14 Best VPN for Mac: Comprehensive 2018 Setup/Installation Guide With Real User Reviews
What is Mac OS X?
One of the world’s most beloved products, The Macintosh Operating system or Mac OSX for short, has been a customer favorite since it was introduced in the mid-late 80s. And its popularity has just soared tremendously year on year, The Mac has it all, a customary UX design, intuitive UI features, a barrage of apps and a whole lot more to keep everyone intrigued and interested.
But, contrary to popular belief, The Mac, despite all of its towering greatness, is not immune to viruses, malware and phishing attempts, which makes for a great case for you to complement your experience with the best VPN for Mac available.
If someone is naïve enough to believe that his/her Mac is safe from data leaks and system compromises, then the system which he/she owns is ripe for an attempt from a botnet seeking to infect a new abode.
From male enhancement ads to dubious antiviruses with highly misleading names like Macdefender (Yes, that exists), the attempts to siphon of your data are getting increasingly complex and smarter, making it inherently difficult to ensure data privacy and security without deploying a great VPN app for your Mac.
But VPNs are not a one size fits all solution and each operating system has its own set of best VPN which ensure great compatibility and a fluid experience and there’s no different in the case of Macs.
How to Pick the Best VPN for Mac 2018?
While the primary function of a VPN is to provide you with a secure, encrypted connection to the internet, while hiding your original IP, there are some other metrics you definitely need to look at and take into consideration before choosing the one best VPN on Mac.
To assist you in making a more informed decision which will be critical to your personal, financial and business data security, we have listed down the most crucial factors to make you capable of a great appraisal of a VPN’s abilities to perform better or worse.
If you are looking to find the best VPN for Mac, then the choice of protocols provided by the VPN firm should definitely be the most critical factor in your scrutiny of a VPN’s service grade quality.
The best VPNs will be the ones that let you sift through a multitude of transmission protocols and encryption standards like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, IKEv2, SSTP and make your own choice. If its just a single protocol that’s being offered, its nothing more than a dupe which can turn out to be dangerous for your data privacy.
If a VPN provider is stating that it does keep your logs, then it’s definitely not recommended by our end. The best VPN software for Mac needs to shroud every data packet that emanates out of your Mac into anonymity, ensuring that no one can keep a track of what you do or when you do it. We advocate a zero logs policy for VPNs and have approved only those that have followed this policy vigilantly.
Restricted payment options are a big turn off in today’s age when you have a wide variety of conventional and unconventional payment alternatives. The best VPN on Mac are generally those who accommodate all payment methods from simple credit card payments to instant online payments and even the ever more popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.
This makes it all the more flexible for you to engage more protectively with your financial information when paying for a VPN service.
If you want to view Netflix US but you live in UK, then probably you will best understand the relevant importance of opting for a VPN with multiple servers located worldwide (Read our detailed guide on best vpn for netflix). VPN providers who don’t have a lot of servers will make for a disappointing experience as you would not be able to bypass geo-restrictions, will have connection speed issues and a host of other related issues.
The best VPN service for Mac will normally provide a widely expansive server location base which might include anywhere between 500-1000 servers worldwide, probably even more.
However, if you are looking for the best VPN for Macbook free, then you would need to compromise on the number of servers available as generally, free VPNs don’t provide a lot of IPs to their non-paying customer categories.
Zero Bandwidth Limitations:
VPNs that come with data caps get a huge thumbs down from our end as they demean the whole exercise of using the VPN in the first place i.e. to cover your identity limitlessly, irrespective of how much you browse, play or stream.
Usually, the most popular paid VPN services for mac like Nord VPN, IPVanish, Express VPN and Pure VPN, don’t engage in bandwidth throttling and that’s exactly what enables them to rule the roost in the VPN world unhindered.
For free services, zero bandwidth limitations will be a very rare occurrence and we generally try to find data caps of up to 2 GB to classify a service as one of the Best VPN for Macbook Free. Check specifically for a bandwidth cap when checking on a VPN and if you do find one, then we advise that you shun it and move forward to browse more options if you are opting for a paid service.
A VPN is not just an encryption tool for data packets or a service to cycle IPs from anymore which you don’t have any control over. The best VPN service for mac available in the market would service their product with some great features that exponentially help towards guaranteeing your data privacy. These features include an automatic kill switch, split tunneling, NAT firewall, DNS/IPv6 leak protection and more.
Some other great, novel features like enabling a Double VPN often come only with paid VPN services and not with free ones. For finding the right features to classify a VPN as one of the best VPN for Macbook Free, check whether you are getting a solid encryption, clear logging policy and firm owned servers, as generally, that’s the best deal a free VPN could afford to provide. You, as a customer, are in control here, so make a choice in favor of those VPN providers who bring the most to the table and provide great value for money.
