Best VPN for Mac – Only 5 Apps Retain Best Spot in September 2019

Last updated: September 19, 2019
Obaid Chawla

Obaid Chawla

For finding out the best VPN for Macs, we reviewed all VPNs according to our 8-factor criteria and settled for these 5 top providers

VPNs for Mac are being offered by varied providers in the industry but are they good enough to protect your privacy and give you all the online freedom that you need?

After conducting a comprehensive overhaul of all relevant VPN providers and conducting extensive tests, we’ve shortlisted 5 best Mac VPN Apps that you can narrow down your choices from.

But we recommend that you go for Surfshark as its the best VPN for Mac. For just $1.99/month on its two-year deal, it offers an incredible set of security features and commitment towards catering to all modern unblocking needs that include accessing sites like Netflix US.

5 Best VPN Apps for Mac in 2019

The best VPN providers for your Mac are as follows:

1. Surfshark  ($1.99/month – 2 Year Plan)
2. NordVPN ($3.49/month – 3 Year Plan)
3. ExpressVPN ($8.32/month – 1 Year Plan)
4. PureVPN ($3.33/month – 1 Year Plan)
5. VyprVPN ($6.67/month – 1 Year Plan)

These providers are all excellent at guarding your anonymity and making it easier to use them on Mac with well-built UX oriented Mac apps. To know more about how each one fare, here are these recommended Mac VPN providers described with in detail:

For the best VPNs overall, read this guide here.

1. Surfshark – Best Mac VPN with the Lowest Subscription Prices

Pros

  • $1.99/month (2-Year Plan)
  • 30-Day Refund Guarantee
  • 800 Servers in 50 Countries
  • Compatibility: macOS 10.12
  • Size: 13.2MB (2.7 Ratings)
  • Doesn’t Keep any user Logs

Cons

  • Didn’t Work in China

Powerful and strong, Surfshark tops our list as the best VPN for Mac.

Surfshark might be new in the industry but its standards have always been the same as the top providers in the industry. On top of this, if you go for it as your Mac VPN, the subscription plans cost as low as $1.99/month.

Clean, uncomplicated and feature-rich. This is what sums up the experience that this provider affords on its Mac app. Users can choose from a growing server list that currently consists of 800+ servers spread over 50 different countries on the globe.

Surfshark got its jurisdiction right by choosing the British Virgin Islands as the place to headquarter itself. The territory is renowned for its lax data retention laws which in turn makes Surfshark easier to trust with your data.

Your IP will always remain protected with Surfshark as the provider offers adequate protection against DNS and WebRTC leaks, a proposition backed by our own study on DNS leaks.

Again, this provider keeps no logs just like other providers on our list as we never compromise on any security measure while picking top VPNs for any device.

Surprisingly, the provider’s user novelties don’t end there as it can get you through to Netflix US comfortable and if ever, you experience a problem in connecting to it, the live chat feature is good enough to walk you through it.

Read this comprehensive Surfshark VPN Review to learn more.

2. NordVPN – The Safest VPN for Mac

Pros

  • $3.49/month (3-Year Plan)
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee
  • 5604 Servers in 60 Countries
  • Compatibility: MacOS 10.12
  • Size: 37.3MB (4.4 Ratings)
  • Keeps Zero Logs

Cons

  • Live Chat is a Bit Clunky

Always a top choice VPN for any purpose, NordVPN features on our list at the #2 spot and for good reason.

Its users will be able to access the largest server park among the whole industry and niche security features like Double VPN and Onion over VPN without costing a fortune at $3.49/month

NordVPN’s Mac app is exquisitely designed with an easy to use interface so that even newbies don’t have any major problems securing their privacy on Apple devices.

The server park by NordVPN is now 5604+ strong and is spread over 60 countries globally. A wide majority of provider cannot even offer half of the server count that you will get access to with a NordVPN subscription.

In our guide on VPN jurisdictions, we found that Panama, where NordVPN is based, is not part of any data sharing alliance and neither was it found to among those countries which had data retention laws.

There also have been no known cases of DNS or WebRTC leaks which make it the best-suited candidate for activities that require robust security like Torrenting.

The provider almost always can unblock Netflix US making it one of those rare services that offer premier geo-unblocking services with such stunning reliability.

A third-party audit done by the provider came out with a clean report and no major security concerns were found, reaffirming the commitment to security that the provider has been known for since its inceptions.

A go-through of its privacy policy reveals that it doesn’t keep logs of any user activity whatsoever implying that anything you do when under its cover is private.

Holistically, NordVPN ‘s experience will leave you desiring for nothing else as it ticks all boxes as far as suitability for a Mac VPN is concerned.

Read this comprehensive NordVPN Review to learn more.

3. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for Mac

Pros

  • $8.32/month (1-Year Plan)
  • 30-Day Refund Guarantee
  • 3000 Servers in 94 Countries
  • Works with Wi-Fi, LTE/4G, 3G
  • Size: 58.1MB (4.6 Ratings)
  • Upgraded Mac App

Cons

  • Pricing Plans are not Cheap

ExpressVPN’s value is determined by its loyal user base despite its prices being on the higher side at $8.32/month on its best plan.

This provider features on this list because there are very few VPNs that can offer such fast speeds on Macs despite the heavy load that a VPN is under.

ExpressVPN’s Mac app never crashes or runs into downtime and you can count on it for offering a seamless, optimized experience whenever you turn it on, on your Mac.

The provider’s privacy policy is incredibly strong as its commitment towards keeping zero logs has been tested many times and every single time, ExpressVPN came out unscathed.

ExpressVPN 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.

