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The Best VPN for Mac in 2022

December 11, 2022

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Best VPNs for Mac

MacBooks are famous for being the most secure in the industry, but with so many online threats out there, you can never be too sure.

Using a secure Mac virtual private network (VPN), you can gain the privacy and security you need for total online freedom and protection.

With Apple’s strict developer guidelines, it may be challenging to find a VPN with a client that’s compatible with macOS, and that’s why our experts sought out the top 5 best VPNs for Mac.

Keep reading to find the VPN that is right for you and your MacBook!

In a Hurry? Here Are 5 Best VPN Services for Mac

Why You Need a VPN Service for Mac

There are many benefits of using a Mac VPN that can increase your freedom and accessibility when online.

Here are some of the top benefits:

☑️ Ability to access websites — Even Mac device users struggle with the limits of geo-restrictions, whether it’s a TV show or movie you like that is unavailable in your region, an Apple device feature that hasn’t yet been offered where you live or watching a local blacked-out sports event on your Apple devices. By giving you access to the Internet as if you are in a different country, the best Mac VPNs will allow you to bypass those restrictions easily.

☑️ Fast Internet speeds — Often your Internet Service Provider can throttle your Internet connection speed, especially when torrenting or streaming. With a Mac VPN, you can hide your connection so that you are surfing the web privately, ensuring that your ISP will not see your online activity, thus, preventing your ISP from reducing your download speed.

☑️ Privacy — The government, ad agencies, and private companies are always monitoring our online activity for one reason or another. If you are using Mac VPN, you will have a secure, encrypted connection, which means nobody will be able to monitor any of your online activity. If your VPN has a no-logs policy, not even the VPN service itself will be keeping tabs on your online data. The very top VPNs are also based in jurisdictions outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.

☑️ Security — The best VPNs for Mac will provide robust security features like AES 256-bit military-grade encryption to keep you safe from online threats roaming the Internet. While MacBooks are known to be the most secure computers on the market, having VPN software adds a solid layer of protection.

☑️ No geo-restrictions — Many streaming services have restrictions as to which content you can view, depending on your location. When using a VPN for Mac, you can choose which server location to which to connect and bypass these restrictions easily, simply by connecting to a VPN server in the country you are trying to access.

5 Best VPN Providers for Mac 

Based on our extensive research, here is our list of the top 5 best Mac VPNs in 2022:

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN

If you are looking for the fastest, most reliable, and overall best Mac VPN, ExpressVPN is our top choice.

With over 3,000 servers spread across over 94 countries around the world, this provider is the VPN with the broadest reach on our list. All of its servers are super fast with low latency, wherever you may find yourself.

ExpressVPN has excellent privacy features, which include militarylevel of encryption (256bit AES encryption), DNS, WebRTCIPv6 leak protection, and a Kill Switch for protection if your VPN connection drops.

It also offers a nologs policy that ensures that no user data is logged, kept, or tracked by the service. This claim can be trusted even more so since ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, which is outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.

ExpressVPN can unblock all of the popular streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney +, and more; and it offers 5 simultaneous connections and unlimited bandwidth, so you can game, torrent, or stream for as long as you’d like.

This provider is compatible with all major operating systems, so you can use it on your MacBook Air with no trouble at all.

It also works well with Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux, and can be installed on your home router.

If you want to see for yourself, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free with its 30day moneyback guarantee. If you’re unhappy with the service, all you have to do is reach out to its customer support team via live chat and you can get your money back with very little effort.

Pros:

  • Excellent safety features
  • VPN with a large network of fast servers
  • Consistent connections
  • Compatible with Apple devices
  • Anonymous payment option with Bitcoin
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • More expensive than its competitors

2. NordVPN:

Devices compatible with NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the best Mac VPN options out there, offering a broad server network of over 5,400 servers in over 60 countries. It offers no caps on bandwidth, along with impressive speeds and the ability to unlock almost all geo-restricted material.

NordVPN has robust security to keep your identity private and your device secure. It offers IPv6WebRTC, and DNS leak protection, 256bit encryption protocols, Double VPN option, automatic adblocking, and a malware scanner. Plus, with this provider you can also take advantage of Nord Locker, a secure cloud storage system, so you can store your data securely in the cloud.

In addition, this VPN company has many different advanced features and VPN protocols from which to choose, like OpenVPN protocol, L2TP/IPSec, WireGuard, and more. No matter which protocol you use, NordVPN”s no-logs policy will ensure that all your Internet traffic remains private and anonymous. Its no logs policy can be trusted since its headquarters are located in Panama, outside the 5-eyes alliance.

NordVPN is able to bypass even the toughest of geo-blocks so you can gain access to your favorite streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

This provider has a Mac app and is also compatible with iPhone, Android, and Windows; and you can have up to 6 simultaneous connections on a single user account.

Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

Pros:

  • Affordable VPN
  • Large network of server address options
  • Compatible with Mac devices
  • Great privacy and security
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Some issues with its user interface

3. Surfshark:

Devices compatible with Surfshark

Surfshark is a great option for Mac users on a budget. With its network of 3,200 VPN servers spread globally, you’ll always be able to find a low-traffic server, even during peak times.

