The Best VPN for Mac (macOS)

The macOS comes with built-in security features, but that doesn’t mean that your activity is private or completely secure. A good Mac VPN gives you additional security that encrypts your activity and keeps it private from bad actors and governments alike. While every major VPN offers a download for Mac, unfortunately, not all VPNs work very well with macOS. Some VPNs don’t offer native apps for Mac computers, and others aren’t very easy to use.

Because VPNs are so plentiful and can sometimes be difficult to understand for inexperienced VPN users, we sifted through our favorite VPNs and found the ones that work best with Mac in 2021.

How to Choose the Best VPN for Mac

Choosing the best VPN for your Mac comes down to weighing the key factors and then ultimately deciding based on your personal preference. For example, for some VPN users, price may be a major factor, while for other users, privacy is the biggest deciding factor.

Below, you can find the factors that helped us decide the best VPNs for Macs to include on this list:

  • Price — This goes without saying since most users care about the price they are paying for premium VPN services.
  • Privacy — Users who value privacy are looking for a solid no-log policy that states that the company isn’t logging their activity or sharing it with third parties.
  • Security — A secure VPN can keep your activity safe online and help you unblock geoblocked content. We only included VPNs on this list that have top-notch security protocols.
  • Design and usability on Macs — Some Mac VPN apps are just better-designed than others, while others hardly work on Mac.
  • Number of servers and locations — a higher number of servers that are available to connect to with any given VPN increases your likelihood to have a fast connection and a seamless VPN experience on your Mac.

In the list below, you will find the best VPNs for macOS that score well when examined against the above criteria.

1. NordVPN for Mac

Company location Panama: Non-5 Eyes member
Integrated network kill switch Yes
Number of servers 5,400 in 59 countries
Platforms Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux
Number of devices 6
Minimum monthly price $3.71

  • Located outside the reach of 5 Eyes and similar organizations
  • Lightning-fast speeds actually boosted our download speed
  • Obfsproxy cloaking mechanism for added security and unblocking power — even in mainland China
  • Effective and seamless kill switch on macOS

  • A little more complicated than some VPNs
  • Only allows six simultaneous connections

NordVPN is nearly unparalleled when it comes to security while connected to your Mac computer. NordVPN uses Obfsproxy cloaking for added security and unblocking power, as well as its “Double VPN” technology that encrypts your data twice — and it does all of this for an affordable price. Not only is NordVPN extremely secure, but it’s also blazing fast. In fact, while most VPNs lower your speed to some degree, NordVPN actually increased our connection speeds. NordVPN easily tops our list of the best VPNs for Mac devices.

2. ExpressVPN for Mac

Company location British Virgin Isles: Non-5 Eyes member
Integrated network kill switch Yes
Number of Servers 3,000+ in 160 locations / 96 countries
Platforms macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android
Number of devices 5
Minimum monthly price $8.32

  • Top-tier customer support
  • Unblocks all major content services, including Netflix
  • All-around excellent user experience for Mac users
  • Generous 30-day, money-back guarantee
  • Concise no-logging policy

  • Noticeable speed drop
  • Only allows 5 simultaneous devices
  • High price point

ExpressVPN adds an extra layer of security and privacy to your Mac. If you’re looking for an ultra-premium VPN that can unblock all major streaming services, protect you with military-grade 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch, then ExpressVPN is an easy choice. While it may not be a very cheap VPN option, the features and performance of this VPN make the price more than worth it. Another noteworthy perk about ExpressVPN is the 24/7 customer service and knowledgebase that can help you quickly resolve any issue you might have.

3. CyberGhost for Mac: Design Is Highly Optimized for Apple

Company location Romania: Non-5 Eyes member
Integrated network kill switch Yes
Number of servers 6,700 in 90+ countries
Platforms Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux
Number of devices 7
Minimum monthly price $3.71

  • 24/7 customer service
  • Highest number of servers
  • Highly optimized for macOS and iOS
  • 45-day, money-back guarantee

  • Limited number of devices.
  • Costs extra to get the best security features.

The design and feel of CyberGhost VPN make it easy to forget that this isn’t a first-party Apple solution. CyberGhost also offers the highest number of servers out of any other VPN on this list which makes unblocking your favorite streaming services and connecting to a fast server more likely. We like CyberGhost VPN for a number of reasons, but we don’t like that you don’t get all of the security features up front such as NoSpy, which costs extra.

4. HotSpot Shield for Mac: Formidable Performance on Mac Computers

Company location U.S. / Ukraine / Russia: 5 Eyes member
Integrated network kill switch Yes
Number of servers 1,800+ servers in 80 countries
Platforms Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux
Number of devices 5 or 25
Minimum monthly price Free

  • Great performance while using Hotspot Shield’s proprietary Hydra protocol
  • Family plan available
  • Generous 45-day, money-back guarantee
  • Streaming service unblocking power
  • Robust free version available

  • Unavailable on some other platforms
  • Unimpressive logging policy

HotSpot Shield is the only Mac VPN on our list that offers a viable free VPN option. While it might not work well on some platforms, its performance on Mac and iOS is formidable — and if you don’t like it, its service is backed by a generous 45-day return policy. We like Hotspot Shield because it has great speeds while using its Hydra protocol, and it can unblock just about any streaming service that you might want to access on your Mac.

5. Surfshark for Mac: Mac VPN at a Great Price

Company location British Virgin Isles: Non-5 Eyes member
Integrated network kill switch Yes
Number of servers 1,700+ servers in 63 countries
Platforms Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and Linux
Number of devices Unlimited
Minimum monthly price $2.49

  • Non-5 Eyes member
  • Unlimited devices
  • Kill switch across all platforms
  • Fast connection speeds

  • Low price only available on a two-year contract
  • Static IP addresses

Surfshark offers their premium VPN at an extremely affordable price and can protect as many devices as you like — not just on macOS — but across all major operating systems. Another huge plus with Surfshark VPN is that they are located outside of the reach of the 5 Eyes surveillance organization; this means that your privacy is assured because it will be out of the reach of intrusive governments. Unfortunately, while Surfshark is extremely affordable, this low price is only available on the longer two-year contract.

What Is the Best VPN for Mac?

ExpressVPN and NordVPN take the lead on this list — as they do on many “top VPN” lists, but they aren’t the best option for every VPN user. For example, if you are looking for a free or low-cost option, you might prefer Surfshark or Hotspot Shield VPNs.

We suggest that you weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each VPN on this list of the best VPNs for Macs before making your decision. Once you decide which VPN you want to try out, it would be best to go with the free trial, free version, or one-month contract before committing to a lower-cost, long-term contract to make sure that the VPN meets all of your needs.