5 Best VPN Apps for Mac in 2020
The Mojave, High Sierra, El Capitan, and Yosemite are highly stable/secure OS for your laptops (MacBook Air and MacBook Pro) and desktops (Mac mini, iMac, iMac Pro).
However, this does not give them a clear shit from its own privacy/security issues. When connected to the internet, you may also still need protection from unwarranted threats.
This is where using a VPN service comes in handy, but finding one that works smoothly with the many versions of the MacOS does become a difficult task.
So, I have come up with a list of recommendations for you. Below you can find details regarding the best VPN for Mac in 2020.
The Best VPN Mac Apps for 2020
In-Depth Analysis of 5 Best VPN App for Mac
I’ve described each Mac VPN in detail below, after analyzing/comparing their costs, trust pilot ratings, performance, features, and privacy offered:
1. Surfshark: Best All-Round VPN Mac
Number of Servers: 1,040+ | Locations: 61+ | Apple Store Rating: 4.4 | Maximum Devices Supported: Unlimited | Price: $1.99/mo on a 2-year plan
Powerful and strong, Surfshark tops our list as the best VPN for Mac. Based in the British Virgin Islands, the provider offers 1,040+ servers in 61+ countries worldwide. Clean, uncomplicated and feature-rich. This is what sums up the experience on Mac.
Its app uses the industry-standard OpenVPN protocol, which implements the AES-256-GCM cipher on the data channel, so no additional authentication is required. For the control channel, it uses the same AES-256-GCM cipher with the TLS key exchange secured using RSA-2048.
This strong encryption enables Surfshark to bypass geo-restrictions and VPN bans on Netflix and other streaming websites like BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, Voot, Hulu, and even Disney Plus on your Mac with high-speed streaming in 4k video quality.
In terms of pricing, the VPN offers varied plans of three durations: monthly (starting at $11.95), yearly ($5.99/mo.), and 2-years (as low as $1.99/mo.) I recommend going for the 2-year plan to get the best value from the all-rounder provider.
On the Apple Store, Surfshark enjoys a rating of 4.4 stars, from a total of 768 reviews. The best part of all; you have access to unlimited simultaneous connections. So, you can use a single subscription on Mac and as many devices as you want!
- 1,040+ Servers in 61+ Countries
- Size: 101.4 MB (4.4 Stars Rating)
- 7-Day Free Trial for iOS Users
- Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
- AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM
- No free trial available
Need more information? Re-direct yourself to this full 2020 Surfshark review!
2. PureVPN: Inexpensive VPN for Macbook
Number of Servers: 2,000+ | Locations: 180+ | Apple Store Rating: 4.1| Maximum Devices Supported: 5 | Price: $2.91/mo on a 2-year plan
PureVPN is one of the best economical VPNs that offer a feature-rich service for Mac users. Headquartered in Hong Kong, PureVPN has over 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries worldwide, delivering an average speed of 91.51Mbps in download and 88.59Mbps in uploads.
The provider’s Mac app offers a glitch-free interface and a “popular websites” option. It lists all popular streaming services/websites for entertainment. If you want to unblock Hotstar, for instance, simply click on the icon and you will be redirected to the unblocked version.
In terms of pricing, PureVPN offers a premium plan divided into three durations: monthly (starting at $10.95), yearly ($4.16/mo.), and 2-years (as low as $2.91/mo.) I advise going for the 2-year one as if it offers users better value for the money.
On the Apple Store, the provider enjoys a rating of 4.1 stars. The best part of all; you have access to a huge list of advanced features that include NAT Firewall, Split Tunneling, Ad/Tracker blocking, IPv6 Leak Protection, Port Forwarding, and even dedicated IPs.
- 2,000+ Servers in 140+ Countries
- Size: 62.5 MB (4.1 Stars Rating)
- Endorsed by Forbes
- Dedicated IPs Available
- Multi-logins on Five devices
- Basic security features
Need more information? Re-direct yourself to this full 2020 PureVPN review!
3. ExpressVPN: Secure and Reliable Mac VPN
Number of Servers: 3,000+ | Locations: 160+ | Apple Store Rating: 4.6 | Maximum Devices Supported: 3 | Price: $8.32/mo on a 1-year plan
ExpressVPN offers an incredibly secure and reliable application for Mac users. The VPN is located in the British Virgin Islands; a safe country with virtually zero data retention laws, giving users more confidence to trust the provider with protecting their data in transit online.
