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Best VPNs for Mac Users in 2021
Virtual private networks are nothing new, but they do continue to improve each year.
As a way of creating a more secure connection between users in different locations while still making use of a public network, a VPN makes it possible to use public WiFi and share personal data with confidence. Think of it as a private network that’s overlaid and makes use of a public network like the Internet.
Like all forms of technology, the VPN options of the past are not as robust as the ones available today. Are you ready to make a change in 2021? Maybe you are setting up a VPN for the first time. Whatever the case, it pays to know which VPNs work best for Mac.
Here are ten options that deserve to be on your list.
Hidden24 has a reputation of being one of the best approaches to security available. While it’s only been around since 2005, this solution has proven popular in many areas around the world.
That’s because of the emphasis placed on keeping data of all types secure.
Privacy and anonymity are the watchwords for this solution. The network works by passing and encrypting all the data that you send before it ever gets to the Internet. Your IP address is masked with one that’s issued by Hidden24.
Since your traffic is mingled with the traffic generated by other users, it’s virtually impossible for anyone to track the data back to you. The same process protects those who send any type of data to you.
You name the data and it can be encrypted. From emails to attachments like images or files, you can rest assured they are secure. Others in the network will have no trouble opening and viewing them, provided you’ve assigned those users the proper access credentials.
You can use Hidden24 behind a firewall without impacting the speed or function of your network. If you happen to be using a wireless LAN without the encryption activated, the way that Hidden24 is set up will even provide at least some security.
Hidden 24 has the benefit of being easy to set up and to use. That’s good news is this is your first time establishing a VPN and don’t consider yourself to be particularly technically-minded.
2. Private Internet Access
If you want security along with a competitive monthly price, it’s hard to beat Private Internet Access. The network currently functions in over 30 nations and is expected to expand to more locations in the coming year.
The basic setup includes five licences that you can utilize in any way you like. Go for a combination of iPhones, Mac desktops, and even iPads.
That’s great if you and others in the network are on the go and need security no matter what sort of public network you are using.
There’s no tracking of IP addresses, and timestamps are not present. There’s even a kill switch that allows you to manage transactions online without any type of activity tracking.
Unlike some of the other VPN options on this list, Private Internet Access is based in the United States. This is important because it means the structure and operation is impacted by the Five Eyes data swapping collective. You get to decide if this is something that you want to avoid. If so, there are plenty of other VPN options based in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
(Read more about our in-depth review of Private Internet Access here)
If you check online reviews, quite a few users have great things to say about ExpressVPN. There’s no shortage of reviews with the highest ratings allowed. When you begin to research what they offer, you begin to see why.
ExpressVPN operates a huge network of servers to accommodate their customers. With a presence in well over 90 countries, it’s considered one of the most stable and strong networks in the world. Many users report that they experience almost no operational issues; if any do develop, they are resolved quickly.
Customer service is another aspect of Express VPN that rates highly with their users. The support is around the clock, and not just email or text. You can get to a live person for help. That’s not always the case with other networks.
You already know that not every VPN works seamlessly with various streaming services. ExpressVPN is not among them. Many users report that they can use all or most of the major streaming services without any lag or other issues.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is not the least expensive choice available. Given the support, the features, and the stability, you can bet the cost is worth it.
(Read more about our in-depth ExpressVPN review here)
4. TunnelBear VPN
TunnelBear VPN is a provider that offers free and fee-based services that are worth considering.
Depending on how much bandwidth you need, the free version may be just fine. This is especially true if you are an independent contractor who wants something for home use or a small business owner.
Those who need more than the currently-offered 500MB per month of bandwidth will find the fee-based services more to their liking. With either approach, you do get speed, stable browser extensions, mobile apps that work great on Mac devices, and the ability to connect up to five devices at one time.
Through it all, TunnelBear VPN ensures that your online privacy is thoroughly protected.
Keep in mind that the servers are only deployed in 22 countries. That’s not a game changer if your users tend to be within those areas.
(Read more about our in-depth TunnelBear VPN here)
NordVPN is also found on many expert’s list of the top 5 Virtual Private Networks in operation today. One reason has to do with the number of servers that are strategically scattered around the world. As of January 2021, they have over 5,000 servers operating in 62 different countries.
The network setup is easy on the user end, and does not affect the function or speed of your devices. What it does do is provide one of the fastest kill switches in the industry. If the network should be compromised by a temporary equipment failure or any other reason, the switch kicks into operation at once. That is one of the ways NordVPN protects your data.
While many networks allow you to connect up to five devices at one time, NordVPN allows up to six. Think of what that means for using VPN with P2P. That may not seem like much of a change, but you’d be surprised how often one more connection will make a difference.