Even if it’s a great VPN service for Windows PCs and Android operating systems, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it would be easily compatible with your MAC OS X. Compatibility is of great value to you, if you really want a smoother VPN experience, as compared to one, which is forced to comply with your demands, only to provide a spoiled, tattered connection that offers no value.
Always opt for a VPN that either explicitly states its compatibility with particular operating systems or the ones which our list below identifies.
Best VPN for MAC OS X 2018
Apple is a world-renowned firm and Mac is one of its main flagship brands, so probably, Apple won’t implicitly indulge in any wrong sort of tinkering with your data, but security breaches occur every now and then and Mac systems have been a victim of it numerous times.
Hackers and botnets have become agiler over the course of a few years and social engineering has allowed them to send much more believable messages to your mailbox and other repositories, replacing generic spam messages and thus putting you and your Mac in a vulnerable state.
The use of VPNs neutralizess this problem to a large extent as it doesn’t let snoopers get access to your data unauthorized nor will it let Apple access or log your data or store it any manner unless you specifically allow it to do so. Anonymity is a blessing in today’s internet realm and the best VPN for Mac will provide you with just that and much more.
Here’s a list of five top Paid VPNs for Mac OS X according to the features they offer, the diversity of their servers, inherent compatibility with Mac and a whole lot of other different metrics.
Providing excellent features and gritty security options to its customers, Nord VPN is one of the top paid VPN services available in the market. It provides its user with a phenomenal range of 3359 servers spread across an incredible 60+ countries along with a very intuitive yet dynamic UX design making it relatively easy to use for anyone out there, even a first timer with no experience using VPNs.
Nord VPN allows you to log from six consecutive devices simultaneously, allowing you to engage security across all of your devices on just a single plan. On top of all of that, it also provides its user the chance to avail a double VPN option that cloaks your IP twice, thereby incredibly jacking up your safety online. Its base in Panama, which has no data retention laws make it an even more enticing product to latch on to.
The Itunes app store has around 1.6k reviews for Nord VPN app with a general rating of 4.3 and excluding a few unfavorable reviews, this overall user satisfaction level is high enough to opt for Nord in the long run.
The monthly plan starts from $11.95 with different offers available for those who want to engage the product longer for e.g. annually.
- Free Trial Period (on All MAC Versions)
- Double Encryption Support for MAC OS X.
- 3359 servers in 60+ countries (All available on MAC app).
- Bitcoin accepted for MAC software.
- OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP protocols.
- SmartPlay feature for streaming sites (also support unblocking geo restricted streaming from mac app).
- A bit pricier at $11.95/month and the deals only get good when you are ready to engage for a very long time. (There’s currently a deal offering 3 years subscription for just $99)
One of the most recognizable VPN brands in the market with years of indomitable reputation of providing top-grade online security and privacy solutions, ExpressVPN is a great choice for Mac users. The firm is situated in the British Virgin Islands, which keeps it afloat from data retention laws that plague other countries.
Providing military grade 256-bit AES encryption and a wide range of user-controlled protocol options, this firm owns all of its hardware and software material, making it a safe option for you to trust your data privacy with.
While a limited-free trial version is available for people who just want to give it a try, we suggest you opt for the full-featured version that comes with a money back guarantee after 30 days. ExpressVPN doesn’t log in your data at any point in time and has around 148 VPN server locations across the globe, allowing you plenty of choices related to your preferred IP route to the internet via the VPN.
There’s a 30-day free trial available with no data caps making it one of the best free unlimited VPN for Mac if you are not one to buy outright and like to get the hang of it before investing. However one of the major downsides here is that it just offers 3 simultaneous devices to be connected to a single subscription which is pretty low as compared to other peer services in the market.
On the app store, it has generated an impressive 4.1 rating out of 5, and some users have even alluded to the fact that Express VPN’s great features allow it to circumvent the Great Firewall in China, making it a top user favorite there. This one, you shouldn’t give a miss!
- Responsive, round the clock, customer support available for MAC Users.
- Automatic Kill Switch and NAT firewall features for mac.
- No Logging Policy.
- Free from data retention laws.
- Limited feature free trial available.
- 30-Days Money Back Guarantee for paid starters.
- Military Grade 256 AES encryption.
- Pricing is a bit steep for the monthly packages, but it tapers off for subscription with longer durations.
- Just 3 simultaneous device connections available.
3) CyberGhost VPN
Based in Romania, CyberGhost has secured one of the highest user ratings on the Itunes store, which speaks volumes of its integrity, free information flow policy, zero logging mantra, loads of great features and a 7-day borderless free trial.
