Best VPN For Mac In 2024

Best VPN For Mac

Best VPN For Mac Contrary to popular belief, Macs are equally susceptible to cybersecurity threats as their competitors. Malware, viruses, and ransomware can all pose a significant risk to your Mac and personal data if left unprotected. To safeguard against these threats, you can consider using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN can help protect your privacy online by masking your IP address and redirecting your internet connection through different servers. In 2024, there are several Mac-compatible VPN options available that you can choose from. However, selecting the right one for your needs can be quite daunting. To make things easier for you, we’ve analyzed various data points and compiled a list of the seven best Mac VPN options. These VPNs offer robust security features like encryption protocols, no-logs policy, and kill switches that ensure complete privacy and security while browsing the internet on your Mac device.

Best VPN For Mac In 2024

If you use a Mac and are worried about your security and privacy, it’s important to consider getting a VPN. Even though Macs have built-in security measures, they are not completely secure. A VPN establishes a secure connection between your Mac and the internet, encrypting your data and shielding it from third-party monitoring, such as your ISP and malicious individuals. A VPN provides various advantages, including encrypting your Mac’s data to prevent interception, protecting you from eavesdropping, data theft, and identity fraud. It ensures that all your online activities are kept private and anonymous, preventing websites, ISPs, and advertisers from tracking your online behavior and gathering personal information. To assist you in finding the top VPN for Mac, we conducted research and tested numerous VPN services tailored for Mac users. Our evaluation considered factors such as speed, security and privacy measures, server locations, and device compatibility. Explore the list below to find the best fit for you.

6. Best VPN For Mac of 2024

  • NordVPN: Best overall
  • TorGuard VPN: Best for anonymity
  • ProtonVPN: Best free plan
  • Private Internet Access: Best for tech-savvy users
  • hide.me: Best for gaming
  • Surfshark: Best for beginners

NordVPN

NordVPN is a well-established VPN service that’s perfect for users who are looking for privacy. It uses the IKEv2/IPsec security protocol with 256-bit AES encryption and offers a host of features, including an automatic kill switch, ad and malware blocking  The company has a large server network with over 5,000 servers in 60 countries. NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, which is not part of the FVEY agreement. With NordVPN, you can connect up to six devices at the same time.

Who should use it

NordVPN is a great choice for users who want comprehensive privacy features and a large server network.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Protects up to six devices simultaneously
  • Offers student and youth discounts
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Not headquartered in a FVEY country

Cons

  • Can slow your device

TorGuard VPN

Why We Picked It

TorGuard VPN stands out as a solid option for Mac users who value both security and speed. This expansive network offers 3,000 servers in over 50 countries. Privacy is at the forefront of TorGuard’s offerings, as it assigns an anonymous VPN IP to users, effectively hiding their actual IP addresses. This helps protect against third-party tracking, which can be beneficial for those participating in P2P file sharing or trying to access geo-restricted content.

Another notable aspect of TorGuard is its Stealth VPN feature, which masks VPN traffic to resemble normal web traffic. This is especially useful for users in locations with heavy internet censorship or for bypassing firewalls and deep packet inspections. With 24/7 assistance available, users can quickly resolve any technical issues they encounter.

Who should use it

Mac users who want a private IP address.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers anonymous IP
  • 24/7 support
  • Great for torrenting
  • Kill switch
  • Leak blocking

Cons

  • Only has a seven-day money-back guarantee, which is much shorter than the competition’s 30 days

ProtonVPN

Why We Picked It

As a Swiss-based VPN service, ProtonVPN operates under strict privacy laws and maintains a no-logs policy. Users can trust that their online activities won’t be tracked or recorded. Offering over 1,900 servers across 65-plus countries, ProtonVPN provides a fast and reliable connection for users around the globe. Open-source technology provides transparency and security, since anyone can look at the code to guarantee its accuracy. ProtonVPN is suitable for users with multiple devices, as it can simultaneously support up to 10 devices.

ProtonVPN’s Secure Core architecture adds another layer of protection by routing traffic through multiple servers before it leaves the network. This helps defend against network-based attacks and keeps users’ true IP addresses hidden. With features such as NetShield Ad-blocker, users can also browse the internet ad-free and avoid malware and trackers. ProtonVPN is an ideal choice for Mac users who seek a privacy-focused, secure and reliable VPN service.

