Best VPNs for Mac

Reviewed by Jayden Andrews
April 9, 2020

What makes a VPN best for Macs? For a VPN to stand out, it must be able to fulfill some basic expectations, such as providing an unauthentic anonymous connection. It must also have fast servers, a commitment to user privacy, be capable of unlocking geo-restricted content, as well as support P2P activity.

At least, that is the criteria that we use to judge what apps make it to our list of the best VPN apps for Macs. Below is a more detailed breakdown of these factors:

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best VPNs For Mac

#1 NordVPN

TOP Rank 9.8

NordVPN is a VPN app in a class of its own. It has fast servers, veritable security and privacy credentials, and is capable of all the things that you would expect from a VPN app, such as streaming and torrenting capabilities.

It is also aesthetically pleasing with beautiful color contrasts and easy to use navigation controls. The following is a breakdown of the features that make this app top in our list of the 5 best VPN apps for Macs.

Speed

While the average VPN app will slow down the speed of your internet connection by as much as 30%, NordVPN will only impact the same by 10%. This is really fast and it means that even if you are using a modest 10 Mbps, your connection only drops to 9 Mbps. This drop is consistent no matter the server that you choose.

Server and Server Locations

In all, NordVPN has about 500+ servers that are spread out in 59 countries. Most of the servers are located in North American and Western European cities. The app uses a mix of regular servers and obfuscated servers for extra security.

Security and Privacy with NordVPN

When it comes to offering secure and private connections, NordVPN is unbeatable. It has extensive secure and privacy features that you will not find in any other VPN apps. Here is a summary of them.

Choice of Encryption

When it comes to encryption, NordVPN uses the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption standard. It is the world’s most advanced encryption technique.

Obfuscated servers

Obfuscated servers are servers that are stealthy in nature. They are ideal for bypassing restrictions in places, such as China, where the government monitors all internet traffic.

Double VPN

Double VPN is a security feature that is akin to VPN over VPN. It masks a user’s digital footprint by creating a VPN connection on top of another VPN connection. The feature is also useful when accessing the web in places where internet restrictions are rife.

Onion over VPN

The Onion over VPN feature by NordVPN adds an extra layer of security when surfing the Tor network. Like the other security features described above, it too can be used to make your digital footprint very hard to track by authorities in restrictive regimes.

Logs Policy

Nord VPN has a very strict no logs policy. They do not give a hoot about what their users are up to when they use their VPN to connect to various sites, nor do they pass any information gathered to the government. Well, it’s not even possible as the app’s headquarters are in the privacy haven known as Panama.

Unblocking Netflix

Sites such as Netflix are notorious for discriminating their audiences based on the geographical region that they hail from. The best shows are reserved for audiences from North America, while the rest of the world is left to feed on the scraps. But with a Nord VPN connection, you can bypass such restrictions and get to enjoy the best that Netflix has to offer.

Torrenting

Are you seeking out a VPN app so that you can safely and anonymously download torrents on sites, such as The Pirate Bay on your Mac? If this is the case, then NordVPN has got you covered. The app has fast servers, and given its strong privacy and security credentials; you have nothing to worry about.

Customer Care

The customer care team at NordVPN can be reached by phone, email or live chat. They do an excellent job of answering any queries that you might have as promptly as possible. If you plan to contact them, we recommend that you use the live chat option as it is much more responsive.

Price from: $3.49/mo
Refunds: 30 days
9.8
Design and UX: 5/5
Connection speed Excellent
Torrenting speed Excellent
Strict no-log policy
Netflix unblock: Yes
5100+ servers
Pros
Over 5000 super-fast servers to choose from
Military-grade encryption and no-logs policy protect your privacy perfectly
Optimized for torrenting and streaming
Supports up to 6 simultaneous device connections: Desktop, Mobile, Smart TV, etc.
30-day money-back guarantee – get your money back if not satisfied, no questions asked
Cons
Pricy subscription plans
No phone line for customer support
Price from: $3.49/mo
Refunds: 30 days
9.8
Design and UX: 5/5
Connection speed Excellent
Torrenting speed Excellent
Strict no-log policy
Netflix unblock: Yes
5100+ servers

#2 Surfshark

TOP Rank 9.6

Sufshark is a spectacular VPN app. Like NordVPN, it has fast servers, excellent security and privacy credentials, and is superb for streaming on Netflix and for torrenting on sites such as The Pirate Bay. It is also reasonably priced and is one of the cheapest yet best VPN apps for Mac.

