The 7 Best VPN’s for Mac: Trusted, Safe & Fast (Tested Oct 2020)

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James H | Updated: March 27, 2020

Privacy and Security Specialist

There are tons of VPN services claiming to be the best way to keep your internet traffic secures, but they can’t all be great. Just like any field, many of these VPN for mac services have duds and ones that excel. 

What makes a service the best VPN for Mac? When you examine a VPN for Mac, you need to understand its security features, speed, device support, server locations, and streaming/torrenting support. 

But the best VPN for Mac also needs Apple-specific support. You’ll want an app that has VPN for Mac support, iOS support, and for Apple specific applications like Safari. Here are the ones I highlight as the best VPN for Mac:

  • Express VPN: A fast VPN that’s missing a Safari extension
  • NordVPN: A trusted VPN with 5,248 servers in 59 countries
  • IPVanish:
  • Surfshark:
  • ZenMate:
  • CyberGhost:
  • SaferVPN:

Let’s take a closer look at these VPNs for Mac services.


1. ExpressVPN

Features:
  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Devices: 5 simultaneous devices
  • No logging policy: Yes
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming sites: Yes. Specific sites depend on streaming site updates
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox
  • Protocol: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP
  • Price: Between $8.32 and $12.95 a month

Express VPN Review

ExpressVPN is a very popular VPN for Mac, because of it’s high quality service. It has servers all over the world, 160 locations in 59 countries. So, you have a lot of flexibility to change your location to get around country specific content blocks while keeping your privacy.

Express VPN For Streaming/Torrenting

That makes a ExpressVPN a best VPN for Mac for streaming and torrenting sites, because streaming sites and countries continually block certain content. In the opinion of this express VPN review, torrenters need the flexibility to switch up their location to have access to sites like The Pirate Bay or Popcorn Time.

Many mobile services also have streaming throttling, which ExpressVPN circumvents. If you want a connection to HD mobile streaming without paying your mobile provider extra, this VPN is for you.

If location isn’t important to you, they have a feature to connect you to the best server. That’s usually the one closest to you, so you get the best speed and latency for your traffic. For a full analysis of speeds and locations look for a in-depth Express VPN review. 

Express VPN Compatibility

It’s disappointing that Express VPN for Safari doesn’t have a native extension. If you prefer to use extensions for browsers, and you use Safari, this service is not for you. You can, however, get a NordVPN for Chrome and NordVPN for firefox. The VPN for Mac app does work on Safari traffic, so there is an easy workaround.

Users report that Express VPN for Mac is fast and reliable, and the Express VPN for Firefox and Chrome extensions work very well. To get into the details, you’ll need to look at a more detailed Express VPN review. 

Express VPN For Mac Security Protocols

This VPN gives you access to three encryption protocols in the network: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP. Each one finds a different balance between speed and security. This kind of flexibility makes this VPN a best VPN for Mac.

It also has stellar customer service. Their support team is available to chat 24/7. If you’re torrenting at 2 AM anywhere in the world, they can help you work through a problem. 

Pros
  • Fully supports Mac OS and iOS
  • Fast VPN service
  • No logging policy
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Split tunneling

Cons

  • No Safari extension
  • More expensive than other VPN’s
  • Only 5 simultaneous devices


2. NordVPN

Features: 
  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Devices: 6 simultaneous devices
  • No logging policy: Yes
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming sites: Yes. Specific sites depend on streaming site updates
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox
  • Protocol: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
  • Price: Between $3.45 and $11.95 a month

NordVPN Review

NordVPN is a VPN for Mac that is among the most trusted and most recommended. Users love access to its security features, solid app, fast speeds, and server locations around the world.

NordVPN supports up to 6 simultaneous devices, more than some other VPN’s. And supports a wider variety of devices, including Mac OS and iOS.

NordVPN Browser Support 

Sometimes users like to use a VPN only for their browsers, and they allow their other traffic to go out unencrypted. NordVPN is an excellent VPN for Safari and VPN for Chrome, because it supports their extensions. If you only want privacy on your browser, these extensions are the way to go.

