servers. You’ll need your account logins as well.

You can download Tunnelblick for free. After the download completes, open the .dmg file and click on the Tunnelblick icon. After installation, you may need to enter your Mac login.

When you have Tunnelblick ready, follow these six simple steps:

  1. Launch Tunnelblick and click the “I have configuration files” button
  2. Double-click our downloaded .ovpn file.
  3. When prompted, install the configs for yourself or all users.
  4. After the installation, click the Tunnelblick icon at the top right corner and select “Connect”
  5. If required, enter your VPN username and password
  6. After the connection has been established, you should see a notification.

VPN for Mac FAQ

What is the best VPN for Mac?

The answer is going to be subjective, but based on our criteria, we find NordVPN to be the best VPN for Mac. A couple of reasons for that: they use top of the line security measures, have a wide-reaching server network, a strict no-logs policy, and their tool gives you complete and unrestricted freedom to torrent and stream content. The service they provide is also priced quite reasonably. These are the reason why we think it’s truly the best.

Are the best overall VPNs also the best ones for Mac?

Experts estimate that approximately 1 in every 5 desktop devices in the world runs on macOS. This level of prevalence means that software developers, including VPN services, normally don’t ignore Mac users. However, Windows and Android are generally still where most providers begin app development. As such, the quality of Mac VPN clients varies – a good service on Windows might prove to be terrible for Mac.

Do I need a VPN on a Mac?

This really depends on how dangerous and restrictive you want your online experience. VPNs just provide an additional barrier of safety to keep your private data private and remove the geo-blocks that would be associated with your personal IP address. Why not try some of the services above and decide for yourself.

How do I get a VPN for Mac?

Getting a third-party VPN isn’t really hard and you don’t need to be IT professional to do it.

1. Go to the website of your chosen VPN provider.
2. From there you will be redirected to the App Store.
3. Click on the Download button or the little cloud icon.
4. When the download is complete, click on the Open button.
5. Fill in your login credentials and that’s it. Now choose a server to connect to and enjoy your safe browsing experience.

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