The speed afforded to you through this VPN will definitely be among the fastest you find out there and you can secure access to a pretty impressive 1250 servers worldwide as well while deploying CyberGhost for mac.
After a phenomenal 6.8k users reviewed it, the rating still stands tall at a remarkable 4.6 out of 5 and that’s more so because of its increasingly user-centric policies like issuing a transparency report, agile customer support, great UI & UX interface and wide range of available features.
The pricing is a bit steep just like all other paid VPNs in our list, but its not a bad investment considering how great value you will get after indulging with it.
- OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP protocols specifically designed for MAC.
- DNS and IP Leak Free MAC app.
- No bandwidth throttling for mac users.
- Multiple customer support chat for 30-days.
- 30 day refund available.
- Low server base compared to other services in the market.
- Pricing remains steep, starting at $11.99/month.
If one of your main aims through a VPN connection is to unblock geo-restricted content on sites like Netflix and Hulu, then IPVanish should be on top of your to give it a try list. Apart from the conventional, high quality features like automatic IP cycling, Kill Switch, DNS leak Protection, 1000+ VPN servers and more, the streaming capabilities of IPVanish is one of its prime USPs and on Mac, the experience it provides is fluid and uninterrupted.
If there are a very high number of reviews for a product, then either it’s very good or extremely bad. IPVanish has garnered around 10.7k reviews making it stand out as one of the most highly reviewed paid VPNs on the Itunes store.
The rating is a pretty impressive 4.6 out of 5, which is no mean feat for a product that’s been reviewed more than 10,000 times. For Mac users, IpVanish will be a godsend as it seamlessly integrates within your system and offers an unhindered connection to the internet without any significant glitches.
- 1000+ MAC VPN Servers and 40,000+ MAC Protocol supported IP’s.
- Unblocks Geo-Restricted Content like Netflix.
- Automated IP Cycling.
- Features like Kill Switch, IPv6, DNS Leak Protection.
- 5 Simultaneous Connections.
- Doesn’t offer a free trial yet
An incredible website and even better service is what makes Pure VPN feature on our list here. Its claim of being “The World’s fastest VPN service” is no slouch either because it consistently performed on our speed tests.
There was a very little discrepancy when the VPN was turned on and when it was not in use in terms of speed, making it a personal favorite for VPN based streaming on sites like Netflix, Hulu, bbc iplayer and a load of others.
On the other hand, every encryption protocol runs on every server that is available which is an increasingly rare occurrence within the VPN world. A zero logs policy, Mac compatibility, no third party run servers and a lot of other features make Pure VPN a great choice if anyone is looking for a good, long run, reliable VPN provider to engage with.
Its Itunes ratings is at a not so great 3.9 out of 5, which is pretty average. The reasons for this lie probably in its relatively expensive service, especially on the monthly plan, running high at $10.95.
There is no free trial either, which is another bummer and probably one of the bigger reasons for the low rating because at most place, the people who aren’t happy with the service, retract at the free trial and are not hurt that much, but with Pure VPN, those who don’t like it after use, probably have to go for a refund which is a difficult process and hence the low ratings on the reviews.
But the long term, three year plan is offered at $2.87/month, which is incredible and makes it come within affordability of large range of people. They don’t offer double VPN, which is a rare miss for a commercial VPN provider of their size as normally all other top VPNs offer it. Pure VPN definitely has room to improve, but still, it’s a potentially good service to engage with.
- 80,000+ IP addresses located globally for mac users.
- Excellent Mac app setup support for customers.
- 7 Days Money Back Guarantee.
- Internet Kill Switch, NAT Firewall.
- Supports all major encryption protocols.
- The refund policy is not good
- No free trial
Worst VPN for Mac OS X 2018
From badly designed apps to unresponsive customer service teams, a service can be ranked as “Worse” based on a whole lot of different metrics, but we are not judging things here on some standalone metrics like a high or extremely low rating on Itunes review, because that would be unfair for the VPN providers as everyone knows that those with the power and budget to market can definitely game things like Itunes rankings to put up a more credible front than they are worthy of.
Rather, we look for more and give something a position in our “Worse VPN for Mac OS X 2018” list based on an overall review. Just like the good ones are to be tried, the worst VPN providers are to be steered clear off, otherwise, you’ll rue your chances of salvaging your money when you had the chance. Here are the Worst VPNs for Mac OS X 2018 that you should definitely avoid at all costs:
1) Hola VPN
Scammers are aplenty out there but when you find one that was caught selling your bandwidth and converting your PC into a virtual zombie, then you know you have reached Code Red.
Hola VPN is a VPN service that is incredibly shady. Situated in Israel, this VPN provider was caught in a major controversy when it was found that it was actually running a botnet service while masquerading as a legitimate VPN provider.
