Macs are well-known for their sleek design and unmatched performance when compared to other platforms. It also has a unique operation system (MacOS). While the system itself offers amazing opportunities for its users, it also lacks a redundant amount of quality and approved VPN apps for privacy seekers.
Bearing the problem in mind, I will be digging into the details and proving the best VPN services for MacOS users. By using one of these services, you will be able to secure your hard work, stream any content, bypass restrictions abroad, and get rid of privacy concerns driving from analytic tools.
A quick look to our handpicked 5 best VPNs for MacOS users
- 1. SurfShark
Legislation: British Virgin Island: Zero log policy, IKev2 with 256bit encryption, private DNS, Kill Switch, third part audit; 60+ country, 70+ Mbps speed; App Store approved MacOS VPN; Starting from 1.99$/month…
- 2. NordVPN
Legislation: Panama: Zero log policy, OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption, private DNS, Kill Switch, third party audit; 50+ countries, 70+ Mbps speed; App Store approved MacOS VPN; Starting from 3.49$/month…
- 3. ExpressVPN
Legislation: British Virgin Island: Proven no-log policy, 3 different protocols with 256-bit encryption, Private DNS, Kill Switch; 90+ countries, 60+ Mbps speed; Minimalist MacOS VPN; Starting from 6.67$/month…
- 4. CyberGhost
Legislation: Romania: No activity log, OpenVPN protocol with 256-bit encryption, 20 Mbps+ speed; Multifunctional MacOS VPN; Starting from 2.75$/month…
- 5. UltraVPN
Legislation: UK: No activity log, OpenVPN, and IKev2 protocols with 256-bit encryption, Firewall, 60+ Mbps speed; Minimal VPN software needs further development; Starting from 2.25€/month…
- 1. SurfShark
How I evaluated the best MacOS VPN providers
As a Macbook Pro user, I am so picky when it comes to choosing a reliable VPN service. I did plenty of tests and check-ups. Thorugh that, I came up with four different critical sub-topics to cover. This is the only way that we can understand each provider thoroughly and decide on which VPN is the most suitable for our needs.
Privacy by the company and MacOS software
We got to hand in our privacy to safe ends. That is why we need a complete solution from the company and the software end. While reviewing the VPN providers, we will be analyzing the legislation country, log policy; protocols, encryption types, leak protections, and how all of these features are implemented to the MacOS app.
Country coverage and speed performance
In an era of speed, we tent to get things done as soon as possible. Especially for Mac users with the speedy OS, it may become unbearable if we have slow internet speed.
It is out of the question VPN will slow down our internet speed. Still, we can keep the slowness at the minimum level possible. That is why I listed VPN providers with huge country coverage and decent speed performance.
MacOS VPN software features
Besides encrypting our data and changing IP address, a VPN should have additional features in terms of enhanced privacy. Additionally, I give priority to the providers with dedicated, easy to use, App Store approved VPNs. That way we make sure that the VPN updates regularly and does not have any compatibility issues with the MacOS devices.
Pricing and refund policy
I am totally against the idea to spend more to get better services. In the following list, you will get more insight into the inexpensive VPN services with the best price/performance ratio.
Additionally, I made sure that your money is safe. Just in case you are not satisfied with the VPN service, you will be under 30 days moneyback guarantee.
5 Best VPN services for MacOS PCs
I have been using Macbook Pro since 2018 and I know what you are looking for. Since I am a fulltime privacy-oriented blogger, it is my very duty to hook you up with the best Mac VPN providers.
Here are the best 5 VPN providers for MacOS devices according to my long term experience.
SurfShark is a British Virgin Islan based, relatively new VPN provider in the market. Because of offshore legislation, SurfShark does not have to keep any user or online activities of its users. Furthermore, Surfshark makes its log policy more transparent by providing a dedicated landing page for seized or disclosed accounts. Lastly, independent Cybersecurity firm Cure53 audited the SurfShark VPN service and shared the outcome of the analyses.
Moving forward with the privacy, SurfShark offers a single protocol, IKev2 with 256-bit encryption. Unlike its Windows app, unfortunately SurfShark does not offer private DNS servers for MacOS users. Still, the Kill Switch feature makes sure nothing leaks in case of a VPN disconnection problem.
SurfShark has a fast-paced increasing server coverage. Currently, it has more than 60 countries around the world serving with 1700 servers. No matter you are working at home, traveling, or trying to access streaming sites, you can get a decent speed performance with SurfShark. According to my review, you can get up to 70+ Mbps. This number makes the SurfShark the fastest VPN provider on our website.
Till now, we have a general overview of the SurfShark. Now, it is time to see how these features are implemented to the SurfShark’s MacOS VPN app.
Moving around on the SurfShark app is pretty easy. Even if I do not find the MacOS software minimalist, you can get most things done only with a few clicks.
Navigating through servers, server categories, and setting pages is pretty simple. Once you find a server to your liking, a single click on the server will get you connected to the VPN.
Last but not least, when SurfShark is minimized on the right top of your MacOS menu, you can connect to the last three servers you used before, navigate between fastest, nearest, and P2P servers and establish your VPN connection without popping the software interface.
