Whether you're concerned about your online privacy or looking to access sites that are ordinarily blocked in your country, a VPN (virtual private network) will help. You'll be able to hide your location online and access blocked content using any one of the services in our best VPNs round-up for Mac.
Many people use a VPN in order to enjoy the BBC iPlayer's streaming services while outside of the UK, or to access US Netflix whilst inside the UK in order to make use of its expanded catalogue. VPNs are also a great tool to help you keep prying eyes at bay, giving an element of anonymity whilst browsing the web.
There are free VPNs available, but beware that some free VPNs may install unwanted toolbars or third-party applications, and others simply offer much less advanced features. It's important to first read the terms and conditions before using a free VPN, and to make sure you know the free VPNs limits.
Generally, though, even paid-for VPNs are quite cheap. You can subscribe to many for under £6 per month.
Read on for our round-up of the best and most popular VPN services available for Mac.
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Best VPN for Mac
- RRP: Starting at approximately £4 per month
- Buy from NordVPN
One of our favourite VPNs is NordVPN, which has servers operated under the jurisdiction of Panama, meaning there's no traffic monitoring required. The company tells us that it does not keep any logs of user activity at all.
NordVPN is also reasonably priced, and offers lots of privacy and security features to help it become one of the most attractive VPN services for internet users looking for privacy online. It's easy to set up and it's quick, too.
- RRP: £6.30 per month
- Buy from Buffered
Like NordVPN, you'll also get total anonymity from Buffered, including when using public WiFi connections. Buffered will keep your passwords safe and protect your details when using online banking.
Again, you'll be able to virtually reside in more than 30 countries, and you won't need to worry about speed and bandwidth limitations.
There's no free version of Buffered, but there is a 30 day money back guarantee available. Plans include a monthly plan at $12.99 per month, but you can save by opting for a bi-annual plan for $9.99 per month or a yearly plan of $8.25 per month.
- RRP: Free version available; £3.74 per month Premium; £5.83 per month Premium Plus
- Buy from CyberGhost
CyberGhost offers one of the safest ways to browse the web, and has managed to build a solid reputation when it comes to security and transparency. In addition to helping to keep you anonymous online, CyberGhost also boasts military grade encryption to protect you against hackers trying to steal your data on public WiFi hotspots.
It works with most devices including phones and tablets, and there's also an ad-blocker included in the application to speed up surfing. Of course, that does deprive impoverished writers of their hard earned money, so that's something worth bearing in mind if you want to switch the ad-blocker on.
There is a free version of CyberGhost but it lacks some of the main features. You'll need to wait before you can connect, and after three hours you'll be disconnect and will need to connect again. It's more of a trial designed to show you how the service works. The full version for a single device is £45 per year or £3.99 per month, while the five-device plan is £70 per year or £6.99 per month.
- RRP: £3.40 per month (yearly plan), £5.45 per month (6-month plan), £6.79 per month (monthly plan) / $4.99 per month (yearly plan), $7.99 per month (6-month plan), $9.99 per month (monthly plan)
- Buy from PureVPN
PureVPN is among the biggest services when it comes to the number of countries and servers it offers. There are more than 500 servers available in 141 countries. It also boasts that there are no third-parties involved and no logs of your activities, as it's a self-managed network owned by the company itself.
PureVPN is compatible with more than 20 devices, including your Mac, and you can log in to 5 devices at once with your account. Prices start at $4.99 per month if you're willing to commit to a year, or $9.99 if you want to pay on a month-by-month basis. It also offers a 7-day money back guarantee.
- RRP: From £6.30 per month
- Buy from ExpressVPN
Among the speediest VPN services out there is ExpressVPN, which is situated on the British Virgin Islands. It's not the cheapest option available starting at $8.32 per month, but it doesn't log any timestamps or IP addresses.
It works with Netflix to allow you to virtually reside in the country of your choice to access additional TV shows and movies, too.
Hide My Ass! Pro VPN
- RRP: £3.99 per month or £6.99 per month for an annual plan
- Buy from HMA
This UK-based company has a large number of servers listed all over the world to help you protect your data, and it is now owned by antivirus company AVG. It abides by our unique data laws that deny anonymity to VPN users, though, which means it could potentially inform government officials about its users if asked to. It's also a bit on the pricey side, but what you will get is very attentive support staff that will help you with any technical issues should you need them.
Plus, at time of writing there is a sale that offers up to 50% off Hide My Ass!
- RRP: Free version available; £5.99 per month
- Buy from ZenMate
ZenMate offers a while range of internet security solutions, including VPN tools for desktop, broswers and mobile. There's a free version available that prides itself on being simple and easy to use, but that's a limited service.
If you try it and find that you want to upgrade to the Premium version, you'll get faster speeds, more locations and unlimited access to the Desktop Defender for £5.99 per month or £49.99 per year.
- RRP: $29.95 per year
- Buy from AnchorFree
Hotspot Shield offers a low-cost VPN service that lets you browse anonymously as well as access the blocked content by providing you with a new virtual location. And of course, as the name hints, it can shield you from threats when you're using a WiFi hotspot.
It's just $29.95 per year, which works out at under $3 per month, so is one of the cheapest options available.
- RRP: Free version available; £5.99 per month
- Buy from Total VPN
As the name suggests, Total VPN offers you total anonymity once installed and running on your Mac. It'll hide your IP address, location and personal information from snoopers, and promises not to keep logs of your browsing history. You'll get protection whilst using public WiFi, too.
There is a free version of Total VPN available, but that's limited to three locations and there's limited usage. The Total Premium Plan, on the other hand, lets you access more than 30 locations with completely unrestricted browsing.
Not only can you use TotalVPN on your Mac, it's also available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Windows, Android and more.