The Best VPNs for Android of 2019
The 4 Best VPNs for Mac Users of 2019
The conventional wisdom holds that if you’re working with a Macintosh you can rest easy when it comes to security. And while Mac and Apple devices are considered more secure and stable than their Windows counterparts, you should still consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to safeguard your privacy—not to mention to access all types of online content like Netflix and Hulu that may be blocked where you live. Most VPN companies offer dedicated Mac software, which is designed specifically for use with your Apple products.
If you’re new to the world of VPNs (you’re not alone) it can be a bit daunting at times sussing out which one is best for you. You’ll want to find a VPN that is easy to set up, that can safeguard your privacy when using your Apple device and which also gives you a wealth of features to make your online experience that much more streamlined and enjoyable.
We’ve surveyed the top companies in the industry to find you the best VPNs for Mac available today. All of these VPNs have dedicated apps and tons of features for Mac and Mac software and you should have no problem setting them up on your own within just a few minutes.
- Privacy and Security: Hotspot Shield is the VPN of choice for more than 70% of the biggest security companies around the world. That should say a lot about how reliable this brand is for security. In terms of your privacy, Hotspot Shield does not keep IP address logs and switches IP addresses frequently. So, nobody, not snoopers or Hotspot Shield itself, can access your information.
- Speed: Hotspot Shield also kills it in the speed department. It’s developed an original technology called Catapult Hydra that optimizes speed by using multiple server connections for stronger, faster connections, even over long distances. Hotspot Shield even has more servers than the ever-popular ExpressVPN, and it was rated as the fastest VPN service out there by PCWorld.
- Customer Service: Hotspot Shield seals the deal with its customer service. By offering 24/7 support, Hotspot Shield ensures that you’ll always have someone there to help whenever you need them. Plus, Hotspot Shield's customer service is manned by tech staff, so you are reaching out to someone who knows what they're doing and can help fix the problem quickly and easily.
Hotspot Shield is the cream of the crop when it comes to VPN security, convenience, and reliability. It offers up to 5 device connections, unlimited bandwidth, and some truly competitive pricing. For just a few bucks a month, you can get total malware protection and online security with just the click of a button. There’s even a free version if you’re not interested in paying and just want basic protection.
Why we love it:
Aside from being #1 ranked in security, Hotspot Shield provides you with lightning fast connections and downloads. This makes it the ideal choice for anyone who loves streaming, downloading, and general P2P file sharing. You can access all of your favorite TV shows from anywhere, and you can enjoy them without those annoying hiccups that come from an iffy connection.
- Privacy and Security. NordVPN uses double-data encryption technology and has a strict no-logging policy. It also utilizes an automatic kill switch that will instantly shut down the functions of your choosing in the event the VPN connection should fall, helping keep your Mac and Mac software safe.
- Speed. Because of the high level of encryption, NordVPN does experience inconsistent speed at times. This can slow things down if you’re using your Mac to stream a TV show or watch a sports broadcast from across the world. That said, this depends largely on the location of the servers you’re using and NordVPN does not apply any speed or bandwidth limits to its users.
- Customer service. On NordVPN you can contact a representative via live chat at any time, and receive a prompt response. You can also email customer service at any time and expect a response in up to 48 hours, according to the company. There is also an extensive knowledge base on the company website’s “help center.”
There’s more to NordVPN’s app for Mac than just its beautiful design. It’s also a breeze to use. The app automatically selects the best server and includes a dedicated ping-o-meter which lets you monitor for performance issues in real time. You can also use it on up to 6 devices at the same time, meaning that your Mac and any iOS devices you have can be up and running securely in no time.
Why we love it:
NordVPN gets a thumbs up for being easy to use, but their big selling point is security. With military grade encryption (which encrypts your data twice) strict no-logging, and a host of other features NordVPN has what it takes to keep your Mac safe.
- Privacy and Security. None of your personal information is logged or stored by ZenMate and the company uses industry-grade TSL encryption standards and private servers. The company uses what it describes as “unbreakable AES 256 protocol” for security
- Speed. ZenMate touts its “turbo speed VPN” and “lightning fast speeds” and has done well in performance tests for streaming. The company does not put any bandwidth limits on users and allows for simultaneous connections on up to 5 devices.
- Customer service. Zenmate has a customer support email where you can submit questions and receive a response from a company representative. Zenmate also advertises a 30-day money-back guarantee.
When the company says “click and connect,” they mean it. ZenMate’s VPN can be downloaded and set up in just a minute and will launch automatically whenever you power up your laptop. ZenMate also works on up to 5 devices at once, so after you’ve downloaded ZenMate VPN for Mac, you can also get it set up on your iPad, iPhone, really anywhere that you have a Mac or iOS device.
Why we like it:
ZenMate is a great choice for anyone, but especially if you’re looking for a headache-free, easy to set up VPN solution. In addition, the VPN comes with a number of added security features for your Mac, including tracking protection and ad-blocking. It also has some added features for business owners, including encrypted VoIP calling and the ability to conduct international quality assurance without having to be physically present in another country.