Surfshark has no limits on bandwidth and provides sufficient speeds to prevent too much buffering and lag when watching your favorite TV shows, or playing your favorite games.

When it comes to security, Surfshark ensures your online safety with features like 256bit encryption, WebRTC, DNS leak protection, OpenVPN protocol, and a Kill Switch.

Surfshark also has a strict no-logs policy, which can be trusted more easily since it is based in the British Virgin Islands, outside the 5-Eyes Alliance.

This provider can unblock all the popular streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more, and, unlike ExpressVPN and NordVPN, Surfshark offers unlimited VPN connections, so the whole family can enjoy using the same VPN account all at once.

You can try Surfshark for yourself with its 30day moneyback guarantee, and it only costs $2.49/month for its most competitively-priced plan, which is hard to pass up.

Pros:

  • Cheap VPN Service
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Strong security and privacy features
  • No limit to bandwidth
  • Split tunneling
  • Compatible with Mac computers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Speeds tend to be inconsistent
  • Some of its servers are slow

Devices compatible with CyberGhost

CyberGhost is another excellent Mac VPN, offering a huge network of 7,800 servers in 90+ countries. Each of its servers provides quick and consistent connections, making it one of the best Mac VPNs.

CyberGhost offers a host of features, such as Split tunneling, an ad blocker, dedicated server options, and support for P2P sharing.

When it comes to security, this provider has easy-to-use and pre-configured features and they include 256bit encryptionmalwarescanning, a Kill Switch, DNS, WebRTCIPv6 leak protection to prevent DDoS attacks, and a strict nologs policy. Since CyberGhost is located in Romania, this policy can be trusted.

CyberGhost is able to bypass even the toughest of geo-blocks, granting you access to your favorite streaming sites, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and more, offering 7 device connections on a single user account.

CyberGhost is not only compatible with Apple products, but also with Windows, Android, Amazon Fire, Linux, Roku, smart TVs, and gaming consoles.

CyberGhost is the only VPN to allow a full 45day money-back guarantee, so you can have over one month to test it before you commit to a long-term plan.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Split tunneling
  • 7 device connections
  • Impressive safety and privacy features
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Insufficient customization for advanced users
  • Speeds can be inconsistent at times

Devices compatible with PIA

PIA is another great choice for Mac users who want to use a VPN to protect their Internet usage. It offers a huge network of 29,000 servers, many in remote server locations around the globe, all offering decent speeds and reliable connections.

When it comes to security, PIA offers standard 128-bit encryption as its default level of encryption, but this can be changed to 256-bit encryption, like the other VPNs on this list, by changing the settings in your VPN app.

PIA also offers a Kill Switch and a strict nologging policy, but it is important to mention that this VPN is based in the US, which is part of the 5-Eyes alliance. For this reason, it is good to be sure to read the terms and conditions when it comes to its no-logging policy.

With PIA, you can have up to 10 simultaneous connections on a single user account, and you can use it with your macOS or Windows, as well as with your Android or iOS device.

You can test PIA for yourself with its 30-day trial period.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • No data caps
  • 30-day trial period
  • Port forwarding offered
  • 10 device connections
  • Huge network of servers

Cons:

  • Can’t access all the streaming services
  • Speeds are inconsistent
  • Based in the US

How We Analyzed & Tested Best VPNs for macOS

The VPN industry is packed with different VPNs with different features and services, and we had to pick through each one to make sure they apply to Mac users.

If you are looking for a VPN for Mac, these are the criteria we recommend checking for the best Mac VPN:

☑️ Security — Having a secure VPN is crucial for ensuring complete anonymity and online protection, especially if you’re connected to public WI-fi. You will want your Mac VPN to have military-level encryption, leak protection features, and a Kill Switch in case the connection drops.

☑️ Mac Client — If you want to use a VPN with your MacBook, it goes without saying that the VPN you choose will need to have a Mac Client. Some VPN providers advertise VPN usage with Mac, while their app is actually just for Windows.

☑️ Speed — Sometimes, when using a VPN service, you have to compromise speed for protection. However, there are some exceptional VPN providers in the VPN market that offer fast speeds due to more efficient implementations. Those VPNs are ranked higher and are overall more recommended.

☑️ Bypass Geo-blocks — One of the major perks of using a VPN is bypassing geo-restrictions and accessing your favorite content from anywhere. When choosing your VPN, you’ll want one that is effective at unblocking streaming sites, and any other content in which you may be interested.

☑️ Price — All of the quality VPN service providers cost a monthly fee, so you will want to make sure that the VPN you choose will give you the most bang for your buck. There are great VPN services that offer great packages for a small price, while others charge a fortune for just a handful of features. Always make sure that the price you’re getting is worth the features provided.

☑️ Money-back guarantee — A VPN that offers this guarantee is one that is declaring that it stands behind its product. Make sure your VPN gives you the option to test it out for a period of time with a refund guarantee.

