Macs are usually considered more secure than their Windows counterparts due to the fact that there is far less malicious software designed for Apple’s OS. However, this advantage does not exist as soon as you go online since there is an ever-increasing threat of someone spying on you and that is not affected by your OS.
The best way to make sure that your online anonymity is completely protected and you are able to go online without having to worry about your security is to use a VPN. The method for setting up a VPN on a Mac is different than that of the PC so we will be taking you through the entire process in a step by step manner.
Why you need a VPN for a Mac
The reason that you will want to use a VPN are pretty much the same for both Windows and the Mac. Nowadays, it is easier than ever for someone to access your browsing history. Not only can your ISP take a look at everything that you are browsing, but they can also sell it to the highest bidder if they wish to.
In many countries, it is now also legal for Law Enforcement agencies to tap into all of your communications, including your browsing history. For example, the Snooper’s Charter in the UK allows the government to tap into your entire browsing history both specifically as well as look at aggregated data of hundreds and thousands of users.
On top of this, it is also possible (although improbable) that if you end up breaching any sort of copyright law, there will be legal action brought against you. Using a VPN is the de-facto way to avoid all kinds of problems that may arise from the use of the web. A VPN will protect you regardless of if you are using a browser or a torrent client.
Now that you know why you should use a VPN to mask your online presence let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the best VPNs that you can download on your Mac. Mac is a little different from Windows, so the features which are necessary for a VPN to be perfect for Mac are also different.
ExpressVPN is not just the best VPN that is available for Mac, but one of the best VPNs available across all platforms. With ExpressVPN, all of the data that you send is encrypted by AES-256, the same encryption that is used by banks to safeguard sensitive customer data. On top of that, ExpressVPN has always been renowned for its ability to control all DNS, WebRTC, and all the other leaks that can occur.
ExpressVPN is also considered one of the best VPNs in the world when it comes to its speed. It has a total of over 2,000 servers in over 90 countries which make sure that you are able to get the maximum possible speeds. These speeds can then be put to good use as ExpressVPN is great for Torrenting, Netflix, and all the other streaming services such as Hulu and Amazon Prime.
TorGuard is your next best bet if you want to enjoy a private and secure browsing experience on a Mac. It has all of the features that are a part of ExpressVPN and costs slightly less, but the problem is that since TorGuard is hosted in the US, it could be forced to share information with law enforcement authorities.
The Mac app of TorGuard works great and has a 24/7 live chat support feature. TorGuard is the best VPN when it comes to downloading torrents (as shown in the name) and also supports most streaming services, including Netflix (although you may need to pay an additional fee to access it).
PrivateVPN may not be the most robust VPN there is (in fact, there are quite a few VPNs with much better features that are available on Mac), but it is quite a lot cheaper than its competition. You get good security including AES-256 bit encryption along with fantastic speeds even though PrivateVPN has fewer servers than its competition (around 80 in 56 countries).
You do not get a live chat support option, but you do get the opportunity to access torrents as well as Netflix at high speeds. Considering the fact that you can get PrivateVPN for $2.73 a month if you pay for 19 months, it is a very good deal.
How to Setup VPN on Mac using ExpressVPN
Now that you know which VPNs are a notch above the rest on your Mac, we will now take you through how you can set up a VPN for yourself in step by step manner.
Before you can begin downloading and using ExpressVPN, you have to select a pricing plan. ExpressVPN is a little bit pricey due to the features that it offers, but it is still quite affordable if you pay a bulk rate. Paying for 12 months is not out of the question, as the service really is great and you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Once you have selected your plan, you need to create an account and pay using any one of the payment methods provided to you. There are many different payment methods, including PayPal and Bitcoin. If you are someone who is really concerned about security, then Bitcoin is perfect for you (although PayPal would suffice for most people).
After that, you will be able to download the application and begin using it. The download button is clearly mentioned on their website. In case you cannot find it, you can download ExpressVPN Mac Client from here.
Once you have downloaded ExpressVPN, simply install it and load it up. The installation process is quite simple, and you can easily complete it by following all of the on-screen instructions.
Once the application has been installed, load it up and log in with your username and password. Sign in and paste the activation code to begin using the program. At its first boot, it will ask you whether you want to start ExpressVPN when your Mac boots or not (answer at your will).
Once you are in the main menu, you can either connect to the optimal server that has already been selected, or you can click the options menu and select the server from the extended list. That is all – you have learned how to set up a VPN on a Mac and can begin your private internet experience.
How to set up a VPN on Mac manually
You can choose to install the OpenVPN app instead of the ExpressVPN app. Setting it up can be a hassle since it is by no means a robust and user-friendly method. .
Let’s go ahead and look at 2 programs that can help make setting up OpenVPN an easy task on the Mac.
Manual installation of VPN using Tunnelblick
Tunnelblick is an OpenVPN client that can help set up your VPN. Tunnelblick is very easy to set up. Once you have downloaded it, install it and mention that you have Configuration files.
Here, you will need to add either a Tunnelblick VPN file or an OpenVPN configuration file. These files can be downloaded from your VPN provider along with all other necessary data such as the username and password. Once Tunnelblick has been loaded up, click add VPN from the application on your Home Screen.
Remember that once the program is installed, there is a folder called ‘Config Files’ on your home screen where you need to drop the respected configuration files. Then, navigate to the respected configuration file and double-click to add it. You will be prompted to enter your username and password.
After that, click on the ‘connect’ button on Tunnelblick and then enter the username and password given to you by your VPN provider. This will connect you to your new VPN.
Manual setup of a VPN using Viscosity
For Viscosity, simply download and install the app. After that, you will be asked to enter your username and password to begin the configuration. Once the software is set up, you can connect to any VPN which supports the OpenVPN protocol.
If you have an OpenVPN configuration file, then it is as simple as double-clicking that OpenVPN file and loading it into Viscosity. For an alternate method, go to preferences in Viscosity and then import a connection from file. Now, simply select the file that you want to use and then connect to it (you will need to enter your username and password).
If you want to create a manual connection, go to preferences and select New Connection. Here, you will see a number of boxes that you need to fill with details that will be provided to you by your VPN Provider. Fill in all of the details and click Save before connecting to your new VPN through the Viscosity app.