The Best VPNs for Mac

More and more people are realizing the importance of cybersecurity, but the myth that Macs don’t need protection still persists. These days, you definitely need at least an antivirus program, but it’s also a good idea to have a VPN, or virtual private network. VPN providers allow you to access the internet through their networks rather than through your local network, which disguises your IP address and makes it appear to hackers and surveillance mechanisms that you’re using the internet from somewhere else in the world. They also encrypt your data so that even if someone does manage to access it, they can’t actually read what it is. All in all, VPNs are great for protecting your information, preventing malware, and accessing censored or geo-blocked content.

We reviewed dozens of VPNs for Mac to identify the best of the best. We considered speed, data limits, encryption strength, data collection policies, and additional features to narrow down options. Of course, we also made sure to look at reviews from real consumers just like you to make sure that they really loved these VPNs.

Best VPN for Mac Overall
Kaspersky Internet Security 2020
Kapersky Internet Security 2020 is our top choice for protecting you and your family from online threats.

Our top pick and the Mac VPN that stood out as the clear winner is Kaspersky Internet Security 2020. This secure VPN protects you from online security threats like viruses, phishing, and more, as well as online theft.

The 5 Top-Rated VPNs for Mac

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best VPN for Mac OverallKaspersky Internet Security 20204.4
Best Mac VPN with AntivirusKaspersky Total Security 20204.5
Best Budget VPN for MacNorton 360 Premium4.3
Best High-Security Mac VPNNordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software4.1
Best High-Speed Mac VPNBitdefender Total Security4.0

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best VPN for Mac Overall: Kaspersky Internet Security 2020

Our favorite VPN for Mac and overall top pick is Kaspersky Internet Security 2020. It protects you from trackers, phishing, virus, spyware, ransomware, other types of malware, unauthorized access of your files and webcam, and more.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2020 includes not just a VPN, but other security features as well. The VPN encrypts and secures your data for up to 300 MB of traffic per day to prevent data collection with a single click. Since this is especially important on public wifi networks, Kaspersky Internet Security 2020 alerts you when you’re connecting to an insecure network. It also has a firewall and real-time antivirus protection. Kaspersky Internet Security 2020 detects malware and other threats on your PC, stops them before they can do any damage, and removes them from your device. Webcam protection makes sure that no one has access to your webcam but you. It also has ad and adult content blockers, as well as a screen time manager to help you control what content your kids are seeing and how much of it.

The license that we’ve linked to here is for a software download that includes protection for three devices for one year. However, there are also other licenses that cover different numbers of devices for different lengths of time or use an activation key sent to you by mail to allow you to access the software. Kaspersky Internet Security 2020 updates automatically for the duration of your license.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2020 Key Features:

  • VPN, firewall, malware scanner, and more
  • Warns you about insecure wifi networks
  • Software download
  • Protection for three devices for one year
  • Automatically updates for the duration of the license

Best VPN with Antivirus for Mac: Kaspersky Total Security 2020

Best VPN with Antivirus for Mac
Kaspersky Total Security 2020
Kaspersky Total Security 2020 is a great VPN and cybersecurity option for families.

Our top choice for the best VPN with antivirus for Mac is another Kaspersky product, Kaspersky Total Security 2020. It’s also our favorite option for families. It has the same content as Kaspersky Internet Security 2020, including webcam protection, payment protection, insecure network alerts, a firewall, malware detection, and threat elimination, and VPN access for up to 300 MB of data per day. It also has the same ad and adult content blockers and screen time manager that Kaspersky Internet Security 2020 does, which contribute to our love of Kaspersky Total Security 2020 for families.

On top of those things, however, Kaspersky Total Security 2020 also has a GPS child locator to help you know where your child is at all times. That’s not the only added feature that you’ll love though. Kaspersky Total Security 2020 also comes with a password manager that provides an encrypted vault to store important but private information like login info, bank card information, and confidential documents. It also has file protection, which backs up your photos, music, and other files to an encrypted storage space on your PC to keep your files secure and safely off the cloud.

The Kaspersky Total Security 2020 license that we’ve linked to here is a software download and includes protection for up to five devices for one year to help keep all of your family’s devices covered. However, like Kaspersky Internet Security 2020, there are also other licenses that provide protection for one device or three devices.

Kaspersky Total Security 2020 Key Features:

  • A greatn pick for families
  • Same features as Kaspersky Internet Security 2020
  • Also includes a GPS child locator, password manager, and file protection
  • Software download
  • Protection for five devices for one year
  • Automatically updates for the duration of the license

Best Budget VPN for Mac: Norton 360 Premium

Best Budget VPN for Mac
Norton 360 Premium
Norton 360 Premium allows you to get a complete security suite for your Mac without spending a lot.

A limited budget doesn’t mean you can’t still get great cybersecurity protection. Norton 360 Premium is a great affordable option that helps ensure that you get the most out of your money.

Not only do you get access to a no-log VPN with bank-grade encryption, but you also get tons of other safety features. Real-time threat protection monitors for and deals with viruses and other malware without slowing down your Mac. Lifelock dark web monitoring scours the dark web so it can notify you if it finds you personal information. Norton 360 Premium also comes with 75GB of secure cloud backup storage so that your important files are protected not just from hackers and malware, but also from hard drive failures and other hardware problems with your PC. The password manager helps you safely create and store secure passwords, as well as store credit card info and other credentials.

