It takes much more than just a user-friendly app to be the best VPN for Mac. Mac devices, like the MacBook Pro, already come with powerful in-built security features, so choosing a VPN to go with it means it has to pack a powerful punch in overall performance.
Keeping that in mind, after testing a great many VPN apps for macOS, I’ve managed to round up 5 of the best VPN services that are the best for Mac.
These providers were first chosen on their compatibility with all Mac operating systems. I then looked on to see if they offered security features that matches the top-tier security that’s already inbuilt in Mac devices. I then tested the VPN apps for speeds and the ability to access multiple international and local websites, bypassing geo-restrictions and censorship.
Just in case you’re short on time, here are the top 5 VPN providers that are the best for Mac:
- Surfshark – Top recommendation for Mac, offers unique security features to enhance the in-built system on Mac, and allows unlimited device connections and fast speeds.
- NordVPN – VPN with the strongest security features and user-friendly app for Mac, easy configuration and great unblocking abilities.
- ExpressVPN – Slick VPN app for MacOS, fastest speeds, and a robust security suite for enhanced online anonymity.
- CyberGhost – User-friendly app for macOS and beginners alike, optimized servers for P2P and streaming, and great privacy features for MacBook.
- Hotspot Shield – Great VPN for MacOS, provides strong security backing for multiple mac devices, offers Catapult Hydra protocol for fast speeds and secure connection.
With macOS being the second most popularly used operating system, and also having strong and stable in-built security backing, this makes choosing the best VPN for it all the more taxing. Not every VPN provider is up-to-par with being suitable for every device.
Keeping that in mind, I tested and put together 5 VPNs that do indeed make a great and reliable app for the Mac devices.
In most cases, the reliability of a VPN’s security and speeds alone just doesn’t cut it, there are many other factors to look into. For a superior operating system like Mac, every user will need a VPN that springs the best performance. And that’s exactly why the 5 mac VPN services mentioned above were picked.
The best VPN for Mac in 2020
The 5 VPN services chosen for Mac on this list not only offer the best security features, speeds, unblocking abilities, and more, but offer VPN clients for multiple Mac devices. You’ll find that they support Mac/MacBook on macOS X versions 10.15 and later (Catalina, Mojave, Sierra, El Capitan, and Yosemite).
And, even if you don’t find it fitting towards your needs, they all come with reliable refund policies and some even have a free trial period! So, without further delay, here are the top 5 best VPN for Mac, starting with:
- Price – $2.21/mo.
- Servers – 1700+ servers in 63 countries
- Multi-logins – unlimited devices
- Kill Switch, NoBorders, AES 256-bit encryption, GPS Spoofing
- Surfshark unblocks – Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ESPN, Disney Plus
- Supports Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Firestick, Linux, Apple TV, Xbox and others
- Free trial – 7-days
- Refund – 30-days
- Website – Surfshark.com
Surfshark is not only one of the best VPN services in the industry, but makes a great VPN client for Mac. To add to the already staunch security in the Mac operating system, it has a strict no-logs policy, a safe jurisdiction and a heavy security suite to offer. The provider is located in the British Virgin Islands.
What makes Surfshark one of the best VPNs for Mac, is that it supports macOS versions 10.12 or later. The macOS app is very simple to install, and is user-friendly to use, offering the best AES 256-bit military-grade encryption on it. For faster and secure connections, you’ll be able to connect to the OpenVPN UDP/TCP protocol, as well as IKEv2. The MacOS client even has a Kill Switch feature.
Furthermore along with a Mac support, Surfshark offers apps for numerous other platforms some of which include Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, browser extensions, Nvidia Shield TV, FireStick, and a lot more.
For a look into the other MacOS features or of the overall VPN app, here’s a Surfshark review for reference.
Now, just in case you aren’t satisfied with the app or just looking for a small test drive, Surfshark offers a 30-day refund policy. It also offers a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS, just to give you a feel of the app.
- Price – $3.71/mo.
