Best Mac VPN for 2020 (top 10 picks that are fast and secure)

Last updated by   Douglas Mabiria
Disclosure
0 Comments
Best Mac VPN for 2020 (top 10 picks that are fast and secure)
(Unsplash)

There are a plethora of Virtual Private Networks that can suit your Mac; however, the problem is choosing the right one. Given that all of them claim to be the best, the process of selecting the “very best” can be overwhelming.

Some of them may leak your IP address, thus compromising your privacy; others may not work with your favorite content or even streaming services.

Also, some are very slow that you may even want to turn them off. This article will make your work easier by presenting the best Mac VPNs (based on numerous tests and extensive reviews) for you to choose from in 2020.

Why you should use a VPN on Mac

Your private life has to be kept private. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, especially in this new decade where it’s now a world where everyone is spying on someone else. Fortunately, VPNs can help you keep your online activities private.

When compared with the PCs, macOS could be considered reasonably secure; however, that doesn’t mean that as a Mac owner, you sit and relax. There’re several reasons why you should employ a VPN.

First, you have to improve your online privacy. The security, as well as privacy of your Mac, extends only to data stored in the MacBook; however, when passed over the internet, you’re not guaranteed of security or privacy.

If a hacker can access that information, it can be used in various ways against you that you’ll definitely not like.

Also, VPNs are important to access geo-locked content. A good example is when accessing the content on Netflix. Some videos or TV shows are banned in some countries, and to access such content, you only need the best and working Mac VPN.

Another significant reason for Mac owners to use a VPN is the fact that now with the rising popularity of Apple’s products, there are high risks as a result of “zero-day” vulnerability. VPNs help add an important layer of protection against such zero-day vulnerabilities.

How to pick the best VPN for Mac

As noted earlier in the article, there’re several VPNs currently on the market and all claim to be the best.

Therefore, choosing the best won’t be a walk in the park. However, to ensure that you pick the best VPN for your Mac, here is what you should consider:

Privacy/security protocols

The first thing to look out for in any VPN is whether its security protocols are strong or not. As it’s the case, most will claim to have high-end security protocols, but upon testing, they can’t justify those claims.

Therefore, always look for a VPN provider offering military-grade encryption alongside boasting a no-logs policy.

Device compatibility

Remember that not every VPN  supports multiple platforms, however, having one that works with a plethora of devices, as well as platforms, is an added advantage as it will allow you to protect yourself while using any of your devices.

Speed

Perhaps, you may need a VPN to access the geo-restricted content and then stream your best shows. But imagine using a VPN that doesn’t have high-speed servers.

It could be an awful experience, right? Therefore, ensure that you get a VPN provider that has servers with excellent bandwidth to help you enjoy streaming with minimal lags or even buffering issues.

Top 10 Mac VPNs for 2020

Now that you know why you need a VPN for your Mac and also how you should go about choosing the best Mac VPN, it is time to pick one for you.

Based on my thorough research and tests, here’re the best VPNs for Mac to consider:

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is regarded as the best VPN provider as it offers 256-bit AES encryption protocol alongside other top-notch features.

There’re also apps available for Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and certain Wi-Fi routers (almost all the most widespread ones).

ExpressVPN-Best-VPNs-600x300-1

It has fast speeds as well as an unlimited bandwidth that ensures HD streaming alongside downloading large files quickly. The provider has VPN servers in over 94 countries with more than 1,500 servers.

Also, it keeps no logs and comes with an inbuilt “kill switch,” known as “network lock,” as well as bulletproof DNS and IP leak protection.

ExpressVPN Mac app has a split tunneling feature, which allows you to choose apps to tunnel through the VPN and those to use the normal unencrypted internet connection.

Pros

  • Very fast speeds.
  • Boasts a huge number of servers.
  • Split tunneling.
  • Kill switch.
  • 24/7 customer service.
  • P2P (torrents) friendly.
  • 5 simultaneous connections.
  • Unblocks Netflix.
  • Mobile apps and browser extensions.
  • Privacy tools.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • Bit expensive.

