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Best VPN For Mac of 2024: Tested, Reviewed & Buying Advice

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Whether you want to protect your data and privacy online or access websites that are restricted in your region, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is definitely your best option.

But choosing the best VPN software isn’t easy nowadays with so many services to choose from.

The good news for Mac users is that the VPN market has never been more competitive with huge discounts available on subscriptions.

We’ve done the hard work for you by testing and reviewing those VPNs that we found are the best for Mac users in 2024.

Best VPN For Mac: What We Looked For

There are some essential features we looked for when choosing which was the best Mac compatible VPN service.

  • No Log Policy: Most VPN providers do not log any history your internet usage for your own protection and privacy. This also protects the VPN services as they have none of your data to steal or hand over. However while some have strict no-logging policies, others promise that your data will be deleted periodically.
  • Strong Encryption: Almost all offer a minimum of AES 256-bit encryption which is extremely strong. However, some like NordVPN offer “double encryption” for extra security. Terms such as “military grade” or “bank level” security is purely sales talk and AES 256-bit encryption or better is what to look for.
  • Kill Switch: If your internet connection fails for any reason, it’s important your VPN connection cuts the connection to prevent your data being suddenly exposed. All reputable VPNs include a kill switch which triggers automatically in the event of an outage or security issue.
  • Leak Protection: This protects you against holes in any software that you’re using that may allow your ISP to discover your identity or track your activity.
  • Mac Desktop Client: Most VPNs work across platforms nowadays via a browser but not all offer a Mac desktop app. All the VPNs featured here have a Mac desktop app and are guaranteed to work seamlessly on the latest versions of macOS.
  • Apple Silicon Compatibility: All of the VPNs reviewed here work with the latest Apple Silicon Macs. However, some of them require Rosetta to “translate” them to work on M-series chip Macs which don’t work as well or as securely as native Apple Silicon chip compatible VPN clients. They also drain your MacBook battery much quicker as they require more resources to run. We have made it clear which VPNs reviewed here are natively compatible with the M1, M2 and M3 chip and are the best VPNs for Apple Silicon Macs.
  • Safari Support: Although VPNs work with any browser, all of the VPNs we reviewed work best with Safari which is Apple’s browser that is installed on all Macs.
  • Multiple Servers: The more servers a VPN tool has, the more locations can you can mask yourself in and generally the more reliable the service is in terms of up time as it can fall back on another server if one fails.
  • Simultaneous Connections: If you want to connect your phone or more than one Mac/PC, most VPN services support multiple connections usually anything from 3 to 7 depending on the service. However, some providers like Surfshark allow unlimited VPN connections.
  • OpenVPN Integration: OpenVPN is an open source VPN protocol which is widely considered the most secure there is. Many of the best VPN apps for Mac are based on OpenVPN and in some cases, OpenSSL too.
  • Split Tunneling: Most VPNs do not support split tunneling on Mac on Apple Silicon Macs. Split Tunneling allows you to select which apps use the VPN and which don’t. This is useful if you want to print over a VPN for example. However, Private Internet Access for Mac (PIA) recently reintroduced split tunneling to work with the latest versions of macOS including Sonoma.
  • Customer Support: Without doubt, at some stage you’ll have problems whichever VPN client you choose on your Mac. Many sites, especially streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, are constantly updating their technology to block things like VPNs. Good customer support can help you find a solution to this and all of the VPNs featured here have responsive and helpful online assistance.
  • Money Back Guarantee: All reputable VPN software allow you to get your money back if you’re not satisfied. This is usually 30 days but can be as much as a few months. Most VPNs also allow you to try them for free first.
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With this in mind, here are the best VPNs for Mac of 2024 in order of ranking.

1. NordVPN (Best For Security)

nordvpn mac

We ranked NordVPN as the best VPN for Mac of 2024 due to a combination of rock solid privacy, reliability and native Apple Silicon Mac support.

Panama based NordVPN has a strict zero logs policy which means it does not record any of your user data or browsing history.

