Best VPN for Mac—Top macOS VPNs for Speed, Security, and Privacy

BY Stephen Gicharu

Published 31 May 2024

Best Antivirus for Mac

Looking to browse the web securely or access region-restricted apps on your Mac? Then, you need a virtual private network (VPN).

A VPN directs your Mac’s internet activity through a protected pathway, protecting your information from unwanted viewers. It also fools websites and apps into believing you’re in a different place by hiding your actual location.

In this guide, we’ll review the best VPNs for Mac that ensure your online privacy and security.

Let’s get started!

Best VPN for Mac

  1. NordVPN: Best for Video Streaming
  2. Surf shark: Best Budget Pick
  3. Hidden 24: Best for Torrenting
  4. Ivacy VPN: Best Unlimited Device Support
  5. ClearVPN: Best Customer Support
  6. PotatoVPN: Best for Gaming
  7. MullVad: Best for Privacy

Best VPN for Mac to Improve Your Online Privacy

If you want to keep your web browsing private on your Mac, here are some top VPN options you can try.

1. NordVPN — Best for Video Streaming


  • Strict no-logs policy to ensure maximum privacy
  • Over 5,000 servers in 59 countries for seamless video streaming
  • AES-256 encryption for robust security
  • Supports up to 6 devices simultaneously
  • 30-day money-back guarantee for risk-free trial


  • Limited customer support availability
  • Slow speeds on some servers

NordVPN is a VPN service known for its strong online security and privacy features. They have a strict no-logs policy, meaning they don’t keep track of your online activities.

NordVPN has a large network of over 5,000 servers in 59 countries, ensuring fast and reliable connections for streaming videos without interruptions.

It also allows you to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously, which is great for families or people with multiple devices. Their security features include AES-256 encryption, which is very secure and protects your data from cyber threats.

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free and enjoy a safer online experience.

Pricing Plans

NordVPN offers three pricing plans:

Ultimate Plan

  • 2-year plan: $5.99/month + 3 EXTRA months ($626.13 for the first 2 years, VAT may apply)
  • 1-year plan: $7.49/month + 3 EXTRA months ($347.85 for the first year, VAT may apply)
  • Monthly plan: Not available for this plan

Plus Plan

  • 2-year plan: $3.99/month + 3 EXTRA months ($375.03 for the first 2 years, VAT may apply)
  • 1-year plan: Not available for this plan
  • Monthly plan: Not available for this plan

Basic Plan

  • 2-year plan: $3.09/month + 3 EXTRA months ($223.83 for the first 2 years, VAT may apply)
  • 1-year plan: Not available for this plan
  • Monthly plan: Not available for this plan


  • Server locations: 59 countries
  • Number of servers: Over 5,000
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP
  • Simultaneous connections: Up to 6 devices

>>Sign Up for a Quick Background Report On Nord VPN

2. Surfshark — Best Budget Pick




  • Unlimited device connections
  • Strong encryption and leak protection
  • Fast speeds and reliable connections
  • Ad-blocker and tracker blocker
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


  • Limited server locations compared to competitors
  • Customer support can be slow to respond

Surfshark is a popular VPN provider known for its strong and affordable service. You can safeguard all your devices, including your Mac, with one subscription as it allows unlimited device connections.

Surfshark uses AES-256 encryption and has a strict no-logs policy to keep your online activities private. A standout feature of Surfshark is its ad-blocker and tracker blocker, which prevents annoying ads and trackers from compromising your online privacy.

Moreover, Surfshark offers impressive speeds, making it ideal for streaming and online gaming.

Pricing Plans

Surfshark offers monthly, yearly, and 2-year pricing plans:

  • 1-month plan: starts at $15.45/ month
  • 12-month plan: Starts at $2.79/ month and save 82% paid annually
  • 24-month plan: Starts at $2.19/ Month + 3 extra months

All the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


  • Server locations: 63 countries, 3200+ servers
  • Encryption: AES-256
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • Device support: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

>>Sign Up for a Quick Background Report On Surfshark

3. Hidden24 — Best for Torrenting


  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Supports P2P file sharing
  • Unlimited bandwidth and speed
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


  • Limited server locations
  • No free trial available

Hidden24 is a VPN service designed for Mac users, prioritizing privacy with a strict no-logs policy. It supports P2P file sharing, has unlimited bandwidth and speed, and offers over 200 servers in 20 countries for global coverage. It has a user-friendly interface for easy navigation and security customization.

