The Best VPNs for Mac and Apple Users

I’m back…with Mac!

As you all know by now, I’ve been exploring the world of VPNs for quite some time now.

After all, in this post-truth age of data snooping and cyberattacks, it’s a wonder there are still users who’re navigating the net without VPNs.

Recently, I was chatting with one of my overseas friends who’s also into VPNs.

One thing led to another, and I soon found myself mired in a controversial topic:

Do Macs need to use VPN?

I know Windows certainly does need a VPN.

Adhering to the popular opinion, my friend thought she didn’t. After all, she argued, seen from a cyber-security perspective, Macs are virtually impenetrable.

The dedicated hardware and software that Apple provides you with are renowned for their cybersecurity aspects.

Especially now with the Apple T2 security chip around.

So, it’s no wonder that Mac users don’t usually opt for regular anti-malware products.

But does that same concept work with VPNs?

I decided to do some digging and discovered that there’s more to the game than meets the eye.

True, Mac security is wonderful; but VPNs aren’t just for maintaining your privacy and security in a local machine.

They have many other advantages that even a Mac can’t provide otherwise.

After I’d collated all the information, I then set out to find the best VPN for Mac users.

Sifting through endless options meant hours of fun for me. But in the end, I settled on the top five services that I think are the best ones on the market.

And today, I’m going to share my findings with you all.

Let’s begin.

Why Do Macs Need To Use VPNs?

Before diving into my list of the best Mac VPNs, I want to explore why Mac users need to opt for VPNs in the first place.

Sneak preview on the selected best mac VPN below:

ExpressVPN Sidebar LogoExpressVPN
Fastest Speed, Proven Privacy
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NordVPN Sidebar LogoNordVPN
Unblock Netflix, Reliable
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Surfshark Sidebar LogoSurfshark
Cheapest, Unlimited Devices
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Hotspot Shield Sidebar LogoHotspot Shield
Proprietary Protocol, Easy-to-use
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CyberGhost Sidebar LogoCyberghost
Massive Servers, Zero-Log Policy
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As I’ve already mentioned, Mac security is great. But that’s only while the data remains in your Mac.

Once it leaves the secure shelter of your device, the byways of cyberspace are fraught with risks.

That’s where a VPN comes into play.

By encrypting your online traffic in-transit, the VPN software helps to protect your identity online.

And this protection is not extended to just online banking and financial transactions.

Even when you’re communicating with friends and colleagues online, VPNs can help you out.

Here’s a brief guide on how VPN works.

Another aspect where VPNs come in handy is torrenting and streaming.

In most cases, streaming services such as Netflix have geo-location-based libraries, and hence block content outside specific geographic locations.

Using VPNs, you can circumvent the Netflix VPN geo-blocks and view all global content.

So, long story short: using a VPN with a Mac is highly crucial.

Whether you’re using public WiFi at the airport or streaming the latest game videos, the best Mac VPN is something that’ll never let you down.

Now that that’s out of the way let’s take a look at the five best Mac VPNs out there.

Top Five Mac VPNs – Curated and Tested

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Review
Score 92 / 100 (Test Report)
Based on 28 inspect elements
Visit ExpressVPN

Price starts at $8.32/mo


Pros:

  • Works on Mac, Iphone, Safari
  • Excellent customer support
  • Great streaming capabilities
  • Fastest speeds from our testing
Cons:

  • Only 5 connections at a time
  • Expensive

First up on my list is ExpressVPN, which is by far the best Mac VPN I’ve come across.

Apart from Macs, it also works on other operating systems such as Windows, iOS, Android, and even Linux.

ExpressVPN provides wonderful speeds on all servers across the world and even has a dedicated client for Mac users.

And in the rare case that you run into a problem, you can always contact customer service and get the issue resolved.

As far as privacy is concerned, ExpressVPN provides you with complete works.

