A VPN is an essential tool nowadays, regardless of which device you use. Although a VPN can be used to access blocked websites, it's also for hiding your location and identity online and getting protection when using public Wi-Fi.

While Macs are generally considered to be more secure than PCs, VPNs apply just as much to Mac users as Windows and Android because it affects the connection between your Mac and the internet, not the computer itself.

A VPN has three main uses, but a primary reason for many people is to watch shows that are blocked to them because of their physical location. It means you can watch BBC iPlayer while outside of the UK, or access US Netflix from the UK.

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Our current favourite service is NordVPN, which is a well priced all-rounder. But below you will find the top ten VPN services for Mac.

Best VPN for Mac

Most of these will cost less than £4/$6 per month, with some less than £2/$2. There are free VPNs available, but beware that some severely restrict which servers (and therefore countries) you can connect to and the amount of data you can download through those servers.

It's also important to read the terms and conditions before using a free VPN, as in rare cases they sell your data to third parties to offset the cost of you using it without paying. It's a bigger problem on iPhones and Android where unscrupulous companies try to cash in on the VPN 'gold rush' and offer up poorly put together apps. Stick with our recommendations and you'll be safe from these, though.

VPN apps very easy to install and use but for a step-by-step guide, read how to set up a VPN on a Mac.

All of these VPNs will also work on your iPhone and iPad as well, but you might want to check out our separate guides to the best VPNs for iPhone and best VPNs for iPad.

Note: In Big Sur Apple's own programs are bypassing VPNs.

Best VPN for Mac reviews

1. NordVPN

NordVPN for Mac
  • Rating: *****

NordVPN is one of the biggest and best-known VPN services.

There are more than 5,000 servers available across 59 countries. You won't have to figure out which one to choose thanks to the handy SmartPlay feature that picks the server best suited to your needs.

Connections are fast and reliable, and NordVPN unblocks popular streaming services around the world including Netflix and BBC iPlayer. You can connect up to six devices simultaneously.

Recently Nord has added support for the faster Wireguard protocol making it one of the fastest VPN services out there.

  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 tech support
  • Kill Switch
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Zero-logs policy

You can get 68% off the usual monthly price if you take advantage of the two-year plan.

Find out more in our full NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark

Surfshark
  • Rating: *****

Surfshark is a great-value VPN that offers a lot more than you'd expect for a small monthly price.

Its apps are easy to use and it reliably unblocks streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Connection speeds aren't the fastest around, but unless you have super-fast broadband (over 75Mbps or thereabouts) you really won't notice any difference when Surfshark is running. 

The company has recently upgraded all its servers so they run entirely in RAM, just like ExpressVPN, which offers better security, and there are other security features such as two-factor authentication which very few VPN services offer.

The other reason to consider Surfshark is because it undercuts almost all of its rivals on price, yet doesn't place any limit on the number of devices you can use simultaneously.

So you can install and use it across many devices including your Mac, PC, Android and iOS devices, as well as browsers.

There's a kill switch, a strict no-logs policy and a Multi-Hop feature which routes your connection via two VPN servers for an extra layer of protection.

  • 1700+ RAM-based servers
  • Multi-Hop connections
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Zero-logs policy

Sign up to Surfshark and read more in our Surfshark review.

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
  • Rating: *****

Don't overlook ExpressVPN because of its higher monthly price. It is an excellent VPN service which offers security through its TrustedServer tech and great connection speeds besides.

It offers more than 3,000 servers across 94 countries and prides itself on continuously improving its service. It's currently trialling its proprietary protocol, Lightway, which should increase speeds further.

ExpressVPN unblocks streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

  • Kill switch (Network Lock)
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Zero-logs policy

As for the cost, there is a 15-month deal which gives you three months free. You can use it across five devices simultaneously and in addition to the Mac app there are plenty of others for various other devices you might own.

You can find out more in our full ExpressVPN review, or see the ExpressVPN subscription plans.

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost for Mac
  • Rating: *****

CyberGhost is perhaps the biggest name in the VPN industry. It's affordable and user friendly, so is perfect for anyone using a VPN on their Mac for the first time.