Pricing Plans

Hidden24 offers monthly, quarterly, and yearly plans priced at $5.99, $5.49, and $4.99 respectively. Though these rates are below the industry average, some may find them slightly high considering the limited features.

However, others may appreciate the transparent pricing and potential savings with longer commitments.


  • Encryption: AES-256-CBC
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
  • Server locations: 20 countries
  • Device support: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows

>>Sign Up for a Quick Background Report On Hidden24 

4. Ivacy VPN — Best Unlimited Device Support


  • Unlimited device support for maximum flexibility
  • 450+ servers in 100+ locations for global access
  • 256-bit encryption
  • P2P file sharing and torrenting allowed
  • 24/7 customer support for assistance


  • Limited server customization options
  • No free trial available

Ivacy VPN is a strong and full-featured VPN that offers top-notch online protection for Mac users. You can connect an unlimited number of devices, which is great for families or people with multiple devices.

With over 450 servers in 100 locations worldwide, you can access content from anywhere without worrying about geo-blocks.

Ivacy’s security is solid, using 256-bit encryption to keep your data private. It also supports P2P file sharing and torrenting, perfect for those who transfer large files. Plus, their customer support team is available 24/7 to help with any problems or questions you may have.

Pricing Plans

Ivacy VPN has cheap long-term plans. You pay $29.99 for a year or only $42 for two years. These prices are way lower than what other companies charge. So, if you’re okay with committing for a while, you’ll save a lot of money. This could attract a bunch of new customers to Ivacy.


  • Encryption: 256-bit
  • Server locations: 100+ Locations
  • Number of servers: 450+
  • Device support: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows
  • Customer support: 24/7

>>Sign Up for a Quick Background Report On Ivacy VPN

5. ClearVPN — Best Customer Support


  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Unblocks popular streaming services
  • Fast speeds and reliable connections
  • No-logs policy
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • 24/7 customer support


  • Limited server locations
  • No free trial or refund policy

Clear VPN is all about simplicity. It’s easy to use, even for beginners. Plus, it lets you watch Netflix and Disney+ from anywhere by bypassing region restrictions.

Your online activities are kept safe with strong encryption. Clear VPN is fast and reliable, it improves your streaming and browsing quality. It also doesn’t keep any logs of your activity.

If you need help, customer support is available 24/7 through live chat or email.

Pricing Plans

The premium version of Clear VPN has two subscription options: monthly or every six months. For $5 a month or $21 every six months, you get access to all the premium features.

This includes unlimited secure browsing on up to unlimited simultaneous connections to 6 devices. You also get built-in shortcuts to make browsing faster, IP masking for more privacy, protection from DDoS attacks, and a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you’re not satisfied.


  • Server Locations: 100+ servers in 50+ countries
  • Encryption: AES-256-CBC
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2
  • Device Support: Unlimited devices
  • Customer Support: 24/7 live chat and email support

>>Sign Up for a Quick Background Report On Clear VPN

 6. PotatoVPN — Best for Gaming


  • Fast speeds ensure smooth gaming.
  • Strong encryption keeps your data safe.
  • Easy-to-use interface for simple navigation.
  • Connect up to 10 devices at once.
  • Get 24/7 support for quick help.


  • Limited server locations (only 20 countries)
  • No free trial or money-back guarantee

PotatoVPN is a hit among gamers and Mac users who care about privacy. It keeps your data safe with strong encryption. You can surf anonymously, access restricted content, and enjoy fast speeds, perfect for gaming. The easy-to-use interface lets you customize your VPN experience.

For Mac gamers, PotatoVPN is great. It has low latency and speedy servers for uninterrupted gaming. Plus, its strong encryption keeps your data safe from cyber threats.

Pricing Plans

Potato VPN has two pricing options to fit your needs. You can start with the Limited Free Plan for basic access at no cost. If you want more features, go for the Premium Plan.

