Best VPN for Mac in 2022

Ethan Payne
Ethan Payne | Writer
Last updated: November 24, 2022
Best VPN provider for Mac 2020
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It’s common knowledge that Mac devices are slightly more secure than their ever-popular Windows counterparts. However, that doesn’t mean you can relax and neglect your digital confidentiality. Doing so effectively, of course, requires a different set of tools.

This is where VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) come into play. They encrypt your internet connection, hiding it from various snoopers on publicly accessible networks. Plus, rerouting your connection through a remote server has plenty of other benefits. Read on to find out more about them and the best Mac VPNs.

Best VPN for Mac 2022: shortlist

  1. The best VPN for Mac
    9.6
  2. Mac VPN with unlimited connections
    9.4
  3. Versatile & cheap VPN for macOS
    9.2
  4. Macbook VPN with a free version
    8.8
  5. VPN for Mac with the largest server network
    8.6

Quickly boost your device’s security with a good VPN for Macbook by following the steps provided below!

How to install a VPN for Mac

  1. Subscribe to a secure VPN. Our top recommendation is NordVPN, currently available for 68% off.
  2. Download the client from the provider’s website and install the VPN on your Apple device
  3. Connect to any server that suits your needs the best
  4. Reap unparalleled online security!

Choose the best VPN for Mac

Why do you need a VPN for Mac in 2022?

Many people are under the impression that Apple devices are more secure than those with different operating systems. While there are certain measures put in place that elevate a Macbook’s defenses, the computer is still susceptible to common threats. A Mac device won’t protect you against data leaks and breaches on the web, for one.

Plus, hackers can still intercept your connection on public networks, especially if you’re not using any tools to hide your presence. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in technology capable of shielding you from that – trustworthy VPNs. A simple IP address change, coupled with encryption, makes you untrackable, hence, untargetable.

macOS protected by VPN

Besides, you can use a VPN for more than just security. It’s commonly utilized to get around geographical restrictions and access content that’s unavailable in your region. This applies to foreign streaming libraries, P2P file-sharing websites, country-specific services, and more.

Best VPNs for Mac: overview

The top VPN for Mac has to meet certain criteria. Having the essential VPN toolkit is one of them, and an expansive server fleet is another. The former ensures your online identity remains hidden under all circumstances, while the latter guarantees optimal performance anywhere.

Since we want to elevate privacy, the VPN provider shouldn’t log user data either. As for functionality, broad device compatibility, multiple simultaneous connections, and geo-block bypassing capabilities were also taken into account.

1. NordVPN – the best macOS VPN

9.6
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
59
Number of servers
Number of servers:
5500
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, Email
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
1,117 Mbit/s
  • NordLynx protocol for the best speeds
  • SmartPlay to bypass geo-blocks
  • Independently-audited and secure
  • Only six simultaneous connections

The best VPN for macOS is NordVPN. The provider hails from privacy-respecting Panama, operates under a certified no-logs policy, and includes all the necessary security features. You can even get a taste of the service with the NordVPN 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store. Don’t worry, it works on Apple devices once the sign-up is complete.

The vast network of 5500+ servers in 59+ countries really packs a punch performance-wise. It’s also worth noting that standard hardware runs on RAM-only technology to keep your data private if someone seizes the servers. Plus, the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol provides mind-blowing connectivity.

Meanwhile, you can verify geo-unblocking capabilities by accessing more content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and other streaming services. Furthermore, NordVPN is equipped with SmartPlay, a feature that lets you change your IP address on practically any device. Supported devices include Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, and Kodi.

Thinking of committing to this top VPN for Mac? The pricing starts at only $2.99/month, but only if you utilize a NordVPN discount code during checkout. And remember that you can always get a refund if it doesn’t live up to the hype – all plans are protected with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN – Macbook VPN with top-notch security

9.4
Top VPN provider
Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
100
Number of servers
Number of servers:
3200
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat, FAQ
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
899 Mbit/s
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Smart DNS for changing location
  • Lots of features for a low price
  • Unaudited no-logs policy

If you’re a die-hard Apple fan with an endless supply of the company’s devices, consider Surfshark. This secure macOS VPN is affordable, comes with tons of features, and does not limit simultaneous devices at all. There’s even an option to test the waters with the free Surfshark VPN 7-day trial, available via the Apple App Store.