Most people who want a VPN are looking for privacy protection and NordVPN takes measures to protect you that go that little bit further than any other service.

Most VPNs encrypt your internet traffic once.

NordVPN uses a special “Double VPN” system which encrypts your traffic not just once but twice making it virtually impossible to read or decrypt.

In addition, NordVPN offers not one, but two different Mac desktop apps for two different security protocols.

The Mac desktop app from the NordVPN website supports the most secure OpenVPN protocol and we strongly recommend downloading that one.

However, there is also a NordVPN app on the Mac App Store but we don’t recommend it as it can only use the IKEv2 protocol which isn’t quite as secure.

Both apps support the latest Apple Silicon Macs and NordVPN was the first VPNs to support M-series Macs natively making it our choice for the best VPN for Apple Silicon Macs.

NordVPN also includes its own specially encrypted chat tool for chatting securely online, special browser extensions for extra protection and integration with OpenVPN.

In terms of speed, we found that NordVPN is extremely fast with over a huge choice of 6000 servers in 61 countries. This makes it easy to stream content that’s usually not available in your region or download via P2P.

It also allows you to easily switch region and stream content that’s blocked in your country including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

There’s also a very easy to use mobile app for iOS so you can use it on iPhone and iPad.

You can currently get a massive 69% off NordVPN for Mac on a standard 2 year subscriptions which works out at just $3.99 per month.

You can also try a free trial of NordVPN for Mac with a 30 day money back guarantee.

If you want to learn more, check out our full NordVPN for Mac review for a more in-depth look.

Pricing: Starts at $3.99 per month with 69% off + 3 months free


  • Incredibly secure
  • Huge choice of servers worldwide
  • Fast, reliable and stable
  • Easy to share connections with other devices
  • Works natively on Apple Silicon Macs
  • Added security for crypto trading on a Mac
  • Bundles with NordPass and NordLocker are excellent value


  • Supports maximum of 6 devices on one subscription
  • Split tunneling not supported on Apple Silicon Macs

2. Surfshark (Best For Unlimited Connections)


surfshark for mac connection

We ranked Surfshark as one of the best VPNs for Mac due to an impressive combination of value for money, performance and features.

Even better, unlike most VPNs there are no device limits with Surfshark so you can use one subscription with your Mac, iPhone, Apple TV, Playstation and any other supported device at no extra cost.

Once the app is installed and you open it, you’ll see a two-panel window.

To the left you’ll see the servers of which country and city you’d like to connect to, and to the right is the connect button.

Just choose server, press connect and that’s it. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. You can choose to select from either the Fastest Server or Nearest Country.

If you don’t want to connect to a dynamic IP address, you can also choose a static IP list for selected countries (currently UK, USA, Germany, Japan and Singapore) which means every time you connect, it will be with the same IP address in that country.

This may be necessary if you’re connecting to a network or service that only allows static or restricted IPs.

If you want to be extra secure, Surfshark also offers a “MultiHop” list which means it connects to a VPN in one country and exits the connection in another making it almost impossible to trace your IP address.

There’s no display of latency in each location but the app automatically recommends your fastest options to stream based on server loads.

Establishing a connection is very quick – usually no more than 5 seconds and you’re good to go.

If you minimize the desktop app, you can still access Surfshark via the macOS Menu Bar and switch between VPNs if you want.

Like with most VPNs, the longer you sign up for, the cheaper the price.

Surfshark is offering 86% off  + 3 free months on 24 month subscriptions which works out at just $2.19 per month.

It also provides a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not fully satisfied with the service.

There’s much more to Surfshark than this and we recommend checking out our full Surfshark For Mac Review for more.

Pricing: Starts at $2.19 per month with 86% off


  • Supports an unlimited number of devices
  • Lots of servers
  • Connections are stable and fast
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Great for unblocking Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Works natively on Apple Silicon Macs


  • Not many advanced configuration options
  • No split tunneling or GPS spoofing on Mac

3. Windscribe (Best Free VPN)

windscribe vpn for mac

Windscribe is one of the most popular free VPNs For Mac because it offers a generous 10GB per month surfing limit.