Who should use it

While its free plan only has 100 servers, it doesn’t have ads and provides unlimited bandwidth, making it a solid option for those looking for a free Mac VPN.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Swiss-based
  • Open source
  • Free plan doesn’t have ads like most other free VPNs
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Cons

  • Only three countries with its free plan

Private Internet Access (PIA)

Why We Picked It

Private Internet Access is perfect for tech-savvy users who are looking for an affordable, reliable VPN. It’s compatible with Mac and can simultaneously connect to ten different devices. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 support, unlimited bandwidth and open source apps.

PIA doesn’t disclose how many servers it has, but it offers a comprehensive network in 78 countries and lightning-fast speeds. It also offers advanced split tunneling, ad and malware blocking, a dedicated IP and automation rules.

Who should use it

Private Internet Access is an ideal choice for tech-savvy users who are looking for an affordable VPN with fast speeds.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Open source software
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • PIA is in a FVEY country (although it’s not concerned)
  • Coding knowledge required to reap full benefits

hide.me

Why We Picked It

With its advanced security features, fast connection speeds and user-friendly interface, hide.me stands out from other VPNs. The Multihop Double VPN is a key aspect of the service, offering enhanced privacy and flexibility by allowing users to tunnel their connection through multiple servers. This is particularly useful for bypassing censorship and surveillance in regions where VPN access is restricted or blocked.

Another advantage of hide.me is its strict no-logs policy, ensuring user activity remains private and anonymous. The service offers a network of more than 2,100 servers across 78-plus locations, with each server supporting 10 Gbps speeds. This expansive network ensures that users can find a reliable connection regardless of their location.

Who should use it

Gamers who want a fast, secure connection will enjoy using hide.me.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It’s fast
  • Multi-hop
  • Offers a free version
  • Based in Malaysia

Cons

  • Its free version has limited servers

Surfshark

Why We Picked It

Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the VPN market, but it’s quickly gaining a following because of its impressive security features, ease of use and low price. Not only does it work for Mac, but it also offers a wide range of devices that you can use with it, including routers. The company boasts a large server network with more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries. You can allow websites and apps to bypass Surfshark using split tunneling, which makes it easy to move slow-moving traffic off a VPN while keeping other traffic protected.

Who should use it

Surfshark is a great choice for anyone who wants a VPN that’s affordable and easy to use.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unlimited devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No-logs policy

Cons

  • Mobile connection can be slow
  • Price increases at renewal

How Does a Mac VPN Work?

A Mac VPN is a crucial tool for ensuring online privacy and security. By encrypting your internet traffic and routing it through a remote server, it makes it challenging for anyone to monitor or spy on your online activity. Furthermore, a VPN hides your IP address, which prevents websites from tracking your location. This added layer of protection is especially important when accessing public Wi-Fi networks that are vulnerable to cyber attacks. In addition to privacy and security benefits, a VPN can also enable access to geo-restricted content by allowing you to connect to servers located in different countries. Overall, using a Mac VPN is an effective way to safeguard your digital presence and enjoy unrestricted access to the internet.

Why Mac Owners Should Use VPNs

Mac users may have various reasons for using a VPN, such as heightened security and privacy, which are also relevant to Windows users. When you go online without a VPN, your data is not encrypted, allowing your ISP, government, and others to monitor your online activities. A VPN encrypts your data, making it challenging for anyone to track your online behavior. Furthermore, a VPN enables access to geo-blocked content, for instance, by connecting to a server in a specific location to access restricted content.

How To Choose the Best Mac VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is an essential tool for anyone using a Mac who wants to safeguard their internet activity. With so many options available, choosing the best Mac VPN can be overwhelming. We’ll break down what you need to know.