This service is equipped with a network of 3200+ RAM-only servers across 100+ countries – the biggest global reach in the industry. And it’s not lacking in the performance department either, not with the next-gen WireGuard protocol. The Nexus update also introduced Software Defined Networking (SDN), significantly reducing latency.

Now, for the metaphorical cherry on top – Surfshark’s features. CleanWeb ensures your device stays malware free, while MultiHop provides double the encryption. And if you reside in an internet restrictive region, then Camouflage and NoBorders modes will help you break through tough firewalls.

Grab a subscription to enhance your security for just $1.99/month. Applying a Surfshark VPN coupon might also net you a better deal. And after everything is said and done, rest easy knowing your purchase is insured with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

3. PrivateVPN – all-rounder VPN service for Mac OS

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
63
Number of servers
Number of servers:
200
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
112 Mbit/s
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Stealth VPN
  • Port forwarding
  • Lacks WireGuard

Total anonymity on your Mac device is guaranteed with PrivateVPN. It has a great price-to-feature, optimal performance, and 10 simultaneous devices to boot. The most appealing thing about the service is that you can minimize the amount of shared personal data by paying for the VPN anonymously using Bitcoin.

The provider makes do with a humble network of 200+ servers across 63+ countries. Although it appears tiny compared to other macOS, it’s pretty efficient thanks to the fact the company owns and operates everything itself. Furthermore, connectivity will never be an issue, due to the OpenVPN protocol and High Quality Network (HQN).

PrivateVPN guarantees exceptional streaming performance no matter which country you’re connecting to. Disney Plus, HBO Max, Netflix, and countless other popular platforms will finally be within your grasp. Additionally, the VPN is compatible with Android TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Kodi, and Roku.

You can begin your journey with this good VPN for Mac by utilizing the 7-day free trial that’s available on the official website. After that, pick a Private VPN coupon and pay no more than $2.00/month. And keep in mind that each subscription is shielded with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.

4. Atlas VPN – fast & robust Mac VPN

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
37
Number of servers
Number of servers:
750
Support
Support:
Email, tickets, FAQ
  • No device limit
  • Ultra-fast with WireGuard
  • Solid security features
  • No router support

Atlas VPN is another small but efficient VPN service. It has a nice balance between performance and security while offering the best price, making it the cheapest VPN for macOS. You can even use the service without paying a dime or creating an account – the free Atlas VPN version is just that good.

In terms of coverage, the provider offers a sizable network of 750+ servers in 37+ countries. It’s worth noting there are dedicated streaming servers and specialized SafeSwap ones that rotate your IP address periodically. Additionally, customers can switch between the ultra-fast WireGuard and secure IKEv2 tunneling protocols.

The service has no issues unlocking content on many well-known streaming platforms, such as Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, and more. Security isn’t left out either – Atlas VPN includes a MultiHop+ that routes traffic through several VPN servers for maximum untraceability. And the Data Breach Monitor checks whether your personal data got leaked.

Try this Macbook VPN risk-free by utilizing the free plan, which comes with fewer server locations and a 5 GB GB/month data cap. Or get started right away by subscribing for as little as $1.64/month after using an Atlas VPN discount code. Lastly, all plans are secured with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For a deeper investigation of Atlas VPN, read our Atlas VPN review.

5. PureVPN – macOS VPN with extra Wi-Fi security

Number of countries covered
Number of countries covered:
70
Number of servers
Number of servers:
6500
Support
Support:
24/7 live chat
  • Port forwarding
  • Split tunneling
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Weak kill switch

A vast server network grants you access to an unprecedented number of different IP addresses. This is precisely where PureVPN stands out as a top VPN service for Mac. Anonymity is pretty solid since the provider is based in Hong Kong. Furthermore, its no-logs policy has been audited by a third party and found to be rock solid.

The company is loaded with 6500+ servers in 70+ countries. And if you’re not into sharing, you can pick a dedicated IP address from seven locations (United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Malta, Germany, and Singapore). Meanwhile, your speeds while browsing, torrenting, and online gaming will be stellar with the trusted WireGuard tunneling protocol.