However, the paid version is also extremely popular with unlimited downloads and unlimited simultaneous connections.

This VPN provider offers 69 servers in 112 cities across the globe including several across the USA, UK and Canada.

We also like the fact that you can choose to use Windscribe either via the Windscribe Mac desktop client or via a Chrome browser extension.

Using the browser extension also includes an ad blocker and malware blocker for added security and privacy.

Windscribe has a very strict no logging policy and you can’t be identified from your IP address or time stamp. It also uses extremely strong AES-256 cipher encryption with SHA512 auth & a 4096-bit RSA key.

It works for unblocking services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Hulu in other countries and streaming video is fast and stable.

In addition, Windscribe also has a double-hop feature so that your connections can appear to join in one country and leave in another.

There’s no native Apple Silicon Mac version of Windscribe yet although it works on them via Rosetta in macOS.

You can currently get 61% off Windscribe VPN Pro and get 3 years for just $79.00 which is one of the most competitive deals on the market.

You can also use the free version of Windscribe VPN to test it for yourself.

Pricing: $79.00/3 years


  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Can be used for free up to 10GB of free data limit
  • 69 different server locations in 112 cities
  • Use via desktop app or Chrome extension with ad blocker
  • Can also be used with your own VPN servers


  • No native Apple Silicon Mac version
  • Split tunneling not supported on Apple Silicon Macs
  • No Safari extension

4. CyberGhost (Best For Torrents)

cyberghost for mac

CyberGhost has been in the VPN business over 15 years and is one of the most well known cross platform providers out there.

CybrerGhost for Mac offers ultra high privacy with a no logs policy and if there’s any interruption to your encrypted connection, CyberGhost immediately triggers a kill-switch.

It is extremely easy to use. Just flip a switch and you are instantly connected to one of CyberGhost’s 3000+ servers in over 60 countries and totally anonymous online.

Furthermore, CyberGhost even has special servers dedicated to delivering high-speed torrent downloading.

For streaming blocked content in another country, you can instantly switch to an IP address in that region and get around geo-restrictions.

Finally, you can also customize CyberGhost to trigger depending on which WiFi network or device you’re connecting from.

Overall, CyberGhost is extremely fast, safe and easy to use.

On the downside, CyberGhost does not work natively with Apple Silicon Macs. It’s hard to find any information about whether a native Apple Silicon Mac version of CyberGhost will be released but at the moment it only works on the latest Apple Silicon Macs via Rosetta which isn’t optimal.

CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off subscriptions + 4 months free making it just $2.09 per month with a 45 day money back guarantee.

You can try CyberGhost free for 24 hours before you buy too.

If you want to dig deeper into CyberGhost, you can also check out our full CyberGhost For Mac review for more.

Pricing: Starts at $2.09 per month on 2 year plans with 84% off + 4 months free.


  • Specializes in torrents and streaming via VPN
  • Lots of servers
  • 45 day money back guarantee


  • Free trial is only 24 hours
  • Not natively compatible with Apple Silicon Macs
  • Only allows 7 connections at once
  • Split tunneling not supported on Apple Silicon Macs

5. ExpressVPN (Best For Split Tunneling)

expressvpn for mac

ExpressVPN is extremely simple to use with lightening fast connections and huge selection of regions to choose from. With ExpressVPN’s Lightway feature, it provides some of the fastest connections we’ve ever seen using a VPN.

It also boasts one of the widest networks of more than 3000 servers of any VPN service with 94 locations covered.

So if you need to stream content from a specific country, it’s probably covered by ExpressVPN.

We also like the fact that ExpressVPN makes it very easy to setup split tunneling which means you can specify which apps can and can’t use the VPN connection on your Mac.

