MacBook/Mac Best VPN for 2023 Oct

Mac devices are not immune to malicious threats in the online space, so using a MacBook/Mac Best VPN is crucial. A VPN can hide your data from third parties, including your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and malicious actors. It can also protect you from hacker attacks on public Wi-Fi and be used to unlock streaming platforms.

However, not every VPN can provide high-quality service on macOS devices. You need a VPN with strong encryption, fast tunneling protocols, and robust features. Due to its versatility and excellent performance, the top 3 Mac VPN recommendations with the highest reddit discussion rankings are NordVPN, followed by Surfshark.

But that’s not all; we’ve tested dozens of services to help you make an informed decision. In this article, you’ll find the VPNs most suitable for Mac in terms of security, privacy, performance, and more. Our recommended NordVPN offers excellent security, fast connection speeds, secure access to most streaming websites, and the option to split tunnel by application, along with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re looking to save money, we recommend Surfshark. for less than $2.50 per month, you’ll have unlimited data and simultaneous connections, rock-solid security, and in-depth features that free VPNs don’t have. Access is fast and all major streaming sites are unlocked. Surfshark is the best value for money.

How to get a free VPN for 30 days:
If you need a VPN for a short period of time while traveling abroad, get our top-ranked VPN for free. NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is real. You’ll need to pay upfront to use the subscription, but the subscription allows full access for 30 days. If you don’t like it you can cancel at any time and get a full refund, so you can try it with confidence.


What is a VPN?

If you’re not already aware, a VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. The primary purpose of a VPN is to encrypt the network activities of your devices, including web browsing and applications. A VPN doesn’t transmit data directly from your device to the ISP; instead, it creates an encrypted tunnel to conceal data. It’s no surprise that, as we’ve found in VPN research, nearly half of VPN users use it for general security purposes.

Why Mac Users Should Use a VPN

macOS is generally considered a secure operating system, but there are still many reasons why Mac users should use a VPN. While Macs may be less susceptible to malicious software than PCs, they still face risks in terms of online tracking and restrictions:

The primary reason for using a VPN on Mac is to enhance privacy. The security and privacy of your Mac apply only to the data stored on your MacBook. Once data is transmitted over the internet, it may no longer be secure or private.

Your ISP, local Wi-Fi networks, or hackers on public Wi-Fi can intercept your data, which can be used against you in various ways, such as your ISP limiting your bandwidth as a penalty for using P2P applications or hackers conducting man-in-the-middle attacks and potentially infecting you with malware.

In addition to the obvious privacy and security benefits, VPNs are also useful for accessing geo-restricted content. For example, if you want to watch videos or access apps that are only available to users in specific countries/regions, you can simply set the VPN server location to that country/region and connect to it to unlock the content. Whether it’s government, your ISP, or the website itself blocking access, a VPN is effective.

Some applications and websites have attracted VPN users, such as Netflix and Hulu, which block users using VPNs from watching foreign videos. However, a few Mac VPNs have found a way around VPN bans, allowing their users to watch from anywhere in the world. For example, services like NordVPN can watch Netflix and Hulu on certain servers.

Further reading:
➤ How to iOS VPN Settings on your iPhone
➤ Top 3 VPN iOS Best for iPhone(iOS 16 & Older)
➤ The Best VPN Korea server
➤ Best Japan VPN for Watching Japanese Netflix
➤ Top 3 Best VPN in Hong Kong|fast and secure

How to Choose the Best VPN for Mac Users

The choice of VPNs is almost endless, but it’s worth carefully considering which one you use as they vary in terms of performance, reliability, and security. To ensure that we only recommend the best providers, we consider how Mac users might use their VPNs and have created a list of key areas where services must excel:

How to Set Up a VPN on Mac

Once you’ve decided which VPN service to subscribe to, visit its website and choose the pricing plan that suits you best. Create an account and activate your subscription using your preferred payment method. Make sure to keep your username and password secure, as you’ll need them.

Please create a VPN account first:

  1. Visit NordVPN‘s official website, where you’ll find a menu on the right side of the screen.
  2. Click on it and select “Pricing.” The website will redirect you to NordVPN’s subscription plans page. Choose a subscription plan based on your needs.
  3. Register your details on the pop-up portal, enter your email address, and create a password.
  4. Select your preferred payment method.
  5. NordVPN will send a confirmation email to your email address. Confirm it and enjoy your NordVPN subscription.

