No matter which web browser you use, it’s essential to invest in a virtual private network (VPN) to shield your data in 2020. If you’re using a Mac, you’re likely using Safari, Apple’s signature web browser. As a result, we’re here to help you find the best VPN to protect your data privacy from prying eyes and hackers while using Safari.
Even for Mac users who have access Apple’s powerful FileVault 2 disk encryption, there is no available method of protecting the data shared in outgoing connections. Without a VPN, anything you share online – and even some of the information you aren’t aware of sharing – can be collected by anyone with a decent knowledge of hacking. Governments all over the world are similarly able to access this information without your consent.
Once it’s in their hands, they’re free to do whatever they want with it. As such, it’s integral that you encrypt your connections with a VPN to ensure your data remains your own and your privacy remains intact.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best VPN for Safari.
No time to read? Here are our best VPNs for Safari in 2020:
- Unbeatable in terms of security and privacy
- NordLynx protocol for the best speeds without sacrificing security
- SmartPlay to help you bypass the geo-blocks
- No router app
NordVPN is the giant in the data security market. Significantly cheaper than Express, Nord uses the same encryption methods (AES-256-bit) and is also registered in a data privacy haven (Panama) while operating a no-logs policy of personally identifiable information.
With an enormous server fleet behind it, NordVPN also offers some of the fastest connection speeds of any VPN, meaning that you don’t need to sacrifice any of the glorious loading speeds Safari offers in its default form.
NordVPN and ExpressVPN are often neck-and-neck on most VPN lists, but the advantage ExpressVPN offers here is the browser extension it offers for Safari. Alas, NordVPN does have its own advantages, namely double encryption, and easier installation process.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN
- Packed with solid security features
- Fast connections
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Weak self-help support section
Surfshark VPN is a relative newcomer to the VPN game, but its developers certainly know what they’re doing. With a fleet of around five hundred servers, this VPN does not have quite so wide a reach as the others mentioned here, but it still manages to be really quick due to its AES-256-CBC encryption cipher, which is much faster than the older -GCM model.
Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark is registered in the British Virgin Islands, meaning it has no data retention laws to comply with. That and its no-logs policy make this a hyper-secure VPN, and certainly one of the best for use with Safari.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
3. Hotspot Shield
- Super-fast connection times
- Supports all major platforms
- Free version
- OpenVPN protocol is not included (manual setup needed)
Hotspot Shield may be based in the US, a founding member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance, but its no-logs policy makes up for it. Besides, it has a reliable kill switch along with the DNS and IP leak protection that shouldn’t put your privacy in jeopardy.
This service also packs AES-256-bit military-grade encryption alongside a proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol. This one can be exceptionally fast and reliable, even in countries where internet access is heavily restricted. What’s more, an anti-malware tool is installed on Hotspot Shield servers and protects even those with the free version.
Some of the more risk-averse customers may also be attracted to its generous 45-day money-back guarantee, which is more than most VPNs offer today. While Hotspot Shield is not the cheapest VPN for Safari, it sure is one of the fastest VPNs overall, leaving behind the majority of its competition.
For a deeper investigation of Hotspot Shield, read our Hotspot Shield review.
4. Astrill VPN
- Excellent security
- Very fast
- Very good for streaming
- No money-back guarantee
Astrill VPN is another expensive VPN service, but its security features rank among the market’s best. Operating under the legal jurisdiction of Seychelles, Astrill has no data laws to comply to, and its security features (AES-256-bit, support for OpenVPN, StealthVPN, and IKEv2) make it surely one of the best VPN for Safari.
Compared to the VPN we’ve covered thus far, Astrill is fairly lacking in available servers. Handily, though, these servers are spread out across more countries than most VPN manage, which ensures great connection speeds from just about anywhere in the world.
For a deeper investigation of Astrill VPN, read our Astrill VPN review.
- Excellent security
- Awesome for Netflix
- Very fast
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, routers, Linux, and more
- Excellent knowledge-base and 24/7 live chat
- Great server list (3,000+ servers in 90+ countries)
- Very good for torrenting
- Great for China and other restricted countries
- Very expensive
- No kill switch for iOS
- No "stealth protocol"
ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPN services on the market today, but we believe it’s earned its asking price. Quite simply, this is one of the best ways of safeguarding your personal information in 2020.
Armed with the same encryption cipher as the US government (AES-256-bit) and operating under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN adheres to a strict no-logs policy* and is under no legal obligation to comply with any invasive data retention laws.
As well as this, ExpressVPN is one of the few services that have a browser extension for Safari. Although WebRTC protection isn’t a key concern for the browser, browser extensions can also work as a remote control for your VPN app, thereby enhancing the user experience significantly.
For a deeper investigation of ExpressVPN, read our ExpressVPN review.
Benefits of using a VPN for Safari
A VPN disguises your location by connecting you to servers anywhere in the world. Not only does this fool onlookers into thinking you’re somewhere you’re not, it also allows you to bypass geo-restrictions on any sort of content.
Thus, the added benefit of using a VPN for Safari is that it allows you to access loads of cool content you ordinarily wouldn’t be able to get. Safari also has in-built support for plenty of streaming tools which makes it an ideal browser for services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and so on.
Macs are travel-friendly devices, so the ability to mask your location is additionally useful when visiting another country, particularly one with stricter content filtering than you’re used to. Alternatively, it allows you to access content from back home, meaning you can keep up with your favorite TV shows from anywhere in the world.
With the right VPN, Safari can access practically any website anywhere in the world, even if cultural differences have led to your favorite blog being censored in your favorite holiday spot.
A few things to know about Safari
As a closed-source program with lengthy delays in between updates, Safari is far from the most secure browser. What’s unique about it, though, is that it does not support WebRTC, the project that allows you to make video communications.
WebRTC leaks are so prevalent that even the best VPN struggle to prevent them. Forgoing the project altogether is, therefore, an unwitting bonus for Safari’s security features.
Aside from this, Safari is excellent at blocking third-party websites from storing data in the cache, and it also has an in-built firewall to defend users against malicious websites. These are not things a VPN can offer, so it’s great to know that Safari has your back in these instances.
Apps or browser extensions?
Many VPN offer browser extensions as part of their package deal, but browser extensions can also be installed as standalone software. The difference here is that a browser extension (or proxy) can only encrypt your browser’s incoming and outgoing traffic, whereas a VPN keeps the entire system locked away at all times.
Sure, a VPN uses more CPU than a browser extension does, which impacts your device’s performance as well as your download speeds. However, Safari is one of the fastest browsers available today, and its lightweight (but complex) engine also makes it energy efficient.
One major advantage of browser extensions is that, as we mentioned, VPN clients often struggle to block WebRTC traffic, whereas a browser extension can disable WebRTC transmissions at will. However, as we also mentioned, this is not especially relevant for Safari seeing as it does not support the WebRTC project whatsoever.
At any rate, Safari is not one of the five most popular web browsers currently in use, so many VPN services do not provide a dedicated extension specifically for it. As such, there’s no need to scrimp on security when your entire device could use an extra bit of shielding.