Try #1 Mac VPN ExpressVPN Risk-Free

2. NordVPN

The provider has apps for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. It also unblocks Netflix in browsers as well as Netflix app.

NordVPN-Best-VPNs-600x300-1

It’s secure and straightforward, with over 5,600 servers in over 60 server locations. With NordVPN, you can also enjoy up to 6 device connections.

It has double VPN technology, which ensures that security is first class. Besides, the company doesn’t keep logs of your activity. It also includes advanced features such as a kill switch, and the tech support is available 24/7.

Pros

  • Dedicated Mac app that works seamlessly.
  • Doesn’t comprise speed or security.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • Vast server network.
  • No logs.
  • User-friendly.
  • Works with Netflix.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • Some servers may have variable speeds.

3. SurfShark

The SurfShark VPN is well meant to be beginner-friendly and works with streaming sites such as BBC Player and Netflix. The apps available include Mac, PC, iOS, Linux, and Android.

Besides, it is among the best VPN services to secure Mac and unblocks US Netflix in the browser as well as the Netflix app.

SurfShark-Best-VPNs-600x300-1

SurfShark offers over 800 servers across over 50 countries with unlimited simultaneous connections. There’s also a kill switch, a multi-Hop feature for privacy concerns, and a strict no-logs policy.

Pros

  • Excellent macOS app.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • Fast and secure.
  • All servers unblock Netflix.
  • Kill switch feature.
  • 24/7 live customer service.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • A bit on the expensive side.

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a big name in the VPN world with apps for Mac, iOS, PC, Linux, and Android.

It’s affordable as well as user-friendly with a broad range of pre-configured features suitable for beginners.

CyberGhost-Best-VPNs-600x300-1

It has over 5,700 servers in over 110 server locations. On top of helping you become anonymous online, it uses military-grade encryption to protect against hackers that may try to steal data on the public WI-FI hotspots.

Also, it has an ad-blocker in the application to help speed up the surfing. It guarantees no logs as well as a trigger-happy kill switch for breaches in security.

Moreover, it unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and Hulu. It also offers excellent speeds, top-notch security, and fast live customer support.

Pros

  • Unblocks US Netflix.
  • Fast, constant speeds.
  • No logs.
  • Excellent privacy features.
  • Supports torrents.
  • No 5-year jurisdiction.
  • Kill switch feature.
  • 45-days money-back guarantee.
  • Allows up to 7 simultaneous connections.
  • 24/7 live chat customer service.

Cons

  • Only 24 hours of the free trial.

5. IPVanish

Another brilliantly balanced Mac VPN is the IPVanish. OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP protocols are supported. Besides, it includes decent iOS, PC, Linux, Windows, and Android apps.

IPVanish Best VPNs 600x300

It caters to beginners as well as families with over 1,300 servers across more than 75 countries. Moreover, it allows you to connect through over 10 various devices at a go with a similar account.

The speeds are fast as well as connections are reliable, thanks to the fact that it boasts 256-bit AES encryption.

A kill switch, DNS leak protection, traffic obfuscation, and IPv6 leak protection all can be easily toggled in settings.

Furthermore, you can set your IP address that it can change at a given interval. Also, it stores no logs about your activity.

Pros

  • Apps work excellent with MacOS.
  • Multiple simultaneous connections.
  • Kill switch.
  • Mobile apps.
  • Fantastic performance – fast speeds.
  • Netflix unblocking.
  • Split-tunneling function.

Cons

  • Not very easy to use the apps.

6. PrivateVPN

The PrivateVPN has apps available for PC, Android, Mac, iOS, Windows, and Linux.

It also boasts the excellent speed, security, as well as the ability to bypass all geographic restrictions.

PrivateTunnel Best Free VPNs 600x300

The security standards are exactly what you’re looking for or expect from a larger provider that includes 256-bit encryption as well as perfect forward secrecy.

Moreover, it includes a kill switch, as well as a DNS leak protection, and above all, the provider is entirely log less.