Once you have your account details ready, download the application for the VPN you selected. On Mac, you should be able to download it from the App Store, which is usually faster and more secure. However, some VPNs may offer download links for updated or enhanced versions of their software on their websites.

If you choose to download the VPN from the App Store, the system may ask you to log in using your Apple ID after clicking “Install App.” After installation, open the application (press Command and Spacebar to open Spotlight and type “Nord,” navigate to the Applications folder, or use Launchpad to find the application).

Once you open the application, you’ll need to log in using the email address and password you created during account registration in step 1.

After logging in, you will see a pop-up window asking if you allow the VPN to add VPN configurations on your computer. You need to click “Allow,” and you may be prompted to enter your Mac’s password.

Next, we will explain how to set up the VPN, which requires you to access Mac settings. However, like most services, Nord’s application should complete all configurations for you when you click “Allow” here. This should be absolutely safe as long as you’ve downloaded the VPN application from a trusted source.

To start using the VPN, the system will ask you to choose a server. If you want to protect your privacy and aren’t trying to access blocked content, the server location may be in your country/region.

However, if you’re trying to access U.S. Netflix from within the UK, access BBC iPlayer from outside the UK, or simply check how websites look in other countries/regions, you’ll need to select the relevant server location.

If you’re using Nord, you can select servers using the search bar in the upper left corner or by scrolling the world map or the list of countries/regions. Other VPNs will have a similar process for selecting the location of the server you want to connect to. You may encounter some difficulty when trying to connect to a new server for the first time.

For example, you might see a message like the one above: “neagent wants to use your confidential information stored in NordVPN in your keychain.” This only appears when IKEv2 is set as the protocol to use, but if you want a faster connection, it’s best to use OpenVPN or NordLynx (based on WireGuard).

You can enter your Mac administrator password and click “Always Allow,” which means NordVPN will remember your login password from the keychain for future use and won’t ask you to enter it again unless you change your password.

Your VPN will provide various settings. For instance, with Nord, you can access settings in Preferences. Click NordVPN in the top menu, and then click Preferences. Here, you’ll find options like “Automatically launch at computer startup” and the option to automatically connect to a specific country/region (see Preferences > Auto-connect).

That way, the VPN will connect to the server you chose from the moment you launch the application. You can also access the advanced version of Kill Switch here. Nord has a Kill Switch that should prevent data leaks if the connection is lost, but advanced settings provide an additional layer of security.

You can access VPN settings and the server list anytime by opening the application itself or using the icon in the top navigation bar of your computer (where you usually find the date and time). After connecting, you can use your Mac as usual, knowing that your web browsing isn’t being monitored, and you should be able to access content that was previously blocked.

Whenever you want to browse as if you’re in another country/region or just want to ensure your data is encrypted, you can open the VPN, select the server location you want to use, and enjoy facilities you might not otherwise have access to. Obviously, to use streaming services from other countries/regions, you need to subscribe to those services. Enjoy your browsing!

MacBook/Mac Best VPN for 2023 Oct

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1. NordVPN – The most secure VPN available

For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous Connections: 6 | Streaming Sites: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of Servers: 5,600 | Server Locations: 60+ | >>Go to the NordVPN website.

NordVPN closely follows as a serious contender, taking things seriously with its optional “Double VPN” technology that encrypts data twice, meaning your data passes through two separate VPN servers to enhance security. It also boasts other valuable features such as encrypted chats, network proxy extensions, and Meshnet (possibly the most valuable built-in bonus VPN feature).

If you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, NordVPN might be the best Mac VPN for you. It offers outstanding speeds of up to 820 Mbps and easily unlocks streaming websites. It can access numerous foreign Netflix catalogs, including BBC iPlayer, Disney+, YouTube, and more.

The provider is P2P-friendly and has a strict no-logs policy, audited annually by PricewaterhouseCoopers (if you need a VPN for downloading torrents, it’s good to know). The IKEv2/IPsec security protocol is the default for iOS and macOS applications, or you can choose from its WireGuard-based NordLynx and OpenVPN technologies.

NordVPN provides built-in ad blocking and antivirus protection to ensure your security and streamline your online activities. It also offers excellent device support, considered one of the best iPhone VPN providers, seamlessly integrating with any Mac device, including Mac Mini, Mac Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. You can configure your Mac devices to automatically connect to secure servers when using untrusted networks, like hotel, airport, or coffee shop Wi-Fi networks.

While NordVPN offers a user-friendly interface, it doesn’t allow unlimited simultaneous connections, making Surfshark a better choice for families or businesses. Additionally, despite its exceptional unlocking capabilities, NordVPN has servers in only 60 locations with over 5,600 servers to choose from.

