6 Best VPN for Mac in 2021

Don’t make a mistake thinking that your Mac is immune to malware and hacking attempts. Perhaps this was the case in the past, but things are rapidly changing right now. And on top of that, everything you do on your Mac, as well as online, is being tracked by major IT players, Apple included. However, there’s a solution to this problem, and we’re talking about VPN applications. More precisely, we’ll talk about the best VPN for Mac in this article, as well as why using a VPN is an excellent idea.

We’d also like to say that the recommendations found in this article are based on our hands-on tests. We have reviewed more than 60 VPN services so far, many of which bring macOS applications. So, to create a list of truly the best Mac VPN apps, we’ve considered their features, capabilities, performance, possible use cases, and more. We’ve done all of this to provide you with a list of VPNs that seamlessly integrate with macOS, so you can continue to stick to your usual routine – without the chosen VPN affecting the way you normally use your Mac.

How to Choose a VPN for Mac?

It would be a huge mistake to go for the first VPN you see. Today’s VPN services come with all kinds of bells and whistles, so it’s important to take your time and do your research. So, here’s what to look for when browsing VPNs.

  • macOS-Optimized Protocols: You’ll often see VPNs advertising a whole bunch of different VPN protocols. However, each operating system supports a limited range of these protocols. So, make sure to know which ones you’ll get on macOS – and this should be OpenVPN, IPSec, and/or IKEv2.
  • User-Friendly Privacy Policy: If you’re after total anonymity, take a look at VPNs with “no-logs” policies as these don’t log a single file about you. Don’t forget to read their privacy policies and see whether they went through any independent audits in the past.
  • Stable & Reliable Performance: You can expect some throttling when using VPN services. However, this doesn’t mean that your Web connection should be crippled. You can rely on hands-on reviews (especially on our website) to check how a VPN performs in day-to-day use.
  • Punctual Customer Support: VPNs are powered by complex technologies and networks of servers. However, they’re also incredibly easy to use. So, in case something goes wrong (which doesn’t happen that often), you’ll want to have a support team watching you back. Going for a VPN with live-chat support is always a good idea.
  • Overall Value: Every VPN comes with a monthly subscription. However, you can save a lot by getting a long-term plan and paying in advance. Still, don’t forget to consult reviews and make sure that you’re buying a reputable VPN that won’t let you down in the future.

Best VPN for Mac in 2021

So, here’s what you want to know. After doing plenty of research and hands-on testing, we present to you the 7 best VPNs for Mac!

1. ExpressVPN – Best All-Around VPN for macOS

Editor's Pick
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ExpressVPN has a great selection of servers to choose from, which is perfect if you’re really keen to take advantage of geo-spoofing. Operating across 90+ countries, you should be able to browse and stream completely free of restrictions. With this easy-to-use software being fully compatible with macOS, you know that you’ll get exactly the same experience as every other user, whether you’re using it on your MacBook, iPhone, or other devices.

This well-known Mac VPN is further complemented by round-the-clock customer support, so you know that you’ll have access to expert agents whenever you have a problem. Unlimited speeds, bandwidth, and server switches make ExpressVPN the ultimate choice for those that don’t want to be held back. For improved security, the provider doesn’t log any of your network traffic either, giving you peace of mind.

When you’re choosing to use a VPN for security reasons, it’s not just the zero-logging that makes ExpressVPN a good choice either. It uses strong encryption, significantly reducing the chances of your details being hacked and the provider has a number of protocols in place for added layers of protection. So, if you want to keep exploring what this VPN provider offers, take a look at our ExpressVPN review.

  • Protocols Available on macOS: OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec.
  • macOS Integration: Native application (often updated).
  • macOS Requirements: OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), at least.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

Learn: How to download, install and use ExpressVPN on Mac

2. CyberGhost VPN – Best for Streaming Media Online

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Those of you looking for simple yet highly powerful VPNs are going to love CyberGhost VPN. This is an incredibly user-friendly VPN solution that’s been around for many years now. And it has managed to prove its reputation over and over again.

It could be easily said that CyberGhost is one of the best VPNs for Mac and one of the best VPNs all-around. First of all, it makes sure you’re protected online using the highest possible level of encryption. There are plenty of VPN protocols to choose for different needs, and thousands of capable servers await across the globe.