Its VPN is infected with third-party malware and viruses and in addition to that, it doesn’t own any servers, rather it uses the PCs of its users and converts them into a node based network. This is a highly insecure service and one which we will definitely warn you against.
Even its review on the Itunes store was immensely shady and looked like the firm never tried to push its product more on the branding front. We recommend you to not just never download it on your Mac but warn your peers against it as well.
- Compatible will all popular systems including Mac
- Doesn’t own servers.
- Serves Ads.
- Sells user data.
- Vague logging policy.
- Carries third-party malware and viruses.
2) Onavo VPN
It’s not always shady firms that indulge in murky businesses as sometimes even large corporations have been alleged for doing the same. Onavo is one such example, where it was revealed that the VPN was actually a spyware app released by none other than the biggest social media giant of them all i.e. Facebook.
Whenever you are being offered something for free, then be careful, as you might be the product the makers are after and the same holds true in the case of Onavo VPN. Facebook’s corporate might allowed the VPN to secure millions of download and siphon unsuspecting users off of their precious, online data.
The rating on Itunes for Onavo is good and stands at 3.8 out of 5, but all of this is overshadowed by the allegations on the VPN that it is not a VPN after all, but another shady piece of software masquerading as a credible VPN in order to inordinately track user activity without their explicit permission.
Onavo should definitely be steered clear off, even if its highly rated on the Itunes store as sometimes, even the ratings can be misleading and engineered.
- Fast Speeds.
- Unlimited Data bandwidth.
- Paid Version with better features available.
- Known to track user activities on social media on behalf of its parent firm.
- Limited servers.
3) Super VPN Free VPN Client
One of the most popular VPNs in the world of Android, Super VPN Free VPN Client is one VPN that Mac users have relatively been obscured from up till now. And it would be good if things remained that way because we found this VPN to be extremely unsuitable for the latest Mac OS X platforms.
The review page of this VPN on the Itunes store was nothing to write home about. There weren’t enough reviews on the VPN to secure a rating and even the ones that appeared to be written by someone in haste. Credibility for this VPN sunk further down from our end after seeing this.
It’s free to use and provides unlimited bandwidth, however, the advantages stop right here. The worst thing about Super VPN is its constant prompting for providing permissions to access unnecessary data, then there are those nuisance ads, which pop up every now and then, but above all, its speeds are miserable on the Mac platform. It can be used, but there are no mentions of encryption standards, supported protocols, logging policy, so it gets a thumb down from our end.
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Logging policy not clearly defined.
- Unnecessary ads.
- Low speeds.
- Few servers mean choking remains a regular occurrence.
4) Betternet VPN (Free Version)
The paid version of Betternet is good enough and is not one of the worst mac VPNs by any standards, however, its free version is what we would advise you against.
A CSIRO study found that the free VPN version of Betternet serves ads to make revenue and it even indulges in selling the data it receives from its users. There is no kill switch, pathetic speeds are common, servers for free version are located in US and DNS leaks are common.
It does happen to be among one of the few, truly free unlimited VPN for Mac, a fact capable of luring in a lot of traffic and people, however, don’t be fooled by it and if you want to use Betternet, then go for its paid version.
The Itunes page for Betternet has given it a review rating of 4.5 out of five. This high rating is definitely because of the premium part and not for the free magenta we have the choice of opting for. Apart from the users, we would like to recommend to the team at Betternet to drop their free version and concentrate on such a good service they have on the other hand.
If that happens, then Betternet would definitely be Better on the Net (Pun Definitely Intended). The free version is one of the very worst we reviewed to get to our ratings. It will run on Macs definitely, but we are sure that it’s not compatible with it. A definite NO from us for Betternet’s free VPN.
- The premium version is miles ahead in terms of features than the free version.
- Shady logging techniques including selling data.
- Cooperation with Government data acquisition requests.
- No Kill Switch.
Best Free VPN Mac OS X 2018
Who doesn’t like things that are free? We all do definitely, but sometimes, it’s not that simple, because in today’s lopsided world, whatever is given for free is deemed doubtful in one way or other and the same holds true for Free VPNs.
There are tons of free VPNs out there which you can avail, each with its own packages and bandwidth usage limits, but not every one of them is trustworthy for the user. Conventionally, Free VPNs are not at par with paid services in terms of features offered, but some of them are actually good enough to be recommended despite that.
Here are some of the best VPN for Mac Free OS X 2018:
1) Hotspot Shield
For every one of us who grew up in the 90s and his/her childhood collided with the growth of the internet towards mass proliferation, Hotspot Shield was one of those few services which introduced us to the world of VPNs.