- Servers – 5000+ servers in 59 countries
- Multi-logins – 6 devices
- NordVPN unblocks – Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ESPN, Disney Plus
- SmartPlay Technology, Obfuscated servers, CyberSec, Kill Switch, Double VPN servers
- Supports Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Firestick, Linux, Apple TV, Xbox and more.
- Free trial – 7-days
- Refund – 30-days
- Website – NordVPN.com
NordVPN originates from Panama, which basically marks as a safe jurisdiction. Along with this, it holds strong grounds on preserving the privacy and anonymity of its users. This makes things easier for MacOS users to maintain double the anonymity online. For a full transparency report, you should check the NordVPN no-logs policy, proving that this provider keeps its user’s data private and safe.
What makes NordVPN part of this list, is that it offers the best VPN app for Mac. It offers a slick app for macOS, supporting versions (macOS Sierra 10.12 or later and Yosemite 10.10 or later).
The macOS app offers great security specs like 256-bit AES encryption, OpenVPN/IKEv2 protocol for faster and secure connections and others. It also includes an automatic Kill Switch, a CyberSec feature, and more that you can look into, in my NordVPN review.
Other than macOS, NordVPN offers apps for Windows, Firestick, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and browser extensions. This provider allows up to 6 multi-device connections, which means you can secure multiple other devices to the VPN along with your MacBook for extra protection.
However, if you’re still a little double-minded about investing, you should go for its 30-day refund policy, giving you ample time to test out its premium features. If you’re not happy with the service, simply ask for a refund and cancel your account.
Where retrieving the app is concerned, there are two clients for it. You can either head over to the Apple App Store with support towards IKEv2 protocol on version Sierra 10.12.
The other option is the OpenVPN version (better security) on the website itself, which has added perks of obfuscated and dedicated servers. The OpenVPN version also supports Double VPN.
- Price – $6.67/mo.
- Servers – 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- Multi-logins – 5 devices
- ExpressVPN unblocks – Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO GO, ESPN, Disney Plus
- Fastest Speeds
- MediaStreamer technologies, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, Kill Switch, Split-Tunneling
- Supports Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Firestick, Linux, Apple TV, Android TV and others
- Free trial – 7-days
- Refund – 30-days
- Website – ExpressVPN.com
Just like Surfshark, ExpressVPN too hails from a privacy-friendly jurisdiction called the British Virgin Islands. Keeping your anonymity in light and offering a strict no-data retention policy will never be a problem with ExpressVPN. This is just one of the reasons why ExpressVPN makes one of the best VPNs for Mac.
It offers a slick and user-friendly app for macOS users, which you’ll find no issue where navigation is concerned. To specify it a little further, it works with (MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, Mac mini) on versions (macOS Catalina 10.15, macOS Mojave 10.14, macOS High Sierra 10.13, macOS Sierra 10.12, macOS El Capitan 10.11, and macOS Yosemite 10.10).
On the Mac VPN client, you’ll find military-grade 256-bit AES encryption on the OpenVPN protocol, and a functional Kill Switch to maintain your anonymity. It also offers DNS/ IPv6 leak protection, and a Split-tunneling feature. Another great in-built feature added to it is called Speed Test. This lets you test out which servers are the fastest for you according to your location.
Other than macOS, it also supports other platforms and operating systems, allowing up to 5 multi-device simultaneous connections. You’ll find all the extended details in my ExpressVPN review.
You can test out the ExpressVPN premium features for 30-days, and ask them for a refund and account cancellation if you’re not happy with the services. To proceed to its download button, head over to the ExpressVPN website.
- Price – $2.25/mo.
- Servers – 6000+ servers in 90 countries
- Multi-logins – 7 devices
- CyberGhost unblocks – Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO GO, Disney Plus
- Kill Switch, DNS / IPv6 leak protection, AES 256-bit encryption,
- Supported devices – Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Firestick, Linux, Apple TV, Android TV
- Free trial – 12-hours/7-days
- Refund – 45-days
- Website – CyberGhost.com
CyberGhost is known in the industry as another top contender VPN that holds some of the best, or rather more reliable privacy policies. It’s located in Romania, a privacy-friendly region, away from the 14-eyes alliance. This is just a fraction of what makes it the best VPN for MacBook Pro or other Mac devices.