Features Overview

  • No logs: Through a strict no-logs policy, the VPN provider does not store any details about your online activities, making it impossible for them to hand over your data to any other entities or government agencies.
  • Kill switch: If the VPN connection drops, it’ll disconnect you from the internet. This feature prevents accidental exposure of your IP address and other sensitive information.
  • API load balancing: API load balancing helps distribute traffic across multiple servers, ensuring optimal performance and minimizing the chances of server overload or downtime.
  • Server availability: The number and geographical distribution of servers impact the VPN’s ability to provide fast and reliable connections. A larger server network allows for better access to global content and reduced latency.
  • Encryption: To protect your data and maintain your privacy, you should use strong encryption, such as AES-256. Look for a VPN provider that employs industry-standard encryption protocols.
  • DNS leak protection: This feature prevents your DNS requests from being exposed to your ISP, ensuring that your browsing history remains private even if the VPN connection fails.
  • IPv6 support: IPv6 support helps future-proof your VPN by providing compatibility with the latest internet protocol version, which is gradually replacing the older IPv4 standard.
  • Multidevice compatibility: Ensure that the VPN supports simultaneous connections on multiple devices, allowing you to protect all your devices with a single subscription.
  • User-friendly interface: A well-designed, intuitive interface makes it easy for users to configure and use the VPN, regardless of their technical expertise.

Speed

When searching for a VPN, ensure that it does not significantly reduce your internet speed. The distance from the VPN server and the server’s traffic volume can impact the VPN connection speed. When using a VPN, your data must travel a greater distance to reach its destination, leading to slower loading times for web pages or file downloads compared to not using a VPN at all. To assess your VPN connection speed, you can utilize websites like Speedtest.net or Fast.com. These platforms will display your internet speed with and without the VPN. If the speed difference is substantial, consider trying a different VPN provider.

It is crucial to remember that VPN providers may not always be honest about their speed. They could promote a higher speed than what you truly receive. Therefore, it is advisable to evaluate the speed on your own before subscribing to a VPN. When choosing a VPN provider, verify that it delivers high speeds without sacrificing security. Additionally, ensure that it has servers located near you and provides specialized servers for activities like streaming or gaming. Assessing the speed of your VPN connection before finalizing a provider can ensure that it fulfills your requirements.

Cross-platform Use & macOS Compatibility

When selecting a Mac VPN, seek a provider that provides built-in compatibility with macOS. A VPN tailored for macOS will seamlessly integrate with your device’s functionalities and configurations, delivering a more seamless user experience. Seek a VPN that is compatible with other operating systems like Windows, Android, and iOS. Compatibility across platforms enables you to secure numerous devices with one subscription, ensuring comprehensive protection for your entire digital environment. Additionally, having browser extensions for popular web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari is beneficial for enhancing your online security and privacy.

Price

The price of a Mac VPN can differ greatly depending on the provider and various factors. Typically, you can anticipate paying anywhere from INR 415.87 ($5) to INR 831.75 ($10) monthly. The cost is influenced by the VPN provider, its features, and the duration of your contract. Opting for a multi-year contract will result in lower payments, while a month-to-month basis may lead to higher costs of 831.75 ($10) to INR 1164.45 ($14) per month.

Here are some aspects to consider when evaluating the cost of a VPN:

Contract length

Many VPN providers offer discounts for longer subscription plans. While a monthly subscription might be more expensive, opting for an annual or multi-year plan can result in significant savings. As soon as you sign up, test out your VPN. Many offer 30-day money-back guarantees, though some are as short as seven days, so you’ll want to test it in a variety of circumstances to ensure it meets your needs.

Features

The price of a VPN can be influenced by the range of features it offers, including server locations, simultaneous connections and advanced security features such as a kill switch and split tunneling. More feature-rich VPNs might come with a higher price tag, but the additional functionalities can be well worth the investment.

Promotions

VPN providers often run promotions, offering discounted rates for new subscribers. Keep an eye out for seasonal sales, holiday discounts or special offers to save on your VPN subscription.

Bundles

Some VPN providers offer bundles that include other services, such as password managers or secure cloud storage, at a discounted rate. These bundles can be a cost-effective way to secure multiple aspects of your digital life.

Free options

While free VPNs might seem appealing, they often come with limitations, such as reduced server access, slower speeds and lower levels of security. Some free VPNs may not be trustworthy, as they may collect and sell your data to third parties. It’s generally recommended to invest in a reputable paid VPN service to ensure comprehensive protection and reliable performance.

When selecting a Mac VPN, it’s crucial to consider the balance between cost, features, and the level of security provided. While saving money is important, prioritizing security and privacy should be the main focus. It’s wiser to invest in a dependable VPN service with advanced features at a reasonable price rather than risking your online safety with a free or low-grade option.