NordVPN for Safari is not great, though. NordVPN does not support a Safari extension. If you use Safari, you’ll have to use the app to have your browser traffic encrypted. If you want to use NordVPN for Safari, look somewhere else. 

NordVPN Locations and Speed

NordVPN is a best VPN for Mac, because it offers more than 5,000 servers in 59 countries. They have little support for locations in Africa and the Middle East is very limited. Only one location in Africa, India, and three in the middle east. 

Users praise NordVPN for their speed and reliability. For a full test of their speeds around the world, you’ll need to see a more detailed NordVPN review, though. This is an overview, after all. 

Streaming and Torrenting

They support streaming and torrenting on most of their sites. Their locations list shows which servers support what features around the world. Again, their support for servers in the Middle East, India, and Africa lacks many of the features I like in a VPN for Mac.
Combine that with their server locations, and NordVPN is excellent for torrenting. Many nations are continually trying to block torrenting sites, so you need the flexibility to move to different servers in different countries.

Pricing

NordVPN offers a few pricing options. Their least expensive plan is a three-year commitment which is as low as $3.49 a month, but their month to month plan is $11.95. The lowest cost plan is a real deal, but their highest cost plan is much higher than many competitors, which usually come in under $10 a month.

Pros
  • Most secure protocols
  • Many server locations
  • Trusted VPN
  • 6 simultaneous devices

Cons

  • Less flexibility for the fastest and least secure protocols
  • Few server locations in Africa, the Middle East, and India
  • No Safari support


3. IPVanish

Features:
  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Devices: 10 simultaneous connections
  • No logging policy: Yes
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming sites: Yes. Specific sites depend on streaming site updates
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Windows phone, iOS, Android, Fire TV
  • Protocol: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, IPSec, PPTP
  • Price: Between $4.55 and $7.00 a month

IPVanish Review

IPVanish has the distinction of having one of the lowest cost subscription services for the their month to month plans. While other VPN’s are usually topping out over $10, IPVanish VPN for Mac comes in at $7 a month.

IPVanish Server Locations

That lower cost comes with some drawbacks. IPVanish gives you access to fewer servers than many of its competitors, 1,300 servers in 75 locations. While that’s plenty of servers to give any user locations in most of the world, it may limit data speeds when traffic gets high on their limited server list. 

Users report blazing fast speeds, even with the limited number of servers. You don’t have to worry about 

They have no servers in China, the most glaring server problem. If you need to connect through China, don’t use this VPN (Though, I’d have privacy concerns about using a Chinese server anyway.).

IPVanish For Mac

IPVanish for Mac supports plenty of operating systems with native apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Windows phone, iOS, Android, Fire TV. They don’t have support for browser extension, so you can’t get IPVanish for Safari, IPVanish for Chrome, or IPVanish for Firefox. If you like to use a VPN only through your browsers, don’t get this one.

Flexible Protocol Options

If you like to geek out on how your VPN connects to the internet and encrypts your traffic, this IPVanish review loves that the app offers the flexibility to choose which protocol you use. Every protocol is a trade off between security and speed, so IPVanish for Mac lets you customize the balance for your needs. 

IPVanish for torrenting and streaming

IPVanish doesn’t have limits on P2P torrenting or throttles on streaming services. It’s always unclear which streaming services work and which don’t on a day to day basis. Streaming services constantly update their protections against VPN’s, but users report that it works on Netflix but doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer.

IPVanish Pros and Cons

Pros
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Flexible protocol options
  • Inexpensive subscription

Cons
 

  • Short refund period (7 days)
  • No locations in China
  • Few locations in Africa and the Middle East
  • No browser extensions


4. Surfshark

  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Devices: Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • No logging policy: Yes
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming sites: Yes. 15 + streaming services including Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Specific sites depend on streaming site updates
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Windows phone, iOS, Android, Chrome, Firefox, PS 4, Xbox
  • Protocol: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
  • Price: Between $1.77 and $11.95 a month

SurfShark VPN Review

Let’s start with the bottom line. SurfShark has the second lowest cost subscription of all the VPN’s on this list, $1.77 for 27 months. You have to commit to 27 months to get that price, a long contract. Who can commit that much to any tech service?