While NordVPN offers a user-friendly interface, it doesn’t allow unlimited simultaneous connections, making Surfshark a better choice for families or business owners. NordVPN achieves a perfect balance between security, availability, performance, and unlocking capabilities, all while offering excellent customization and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

I’ve tested this to make sure you can indeed get your money back. Initially, the support team tried to extend my trial period, but when I told them I wasn’t interested in an extension, they promptly initiated the refund process. I got my money back within 4 business days. Make sure you buy NordVPN and get another 3 months free >>

How to use NordVPN VPN

To use NordVPN, perform the following simple steps:

  1. Go to the NordVPN website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Download the NordVPN app for the device you want to use.
  3. Enter your login password in the app.
  4. Enable the Obfuscation Server by going to: Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Obfuscation Server (toggle it on).
  5. Now, connect to one of the obfuscation servers by clicking on the “Servers” tab, and then click to automatically connect to the fastest VPN server, or manually select the server location.
  6. Use NordVPN and unlock all online content.

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2. Surfshark – Recommend the cheapest VPN

For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited | Streaming Sites: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of Servers: 1,700+ | Server Locations: 100+ | >>Go to the official Surfshark website.

Surfshark has recently upgraded to meet Apple M1 compatibility, offering the fastest global connection speeds and a user-friendly, sleek interface. Apart from its excellent service quality, this product consistently tops our list of the most affordable VPNs. In terms of encryption, Surfshark provides OpenVPN and several other protocols to choose from, including the super-fast WireGuard.

It also employs AES-256 encryption to ensure that no one can discover the websites you’re visiting. With a strict no-logs policy, Surfshark has introduced its latest innovation, Incogni, a service that automatically requests the deletion of personal data stored by data brokers. This way, it can protect your privacy from invasive data tracking practices and corporate intrusions.

Incogni can erase your private information from more websites than most similar services, including marketing, recruiting, financial, risk mitigation, and people search websites. Additionally, Surfshark can help you avoid malicious ads, phishing scams, annoying cookie pop-up requests, and malware through its Clean Web 2.0 feature.

While a VPN program may not be able to prevent malware from infiltrating your Mac, Surfshark can help you entirely avoid the issue by blocking infected websites. Its malicious URL database is updated daily and currently contains over a million addresses. If you need a VPN for streaming, Surfshark is a good choice as it reliably unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus, or HBO Max.

With its multifunctional features and outstanding speed, Surfshark offers undeniable value for your money. Unlike competitors, one subscription covers unlimited devices, so you can activate it not only on your Mac but also on other devices or share it with family, friends, or colleagues. Give it a try yourself and see why it’s our favorite affordable VPN, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can personally try Surfshark with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and its plans start as low as $2.30. Requesting a refund is easy using Surfshark’s live chat feature. While the support team asked me why I wanted to cancel initially, they promptly processed my request, and I had my money back in under 4 days! Make sure you buy Surfshark and get 3 months of service for free>>

How to Download and Install Surfshark

To use Surfshark VPN, perform the following simple steps:

  1. Go to the Surfshark website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Download the Surfshark app for the device you want to use.
  3. Enter your login credentials in the VPN app.
  4. Enable the NoBorders feature by going to: Settings > Advanced > NoBorders (toggle on).
  5. After activating the NoBorders feature, you can use the VPN as normal.
  6. Enjoy using Surfshark VPN now.

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3. ExpressVPN – The fastest VPN in the world.

For: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Simultaneous Connections: 5 | Streaming Sites: Netflix, iPlayer, YouTube, Amazon, Hulu | Number of Servers: 3,000+ | Server Locations: 160 | >>Go to the official ExpressVPN website.

ExpressVPN offers outstanding VPN service for Mac users seeking high-speed solutions to bypass geographical restrictions while staying anonymous. It allows you to choose from over 3,000 servers in 94 countries/regions, with a quick connect feature that connects you to the nearest and most secure server instantly.

Its user interface is modern and intuitive, meaning you don’t need technical expertise to make the most of it. Furthermore, it provides advanced features that go beyond its competitors, such as a robust kill switch to prevent accidental exposure.

With the kill switch and automatic connection features enabled, ExpressVPN will automatically cut off your Mac’s internet access if the VPN connection drops, ensuring your ISP or the websites you visit can’t access your browsing history or real location.