Speed

When it comes to speed, Surfshark VPN does not disappoint. It has some of the fastest servers in the industry. The speed of your internet connection will only drop by about -29% which is what you’d expect from your average VPN.

Servers and Server Locations

Surfshark VPN has about 1040+ servers that are spread out in 61 countries. Most of the servers are in North American and Western European cities.

Security and Privacy Credentials

Surfshark VPN is one of the most secure VPN apps in the VPN universe. Some of the security features that might be of interest to you include:

Military-grade Encryption

The app uses the AES-256 military-grade encryption technology to secure communication between its servers. It is the same encryption choice for the Chinese, Russian and American militaries.

Clean Web

The Clean Web feature is a security feature that prevents ads and malware from interfering with your surfing experience whenever you are using Surfshark VPN.

Multihop

Multihop is a security feature that works by randomly switching between IP addresses whenever someone is surfing the internet. It makes it harder for anyone, especially authorities in places such as China and Iran to monitor the internet traffic of a Surfshark VPN user.

NoBorders Mode

Just like the Multihop feature, the NoBorders mode will make it hard for anyone to track your online activities. Combined with the Multihop feature, it is your best bet at beating state surveillance or bypassing the Great Firewall of China.

Logs Policy

Surfshark VPN service providers confess to having a strict no logs policy. They point out that except for information needed to run an active site and process your payment details, they are not interested in the IP addresses that you use, the sites that you visit, and how long you stay on these sites.
Surfshark VPN headquarters are in the British Virgin Islands, a crown dependency that is renowned for its strict privacy laws, especially ones relatEd to banking.

Netflix Unblocking with Surfshark VPN

Can you access geo-restricted content with the help of a Surfshark VPN connection? The answer to this question is yes. Surfshark VPN is one the top VPN apps for Netflix unblocking. All you need to do to get the app working is to clear the cookies on your browser and stick to a single IP address.

Torrenting

Torrenting is one of the big 3 reasons why people purchase VPN apps. With a VPN connection, you can download as many files as you want from the likes of The Pirate Bay, and not have to worry about being discovered by the FBI or some other law enforcement agencies.

Customer Care

Surfshark VPN has an outstanding customer care team that will attend to all your needs within a reasonable time. They can be reached through phone lines, live chat, or by mail. The live chat is the easiest way to get the attention that you want as operators are available on a 24/7 basis.

Price from: $1.99/mo
Refunds: 30 days
9.6
Design and UX: 5/5
Connection speed Good
Torrenting speed Good
Strict no-log policy
Netflix unblock: Yes
1040+ servers
Pros
1040+ fast servers across 61 countries
Unlimited device connections
Beautiful desktop and mobile interfaces
Strict no-logs policy
Special security features: NoBorders and camouflage modes
Cons
The NoBorders mode limits the number of servers to a dozen
Pricey at $11 a month
Price from: $1.99/mo
Refunds: 30 days
9.6
Design and UX: 5/5
Connection speed Good
Torrenting speed Good
Strict no-log policy
Netflix unblock: Yes
1040+ servers

#3 VPN.ac

TOP Rank 9.1

VPN.ac is one of those Mac VPN apps that won’t disappoint. It will deliver on speed, security, privacy, streaming and on torrenting. It also gives you the option to pay with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, thus adding an extra layer to your anonymity. Here is a breakdown of its top features:

Speed

When it comes to speed, you can trust VPN.ac to deliver. The drop in speed after connecting to the VPN is only -13%, which is ideal if you already have a fast internet connection.

