Best VPN for Mac 2018

Last updated on June 18, 2018 Views: 1689 Comments: 19

Despite being more secure than the competition, Apple computers and laptops are still susceptible to being hacked. A VPN is a great way to keep your data safe, ensuring prying eyes stay away from your personal data. Most VPN providers have a dedicated Mac client, but some are undoubtedly better than others. We’ve checked out the most popular contenders in the market, and we’ve come up with a concise list for Mac VPNs. While many of the top VPNs on the market are very competitive in terms of features offered and price, we strongly recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for Mac users.

Why Do You Need A VPN for Mac?

First and foremost, using a VPN with your Mac is the best way to keep your personal information secure. Governments, advertisers, and hackers are keen to get their mitts on your data, for a range of reasons that aren’t ideal.

While MacBooks are known for being less likely to getting viruses and malware compared to other operating systems, it’s still relatively easy for hackers to gain access to the machines using various methods. Hacking into your internet connection and intercepting the data is just one of the ways that hackers and other criminals steal your credit card info, passwords, banking accounts and other sensitive information.

Aside from security, VPNs can be used for a range of purposes. You’ll be able to access geo-restricted content, and you could even see an increase in your overall connection speeds.

Whether for communication or entertainment, bypassing restrictions will allow you to surf in peace. We’d strongly recommended using a Mac VPN for accessing sport streams or adult content.

Then there’s the outlay. Macs are infamously expensive, so an additional layer of security will help to protect your expensive metal baby. So if you’re hoping to get the best VPN for your new MacBook Pro, it’s worth taking a look at the ones we’ve listed above.

How Did We Test the VPN Software for Mac Computers

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 the reputable services that are worthy of consideration.

Performance Factors for Mac VPNs

Criteria #1: How Good is Their VPN Client?

Above all, a solid client is the main foundation for a good VPN. You’ll be using it to access their servers, so a simple and sleek design is best. There’s generally parity when it comes to the two main platforms, so it’s down to the VPNs themselves to find a way to stand out from the crowd. The best Mac VPNs usually have great software.

That’s why some focus on security or faster speeds. Others try to do it all, but you can’t beat a specialized service.

Criteria #2: Do They Log Data?

While determining if a VPN service was worth it or not, we checked their data logging policies. (In most cases, your ISP will record all data that is sent and received from your connection. Some VPN providers have also made this a part of their process.)

The last thing you want is a log of what you’ve been up to online. It could potentially be turned over to the government if they submit a request for information, or even sold on.

To avoid any problems, the VPNs that we recommend won’t log your data, so you know that choosing one we’ve provided will give you a genuinely secure connection.

Criteria #3: Bandwidth and Pricing

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 when you exceed 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.

As for pricing, we’ve listed VPNs that will work for a range of different budgets and timescales. We’ve chosen the expensive Mac VPNs that are worth the money, as well as the cheaper ones that won’t let you down.

Criteria #4: How Is Their Customer Support?

Technical problems or potential billing issues are a major worry when you start off with a new service. That’s why we looked at the level of customer support for each of the providers on the list.

We rated every provider we tested on their response time to customer support inquiries.

Criteria #5: How Fast Is the Connection?

Connection speed is always crucial. Some VPN providers will give you ample bandwidth, but limit your actual speeds to a crawl.

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 VPN for Mac 2018

#1 ExpressVPN for Mac

The pick of the bunch is undoubtedly ExpressVPN. It’s intuitive and speedy, with great customer service and tight security. It only takes a few clicks to get their VPN Mac client up and running, and they have servers in 90+ countries around the globe.

Bandwidth is unlimited, and ExpressVPN keeps no logs of user data. You’ll also be able to use P2P software for torrenting.

If you do run into any issues, they have an average response time of roughly 30 minutes. It’s quicker than the competition, although you’re unlikely to find much to complain about. If the server does cut out unexpectedly, ExpressVPN has a kill switch (Network Lock) to ensure that any sensitive apps or websites will automatically close.

The only downside is that it’s slightly pricier than the norm. It’s worth the extra cash, but there are better deals if you’re aiming to pay as little as possible per month. It’s our choice as the best VPN for Mac in 2018.

Get ExpressVPN Now !

More details can be found on ExpressVPN review.

#2 NordVPN

NordVPN is a efficient provider, emphasizing safety and security above all else.

While security is a key feature of their Mac client, it’s also highly accessible for the average user. Once you’ve signed up and downloaded the app, you just have to pick a server destination from the map to get started. It’s easy to use, with an intuitive setup and excellent speeds. (They have dedicated apps and clients for all of the major PC and mobile platforms.)

You’ll face little to no slowdown using their servers. NordVPN doesn’t apply any speed or bandwidth restrictions, so you’ll be able to download and stream as much as you like.

They keep no records of user data, and you can even pay with Bitcoin. Their 24-month deal at $3.29 per month is great value for money, even if it is a long contract.

Their Live Chat feature wasn’t working for us, and response times via the ticketing system will take a few hours on average.

Overall, it’s a worthy contender to ExpressVPN and we strongly recommend NordVPN.

