The Best Mac VPNs to Protect your Apple Macbook

It’s tempting to think, because you own a Mac, you don’t need a VPN. But as ZombieLoad (a side-channel attack that targets Intel chips) proved, Macs are far from immune to online threats.

There are several broad reasons Mac users need a VPN.

The most basic reason is to protect your online privacy – Apple can’t do anything about ISPs storing your browsing history and selling it to the highest bidder.

Not to mention, Apple was recently sued for selling user’s iTunes data, proving their own hypocrisy with data privacy.

Another reason to use a Mac VPN is security. When you’re on public WiFi connections, there’s nothing Apple can do to stop hackers from stealing your data.

Finally, if you’re trying to torrent or use a streaming service with geo-restricted content (like Netflix), Apple can’t help you there either.

Use the table below to comare our VPNs side by side.

Our Best 5 Recommended Mac VPNs

Price$3.49/mth$6.67/mth$2.75/mth$2.99/mth$1.99/mth
Rating
Servers5572300064341001040
Multiple ConnectionsUp to 6Up to 5Up to 7Up to 6Up to 100
Speed 93 % 79 % 79 % 71 % 99 %
LoggingNo logsNo logsNo logsNo logsNo logs
Support24/7 live chat24/7 live chat24/7 live chat24/7 live chat24/7 live chat
Killswitch
Refund30-Day Moneyback Guarantee 30-Day Moneyback Guarantee 45-Day Moneyback Guarantee 30-Day Moneyback Guarantee30-Day Moneyback Guarantee
Devices
Unblocks

The Best VPNs for Mac

A VPN, on the other hand, will help you – with all of the above problems. And some VPNs even prevent advertisers from tracking you better than Apple’s authorized ad-blockers. Of course, it’s never that simple.

You head to the Apple forum and get told there’s no reason to use a VPN for Mac. You also discover many of the VPNs available to Mac users are untrustworthy.

So you head to Google and find recommendations from VPN review sites instead. But there’s a problem there too: they all recommend different Mac VPNs as the “best”. Why? In short, they’re getting paid for their recommendations. This is a huge problem, especially when untrustworthy VPNs are endorsed like HideMyAss and/or PureVPN.

The problems don’t end there. Have you ever seen a VPN advertised at $2.99/month on a VPN review site, only to miss it’s the 2 or 3-year-subscription in tiny print?

Then, when you click on the link to buy the “discounted VPN”, you notice “affiliate” in the jumbled-up URL. We’re on to you, Restore Privacy.

If you’re serious about your online security and you’re considering a Mac VPN, you need reliable recommendations, not shady deals that short you money or put you in danger.

For this reason, we base all of our articles on independent research and facts. We also stress no VPN on this list is better than the other – they all have pros and cons.

The bottom line: we give you the information. You make the final decision.

How to Choose a VPN for Mac

As a Mac user, you want your VPN to work as seamlessly as most Apple products do. For this reason, when searching for a Mac VPN, there are a few things to consider:

  • Mac and iOS apps are easy to install and operate
  • Ideally not located in a 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes jurisdiction
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • 256-bit encryption
  • Automatic killswitch
  • DNS leak protection
  • High-speed connection
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Lots of servers
  • P2P (Tor) connections supported
  • OpenVPN protocol
  • 24/7 customer support (live chat preferred)
  • Affordability

All of the VPNs recommended in this list meet most – if not all – of the features listed above.

FILTER BY...
$1.39/mth
 74 %
$1.99/mth
 99 %
$1.99/mth
 47 %
$2.25/mth
 81 %
$2.69/mth
 82 %
$2.75/mth
 79 %
$2.99/mth
 71 %
$2.99/mth
 63 %
$3.49/mth
 93 %
$3.82/mth
 83 %
$3.99/mth
 98 %
$4.00/mth
 81 %
$4.95/mth
 55 %
$4.99/mth
 57 %
$5.00/mth
 55 %
$5.57/mth
 93 %
$6.49/mth
 70 %
$6.67/mth
 79 %
$7.80/mth
 88 %
$9.00/mth
 76 %
$9.17/mth
 83 %
$9.99/mth
 83 %
$9.99/mth
 80 %
$10.00/mth
 85 %
$10.00/mth
 75 %
$10.95/mth
 56 %
$12.95/mth
 70 %
$12.95/mth
 46 %
$12.99/mth
 95 %
$12.99/mth
 62 %
$13.99/mth
 89 %
$14.95/mth
 49 %