ExpressVPN boasts high-speed servers in most regions worldwide, including Africa, North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Connecting to any server in your chosen country/region allows you to access local news websites, sports channels, or streaming services. For instance, you can watch your favorite TV shows and movies on foreign streaming services like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, or Disney+.

While ExpressVPN doesn’t have as many servers as NordVPN or some other competitors, each ExpressVPN server is peer-to-peer (P2P) friendly and offers incredibly fast speeds, allowing you to securely download large files, enjoy buffer-free streaming, or browse the internet without slowing down. Each subscription allows only five simultaneous connections.

ExpressVPN justifies its slightly higher cost by providing unmatched quality and unique advanced features. However, if you need to use the service on more than five devices, its higher price could be an issue, as it doesn’t offer unlimited simultaneous connections like Surfshark. Additionally, its server network is smaller than NordVPN’s, making it a poorer choice for those seeking the best performance.

We should also mention ExpressVPN‘s excellent privacy policy and server security. It doesn’t keep records of users’ online activities, and its TrustedServer technology uses RAM instead of hard drives, ensuring user data is wiped with every server reboot. ExpressVPN offers optimal Mac VPN service for most use cases, giving you peace of mind that your privacy is respected, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

When I personally tested ExpressVPN’s refund process, the support representative responded to my request in less than a minute via 24/7 live chat. I wasn’t even asked to reconsider or troubleshoot the issue. In fact, my request was processed immediately, and most importantly, I had my money back in less than 5 days! Make sure you get another 3 months free with your ExpressVPN purchase>>

How to set up ExpressVPN VPN

To use ExpressVPN, simply perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the ExpressVPN website and sign up for a subscription.
  2. Log in to your account and download the software for the device you want to use the VPN for.
  3. Open the ExpressVPN app and enter the activation code (from your account page).
  4. Now, connect to one of the nearest servers and use the internet normally.
  5. Instantly use ExpressVPN and unlock all your online content.

How to Share VPN via Wi-Fi on Mac

After connecting to a VPN server, you’ll need to ensure that Wi-Fi internet sharing is enabled on your Mac. Here are the steps to share your VPN connection via Wi-Fi on Mac:

  1. Go to “System Preferences” and click on the “Sharing” option under “Internet & Wireless.”
  2. Select the “Internet Sharing” option on the left side of the screen.
  3. Choose your VPN connection from the “Share your connection from” dropdown menu.
  4. Next, check the Wi-Fi checkbox under “To computers using” and configure the Wi-Fi network settings by selecting “Wi-Fi Options.” Choose a network name, keep the channel selection as default, and create and re-enter a password for the Wi-Fi network.
  5. Enter the password you created for connecting other Apple devices to the VPN hotspot.
  6. Click “Start” to enable Internet sharing. You should see a green light indicating that Internet sharing is correctly activated.
  7. Now, you can find the Wi-Fi network on your iPhone or iPad and connect to the VPN hotspot you’ve set up.

VPNs are essential nowadays, and now that you know how to set up your VPN on Mac and Apple devices, but sometimes that’s not enough.

Can I Use a Free VPN for Mac?

Searching for free VPNs for Mac will return numerous results, but the chances of any of these VPNs being good are slim. There are several reasons why these free VPN services may not be good, and we’ll outline some key ones here. Some free VPN services make money by selling your data to other companies.

Unless a VPN has a reliable privacy policy, it can log everything you do, including data that may be highly valuable to marketing companies. Other free VPNs come with ads, which could mean the company is more focused on making money by displaying ads everywhere you look rather than genuinely protecting your connection.

Additionally, some free VPNs don’t use the standard security levels, offering only lower encryption levels or no encryption at all. However, there are some exceptions among free Mac VPNs, such as ProtonVPN, which offers a free plan, which is quite good. Nevertheless, our advice is to stay cautious if it’s free and not from a reputable company.

Conclusion: Getting the Best VPN to Protect Your Mac

Despite Apple’s regular security updates, your Mac remains vulnerable to scams, hacker attacks, and identity theft. The only way to reduce the security risks on your Mac is to get a premium VPN that offers top-notch protection, privacy, fast speeds, and reliable connections that won’t hinder your regular online activities like streaming or torrenting.