It’s $11.99 a month or $71.99 a year, which is just $5.99 a month when billed annually—saving you over $30 compared to monthly payments. Both plans offer a 7-day free trial, so you can try out all the premium features without any risk before deciding.


  • Encryption: AES-256
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2
  • Server locations: 20 countries
  • Simultaneous connections: Up to 10 devices
  • Customer support: 24/7 live chat and email support

>>Sign Up for a Quick Background Report On Potato VPN

7. MullVad — Best for Privacy


  • Strict no-logging policy to ensure user anonymity
  • AES-256 encryption for secure data transmission
  • Access to over 1,000 servers in 30+ countries
  • Supports up to 5 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee


  • Limited customer support options
  • No free trial available

Mullvad VPN is all about privacy and security. They don’t keep any logs of your online activities, so you stay anonymous. Their Mac app is easy to use, and perfect for beginners. 

With strong encryption and secure protocols, your data is always protected. They have a big network with over 700 servers in 36 countries, giving you lots of options.

Plus, their fast connection speeds mean you can stream, browse, and download without any problems. And if you need help, their customer support team is available 24/7.

Pricing Plans

MullVad offers three pricing plans to cater to different user needs:

  • Monthly plan: $5.50/month
  • 6-month plan: $33.00 (billed every 6 months)
  • 12-month plan: $66.00 (billed every 12 months)


  • Encryption: AES-256
  • Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec
  • Server locations: 30+ countries
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Logging policy: Strict no-logging policy

>>Sign Up for a Quick Background Report On MullVad

What Are VPNs?

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is like a secret tunnel that makes your device appear as if it’s somewhere else by encrypting and rerouting your internet connection through a private server. This way, your online activities remain private and secure, even when you’re using public WiFi networks.

It hides your real location by giving you a new IP address, protecting you from hackers and even your internet service provider. People and businesses use VPNs to keep their information safe, especially when accessing private networks from afar or using public WiFi.

They’re also great for bypassing website blocks in different countries and safeguarding against online threats like viruses and scams.

How VPNs Work

VPNs operate through a few core technologies and functions:

Encryption and Tunneling

All internet traffic going through a VPN is scrambled using strong encryption methods like AES-256. This makes it incredibly hard for anyone outside to snoop or mess with your connection. It’s like creating a secure “tunnel” between your device and the VPN server, hiding your real IP address and online activities.

IP Masking

When you’re connected to a VPN, your Mac gets a new IP address within the VPN provider’s network instead of your usual one from your internet provider. This makes it seem like you’re browsing from wherever the VPN server is, not your actual location.

VPN Protocols

VPNs use different encryption protocols, like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec, each offering different levels of security. Stronger ones like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec use military-grade encryption for better privacy. Weaker protocols might not be as secure.

VPN Servers and Locations

Top VPN services have servers worldwide in various countries. When you connect, you can pick which server location to use. This lets you browse the internet as if you’re in that country, unlocking content restricted in your area.

Connection Process: Once you’ve set up the VPN app on your Mac, connecting is easy. Just click the app icon, and your Mac will create a secure connection to private internet access to the chosen VPN server. All your online traffic goes through this server before reaching the internet, keeping your IP address and location hidden.

Why Use a VPN on Your Mac?

There are several compelling benefits of using a VPN on your Mac:

  • Enhanced Security and Privacy: VPNs encrypt all your internet traffic, protecting your online activities from cybercriminals, hackers, and even your Mac IP. This ensures your personal information stays safe.
  • Safe Browsing on Public Wi-Fi: Using public Wi-Fi networks exposes you to potential risks, but a VPN encrypts your connection, keeping your data secure from prying eyes.
  • Bypassing Geo-Restrictions: VPNs allow you to access location-restricted content and websites by connecting through servers in different countries/regions. This lets you enjoy global apps, sites, and services without restrictions.
  • Anonymity and Data Protection: By hiding your true IP address and online identity, VPNs prevent websites, advertisers, and others from tracking your physical location or building profiles about you for data mining or sale.
  • Preventing Bandwidth Throttling: Some mobile carriers slow down your internet speed after reaching certain data limits. Using a VPN can potentially disguise your data usage, preventing throttling by routing your traffic through external servers.