VPNs to Avoid

Unfortunately, not all VPNs are ideal for Mac users or any other Apple product. And some are best avoided altogether:

  • ALL Free VPNs – free VPNs have poor security, restrictive data and bandwidth limits, and invasive or even non-existent logging policies
  • ALL Android VPN permission-enabled apps – unless it’s the app version of a premium VPN service, Android VPN permission-enabled apps are ineffective, dangerous, and/or fake
  • Almost ALL VPNs based in a 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes country (full list here) – there are very few exceptions to this rule
  • Fresh VPN – offers a suspiciously short 5-minute free trial and no money-back guarantee
  • GoVPN – one of many fake VPNs flooding the market ever since Congress announced your ISP is allowed sell your data to third-parties
  • HideMyAss – lied about their no-logs policy and gave user data to the FBI
  • PureVPN – lied about their no-logs policy and gave user data to the FBI

Our Recommended Mac VPNs in Detail

CyberGhost

CyberGhost deserves its spot on this list of best VPNs for Mac. While dozens of other providers make it difficult to install the macOS app, CyberGhost offers a quick-and-easy set-up.

CyberGhost also boasts a variety of server options: 4,967 servers in 58 countries. Even better, you don’t have to hunt for the perfect one.

Depending on what you use your VPN for – torrenting via a P2P server, unblocking streaming services, or even staying safe when connecting to public WiFi – CyberGhost helps you find the best server automatically.

CyberGhost even understands how geo-based pricing works and helps you find better deals online.

The VPN provider is based in Romania, meaning they don’t fall under any 14 Eyes jurisdictions. CyberGhost also offers 256-bit AES encryption, a killswitch, DNS Leak Protection, and a strict no-logs policy.

Specs

  • Number of Servers: 4,967 =
  • Server Locations: 82 (58 countries)
  • 41.53 Mbps average (download)
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Up to 7 simultaneous connections
  • 1 Month Plan: $12.99
  • 1 Year Plan: $71.88
  • 2 Year Plan: $88.56
  • 3 Year Plan: $99.00 (+2 free months)
  • 24-hour free trial
  • 14-day money-back guarantee on 1 Month Plan
  • 45-day money-back guarantee on 1, 2 & 3 Year Plans
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is another popular VPN choice for Mac users. Their macOS set-up is incredibly easy, as is their iOS installation. Both pages include a video tutorial, but if you ever get stuck, ExpressVPN’s 24/7 customer support is there to help you.

Security-wise, ExpressVPN is an ideal Mac VPN. They offer a Network Lock Kill Switch in addition to Zero Knowledge DNS Leak Protection, military-grade 256-bit encryption, and VPN split tunneling.

Combined with their strict no-logs policy, the fact you can safely stream content via their 3,000+ servers makes the provider one of the best.

ExpressVPN also offers incredibly fast server speeds, though you do need to pay for that luxury – their subscription plans are on the expensive side.

Specs

  • Number of Servers: 3,000+
  • Server Locations: 160 (94 countries)
  • 64.09 Mbps average (download)
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • 1 Month Plan: $12.95
  • 6 Month Plan: $59.95
  • 1 Year Plan: $194.25 – currently on sale for $99.95 (+3 free months)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscription plans
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email

NordVPN

NordVPN is generally considered one of the best overall VPNs. Mac users are sure to agree, especially with beginner-friendly 3-step macOS and iOS installations.

NordVPN also gives the option of connecting via its unique Double VPN technology, which encrypts your data twice (as opposed to once). If you want to torrent, you’ll also appreciate the Onion Over VPN feature.

In terms of security, you’re looking at the highest level of encryption available: 256-bit AES-GCM with a 3072bit Diffie-Hellman key for iOS and macOS clients (Windows users, by contrast, only get a 2048bit DH key).

Throw in NordVPN’s strict no-logs policy and wide range of security features, and you get yet another fantastic Mac VPN option.

The only downside is, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN is rather pricey. However, you can always take advantage of discounts on longer subscription plans.