Should I Use a Free Mac VPN?

There are many free VPN services out there, and while it’s tempting to save a few bucks and use them instead, we don’t recommend doing so for a variety of reasons.

First, free VPNs typically have a very small number of servers and resources. So, unlike the premium VPNs listed above that can bypass any geo-block, the free services lack the ability to do this because of their limited server span.

In addition, because of the small server networks they provide, you will experience overcrowding on servers, resulting in buffering, slow streaming, and poor-quality video.

The strongest reason to steer clear of even the best free VPN services is security.

Rather than protect your online data with encryption and leak protection, free VPN providers often do the opposite. Many even sell your personal info to advertising agencies, third parties, and surveillance agencies. This compromises your security and puts you at a major risk for unwanted ads, as well as dangerous viruses, DDoS attacks, and malware.

The third reason is that there are very low chances that a free service will have a VPN app that is compatible with macOS.

When looking for a Mac VPN, MacOs users want the best VPN software to protect their devices. That is why we recommend taking the leap and subscribing to a premium VPN service. By doing so, you are protecting your online security and privacy, while also guaranteeing a great experience, whether you’re streaming, gaming, torrenting, or browsing online.

How to Install a VPN on Your Mac

Once you have subscribed to the best VPN for Mac, you will need to set it up on your computer. Luckily, these days it’s pretty simple. Just note that each VPN provider may be slightly different, so be sure to check your provider’s website for the exact instructions.

If you are using a MacBook, you can either download the VPN provider’s app from the Apple App Store or download it from the website of your VPN provider.

Install via the App Store 

If you are installing the VPN app through the Apple App Store, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the Mac App Store and find the VPN provider you have chosen. (We recommend ExpressVPN.)
  2. Click “get” and enter your Apple ID and password.
  3. Download the app and connect to your preferred country.

Install via the Web Page

You can also install your VPN app through the VPN provider’s website:

  1. Go to your VPN provider’s website and go to the “downloads” section.
  2. Select your OS version, and download the file.
  3. Once it downloads, install it onto your device.
  4. When the installation completes, open the app and choose a VPN server to which to connect.
  5. Enjoy safely browsing!

Manually Configure VPN for Mac:

This option is a bit more complicated, but more advanced power users will have no trouble figuring it out.

  1. Head over to the Apple menu, then “system preferences,” then “network settings.”
  2. Click on the “Add button,” go to the interface menu, and click “VPN.”
  3. Open the VPN type menu and click the VPN connection type. Pick a name for the service, and click “create.”
  4. Type in the server address and the account name for your VPN connection.
  5. Next, you’ll go to Authentication Settings and enter the info you received from the network admin.
  6. Head over to “advanced” and enter your info.
  7. Choose “Apply” and then “OK.”
  8. You’re all set!

FAQs

What is the safest VPN for Mac?

ExpressVPN is the safest and overall best VPN for Mac, offering reliable connections, fast speeds, and seamless compatibility with all Apple products.

Although it may be pricier than most VPN services, it is worth every cent.

ExpressVPN also offers the broadest network of servers spread across over 94 countries, ensuring that you can safely access your geo-blocked sites anywhere!

Does Mac have a built-in VPN?

While Macs do share some features with VPNs, they are not in and of themselves a VPN.

For example, Macs do have L2TP/IPSec and IKEv2 VPN protocols built-in, which you can turn on when you want some extra protection. If you’re going to turn it on, all you have to do is head over to your Network settings, and add a VPN using one of the protocols listed above.

That will help you with the security aspect of using a VPN but won’t help you when it comes to the other features users look for in a VPN.

Some of these features include changing your online location, unblocking geo-restrictions, and selecting a server to connect to for optimized speeds.

Should I use a VPN for Mac?

We recommend using a VPN for Mac for added security.

Macbooks do have built-in anti-virus software, keeping mac users safe from most cyber threats and online hackers out there. But any time you send your data out into the world wide web, we believe in using the most protection possible in order to ensure your online privacy and security.

On top of this, a VPN will help you access geo-restricted content from your Mac, which makes it completely worthwhile!

What is the fastest VPN for Mac?

ExpressVPN is the fastest, safest, and overall best VPN on the market, especially for macOS.

What is the best VPN extension for Safari?

If you want to use your VPN in Safari on your Mac, ExpressVPN is your best bet. In fact, it is the only provider on our list that offers a Safari extension.

You will have to install the native ExpressVPN app, and then you will be able to control it from Safari.

Most of the VPNs offer Chrome, Firefox, or Edge extensions only.

Conclusion

While we can all agree that Macs are truly impressive when it comes to both functionality and protection, it is still a good idea to consider using a VPN when using your Macbook.

While users are pretty safe with macOS built-in virus protection, a VPN adds a layer of protection that is truly beneficial in today’s world as online threats continue to multiply.

Our top recommendation for Mac users is ExpressVPN.

Try out ExpressVPN with our exclusive discount today!

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