Its credibility is world renowned as it has been used massively during major world events like the Arab Spring when the governments decided to firewall internet access from certain countries. Hotspot Shield was and remains the most trustworthy free VPN out there.
It’s one of the few free VPNs who provides such an extensive set of features, which include access to IP addresses in 14 countries, a Chrome extension, and incredibly fast speeds for a free VPN and a whole lot more. Hotspot shield supports all major Mac OS platforms and we found it to be the most supportive a best VPN for Macbook free.
It secured an unprecedented rating of 4.5 out of 5 on the Itunes store, which requires some effort given that it’s a free service. The team there must be incredibly committed to giving the brand such a good name in the market. It’s developed by AnchorFree and also has an Elite version for those looking for more enhanced features.
- Integrates seamlessly with Mac.
- Fast speed on mac devices.
- Incredibly easy to use.
- Lots of features compared to other free VPNs.
- IPs in 14 countries.
On the Itunes review, this service has secure a ratings of 4 out of 5, which is pretty good when we weigh in for the fact that it just has three IP locations. Users must have liked its other features really well for this service to secure such a high ranking. Recommended for those who browse more on their Macs. But if you are looking to stream geo restricted hbo with it or something similar, then you’ll not be able to get through.
- Incredible encryption supported mac standards.
- An explicitly stated, zero logs policy.
- Customer support is excellent.
- Provides great speed on mac os x.
- Large data pack.
- Servers in just 3 countries.
- Not suitable for unlocking geo-restricted content.
3) Zoog VPN
We must admit that it has a very peculiar name for a VPN and doesn’t contain any of the jargon that we find in the names of other VPN services like Hotspot or Pure VPN, but nonetheless, we found it to be a very credible service on our Macs. It’s fast, secure and doesn’t restrict speeds if there is too much load on the paid service end, a common coup practice with other Free VPNs.
The review on Itunes for Zoog are good, but they are low in number so there isn’t a general rating in numbers to be presented here, but through our own experience, we can definitely recommend it. Just remember that it only has 3 countries where its servers are located so no Netflix or Hulu here guys!
- 2 GB data cap.
- Encryption is strong.
- Servers are crowded lesser.
- Faster Speeds.
- Shady logging practices.
- Only provides 3 countries for IP reshuffling.
The bear on that page is intimidating, we have to admit. Maybe the developers are trying to show that their service is stronger and provides sturdier encryption than the rest and if that’s their intention, then they are truthful about it. Tunnel Bear is one of the most commendable free VPNs we could find when we were going through our review of Best VPN for Mac Free in 2018.
It’s very easy to setup and use. It also provides the option to connect five devices simultaneously, all of which showed no discrepancy in speed, so it’s good for those who have multiple devices and need security one each one of them.
On the Itunes store, we saw a rating of 4.6 out of 5 which makes our opinion of TunnelBear, match with those who gave it those ratings. The only downsides are its pretty limited data cap, which is a mere 500 MBs per month.
If they improve that, then the service could probably perform even better. Still, it’s one of the most reliable free VPNs out there, a rarity in the shady business of Free VPNs. Definitely recommended.
- 5 Mac devices can be simultaneously connected .
- Incredibly good encryption.
- Simple and easy to deploy.
- Usage cap is too low.
- Doesn’t support peer to peer or P2P.
5) Proton VPN
The developers behind this VPN are also the people running the world’s most popular, encrypted mail service i.e. Proton Mail, giving it loads of marketable credibility due to the sheer number of users associated with it on different platforms.
The biggest USP for Proton VPN remains its zero bandwidth limit, which makes for a great option to have if you are connected to the net most of the time and need protection readily. However, despite being one of the very few free unlimited VPN for Mac, it just provides three servers so it doesn’t unblock geo-restricted content as well as others in this list.
It ranked consistently well in our speed tests despite having a limited range of servers on the free service. Proton VPN also has a paid version for those looking for some extra features. Do give it a try, you won’t stand disappointed.
- Zero Logs Policy.
- Encryption level is excellent.
- Fast Speeds.
- Allows Peer to Peer Connectivity.
- Limited range of servers.
- Not suitable for data intensive activities like streaming and gaming.
Mac VPN Client
For Mac users, VPN clients is often an indispensable option when you are vying for a more discrete connection with ease. VPN Clients are usually clubbed together into two broad categories.
- VPN provider’s own app/software.
- Third party relevant software.
A VPN client, simply put, is a software through which your tunnel can safely establish to your VPN provider’s server. While most popular VPN firms now have apps with some great features like kill switches, NAT firewalls and ease of IP selection through highly responsive maps, third-party client software is still highly recommended for Mac users as it will allow you to have a go-to software to establish a VPN connection easily, irrespective of whether your provider has one or not.