It is always possible to make some adjustments to SurfShark settings. In fact, you might need them in certain situations.
- General settings: You can activate the Kill Switch feature, decide how SurfShark should act right after the start.
- Network: Decide what to do with the available Wifi networks
- Advanced: Activate NoBorders feature and send crash reports to the SurfShark.
SurfShark MacOS VPN is not feature-rich. However, you will like what you have here. There are two simple, yet, effective features that would help you.
- CleanWeb: SurfShark is one of the rarest VPN companies that offer serverside ad, tracking, and malware blocking. With the help of this technology, you will not need any other blocking scripts on your MacOS device.
- NoBorders: This is a handy feature for travelers. If you move to a restricted country where the VPN connection is censored, you can activate the NoBorders feature. This technology will stealth your VPN connection and make it look like a normal one so that you can bypass the censorship easily.
Here comes the most anticipated part. Pricing! Well, actually you do not need to worry about the SurfShark pricing policy as it has the best price/performance ration in the market.
Under 30 days moneyback guarantee, you can choose between three different plans 1 month, 1 year, and 2 years. The longer period you go for, the less you pay. Starting from 2.49$/month, you can secure unlimited devices simultaneously.
NordVPN is a Panama based VPN provider keeping up with the latest privacy innovations. First of all, the company does not keep any user or activity logs. Under the third party audition, NordVPN is serious about its privacy promises as well.
Secondly, NordVPN adds the latest technologies such as the new version of OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols to their MacOS VPN software. This makes the NordVPN MacOS app more stable and secure. You can further enhance your privacy level by activating Kill Switch and add your custom DNS service too.
As for the coverage, NordVPN has a decent one. Currently, the company has 5500+ servers in 59 different countries. Furthermore, you will love the speed performance. According to my review, I was able to hit 70+Mbps download speed. Such performance will help you have seamless streaming, social media, torrenting, and browsing experience.
Now that we have a general overview of the company, let’s check how NordVPN handles the software side for its users.
Overall, I do like what NordVPN offers. However, as a man of minimalism, I don’t find the NordVPN MacOS app minimal. There is a huge unnecessary map right in the middle of the software. This makes the navigation less effective. Furthermore, It is hard to select a specific server in the categorized server section. It just connects a random one upon a click or you have to click the “three dots” next to the “Specialty Servers” and find the desired one.
Besides these two problems, navigating the app and moving between menus is pretty easy.
In the settings menu, you can make some adjustments to the default settings of the NordVPN.
- General menu: You can decide on what NordVPN app should do when the MacOS device starts, set preferable server selection, change protocols.
- Kill Switch: You can add apps to this list. In case of the NordVPN connection drops, Kill Switch will kick in and shut down all those apps.
- DNS: In order to have greater privacy and prevent DNS/IP leaks, you can add your own custom DNS servers to NordVPN.
NordVPN offers two special features in their MacOS VPN app. While these features are not VPN related, you might need them at some point.
- CyberSec: This feature will block ads, trackers, and cookies when active. A handy feature not to leave any trace during your browsing period.
- Obfuscated servers: If you are living or traveling to a censored country like Russia, Turkey, Iran, China, etc.. Obfuscated servers will make your VPN connection neutral and bypass deep pocket inspections.
All of these come with a price for sure. Under 30 days moneyback guarantee, NordVPN’s cheapest plan starts from 3.49$/month. You can use a single NordVPN account simultaneously up to 6 devices. This makes the NordVPN second-best price/performance MacOS VPN provider in the market.
Looking at the software end, ExpressVPN offers three different protocols: OpenVPN, IKev2, and L2TP with 256-bit encryption. For greater security, you can also prefer to use ExpressVPN’s managed DNS and Kill Switch services to prevent IP/DNS leaks.
If it was a few years back, I would not suggest you use ExpressVPN just because of its poor speed performance. However, after so much investment in their coverage and server availability, ExpressVPN now ranks the third-fastest VPN provider on our list. Furthermore, you can enjoy an average of 60+ Mbps download speed in 90+ different countries.
ExpressVPN adopted a minimal design MacOS app since 2019. At first glance, it may seem not feature-rich. However, it does the job well.
Navigating the VPN app is pretty simple. You can either choose to connect suggest VPN with a single click or select your preferred location in the server list. Finding a server is not hard either. You can search for it or simply overview the server categories by continents.
Through the minimized menu you can select a server or visit ExpressVPN’s settings page.
Here is the list what ExpressVPN MacOS preferences button will bring about:
- General settings: You can decide how ExpressVPN should behave after MacOS starts. You can enable the “Network Lock” (Kill Switch) feature to prevent DNS/IP leaks. Moreover, you can limit the VPN usage to specific apps through “Split Tunneling”.
- Protocols: Currently, ExpressVPN offers OpenVPN, IKev2, and L2TP protocols. Server availability will change according to the protocol you choose. Also, you may want to keep the protocol settings “Automatic” if you are living in a restricted country.
