The ever ubiquitous Apple Mac.
We're going to teach you all about using a VPN to make your Mac experience nice and safe.
First, some quick links to jump through this post:
- Best VPNs for Mac
- Why Get a VPN for Mac Now?
- What Makes the Best VPN for Mac?
- Free VPN for Mac
- How to Set Up a VPN on Mac
Okay, with that out of the way, onwards with the sweet, sweet info.
From hipsters to graphic designers to your kid sister, it seems everyone these days has that glowing Apple logo proudly on display.
But how many of these people are asking themselves what is the best VPN for Mac?
Not enough I'd hazard a guess.
With the release of their latest operating system, OSX El Capitan, there are unfortunately some horror vulnerabilities with the security of your Mac system.
What's wrong with my Mac?
Well, the big one is the Keychain feature, which is where you store your logins and passwords for various websites, has a little bit of an issue.
And by ‘little bit of an issue' I mean there is a loophole which means people can steal your data.
People stealing your data is bad mmkay?
So it's for this very reason you want to set-up the best VPN for Mac that you can find.
It just so happens we've got you covered.
3 Best VPNs For Mac
We have listed our reasons for why these are the best Mac VPNs below, but if you just can't wait here they are in all their glory:
#1 & Editors Choice: ExpressVPN
A high quality, strong all round VPN service.
- Multiple server locations work with Netflix
- Fast servers mean very little buffering
- Support team is responsive
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Slick client software
- Slightly more pricey than cheap options
- Netflix are on the warpath
We're not the only ones who think ExpressVPN is the best. They're a market leader.
If we had to choose our favourite feature of ExpressVPN, we'd go with security.
They use an SSL secured network with 256-bit encryption. They don't log data, which means your IP addresses and timestamps aren't stuck in storage.
Originally based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN now boasts an impressive 136 locations in 87 countries. And they're still growing!
ExpressVPN doesn't slack on speed either. They offer unlimited bandwidth and show some impressive speeds.
The service includes a 30-day money back guarantee. Customer support is 24/7 and has both live chat and email.
ExpressVPN isn't the cheapest service, but it just may be the fastest. That's why they're our top VPN for Mac for both computers and devices.
- Over 30 server locations
- Great security
- Leak protection & open port detect
- No logs are kept
- Good iPhone option
- They don't accept BitCoin
- Their support is not up to scratch
Our second choice is Buffered, a newer company based in Hungary. This is good news if you're hoping to stay out of US and UK jurisdiction. They have servers in over 30 countries, and their service allows five simultaneous connections.
What we really love is their great tech. Buffered offers special leak protection and open port detection, which expands the range of their location and keeps your data even more secure.
Security and privacy are at the top of their concerns. Buffered doesn't log any of your information, ever.
They offer a solid VPN service for iPhones too.
- Over 700 servers
- Responsive support staff
- Decent speeds
- Privacy Issues
- HQ is in the big bad USA
Even with some recent issues, VyprVPN is still one of the top VPNs for Mac. But you can't blame us for feeling a little cautious. Let's get the controversy out of the way first.
VyprVPN has had issues with security and privacy, which is kind of a big deal in the VPN world. Their headquarters are in the US, even though they're registered in Switzerland.
These US colors shine through in their quick response to requests from the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). They also keep logs for 30 days.
Privacy aside, VyprVPN performs well in all other areas. They have a responsive support staff available live at any time.
Best VPNs for Mac
Everything is online now. And it's amazing. But you and I both know that suspicious characters may lurk around every virtual corner.
We all have anti-virus protection, but is your Internet connection wide open?
While you're using public Wi-Fi, the information you send is accessible to just about anyone with a computer and the time to Google “how to hack.”
Internet service providers collect your data too, and who knows what your government is doing behind closed doors.
A VPN for Mac might be just the extra security measure you hadn't considered.
Why Get a VPN for Mac Now?
Each new operating system comes with new vulnerabilities. Instead of waiting for hackers to discover the loopholes – they're fast too – subscribe to a VPN service and stay protected.
The latest system, the MacOS Sierra, included improvements to the file system, file sharing, and optimized storage for iCloud. But Apple has already gone through a couple of updates including issues with security.
