Best Mac VPN in 2024

NordVPN apps running on a Mac on a desk
(Image credit: NordVPN)

Malware, hackers, dodgy links and sites—the internet is full of threats, and Macs aren't immune to them. With a good Mac VPN, however, you can protect your identity and mask your online activity, so nobody can trace it back to you. It also encrypts your data and routes it through one of its secure servers, making it impossible for nosy cybercriminals to read.

If you're a frequent traveler, the best VPNs will also help you access the sites and streaming services you use at home while you're abroad. However, there are one too many Mac VPN apps on the market right now, so zeroing in on the best one for you is a daunting task—and expert guidance will help you tremendously. 

The iMore team has over a decade of experience testing VPNs on Mac and iPhone, and our experts have pooled their knowledge to curate this list of the best Mac VPNs on the market. Read till the end for detailed analyses of every single provider, but if you're after a quick answer, here are the top three Mac VPNs right now.

Best Mac VPNs in 2024 - quick answer

1. The best Mac VPN in 2024: NordVPN

1. The best Mac VPN in 2024: NordVPN
NordVPN is the total package, combining 360-degree security, lightning-fast speeds, and sleek apps for just about all devices—including Mac and iOS. It's also my top choice for a Netflix VPN and it boasts the fastest speeds I've seen, ever.

You can get Nord's entire suite of privacy tools, including a built-in antivirus, ad blocker, and password manager, for a modest price. Put it to the test with a 30-day money-back guarantee and see for yourself why it's my number one VPN overall.

2. The easiest to use Mac VPN: ExpressVPN

2. The easiest to use Mac VPN: ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is the best Mac VPN for newbies, thanks to easy-to-use apps and class-leading customer support. It's also incredibly private, offers blazing speeds, a serious streaming VPN, and offers more server locations than its rivals. 

While it's admittedly more expensive, it comes with a free password manager, a year of secure cloud storage and adds three months free if you choose its 1-year subscription. Be sure to make the most of its 30-day money-back guarantee and see how it compares to NordVPN.

3. The best value Mac VPN: Surfshark
Surfshark is the cheapest VPN in my shortlist, and the best value service, offering unlimited simultaneous connections

3. The best value Mac VPN: Surfshark
Surfshark is the cheapest VPN in my shortlist, and the best value service, offering unlimited simultaneous connections, good overall security, and an intuitive Mac app that comes with a simple interface, making it a delight for newbies.

It's a speedy service, too, and more than capable of unblocking all big and small-name streaming services. Try it out risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee and see if it's the right service for you.

The best Mac VPNs in 2024

You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.

There are tons of VPNs on the market, which can make finding your perfect match a time-consuming task. Luckily, me and the iMore team have whittled down the competition to the five services we think offer the best value for money—and the most robust security. All of my picks are compatible with Mac devices, so read on as I'll dig into their features, performance, and most recent test results.

The best Mac VPN overall

NordVPN running on a Macbook

Tons of features, amazing speeds, and competitive prices


Also available on: Windows, iOS, Android, Linux (CLI), routers and more
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 Play
Number of servers: 6,100+
Server locations: 140
Countries: 110
Simultaneous connections: 10
Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Reasons to buy

Built-in malware protection
The fastest VPN on the market
Unblocks every streaming platform
Meshnet feature available for free

Reasons to avoid

Apps are a bit busy
Fewer server locations than ExpressVPN
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a full security suite for Mac: NordVPN encrypts your data twice, and even has its own antivirus and ad-blocking tools, as well as a password manager.

✔️Speed is your priority: NordVPN is the quickest Mac VPN I've tested, maxing out our line with speeds of over 950 Mbps.

✔️ You need a VPN for streaming: thanks to tons of servers and great unblocking, NordVPN gives you access to a variety of Netflix libraries and a huge list of other streaming platforms.

Don't subscribe if:

You want a torrenting VPN: NordVPN doesn’t have the goods to be a solid torrenting option on Mac, especially when compared to the likes of PIA. 

You want unlimited simultaneous connections: NordVPN's 10 connections are certainly going to be enough for most users, but it can't beat Surfshark and PIA's ability to protect every single device.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 NordVPN is my #1 choice for Mac VPNs, thanks to its all-around security with built-in antivirus and ad blockers, industry-leading speeds, and the best streaming performance I've seen. It's also reasonably priced, and a 30-day money-back guarantee means that you can try it out without risking a single penny.

Want to learn more?

Read our in-depth NordVPN review to see how it fared in our security tests and the long list of streaming services it unblocks.

NordVPN is a massive name in the world of VPNs, and it actually manages to live up to the hype, which is why it's my number one VPN for MacBooks—as well as the best VPN for iPhone and iPad as well. It's an all-in-one security suite and covers your tracks with an audited no-logs policy. So, you can rest assured that anything you do online on your Mac will stay private.

NordVPN's security offerings include a handy Double VPN feature that routes your data through two servers (rather than just one) and encrypts it twice. It will also double-assign an IP address making it that much more difficult to track your online movements back to you. I also like that NordVPN has its very own built-in antivirus and ad-blocker, a cross-platform password manager, secure cloud storage, and even cybersecurity insurance.

Try NordVPN and take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.

On its Mac app, Nord offers a unique Presets feature that allows you to combine a set of custom VPN connection settings with shortcuts to websites or apps. For example, you can have a Preset for streaming US Netflix from outside the country where you use a particular server and protocol combo. Then you can access this combo with just the click of a button instead of having to set it up every single time. 

The interface of Nord’s Mac VPN app looks nice and colorful. There is an interactive map that you use for choosing the server you want to use, and while it’s not as thumb-friendly as you’d expect (meaning it’s not as sleek on mobile phones), it works perfectly well on the larger screens of Mac and Windows devices. What’s more, it also comes with an excellent auto-connect feature and a Favorites system which could use some improvements but does the job nonetheless .

There are a lot of NordVPN servers to choose from, too, with more than 6,000 in 110 countries. There are multiple servers available in popular locations, like the US and the UK, which means that there aren't hoards of users all clamoring to connect to the same server at the same time. This helps to negate congestion and ensures that NordVPN can deliver the lightning-fast speeds it's become renowned for.

Speaking of speeds, NordVPN came out on top as the speediest service in my recent tests, clocking over 950 Mbps. As you'd expect, this speed comes in handy for HD streaming, torrenting, and online gaming—and NordVPN can handle it all. In fact, NordVPN is currently my #1 pick for unblocking Netflix libraries from around the world, as well as other popular platforms, including Disney+, Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

All in all, NordVPN offers a powerful Mac client, which although misses out on a few advanced features such as split tunneling, delivers excellent value for your money. Put it to the test with a 30-day money-back guarantee and see for yourself why it’s my #1 VPN not just for Mac but also for every other device type.

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NordVPN test results:
DesignFun and interactive, but also busy⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useEverything you need is there, but the map-style interface is off-putting for mobile users⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceOne of the fastest VPNs on my list⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and just about everything else as well⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyJust as secure as ExpressVPN, plus comes with built-in malware protection⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 expert assistance in addition to tons of tutorials⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceModest prices, great overall value⭐⭐⭐⭐

The easiest to use Mac VPN

ExpressVPN on a Macbook

(Image credit: Source: ExpressVPN)
The best VPN service for Mac users (and everyone else)


Also available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Linux (command-line only), Routers, almost everything else
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Hulu, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 Play
Number of servers: 3,200+
Server locations: 160
Countries: 105
Simultaneous connections: 8
Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Reasons to buy

Vast server network
Superb for beginners
24/7 customer support
Rock-solid privacy and security

Reasons to avoid

Expensive plans
Limited to eight simultaneous connections
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a Mac VPN you can trust with your life: ExpressVPN is jam-packed with privacy-enhancing tools, and undertakes regular third-party audits to validate its logging claims.

✔️ You need to tap into international servers: with more than 3,200 servers in 160 locations, you'll have no problem unblocking geo-restricted sites and services.

✔️ You want an easy-to-use Mac VPN: ExpressVPN is a delight for newbies, thanks to a simple and navigable interface on its Mac app, friendly 24/7 support, and comprehensive help articles.

Don't subscribe if:

You have lots of devices: ExpressVPN only supports eight simultaneous connections, the lowest on my list.

You're on a budget: it's no secret that ExpressVPN charges a premium price for its premium service, which could be a deal breaker for bargain hunters.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 ExpressVPN is a great pick for Mac, thanks to its rock-solid security, broad server network, and sleek apps. The service is great for both experts and beginners and boasts excellent streaming performance, too. Check it out for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee and see why it's one of my top picks.

Want to learn more?

Head over to our in-depth ExpressVPN review for more insight into how we evaluated its security, speeds, and privacy claims.

ExpressVPN is a super-secure service that offers similar apps (that are both easy-to-use and fully-featured) across all platforms, making it a top choice for experts and beginners alike. Newbies in particular will love the no-nonsense approach of the ExpressVPN Mac app—there’s a big on/off button, a Settings icon, and a Recent tab which houses the multiple locations you previously connected to. 

A highlight of the app, though, is Threat Manager, which is not yet available on Express’s Windows version. It blocks ads, trackers, and malware-infected sites, adding an extra layer of protection over what’s already one of the most secure VPNs on the market. 

Try ExpressVPN risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Everything else is excellent, too, from a reliable kill switch and no-logs policy that are regularly audited to IPv6 leak protection and a choice of protocols, including OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, IKEv2, as well as ExpressVPN's proprietary Lightway protocol.

ExpressVPN has an impressively vast server network, with more than 3,200 servers in 105 countries. You'll have no trouble unblocking the most popular streaming services, social media platforms, and news sites. So, if you fancy checking out what's new on Netflix US or UK, or any other streaming service for that matter, all it takes is a quick hop across a digital border.

In terms of performance, ExpressVPN is no slouch. You'll be able to enjoy HD content, jump into video calls, and even join online games on your Mac without worrying about lag spikes and latency. If torrenting is more your thing, you'll be glad to learn that every single ExpressVPN server is Peer-to-Peer (P2P) friendly and offers lightning-fast speeds. During my recent testing, the service reached peak speeds of over 750 Mbps.

However, it’s worth noting that just like NordVPN, Express’s Mac VPN app, too, misses out on split tunneling. Plus, given that ExpressVPN offers superb apps for just about every device, including Android, iPhone, Windows, and even Chromebooks, Fire Stick TV, and routers, it's a bit of a shame that it only offers eight simultaneous connections—Surfshark, PIA, and Windscribe support unlimited devices.

The other big drawback of ExpressVPN is its price. It's expensive. However, it makes up for that by offering class-leading privacy and several freebies such as free three months of extra protection and one year of Backblaze cloud storage with a 12-month subscription—and you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee to decide if you want to stick with ExpressVPN or try another service. 

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ExpressVPN test results
DesignClean and simple, with no clutter⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIntuitive, easy to learn, and features like auto-connect make it a beginner's favorite⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceSpeeds are fast enough to support all activities but it's not as fast NordVPN or Surfshark⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingEffortlessly unblocks every major streaming platform and region⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyRock-solid encryption, a no-nonsense privacy policy, and regular audits ensure complete peace of mind⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer support24/7 live chat is available and online support documents are easy to find and understand⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceMore expensive than most leading competitors⭐⭐⭐

Best cheap Mac VPN

Sursfhark VPN on a Mac laptop

Top budget VPN for Mac and it's super fast


Also available on: Windows, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI), routers and more
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Amazon, Disney, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 Play
Number of servers: 3,200+
Server locations: 160
Countries: 100
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Reasons to buy

Fastest speeds of all VPNs on my list
Unlimited simultaneous connections
Exceptional value for money

Reasons to avoid

Support isn't best-in-class
Some kill switch issues on Windows
Subscribe if:

✔️ You need a fast VPN: Surfshark leads my speed-testing charts thanks to top speeds of over 950 Mbps.

✔️ You want to protect a lot of devices: with just one Surfshark account, you can cover every single device in your household and then some more.

✔️ You're on a budget: Surfshark has made using a Mac VPN affordable with an overall value that's hard for other services to match.

Don't subscribe if:

You want a VPN with lots of servers: Surfshark's 3,200 servers are a lot, but NordVPN has nearly twice as many and PIA has over 20,000.

You're a VPN pro: Surfshark is a delight for beginners, but it might be too simple for people who want lots of configuration.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Surfshark boasts extraordinary speeds, unblocks most streaming services, and offers a simple app for Mac ideal for newbies, all while being the best cheap VPN on the market. You also get unlimited simultaneous connections and a generous 30-day money-back guarantee in the unlikely event that it's not for you. 

Want to learn more?

Read our comprehensive Surfshark review to see why it's both the fastest and cheapest VPN.

Surfshark is one of the most affordable Mac VPNs, but it also is one of the best thanks to fast speeds, a good server network, and lots of functions needed to carry out your online work and activities in private. It's also one of the easiest to use and a good place for new Mac VPN users to start.

Surfshark has over 3,200 servers worldwide. Sure, this isn't as many as NordVPN (6,000+) or Private Internet Access (20,000+) but is still a decent number to work with, especially considering that these servers are spread across a whopping 100 countries, which is more than most VPNs. This means no matter where you want to connect, Surfshark likely has a server there.

Try Surfshark risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you need a streaming VPN for your Mac, Surfshark is one of the best in the business. It easily unblocked Netflix in all regions, including Japan and Canada, Amazon Prime, and Dinsey+ when I last tested it. In fact, it performed a clean sweep of streaming services, even unblocking HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and both 9Now and 10Play in Australia without breaking a sweat.

When it comes to speed, it's difficult to find a VPN that's faster than Surfshark. It consistently reached speeds of 950 Mbps during my trials. In addition to absolutely eliminating any risk of buffering or lag, such speeds also help with torrenting—which you can do with Surfshark, though it doesn't have the same dedication to tools and functions for this task compared to PIA.

On the bright side, though, the Mac app comes with a list of recommended locations based on speed, a Favorites section, a Recently Used list, a Search box that simplifies finding and getting connected to your location of choice, as well the auto-connect feature that automatically connects you to the VPN whenever you access untrusted networks. In short, there's tons of features to ensure maximum usability for those new to VPNs.

What's more, you also get CleanWeb, which is Surfshark's built-in antivirus and ad-blocking, a rock-solid kill switch, static IPs, and MultiHop. Overall, Surfshark is really secure. However, we did notice potential leaking issues with the kill switch, but it seemed to only happen when using Windows computers—we didn't see the same issue with Mac.

To conclude, Surfshark is the best cheap VPN for Mac users (and everybody else, too), offering exceptional all-around value thanks to class-leading speeds, good security, and unlimited simultaneous connections so you can install the app on every single one of your devices. Surfshark also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you decide it's not the best fit for you, you'll get your money back without question.

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Surfshark test results
DesignClean and intuitive, and it's evident the designers paid attention to details⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useIncredibly simple and a good VPN for beginners⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceThe fastest VPN of all my top picks⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingEasily unblocks most streaming services⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyPotential kill switch issues on Windows, but everything on Mac works smoothl⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportSupport documents are hard to navigate, especially when you're in a hurry⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceSuper cheap, offers value that can't be beat⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best of the rest

Private Internet Access on a Mac laopton and iPhone

Source: PIA (Image credit: Source: PIA)
The best Mac VPN for torrenting


Also available on: Windows, iOS, Android, Linux (GUI), routers and more
Streaming services unblocked: US Netflix, Amazon, Disney Plus, Hulu, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 play
Number of servers: 20,000+
Server locations: 100+
Countries: 84
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Reasons to buy

Good torrenting VPN
Proven no-log privacy policy
Highly customizable

Reasons to avoid

Not a good choice for beginners
Decent speeds but nowhere near the fastest VPNs
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want to configure a Mac VPN yourself: PIA is the most customizable VPN on my list, which makes it the best for the tech-savvy.

✔️ You want to torrent on your Mac: PIA optimizes every one of its servers to support torrenting, has port forwarding, and several customizations specific to this function.

✔️ You want a VPN that takes security seriously: PIA is perhaps the only Mac VPN that has proven its no-logs policy in court twice, plus all its apps are open-source.

Don't subscribe if:

You want a Mac VPN that's easy to use: with as much configuration as PIA has, it isn't easy to use and not one I'd recommend for beginners.

You want the fastest VPN: PIA is decently fast, but Surfshark and NordVPN are much faster.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

🔒 Private Internet Access is the best Mac VPN for torrenting, and its value for money can't be beat, either, thanks to unlimited simultaneous connections and class-leading privacy at cheap rates. While it's admittedly better equipped for experts, you can put it to the test with a 30-day money-back guarantee and see for yourself.

Want to learn more?

Our in-depth Private Internet Access review gives more detail about the privacy cases, how PIA won those, plus facts about its independent audits.

Private Internet Access (PIA) takes security and privacy seriously, as it is perhaps the only Mac VPN that has proven its no-logs policy in court twice. Additionally, this is one of the best for torrenting. 

This is first because all of its 20,000+ servers have been secured and configured for torrenting. Other Mac VPNs tend to set aside a handful of dedicated torrenting servers, so having so many in such a vast network is amazing. Second, you can customize your torrenting experience on Mac by using PIA's port forwarding feature, or split tunneling. Both help you speed up download speeds to get your files in hand quicker. 

Try Private Internet Access and get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Overall, Private Internet Access has below-average speeds when compared to most other VPNs, but it's still fast enough to support torrenting. Also, note that none of the three providers above offer split tunneling on their Mac versions.

Another massive selling point of PIA as a Mac VPN is its wallet-friendly prices. The cost of using PIA is cheaper compared to most VPN services, especially if you commit to the 2-year package. In fact, PIA is on par with Surfshark as the best value-for-money Mac VPN package in the industry. This is partly because it comes with unlimited simultaneous connections, like Surfshark, so if you want to run your VPN on more than just one Mac, PIA is perfect for that.

Private Internet Access also works on other devices and operating systems including iPhones, PCs, Linux, routers, and even game consoles. In fact, it’s the best Linux VPN, as it’s one of the very few to offer a graphical user interface (GUI) on Linux.

For unblocking TV streaming services, too, PIA is on par with the top dogs. It doesn't have an issue accessing any of the Netflix regions, Hulu, Amazon, or Disney Plus—and it also unlocks YouTube and the BBC iPlayer with ease.

The PIA Mac VPN app comes absolutely jam-packed with functions, similar to its Windows counterpart. Beginning from basics such a Connect button and a Favorites list all the way up to more advanced options including a sortable location list, speed charts, ping times of the servers, and a Snooze option, there's just class-leading customizability—meaning tech experts will love it.

Since it is a highly configurable VPN, Private Internet Access isn't the easiest to use. In fact, it gets overwhelming really quickly, so if you're a new VPN user, we suggest looking for an easier app like the one offered by ExpressVPN or Surfshark. Overall, though, PIA's value for money is tough to beat and there are only a couple of areas where it doesn't really hit it out the park as a Mac VPN. Be sure to use its 30-day money-back guarantee and see how it compares to the rest. 

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Private Internet Access test results:
DesignIt's beautiful, but there's a lot to configure before you can really use it⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useNot the best for beginners, but it's awesome if you're a VPN pro⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceBelow-average speeds, but good enough for most use cases⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingWith dedicated streaming servers, it's able to unblock just about everything⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyIts privacy claims have been challenged in court, twice, and proven by PIA, twice⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportExperts are always available to chat with you, and online support documents are easy to find and understand⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
PriceYou get a lot for your money, definitely great overall value⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Windscribe VPN on an Apple Macbook

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Lightning-fast VPN with a decent free plan


Also available on: Windows, Android, iOS, Linux (CLI), routers and more
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Disney, BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Channel 4, 9Now, 10 play
Number of servers: 400+
Server locations: 112
Countries: 69
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Money-back guarantee: 3 days

Reasons to buy

Open-source apps
Unlimited device connections
Mac VPN app is crammed with functions
Free plan with 11 countries

Reasons to avoid

No security audit or 24/7 live chat support
Very few servers
Subscribe if:

✔️ You want a free Mac VPN: unlike Proton VPN, Windscribe offers 11 countries to choose from on its free servers.

✔️ You want to protect all your devices: Windscribe comes with unlimited simultaneous connections, even on its free plan.

✔️ You need blazing speeds: with top speeds of over 950 Mbps, Windscribe sits pretty at the top alongside NordVPN and Surfshark as the fastest Mac VPN.

Don't subscribe if:

You want a budget Mac VPN: Windscribe offers one of the most comprehensive apps for Mac, but it's pricier than the competition, so those on a budget will be better off elsewhere.

You want a VPN that has proven its claims: although its open-source apps instill confidence, Windscribe is yet to undergo an independent third-party audit.

Bottom line ⭐⭐⭐⭐

🔒 Windscribe is lightning-fast, has open-sourced all its apps, and its Mac client is rammed with both basic and advanced security and usability features. Although it's admittedly not as cheap as the others, you get an amazing free plan and a 3-day money-back guarantee to take it for a risk-free trial run.

Want to know more?

Check out our Windscribe VPN review to see whether you should use its free version on your Mac.

Windscribe has come a long way since its launch and now packs some of the most sturdy security features you'll find on the market, even on its Mac client—which is not something most VPN providers do. You get port forwarding, static IPs, split tunneling, kill switch, MAC spoofing, and custom DNS settings, as well as some of the best blocking tech I've seen.

Although it commands a premium, it can be well worth the splurge if you want the full suite of advanced features on your Mac VPN. What's more, the Windscribe Mac app (as well as all its other apps) are open-source, so anyone can inspect its code at any time and verify the claims. However, the VPN is yet to undergo a proper, independent third-party audit—a major reason it's not higher up on my list.

Try Windscribe VPN for free.

Despite all the power it packs, Windscribe's Mac interface is pretty straightforward, so beginners can wrap their heads around it without much fuss. It doesn't look dated, isn't full of clutter, and all of the features are exactly where you'd expect them to be. A no-nonsense On/Off button connects you to your nearest server and a simple list of server locations make it fairly easy to use.

Windscribe also comes with unlimited simultaneous connections—meaning a single Windscribe account can protect all the devices of all your friends and family members. The good news keeps coming as Windscribe is also one of the speediest services in my testing, on par with NordVPN and Surfshark, with peak speeds of over 950 Mbps. 

It's not all work and no play for Windscribe, as it reliably unblocked most Netflix libraries and streaming services in my hands-on testing. In fact, the only region it was unable to block is Netflix Japan—other than that, it's as smooth-sailing as the rest of them on this list.

One of Windscribe’s biggest advantages is that it comes with a free plan, unlike any of the four Mac VPNs above. Sure, it’s a bit limited in that it only offers 10 GB of data per month, but it gives you access to servers in 11 countries, which is a solid offering for a free Mac VPN. This also makes up for Windscribe's below-average 3-day money-back guarantee, giving you ample time to try out the service risk-free before committing.

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Windscribe test results:
DesignOverall pretty simple, but there's a bit of clutter as well⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ease of useGenerally straightforward, but not the most beginner-friendly I've seen⭐⭐⭐
PerformanceAmong the speediest services in my testing⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
UnblockingUnblocks everything, with the only exception being the Japanese Netflix⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security and privacyOpen-source apps, but yet to undergo a third-party audit⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer supportLacks a live chat, but helpful on-site content and quick responses to emails⭐⭐⭐
PricePaid plans are pricey, but the free plan is good value⭐⭐⭐

How to choose a Mac VPN

First and foremost, look for a VPN that supports MacOS and as an intuitive and easy-to-use app for Mac devices. However, since almost every single high-end VPN service works across platforms, finding the best VPN for Mac essentially boils down to finding a good VPN that meets your requirements. 

To start with, the VPN must be super-secure with a clear-cut no-logs policy, a reliable kill switch, leak protection, and support for the most secure protocols, even on Mac. Also, if you want a specific advanced feature such as split tunneling, port forwarding, or double encryption, it's recommended that you search for a Mac VPN with that in mind since you won't find it in every Mac VPN. 

If your intended use cases involve streaming, pick a Mac VPN with lots of servers and excellent unblocking capabilities. It should effortlessly unblock big-name streaming sites such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer, as well as other streaming platforms you wish to access.

Next, consider the number of devices you want to protect. If you're looking for VPN protection for everybody in your household or a bunch of different devices, opt for a provider that offers a high number of simultaneous connections. 

Cost is another key factor. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, but that doesn't mean VPNs are super expensive. Most cost just a few bucks a month if you're willing to subscribe for the long-term, and free trials/money-back offer means you don't have to spend any money to find out if the service is right for you.

How we test Mac VPNs

Every VPN claims to be safe and secure, but we physically test each one to see which ones really are. To start with, we look at the encryption protocols VPN clients have available and the encryption level they offer. We want to see VPNs use the highest security level, AES-256. 

It's also important that a VPN uses the WireGuard, OpenVPN, or IKE2v protocols. There are other encryption protocols out there, but these three are currently the most secure and the ones we recommend using. We also look at each VPN company's no-log privacy policy. This gives us an idea of how well your personal information is protected from law enforcement and online trackers, or from being sold to partners. 

Then we download and use the VPN on various devices, including Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and more. Here, we stress-test the VPN apps, putting a lot of pressure on them to see if we can break the kill switch or cause them to leak any information—and only those that stay securely connected make it to our top five. 

While the VPN is installed, we check out all the tools and features included. If there is an important tool, like split tunneling or port forwarding, we check it out. This is also where we evaluate how easy it is to use the provider’s apps, including its Mac VPN app.

Next, we throw multiple big-name streaming services such as Netflix and others at the provider to check its unblocking capabilities. We repeat the test from three different locations around the world for accurate results. While we're at it, we count the number of servers, countries, and locations then compare them to the claims made by the VPN company to make sure it's accurate. 

For speed-testing, we test the provider's speed at least 120 times before arriving at the final number. Lastly, to evaluate the customer support, we ask genuine questions about the service to the support agents and then note down their response time as well as the accuracy of their replies. This is to ensure the VPN can swiftly resolve any queries you may run into.


Do Macs have a built-in VPN?

Short answer—no.

While Mac devices do come with an option to connect to a VPN server in System Preferences, it's not really a VPN service. Simply put, that's just a setting that helps you control a third-party VPN you install on your Mac such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or Surfshark.

Which is the best VPN for Mac?

NordVPN is the #1 VPN for Mac devices and everything else, too. It comes with an all-in-one security suite which includes a built-in antivirus and ad-blocking, as well a password manager, secure cloud storage, and even cyber insurance. Additionally, Nord's also the fastest VPN service as well as the very best for Netflix unblocking. It's also reasonably priced, so you'll get excellent bang for your buck.

However, if you're an absolute beginner and after a plug-and-play VPN app for your Mac, choose ExpressVPN, which offers class-leading privacy and is just as powerful as NordVPN. Regardless of your choice, you'll get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the service out risk-free and see if it's for you. 

Should I use a VPN on Mac?

While Macs are generally safer than Windows PCs, they cannot encrypt your internet traffic or spoof your IP address to protect you from the prying eyes of hackers, ISPs, and snooping government authorities—for that, you need a good Mac VPN.

The best VPN services aren't mere privacy watchdogs, but they also come with strong unblocking capabilities. As a result, they can bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites and allow you to watch your favorite content no matter where you are. Other VPN benefits include cost savings on flight and hotel bookings, enhanced gaming experience, and rock-solid security on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.

Are VPNs safe?

All the providers that feature on our best lists are extremely secure. However, if you want to find out for yourself whether a VPN is trustworthy, make sure it has a strict no-logs policy so it doesn't track your IP or internet usage. 

Next, it should support the most secure protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2) and offer industry-standard AES-256 encryption. Lastly, important security features like a kill switch and leak protection should all be available and working as advertised as well.


We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Olivia Powell
Tech Software Commissioning Editor

Olivia is the Commissioning Editor for Tech Software at Future. With a background in cybersecurity, Olivia stays up-to-date with all things cyber and creates content across sites including TechRadar Pro, TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, iMore, PC Gamer and Games Radar. She is particularly interested in threat intelligence, detection and response, data security, fraud prevention and the ever-evolving threat landscape.

With contributions from