PureVPN is also a top choice for unlocking bonus TV shows and movies on popular streaming websites. For example, you can use the service to gain more content on BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Netflix, and numerous other platforms. Furthermore, you can utilize the Mac VPN on Chromecast, Microsoft Surface, Raspberry Pi, and Android TV.

Go for a joyride with this top VPN for macOS by getting a 7-day trial for $0.99. Alternatively, an actual commitment starts at $1.95/month and is protected by a 31-day money-back guarantee. You can always try getting a better deal, though, with a PureVPN coupon.

For a deeper investigation of PureVPN, read our PureVPN review.

How to choose the best VPN for Mac?

Besides the specific features that each service brings, some general criteria needs to be considered before picking a suitable VPN for Mac:

  • Security. MacOS users are most likely looking for products known for top-notch security. Make sure that your VPN isn’t famous for data breaches or vulnerabilities. Plus, it should have all the necessary protection features – AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection.
  • Privacy. These services can guarantee confidentiality by being located in a privacy-respecting country. Naturally, the VPN must also adhere to a strict no-logs policy, ideally one that’s been audited by an independent third party.
  • Speed. Unsurprisingly, Macbook VPNs slow down your internet connection due to encryption. But you can minimize the severity of it by choosing a service with modern and efficient tunneling protocols like WireGuard. Additionally, you can check the performance of some services on third-party VPN speed tests.
  • Compatibility. Most providers offer dedicated apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems. But if you want greater flexibility, ensure they are compatible with a diverse range of devices. Or alternatively, you should be able to manually configure the VPN on your router.
  • Servers. Both quality and quantity matter when it comes to server networks. Optimal performance can be ensured with dedicated servers, RAM-only technology, and the VPN provider’s complete ownership of the hardware. Having enormous global reach also lets you unblock a broader spectrum of foreign services.
  • Price. Apple fans should know that a good quality product does not come cheap. Completely free VPNs typically aren’t worth the risk, while premium services shouldn’t cost more than $4/month.
  • Customer support. Even the best Mac VPN services can come across the occasional performance issue. In such cases, it’s good to have 24/7 live chat customer support for a quick and easy fix.

What can I do with a VPN for Mac?

A VPN is responsible for redirecting your internet connection through a remote server in a different location. Although that sounds simple, a lot is happening to enable additional benefits while using a this technology, such as:

  • Geographically restricted content unblocking
  • Security for your online communications
  • Protection against hackers on public networks
  • Lowered latency while playing online games
  • Better prices while shopping online

The most apparent benefit is changing your location with a VPN. Not only does this hide your true IP address and location, but it also allows you to access content that’s usually unavailable to you. This benefit applies to numerous online services, including streaming platforms such as Netflix.

Unblock Netflix shows with NordVPN

Furthermore, a VPN connection encrypts all traffic, ensuring that no one, not even your ISP (Internet Service Provider), can access your browsing history. This shroud of mystery also prevents data throttling and other traffic manipulation based on your activities.

When accessing public Wi-Fi, your activities are exposed to network administrators. Plus, these networks are an easy target for hackers to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks. Thankfully, you can prevent these intrusions by enabling a VPN connection.

Although Mac devices aren’t known as gaming machines, it’s still worth mentioning that a VPN is beneficial when playing video games. For starters, it can grant access to region-restricted titles. Alternatively, a VPN connection can improve latency if your ISP has a habit of throttling your data while partaking in data-intensive activities.

Lastly, online storefronts are known for offering different prices around the world. That means that you can use a VPN and switch to a region that gets lower costs on certain goods and services. Just remember that your credit card could expose your true location and undermine this life hack. Instead, opt for an anonymous payment method, for example, cryptocurrencies.

How to set up a VPN on Mac?

Once you’ve chosen your Macbook VPN provider, the next step is actually securing your Apple computer with this technology. There are three methods – pick one that’s easiest for you.