CyberGhost offers a user-friendly app and an easy installation / set up for macOS. You’ll be happy to know that it supports mac devices (MacBook/MacBook Air/MacBook Pro, iMac/iMac Pro, and Mac Pro/ Mac mini) with versions (macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS High Sierra (10.13), and macOS Sierra (10.12).
Again, to choose a VPN for Mac, it has to have security features that match up to the in-built security level of macOS. It runs on AES 256-bit encryption using OpenVPN/IKEv2 protocol. The support chat reassured me that CyberGhost does support OpenVPN on macOS clients, which you can even use to perform a manual configuration. It also has a functional Kill Switch, which is another important thing to look for. Along with that, it uses DNS and IPv6 leak protection and has an AdBlocker, and an Automated HTTPS Redirect.
Along with a MacOS support, it allows you to make 7 multi-device connections, which is perfect since it supports a wide platform of devices and apps, some of which include, Android, iOS, Windows, Android TV, and Fire TV/Firestick.
For more details on this provider, you can take a look at my CyberGhost review.
For those who’d like to test out the app’s premium features, CyberGhost has a free trial for macOS and Windows users. If a bigger testing period is what you’re looking for, it also provides a 45-day refund policy.
For those who aren’t all that familiar with Hotspot Shield, let me just tell you that if great security and fast streaming is what you’re looking for, this VPN will make a great client for your MacBook device.
It supports macOS 10.12 or later, with a 64-bit processor, however, compared to the other providers on this list, it’s more for simpler usage. Another thing about Hotspot Shield is its security features for the Mac client. It runs on AES 256-bit encryption and offers a super-fast Patented Hydra protocol, DNS and IP leak protection and an active Kill Switch.
Besides mac, it also supports multiple other devices and apps for Windows, Android, and Linux, iOS, and a lot more. Hotspot Shield doesn’t have a free trial period but does offer a 45-day money-back guarantee for anyone willing to test out its premium features.
What are the best MacOS VPN services according to Reddit users?
After going through several poles from various Reddit pages, the top 2 VPN clients for MacOS that are considered the best according to Reddit users are:
How do you set up the best VPN for Mac?
It doesn’t take much to get started and if you go through these steps thoroughly, you’ll be good to go. So to set your VPN up with your Mac device, all you have to do is:
- Choose any one of the Mac supported VPN services from the list. I’ve recommended 5 (Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Hotspot Shield) that were tried and tested.
- Sign in and log on to your VPN account and then proceed to download the macOS app.
- Once downloaded, open the app on your device and sign in to your account.
- Then just connect to any one of the servers of the location you require and start surfing!
How do you connect to the VPN manually on your Mac?
Before getting started with the VPN connection, you’ll have to configure the settings to set the network preferences. To configure the VPN settings manually on your Mac, all you have to do is:
- Go to the Apple menu and click on System Preferences. Then click on Network.
- You’ll see an add button with a + sign on the menu. Click on it and select VPN.
- Then select VPN Type, followed by choosing the kind of VPN connection (OpenVPN/IPSec/IKEv2) you want. Name the VPN service and hit the create button.
- You’ll be asked to provide the server IP address you chose and the account credentials.
- Then go to Authentication Settings and type in the information provided by the network administrator.
- If there is any additional information to be dealt with, click on Advanced to enter it.
- Lastly, click on Apply, and then OK.
How to choose a Mac VPN?
How do you think the best VPN apps for Mac were chosen for this list? I’ll tell you one thing, sometimes I look for VPNs according to public votes or even look for links on other platforms like Quora or Reddit. But, again, to get the best VPN for Mac, I had to not only test them out according to speed and DNS leaks but also looked for other attributes. These are:
A VPN mac relies on a network of servers around the world to give users the best experience. Each geographic opportunity presents a new region for the user to access content from. The larger the number of locations, the more content you can access.
