Last Updated: March 2017
Summary: Although the humble Apple Mac is known to be more secure than their windows counterparts, there are still two very good reasons to use a VPN. The first is that even if hackers can’t break into your computer (and you’re niave if you think you’re completely protected by using a Mac), they can easily intercept your online communications and steal your personal information. The second is that a VPN allows you to bypass location-specific restrictions for accessing content around the world, such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
Our extensive research into, and testing of 116 VPN’s available for Mac, we’ve found that Express VPN is the best choice for protecting your personal information and accessing location-specific content. It has the best combination of elite-level encryption, personal privacy, servers located all around the world, and customer support for the price.
3 Best VPN’s For Mac
Why Do You Need A VPN for Your Mac?
When the word VPN comes up in conversation, many of people automatically assume that they’re only used for illegal and nefarious activities. This isn’t actually the case, though, as there are a broad range of legitimate reasons to use a Virtual Private Network.
One of the biggest reasons to use a VPN is to access streaming services that may not be available in the country you’re currently in while you’re traveling, for instance. This is the main reason I needed a VPN for my MacBook.
I paid subscriptions to streaming services to watch my favorite TV shows and movies, but when I traveled, I would end up locked out of my account or forced to watch location specific shows.
I also found myself using public WiFi networks quite a bit, which left me worried about the security of the information I was sending and receiving, and whether or not hackers were going to intercept the data.
While MacBooks are known for being less prone to getting viruses and malware than other operating systems, it’s still relatively easy for hackers to gain access to the machines using other methods.
Hacking into your internet connection and intercepting the data is just one of the methods that hackers and other criminals use to steal your credit cards, passwords, banking accounts and other sensitive information.
When you are using a public WiFi network, your risk of having this sensitive data intercepted is substantially higher than if you are using a private, more secure connection, which usually isn’t available while you’re traveling.
Using a VPN service will help you make sure that your computer is protected since it’s a lot harder for someone to hack into your computer while you’re connected to a private network.
Most VPN services will also encrypt your data, so even if a hacker did gain access to your connection, decrypting the data requires too much time, so most will move on to an easier target.
VPN Software Testing Methodology
Testing VPNs is fairly simple. While testing them out, we look at a wide range of criteria.
To get started, we built a list of every provider that claimed they provided dependable service and helped with geo-location restrictions, while also maintaining a high level of security. This left me with a total of nine different providers.
Using the six criteria below and through methodical testing of each service on my list, we narrowed the list of nine original providers down to three reputable services that are worthy of consideration.
How I Judged Their Performance
Criteria #1: Number of Consecutive Connections
If you plan on connecting to your VPN with more than one device, you’re going to need a service that allows multiple consecutive connections. We made sure our top recommendations allow you to connect with enough devices, so you don’t get hit with extra fees.
Criteria #2: Offer a Money-back Guarantee
When a company offers a money back guarantee, you can feel fairly confident that the level of service they’re going to provide you with is solid.
The second criteria we used to determine whether a service is worthy of a recommendation was whether or not they offered a money-back guarantee, how long the guarantee lasts once you become a member, and if they offer money-back for both technical problems and issues with customer service.
Criteria #3: Do They Log Data?
In most cases, your internet service provider will record the data that is sent and received from your connection. Some VPN providers have made this a part of their process too.
While determining if a VPN service was worthy of our recommendation, we also looked at whether or not they are logging the data from your connection.
If you’re looking to secure your connection, the last thing you want is someone having a log of what you’re doing online that could potentially be turned over to the government if they submit a request for information.
To avoid finding yourself in this situation, the VPNs that we recommend do not log your data, so you know that choosing one of the three we’ve provided for you will give you a genuinely secure connection.
Criteria #4: How Much Bandwidth Is Available?
Bandwidth refers to how much data you can transfer each month. If there’s a limit on how much bandwidth you can use, you’ll end up getting charged outrageous fees halfway through the month because you’ve gone over your data usage/bandwidth limit.
When it came to choosing the best VPNs for MacBook users, we looked at the total amount of bandwidth available, with providers that offer unlimited bandwidth scoring higher on the list.
This means you’ll never have to worry about excessive fees if you spend a lot of time on websites such as YouTube and Netflix that are bandwidth intensive.
Criteria #5: How Is Their Customer Support?
There may be times, even when using high-end VPN providers, that you need help, either with technical problems you’re having or potential billing issues.
That’s why the fifth criteria we looked at was the level of customer support that’s available through the providers that made their way onto the list. We rated every provider we tested on their response time to customer support inquiries.
Criteria #6: How Fast Is the Connection?
Connection speed is crucial because some VPN providers will give you ample bandwidth but limit the speed you can transfer data to a crawl. A slow connection will leave you frustrated.
While looking through the list of nine different providers, we checked each service’s ping times, download speed, and upload speed, and then made a judgment based on each.
Best VPNs for Apple Mac Computers
I absolutely love using Express VPN. It works extremely well on my Mac. Not all VPN’s are suited for complying with Apple’s operating system however, Express VPN is and I am so glad that I came across it.
Express VPN can be used across a variety of platforms including Mac’s and it will encrypt your data and help to make your presence online much more secure. It also features a 24/7 all year round customer support team. Understandably they are proud of their average response time, which is under 30 minutes! I found them most helpful whenever I had to use them.
Their encryption and customer service are not the end of this VPN’s great benefits either. Express VPN has nearly 100 VPN locations in 78 countries, with more being added all the time.
Express VPN gives its millions of users unlimited bandwidth, unlimited speeds, zero logging of your Internet activity and their reliability is an impressive 99.9% uptime rate. You will certainly love their speeds and with an uptime of nearly 100%, you won’t lose your connection.
Express VPN is a great VPN service and it works on Mac’s platform. It has a ton of great features, including being very easy to use. It really is a case of downloading and installing the software and then following the simple instructions. No need to be intimidated, you’ll be up and running on Express VPN in a matter of moments.
A good VPN should have servers in many countries around the world. Hide My Ass (HMA) has servers in 128 countries all over the globe and can assign you an IP address from any of these.
HMA works seamlessly on a MAC, you simply choose the Mac option and download. Although you don’t need a degree in computers to install HMA.
HMA also offers around-the-clock customer support.
Finally, we have ibVPN which is another VPN that works well with Mac. It actually comes with good iOS support and also an impressive setup guide, however, I would only use these guys if the other two choices weren’t available.
One thing that really lets them down is the speed. ibVPN is actually quite slow and you will notice the difference between it. It also has a limited pool of servers and IP addresses to choose from. Don’t get me wrong, it does offer you another choice, however, it certainly doesn’t offer as much as my other two choices.
ibVPN is a Mac-friendly VPN service that will let you use a VPN on your Apple Mac, but it does have its shortcomings. That being said, with its handy setup guide and good customer support (they had a good knowledge of how to fix the VPN if it encounters any errors) they are a decent VPN service if you use an Apple computer.
Using a VPN is highly recommended these days if you use the internet on a regular basis.
For years I went without using one and I encountered a whole host of problems, from having my laptop infiltrated while using public Wi-Fi to not being able to access geo-restricted content on my Mac when I left the country. However, with a VPN like Express VPN all these problems are eradicated and I am now able to not only surf securely but also access all the same services that I usually can at home.