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
- The best VPN for Mac9.6
- Mac VPN with unlimited connections9.4
- Versatile & cheap VPN for macOS9.2
- Macbook VPN with a free version8.8
- VPN for Mac with the largest server network8.6
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
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.
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
24/7 live chat, Email
- 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
24/7 live chat, FAQ
- 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
24/7 live chat
- 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
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
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.
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
- Open the Apple App Store on your computer
- Search for the appropriate VPN application distributed by your chosen service. We highly recommend NordVPN – the best VPN for macOS.
- Click on the Download button or the little cloud icon
- When the download is complete, click on the Open button
- Fill in your login credentials
- Now choose a server to connect to and enjoy your safe browsing experience
How to install a Mac VPN via provider’s website
- Subscribe to a top-grade VPN. NordVPN offers robust security features and some of the best speeds in the industry.
- Head to the provider’s official website and navigate to the downloads section
- Select your OS version and download the appropriate file
- Once the download is complete, install the application on your Mac by following the instructions on the screen
- After the installation is complete, open the app, and log into your account
- Connect to any server you want, and you’re done
How to manually install a Mac VPN
- Navigate to Apple menu > System Preferences > Network
- Click on the + button, then go to the Interface menu and pick VPN from the drop-down menu
- Select VPN Type, pick the tunneling protocol of your choice, and enter a Name for the service. Click Create.
- 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.
- Click Apply to save the changes. Navigate to Apple menu > System Preferences > Network again to connect to the VPN.
- Select the VPN connection and click Connect. That’s it.
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.
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.
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!
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.