SurfShark for Mac also has one of the highest prices for its month to month service, $11.95. While it’s not the most expensive, it’s up there with the others.

SurfShark VPN Ad Blocker And Whitelist

SurfShark VPN for Mac offers ad blocker software, something that other VPN services don’t highlight. It keeps the most annoying ads from popping up on your device, and we all hate (HATE!) those auto play movies, right?

The whitelist feature is fantastic. This SurfShark review loves that you can make a connection to certain websites directly, even while using the VPN app. It works great with financial institutions that stop you from logging in if they don’t recognize the IP address.

I would hate to go through the security questions every time I went to my bank.

SurfShark VPN Server Locations

SurfShark has 1000+ servers in 61+ countries. While the number of servers and the list of countries is smaller than other VPN’s, it offers more servers in unlikely locations than other services. Their network of servers in the Middle East is especially impressive, though they have only one server location in Africa.

If you prefer to use a VPN for connections in the Middle East, this is one of the best services for you. 

Compatibility

SurfShark is compatible with more systems than most of its competitors. We love that it works on all the major operating systems and browsers, but it also works on PS4 and Xbox, a feature that few VPN’s have.

Even better, Surfshark offers unlimited device connections. Your whole house can run SurfShark on their phones, tablets, PC’s, and gaming system all at the same time. 

Pros
  • Second lowest priced VPN on this list
  • White list 
  • Camouflage mode
  • Ad blocker
  • Independent security audit

Cons

  • High price month to month service
  • 27 month commitment for lowest price
  • No VPN router
  • No China servers


5. ZenMate

  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Devices: 5 simultaneous connections
  • No logging policy: Yes
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming sites: Yes. 15 + streaming services including Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Specific sites depend on streaming site updates
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Windows phone, iOS, Android, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Firestick TV 
  • Protocol: OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, L2TP 
  • Price: Between $1.77 and $9.99 a month

ZenMate Review

ZenMate’s biggest claim to fame is their streaming guarantee, which promises that their VPN will work with every streaming service. That’s a tough thing to keep up, since streaming services are constantly updating their protocols to interfere with VPN’s. 

That’s good news for people who use a VPN to get around local content blocks. With ZenMate, you’ll be able to watch whatever you want wherever you want, whether it’s US Netflix in Vietnam or BBC iPlayer in South Africa. 

ZenMate Prices

ZenMate for Mac has the lowest prices on this list, just a little better than SurfShark, but that price comes with a 3 year commitment to the VPN service. The month to month cost is lower than most other services.

ZenMate also offers a free version of their service with very limited features. Their free service limits users to a connection with only four server locations, only using browser extensions, and a speed limit of 2MB/s. You’d need to use ZenMate for Chrome or ZenMate for Firefox, but there is no ZenMate for Safari extension.

While it’s nice to have a free service, this is so limited that it wouldn’t be very useful at all. Instead, ZenMate for Mac offers a 7 day free trial, which is the best way to test out their service.

ZenMate Streaming 

ZenMate for Mac is the best VPN for streaming, because it supports a massive list of streaming services. There is more than that, though.

ZenMate maintains a number of servers that are optimized for streaming. In other words, the network exists to maximize streaming speeds and to make your favorite content available wherever you are.

Pros
  • Streaming optimized servers
  • Free plan
  • Very low prices
  • 35 day guarantee
  • 7 day free trial

Cons

  • Only 5 devices
  • Fewer server locations


6. CyberGhost

  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Devices: 7 simultaneous connections
  • No logging policy: Yes
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming sites: Yes. 
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Windows phone, iOS, Android, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Firestick TV, Android TV 
  • Protocol: L2TP, IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN 
  • Price: Between $2.75 and $12.99 a month

CyberGhost Review

CyberGhost is a fantastic VPN for mac. It has a plethora of features including fast speeds, a variety of server locations, and streaming/torrenting support. 