- Shortcuts: You can assign most-used apps to the ExpressVPN interface for easier access after VPN connection
- Advanced: You can prevent IPv6 detection and enable ExpressVPN DNS feature for greater privacy.
While ExpressVPN has a neat, easy to use MacOS app, unfortunately, it does not offer any special features. The app is bundled with the basic features and just designed for privacy needs. You can not find WireGuard, adblocker, or obfuscated server features on the app. This is the one and the biggest con of the ExpressVPN.
Last but not least, let’s check what ExpressVPN offers in terms of plans and pricing.
Unlike other VPN providers, ExpressVPN has a strict pricing policy and it is expensive. Each user is under a “no-question-asked” 30 days moneyback guarantee. You can use a single subscription up to 5 devices simultaneously. The cheapest plan starts from 6.67$/month with 3 months free offer.
CyberGhost is a Romania based VPN provider with no activity log policy and transparency page for law enforcement requests. While Romania is a more reliable point for data retention laws, it is still under European jurisdiction and the company has to abide by the rules.
Unlike its Windows VPN app, CyberGhost lacks plenty of features with its MacOs app. You have to stick to the default protocol, cannot control DNS leaks, or activate the Kill Switch feature. Still, CyberGhost is in our list because of its simple, easy to use and regularly updated MacOS software.
CyberGhost is a leading VPN provider when it comes to coverage. It has servers in more than 90 countries. Yet, the speed falls behind its competitors. The average speed idles around 20+ Mbps. While it is enough for daily browsing, smooth social media experience, or streaming 4k videos, you might find it insufficient if you are a huge torrent fan.
At first glance, CyberGhost MacOS VPN might seem complicated, yet it is not. Let’s analyze the software features.
CyberGhost has an easy to use interface. The yellow button next to the preferred country will expand the software for detailed server listing. There you can find servers lined up to dedicated purposes. Furthermore, you can also search for a specific server on the app.
You can either double click to connect to the server or add them to your favorites for faster access in the future.
To my eyes, the biggest con of the navigation is that CyberGhost should move advanced smart rules and connection features to the software settings.
CyberGhost has some features to make MacOS experience more liable. Yet, some of them still need improvement.
- Block ads: This feature will block adds on the server-side. It might not work properly.
- Block malicious websites: You can block red flag websites before they harm your device or online identity.
- Block Online Tracking: A unique way to block trackers, cookies, and other analytic tools.
- Data Compression: You can compress the requested data and consume less bandwidth while surfing the net.
Considering all of these opportunities CyberGhost offers, I find the pricing policy pretty competitive. With 7 simultaneous connections and 30 days moneyback guarantee, you can get CyberGhost starting from 2.75$/month* + 2 months free.
*Pricing might change according to the tax rates of your country and currency.
Under Network Protect hood, UltraVPN offers fast, secure, and inexpensive service for its users. The company currently operates under UK jurisdiction. While UltraVPN does not keep any activity logs, unfortunately, they have to keep personally identifiable data.
The UltraVPN MacOS software has two protocols IKev2 and OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption. The firewall feature in the software acts as a classical Kill Switch and kicks in during connection problems. Overall, UltraVPN has basic security features. However, it lacks self-managed DNS service to prevent possible IP/DNS leaks if the firewall fails.
If I was writing this article in 2019, I would not rank UltraVPN on this list because of the number of covered countries. However, the company expanded so much in a single year that they hit from 14 to 60 different locations. Furthermore, UltraVPN ranks 2nd in our gaming list because of the decent speed and ping values.
UltraVPN MacOS app has a minimal design with basic features.
Firstly, UltraVPN MacOS VPN is pretty new. As a fact, the app needs further improvement. While you can connect to the servers with a single click, you have to move down by alphabetical orders to find the desired server location.
UltraVPN passes minimalism tests. However, the search bar, favorites button should be available in the following updates. It kinda kills the user experience.
As for the setting, we have four different menus:
- General: Learn more about your account and change the software language
- VPN: Change protocols between IKEv2 and OpenVPN
- Startup: You can decide what UltraVPN should do after your MacOS device starts
UltraVPN has a single feature: Firewall. The Firewall will shut down the internet connection when you are not connected to the VPN server. Sadly, this feature may become buggy and make your device unusable. You may need to restart MacOs to fix it.
As a new player, competition is a must. Therefore, UltraVPN offers a 30-day moneyback guarantee as well as 10 simultaneous connection plans starting from 2.25€/month.
In this article, I listed 5 best VPN providers for MacOS devices. While deciding on the picks, I paid attention to privacy, software features, country coverage, speed performance, and price/performance ratio.
According to the criteria above, SurfShark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and UltraVPN stood out on our list. With these providers, you can enjoy ultimate privacy, MacOS compatible apps, extreme speed performance, and unlimited traffic.
As a friendly note, not all providers can meet all of our expectations. Some may fail according to your internet connection speed, ISP, or the censorship issues in your country.
You cannot imagine how it feels living in a country where censorship peaks to the top level. That is why I decided to start VPNxD to fight for true online freedom not for my homeland but for all world. On VPNxD, I am responsible both for reviews and “how-to-do” articles.