The number of servers per region ensures that service will not slow down in the event of high traffic. The best VPN for Mac would have you covered on those two fronts.
AES 256-bit Encryption
Security is one of the key reasons why we use a VPN for Mac in the first place. To choose the best for Mac, look for the highest-grade encryption to protect data from intrusions and theft. Encryption is a way of scrambling data so that only the sender and receiver can understand the jargon, using a special key.
The best VPN for Mac features the highly-trusted AES 256-bit encryption protocol that is used even in the military.
The best VPN for Mac or the best VPN should always offer maximum protection for its users. For this reason, I chose the top 5 providers based on offering unlimited device connections with just one subscription. This opens up the possibility of using a VPN for your Mac and connect to another device or operating system at the same time.
Simultaneous connections add value to the already compelling feature set.
Not everyone can afford the additional charges of a VPN and sometimes might get tricked into buying the wrong kind just because a website portrayed it well. All the VPN providers for Mac on this list are some of the most affordable VPNs that come with premium features.
In an era when high-resolution video-streams have become a norm, and many are streaming videos in 4K Ultra HD, this feature is a need instead of a want. The best VPN for Mac allows you to watch countless hours of entertainment without ever worrying about hitting the data cap.
P2P Optimized Servers
Torrenting is a popular activity but it’s blocked in many countries due to copyright issues and well mostly because it’s illegal altogether, in most countries. The DMCA actively works with ISPs to identify users involved in copyright violations.
The best VPN client for Mac is the ultimate solution to get past these restrictions and prevent your ISP from detecting your activities, or even your location if ever caught.
All the 5 VPNs for Mac mentioned on my list, have P2P optimized servers, allowing you to download torrents at high speeds.
Using a VPN app for Mac helps you stay anonymous and secure by masking your identity via a private IP address. Sometimes interruptions in the internet connection can temporarily suspend a VPNs protection allowing ISPs to detect your actual identity. To prevent that from happening, choose the best VPN for Mac with a featured Kill Switch. It automatically kills your internet connection if there’s ever an interruption.
Compatibility with more devices and apps
When I selected my list for the best VPN for MacBook Pro or other MacOS devices, I also looked to see if they were compatible with more devices. A VPN should cover all possibilities if ever driven to achieve the best outcomes and for that, compatibility towards multiple platforms is the way to go.
No Log Policy
A zero log policy is an important feature to look for in a VPN. Internet traffic flows through the VPN server instead of the ISP when connected. While the ISP cannot track or record user activities, a Mac OS VPN potentially can. This is exactly why you must always look for a zero log policy in the VPN service.
The best VPNs for Mac mentioned all abide by the same policy. It does not peek into user activity or record them. Free VPNs are a concern in this regard because they sell user data to keep the servers running.
Malware Protection and Ab Blocker
The best VPN for Mac protects you from malware threats lurking in the corners of the internet. Additionally, AdBlocker helps by filtering annoying popups that infiltrate with your internet experiences. So, to choose the best VPN software for Mac, always look for features like these and test them out with the free trials provided.
This VPN for Mac features multiple protocols to choose from even though OpenVPN is the first priority to look for. The popular VPN protocols included are PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. You can even set up manually on OpenVPN.
24/7 customer support
To choose a good VPN for Mac isn’t the only hurdle you’ll face. You’re bound to need some help setting up at some point. For that, always go for Mac VPNs that provide a good support system. They should be prompt and quick to help with answering your questions.
There are so many VPNs that you can choose from, for great quality service. However, not every VPN provider makes the best VPN for Mac. You have to be able to choose one based on the devices it supports, the speeds it renders, and mainly the security backing it comes with.
All the VPNs mentioned on my list (Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Hotspot Shield), have been tried and tested, before being listed. It not only makes a great app for the macOS client but multiple other devices as well. And the best part is that they all come with trial periods or reliable refund policy for you to test out!
Before you settle for one of these Mac VPN’s, make sure to check out this deals page for bigger discounts on VPN services!