Similar to PureVPN and Surfshark, the provider also faces no issues in unblocking streaming platforms like Netflix. This is owed to their unique TrustedServer technology. ExpressVPN also works smoothly on Routers and Android/Apple TVs.
As far as pricing is concerned, ExpressVPN’s plans are divided into three durations. I advise going for the 1-year one as if it offers users better value for the money. On the Apple store, it enjoys an amazing 4.6 star rating from 58.3k reviews on the Apple Store.
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
- Size: 58.7 MB (4.6 Stars Ratings)
- Verified “no-logs” policy
- Multi-logins on 5 devices
- 30-day refund policy
- Prices are a bit too steep
Need more information? Re-direct yourself to this full 2020 ExpressVPN review!
4. Ivacy VPN: Affordable and Value-Driven
Number of Servers: 1,000+ | Locations: 100+ | Apple Store Rating: 4.5 | Maximum Devices Supported: 5 | Price: $2.25/mo on a 2-year plan
Based in Singapore, Ivacy is an affordable and value-driven provider for Mac users. Holistically, Ivacy ‘s experience will leave you desiring for nothing else, as it ticks all boxes of intuitiveness, user-friendliness, and advanced features as far as their Mac VPN is concerned.
Not to mention, the VPN successfully manages to bypass the “Great Firewall” in China via its IvacyPrime app (also available on MacOS through Ivacy’s dedicated Chinese page).This app also features a “streaming” mode to access VoDs like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney+,
For connectivity, you have access to 1000+ servers in 100 locations globally, but surprisingly upon testing, I received no server load or speed issues. In fact, the performance was quite impressive. Best part of all: Ivacy is not located in 5, 9, or 14 eyes jurisdiction.
It is based in Singapore, which boasts relatively convenient laws with regards to freedom of speech and user privacy. There also have been no known cases of DNS or WebRTC leaks. On the Apple store, their Mac app gets a 4.5 star ratings from 474 reviews.
- 1,000+ Servers in 100+ Locations
- Size: 266.4 MB (4.5 Stars Ratings)
- 7-Day Free Trial on iOS Devices
- Automatic Kill Switch
- Split Tunneling Available
- Support Needs Improvement
Need more information? Re-direct yourself to this full 2020 Ivacy VPN review!
5. CyberGhost: Great Balance of Price and Value
Number of Servers: 6,100+ | Locations: 90+ | Apple Store Rating: 4.4 | Maximum Devices Supported: 5 | Price: $2.75/mo on a 3-year plan
CyberGhost has taken immense strides in the recent past to break into the top tier VPN category and can easily be trusted for your Mac. Headquartered in Romania, CyberGhost offers a user-friendly Mac app that boasts a black and yellow theme.
The provider offers the largest network infrastructure of 6,100 servers in 90+ countries. Best part of all, their app unblocks all popular platforms and even works on Android TVs, along with Nvidia Shield TV and Firestick devices. The GUI is incredibly impressive on all.
As far as pricing is concerned, CyberGhost VPN’s plans are divided into 4 durations: monthly (starting at $12.99), 1 year ($5.99/mo.), 2-year ($3.69/mo.), and 3-year ($2.75/mo.), giving users quite a few options in subscriptions.
On Apple Store, it gets a 4.4 star rating for over 17.2k reviews on the Apple Store. As far as features are concerned, CyberGhost offers 7 simultaneous connections, Wi-Fi protection, and a navigation bar on all apps, including Mac devices.
- 6,100+ Servers in 90+ Countries+
- Size: 108.4 MB (4.4 Stars Rating)
- Zero WebRTC/DNS/IP leaks
- 45-Day Refund Guarantee
- Up to 7 simultaneous connections
- Basic security features
Need more information? Re-direct yourself to this full 2020 CyberGhost review!
Factors to Look for When Choosing the Best VPN Mac
Our testing criteria for choosing a VPN software for mac is based on analyzing critical security, privacy, and device-related important issues.
