Best VPN for Mac 2021

Paula NovoLast updated: April 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

1. NordVPN

NordVPN
4.8
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxandroid-tv

Feature-rich VPN with strong privacy practices

Visit NordVPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 5.75/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 98 Mpbs
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
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 is 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 content-unblocking 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.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
4.6
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: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 94

pros

  • Fast, reliable speeds
  • Zero logs policy
  • 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

A close second, ExpressVPN is another excellent VPN for Mac. ExpressVPN 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 it easy to stream shows by unblocking popular websites like Netflix, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer and uses AES 256-bit encryption as standard.

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. Test ExpressVPN with its 7-day free trial to see how it fits into your digital routine.

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

3. Surfshark

Surfshark
4.2
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidfirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tv

Emerging VPN with a sleek UI and industry-low pricing

Visit Surfshark
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.21/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 41 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
Location
Countries: 63

pros

  • Great value for the money
  • Top pick for major streaming sites
  • Unlimited device connections

cons

  • Barebones audit of logging policy
  • Limited P2P servers with poor speeds

Newcomer Surfshark is a competitive Mac VPN with a user-friendly interface and strong encryption standards. Verified by independent auditor Cure53, Surfshark runs a tight ship when it comes to privacy, performance, and security. It’s also a bargain compared to other Mac VPNs, which is great if you just blew all your money on a new computer. The Surfshark app allows users to toggle between multiple protocols including OpenVPN, TCP, and IKEv2, enables an automatic kill switch, and runs the standard AES 256-bit encryption.

More so, one of Surfshark’s best perks is its unlimited connections, which saves you even more money on device protection. To see if Surfshark is right for you, take advantage of Surfshark’s 30-day money-back guarantee on any of their three plans risk-free and test it out for yourself.

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

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost
4.0
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvrokuplaystaionxboxnintendo

All-in-one solution with a massive server network

Visit CyberGhost
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.75/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 44 Mbps
Contract
Logging: Strong "no-logs" policy
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 arguably one of the best VPNs 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. 

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.

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

5. Norton Secure VPN

Norton Secure VPN
3.6
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: Solid "no-logs" policy
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

Rounding out our list of top VPNs for Mac 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.

Best VPN for Mac 2021 FAQs

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. Our top pick for the best VPN for Mac is NordVPN. It’s considered one of – if not the – most secure VPN for Mac, offering blazing-fast speeds, military-grade encryption, adblocker capability, and a verified no-logs policy. If your chief concern while online is protection against hackers, government surveillance agencies, and advertisers, NordVPN may be for you.

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.