Sign up with NordVPN here.

More details on Nord can be found on NordVPN review.

#3 HideMyAss

HideMyAss is a popular VPN for Mac thanks to the mobile app for Mac and iOS devices. It promises to keep you browsing at high speeds so you won’t have any lags when you’re streaming or gaming.

HideMyAss comes with strong OpenVPN encryption protocols and no IP leaks to keep your details safe from hackers and cyber thieves when browsing on your Mac. There’s no throttling and unlimited bandwidth, but P2P filesharing is not permitted, only legal torrenting.

HideMyAss does keep some logs and has a sad history of handing information over to legal authorities in the UK where it is based. Customer support is via live chat and email and is fairly fast.

One month costs $11.52 at the moment, but the price drops to $6.56 per month if you sign up for a full year.

Sign up with HideMyAss here.

More details on HideMyAss can be found on HideMyAss review.

#4 SaferVPN

SaferVPN is fast, simple and efficient to use. Even better – it’s one of the true ‘no-log’ VPNs on the market, meaning you can guarantee your session isn’t being tracked by the VPN software, either while browsing or for any amount of time afterwards.

After installing the Mac-applicable software, you log in, choose your server – and start surfing! If you’re looking for something specific to help you get started, then SaferVPN’s site has an excellent, in-depth FAQ page and customer support to point you in the right direction.

With unlimited bandwidth and speed, as well as unlimited location switching, you’re unlikely to run into a problem with any browsing or streaming, much less downloading. When you subscribe, you can even pay with Bitcoin, and their 12 month deal for $4.99 a month is one of the cheapest deals we’ve seen on the VPN market. But if you don’t want the 12 month commitment, SaferVPN also offers one month option at $9.99. Their current promotions runs at $3.49/mo for a 2-year contract. The VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans over one month.

It’s a solid contender to ExpressVPN, and we highly recommend SaferVPN.

Sign up with SaferVPN here.

More details can be found on SaferVPN review.

#5 PrivateVPN

Located in Sweden, PrivateVPN has servers in over 50 countries. Their Mac VPN client is solid, with a few additional features. You can have multiple connections at the same time, and they will remotely set up the service if you encounter any problems when you’re starting off.

If you’re looking for an affordable Mac VPN, it’s cheap at the current discounted rate of $2.98 per month for 15 months, although it’s normally priced at $10.95 for 1 month. There’s no cap on bandwidth, and while our speed tests showed that PrivateVPN is a bit slower, we found the difference to be inconsequential.

Despite these minor lag at times, there are numerous servers to choose from. We also got an instant response via their Live Chat customer support system.

If you are looking for a VPN for Mac to keep your computer safe, PrivateVPN will do the job. It is a secure VPN with a zero log policy and boasts an uptime speed of 98%.

Sign up with PrivateVPN here.

#6 IPVanish

IPVanish is an incredibly fast VPN, and well respected in the industry based their vast experience. They have a lot of servers worldwide, with near unmatched download speeds.

Their Mac VPN client is well rounded, and it’s sleek and easy to get to grips with. However, they are based in the USA, which means they’re close to the watchful eye of the NSA. (That being said, they do operate with a strict ‘zero logs’ policy.)

There’s no limit in terms of bandwidth. In fact, they don’t mind what you do as long as you don’t try to use the same account on more than one IP address at a time.

It’s priced at $6.49 per month for a yearly package, which is reasonably good considering their speeds. They provide 24/7 customer support, but there’s no Live Chat feature. You’ll have to send an email via their ticketing system, which will be responded to on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

We’d probably go for ExpressVPN if we had to decide between the two, but it’s a worthy challenger to our top pick.

Sign up with IPVanish here.

#7 PureVPN

Undoubtedly one of the best VPNs for Mac, PureVPN offers a solid client with a range of features. Additional functionality is their unique selling point, with antivirus software and ad blocking for safer browsing.

You’ll be able to gain use their browser extension for the above. The VPN also comes with more traditional features, including a kill switch and server tests to check speeds. There’s no bandwidth cap or limit, but they do have a ‘fair use’ policy in place. If you’re a heavy user, it could be best to go for another Mac VPN for your downloading needs.

They keep no user logs, aside from a record of when you’re using the service. It’s not ideal, but it could be worse. Customer support comes in the form of Live Chat, (which was available) as well as numerous guides on their website.

At the time of writing, their 24-month plan is heavily discounted at $3.25 per month. It’s a worthwhile choice if you’re looking for an all-in-one Mac VPN package.

Sign up with PureVPN here.

How to Best Protect Your Mac Computer

Despite common misconceptions, Apple computers are susceptible to numerous hacks and issues. A VPN will keep your data safe, but they offer more than just added security. Even so, everyone can benefit from faster connection speeds and unlocked content, as long as the price is right.

Considering the above criteria, we’d have to choose ExpressVPN as the best VPN software for Mac.