You can choose from among a plethora of protocols such as OpenVPN, UDP/TCP, L2TP/IPSec, and even IKEv2.

At the same time, it even provides IPv6 leak protection, 256-bit encryption, and split tunneling features.

If you need to know the difference between IPv4 and IPv6, check out our IPv4 vs IPv6 here.

One of the things that I really like about ExpressVPN is that it owns all of its servers, which are spread across over 90 global locations.

This means the service doesn’t compromise your privacy by sharing data with a third-party service provider.

Coming to the streaming part, I tried ExpressVPN with the most popular streaming sites such as Hulu, Netflix, and BBC iPlayer.

As I’d expected, it could unblock everything.

It also got good enough speeds to enjoy HD Video.

Check out the ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN Review
Score 85 / 100 (Test Report)
Based on 28 inspect elements
Visit NordVPN

Price starts at $3.49/mo


Pros:

  • Double encryption standard
  • Huge number of servers
  • Multiple server extensions
  • Fast performance
Cons:

  • Lack of client support
  • No GPS Spoofing

If data security is your primary concern, then I suggest you opt for NordVPN.

It uses a dedicated double encryption technology that’s virtually impossible to break.

NordVPN takes the trouble of passing your data through two servers and also provides other advanced features such as proxy servers and encrypted chats.

In case streaming is your main purpose in using a VPN, even there, NordVPN has you covered.

Whether you’re streaming via Netflix or Disney+, NordVPN will be able to unblock everything that these services can throw at you.

Coming to the privacy and security aspect, NordVPN is entirely torrenting-friendly and has a strict no-logs policy.

It also offers multiple protocols, including the service’s own NordLynx protocol.

The desktop app for Mac has a clean interface that hides a massive 256-bit AES encryption under the hood.

With this service, you’ll also have access to over 5000 servers that are spread across 59 countries.

Add to that a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you’ve got everything that your Mac can virtually wish for.

Now to the NordVPN review.

3. Surfshark

Surfshark review
Score 90 / 100 (Test Report)
Based on 28 inspect elements
Visit Surfshark

Price starts at $1.79/mo


Pros:

  • Highly affordable
  • Unlimited # of devices
  • Great user interface
  • Excellent security
Cons:

  • Not powerful as ExpressVPN
  • Partially owned servers

Surfshark offers the best combination of security and affordability among Mac VPNs.

There are multiple benefits that you get for using this VPN on Macs, such as free trials, blazing-fast connections, and a clean, easy-to-use interface.

The one thing that few other VPNs can beat Surfshark at is the pricing.

They ranked #1 at our best VPN in Singapore from our colleagues’ feedback.

It’s highly affordable and doesn’t skimp on any aspect; be it unblocking Netflix or securing financial transactions, Surfshark does it all.

Speaking of security, with Surfshark, you get the choice of multiple protocols such as OpenVPN and WireGuard.

You also get the advantage of 256-bit AES encryption, along with a kill switch for use with public WiFi connections.

Other interesting features that Surfshark offers are double-hopping and split tunneling.

And the best part?

With a single Surfshark subscription, you can use the VPN services across an unlimited number of devices.

Add to that the fact that you can even pay for the service using Bitcoin, and you’ve got a complete privacy-protection solution at your fingertips.

Don’t miss out on the Surfshark review.

4. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield Review
Score 58 / 100 (Test Report)
Based on 28 inspect elements
Visit Hotspot Shield

Price starts at $7.99/mo


Pros:

  • Great speed for US servers
  • Great streaming capabilities
  • Proprietary protocol
  • Easy to use
Cons:

  • No zero-log policy
  • Privacy concerns

For all the cyber-speedsters out there, Hotspot Shield has no equal (for US servers).

By far the fastest Mac VPN on this list, Hotspot shield works on Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS alike and provides you with blazing speeds.

It uses a proprietary protocol called Catapult Hydra, which works to deliver speeds of over 400Mbps.