However, not all VPNs are suitable for Mac, so I conducted extensive testing on a MacBook Pro to find the best service. Based on the results, NordVPN is the most comprehensive VPN for Mac. It provides unbreakable security, top-tier privacy, excellent speeds, and compatibility with popular online websites, meeting all your VPN needs. Most importantly, you can test NordVPN on your Mac risk-free, as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re looking to save money, we recommend Surfshark. for less than $2.50 per month, you’ll have unlimited data and simultaneous connections, rock-solid security, and in-depth features that free VPNs don’t have. Access is fast and all major streaming sites are unlocked. Surfshark is the best value for money.

How to get a free VPN for 30 days:
If you need a VPN for a short period of time while traveling abroad, get our top-ranked VPN for free. NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee, which is real. You’ll need to pay upfront to use the subscription, but the subscription allows full access for 30 days. If you don’t like it you can cancel at any time and get a full refund, so you can try it with confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best free VPN for Mac?

NordVPN is the best VPN for Mac that you can use for free for 30 days. While you do need to subscribe, it won’t lock you into a long-term contract immediately. The money-back guarantee allows you to make full use of NordVPN on your Mac and other Apple devices, with the option of a full refund if you change your mind.

Can I use a VPN on Mac to watch Netflix?

Yes, you can use a VPN on Mac to watch Netflix, but it’s a bit of a gray area. According to Netflix’s terms of use, they don’t allow the use of VPNs to change your location to access their content. However, there is no record of Netflix taking legal action against its users for this.

NordVPN is a top-tier VPN for watching Netflix on Mac, offering incredibly fast speeds that allow you to watch your favorite shows in full HD with no buffering. Additionally, it regularly updates its servers to avoid being blacklisted by Netflix. In rare cases where the VPN can’t connect to Netflix, simply switch servers or clear your browser’s cache (this has always worked for me).

Which VPN works in China for Mac?

NordVPN is the best Mac VPN that you can use in China, offering fast speeds and access to your usual accounts. However, non-government-approved VPNs like NordVPN are illegal in the country. While there haven’t been public cases of tourists being punished by the Chinese government for using a VPN, it’s essential to exercise basic caution when using a VPN while traveling.

What is the fastest VPN for Mac?

NordVPN is the fastest VPN on Mac, providing the best and most consistent speeds on both local and remote servers. I’ve tested its connections in the UK, the US, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Australia, and the speed hardly slows down. Enabling proprietary protocols also boosted my Mac’s speed, matching my 98Mbps base connection, which is quite rare in the VPN world.

Can I use a Mac VPN on my iPhone?

Yes, any recommended Mac VPN will work on your iPhone and iPad. I’ve listed services compatible with all Apple products and routers, so you can use them on devices that don’t support third-party connections immediately, such as Apple TV. Moreover, these VPNs support multiple macOS and iOS connections simultaneously, allowing you to use the VPN on your iPhone without logging out of your Mac.

Does Apple have a VPN for Mac?

No, Apple doesn’t have a built-in VPN for Mac. Paying iCloud subscribers can access a service called Private Relay, but it’s currently in testing and only encrypts data when using the Safari browser. macOS does allow manual VPN configurations, but you still need a top-tier VPN service to establish a connection.

Considering the complex setup options and limitations of iCloud Private Relay, using a native macOS app like NordVPN is much more straightforward. It provides more security features and lets you connect to servers with just a few clicks, without fiddling with Mac network settings.

Which VPN has Safari extensions?

Safari doesn’t support VPN extensions, but you can use a high-quality Mac VPN to protect your Apple browser. Set it up to secure all your traffic, making your online gaming, torrenting, and internet browsing just as secure.

While NordVPN doesn’t have a Safari extension, you can control your connection via the macOS menu bar. It functions similarly to a VPN browser extension, so you don’t need to open the application to change your connection. You also don’t need to configure it manually, as it takes effect immediately once you’ve installed NordVPN on your Mac.

Which VPNs work with macOS Big Sur?

All recommended Mac VPNs are compatible with macOS Big Sur. The misconception that Apple’s 2018 OS update somehow prevented third-party VPNs from working is a big one. All the VPNs in this article run smoothly and protect macOS 10.13 and higher. If you have an older Mac, I suggest trying NordVPN, as it’s the only VPN on the list that still supports macOS 10.11.

Does my Mac really need a VPN?

Yes, it’s easy for your Mac to be vulnerable to hacker attacks and other security threats when you use it without a VPN. When you activate a VPN, it creates an encrypted connection between your Mac and the server it controls, protecting your internet and helping you bypass other online restrictions while traveling.

However, you shouldn’t abuse VPNs for illegal activities on your Mac, so be sure to check local laws before connecting. Additionally, there are extra ways to protect your Mac:

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