While there are many third-party VPN clients available out there, you should consider these four listed below as they command much more credibility than the rest of the pack.
1) Cisco VPN Client for MAC
Cisco is a world-renowned technology firm and its VPN client for Mac was highly regarded until it was discontinued by the firm in 2014. The firm replaced its basic Cisco VPN client with a much more improved and retrograde version named Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.
It provides much more services than its predecessor and the security and network support features have been beefed up quite a bit making it one of the best VPN software for Mac. The endpoint access is incredibly simple through Anyconnect and runs seamlessly on all devices and operating systems with relative ease.
Its comprehensive features which include Network Visibility Module (NVM), Cisco Identity Services Engine, Cisco Umbrella Roaming can really simplify management of your VPN service and give you better controlling abilities over it. The new modifications are definitely worth a try.
If you want to acquire this client, there are two licensing categories available namely Apex and Plus, each with its own different set of features in the package.
The licensing is available in a time bound and perpetual packages as per the requirements of the user and there is no bound on the number of users who can be incorporated to the client. Major universities across the world, use Anyconnect as their primary VPN client due to its ease of access, security functionalities, and scalability.
2) Mac OpenVPN Client
Providing immediate connectivity to the VPN without engaging anything else other than the browser itself, Open VPN client is the go-to VPN client for multiple corporations and individuals out there.
From remote access to site to site connection through VPN, Open VPN has been around since 2002 and it’s free to use. The menus are awash with features like remote access and site to site VPN connections, but it’s a bit difficult to use for people who have little experience with it.
The app is complex and doesn’t support more than 50 VPN connections by default, which is a major downside. For Mac users, Open VPN client can work great if you are looking to deploy it on a limited scale, but if you are looking to go beyond that, the client would need to be reconfigured to meet your requirements.
The Open VPN client doesn’t provide support to any other connectivity protocol other than the Open VPN protocol instead, limiting its scope of use, but works incredibly well within its domain so it’s highly recommended for those who are vying for Open VPN protocol as their primary VPN encryption standard.
PPTP VPN Client for MAC
PPTP is not used very often these days as it’s often deemed as one of the more “insecure” connection protocols out there as compared to the other protocol options available like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, L2TP/IPsec and SSTP protocols.
Even Apple removed native support for the PPTP standard for Mac OS Sierra due to this very reason. But there are still a way to get through and that requires the Best VPN for iPhone client that supports PPTP as an accepted protocol.
Shimo VPN and VPN tracker are two of the most popular clients used for this purpose, but they are paid and considering the lack of usage of the PPTP protocol, buying these clients isn’t recommended unless absolutely necessary.
Tunnelblick is a free VPN client for Mac on the other hand and can be used to configure a PPTP protocol, but it can only be used if your VPN endpoint is an Open VPN supporter.
You will also need to create an .ovpn file to get things aligned in a proper way, so unless you critically need it, we would ask you to pass on the PPTP protocol due to its obscurity in our times and the difficulty you will encounter in setting it up.
MAC Built-in VPN Client
Apple has configured Macs to feature a built-in capability to configure VPN clients without going to a third party software for it. This feature eliminates the need to configure an external client as Apple provides you with its own built version of a free VPN client for Mac, which just works just as well.
To access this feature, you need to head to network preferences in your Mac to access the MAC built-in VPN client through configuration settings.
Here you will require the following things to properly setup the inbuilt VPN client for MAC:
- Address of the VPN server you need to access. (This is normally provided by your VPN Provider).
- Your registered account details, but mostly, it will just ask for the name in which your account is registered. Anytime you wish to change the account, you will have to come back here and enter the name of the account again.
- Lastly, either it will prompt you for either a password or in rare cases, a certificate to signify a proper authentication from your network administrator.
- You can either import the settings file or manually configure the connections if you don’t have one provided by your VPN administrator.
How to Setup VPN on Mac OS X?
There is a misconception among many users out there that MAC is a difficult system to use and get familiar with as compared to Windows. However, MAC is probably even simpler than Windows because the steps involved in setting up anything are lesser due to the MAC’s more integrated structure and streamlined options. The same goes for setting up a VPN on Mac, here’s how it’s done:
If you are in possession of a VPN settings file, this process can be completed in just a single step:
- You need to double-click on the provided file as this will route you to the Network configuration settings. The settings will be imported here automatically.
- If this doesn’t work, then you can always open the settings manually by going to the Apple menu and opting for System Preferences. Once here, you will see an option titled “Network”, click on it. This will open another prompt, where you need to click on the Action Popup menu. Here you will see “Import Configuration”. Click on it and select import and all of your settings will get integrated seamlessly.
For those who don’t have a settings file, you can always do it manually. Here’s how to get there:
- On the Apple menu, opt for system preferences and then in the continued prompt, click on network.