Customer Support

When selecting a Mac VPN, reliable customer support is crucial. Even top VPN services may face occasional issues or need help with setup and configuration. A responsive and knowledgeable customer support team can greatly aid in quickly and efficiently resolving any problems.

Look for the following:

  • Availability: Look for a provider with 24/7 customer support, ensuring assistance is available whenever you need it.
  • Contact options: Multiple contact methods, such as live chat, email and support tickets, offer flexibility in addressing your concerns.
  • Knowledge base: An extensive library of material, including FAQs, manuals and tutorials, can provide you with the information you need to deal with any problems you may have and become more familiar with the VPN’s capabilities.
  • Response time: Prompt response times are crucial for resolving issues quickly. Check user reviews and testimonials to gauge the provider’s reputation for responsiveness and helpfulness.

How To Maintain Fast Speeds with a VPN

A high-speed VPN should offer minimum download speeds of 50 Mbps and upload speeds of 20 Mbps or higher. These speeds are typically adequate for various online tasks such as HD video streaming and downloading large files. Improved speeds result in better user experiences, particularly for individuals with high-speed connections. To ensure fast speeds when using a VPN, take the following into account:

  • Choose a VPN with a large server network: A VPN with a vast server network can distribute user traffic more efficiently, reducing the likelihood of servr congestion and slow speeds.
  • Connect to a nearby server: The closer you are to the VPN server, the lower the latency and the faster the connection. Selecting a server in your country or a neighboring country can help improve speeds.
  • Use a VPN with WireGuard or similar protocols: WireGuard is a cutting-edge VPN protocol that offers faster speeds and improved performance compared to older protocols such as OpenVPN and IKEv2. Many top VPN providers now support WireGuard or have developed their own high-speed protocols.
  • Test different servers: If you’re experiencing slow speeds, try connecting to a different server. Some servers may be less congested or offer better routing to your destination, resulting in faster speeds.
  • Check your base internet speed: Your VPN speeds can’t exceed your base internet connection speed. Ensure you have a fast internet connection to make the most of your VPN’s capabilities.

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VPN Throttling & Speed Reduction

It’s crucial to understand that the use of a VPN may lead to reduced internet speeds at times. This is due to the fact that your data needs to pass through the VPN server, which can introduce delays and lower the speed. The extent of speed reduction mostly relies on the VPN provider, server proximity, and network congestion. Some VPNs also enforce bandwidth throttling, deliberately restricting users’ speeds to manage server load or incentivize them to upgrade to a higher-tier plan. Nevertheless, many top-quality VPNs prioritize delivering fast and reliable connections without throttling. It’s important to carefully review a provider’s policies regarding this feature when making a decision.

Methodology

Forbes Advisor has compiled a list of the best VPNs for Macs by analyzing 33 factors to identify top options for Mac users. This evaluation process involved scrutinizing several aspects and weighing them according to their importance, with the most emphasis placed on security features and speeds. The VPNs that made it to the top of the list offer excellent encryption protocols, robust privacy policies, fast connection speeds, and user-friendly interfaces. In addition to these features, other factors such as server locations, customer support, price, and compatibility with different devices were also taken into account. By selecting one of the VPNs from this list, Mac users can ensure their online activities remain private and secure while accessing content from all over the world.

Pricing

In evaluating contenders for a product or service, it is important to consider the features offered in relation to their price points. Platforms that provide a wide range of features at reasonable prices were given higher scores. In addition, we also looked at their pricing structures, including the lowest and highest price points available. Platforms that offer money-back guarantees or free trials were given bonus points as they provide additional value to users. These criteria make up 15% of the overall score and are important considerations when choosing a platform for your needs. It is recommended to do thorough research and weigh in all factors before making your final decision.

General & Additional Features

To evaluate the quality of different VPN services, we examined various general and additional features. Our analysis included assessing anonymity while browsing, DNS protection measures, dedicated IP, kill switch, split tunneling, and multifactor authentication. We also considered other factors such as the number of continents with servers, no-logs policy, browser extensions, and simultaneous connections. These features collectively account for 35% of each provider’s overall score. By evaluating these features and assigning a weightage to each of them, we can compare and rank different VPN providers based on their performance in each area. This helps users make an informed decision while choosing a VPN service that meets their specific needs and requirements.