Article comments

Andrew says:

ExpressVPN is an awesome Mac OS VPN that has everything a user needs. It is lightning fast and has servers in 94 countries, which gives the user the ability to unblock just about anything. Privacy is guaranteed, thanks to military grade encryption. In addition, the privacy policy is outstanding.
This VPN software for Mac OS X is also very easy to use. In addition, a user can install it on three simultaneous connections – which means the user can put it on all his devices, no matter what platform they run on. ExpressVPN will keep his data secure both at home and on public WiFi.
The only disadvantage is the high cost of owning this VPN for a long-time. Shouldn’t it be made a bit more affordable for users?

ST Editor says:

Hi! You’re correct that ExpressVPN is a wonderful VPN service in many ways. We generally recommend it among the top providers for several cases, and it always tests positively. We are aware that it is on the pricier side of the industry average, but still include it because it delivers a great blend of features and functionality even at their price point. It would be great to see them lower their prices, but they do offer some great deals, such as their 12-month plan, which reduces the overall cost of a subscription by almost one third. If you can’t spare the subscription fee, there are still other excellent VPN options that can grant you a similar level of protection for your Mac such as PureVPN and NordVPN. Feel free to share the option you ultimately chose, and how it’s working out for you!

Paul Dan says:

I have no need for VPN except to access Skype to talk to my family. NordVPN is the best choice to me. I’ve had no issues or whatsoever with it. Thanks for the information.

Rock says:

Thanks for sharing excellent knowledge with us that how we can access vpn in our mac device.All the listed vpn are good but i use mostly express vpn and IPVanish vpn.

Jack says:

I have a quick question on these providers that I hope you can help me with. Do you know if any of these services offer automatic WiFi protection where it kicks in whenever it detects a WiFi network. I am a field agent and I travel to a lot of offices around the country.

A lot of travelling means a lot of WiFi access. About 20% of our offices also use WiFi with some having unsecured free connections for our customers (which I often use as it’s easier than setting up my company access.)

I’d need this for both my phone and my laptop.

ST Editor says:

Hi there! You’ll be glad to hear that if automatic WiFi protection is a must, SaferVPN has an answer for you. The other companies, unfortunately, do not offer automated VPN connections when you access a WiFi network, but they do offer unlimited bandwidth for browsing, which means you can leave your VPN on indefinitely without worrying about paying overage fees or having your connection throttled. In many cases, it may even be safer to simply have your  VPN connection turned on, especially if you’re constantly in the field and at risk of unwittingly connecting to an unsecured network. Let us know how it works out for you

Larry says:

I love Nord because they have great security features and double encryption and it also support for multiple devices. Best for Mac so far

Eddie says:

Are there any special requirements for a mac VPN? I thought most of these were optimized for windows and won’t be nearly as effective except for maybe iPhone?

ST Editor says:

Thanks for asking a question we’re sure many people have! Generally speaking, most companies offer their products for both Mac OS and Windows, with each operating system receiving a specific version. As far as special requirements, some platforms may need more processing power, but installing them shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using up-to-date software. They also shouldn’t give you any drop-off in security and quality. Let us know which VPN you end up selecting for your Mac and your experience! 

Lavy says:

Would like to configure our Apple Extreme to have VPN capability or service that will block our location. Is there anything out there that we can try?

Appreciate the feedback.

ST Editor says:

Thanks for the question! Generally, Apple’s simplicity is both a benefit and a problem. While the AirPort Extreme is a great home router, it lacks the functionality of non-Mac alternatives in customization. You can create a secure connection through it, but unfortunately cannot directly install a VPN on it. However, you can try to use a dual-router setup, where you connect the AirPort to a second router which is VPN enabled, thus giving you the same benefits the Apple device offers, while protecting your home network. Let us know if this solution works for you!

LIZZY says:

I don’t know the performance of VPN in a MAC, but I do know of Windows. If the principle of operation are the same for both, I will recommend ExpressVPN and Zenmate.

Andrie Banks says:

I’ve used three of these listed VPNs and they are all fine. I even recommended the three to friends. The reviews are helpful.

Philip says:

I have been using PrivateVPN on my Mac. It’s cheap and keeps your data secure. I can’t take any risks with my data.

Russel says:

Always a great experience with NordVPN. Excellent network security and an impressive offering of servers and features. Thanks for the information.

marc says:

I thought that mac computers were automatically secure, why would you need more security software?

James MA says:

It’s a common misconception that Macs are impenetrable. The claim itself only refers to antivirus and malware, as Apple’s ‘sandboxing’ technique provides internal protection. However, this is not even entirely accurate.

Virtual Private Networks provide security for the connection between your computer and the internet, protecting you from rogue wifi hotspots, government snooping and cybercriminals. As it is not an internal problem, Apple’s inbuilt security has no impact. Try ExpressVPN or NordVPN – our 2 top recommended services.

David says:

Interesting read but I’ve been trying for days to get to the Buffered VPN site and all I get is an error message (from Safari, Chrome or Firefox) telling me that my my message is not secure.. and no way of reaching the Express VPN url – HELP!

Lyndon Seitz says:

Hi, David. Sorry you had problems. I just tried the link to BufferedVPN, and it took to me to the site with no problems. Can you try again?