Unfortunately however ExpressVPN split tunneling does not work on the latest versions of macOS or Apple Silicon Macs though.

In terms of security, ExpressVPN also uses the open source OpenVPN protocol which is widely recognized as the securest VPN standard there is.

Not only this but ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN providers that owns its DNS servers which means that your data or IP address is not contracted out to a third party.

It also has a open source browser extension for enhanced security which has passed an external security audit.

ExpressVPN has a desktop client for Mac and works on all version of macOS. There are also apps for iPhone or iPad and you can even setup for Mac to share a VPN connection over WiFi with other Macs or devices.

The main downside is that ExpressVPN is limited to 5 simultaneous connections on one subscription but this means you can easily connect a couple of Macs, iPhones and an iPad.

There is also now a native Apple Silicon Mac version of the ExpressVPN app.

There’s no free trial of ExpressVPN but ExpressVPN is currently offering 49% off + 3 months free on 12 month subscriptions making it $6.67 per month with a 30 day money back policy.

You can also check our full ExpressVPN For Mac review.

Pricing: $6.67 per month on 12 month subscriptions


  • Huge choice of locations worldwide
  • Verified secure by an independent audit
  • Supports split tunneling
  • Easy to use
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Native Apple Silicon Mac app


  • Only supports 5 devices at once
  • No free trial
  • Split tunneling doesn’t work on Apple Silicon

6. Private Internet Access (Best For Servers)

pia vpn for mac

Private Internet Access (PIA) is often overlooked by Mac users because it’s not so well-known but it’s actually a very secure, solid and fast VPN app for macOS.

The main feature of PIA for Mac is that it’s completely open source. The source code of PIA is completely free to inspect by anyone that knows what they’re looking for in terms of security holes or anything that could compromise your anonymity when using it.

In fact, PIA users are even able to contribute their own code and modify the app to make it secure against new threats or security issues that affect other VPNs.

The other thing that makes PIA VPN for Mac stand out is that it claims to have more than 30,000 servers in 70 countries and offers multi-gigabit connections for extremely fast connections.

This is by far the biggest number of servers in the VPN market and includes Tunnels for OpenVPN, PPTP and IPSEC/L2TP VPN.

PIA does not keep any traffic or request logs, is DD-WRT VPN compatible, allows unmetered VPN transfers and includes a SOCKS5 proxy.

PIA is also the only VPN for Mac that currently offers split tunneling in the latest versions of macOS including Sonoma.

At the moment, there’s no native Apple Silicon Mac version of Private Internet Access and no news of whether the company is working on one.

There’s no free trial of PIA but Private Internet Access is currently offering 83% off + 3 months free on three-year deals which works out at $2.03 per month with a 30 day money back guarantee.

You can check out our full Private Internet Access For Mac review for more.

Pricing: $2.03 per month on 3 year deals with 83% off + 3 months free.


  • Strict no logs policy
  • Open source VPN
  • Over 30,000 servers
  • Unlimited bandwidth and usage
  • Thousands of servers
  • Up to 10 connections at once
  • Only Mac VPN that supports split tunneling


  • Connections can be unstable
  • Technical for beginners
  • No native M1/M2/M3 Mac support
  • Netflix and BBC iPlayer unblocking can be shaky
  • No free trial
  • Split tunneling not supported on Apple Silicon Macs

7. OVPN (Best Open Source VPN)

ovpn for mac

The main attraction of Sweden based OVPN is that it’s an open source VPN that offers total transparency in the code it’s built on.

What we like about OVPN is that they’re very transparent about what security measures they take even down to publishing the coding they’ve used on servers to prevent logging.

OpenVPN aslo pledges the most extreme “no logs” policy anywhere. Unlike many VPNs, OVPN is configured so that no logs are even temporarily stored on its servers.

OVPN has a browser extension that allows you to easily activate the VPN at any moment.

They even go as far as taking insurance out for users to help protect members in case of legal demands for user information.

There is no native Apple Silicon Mac version of OVPN however and no news of any plans for one.