Speed

When choosing a VPN, it is crucial to consider its speed and security features. A reliable VPN should be able to encrypt your data securely without compromising on speed, ensuring a seamless browsing experience while keeping you safe. The Forbes Advisor team regularly tests VPN speeds to assess this aspect, which accounts for 20% of the total score. This means that the speed of a VPN plays a significant role in determining its effectiveness. While some VPNs may offer high levels of security, they may not be suitable for everyday use due to slow browsing speeds. Therefore, it is essential to find the right balance between security and speed when selecting a VPN that meets your needs.

Customer Service

Customer support is a crucial aspect of any service, and VPN providers are no exception. Offering 24/7 customer support across multiple channels is highly valued and awarded top marks in the evaluation process. It is essential to acknowledge that users may face issues with their VPN connection at any time, and prompt assistance can make all the difference. Some VPN providers also offer community-based support, such as Reddit forums, where users can access community help. This type of support can be beneficial for users who prefer to troubleshoot issues on their own or seek advice from other users who have faced similar problems. In the evaluation process of VPN services, customer support services hold considerable weightage of 7% of the total score. Therefore, it is imperative for VPN providers to prioritize providing efficient and effective customer support services to ensure user satisfaction.

App Ratings & Customer Reviews

To evaluate the overall customer experience and satisfaction levels for each VPN, we analyzed App Store ratings for the desktop app and customer reviews on different platforms like Trustpilot, Capterra, and G2. By assessing star ratings, review numbers, and considering public opinion, we were able to balance these factors and arrive at a conclusion. These reviews accounted for 13% of the score for each provider. It is important to consider customer feedback when choosing a VPN as it can provide valuable insights into the quality of service offered by the provider. Additionally, reading reviews can help you make an informed decision and select a VPN that aligns with your needs and preferences.

Is it worth getting a VPN for Mac?

Although Macs are known for their robust security features, they are not completely immune to security breaches. Utilizing a VPN can further improve your online security and keep your internet activities private. By using a VPN on your Mac, you can strengthen its existing security measures and add an extra layer of protection to safeguard your online endeavors. We suggest selecting a reliable Mac VPN such as NordVPN, which not only enhances your Mac’s security but also offers advanced features like ad and tracker blocking, a kill switch, and dark web monitoring, ensuring a comprehensive online experience. Additionally, you can bypass geo-restrictions and access content that may be restricted in your location.

Conclusion

With the increasing need for online privacy and security, finding the best VPN for your Mac is crucial. A VPN not only protects your data from potential threats but also allows you to access geo-restricted content and browse the internet anonymously. After exploring various options, we have compiled a list of the top VPNs for Mac in 2024. These VPNs offer excellent performance, user-friendly interfaces, and robust security features to ensure a seamless and secure browsing experience. Whether you’re looking for fast speeds, unlimited bandwidth, or advanced encryption protocols, there’s a VPN on our list that will meet your specific needs. Don’t compromise on your online security – choose one of these best VPNs for Mac today and enjoy a safer online experience.

Best VPN For Mac: FAQ

What is the best VPN to use on a Mac?

NordVPN is the top choice for Mac users, offering unparalleled security, unmatched speeds, and additional features like a kill switch and Threat Protection.

Is NordVPN safe to use on Mac?

NordVPN is entirely safe for use on Mac devices. It is among the most secure VPN options for safeguarding your online data and maintaining anonymity during browsing.

What is a shared secret in Mac VPN?

Before sending any credentials to a VPN server, a shared secret or pre-shared key (PSK) is a string of data that is sent. This allows further communication only if the shared secret is correct when exchanging credentials.

Do I need a VPN if I have Safari?

Certainly. Although Safari has some privacy functions, a specialized VPN offers better security. It encrypts your data, protects your IP address, and enables you to reach restricted content. For improved online security and privacy, it is typically advised to use a robust VPN such as NordVPN or Surfshark.

How do I set up a VPN on a Mac?

In order to establish a VPN on a Mac, you have the option of either downloading a specialized VPN application or setting up the VPN manually in the network settings of your Mac. If you opt to download an application, simply follow the instructions displayed on the screen. If you prefer to configure it manually, access System Preferences, select Network, click on the + button, choose VPN, input the VPN details from your provider, and then click OK to confirm the settings. To activate the VPN connection, double-click on it.

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