If you’re a MacOS user and have heard how secure Apple’s products are, you might think you don’t need the extra security provided by a VPN. But, your ISP and other websites can still monitor your iOS and MacOS surfing habits regardless of which operating system you use.
Neither can be prevented by MacOS itself, but the greatest Mac VPN service will. If you value your privacy and the safety of your digital data, then a virtual private network (VPN) is the way to go.
What Makes the Best Mac VPN?
Even if your main intention is to watch Netflix abroad, you should still take precautions to protect your privacy. There is no need to skimp here; there are many excellent services that have undergone audits and provide zero-logging policies.
Then, think about the purposes for which you will be utilizing your Mac VPN. How often do you use a torrent client? It’s important to make sure your preferred supplier supports P2P on a sizable number of servers.
A devoted viewer? Be sure your VPN has never been blocked before. The importance of fast connections cannot be overstated, yet because to developments in VPN protocol technology, practically any VPN today can provide connections that are significantly quicker than the typical domestic internet connection.
ExpressVPN is our recommended Mac VPN because it meets all these criteria and more, including having well-designed apps and excellent customer support.
Our hands-on testing showed that it performed admirably across the board, was incredibly user-friendly, and was compatible with every device we threw at it (Macs included). There are a few alternatives, however, so keep reading to learn about our top five Mac VPN picks.
The Best Mac VPN in 2024
With 16% of the desktop and laptop market share, there are tens of millions of Mac users looking for protection from the best VPN, and that number is expected to grow as Apple’s popularity rises.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of fantastic options available to fit any preferences or budgets. Apple computers, contrary to common belief, are just as susceptible to spying, hacking, and censorship as Windows machines.
Using a virtual private network (VPN) on your Mac is a great way to hide your web browsing habits from prying eyes.
ExpressVPN prevailed over strong competition in 2022 to win our Editor’s Choice Award for best VPN. The VPN giant has been around since 2009, making it one of the two largest providers worldwide, and this year it has again aggressively increased the industry standard for service transparency.
ExpressVPN has joined the i2Coalition to advocate for better VPN industry ethics, released an open source version of its Lightway encryption system, and increased the number of third-party audits performed on their network in the past year.
In addition to its remarkable privacy and security features, Surfshark also offers an intuitive UI, an expansive global network, and an infinite number of simultaneous connections.
Yet it’s still far less expensive than its rivals. Because of this, CNET has chosen Surfshark as their Best Value VPN for 2022.
Notable features of Surfshark include a kill switch, DNS leak prevention, split tunneling, the ability to use Surfshark in places where VPNs are banned, and multihop VPN connections, in addition to the usual fare of VPN capabilities like these.
You will also have access to Surfshark’s CleanWeb technology, which will protect you from malicious websites and unwanted advertisements.
Being a leading VPN service, NordVPN enjoys widespread brand recognition. It has a high number of concurrent connections, six, when most other providers cap out at five. In addition to being able to VPN into Tor, NordVPN also provides users with a dedicated IP address.
Nord has stopped torrenting in 14 countries, despite the fact that more than half of its fleet of more than 5,000 servers is geared for P2P sharing. Torrent users should be aware that there were a few issues with Nord’s killswitch in our most recent testing rounds when using the iOS app.
However, if you’re interested in using iOS, Nord suggests a sideloaded version that can be downloaded from the site.
After scoring poorly in our speed tests in 2021, NordVPN has since improved dramatically, placing it among the fastest VPNs we’ve tested while still allowing us to lose only 13% of our base internet speeds.
Details About the VPN for MAC
Introduction to VPN for Mac
A VPN for Mac is a software designed to provide Mac users with a secure and private connection to the internet. By encrypting data and routing it through remote servers, VPNs shield users’ online activities from prying eyes, be it hackers, governments, or internet service providers.
This feature is especially critical for Mac users who value the traditionally high security and user-friendly experience associated with Apple products.
Understanding VPN Functionality on Mac
VPN services on Mac operate by creating a secure tunnel between the user’s device and the VPN server. This tunnel encrypts all data passing through it, making it nearly impossible for anyone to intercept or decipher the information.
Mac VPNs often come with user-friendly interfaces that integrate seamlessly with the macOS ecosystem, maintaining the intuitive user experience Mac users are accustomed to.
Key Features of VPN for Mac
- Data Encryption: VPNs encrypt internet traffic, ensuring that personal data and online activities remain confidential.
- IP Masking: They mask the user’s IP address, making it difficult for websites and trackers to determine the user’s real location.
- Geo-Spoofing: VPNs allow users to appear as if they are browsing from different locations, providing access to geo-restricted content.
- Security Protocols: They employ various security protocols to offer different levels of protection and performance.
- Kill Switch: This feature ensures that internet connection is cut off if the VPN connection drops, preventing data leaks.
Importance of VPN for Mac Users
Despite Macs being renowned for their security, they are not immune to online threats. VPNs add an extra layer of security, particularly when using public Wi-Fi networks. They also help in bypassing censorship and accessing a broader range of content online.
Choosing the Right VPN for Mac
Selecting the best VPN for a Mac involves considering several factors like security features, speed, server locations, and user experience. Mac users should look for VPNs that offer strong encryption methods, no-logging policies, and high-speed connections.
Essential Criteria for VPN Selection
Security and Privacy: Opt for VPNs with AES-256 encryption and strict no-logs policies.
Speed and Performance: Choose a VPN that offers fast speeds and stable connections to ensure seamless browsing and streaming.
Server Network: A wide range of server locations allows for more options in geo-spoofing and accessing global content.
Ease of Use: The VPN interface should be user-friendly and compatible with macOS.
Customer Support: Reliable customer support is essential for troubleshooting and assistance.
Best VPNs for Mac
While there are many VPNs available for Mac, some stand out due to their performance, security level, and ease of use. Popular options include NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark, all known for their robust security features and strong performance on Mac devices.
The Impact of VPN on Mac Performance
Using a VPN on a Mac can impact the device’s performance, particularly in terms of internet speed. However, premium VPNs are designed to minimize this impact, offering fast servers and optimized connections that ensure a smooth online experience.
Balancing Security and Performance
It’s essential to find a balance between security and performance when using a VPN on a Mac. High-security levels can sometimes slow down the connection, so users must choose a VPN that offers a good compromise between the two.
Future of VPNs on Mac
The future of VPNs on Mac looks towards more integrated and advanced solutions. With increasing concerns about online privacy and security, VPNs are becoming more mainstream.
Future trends may include more sophisticated encryption technologies, better integration with macOS, and enhanced features for privacy protection.
Technological Advancements in VPNs
Advancements in VPN technology, such as WireGuard protocol, are set to offer faster and more secure VPN connections for Mac users. Additionally, we might see more VPNs incorporating features like malware protection and advanced filtering options.
In terms of overall quality, CNET’s editors recommend ExpressVPN. To determine the best VPN, we look at how it performs in terms of speed, security features, and cost. While Express isn’t the cheapest option, it is among the quickest and, thus far, the safest.
While our top recommendation is NordVPN, Surfshark is a close second because to its lower price and high performance and infinite device support. Our third best option, NordVPN, is a true heavyweight in the VPN industry.
It has a larger network that is continually becoming quicker and more secure, and it costs more than Surfshark but less than Express.