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.

Our current favourite service is Surfshark, 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 £5/$5 per month, with some less than £3/$3. 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.

Best VPNs for Mac 2021: Reviewed & Ranked

1.

Surfshark

Surfshark for Mac

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. It's missing the specialty servers offered by rivals such as NordVPN, though.

Connection speeds are very impressive, and that's thanks to the use of the new WireGuard protocol. You really won't notice any slowdown in your internet speed when Surfshark is running, so long as you have WireGuard selected and aren't using servers the other side of the globe.

The company has recently upgraded all its servers so they run entirely in RAM, just like NordVPN and ExpressVPN. It's also a member of the VPN Trust Initiative, while two-factor authentication (2FA) is a feature 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. However, there's no split tunneling or GPS spoofing on the Mac. 

  • 3200+ RAM-based servers
  • Multi-Hop connections
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Two-factor authentication
  • GPS spoofing (Android only)

Sign up to Surfshark here.

Read our full Surfshark for Mac review

2.

NordVPN

NordVPN for Mac

NordVPN is one of the biggest and best-known VPN services. It sat firmly at the top of this list for years until Surfshark pipped it to the post. NordVPN is easier to use than Surfshark and has a more up-to-date independent audit. It also has speciality servers for specific purposes. But Surfshark is cheaper, offers unlimited connections and has more in-depth double VPN features.

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 'Quick connect' 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. However, it's only available on the 'IKE' version of the app, which only offers a permanently enabled kill switch. To have more control, you'll need to download the 'OpenVPN' version, albeit with slightly slower speeds.

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

You can get 68% off the usual monthly price if you take advantage of the two-year plan. However, there's no split tunneling on the Mac version.

Read our full NordVPN for Mac review

3.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the most accomplished VPN services you can buy. Everything you’d expect from a modern VPN is here, including an effective kill switch, impressive device support and split tunneling for app-by-app protection. Although the latter doesn’t yet work on macOS Big Sur, it is extremely easy to set up, with quick access via the menu bar one of the highlights.

ExpressVPN has often led the way when it comes to security, but other providers are quickly catching up. It's no longer the only one with RAM-based servers, while solid device and tech support are the norm whichever service you use.

The new Lightway protocol looks set to deliver big increases to the speeds ExpressVPN is capable of, but as open-source technology many similar services will be able to make use of it. Many of these are significantly more affordable, including the likes of NordVPN and Surfshark.

With the introduction of Apple Silicon, there’s no doubt that ExpressVPN is more than capable of serving the next generation of Mac. It’s just probably not the only one.

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

See ExpressVPN subscription plans here and read more in our full ExpressVPN review.

Read our full ExpressVPN review

4.

CyberGhost

CyberGhost for Mac

CyberGhost is one of the biggest names 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 6700 in 88 countries means you should always be able to get a fast connection. And in our tests, we've always seen great speeds from CyberGhost, especially following the introduction of the WireGuard protocol.

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

  • 6700+ servers
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Kill switch

It's not perfect, though - there's no split tunneling on the Mac, no evidence of a recent independent audit of security credentials and a user experience that's slightly rough around the edges. It also didn't unblock BBC iPlayer in our testing.

Still, at £1.99/$2.25 per month for 3-year deal (which currently gives you three months' extra free), it still represents very good value for money.

You can find our more in our full CyberGhost review.

Read our full CyberGhost for Mac review

5.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a compelling VPN at a relatively affordable price, making it a great option for the Mac.

It has an incredible 33,665 servers across 73 countries - that's far higher than almost any consumer VPN service. These include all the most popular locations, with the option for up to 10 simultaneous connections. 

Speeds are excellent, thanks to the recent introduction of the WireGuard protocol. PIA also benefits from a kill switch and split tunneling, features that are sometimes left out of Mac VPN services. 

It allows you to access international versions of Netflix, as well as BBC iPlayer while outside the UK. 

The service 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.

  • 33,000+ servers
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Kill switch and split tunneling

However, it's not perfect. There's no evidence of an independent audit and the Mac app is clunky in comparison to some rivals.

Nonetheless, PIA is a solid VPN service at an affordable price. A two-year subscription works out at only £2.37/$2.91 per month. You also currently get two months extra for free.

Find out more in our full Private Internet Access review

Read our full Private Internet Access review

6.

VyprVPN

VyprVPN

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

It's speedy and reliable, as well as affordable - 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

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

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

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 7 Netflix regions

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

Find out more in our full Ivacy review.

9.

Hide.me

hide.me VPN

Hide.me is another VPN service which has improved considerably in recent years.

As well as offering a completely free version (which none of its rivals here do), it has also added WireGuard, which is considerably faster than other encryption protocols.

Other key features include a customisable kill switch and split tunneling, as well as a Stealth Guard which stops selected apps from running without the security of a VPN connection.

It can unblock Netflix and allows you to access BBC iPlayer from outside the UK. There's also solid device support, with up to 10 simultaneous connections permitted.

  • 1900+ servers in 47 countries
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • 24/7 live chat
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Free version

However, the user interface on Mac is a bit clunky, and we're still waiting for an update to the 2015 no-logs policy certification.

Read our full hide.me VPN review