CyberGhost VPN is also an excellent choice for unblocking websites, especially if you’re outside the USA. It can unblock any hugely popular media streaming website and plays videos without any buffering (if you have a capable Web connection, that is). To dive into additional details on why this is one of the best VPNs for Mac right now, you need to read our CyberGhost VPN review.

  • Protocols Available on macOS: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, IPSec.
  • macOS Integration: Native application (often updated).
  • macOS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.12 (Sierra), at least.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 45 days.

3. Surfshark VPN – Best for Speed & Simplicity

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One of the benefits of using macOS is the fact that you get a series of nicely designed built-in applications. Every application designed by Apple follows the same uniform design, which also prompts you to follow the lead when using third-party applications. Well, you should know that Surfshark is a VPN with a highly polished UI – but it also delivers highly capable and useful features.

First of all, you can use Surfshark on an unlimited number of devices. Aside from MacOS, this also includes other Apple-made platforms like iOS, iPadOS, and even Apple TV. You can connect to hundreds of secure servers, unblock pretty much any website or online service, and encrypt your Web traffic – the easy way. Surfshark even protects you against ads and trackers, no matter which Web browser you use. And all of this is done without this VPN collecting a single file about your online activity.

We strongly believe that this is one of the best VPNs for macOS right now. To see why and to learn more, read our Surfshark review.

  • Protocols Available on macOS: IKEv2.
  • macOS Integration: Native application.
  • macOS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.12 (Sierra), at least.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

4. Private Internet Access – Best for Detailed Fine-Tuning

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If you’re considering using a VPN for Mac praised by well-known publications, Private Internet Access could be enough to make you choose this option. Forbes, PC World, Business Insider, and AT&T are all listed as customers on its website.

One of the most attractive features of using Private Internet Access is the price. It’s the most competitively priced option we’ve listed here. This is an important selling point if you’re not sure how often you’ll end up using your VPN and want to try it out without having to spend a lot of money. The instant setup is easy to use and offers unlimited bandwidth and fast speeds. You can access expert support too, including dedicated P2P support. No traffic logs, multiple VPN gateways, and the ability to connect up to ten devices at the same time are all important features that you can expect.

While Private Internet Access has several thousand servers, they’re located in just 40+ counties. The network is expanding but it means that the provider currently falls some way behind its competitors. You can read our Private Internet Access review to find out everything there is to know about this VPN service.

  • Protocols Available on macOS: OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP.
  • macOS Integration: Native application.
  • macOS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.12 (Sierra), at least.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

5. NordVPN – Best for High-End Security & Reliability

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NordVPN positions itself as a go-to provider that wants to boost your security. Its double encryption and a strict no-logs policy certainly back up its claims. As a result, if your key aim for using a VPN is to give your Web activity an added layer of protection, this might just be the provider for you.

NordVPN works to provide you with anonymity online, giving you complete confidentiality. Among its features is an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and you can even pay with Bitcoin when subscribing to the service. And it’s all accessible with just a few clicks of a button without interrupting how you usually use the Internet.

Of course, NordVPN offers more than just security. Recognizing how important speed is when browsing or streaming, the service promises to deliver lightning speeds without compromising Internet security. Geospoofing is also simple with NordVPN, which boasts thousands of servers across 60+ countries. Overall, this VPN provider has numerous tricks up its sleeve. To get to know what to expect, don’t forget to read our NordVPN review.

  • Protocols Available on macOS: IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN.
  • macOS Integration: Native application.
  • macOS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.12 (Sierra), at least.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 30 days.

6. IPVanish – Best for Gaming on macOS

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When you want compatibility, IPVanish delivers. You can use this versatile, user-friendly software on Mac, as well as on Windows, Android, and iOS. The best part? You can have up to ten devices simultaneously connected to IPVanish.

Currently boasting servers in over 55 countries, IPVanish’s network isn’t as extensive as others’ but its unlimited server switching feature should guarantee that you’re never held back when you’re wanting to geo-spoof. You’ll be able to unlock content that’s locked by geographical location or censored in your region, giving you access to more of the Internet than ever before. Being one of the best Mac VPN in 2021, it also delivers when it comes to speed and bandwidth, keeping you going whatever you’re up to online, be it replying to work emails or streaming TV shows and movies.