- Privacy and security. PureVPN uses a number of “stealth security protocols” and an internet kill switch which will log you off automatically if the VPN stops working. The company also keeps no record of your browsing activities or connection logs.
- Speed. Independent testing of PureVPN has shown it to have reliably fast connection speeds and download times, and the company bills itself as the “world’s fastest VPN service.”
- Customer service. PureVPN has a 24/7 live chat for customer service and you can also check out the company website’s FAQ and user forums to get answers. PureVPN also has an entire section of their website devoted to tutorials on using a VPN.
Another top notch service, the PureVPN Mac app uses 256-bit encryption and works in multiple languages, including Dutch, German and French. You can also support 5 separate, simultaneous logins, meaning you can support a whole household of Mac users with a single VPN account.
Why we like it:
Speed isn’t everything—but it sure helps. PureVPN is consistently ranked one of the fastest VPNs available, which is great if you love to stream TV shows or just to have a smooth, unbroken connection for your Mac. Not only that, but if you’d like a little extra juice, you can also purchase add-ons that boost your connection speed by up to 20Mbps.
- Privacy and Security: Surfshark offers a lot in terms of security and privacy. There are several tools it uses to hide your internet activity, even from your internet provider. Features like Camouflage Mode and MultiHop keep your identity and your activity safe and secure. Plus, with DNS leak protection and an auto-kill switch, Surfshark ensures you’re secure every minute of the day.
- Speed: Currently, Surfshark only has about 500 servers. This doesn’t contend with the big dogs that offer 2000+, which makes it all the more impressive when you see Surfshark’s speed test results. In short, they’re excellent, showing that Surfshark will only get better as it adds more servers to the collection. Surfshark also has servers spread across 50+ locations, adding to the speed.
- Customer Service: Surfshark has an excellent customer service rating across the web, and that’s because it invests a lot into making its customers happy. Surfshark offers 24/7 live chat support as well as email support. The FAQ and Help Center section is also incredibly detailed with thorough answers to help you troubleshoot on your own if you prefer.
When you add up all these benefits, it's no surprise that Surfshark lands on the top VPN lists all the time. This brand offers robust and versatile security features, lightning fast streaming, and a great user experience all around (something you don’t always get with Mac versions). All that for less than $2 a month makes Surfshark a mighty impressive option.
Why we love it:
Surfshark has a creative way of keeping you secure. The vast array of security features is nothing short of extraordinary. And this brand manages to do it all without compromising the all-important element of speed. Mac users looking for a faster way to stream and download will be pleasantly surprised with Surfshark.
VPN for Macbook
When looking for a VPN for Macbook, there are a few musts that you should focus on. You want to look for a high-speed VPN that can keep up with live streams and allow you to readily switch servers if things slow down. You’ll want to make sure your VPN provider has top-notch security protocols installed, especially if you download torrents, and you’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled for a no-logging policy for your data.
You’ll also want to make sure that your VPN can bypass the VPN detectors of companies like Netflix, so you can reliably watch blocked content no matter where you are.
Finally, you’ll want to look for reliable customer service, and make sure the price is right.
Most VPN companies will provide a dedicated MacOS desktop app, which you can get up and running with just a click.
How to Install and Use a VPN on Your Mac
VPNs might intimidate some users, but they’re meant to be easy to install and use, even for the most novice of users.
First things first, shop around some and find the VPN that’s best for you. Sign up with a VPN provider and then download the Mac software. Follow the installation instructions. The software should walk you through this and it should require nothing more than double-clicking a few times. Once the VPN is installed, run it and enter in your account details as needed.
Once you’re up and running, you can get in the app and select a VPN server to connect to. You can either run the VPN all the time or just log on anytime you want to surf privately or access blocked content, it’s up to you.
- Is it legal?
Yes, with some very rare exceptions (say, in rogue, non-democratic states) using a VPN is illegal, but in the United States you have nothing to worry about from the authorities (at least not when it comes to your VPN).
Having said that, while the use of a VPN is legal, that doesn’t mean anything you do on the VPN is kosher. A good rule of thumb is - if it’s illegal when you’re not using the VPN (say, buying drugs or guns online) then it’ll be illegal even with the VPN.
- Is it safe?
No security system in the world is 100% airtight, but using a VPN provides you with a far better level of security and privacy than you would have otherwise. The connection between your computer and the VPN is secure, but the VPN’s connection to the rest of the internet is different, so if you’re doing something that you don’t want tracked, keep in mind that it can get back to the VPN IP address, though not to your specific computer. By using a mix of encryption protocols and dedicated connections, hackers are typically unable to get a hold of your data or know your location.
Protect Your Mac, Now
You could be an avid gamer or just someone who loves to stream TV shows or is concerned about privacy, and the appeal of a VPN would be the same. And while it can be tough deciding which VPN is best, by using our guide of the top VPNs for Mac you should be well-equipped with the knowledge to find the one that best matches your needs. If you are still not sure which VPN is best for you or have other devices to cover, check out our complete list of VPN reviews.