Servers and Server Locations

VPN.ac has 100+ servers in 21 countries. The servers are mostly located in Western European and North American cities. 100 servers is lower than you’d expect, but some of them are specialized for surfing countries with internet restrictions.

Privacy and Security with VPN.ac

When it comes to offering a secure and private connection, VPN.ac excels. It has some incredible features such as military-grade encryption. It also uses the popular OpenVPN protocol to secure communication between its servers. Here are more security features:

Obfuscated Servers

Obfuscated servers are special types of servers that are stealthy in nature. They are great for surfing in China, North Korea, or Iran where there are internet restrictions in place.

Logs Policy

VPN.ac has a strict no logs policy. The service provider does not store the data they collect from, nor do they analyze it to build a profile of your online activities. The headquarters of VPN.ac are in Romania, meaning that they also don’t pass logs data to the government, given that Romania is not a member of the infamous 5 or 9 Eyes.

Unblocking Netflix

Perhaps one reason you may be interested in this list of the 5 best VPN apps for Macs is so that you can stream your favorite content on Netflix or some other streaming service without having to worry about geo-restrictions.
If that is the case, then you are in for some good news. VPN.ac is one of the top VPN apps for unblocking Netflix. It has fast servers and stable speeds, which make it ideal for streaming. To increase your chances of streaming without any interruption, clear the cookies in your browser and stick to a single IP address.

Torrenting

Torrenting with VPN.ac is easy. The app has some fast servers that are also secure. You should, of course, expect some drop in speed as you download the torrents but not that much.

Customer Care at VPN.ac

The quality of customer care at VPN.ac is a bit wanting given that the service provider does not have a live chat. That said, they will still respond to your queries in record time, within an hour or so. The lack of a live chat option is the only major drawback of the app.

Price from: $3.75/mo
Refunds: 7 days
9.1
Design and UX: 5/5
Connection speed Good
Torrenting speed Good
Keep some logs
Netflix unblock: Yes
40+ servers
Pros
Fast servers
Strict no logging policy
6 simultaneous connections
Secure proxy browser add-on
Obfuscation and WireGuard support
Cons
No live chat support
Few country locations
Price from: $3.75/mo
Refunds: 7 days
9.1
Design and UX: 5/5
Connection speed Good
Torrenting speed Good
Keep some logs
Netflix unblock: Yes
40+ servers

#4 IPVanish

TOP Rank 9.2

One more app to make it to the list of the 5 best VPN apps for Macs is IPVanish. The app will secure your communications, safeguard your privacy, allow you to access geo-restricted content, as well as download torrents on The Pirate Bay.
It is also one of the most aesthetically pleasing apps that we have so far reviewed. The following is a summary of the things that make IPVanish standout as a good candidate for the best VPN app for Mac.

Speed

A VPN app needs to be fast so that it can fulfill a user’s expectations, including providing an anonymous connection. As far as IPVanish is concerned, the servers are moderately fast occasionally dropping about 30% internet connection speed. That’s like from a 10 Mbps connection to a 7 Mbps. Not bad.

Server and Server Locations

In total, IPVanish has 1000+ servers in 75 countries. Most of these servers are located in North American, Japanese, and Western European cities, or what are sometimes called prime VPN locations.

Privacy and Security with IPVanish

IPVanish is a very secure VPN app. The app, for instance, uses the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption standard to secure communications between its servers.

Folks that have to fight state surveillance have a scramble option to help them with that. The scramble security feature scrambles the data sent through the server, thus making it hard for anyone to intercept and decrypt it.
Netflix Unblocking with IPVanish

IPVanish is your ideal app for unblocking Netflix. It is fast, secure, and has hundreds of servers to choose from. Most of these servers are located in places, such as the US and Canada where Netflix seems to favor above all other.
To increase your chances of unblocking geo-restricted content without experiencing any glitches, stick to a single IP address and make sure to clean your browser of any cookies.