How to install a Mac VPN via Apple App Store

  1. Open the Apple App Store on your computer
  2. Search for the appropriate VPN application distributed by your chosen service. We highly recommend NordVPN – the best VPN for macOS.
  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
  6. Now choose a server to connect to and enjoy your safe browsing experience

Get the best VPN software for Mac

How to install a Mac VPN via provider’s website

  1. Subscribe to a top-grade VPN. NordVPN offers robust security features and some of the best speeds in the industry.
  2. Head to the provider’s official website and navigate to the downloads section
  3. Select your OS version and download the appropriate file
  4. Once the download is complete, install the application on your Mac by following the instructions on the screen
  5. After the installation is complete, open the app, and log into your account
  6. Connect to any server you want, and you’re done

Protect your Macbook with a VPN

How to manually install a Mac VPN

  1. Navigate to Apple menu > System Preferences > Network
  2. Click on the + button, then go to the Interface menu and pick VPN from the drop-down menu
  3. Select VPN Type, pick the tunneling protocol of your choice, and enter a Name for the service. Click Create.
  4. Now you have to enter the Server Address and Account Name of your VPN connection. Then press on Authentication Settings, enter all the necessary information, and do the same in the Advanced tab.
  5. Click Apply to save the changes. Navigate to Apple menu > System Preferences > Network again to connect to the VPN.
  6. Select the VPN connection and click Connect. That’s it.

Secure macOS with the best VPN

What are the best free VPNs for Mac?

It’s widely accepted that top-quality products don’t come cheap. And although there’s no shortage of free VPN options, few could live up to the high-security standards of Apple users. Furthermore, free VPNs are notorious for:

  • Bandwidth throttling and severe data caps
  • Microscopic server networks with very few country picks
  • Exaggerated security features that usually don’t even work
  • Poor maintenance and security vulnerabilities in clients, such as malware
  • User tracking and data selling to various third parties

Therefore, we recommend avoiding any completely free VPN for Mac as they aren’t reliable. But if you’re really hard-pressed not to spend any money, you’ll be better off opting for freemium services. These are providers like Atlas VPN or Proton VPN, which offer a free tier alongside premium subscriptions.

Or you could take advantage of VPNs with a free trial. Sign up for any service you want, use it for a limited duration, then jump to another one once the time is up.

Start with NordVPN today

Do Macs have built-in VPN?

Macs do not have a built-in VPN. The closest feature to it is Private Relay – it’s a mere proxy service, only available on iOS devices. It lacks many features the top MacOS providers and even VPNs for iPhones have.

While Private Relay encrypts your connection and hides your IP address, you won’t be able to choose a server in another country for geo-spoofing. What’s more, Netflix and other streaming services will remain blocked. Last but not least, you won’t be getting extra security and privacy features, such as multi-hop, Tor over VPN, or Stealth VPN.

Bottom line

While Mac devices are less susceptible to conventional viruses and malware, data breaches and leaks are still a considerable threat. That’s why it’s crucial to take matters into your own hands and elevate the security of your Apple computer.

VPNs are the perfect tools for enhancing the protection of macOS, or any other OS for that matter. And providers like NordVPN do it effectively, thanks to the numerous features. Furthermore, accessing geo-restricted content and keeping your online communications private are great benefits as well.

Which VPN do you use to secure your Apple devices? Share your preferences by leaving a comment!


You may also like to read:
Best VPN for torrenting
Best VPN for gaming
Free VPN for Mac
How to set up NordVPN on Apple TV
How to change App Store country


FAQ

Is a Mac VPN legal?

Yes, using a VPN on Mac devices is legal. You’re simply securing your internet traffic and enhancing your privacy. It doesn’t go against any laws or regulations. Unless you reside in a country where utilizing VPN technology is illegal.

Can I use a free VPN with Mac?

Free VPNs aren’t recommended because they don’t offer the security standards that Apple customers have grown accustomed to. You’ll be better off with a verified premium macOS VPN.

Which is the best VPN for Mac?

The best VPN for Mac is NordVPN. It adheres to an independently-audited no-logs policy, is based in privacy-friendly Panama, packed with lots of security features, and affordable.

Do I need a VPN for Mac?

A VPN is necessary regardless of what operating system you’re using. Although you’re less likely to be targeted by viruses, privacy breaches, and data leaks are still a threat to Mac users.

Is NordVPN safe for Mac?

Yes, NordVPN is safe to use on Apple devices, and, in fact, is the top VPN for Mac. It’s one of the fastest VPNs in the industry, the provider offers streamlined applications for all operating systems, and comes with a great price-to-feature ratio.

14 comments
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  1. simon henry

    Want to protect your Mac device? A Mac VPN is all you need to keep your device secure and anonymous. Connect FastestVPN and browse with more than 350+ servers around the world.