- Here, you will see an Add button. This is normally on the left side of the list. Now, opt for the Interface menu and then choose the option titled “VPN”.
- Now, you will have to configure your VPN protocol type once here by giving it a name like L2TP, IPsec, and IKEv2 among others depending on your preference.
- Now you are required to enter the address of the server you wish to get connected with along with the name of the account you registered your VPN connection with.
- Click on the Authentication Settings and once here, you need to enter all the relevant info you acquired from your network admin.
- You’re just there! Just Click OK and then click on Connect and you are ready to get secure access to the internet!
- If you wish to remove or replace the saved VPN configuration, all you need to do is to select the VPN network connection service from the same list and click on Remove! Now repeat the process again to set up a new configuration to suit your needs.
- There is no limits on how many times you can get a new VPN configuration and with the ease of setting it up on MAC, we advise you to check out all protocols and see which one works the best for you!
How to Setup L2TP VPN Connection On Mac OS X?
Want to setup the L2TP protocol on your Mac OS? It’s pretty simple and anyone can do it! Here’s a quick guide on setting it up!
- Select System Preferences from the Apple menu.
- Here, you’ll find the network icon, click on it.
- Now you will see It generally is located in lower left side of the popup menu. Click on this icon to generate a new network interface through a drop down list.
- Now select VPN.
- Now a drop down list will appear in front of you. This list shows the protocols that can be configured in the system. And since we are here to setup L2TP, select it from the list over IPsec.
- Do you see a service name text box here? Here you need to type in a name for your new VPN connection. It would be best if you write “L2TP firebox” in that box to proceed further.
- See the option for create? Click on it and the settings for your VPN connection will appear in front of you.
Mac OS Sierra PPTP VPN
The PPTP is not available on Mac OS Sierra or higher as Apple retracted its support on the protocol because of its high-security vulnerabilities and the availability of better protocols, but that doesn’t mean people won’t need it, so there are still ways to install it and get through despite no inbuilt support.
For PPTP support, you would need an external VPN client like Shimo, which is paid, but there are options like Flow VPN which are free for anyone to deploy and use.
Since most users won’t go for a service like Shimo which costs a whopping $55 for dedicated PPTP protocol support on MAC, here’s how you can install PPTP using a free to use an external client like Flow VPN:
- Go to their website and see the section for “Download for MAC”
- Now you will find a .dmg file which you need to download.
- This file now needs to be dragged to applications.
- Now start running FlowVPN connect.
- Enter your VPN IP address or select from the drop-down list that appears here.
- You need to enter your VPN username and password so that your entry can be authenticated.
- PPTP will now appear in the list of supported protocols, select it and click on Connect.
Tunnelblick for Mac
If you are looking for a free VPN client for Mac that provides the same value as the paid one then Tunnelblick is exactly what will cater to your needs perfectly. One of the best Open source GUI for Open VPN specifically on Mac systems, Tunnelblick is relatively easy to use and has been really popular since its inception. Here’s a rundown of the downloading and installation steps for getting Tunnelblick up and running on your Mac as the primary VPN client:
- Visit Tunnelblick.net.
- Download the .dmg Tunnelblick installer file.
- Go to your target download folder and open the downloaded .dmg file present there.
- You will now the Tunnelblick icon on the top left. Double click to begin.
- Once the installation is complete, a dialog box will be opened where you need to click on “Launch”.
- Now you will need .ovpn files which are normally available from your VPN provider quite easily.
- A screen will appear which reads “Welcome to Tunnelblick”. Here you will be asked whether you have configuration files or not. Select “I have configuration files” and the .ovpn files you downloaded from your VPN provider need to be selected from your target download folder.
- There is now a dialog box on your screen asking you whether you want access for Only Me or for All Users. Click on Only Me.
- The system will now prompt you to enter your MAC username and password. Enter the information to proceed further.
- Your Tunnelblick will now be successfully installed and you will see a dialog box which says the same. Click OK on that dialog box.
- A Tunnelblick icon has now been added on the top right corner of your screen. This icon needs to be used for activating a particular VPN server location.
- Click on that icon and from the dropdown menu, select Connect with the server location you wish to connect to.
- Now enter your username and password from your VPN provider’s credentials.
- You are now successfully connected to the internet via your VPN using Tunnelblick!
Best VPN for MAC Reddit
There’s nothing better than user generated content in the online realm right now because it’s a very critical round up of what general customers i.e. people who have actually used a certain product, feel about it and do they recommend it to others or not. Firms do a lot of marketing and push their products through by waxing eloquence on them, but on Reddit, you can be rest assured, that all you see is pretty much the truth in its barest form, making it trustworthy like few others.