Like certain rivals, it is constantly adding new servers and the current tally of over 6500 in 90 countries means you should always be able to get a fast connection. And in our tests, we've always seen great speeds from CyberGhost.

It works with phones, tablets, browsers and of course your Mac.

  • 6500 servers
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Kill switch

It can cost as little as £1.99/$2.49 per month if you sign up for the 3-year deal, which was running at the time of writing.

You can find our more in our full CyberGhost review.

5. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access
  • Rating: *****

Private Internet Access offers over 18,000 servers spread across 77 countries.

You're allowed to use your account on five devices simultaneously, including iOS and MacOS.

It doesn't log any of your details or activity, so even though it is based in the US, there's no data to hand over should the authorities order PIA to do so.

Adding to the security is the Kill Switch and the fact you can pay anonymously.

  • Kill switch
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Zero-logs policy

Find out more in our full Private Internet Access review, or subscribe to PIA here.

6. VyprVPN

VyprVPN
  • Rating: *****

VyprVPN has more than 700 servers across 70 countries, all owned and operated by the company itself - a major boon for privacy and security buffs.

It has a strict no-logs policy, and is a great one to add to your shortlist if privacy is your top priority.

  • Kill switch
  • Wireguard & Chameleon protocols
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Zero-logs policy

It's speedy and reliable, and pretty affordable as well, especially if you don't mind subscribing for two years.

You can subscribe to VyprVPN here, or find out more in our review here.

7. PureVPN

PureVPN
  • Rating: *****

PureVPN is a service to consider if you need to connect to one or more of the countries which aren't covered by its rivals.

There are more than 2,000 servers available across 141 countries (the most of all services listed here).

Now, some of those are achieved using 'virtual server locations' which simply means the server is not physically located in the country it purports to be. But they will still unblock content as you'd expect.

  • Kill switch in macOS app
  • 140+ countries covered
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services
  • Zero-logs policy

PureVPN used to log session information but these days operates a strict no-logs policy.

Standard monthly pricing isn't that attractive for any VPN service, but like its rivals PureVPN always offers great deals if you're happy to sign up for multiple years.

You can find out more in our full PureVPN review, and see PureVPN offers here.

8. Ivacy

Ivacy
  • Rating: *****

Ivacy is a well-established VPN service which offers apps for macOS, iOS alongside other devices you may own. Its network isn't the largest, but still offers servers in all the countries you are likely to want to pretend to be located in.

  • Singapore headquarters
  • Over 1000 servers
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Support for P2P / Torrenting on some servers
  • Works with all 7 Netflix regions + BBC iPlayer

Speeds are decent, and support is responsive via 24/7 live chat. And with competitive prices, it's a solid choice.

Find out more in our full Ivacy review.

9. Hide.me

hide.me VPN
  • Rating: *****

Hide.me is another VPN service which has improved considerably over the past year or two.

As well as offering a completely free version (which none of its rivals here do), it has also added Wireguard, which should be faster than the protocols previously available.

It can now unblock Netflix and has doubled the number of devices you can connect to the service simultaneously, from five to 10.

  • 1700+ servers in 45 countries
  • Kill switch
  • 24/7 live chat
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Free version

See our Hide.me VPN review for more.

10. IPVanish

IPVanish
  • Rating: *****

IPVanish has improved its offering recently, now providing 24/7 live chat support, a 30-day money-back guarantee and 250GB of free cloud storage.

It's based in the US, which might be a turn-off for those worried about online privacy, but since it doesn't keep any logs at all no data would be available to share with authorities anyway.

There are 1,400 servers across 75 countries, and now no limit on the number of devices you can use at the same time.

IPVanish owns and operates a good chunk of its network, which means it has more control over who has access to that kit.

  • Kill switch for macOS
  • 24/7 live chat
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 250GB cloud storage

Like ExpressVPN, IPVanish is one of the more expensive options even when you factor in the discounts for subscribing for longer. But if you see a cheaper deal, it could well be the VPN service for you.

Find out more in our full IPVanish review.