Also, it has a basic plan which allows you to connect simultaneous up to 6 devices. Their live chat is active and available on the website 24/7 during business hours.

Pros

  • No logs.
  • The speed is impressive.
  • Unblocks US Netflix.

Cons

  • Live chat not available all the time.
  • Fewer servers compared to other top Mac VPNs.

7. TunnleBear

TunnleBear offers plenty of bear puns, which will keep you entertained. The best thing about this Mac VPN is the fact that it uses pretty hefty security as well as encryption measures.

It’s compatible with Windows, iOS, macOS, and Android.

TunnelBear Best VPNs 600x300

Subsequently, it’s equipped with the Vigilant Bear option, which provides excellent leak protection. It’s basically a kill switch that is activated when a VPN connection is not available.

Also, it features a no-logging policy, meaning that it doesn’t maintain the records of the IP addresses that visit their websites or any DNS queries carried out while connected.

You’ll also get up to 5 simultaneous connections, and it also works with Netflix. There’s also a free version; however, you’ll only be able to get 500MB per month.

Pros

  • Vivid no-logging policy.
  • Limited free plan.
  • User-friendly.
  • Independently audited security.
  • 1000+ servers.
  • Latest VPN protocols as well as encryption.
  • Kill switch feature.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Sluggish speeds at times.
  • No Torrenting/P2P.

8. Windscribe

Windscribe is an excellent addition to the VPN market that builds on well-received features as well as the functionality of the preceding services while offering its unique appeal.

Windscribe VPN Best Free VPNs 600x300

The VPN works on Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and Mac. Besides, it’s one of the best VPN for torrenting alongside Netflix, Hulu, and other online streaming sites.

Beyond the free trial that Windscribe offers, it also has a free version (which is however limited in terms of functionality and bandwidth) for the casual users that aren’t ready to commit to the paid service.

Windscribe also boasts top-notch security, privacy, a crisp UI, and top-of-the-line tutorials. It enables you to connect to a vast network of over 60 countries with excellent speeds.

Installation and setting it up is a breeze, even for beginners. You will be able to connect to unlimited devices simultaneously.

Pros

  • Website notification blocking.
  • Fast streaming speeds.
  • UI with city-level location selection.
  • Time zone spoofing.
  • Effective kill switch.
  • Unblocks Netflix.
  • 10GB free data allowance.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.

Cons

  • Absence of a 24/7 live chat.
  • A limited number of servers.

9. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is a free Mac VPN that’s very easy to use and is compatible with iOS, Windows, browsers, macOS, and Android.

HotSpot Shield Best VPNs 600x300

It includes a dedicated Mac app that uses a unique Catapult Hydra protocol designed to improve connection speeds as well as latency.

You’ll be able to stream for like 30 minutes per day with 500MB of data; however, the free plan may limit you to one server in the United States.

Despite the free version option, it provides similar high-level protection like the paid subscription — thanks to the inbuilt kill switch alongside military-grade encryption.

Moreover, the inbuilt malware protection helps to block suspicious websites, hence protecting you from potential malware infections as well as phishing scams.

Pros

  • Military-grade encryption.
  • 500MB free data each day.
  • Reliable speeds.
  • P2P support.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • Works for Netflix streaming.

Cons

  • Connect speeds drop during peak times.
  • It can not unblock Netflix all the time.

10. Betternet VPN

I recommend to never thought of free VPNs during your VPN considerations, but Betternet does things in a different way while protecting your privacy as well as security than other free VPNs you may have heard.

Betternet VPN

Apart from being a free VPN client, you can also use their Android, iOS, Mac apps, Firefox extension, Windows, as well as a Chrome extension for free.

Betternet is among the very few free VPNs that work with Mac out of the box. It offers 500MB of free data each day, and hence you can browse for almost four hours. Besides, it offers one free server.

The speeds are also reliable, and you can be connected to unlimited devices simultaneously. BetterNet VPN also offers you a free 7-day trial for premium service alongside a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Completely free version on offer.
  • Fast connection speeds.
  • Strict no-logging policy.
  • 256-bit AES encryption.
  • Easy to use.
  • 7-day free premium trial.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • No-kill switch.
  • Slow for Torrenting.
  • Doesn’t work with Netflix.