The server network offered by ExpressVPN has now expanded to over 94 countries globally and consists of 3000+ servers.

And a majority of US-based servers in this network can unblock Netflix US, Hulu, and other geo-restricted services, so if you are looking for a Mac VPN that’s perfect for streaming and offers fast speeds, no one better suits this bill than ExpressVPN.

Its live chat support is probably the best in the industry and can guide you through any sort of problem, query, and troubleshooting and installation process quite easily.

Read this comprehensive ExpressVPN Review to learn more.

4. PureVPN – Reliable All Round Mac VPN

Pros

  • $3.33/month (1-Year Plan)
  • 30-Day Refund Guarantee
  • 2K Servers in 140 Countries
  • Size: 24.3MB (3.8 Ratings)
  • Compatibility: OS X 10.10
  • Military Grade Protection

Cons

  • Sketchy Netflix Performance

PureVPN is a provider that offers a feature-rich service for Mac users, without going over-budget. Its plan at $3.33/month might not seem cheap as compared to other providers but considering the fact that it’s a short term deal, your cumulative cost for this VPN’s subscription will be a lot less than others.

The provider’s Mac app offers all available features offered by the provider and the glitch-free interface guarantees a great user experience.

Most users doubt its jurisdiction to be insecure as it’s a part of China, but Hong Kong is a safe location as it doesn’t have to obey Chinese data retention laws.

Military grade encryption is used to protect all data transits in its connection by PureVPN and couple that with the default OpenVPN secure protocol in the Mac app and you are safe from all sorts of hacking attempts.

Primed as one of the best VPNs for Torrenting, PureVPN is leak-free and it has done a lot of work to get there. Now, your IP remains hidden on Macs whenever your turn PureVPN on.

The server count offered by PureVPN stands at 2000 but these servers are located over a whopping 180 countries over the globe, giving PureVPN users a massive reach and low ping rates due to lesser server accessibility issues.

BBC iPlayer and Netflix US, both can be unblocked with PureVPN and with the recent improvement in speeds, the provider is now one of the best services you can go for as a dedicated VPN for Mac.

Read this comprehensive PureVPN Review to learn more.

5. VyprVPN – Unique Security Features as a VPN for Mac

Pros

  • $6.67/month (1-Year Plan)
  • Risk-Free 3 Day Trial
  • 700 Servers in 60 Countries
  • Netflix US unblocking
  • Size: 22MB (3.2 Ratings)
  • Verified "no-logs" policy

Cons

  • No port-forwarding available

VyprVPN has taken immense strides in the recent past to break into the top tier VPN category and can easily be trusted for your Mac.

Prices for its subscription plan remain higher than what they should be at $6.67/month on the yearly deal, but if you want access to innovative security features that no one else offers, VyprVPN is the perfect pick for you.

VyprVPN’s Mac app is not difficult to use at all as the provider has developed its user interface keeping user ease in mind. The server list or the option to change your protocol is highly accessible as are the rest of the features.

The provider follows a strict zero logging policy so none of your data will ever be recorded in VyprVPN’s servers, especially when it comes down to personally identifiable information like private browsing history.

One of its best features is its trademark Chameleon protocol that can be used to bypass Deep Packet Inspection and comes in incredibly handy when you have to bypass stringent geo-restrictions like the ones in countries like China and Iran.

The provider owns all of its servers and most of them are bare-metal servers offering greater speeds with the ability to handle high amounts of traffic without creating problems for others on the network.

Its servers are now based in over 70+ countries, bringing it at par with the top providers of the industry.

Netflix US can now be unblocked through VyprVPN’s Mac app but you will need to contact their live chat support to find out about the current working ones for the task.

Read this comprehensive VyprVPN Review to learn more..

8 Factors to Look for When Choosing the Best VPN for Mac in 2019?

Our testing criteria for choosing Mac VPNs are 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:

Compatible Apps

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.

Pricing

Our top recommended VPN, NordVPN is priced at $2.99/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.

Unblocking Geo-Restricted 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. All of our top providers in this Mac VPN list are capable of doing that.

Server Infrastructure

Usually, the top providers have anywhere from 700-2000 servers, but some even go above that and offer 3000-5000 servers worldwide. NordVPN, our top pick is now over the threshold of 5700 servers in its server park, so why settle for less?

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:

  1. https://www.dnsleaktest.com/
  2. https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/
  3. https://ipx.ac/run
  4. https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/
  5. https://ipleak.net/
  6. https://ipleak.org/
  7. https://browserleaks.com/webrtc

Logging Policy

We don’t accept any provider to be safe enough for users unless they have an explicit zero-logging policy clearly mentioned in their privacy 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 by any means whatsoever.

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.

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 even 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.

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 and we have these 5 core reasons for it:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. You won’t ever get premium features like Double VPN or Split Tunnelling in Free VPNs.
  5. 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 than their free counterparts 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.

Final Verdict

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, security, compatibility, and features at such low subscription costs as these reputable providers.

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.

Its powerful encryption, OpenVPN protocol support, 800+ server network, Netflix unblocking capability, dedicated Torrenting support and live chat functionality along with niche security features like the kill switch makes Surfshark a package that you won’t get in a single service elsewhere for such a low price.

NordVPN is another great Mac VPN and it’s not too costly either. For just $2.99/month on its best deal, it brings supreme reliability and consistently fast speeds along with an enormous server park. It can be a great option if you want to experience nothing less than the best.

Other three options, ExpressVPN, PureVPN and VyprVPN, all are equally good when it comes down to the most important value factors and you can go for either of them for a VPN on Mac.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *