Best VPN for Mac 2021

Paula Novo

Paula Novo Last updated: July 16, 2021

Best VPN for Mac 2021

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For years, people have debated whether or not Macs are immune to cyber threats. Of course, this is a stretch. Yes, Mac operating systems (OS) do provide a layer of standard security features that protect users from things like malware and viruses. However, we recommend supplementing these basic features with more advanced protection like a VPN.

Overall, the best VPN for Mac will hide your IP address from online snoopers like ISPs, unlock geo-restricted content, block ads, and provide identity-theft protection. After testing hundreds of VPNs, our experts narrowed down the best options. Below, we list the Top 5 VPNs for Mac in 2021, all of which are compatible with most versions of MacOS dating back to Sierra. Find out which one best suits your lifestyle.

Top 5 VPNs for Mac

#Provider
1ExpressVPN ExpressVPN
#1 VPN for Mac with military-grade encryption & fantastic speeds Read More
2NordVPN NordVPN
Go-to VPN with airtight privacy practices and Siri support for Apple users Read More
3CyberGhost CyberGhost
Reliable VPN for Apple devices with a sleek interface Mac users prefer Read More
4Norton Secure VPN Norton Secure VPN
Robust security features for both its standalone app & Safari browser extension Read More
5IPVanish IPVanish
Quality service with streaming & torrenting capabilities on unlimited connections Read More

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvrokuplaystaionxboxnintendo

Powerful VPN with diverse functionality

Visit ExpressVPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 8.32/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 74 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 94

pros

  • Safe, unrestricted torrenting/P2P
  • Unlocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more
  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries

cons

  • No kill switch on iOS
  • More expensive price point
  • Only 5 simultaneous connections

Topping the charts, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for Mac. This VPN consistently delivers fast speeds over short and long distances and is known for having the largest VPN server network spanning 94 countries. In addition, ExpressVPN makes streaming easy by unblocking popular websites like Netflix, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer and uses AES 256-bit encryption as its standard.

laptop icon with ExpressVPN download

Though ExpressVPN is more expensive than some VPNs, you get what you pay for – and then some. ExpressVPN’s sleek interface and simple configuration make it a great choice for users at every experience level. You can try ExpressVPN out using its 7-day free trial to see how it fits into your digital routine.

To learn more, read our in-depth ExpressVPN Review.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxandroid-tv

Feature-rich VPN with strong privacy practices

Visit NordVPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 4.13/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 98 Mpbs
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 59

pros

  • Slick UI, making it exceedingly easy to use
  • Vast array of security features
  • Massive list of high speed U.S. servers

cons

  • One of the pricier VPNs
  • Replaced free trial with money-back guarantee

Deserving of all the praise, NordVPN comes in second as the best VPN for Mac devices in 2021. This security giant provides military-grade encryption and most recently, Siri support, which is ideal for Apple fans. Its desktop app is also simple and clean, which pairs well with Mac designs. The NordVPN app is also easy to configure and comes with features like “Onion over VPN” and Double VPN for added security.

From our tests, NordVPN delivered lightning-fast speeds and is a powerful streaming service. In addition, NordVPN includes two kill switches, WebRTC and DNS leak protection, and up to 6 simultaneous connections, so you can rest easy knowing all your computers are secured.

For more in-depth information, read our NordVPN Review.

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3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvrokuplaystaionxboxnintendo

All-in-one solution with a massive server network

Visit CyberGhost
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.25/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 44 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 90

pros

  • Fast, secure and easy to use
  • Top pick for streaming
  • Allows Torrenting/P2P

cons

  • Logs some anonymous data
  • Doesn’t work with Chromebook

CyberGhost is another reliable VPN for Mac thanks to its fully-featured VPN for Apple devices. Users can take advantage of all CyberGhost features, such as IP configuration, streaming, anonymization, and more. Not to mention, its VPN app is sleek and simple to use, which Mac users seem to appreciate. 

CyberGhost settings

Additionally, CyberGhost offers simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices and supports streaming, torrenting, and P2P traffic on thousands of servers available. If you’re looking for a cheap Mac VPN that doesn’t skimp on entertainment features, CyberGhost is worth looking into.

Check out our full CyberGhost VPN Review to learn more.

4. Norton Secure VPN

Norton Secure VPN
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroid

An affordable midtier service with standard capabilities.

Visit Norton Secure VPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 4.99/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 75 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 29

pros

  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • Very fast on nearby servers
  • Affordable, flexible pricing

cons

  • No VPN kill switch
  • Torrenting blocked on servers
  • Small server network

Joining the ranks for the best VPNs for Mac in 2021 is none other than Norton Secure VPN of the security giant, Norton. It comes with both a standalone application and a browser extension for Apple’s Safari browser, both of which include security features like zero-logs, Norton password manager, and ad blocking. When tested by our experts, Norton delivered lightning-fast connection speeds for nearby servers and was easy to set up and navigate in-browser.

In addition, Norton Secure VPN is fairly cheaper than other providers that made this list, which bodes well for users on a budget. Norton Secure VPN also supports up to 10 connections, so you can protect all of your devices at the same time. If you need more to go off, consider trying Norton Secure VPN risk-free with its 60-day money-back guarantee on annual plans.

For more in-depth information, read our Norton Secure VPN Review.

5. IPVanish

IPVanish
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterfire-tv

A fast, affordable VPN with advanced security features

Visit IPVanish
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.40/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 84 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 57

pros

  • Supports torrenting & P2P
  • No IP address/DNS/IPV6 leaks
  • Unlimited device connections

cons

  • Cluttered interface
  • Under 5 Eyes surveillance
  • Doesn’t work in China

A veteran provider, IPVanish is a top-rated VPN for macOS for good reason. It’s a quality service that supports torrenting and streaming across a network of 1,600+ servers, and it’s both tight on security and impressively fast. Even better, IPVanish gives clients the ability to configure settings including OpenVPN scrambling, port selection, and split tunneling, so users feel fully protected.

IPVanish server country list

VPN newbies could benefit from learning the ins and outs of a service like IPVanish, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Its information-rich app is best suited for advanced users. But is that really a drawback? IPVanish offers unlimited device connections and a strong logging policy, which is crucial for heavy users. If you’re as intrigued as we were when testing it, consider trying IPVanish out risk-free for 30 days.

For more in-depth information, read our IPVanish Review.

VPN FAQs for Mac

1. How do I set up a VPN on Mac?

Following Apple’s macOS User Guide, use these steps below to connect your VPN to your Mac computer:

  • Find the Apple icon in the left corner of the top menu bar and click on it.
  • Select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu and click “Network” from the rows of setting options.
  • Select your VPN service from the list on the left-hand side.
  • If a “Configuration” pop-up menu appears, select the configuration you want.
  • Click “Connect,” and start browsing the web.

2. How do I change a VPN on Mac?

To change a VPN on Mac, simply navigate to your “Network” settings from the System Preferences menu and select the new VPN service you’d like to switch to. You can find general steps for configuring a VPN on your Mac here.

3. Do I need a VPN on my Mac?

While Mac operating systems are known for a higher level of security on all of their devices compared to Windows, it’s still a good idea to use a virtual private network to ensure you have advanced features necessary to protect your data. Parties like your internet service provider, browser, and government agencies all attempt to track your online activity. A VPN takes extra steps to encrypt your data and ensure complete privacy from outside parties.

4. Is there an Apple VPN for Mac?

No. Apple prides itself on providing robust security software in its products that deliver basic security protection from average cyber-attacks and threats. However, we recommend using a VPN on top of Apple OS to ensure complete protection and privacy of your data and location while browsing the web. 

5. What is the best VPN for Mac?

While Apple includes basic security features that outperform most other devices and operating systems, it’s still a good idea to use a VPN for advanced security measures and added protection for your personal data. Explore our list of top 5 VPNs for Mac above.

6. What is the best VPN browser extension for Safari?

There is no VPN browser extension for Safari. In 2018, Apple removed support for traditional browser extensions and replaced it with ‘Safari App Extensions’ that come baked into app downloads from the Mac App Store. Due to Apple’s strict permission guidelines, few apps offer browser extensions for Safari. 

If you want VPN protection, your best option is to use a full VPN app and pin it to your Mac’s menu bar. You can configure your VPN settings to run all the time, during specific timeframes, or only when you click on it to activate it. That’s as close as you can get to the seamless experience of a browser VPN for Safari.