Because you own a Mac, you might think you don't need a VPN. But unlike antivirus software, VPNs are just as essential to Mac users as anyone else.

A VPN allows you to access websites that are ordinarily blocked in your country. You'll be able to hide your location and identity online and also get protection when using public Wi-Fi which - more often than not - is not encrypted.

So a VPN has three main uses, but many people's primary reason for wanting a VPN is to watch shows on BBC iPlayer's streaming services while outside of the UK, or to access US Netflix from the UK in order to access its expanded catalogue.

Our current favourite service is NordVPN, which is a well priced all-rounder. We also recommend ExpressVPN along with eight more great options listed below. Some are cheaper than Nord and Express, while others have other advantages that you'll discover if you read on...

You'll find the latest prices for the services right here, but do check out our roundup of the best VPN for Mac deals which are usually time-limited and might save you extra money.

Best Mac VPN: quick links

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 in almost all cases you will be severely restricted on 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 some sell your data to third parties to offset the cost of you using it without paying.

VPN apps are mostly 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 VPN for Mac reviews

1. NordVPN

NordVPN
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

NordVPN is one of the best-known VPN brands and is very easy to use. It's pretty good value considering the sheer number of servers available, as well as the broad array of devices supported by its apps.

The company does not keep any logs of user activity, and there are more than 5,500 servers across 62 countries to choose from. That's more than most other VPN services, but don't be too swayed by the number of servers as they may be in countries that aren't useful to you. 

Having multiple servers in the US, UK and other key countries is a boon though.

We had no trouble connecting to Netflix and other streaming services, and speeds are good.

Additional features include:

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

You can get NordVPN for £2.68/US$3.49 per month if you take advantage of the three year deal. Alternative options include a two year plan, one year plan, a six month plan or a one month plan. See all price plans here.

Find out more in our full NordVPN review.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

Another great VPN service is ExpressVPN. It runs more than 3,000 servers across a 94 countries (that's more countries than NordVPN offers).

Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN promises a zero-logs policy, and it prides itself on continuously improving and maintaining high speed servers which run entirely in RAM, making them more secure.

ExpressVPN works well with streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer and provides great speeds on the whole.

  • Kill switch
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services

It's not the cheapest option available, at £5/$6.67 per month if you choose the 15-month deal, but you can use it across three devices simultaneously and there are mobile and router apps, as well as browser extensions.

You can find out more in our full ExpressVPN review, or sign up for a subscription to ExpressVPN here.

3. PureVPN

PureVPN
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

PureVPN is fast and reliable, packed with features at a great price.

It is among the biggest services when it comes to the number of countries it offers. There are more than 2,000 servers available across 141 countries (the most of all services listed here).

Now, some of those locations 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
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services

PureVPN is compatible with more than 20 devices, including your Mac, and you can login to five devices at once with your account.

Currently, standard prices aren't that competitive with 62% off the regular $10.95 monthly price - that's $4.16 (or £3.20 in the UK). But hang around on PureVPN's website for a while and you'll almost certainly see a pop-up for it's New Year deal which ties you in for 5 years but brings the price down to just $1.99 per month (about £1.50).

You can find out more in our full PureVPN review, and sign up here.

4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

CyberGhost is a big name in the VPN industry. It's affordable and user friendly with a wide range of pre-configured features perfect for newbies.

There are almost 3,700 servers available across 58 countries, and the list is growing fast.

In addition to helping to keep you anonymous online, CyberGhost also uses military-grade encryption (just as do the other services here) to protect you against hackers trying to steal your data on public WiFi hotspots.

It works with most devices including phones, tablets, browsers and of course your Mac, and there's also an ad-blocker included in the application to speed up surfing.

  • Kill Switch
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services

It can cost as little as £2.10/$2.75 per month if you sign up for three years, but there's also a one year, two year or one month option.

You can sign up for a subscription here, or find our more in our full CyberGhost review.

5. Surfshark

Surfshark
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

Surfshark is a beginner-friendly VPN that works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer. The real reason it's so interesting is because it undercuts its rivals on price.

It offers 800 servers across 50 countries, and unlimited simultaneous connections. 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 to help with privacy concerns, plus it's based in the British Virgin Islands so outside of the 14 eyes.

  • Kill switch
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services

Surfshark is very competitively priced, at just £1.59/$1.99 per month if you opt for the two year option at time of writing.

Sign up to Surfshark on its website here, or read more in our Surfshark review.

6. VyprVPN

VyprVPN
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

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
  • Mobile apps but no browser extensions
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services

It's speedy and reliable, just not the cheapest. 

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

7. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

For a wide choice of servers, Private Internet Access offers one of the biggest ranges at more than 3,300, spread across 32 countries.

It's at the more affordable end of the scale at £2.70/$3.49 per month, and you'll get five licenses that can be used simultaneously on any device, including iOS and MacOS.

It doesn't track your IP address or timestamps, offers a Kill Switch feature and lets you pay anonymously.

  • Kill switch
  • Mobile apps & browser extensions
  • 5 simultaneous connections
  • Works with Netflix & other streaming services

There is one big downside, though, and that's that it is based in the US, which is the very centre of the 5-eyes data swapping collective.

For some, that will ring immediate alarm bells, but it logs literally nothing so wouldn't have any data about you to hand over even if it were ordered by a court to do so.

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

8. Ivacy

Ivacy
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

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.

In fact, there's a brilliant five-year deal which costs just $0.99 (around 76p) per month which is seriously good value.

Find out more in our full Ivacy review.

9. IPVanish

IPVanish
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

IPVanish caters to beginners and families, but does suffer from slow support and some difficulty connecting to streaming services.

It's also based in the US, which is a distinct turn-off for those worried about online privacy, but it doesn't keep any traffic logs at all so it's unlikely any data will be available to share with the government anyway.

The good news is that it has 1,300 servers across 75 countries, and you'll be able to connect via 10 different devices at once with the same account.

Plus, IPVanish owns and operates the entire internal infrastructure (its private network, physical points of presence and servers), which is unlike most other VPN services available.

  • Kill switch
  • Mobile apps
  • 10 simultaneous connections

Find out more in our full IPVanish review, or visit the IPVanish website to sign up for a subscription

10. Hidden24

Hidden24
  • Rating:
    ratings ratings ratings ratings ratings

Hidden24 focuses completely on privacy and anonymity, after starting life in 2005 as a reaction to Sweden's snooping laws.

It's unlike all other services here in several ways. First, it designed and runs its own proprietary hardware for the VPN service, not the traditional Linux server. This makes it ultra-secure compared to rented servers, and the company owns and operates all hardware and doesn't permit any third parties to access that hardware.

The commitment to anonymity runs so deep that it doesn't offer refunds (because it cannot track whether you have used the service) and only allows one connection at one time (again, because any other use would require logging and tracking its users). 

Another unusual aspect is that there is no app. Instead Hidden24 uses the operating system's own VPN capability which simply requires entering a few details - and setup is simple thanks to detailed step-by-step guides.

There's also a US server available to connect to US Netflix, as well as servers for Germany, Italy, France and Spain, and we found them all to be speedy and stable.

Hidden24 starts at £3.33/$4.61 per month.

Find out more about Hidden24 in our full review, or sign up here.