Best Mac VPN: How to Choose the Right One

Although Apple is known for the security of its products, if you use a Mac, you can still gain advantages from using a trustworthy and tried-and-true VPN.

Even if you use a Mac, other websites may still be able to collect your IP address, and internet service providers may be able to monitor your browsing activity on both macOS and iOS.

Both of those things cannot be stopped by MacOS, but the best Mac VPN can. Mac users can better safeguard their digital information and maintain the privacy of their online activity with a reliable VPN.

When choosing the best Mac VPN for our readers, we take into account several factors that are unique to Mac users, including We take a VPN’s usability into account because, if you’ve been using macOS, you’re accustomed to a simple, intuitive user interface, a well-organized collection of digital tools, and a low learning curve.

Additionally, even though only some Mac products are quicker than a PC or Windows product, we want to see a VPN service with connection speeds that match the fast reputation of MacOS machines.

We also know that many macOS users favor that ecosystem over Windows-based devices due to its widespread resistance to malware and viruses carried by apps. To achieve this, we carefully examine a VPN’s anti-tracker capability and its compatibility with Apple’s progressively stricter privacy policies.

Be aware that the privacy that VPNs offer to macOS and iOS users is currently subject to some restrictions. Recent independent research claims that even when using an encrypted VPN tunnel, browsing and internet data may still be sent to Apple by iOS (and some macOS) users. We’ll keep revising our suggestions as new data and analysis on this topic become available.

These are our top picks for the best Mac VPN, which we have selected from our directory of the best VPN providers. Since we frequently update this list as new VPN competitors vie for the top spot, check back often.

ExpressVPN

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ExpressVPN won our Editor’s Choice Award for best VPN in 2022 despite experiencing significant disruptions through the end of 2021.

The VPN titan, one of the two biggest providers globally, has been operating since 2009 and aggressively raised the industry standard for service transparency this year.

In the previous year, ExpressVPN increased the number of independent third-party audits, revealed information about the deployment of its TrustedServer, joined the i2Coalition to demand improved ethics in the VPN industry, and released an open-source Lightway encryption protocol.

ExpressVPN is again leading the pack as the fastest VPN we’ve tested after a setback in 2020. In contrast to most VPNs, which will reduce your internet speed by half or more, ExpressVPN only reduced our speeds by 2% in our 2022 speed tests.

More than most other VPNs, it circumvents geo-blocking to access international gaming servers and torrenting websites. It also reliably unblocks Netflix and other streaming services.

Our top-rated VPNs are highly compatible with various devices and operating systems. Still, ExpressVPN has a distinct advantage over the competition thanks to its setup manuals, comprehensive FAQs, and troubleshooting articles.

Additionally, it offers a 30-day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, and 24-hour customer service.

Even though the two-year subscription offered by ExpressVPN offers a better monthly value due to market volatility, we do not advise anyone to do so at the moment.

For $100 a year, ExpressVPN’s top plan provides five simultaneous connections (which includes three extra months for a limited-time deal totaling 15 months of service). Additionally, you can choose a $13 monthly plan or a $60 six-month payment.

Surfshark

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Surfshark has a robust set of privacy and security features, an expansive global network, unlimited simultaneous connections, and an intuitive user interface.

And it’s still considerably less expensive than the majority of its rivals. Surfshark received CNET’s Editors’ Choice for Best Value VPN in 2022, thanks to this.

Some more notable Surfshark features include split-tunneling, NoBorders mode, camouflage mode (which disguises the fact that you’re using a VPN), and multi-hop VPN connections.

These features are in addition to standard VPN features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection. Additionally, you’ll have access to Surfshark’s CleanWeb technology, which guards against phishing scams and blocks ads and malware.

The Nexus network, which joins the VPN’s entire network of servers and lets you select multiple servers to route your connection, is one advancement we’re eager to see Surfshark introduce for the upcoming year.

Although Tor’s functionality is comparable, Surfshark is faster. The Nexus network can provide you with a few extra layers of security while you use the VPN, thanks to its Dynamic MultiHop, IP Randomizer, and IP Rotator functions. This can be especially useful for users with essential privacy requirements.

According to Surfshark, no user activity is logged. Even though it is virtually impossible to prove with absolute certainty that no data is logged.

German cybersecurity company Cure53 rated Surfshark’s security as “solid” in its 2021 VPN security audit. By the end of this year, a new audit, according to Surfshark, will be released.

Although Tesonet, the parent company of both Surfshark and NordVPN as of February 2022, is the same corporate entity, Surfshark asserted that it is legally obligated not to share any information between the parties that would contradict its Privacy Policy or Terms of Service.

No language that would suggest Surfshark has any obligation to share user data with its parent company or any of its siblings, including NordVPN, could be found in either document.

One of the fastest VPNs on the market is consistently rated as Surfshark. Therefore, we were taken aback when one of the few problems we encountered with Surfshark occurred during our speed test.

With a 19% reduction in internet speed, it remains one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, but we were dissatisfied with the inconsistent speed results we received in some areas.

Rates to Singapore and Europe fluctuated (dipping as low as 9 Mbps), while New York’s speeds were slower than those of the UK and Australia.

Surfhark currently offers more than 3,200 servers across 99 countries but is actively working on expanding its server network significantly. The VPN’s speeds might become more consistent if its server network is allowed to continue growing.

In our tests, Surfshark could unblock Netflix and Amazon Prime Video content without issues, but we experienced some difficulty using Disney Plus.

We tried several servers in the US and other countries where Disney Plus is accessible before connecting to a Boston server where we could access the content. Before using Surfshark to access Disney Plus content, you should test a few servers yourself.

NordVPN

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One of the most well-known names in the VPN industry is NordVPN. In contrast to nearly all other providers, it provides six simultaneous connections through its network, which is a generous concurrent connection count.

For those seeking a more advanced VPN connection, NordVPN also provides a dedicated IP option and the option to VPN into Tor. Most of Nord’s 5,000+ servers are set up for peer-to-peer sharing, but the company has restricted torrenting in 14 nations.

Our most recent testing found a few glitches in Nord’s killswitch when using its iOS app, which torrents might find troublesome.

On its website, Nord does, however, offer a sideloaded iOS that it suggests users use. In our most recent speed tests, NordVPN’s performance improved from the average speed scores of 2021 and soared back into the list of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, with just a 13% loss in base internet speeds.

Although NordVPN does not accept PayPal, you can subscribe using any significant credit or debit card, AmazonPay, Google Pay, or ACH transfer.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, tether, and dogecoin are just a few cryptocurrencies you can use to make an anonymous payment.

NordVPN has partnered with a few physical retailers, including Staples, Best Buy, and Walmart, where you can even pay cash for your VPN.

What is the Best VPN Mac App Right Now?

The current CNET Editors’ Choice for best overall VPN is ExpressVPN. We rate VPNs according to their effectiveness in three key areas: speed, security features, and cost. Express isn’t the cheapest option, but it is one of the fastest and, as of this point, the safest.

Surfshark is a close second among our lower-priced picks thanks to its impressive performance and unlimited device support.

Our third option, NordVPN, is a fierce heavyweight. It has a vast network that is constantly becoming faster and more secure, costs more than Surfshark but less than Express, and is undoubtedly the most dependable service we’ve tested.