One remaining issue is the iCloud Keychain application. Keychain stores your passwords, credit card numbers, and other information for easy use when you need it. Although the Keychain had issues in the past, now it seems that Sierra has opened up another vulnerability to hackers.
VPNs keep your data and internet activity more secure. Who wouldn't want that? They hide your Mac's location and IP address from prying eyes. A good VPN won't save your information, although some keep anonymous logs.
Have you ever become frustrated while traveling because you couldn't wind down with the shows you love on Netflix? A VPN can take care of that.
You can access sites, or online content blocked in your location. If you've already paid for a Netflix subscription, isn't only fair that you get your money's worth?
What Makes the Best VPN for Mac?
Before you start shopping, think about what's important for you.
Security is often the first point to consider. How is the company's encryption? Do they take any extra security precautions?
Even though Macs are immune to the common PC viruses, they're still in reach of hackers or government tracking. Look for a VPN provider with a high number of servers in multiple countries.
More servers equal more options and greater anonymity.
Privacy is another serious concern and may be your reason for wanting a VPN in the first place. Although VPNs are more private than regular Internet, some may keep records of your IP address, sites visited, and timestamps.
For complete privacy, look for a VPN provider for Mac that doesn't keep logs.
If you're hoping to access sites like Netflix or HBO on your Mac, you'll need to keep your eye on speed. What's the company's ping rate? Download and upload speed?
We know speed is important to you, so each review on VPNsRus includes a speed test.
Right up there with speed is the bandwidth. Put simply; it's the amount of data you're allowed to transfer each month. Going over the limit can result in some hefty fees.
Go for the unlimited bandwidth if you can. Otherwise, you can keep an eye on your bandwidth usage with a monitoring app for OS X.
Finally, no matter how great the service is, you want to know you're in good hands. Does the company you have your eye on offer live support? Is it 24/7?
Do they serve a lot of Mac users, or does their expertise lie with PCs?
And if you want to opt out, is there a money-back guarantee?
It's a lot of work to dig through company websites to find all of this information. Even then, the wording might be ambiguous or confusing.
Free VPN for Mac?
We can see some of you thinking it already.
“Why do I have to pay for a VPN when there are so many available for free?”
To that we say, there's a reason they're free.
It's true you can easily find a free VPN for Mac, but don't expect a speed, bandwidth, or security that's on par with paid services. They usually have a low data cap and less than stellar encryption.
You may wind up with unwanted third party apps or toolbars that installed with your service.
The keys to using free VPN are to know the limits and do your research. Make sure the company you choose is reputable. Read up on what they really offer.
It's a good idea to find out how the company makes its dough because some shady businesses actually sell your data!
Choose carefully, and check our review of best free VPN services for a few trustworthy options.
How to Set Up a VPN on Mac
MacOS and older OS X systems all have support for connecting to most VPNs. You can also set up your Mac to automatically connect to your chosen VPN or an OpenVPN.
Macbooks can connect to a VPN through the protocols PPTP or L2TP/IPSec. In the OS X, L2TP and IPSec are treated as the same mode.
Some VPN service providers have a desktop app, which eliminates the need for any complicated set-up procedures.
Using a Settings File
If you have a VPN settings file, you can import it easily. Double clicking on the file should bring up the Network preferences menu.
If not, click on the Apple control panel and go to System Preferences. Choose Network and then the pop-up menu. Go to Import Configurations, where you can select your file and import.
You can connect to most VPNs from your Macbook's Network Control Panel. You can get there through System Preference in the Apple control panel or by clicking on your Wi-Fi icon and selecting Open Network Preferences.
Choose the plus sign to add a network and choose VPN. Select your VPN type and enter the required information. Look at the advanced menu for more ways to customize, like keeping your Mac connected to a VPN, instead of automatically disconnecting when you log off.
To connect to an OpenVPN network, you'll need to use a third-party app. Tunnelblick is the app recommended by the Official OpenVPN website, and it's completely free.
Pro-tip: Sometimes you can lose your connection to a VPN. It's bound to happen occasionally.
If you want to set up your Mac to automatically reconnect with a VPN when the connection falters, try VPN Autoconnect. VPN Autoconnect is an app available for only $0.99 in the Apple store.