Why Should I Avoid Free Mac VPNs

Most free VPNs have promised to be the best option, but they should not be on top of your list for consideration because of various reasons.

First, free VPNs slow or merely limit your downloads. Most of them cap data transfers as well as implement bandwidth limits.

Secondly, they usually have poor privacy standards. For instance, free VPNs use outdated encryption or even keep logs on everything you do online.

Furthermore, some will go as far as injecting tracking cookies as well as advertisements into the browser alongside selling personal browsing data to third parties.

Also, you need to avoid free VPNs because they usually carry malware that can infect your MacBook once they are installed. Therefore, it’s recommended that you always stick to those VPN services that are paid for and with excellent reputations.

I’ve Picked My Best Mac OS VPN, How Do I Get Started?

Now that you have all the information you need in selecting your best Mac VPN, how do you start?

The process is just a walk in the park; it’s like installing any application on macOS. Here’s how you’re supposed to start:

  1. Download the VPN application from the provider’s website of your choice, ExpressVPN is our top recommendation.
  2. Install the downloaded file by double-clicking it; ensure that you confirm any prompts appearing.
  3. Now you can launch the VPN app from the applications menu.
  4. You’ll be asked to log in, whereby you enter your credentials (username and password). Additional verification may be needed depending on the provider you choose, but that is all if you selected ExpressVPN.
  5. The next thing is to select a VPN server in a location you wish to access the internet from.
  6. Hit the connect button or simply double click the server.
  7. Sit back, relax, and wait for a connection to establish – that’s it.

Setting the native IKEv2 VPN on a Mac

The inbuilt IKEv2 setting (app-free solution) is another option on macOS that integrates directly with your macOS op as well as a firewall. Compared with OpenVPN, the IKEv2 protocol is secure, reliable as well as less CPU-intensive.

It is an excellent option for users who wish to use VPN on Mac without installing any application as it runs natively on the Mac OS operating system.

To set up the native IKEv2 VPN on your Mac, first, you need to sign up for a VPN service that supports native IKEv2. I will elaborate on the process using Perfect Privacy as I found it to be the finest option for IPSec/IKEv2 setup.

Once you are done with creating an account with Perfect Privacy VPN, here’s how to set it up (works on (El Capitan and later):

  • Get to the IPsec page in the download section of your Perfect Privacy VPN account.
  • Scroll down in the IPsec IKEv2 to the single configuration option.
  • Pick a location and then tap on install directly.
  • Double click on the downloaded file so that the VPN profile gets installed, and then click on “continue” in the new window.
  • Click on install to continue (you will need to enter your macOS login credentials).
  • By now, the VPN profile will be installed.
  • Click on the left arrow symbol at the top right.
  • Get to “Network” and then select the VPN connection you added previously.
  • Now, click on “Authentication Settings” and choose username instead of a Certificate.
  • Enter the account details (your Perfect Privacy username and password) and click OK, and then, Apply to save the changes.
  • Establish a VPN connection by clicking on Connect, and you’re good to go.

Tip: You can install multiple VPN locations profiles by repeating the steps above for any locations you would like to connect to. By doing so, you could switch the VPN country and server easily.

Conclusion

There’s no better way to protect your MacBook than a VPN when browsing the internet.

However, you should remember that most free VPNs can’t be trusted as they may not work as promised or compromise security.

There are several VPNs for Mac that you can choose, but ExpressVPN is arguably the best choice that you can pick and trust.


Featured image via Pixabay.

Share this article

About the author

Douglas Mabiria
Douglas Mabiria

Douglas is a Freelance Writer with 6 years of experience in article and blog writing and has written in almost every industry. He has an excellent understanding of all that is required for every article. Mabiria is an advocate for internet privacy, sustainable development, and a green environment. He is very social and enjoys trying new sports as well as implementing new ideas.

Comments

No comments.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.