Torrenting with IPVanish

With thousands of servers to choose from and veritable security and privacy credentials, IPVanish makes for the perfect app to torrent files on torrent sites and to not get caught by law enforcement agencies such as the FBI. You should, however, brace yourself for a substantial drop in the speed off your internet connection. After connecting to the service, about -30% drop is noticed, which is fairly standard.

Customer Care

IPVanish users are served by a diligent and hardworking customer care team that responds to any queries promptly. They can be reached through phone, live chat, or email. We recommend that you use the live chat because it is more flexible.

Price from: $3.25/mo
Refunds: 7 days
9.2
Design and UX: 4/5
Connection speed Bad
Torrenting speed Good
Strict no-log policy
Netflix unblock: Yes
1300+ servers
Pros
Military-grade encryption
Error-free streaming on Netflix
10 simultaneous connections
Outstanding customer care service
Compatibility on multiple platforms
Cons
Seven day money back guarantee
70+ locations to choose from
Price from: $3.25/mo
Refunds: 7 days
9.2
Design and UX: 4/5
Connection speed Bad
Torrenting speed Good
Strict no-log policy
Netflix unblock: Yes
1300+ servers

#5 Outbyte VPN

TOP Rank 9.0

With its moderately fast servers, Outbyte VPN is one of the best apps for streaming on Netflix, torrenting, and for establishing anonymous connections. It is also the most reasonably priced app on the market because for only $7.99 a month, you can secure all your communications from prying eyes.

Speed

The main reason that Outbyte VPN is at number 3 of the best 5 apps for Mac is because its servers are only moderately fast. They do perform well sometimes, but on a majority of cases, you should expect a speed bump of about 30%.

Servers and Server

Locations Outbyte VPN has several hundred servers that are spread out in 48 countries around the world. The server portfolio includes stealth servers for extra privacy and regular servers. Some servers are also specialized for streaming and for P2P activity.

Security and Privacy Credentials of Outbyte VPN

Outbyte VPN uses the same military-grade encryption standard as NordVPN to secure communications between its servers. It also has other security features, such as stealth VPN, which is ideal for surfing in places like China and North Korea. Logs Policy Despite the owners of Outbyte VPN being in Australia which is a member of the Five Eyes, Outbyte VPN service providers insist on having a strict no logs policy. They are, in their own words, not interested in any of the stuff that you do online and will not pass any information about your online activities to the government because they do not store logs information.

Netflix Unblocking

If you are looking for an app that will make it easy for you to access geo-restricted content, then Outbyte VPN is the app for you. They have special servers for streaming in the US, the UK, Canada, and most of Western Europe.

Torrenting with Outbyte VPN

Outbyte VPN has some special servers for downloading torrents. When you use the app, you should expect a speed drop of anywhere between 3 to 9%, which is, for lack of a better word, awesome. Other apps perform way worse than this.

Customer Care

To make it to our list of the best VPN apps for Mac, a reliable and responsive customer care is a must-have. Outbyte VPN has an amazing support team can be reached through mail, live chat, and phone (Canada and North America). They will answer all queries that you might have as promptly as possible. In summary, Outbyte VPN is one of the best apps for Macs on the market. It has excellent security and privacy credentials, has specialized servers, and will unlock geo-restricted content for you. Not to mention, it is reasonably priced.

Price from: $5/mo
Refunds: 30 days
9.0
Design and UX: 3/5
Connection speed Good
Torrenting speed Excellent
Strict no-log policy
Netflix unblock: Yes
75+ servers
Pros
AES-256-CBC military grade encryption
Fast servers in over 80 locations
DNS and IPv6 antileaks
Works with Neflix
Secure and fast torrenting
«Stealth vpn» technology
Cons
Slow customer support via mail
Clumped interface of the desktop app
Price from: $5/mo
Refunds: 30 days
9.0
Design and UX: 3/5
Connection speed Good
Torrenting speed Excellent
Strict no-log policy
Netflix unblock: Yes
75+ servers