  2. Fiona

    It’s too bad ExpressVPN is so expensive because I had a chance to test it and it works well for streaming. Unfortunately it’s not a cheap vpn so I will probably go with Nord which has better plans. Why Nord? I read a pcmag vpn review of most of them and they see Nord as the very best.


  3. David

    I have used and trusted Windscribe for a long time now. I have not had any issues myself. As far as a VPN for mac os server goes, I have not found a better option. It also functions as a great VPN in Chrome for anyone wondering. The pricing is good and they have a free trial option as well. Yeah, they are based on Canada and yeah there is negative press out there about them, but what else is new? There are companies who make money off of people not being private so they will slander VPN providers left, right, and center to ensure no one uses them. Just think about that!


  4. Mira

    So the best vpn solution for mac is ExpressVPN? I wonder how a comparison between ExpressVPN and NordVPN would look like. I wonder why you said Nord has slower speeds considering they have the most servers world wide. Aren’t they well positioned or what is happening?


  5. Jared

    As a windows user who has been looking at moving over to mac this has opened up my eyes to how a VPN app can really ensure security. As mac devices are all very interconnected I wouldn’t want my data being leaked from any of them and especially not my pc. I think a vpn app is a must have for any pc user especially in the times we live in where we are always connected.


  6. kate

    Thank you so much for this article, I was considering buying a Macbook, but I was worrying that there are few or no VPN clients existing for it like Windows since I couldn’t find anything on reddit, thanks to you I can buy it with my eyes closes.


  7. Mariano

    This article provided the sources I needed for further action. I am in the market for a Mac and a VPN app is the extra level of security I am looking for. It is important to take extra security precautions, because apple products are not bulletproof. My aunt’s mac was hacked and there was a lot of sensitive data on her laptop.


  8. Zobe

    VyprVPN and NordVPN both work very well on Mac. Either is an excellent choice, though I personally prefer NordVPN because it is less expensive while still offering all the features I need. It’s secure, private and very fast compared to similar services. It’s a solid VPN app with a proven track record.


  9. Callum234

    I have actually used the 5 VPNs compared here in the last couple of years. I do not joke with my privacy because of the prying eyes of the government on internet usage in my country. The vpn app that doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to security is usually my top priority which is unfortunately what some VPN providers do to improve on and the reason, I stopped using them.
    Secondly, I prefer an app that has all its servers support P2P traffic so I can have better speeds than a service with a limited number of P2P-friendly servers
    I am currently using ExpressVPN for now and it meets all the above requirement.
    Also, I have some routers at the workplace and was able to set up ExpressVPN app to add a layer of security and privacy to our browsing.
    If there is a default any day, I will try to update or reply to this comment. For now, am happy with it


  10. Grey Wolf

    I wonder how good cyberghost on Mac is? I’ve heard a few good things and I am tempted to give them a try. I have a new MacBook air and I want to use a good VPN to protect what I do online. I want to have complete privacy if that’s possible and I’m probably going to try Cyberghost then Nord and then ExpressVPN. These 3 should give me a good one for my needs, no?


    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne Author

      CyberGhost is pretty good, but it’s not exactly a top VPN for Mac. Out of the three you mentioned in your comment, we’d recommend going with ExpressVPN or NordVPN. The former if you’re planning to set it up on your router, and the latter if you’re more of a per-device person.


  11. WrightOn

    Oh, I’m really glad that A) you’ve got an article addressing this and B)ExpressVPN is available for Mac! I used to have it ages ago (well, my ex-girlfriend had it, and I set it all up) and I wanted to go with it because setting everything up on the routers is so easy. But I’ve got a new Mac for school (you’ve gotta have one of these for graphic design, smh, I hate Apple but it’s a necessity) and software for Mac can be so iffy.

    Thanks for the article, I’m gonna sign up for ExpressVPN now!


  12. Ruth A.

    Yea, I give it also to ExpressVPN. They have a good quality product and customer service is super effective. The vpn app is actually one of the best security software for mac although expensive but worth every penny. I will recommend it over and over again.


    1. Brian Lee

      I am using Express VPN and I have to say thay the routers are easy to set up and the vpn app works great without much hassle. It is great for new users.

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