OVPN is currently offering 75% off on 36 month subscriptions for $4.22 per month.

Pricing: $4.22 per month on 3 year subscriptions


  • Promises the most “extreme” no logs policy
  • Useful browser extension
  • Even allows users to take out privacy insurance


  • Technical for beginners
  • No native Apple Silicon Mac version
  • Split tunneling not supported on Apple Silicon Macs


Why Use a VPN?

There are many reasons to use a VPN but arguably the most important factor people use one for is to protect their privacy. While macOS and the Safari browser now apply several security measures to protect you online, a VPN provides far superior security.

In fact all of the best VPN services now submit to independent audits to verify how secure they are. This includes things such as what encryption methods they use, whether they log any user data and whether data can be intercepted.

Alternatively, if you want to access streaming sites that are blocked in your country, using a VPN is the best way to access services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Hulu.

Do Macs Have A Built-In VPN?

Macs can now use Apple Private Relay which is a basic VPN included in iCloud+ subscriptions. However, it’s nowhere near as powerful or as useful as a VPN.

You can also setup a VPN on a Mac manually without subscribing to any of these VPN services if you choose so that you can access a Mac remotely or connect to a home office network.

However, setting-up your own VPN manually is a lot more complicated than using a VPN service. For a start, you’ll need to know the server address and password of the virtual private network you want to connect to such as for an office or business.

You’ll then need to manually configure and setup the VPN via your network settings which requires some technical knowledge.

Your Mac’s built-in VPN also won’t allow you to stream content from other countries and protect your identity as securely as a dedicated VPN service.

Can I use these VPNs on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs?

Yes, all the VPNs listed in this guide offer full compatibility with both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs, ensuring optimal performance across different Mac models. However, we have highlighted those that work natively on M-series Macs and those that require Rosetta in macOS which aren’t quite as stable or efficient.

Are these VPNs secure?

Absolutely. All the VPNs mentioned provide top-notch security features, including AES-256 encryption, kill switches, and strict no-logs policies to ensure your online activities are private and secure.

Will using a VPN slow down my internet connection?

Using a VPN can slightly reduce your internet speed due to the encryption process. However, premium VPNs like NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Surfshark are optimized to minimize speed loss, providing fast and stable connections.

Can I access streaming services with these VPNs?

Yes, most of these VPNs offer specialized servers for streaming, allowing you to access geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.

Are there free VPN options for Mac?

Windscribe offers up to 10GB of surfing data from free but doesn’t offer all of the security and features of the paid version. ProtonVPN also offers a free plan with unlimited data, but it comes with certain limitations such as fewer server options and reduced speed.

Free VPNs are generally less secure and slower than paid options. A common trade-off for using the service for free is that your personal data is either exposed or sold on to third parties.

Most of them offer very limited bandwidth which means they stop working typically after 500MB of data has been transferred using them.

Free VPNs also tend to install either toolbars or third-party software on your Mac so our advice is, if you want a reliable VPN for Mac, you’re much better off paying for one.

For more on this, check out our guide to the best free VPN’s for Mac.

How do I install a VPN on my Mac?

Installing a VPN on your Mac is straightforward. Simply download the VPN app from the provider’s website, follow the installation instructions, and log in with your account credentials. Once installed, you can connect to a VPN server with just a few clicks.

Can I use one VPN subscription on multiple devices?

Yes, most VPN providers allow you to use a single subscription on multiple devices. Surfshark, for instance, offers unlimited device connections with one account.

How do I choose the best VPN for my needs?

Consider factors such as security features, speed, ease of use, compatibility with your Intel or Apple Silicon Mac, and pricing. This guide provides detailed information on top VPNs to help you make an informed decision.

Does Google Offer A VPN for Macs?

Google does not offer a VPN for Mac devices. Google launched Google One VPN For Mac back in November 2022 but it is now discontinued. It is now only available built-into Google Pixel devices and via Google Fi Wireless.

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