Through this testing criteria, we came up with these 8 factors that we weighed providers upon when choosing our 5 best VPNs for Mac:
The provider should have a functioning, well-designed, easy to use and reliable Mac app that can allow the user to begin using the service within just a few steps.
Our top recommended VPN, iVacy is priced at $1.99/month despite offering the highest server park and some of the most premium security features in the industry.
The provider which can make it as affordable for the user to subscribe to its services is the one that we went for when making this list.
Unblock Streaming Sites
Streaming is now a popular activity, even on Macs, so if a user is going for a provider, it needs to be powerful enough to unblock major streaming sites for it like Netflix US.
Good Server Infrastructure
Usually, the top providers have anywhere from 700-2000 servers, but some even go above that and offer 3000-5000 servers worldwide.
We didn’t opt for a provider that doesn’t offer more than 500 servers because a smaller server park means overloading and atrociously slow speeds.
No DNS or WebRTC leaks
All the encryption and protocols mean nothing if your VPN leaks your IP through a DNS or a WebRTC leak.
Our selected VPNs don’t do so as they passed all of these strict, independent DNS and WebRTC leak tests without leaking our real IP even once:
Zero Logging Policy
Some VPNs, however, do keep some negligible logs like those of your connection timestamps and bandwidth usage, but they are harmless as they can’t be used to identify you.
All of the Mac VPNs that are recommended by us don’t keep any kind of user activity logs whatsoever and can be completely trusted for keeping your data safe and anonymous.
Strong Encryption Levels
The safest form of encryption is the AES-256 military-grade level encryption, which can’t be deciphered even by brute force computing or by hundreds of supercomputers working at once.
Anything below that and we need to give that VPN a pass. Our top 5 VPNs are all offering this level of encryption and can guarantee that your data cannot be hacked in transit ever.
Based in a Safe Jurisdiction
Data retention laws of the country where the VPN is based are crucial to how secure a user’s data is with the provider. For e.g. a provider based in a country that is a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance shouldn’t be opted for.
The top 5 Mac VPNs recommended above are all based in safer locations/data-friendly countries like the British Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, etc.
5 Reasons Why Free VPNs are a Bad Option for Macs
Free VPNs might be enticing considering the considerable cost that subscribing to a paid provider can incur, but we never recommend you to go for free providers. Here’s why:
- Free VPNs don’t often offer Compatible apps for Macs, making it a hassle to use the service on your device in the first place.
- Speeds are often quite slow on services offered by free providers on top of daily/monthly bandwidth limits, making them unsuitable for modern-day browsing habits.
- Free VPNs have been known to sell user data and conduct other problematic activities because they need to make money and if you are not paying them through subscription fees, then they need to go somewhere to cover up their bottom lines.
- You won’t ever get premium features like Double VPN or Split Tunnelling in Free VPNs.
- Free VPNs are mostly not Torrenting friendly and neither are they good at unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites like Netflix or BBC iPlayer.
Paid VPNs are much safer, reliable and performance-oriented, and when you can get a VPN like Surfshark for as low as $1.99/month, there is no point really in risking your precious privacy and sensitive data by going for a free VPN.
People Also Ask
What is the best free VPN for Mac?
Getting the best free VPN Mac may sound appealing, but will do you no good if it’s security/privacy you are after. I also tell my viewers to generally stay away from free services, as they are quite shady. If you still want one, less risky options include Windscribe and Hide.Me.
Do I need a VPN on a Mac??
VPNs are worth the money as they grant you better security/privacy on Mac and other Apple devices. They also provide access to streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, around the world. So, yes investing in a VPN for Mac is a good option.
Does Apple recommend VPN?
Although Apple does not clearly state anything about using VPNs, all of their Macbooks come equipped with built-in support for connecting to most types of VPNs, including third-party services installation.
The 5 Recommended Mac VPNs listed above are all primed to meet your expectations on all accounts and no other service can bring the perfect combination of privacy and reliability.
Surfshark is our most highly recommended service for Macs. Its best plan will cost you just $1.99/month and is a great investment towards your privacy.
The other options; PureVPN, ExpressVPN, Ivacy VPN, and CyberGhost are equally good on all VPN important factors and you can go for either of them for your Mac too.