Mac developers state that this gadget is one of the most reliable ones in terms of security. However, the facts are evidence to the contrary.
At the beginning of 2019 (January), new malware The CookieMiner steals Apple users’ passwords and usernames through Chrome. Apart from it, the virus manages to access iTunes backups with the purpose to go round two-factor authentication.
In February that year, hackers managed to get access to Mac’s passwords through Key Steal.
Thus, the protection of these gadgets is a must these days.
Within this context, I have reviewed dozens of VPN providers to find the best one for Mac on the basis of my unbiased research.
Here are the selection criteria that underlie this rating:
- compatibility with Mac and iOS (of course, services that don’t work with Mac and iOS were excluded from the list immediately);
- handy VPN apps (aiming at offering you only good VPN services, I’ve selected the ones that offer mobile and desktop apps, as it’s very inconvenient to configure VPNs manually);
- beneficial jurisdiction (the country where VPNs place their headquarters determine their policy and data protection);
- logging policy (users’ anonymity is impossible when the provider collects and processes data on their activities);
- leak test results (online security is impossible when a VPN fails leak tests; such providers aren’t in my rating).
The best VPNs of this rating were tested on my Apple gadgets and put in a strong performance. All the tests were carries out in April 2019. Thus, you’ll be provided with the most meaningful and actual results.
In the meantime, look through the navigation below to go to the definite part of the rating:
- Top 5 VPNs for Mac Gadgets
- VPNs that haven’t passed the tests for iOS and macOS
- Everything you need to know about VPNs for Mac
- VPN for Mac according to “Reddit” users
- VPN for Mac: key highlights
- Compare 5 best VPNs for Mac
But first things first.
For a start, I want to notice that you won’t find a free VPN for Mac in this rating. I’ll explain why.
They usually are limited in speed, servers and advanced features. Besides, all free providers collect and process logs, which is totally unacceptable.
Well, let us start!
1. NordVPN ($2.99) – 1 out of 41 tested
It is definitely a high-class VPN for Mac. With its 5194 servers in 60 countries and advanced security features like double VPN, Nord does a great job of making users safe online.
Here’s why it’s the leader of the rating:
- It’s allowed to download Nord VPN for macOS Sierra 10.12 or later and macOS Yosemite 10.10 or later. App for portable devices is available on App Store.
- There is no need to configure the network manually, as the developers worked out user-friendly clients.
- NordVPN is based in Panama. According to the local Criminal Code, it’s prohibited to disclose sensitive information without consent.
- The provider states it neither collects nor processes logs about its subscribers. In fact, it was checked and approved by a third-party company!
- During my testing of NordVPN on both Mac and iOS devices, IP and DNS leaks were not detected.
Read full NordVPN review
2. CyberGhost ($2.75) – 2 out of 41 tested
Coming to one of the top VPN providers for Mac, I should point out that it’s appreciated by users due to its 24/7 live chat support, strong encryption and 7 allowed connections per account.
But I’ve marked it number two because of:
- The service can be installed on mac OS Sierra (10.12), High Sierra (10.13) and Mojave (10.14). Besides, there’s a facility to install software on iOS 9.3 or later.
- The setup of the apps is automatic. Dedicated applications are available for the gadgets running on both Mac and iOS.
- The company is located in Bucharest, Romania. I find this location rather advantageous for a VPN service in view of the fact that this country is not a member of 14-eyes alliance.
- The app on both gadgets has passed IP and DNS leaks successfully.
Read full CyberGhost review
3. SurfShark ($1.99) – 3 out of 41 tested
It’s no coincidence that SurfShark is on the list of top VPNs for iPhone and Mac. The service is one of the cheapest in the market but at the same time credible. SurfShark allows the unlimited number of devices per account.
Apart from it:
- SurfShark is compatible with macOS 10.12 or later. The app for iOS you’ll find on App Store.
- A user-friendly app is employed for Apple gadgets. The setup is automatic.
- SurfShark VPN provider complies with the laws of the British Virgin Islands. On this territory, there’re no data retention laws, which is very beneficial for a VPN provider.
- Leak tests were passed successfully on both iOS and Mac devices.
Read full SurfShark review
4. ExpressVPN ($6.67) – 4 out of 41 tested
If you are looking for the best VPN service for Apple products, you’ll definitely like Express. The provider with the VPN network covering 95 countries is worth being in the rating.
And here is why:
- You’ll manage to protect your macOS 10.6 or later, iPhone SE or later and iPad.
- ExpressVPN is available in the form of handy applications. It’s easy to connect to certain locations (actually, there are 160) and change settings.
- The installation doesn’t require any technical skills. An average user will cope with the task.
- Like SurfShark, ExpressVPN provider headquarters on the BVI.
- If you are concerned about your anonymity, you’ll be thrilled to know that neither IP nor DNS leak were detected while testing ExpressVPN on Mac and iOS.
Read full ExpressVPN review
5. ProtonVPN ($8) – 5 out of 41 tested
Proton rounds out the top VPN services for Mac and iOS. The facility to use the software on up to 10 devices per 1 account and try it during a period of free trial (7 days) makes it very attractive for clients. Apart from it, ProtonVPN subscribers can enjoy torrenting and streaming top services like Netflix and HBO GO.
But nothing matters more than:
- You’ll turn out to set up ProtonVPN on macOS 10.12 or later. Besides, the app is available on App Store for iOS devices.
- The desktop client and mobile app are both easy to use. The provider even offers tutorials on how to use the VPN on Mac and iOS.
- The setup is not only simple but fast as well. This process is automated.
- The provider is located in Switzerland. The country is not a member of the 14-eyes alliance. Thus, it allows building a truly secure and privacy-oriented company.