On Reddit, people have multiple and diverse preferences ranging from the very simplistic Mullvad, which offers a pretty basic VPN service as the best VPN for Mac, to the suggestions of setting up your own small, VPN server. But on a more critical front, many users have recommended popular brands like Express VPN and Nord VPN and noted them for their incredibly fast speeds..
There are also mentions of VPNs like Private Internet Access, but many users have deterred people from using them owing to this VPN provider being based in the US, a place dodged by very stringent, data retention laws. Tunnelbear also got a lot of mentions and despite us not liking the service, if people are saying that is good, we won’t deter you from giving it a shot.
A holistic overview from many Reddit threads, unequivocally suggests that popular services like Nord and Express VPN are among best VPN for Mac and you need to narrow down your options to one of these if you are looking for a reliable service and that’s what we recommend to you as well.
But not every other VPN service except for these popular brands might be bad, however there is always the element of risk present for obscure brands as they might be scammers who are out there to dupe you and use your system as a botnet or actually a bunch of geeks who are actually providing a very good service, even comparable to our highly rated VPNs, but since your online privacy is a very sensitive issue, we sincerely advise you against such open experimentation on this matter.
Be safe and secure and opt for a trusted brand to secure your online data along with lots of impressive features which you might not get elsewhere.
Best VPN for MAC FAQs
Can I use a free VPN with Mac OS?
Yes you definitely can, but it’s recommended against. Why? Because, as the saying goes, “There are no free lunches in this world!”, you might be giving something valuable in return for Free access to a VPN. Every service is out there to make money and if someone is not charging you for a service, like in the case a VPN, they are using something else to rake in revenues.
This is a very dangerous proposition when it comes to data privacy because the question arises as to what Free VPN providers actually use to make money? This can be your personal data, your logging times, ease of prompting suspicious malware or even planting botnets to siphon off computing power from your end and integrate it into a spam email empire. The options to make money are dangerous to the end user and we don’t advise you to opt for it.
While paid VPNs cost money, they have credibility on the service they are providing and you can vouch that they don’t indulge in shady practices to make extra money. You can easily get a free trial on most popular VPNs which lasts a month and choose which one you like the most.
Data privacy is a matter you should be paranoid about because if you are not, it can compromise your financial, personal and even business data and generate irreparable losses to you. But still, if you want to opt for Free VPNs, our list above on best free VPNs for mac can be one of the more safer bets.
Which is the most suitable OpenVPN for Mac?
For Mac users or even on other platforms, OpenVPN is probably the safest encryption standard out there. Even the VPN industry holds this encryption protocol in high esteem as its way above in performance and security than its peer protocols like L2TP or IPSec2, so you should definitely opt for it when choosing a good enough security protocol for your Mac.
Coming to the most suitable OpenVPN for Mac, there are a lot of different options available but the most popular brands out there like Pure VPN, Nord, IPVanish, and CyberGhost are your best bet for acquiring access to the OpenVPN protocol.
You can always connect to it manually through client software. We recommend Tunnelblick for that as its open source nature, ease of access and zero throttling on connected servers are some features which you won’t find in other similar clients. On top of that, it’s free! So it gets a big go-ahead from our end. Go for it and you won’t stand disappointed!
What is the Best Mac VPN for Torrenting Safely & Anonymously?
Torrenting is an extremely popular activity these days and it’s just gaining ever more momentum with each passing year. Through torrenting, you can gain access to files which would be increasingly difficult to secure from elsewhere. What makes torrenting great is its peer to peer nature and user-generated communities along with fast downloading speeds, making it one of the most performed activities on the internet. It’s also very popular with the millennial generation.
But torrenting, despite its great advantages, can pose a great risk to your online privacy as sometimes the torrenting space can be invaded by experienced malware and phishing artists who disguise themselves as a source of some great content which acts as a hook and then make merry with your exposed IP once they have you linked to their network.
A VPN, like in every other field on the internet space, has become ever more indispensable here to allow you be safe and protect your digital privacy while enjoying anonymous torrenting with ease. There are some great VPNs like IpVanish, Nord, CyberGhost and Pure VPN who can help you achieve the desired security levels while torrenting and they actually support the super-fast speeds that these file transfer activities require in general.
They have unlimited plans and don’t indulge in bandwidth throttling. And while all of them are good enough, a personal favorite for torrenting for us is CyberGhost as its speed never lags that often. We regard CyberGhost as the best MAC VPN for Torrenting safely and anonymously and use it regularly.
Wrapping Things Up
Do try all of our recommendations and make sure you let us know what your experiences were in the comments section below! We would love to hear them and would gladly modify our opinions on the best VPN for Macbook in the next review based on them! Write away!