The apps work well with any type of Mac device. Downloading and installing are simple and there’s hardly any learning curve once the network is up and running. Price-wise, this network is neither the most expensive of the cheapest, but it does offer just about all the support and extras you would want in a VPN.
(Read more about our in-depth NordVPN review here)
6. Goose VPN
Based in the Netherlands, Goose VPN has servers deployed in 27 countries. Compared to some of the other options on the list, they don’t have that many servers – the number is still under a hundred. Even so, they offer their clients speedy and stable connections, quick encryption, and the ability to access online content that is not available with many other networks.
This network option is considered one of the easiest to install and use. There’s no logging, which is a big plus in terms of privacy. Streaming content is possible on selected servers.
In terms of support, you can get help via email, social media, live chat, and a FAQ on the company website that’s updated regularly.
If your network is more eclectic, that’s okay. Goose VPN is great for use on Mac devices, but will also work well with Linux, Windows, and even Android if necessary. There’s even a Chrome browser extension that works with ease. There are also native apps that you can load onto a phone or a tablet.
You can secure a plan that allows as little as 50GB a month, which may be plenty for a small operation. Other plans provide considerably more bandwidth if you need it.
7. Pure VPN
This Hong Kong-based VPN has been around for over a decade and come a long way.
While there was initial criticism, the company has put a lot of effort into enhancing their network options and building what is a commendable customer support strategy.
Network growth is also impressive. Currently, Pure VPN has servers based in over 140 countries. Their setup requires no third parties, so there are no worries about logging anywhere along the way.
The company does maintain a tally of connections and the amount of bandwidth that’s in use at any given time. However, there is nothing to trace those connections back to their origins.
One of the features that you may find helpful is split tunneling. This makes it possible to allocate more bandwidth to specific devices. Like many of their competitors, Pure VPN allows for up to five devices to be connected at any given time.
Are you not sure about making a long-term commitment? Pure VPN offers monthly as well as semi-annual and annual packages. Add in the fact that the customer support is among the best in the industry and you have a provider who is well worth investigating.
(Read more about our PureVPN review here)
Another VPN that’s based in the United States, some prospective users may find that to be prohibitive. Before writing off IPVanish, take a moment to look at what they’ve done during their two decades of operation.
The network utilizes a thousand servers found in 60 different countries. Kill switches that work quickly are part of the plan, along with the ability to connect up to five devices at one time.
Is torrenting important to you? This network supports torrents with ease.
This is another option on the list that operates without the aid of third parties. You have apps for iOS as well as Mac, although the selection of browser extensions is somewhat limited compared to other providers. The cost per month is more toward the upper range of the market, but the stability of the network and the reputation for solid encrypting does make it worth considering. If you are not put off by the possible complications created by laws in the country of origin, talk with the IPVanish team and set up a free trial.
(Read more about our in-depth IPVanish review here)
This Romanian-based VPN is the network that just keeps on growing. While most providers try to add servers and locations on a regular basis, few of them are as aggressive with their expansion efforts as CyberGhost.
This well-established brand is currently found in 60 nations and has surpassed 2700 servers. The coming year is likely to see even more servers added.
Their encryption protocols are among the best in the world. If secure data is key to your business, this one is worth your time.
Even so, the installation process and the use of the VPN is among the most intuitive on the market today.
Even if you and your team have never used a VPN before, it won’t take long to feel right at home with CyberGhost.
Along with Mac, CyberGhost works with all major operating systems, including iOS and the different Linux products. There’s the ability to connect to up to five devices at a time, and you don’t have to worry about slow transmissions. You’ll like the cost, especially when you consider everything that the provider offers.
(Read more about our in-depth CyberGhost review here)
VyprVPN is one of the providers that people will tell you offers the best in speeds along with a healthy amount of bandwidth. That makes it a good option for customers who require higher levels of privacy without having to sacrifice connection and transmission speeds.
One thing you should know is that the provider does keep session logs for 30 days.
The information collected and retained includes the source IP address, the IP address created by VyprVPN, and the connection stop and start times. Once the 30-day window is completed, the data is erased.
Like many other providers, you can connect up to five devices. If that’s more than you need, there are packages that limit connections to three devices. With over 700 servers spread across 70 countries, this one may or may not be right for you. Keep in mind that you do have a kill switch that works quickly and the range of mobile apps included is quite impressive.
(Read more about our in-depth VyprVPN review here)
The Bottom Line
Remember that choosing the right VPN is more involved than deciding what socks to wear today. Your choice will have a direct impact on the ability to share and receive data securely.
Take your time and compare the merits found with each of these options. Determine how well the features provided fit with how you plan on utilizing the network. It won’t take long to narrow the list down to a couple of possibilities and ultimately settle on the network setup that’s right for you. Good luck!