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 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.

Best VPNs for Mac 2021: Reviewed & Ranked

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 '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

2. Surfshark

Surfshark for Mac
  • 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 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 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
  • GPS spoofing

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

3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
  • Rating: *****

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
  • 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 10 devices simultaneously, including iOS and MacOS. This is double the number PIA used to offer.

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.

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

Recently it dropped its prices and is now a lot more competitive. For example, the two-year subscription costs only £1.81 / $2.19 per month.

Find out more in our full Private Internet Access review.

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

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
  • 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

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 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
  • 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 is considerably faster than other encryption protocols.

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.