- Another reason to include this provider in the list of the best VPN services for Mac and iOS is the absence of leaks.
Read full ProtonVPN review
I have tested 41 VPNs. There is only one provider that doesn’t work on the gadgets running on Mac and iOS – Browsec. The service doesn’t offer a client for the desktop version. The iOS app is available on App Store.
I don’t recommend to use it on your iPhones though:
- the headquarter is located in Russia and therefore is under the local jurisdiction;
- the service keeps logs on its users.
However, there are some VPNs that do work with Apple devices show bad results.
VPN Unlimited – Logs are Unacceptable
Although the provider offers apps for both Mac and iOS, it keeps logs on its users. It stores information about user’s IP, connection type, time zone and others which can be used to disclose a VPN subscriber.
Besides, VPN Unlimited is located in the US which is one of 14-eyes members. Another minus of the service is the lack of traffic encryption. I also find it a big drawback that the service needs a manual setup. In other words, it’s rather problematic to configure the network to use the service. There’s no dedicated app.
PureVPN is Leaking
The application offered by the company is very user-friendly. The setup process is also a child’s play. However, there’s a great minus that would stop me from using this service on Mac and iOS on an ongoing basis – possible leaks.
HideMyAss – Unfavorable Location, Log Issues
One of the main parameters I took into consideration while choosing the best VPNs for Mac was the location of the provider. Unfortunately, it’s the weak side of HideMyAss VPN.
The provider headquarters in the United Kingdom. And as I’ve found it’s one of the Five-Eyes alliance members. It means it can share data with other members of this alliance. What’s even worse, the company keeps logs. Thus, it’s impossible to count on online privacy.
If you are a user of a device running on macOS or iOS, you know that the developers do their best to provide you with a first-class service.
At the same time, hackers become more resourceful these days and manage to crack even these gadgets.
Besides, there are other issues you’ll dislike.
Why it’s better to Give up on a Free VPN for Mac?
Following on from the results of VPN testing, I’d like to conclude that many VPN services offer apps for Mac free of charge. There are also the ones that have free packages.
Anyway, there are some drawbacks that will never make me recommend to use such services:
- slow speeds and limits in data transfer;
- some providers compromise user security with the purpose to earn money;
- server park usually represents a limited number of regions (for example, Browsec offers a free plan with 4 locations in the Netherlands, the UK, the USA and Singapore);
- the torrenting facility is often restricted;
- the advanced VPN features are usually available for Premium plans.
However, there’s good news!
There are cheap VPN providers in the market. Thus, paying no more than $3 monthly, you can make use of the first-class services.
Download the best apps for iPad without limits
You might be surprised to know that some apps are NOT available in the US. The developers work out test versions of games and launch them in smaller countries like Vietnam. The reason for it is to get feedback from users and fix errors.
Thus, VPN is a solution to this problem.
Do you want to try a new game before its release in the United States?
Here’s what to do:
- change the country in iTunes;
- create a new Apple ID;
- set up a VPN on an iPad.
Information security for Mac users
Once you start storing data on your Mac and get access to the Internet, your information is under threat. First of all, it’s rather risky to surf the web through free WiFi hotspots. Crackers always use them to snoop on people activities on the network.
Your ISP can throttle your bandwidth in case it detects you downloading torrent files. I doubt you would like it.
Virtual Private Network can solve these both problems – it encrypts your traffic so that third parties won’t manage to identify what you are doing online.
While preparing this rating of top VPNs for iOS and macOS devices, I’ve studied comments on Reddit. In fact, the comments are recent.
My findings are presented below.
In general, the VPNs recommended by Reddit readers remind the rating presented here. However, there are some other providers that they find beneficial:
|Services offered on Reddit||Why it’s not on the rating?|
|PIA||I don’t think it’s a good idea to use a US-based provider to reach online security while using gadgets running on macOS and iOS.|
|BlackVPN||The network park is too poor – 31 servers in 18 countries. It can become the reason for significant speed drops. Besides, Netflix detects and blocks the app.|
|VeePN||The speed reduction is about 96%. Then it cannot be used for either streaming or torrenting.|
|HotspotShield||I haven’t added this VPN in the list because of some logs kept. Besides, it puts its servers in only 25 countries.|
|ZenMate||Only 30 servers are available for VPN users. Besides, it’s based in Germany which is a member of the 14-eyes agreement.|
|Betternet||It has poor test results. Furthermore, there are some unclear points in its documents. Besides, it performs very poor speed test results.|
There were some other recommendations from Reddit readers regarding the best VPN for macOS and iOS. However, they are not worth even being mentioned here.
To choose the top VPNs for Mac, I studied their apps, logging policy and jurisdiction. All the providers from the rating are located in the countries with strict data privacy laws, whereas the applications are easy to install and use.
I have also mentioned the services which are not recommended to use because of weak security sides.
Free VPNs are not the best for Mac and iOS in view of their slow speeds and possible logs. A credible VPN is able to make you absolutely anonymous and non-identifiable on the Internet.
Some apps offered by Reddit users are on the list of the best ones in this rating. However, there are also VPNs that would never be included on the list because they keep logs and slow speeds.
The table below demonstrates why these VPN providers are on the list of the best ones for macOS and iOS.
|Compatibility with macOS||macOS Sierra 10.12 or later, macOS Yosemite 10.10 or later||OS Sierra (10.12), High Sierra (10.13) and Mojave (10.14)||macOS 10.12 or later||macOS 10.6 or later||macOS 10.12 or later|
|Compatibility with iOS||+||iOS 9.3 or later||+||iPhone SE or later and iPad||+|
|Location||Panama||Romania||The BVI||The BVI||Switzerland|
If you have any suggestions or questions regarding the best providers for Apple gadgets, feel free to leave a comment.