CyberGhost Streaming And Torrenting

CyberGhost has a long list of streaming sites that it can access to unblock geoblocks for content. You can get just about any streaming service you like with CyberGhost. CyberGhost also supports torrenting and P2P networks. 

CyberGhost VPN for Mac is especially committed to ensuring the fastest speeds for both streaming and torrenting. They want to ensure that your content comes as quickly as possible, and they design their server architecture with that in mind. 

To achieve such speeds, CyberGhost operates servers optimized for torrenting and streaming services.

CyberGhost VPN for Mac Server Locations

CyberGhost has an impressive list of servers and server locations, more than 5,000 servers in 90 countries. CyberGhost for Mac even has a server location in China, Hong Kong. A Chinese server is unusual among VPN’s, which makes this service especially useful for people who need a Chinese IP address.

Some user CyberGhost reviews suggest that CyberGhost VPN doesn’t unblock torrenting or streaming in Australia. We didn’t test it, but others suggest that someone looking for a server in Australia should look somewhere else. 

CyberGhost VPN Compatibility

CyberGhost supports a host of operating systems and browsers, including all major operating systems, mobile systems, and two browser extensions: Firefox and Chrome. The VPN for Mac app is easy to use and functions well. However, If you want a VPN for Safari extension, this isn’t the VPN for you. 

Pros
  • Excellent streaming support
  • Chinese server
  • Low price long term commitment
  • Mac app support

Cons

  • Questions about torrenting and streaming in Australia
  • Expensive month to month costs
  • Simple, easy to use interface


7. SaferVPN

 
Features:
  • Kill switch: Yes
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Devices: 7 simultaneous connections
  • No logging policy: Yes
  • Torrenting: Yes
  • Streaming sites: Yes. 
  • Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, Windows phone, iOS, Android, Chrome, Opera, Firefox
  • Protocol: L2TP, IPSec, PPTP, IKeV2, OpenVPN 
  • Price: Between $2.50 and $12.95 a month

SaferVPN Review

This SaferVPN review is a bit unsure about whether SaferVPN for Mac is the best vpn for everyone. It’s an excellent service, but it may not be as good as the rest on the list.

SaferVPN Server Locations

SaferVPN for Mac has 700 servers in 34 countries. This is a much smaller list than most VPN services, but it has locations in all continents except for Antarctica (of course). The most surprising VPN location is Hong Kong, in China. 

While the Chinese server is impressive, the limited number of servers in Africa is problematic. They have locations only South Africa. If you need a variety of African locations, look for a different VPN.

SaferVPN Streaming And Torrenting

Like many VPN for Mac services, it supports numerous streaming services. It can break through geoblocks that keep you from accessing content wherever you want to. 

SaferVPN for Mac seems to have limited torrenting ability. Users report that only a few servers work well with torrenting.

SaferVPN also claims that they can connect to your VPN without slowing your internet speeds or excessively increasing latency. This is an unusual claim for a VPN. If it’s true, it would make this VPN stand out from the rest. 

SaferVPN Compatibility

SaferVPN is compatible with all the most common operating systems, mobile systems, and browser extensions. The SaferVPN for Mac app is strong and easy to use. 

SaferVPN for Safari doesn’t work, though, because there is no Safari extension. SaferVPN has extensions for both Chrome and Firefox, but if you need one for Safari, this is not the right VPN service for you. This is true for all the VPN services on this list, so it’s not a feature that stands out for SaferVPN. 

Pros
  • Inexpensive long-term service
  • Chinese servers
  • A plethora of streaming services

Cons

  • Expensive month to month service
  • Limited servers and location
  • Limited Torrenting

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