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Best VPN For Mac of 2024

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If you’re wondering which is the best VPN for Mac, we’ve looked at the best Mac compatible VPNs that work on the latest versions of macOS including Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey and Apple Silicon M1, M2 and M3 Macs.

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 options available.

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

After extensive research, we chose NordVPN as the best VPN for Mac (up to 67% off ) due to its rock solid security measures, fast, stable VPN connections worldwide and support for Apple Silicon Macs.

What Makes The Best VPN For Mac In 2024?

There are many reasons to use a VPN but arguably the most important thing to look for in a VPN is how well it protects your privacy.

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.

If it’s accessing streaming sites which are blocked in your country that you’re using a VPN for, then the best VPN will be the ones that can unlock the most services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Hulu.

Finally, Mac users will also want to consider whether the VPN works natively with the latest Apple Silicon Macs. Although all VPNs will work on Apple Silicon Macs thanks to Rosetta, native clients are more secure and stable.

Do Macs Need A VPN?

Macs are generally more secure than Windows PC with far less viruses, malware and other potential security holes that could compromise your Mac.

However, when it comes to surfing online Macs are no more secure than any other device and a VPN can provide anonymity or secure your connection from snooping.

And of course, if you want to access streaming sites that are blocked in your region, then your Mac needs a VPN to get round this.

Do Macs Have A Built-In VPN?

You can 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 the VPN services reviewed here.

Best VPN For Mac: What We Looked For

There are a few essential features we looked for when choosing the best VPN app.

  • 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 macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey and Big Sur.
  • M1, M2 & M3 Compatibility: All of the VPNs reviewed here work with the latest Apple Silicon Macs including the M2 MacBook Pro, M2 Mac Mini and Mac Studio. However, some VPNs require Rosetta to “translate” them to work on M1, M2 and M3 chips which doesn’t work as well or as securely as native Apple Silicon chip compatible VPN clients. It also drains your MacBook battery much quicker if the app is not optimized or native for Apple Silicon Macs. 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 almost any browser, all of the VPNs we reviewed are the best VPNs for 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 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: Many VPNs do not support split tunneling on Mac in the latest versions of macOS and M1/M2/M3 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. In these Mac VPN reviews, we’ve highlighted those VPNs that do support split tunneling.
  • 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.

Does Google Offer A VPN?

Google launched Google One VPN For Mac in November 2022 but it’s not free and it’s very basic as it’s only for encrypting connections.

It also does not allow you to connect to unblock videos and streaming services in other countries like the VPN services reviewed here do.

In addition, Google One VPN also costs $9.99 per month which is considerably more than most dedicated VPN apps that costs little more than a few dollars per month.

With this in mind, here are the best VPNs for Mac of 2024 in order of ranking.

1. NordVPN (Best Overall & For M1, M2 & M3 Macs)

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.

Not only this, but NordVPN is extremely fast with over 6000 servers in 61 countries. This makes it easy to stream content that’s usually not available in your region or download via P2P.

For those that are trading crypto on a Mac, this double security measure also makes NordVPN the best VPN for crypto on Mac.

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- chip 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.

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.

Furthermore, NordVPN also has a very easy to use mobile app for iOS so you can use it on iPhone and iPad.

You can currently get a massive 59% off NordVPN for Mac on a standard 2 year subscriptions which works out at just $3.39 per month.

For a limited period you can also get two NordVPN bundles which offer even better value and include:

  • NordVPN Plus (NordVPN + NordPass): $4.39/month.
  • NordVPN Ultimate (NordVPN + NordPass + NordLocker): $6.39/month.

NordPass is an ultra secure password manager for your Mac and NordLocker is a secure file storage solution.

The Nord Bundle provides all-around cybersecurity so it protects your internet traffic, passwords and data all in one package.

NordPass works out almost 50% cheaper as part of the bundle and you get 100 times more storage with NordLocker in the bundle compared to buying it separately.

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

If you want to read more you can also check out our full NordVPN for Mac review for a more in-depth look.

Pricing: Starts at $3.39 per month with 59% off.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Supports maximum of 6 devices on one subscription
  • Split tunneling not supported on macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or Apple Silicon Macs

2. Surfshark (Best For Multiple Connections)

surshark mac desktop app

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

It is definitely one of the cheapest VPNs out there offering up to 81% off and yet in our tests, the performance and features are up there with any VPN provider on the market.

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 79% off  + 2 free months on 24 month subscriptions which works out at just $2.29 per month.

They also provide 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 $2.29 per month with 79% off.

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

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

3. Windscribe (Best Multiple Connections)

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.

Windsribe 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, Windsribe 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. However if you’re using it on a MacBook, this will drain your MacBook battery much quicker and won’t perform as well as a native Apple Silicon app.

You can currently get 57% off Windscribe VPN Pro and get 3 years for just $89 which is one of the most competitive deals on the market.

You can use Windscribe VPN For Mac for free to see for yourself.

Pricing: $89/3 years

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • No native M1/M2/M3 Mac version
  • Split tunneling not supported on macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or 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 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 83% off subscriptions + 2 months free making it just $2.19 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 $2.19 per month on 2 year plans with 83% off + 2 months free.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Free trial is only 24 hours
  • Not natively compatible with Apple Silicon Macs
  • Only allows 7 connections at once
  • Split tunneling not supported on macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or 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 Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur 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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Only supports 5 devices at once
  • No free trial
  • Split tunneling doesn’t work on Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or Apple Silicon Macs

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.

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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • 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 macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or 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

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Technical for beginners
  • No native Apple Silicon Mac version
  • Split tunneling not supported on macOS Sonoma, Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur or Apple Silicon Macs

Best VPNs For Mac Compared

If you’re still not sure which VPN for Mac to choose, here’s a comparison of the best VPNs for Mac to see how they compare side-by-side.

NordVPNSurfsharkWindscribeCyberGhostExpressVPNPrivate Internet Access (PIA)OVPN
Servers52223200+696800+600030,000+2500+
Countries591006391948425
Mobile App✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Simultaneous Connections6UnlimitedUnlimited75105
No Logs ✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Kill Switch✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Mac Desktop App✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Works With Safari✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️✔️
Native M1/M2 App✔️✔️✔️

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Free Trial

Best Free VPN For Mac

Some of the VPNs featured here offer a free trial including our top pick NordVPN so you can use them for free before deciding to use them.

While there are some VPN providers that offer free Mac VPNs, none of them come close to offering the kind of security and reliability of the apps featured here.

The most important catch with any free VPN is that they simply do not offer the same level of security, features and privacy as a paid service.

In fact, a trade-off for using the service for free is that your personal data is either exposed or sold on to third parties.

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.

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

Paid VPN services are incredibly cheap nowadays and you can get top quality VPNs like NordVPN and Surfshark for just a few dollars per month.

For more, check-out our guide to the Best Free VPNs For Mac.

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