Specs

  • Number of Servers: 5,719
  • Server Locations: 60 countries
  • <insert speed here>
  • 256-bit AES-GCM encryption with a 3072bit Diffie-Hellman key for iOS and macOS clients
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections
  • 1 Month Plan: $11.95
  • 1 Year Plan: $143.40 – currently on sale for $83.88
  • 2 Year Plan: $286.80 – currently on sale for $95.75
  • 3 Year Plan: $430.20 – currently on sale for $107.55
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscription plans
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email
Surfshark Logo Small

SurfShark

Surfshark is also deserving of its spot on the best VPNs for Mac with its beginner-friendly macOSiOS, and Apple TV apps.

The provider – based in the British Virgin Islands – has a wide range of special features worth mentioning.

First up is CleanWeb, which does a far better job at blocking ads and malware attempts than any app you’ll find in the Apple Store.

Factor in Camouflage Mode and your ISP won’t even know you’re using a VPN to prevent it from gathering your data.

Surfshark also offers a MultiHop double VPN feature and NoBorders to help users stream geo-restricted content from (almost) anywhere in the world.

Helping secure your online privacy is the 256-bit AES-GCM encryption, reliable killswitch, private DNS leak protection, and strict no-logs policy.

Unfortunately, Surfshark only offers 800+ servers in 50+ countries. That said, all of them are P2P-friendly, boast excellent speeds, and allow for unlimited simultaneous connections.

Specs

  • Number of Servers: 800+
  • Server Locations: 50+ countries
  • 45.62 Mbps average (download)
  • 256-bit AES-GCM encryption
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 1 Month Plan: $11.95
  • 1 Year Plan: $143.40 – currently on sale for $71.88
  • 2 Year Plan: $286.80 – currently on sale for $47.76
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscription plans
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email
VPNArea logo

VPNArea

VPNArea only has 200+ servers (albeit in 65 countries), which makes them the smallest provider on our list. Still, they make it incredibly easy to pick the best-performing server through their easily-installed macOS and iOS apps.

And while they’re not the absolute best VPN for streaming Netflix regions other the than US, they do perform well in just about every other area.

However, if streaming Netflix UK or BBC iPlayer is a priority, you can use a UK-based Dedicated IP from VPNArea for an extra $30/year.

Moving on, VPNArea uses the best encryption standards and VPN protocols – 256-bit AES-CBC with both OpenVPN and IKEv2. And they boast a strict no-logs policy supported by Bulgarian and Swiss law, keeping your user data 100% safe at all times.

You can even use a fake email address to sign-up!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a free trial available, and VPNArea is pricier than the others listed. However, the 1-Month Plan enjoys a 14-day money-back guarantee, which is extended to 30 days for the longer subscriptions.

And unlike most providers, who take up to 10 business days to issue a refund, VPNArea will make sure you get your money back within 48 hours.

Specs

  • Number of Servers: 200+
  • Server Locations: 65 countries
  • 35.15 Mbps average (download) 
  • 256-bit AES-CBC encryption
  • Up to 6 simultaneous connections
  • 1 Month Plan: $9.90
  • 1 Year Plan: $118.80
  • 3 Year Plan: $356.40
  • 14-day money-back guarantee on 1 Month subscription plan
  • 30-day money-back guarantee on 1 Year and 3 Year subscription plans
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and email

Do I need a VPN for Mac?

Yes. While macOS is generally considered a relatively secure operating system, it’s unable to protect you on public WiFi, prevent your ISP from selling your user data, and is complicit in Apple selling iTunes user data to advertisers.

What is the best VPN for Mac?

We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all recommendations and instead prefer to help our readers make informed decisions for themselves. However, NordVPN and ExpressVPN are two providers generally considered as the best Mac VPNs.

Can my ISP see my web traffic?

Yes, and they can legally sell that information to third-parties without notifying you. If you use a VPN, your ISP is no longer able to see your traffic.

Can my ISP detect VPNs?

If you’re using a VPN with PPTP protocol, then yes – and your ISP is likely to block your VPN. This is why we recommend OpenVPN protocol, as it cannot be detected or blocked by ISPs.

Can I use a free VPN for Mac?

It’s never recommended to use a free VPN service, as many are dangerous.

Are VPNs legal?

Yes, using a VPN is 100% legal in most countries. Notable exceptions where VPNs are banned or otherwise restricted include China, Iraq, North Korea, and Russia. However, any illegal activities conducted via a VPN remain illegal.

Will ExpressVPN work for Mac?

Yes, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for Mac.

Will NordVPN work for Mac?

Yes, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for Mac.