If you’re new to using a VPN, you might be concerned about the complexity of it. But thanks to the 24/7 customer support that IPVanish offers, it’s not an issue you’ll have to worry about. If you want to get to know more about this VPN’s capabilities, a good place to start is our IPVanish review.

  • Protocols Available on macOS: OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP, IKEv2.
  • macOS Integration: Native application.
  • macOS Requirements: Mac OS X 10.10, at least.
  • Money-Back Guarantees: Up to 7 days.

Do You Need a VPN for Mac?

It’s a popular opinion that macOS is more privacy-friendly than its biggest competitor, Windows. It’s also true that you can do plenty to safeguard your privacy on a Mac if you’re willing to dive into your computer’s System Preferences. However, macOS doesn’t encrypt your Web data and it doesn’t give you an additional layer of privacy. That’s because only VPN applications are capable of doing just that.

As you can see, the primary purpose of any VPN is to protect your privacy. In essence, VPNs work by encrypting your incoming and outgoing Web traffic, keeping all of this data secured within a tunnel. Therefore, no one will get to see what you do online, and this includes your Internet Service Provider as well. Therefore, if you need the best possible protection for your privacy, a VPN is the only way to go.

However, VPNs can do a lot more. They let you unblock websites not available in your region (including banking websites and media streaming services), which is especially handy when traveling. They can even save you money when shopping online, as they prevent trackers from targeting your shopping patterns and often showing you a higher price than what you’d normally see.

How Much Does a Reliable VPN Cost? What About Free VPNs for Mac?

There’s a reason why VPNs are subscription-based services. Maintaining an army of servers while eliminating vulnerabilities requires constant investment. So, you must be wondering what’s the deal with free-of-charge VPNs? Well, for the most part, these are scams designed to exfiltrate your private information.

Know that there’s no such thing as an unlimited and completely free VPN. All of them come with restrictions in terms of their performance and bandwidth. This could be enough for quick Web browsing sessions, at best. However, we don’t recommend them even for that as they usually fail to create a safe VPN tunnel, exposing your online data along the way.

Today’s top-rated VPNs cost only a couple of dollars per month. And we know that some of you might be on a tight budget, so we’ll recommend affordable and cheap VPNs that don’t make any compromises. Besides, keep in mind that VPNs come with money-back guarantees, so there are no risks involved, whatsoever. Also, there is a free trial VPNs available where you can use the premium version of it for a limited time period.

FAQ

We are here to help you pick a VPN that provides an answer to all your needs. Knowing your options is only one (important) aspect of this process. We understand that you might have additional questions, so we’ll try to answer those as well. Take a look.

Does Apple Have a VPN Service?

No, Apple doesn’t offer a VPN service on its own. This means that you need to pick a third-party solution. Make sure to inspect and read this article carefully, as we’ve done our best to recommend a set of highly capable VPN services, specifically made for macOS.

Is it Legal to Use a VPN on Your Mac?

While using VPNs on Mac is legal in most regions and countries, there are a few countries where it’s illegal. However, these restrictions have only been partially successful and it’s rare for people to be prosecuted for using a VPN.

Is it Completely Safe to Use a VPN on Your Mac?

Yes. One of the benefits of using a VPN is that it makes your online activity safer and more secure. All your data will be encrypted, helping to boost your safety. However, it is still possible for your Mac to download malicious software so you should follow good practices when you’re online.

Do Macs Have Built-In VPN?

Macs don’t have a built-in VPN that you could use. However, you’re free to install any third-party VPN application or create a new VPN connection manually. This can be done by doing to Apple > System Preferences > Network.

How Do I Create a VPN on a Mac?

It’s always recommended to go for a native VPN application, as this is the easiest way to start using a VPN. However, you can also add a custom VPN connection via your macOS’ System Preferences > Network. Click on the “Plus” icon (bottom-left corner) and create your VPN connection there.

How to Setup and Configure VPN on Mac?

Once you’ve chosen a provider (and hopefully, that would be ExpressVPN), your first step should be to sign-up and then download the software from the VPN’s website. Install the application, open it, and then use your credentials to log-in. After that, you’re free to connect to any server and secure your Web data. Read this detailed guide for more info.

There you have it, dear readers. We hope that you managed to find the best VPN for Mac in 2021, based on your needs. If there’s something else you’d like to know, let us know by using the comments section below.

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