Now, if that’s not fast enough for you, I recommend you get a Ferrari instead because nothing else comes close!

Along with great download speeds, you also get impeccable streaming performance.

I tried out the Hotspot shield with BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu, and it could unblock all libraries.

Plus, due to the massive speeds, I was also able to stream at HD quality.

Read our Hotspot Shield review.

5. Cyberghost

CyberGhost Review
Score 78 / 100 (Test Report)
Based on 28 inspect elements
Visit Cyberghost

Price starts at $2.75/mo


Pros:

  • Zero-log policy
  • Massive number of servers
  • 45 days money back
  • Support upto 7 devices
Cons:

  • Minor glitches in the app
  • Ad-blockers work intermittent

Though CyberGhostworks on all popular operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Android, the makers of the tool insist it’s made especially for Mac users.

Whatever the case, I can say with confidence that this is one of the better VPNs for Mac that I’ve come across though it’s not the best.

It provides a massive number of servers, over 7000 to be specific, spread across 88 countries.

But that’s not the only aspect that this service excels in.

CyberGhost offers a number of other features, such as a dedicated server filtering system, which you won’t get anywhere else.

Another aspect that I really like about it is that it provides a zero-logging policy.

This means no activity that you perform using the service is logged, and nothing can be tied back to you.

And this is surely a must-have VPN for Malaysians.

So, whether you’re streaming the latest season of The Witcher or torrenting, you can be sure there’s no one peering over your shoulder.

Other excellent features of the service include a kill switch, military-grade encryption, and an ad blocker (not very great).

And despite noticing a few minor glitches, I’d say CyberGhost is certainly worth the money.

Check out the Cyberghost review.

With that, I come to the end of my review of the best Mac VPNs you can get hold of.

But don’t scoot off just yet, for I’ve got something more for you.

Your Top Questions Answered

You guessed it: in this section, I’m going to answer some of the top questions related to Mac VPNs that you need answering.

These are questions that I’ve asked myself during my search for the best Mac VPN, and I’m sure you’ll appreciate getting them answered here.

Let’s begin.

Ans: Let me get straight to the point: there’s no such thing as free lunch. Going by the same rule, a free VPN won’t provide you with the same level of security and privacy that a paid option will.

Still, if you’re hell-bent on not parting with your purse, I recommend you download the free version of Hotspot VPN. It’s entirely free and offers you most capabilities of the premium version. The only limits you’ll have to keep up with are a 500MB data cap per day and limited choices for servers.

Ans: Technology-wise, there’s really no difference between a Mac VPN and other platform VPNs. No matter the OS you’re using, a VPN will behave in much the same way. The only difference that you’ll find is in the different clients for each operating system.

Ans: Yes and no. While Macs don’t really have a dedicated VPN tool built-in, it does provide you the option to use IKEv2 and L2TP/IPSec protocols from the network settings panel. This can help you to add an extra layer of security over your regular Mac network settings.

However, here I’d like to point out that no matter which built-in protocol you use, nothing beats a dedicated VPN for tasks such as torrenting and geo-unblocking content. In that regard, the above five are ideal choices.

Ans: Absolutely! A VPN is perfectly legal for use on a Mac. In fact, no matter the device you’re using, I recommend using a VPN to protect all online activities. There was a time when VPN use was associated with illegal activities, but now they’ve become mainstream.

Final Words

Best VPN for Mac

And that’s a wrap-up!

Before I go, I’d like to leave you with my best recommendation for a Mac VPN.

The overall winner is ExpressVPN, and despite being a bit costly, it can certainly fulfill all your needs.

However, if you’re looking for an affordable option, then Surfshark is the one to go with.

And if data security is your only concern, nothing beats ExpressVPN.

I hope you’ll now be able to make a much better choice regarding which Mac VPN to use.

I’ll soon be back with more interesting stuff on the best VPNs.

Till then, surf on, stay stealth!