Key Features to Look for in a VPN for Mac

When selecting a VPN for a Mac, there are several key features to consider to ensure you get the best performance, security, and usability. Here are the most important features to look for:

Security and Privacy Features

Look for strong encryption like OpenVPN or IKEv2, no-logs policies, kill switches to stop data leaks, and extra privacy features like multi-hop connections.

Speed and Performance

Make sure the VPN is fast enough for streaming and gaming. Check real-world speeds from reviews and other users.

Compatibility with macOS

The VPN should work well on Mac and iOS devices, let you use multiple devices at once, and have a free version of easy-to-use iOS apps.

Ease of Use and User Interface

Choose VPNs with simple, user-friendly apps, easy server selection, and quick access to support if needed. Logging in should be easy too.

Customer Support

Good VPN providers offer 24/7 support through FAQs, tickets, live chat, or email to help with any problems quickly.

How to Install and Set Up a VPN on Your Mac

To start safely browsing online via a VPN on your Mac, follow these basic steps:

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

  1. Choose and purchase a VPN subscription from a reputed provider. Most offer 30-day money-back guarantees.
  2. Download the VPN app from the App Store.
  3. Open the app and sign up with your account details from purchase.
  4. Select your desired server location and tap “Connect”.
  5. You’re now securely connected and ready to use the internet anonymously!

Disadvantages of Using VPNs for Mac

While VPNs deliver strong privacy benefits, there are some downsides to consider:

Potential Speed Reduction

Encrypting traffic can marginally increase latency and cause VPN connection drops by up to 50% depending on your distance from the server and ISP speeds. Fast VPNs minimize this impact.

Compatibility Issues

Occasionally, connectivity drops might occur due to rare VPN protocols or configuration mismatches. This might necessitate adjusting settings or reinstalling the app. Make sure the VPN is compatible and optimized for Mac usage.

Cost Considerations

Some VPNs provide generous free plans, but unlimited premium services usually range from $6 to $12 per month, often less than annual plans. It’s essential to assess whether the benefits outweigh the subscription fees.

Legal and Compliance Issues

Certain content providers strictly prohibit the use of VPNs according to their terms of service, particularly for accessing geographically restricted content.

It’s important to note that streaming sports or accessing subscription content from outside designated regions might be illegal, contingent upon the copyright laws in each jurisdiction.

Best VPN for Mac FAQ’s

Let’s address some common questions you may have about the best VPN for Mac:

What Is the Best VPN to Use on a Mac?

ExpressVPN is often considered one of the top VPN choices for Mac. It provides fast speeds, a vast global server network, strong encryption, and user-friendly apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Plus, it offers reliable 24/7 live chat support.

Is VPN a Good Idea for Mac?

Yes, using a VPN is highly recommended for Mac users. It encrypts all internet traffic and hides your real IP address, enhancing security, especially on public WiFi networks. It also enables anonymous browsing and access to region-blocked content, while protecting against hackers and data theft.

Does Mac Have a Built-in VPN?

No, Mac devices don’t come with a built-in VPN. However, top VPN providers offer a free version of custom Mac apps for easy download and usage, ensuring encryption of your internet connection and enhancing online privacy and freedom.

What Is the Fastest VPN for Mac?

ExpressVPN and NordVPN are known for their fast speeds on Mac. They maintain large server networks optimized for low latency, providing near full-speed performance even for HD streaming and large file downloads.

Do VPNs Slow Down Your Mac?

A quality VPN shouldn’t significantly slow down your Mac’s internet speeds. While some free VPNs may be slower due to limited server resources, premium providers like ExpressVPN optimize their apps and infrastructure to minimize any speed drops.

Final Thoughts Best VPN for Mac

For Mac users, NordVPN, Surfshark, and Hidden24 are excellent choices offering strong performance and security features. These top picks provide fast speeds, protect against leaks, and keep your online activities private.

Whether you want to access blocked content, have private internet access, stay safe on public WiFi, or avoid being tracked by advertisers, these VPNs can meet your needs.

Remember, the best Mac VPN is the one you’ll use. Consider your budget and preferences when choosing. Keep in mind that while a VPN improves security and privacy, it can’t fix weak passwords or click on suspicious links, always be careful when browsing.