It also comes with parental controls to help you filter and monitor your kids’ activities online. Unfortunately, parental controls can’t be used on Macs, but they can be used on PCs, Android, and iOS. Those mobile platforms also allow you to use GPS location monitoring to keep track of where family members are at all times.

This license includes one year of protection for up to 10 devices, which is more protection for more devices and for less money than any of our other top picks. The license also auto-renews after a year, so there’s no interruption in protection.

Norton 360 Premium Key Features:

  • Real-time threat protection and dark web monitoring
  • Secure cloud backup storage
  • Password manager
  • Parental controls and GPS location monitoring
  • One year of protection for up to 10 devices
  • Subscription auto-renews

Best High-Security VPN for Mac: NordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software

Best High-Security VPN for Mac
NordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software
Get an excellent high-security VPN without all the extra programs with NordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software.

Our other top picks so far have been security suites that include both antivirus software and a VPN. But perhaps you already have antivirus software that you’re happy with or are just more concerned about the security of your VPN. In that case, NordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software is exactly what you need.

NordVPN uses military-grade encryption to hide your IP address and protect your data for hacking and monitoring. They have a strict no-logs policy, so even they don’t track your data. At the same time, NordVPN also blocks ads to help protect you from malware and other threats. In addition, the VPN Kill Switch function immediately blocks your device (or particular apps, if you set it this way) from accessing the internet should your secure VPN server connection drop. This ensures that your data isn’t exposed even for a moment if you lose the connection. Your device stays blocked until the connection is restored or you manually disable the Kill Switch.

NordVPN has 5400 VPN servers for you to choose from across 59 different countries, so you’re sure to find one that allows you to access the content that you want without your web speed getting bogged down by too much server traffic. There are no speed or bandwidth limits, either. NordVPN also has an excellent reputation for customer service with 24/7 live chat support, an email customer support system, and a comprehensive FAQ and Support section on their website, so if you ever do have a problem or question, it should be easy to get the help you need.

NordVPN Internet Privacy & Security Software Key Features:

  • Military-grade encryption
  • No-logs policy
  • Ad-blocking
  • Kill Switch function
  • 5400 servers in 59 countries
  • Excellent customer support

Best High-Speed VPN for Mac: Bitdefender Total Security

Best High-Speed VPN for Mac
Bitdefender Total Security
Get both speed and comprehensive protection with Bitdefender Total Security.

Finishing up our top five recommendations list is Bitdefender Total Security, our top pick for the best high-speed VPN for Mac. Bitdefender Total Security is actually another security software suite, but it includes Bitdefender Premium VPN. This VPN allows up to 200MB of encrypted traffic each day, which can be spread on any combination of Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS devices. The Bitdefender Total Security license that we’ve linked here includes protection for up to 10 devices for one year, but there are also licenses that cover five devices for either one year or two years.

Bitdefender VPN offers great speeds, especially if you also factor in all the other things Bitdefender Total Security does, including real-time data protection, threat monitoring, and firewall network protection. And unlike many similar programs, it looks for threats that have been specifically designed to target macOS as well as threats for Windows users, so you don’t have to worry about Mac-specific threats slipping through the cracks. Bitdefender Total Security also blocks trackers and adware, and can be set to block inappropriate or harmful web pages. Parental Control also allows you to filter inappropriate content, allows you to set limits for screen time, and helps you monitor your children’s internet usage.

One last cool and unique feature is Bitdefender Safe Files, which allows you to place folders on a watch list and prevents files in those folders from unauthorized changes by only allowing applications that you’ve approved to access those files.

Bitdefender Total Security Key Features:

  • Comes with Bitdefender Premium VPN
  • 200MB of daily encrypted traffic
  • Protects up to 10 devices per year
  • Real-time data protection, threat monitoring, and firewall network protection
  • Scans for and blocks both Windows and macOS targeted threats
  • Parental Control
  • Bitdefender Safe Files

Who Should Buy a VPN for Mac

A VPN is a good idea for every web user regardless of the device manufacturer or operating system. Mac is no exception. VPNs disguise your IP address to make it look like you’re browsing from somewhere else in the world and secure your data to protect it from malware, hackers, and other types of trackers and surveillance. However, not all VPNs are compatible with macOS, so it’s important for Mac users to make sure they’re choosing one that is. VPNs are good for keeping your protected while doing any kind of web browsing, but they’re especially helpful for a few particular situations.

For one, any time you’re accessing sensitive data, such as your bank account, health records, or proprietary work information, a VPN is a great way to make sure that data doesn’t get into the wrong hands. Even just online shopping can be risky since you have to put in your payment information. This is especially true when on public WiFi networks since they’re often not well secured.

VPNs are also commonly used to get around censors, whether put in place by the government or the organization whose internet you’re using. Since VPNs allow you to access the internet through a different server, those censors no longer apply. Similarly, VPNs are great for accessing geo-locked content, such as the content on Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube that’s restricted to or from particular countries.

If you’re more interested in an antivirus for your phone, then you may want to check out The Best Antivirus For iPhone.

Best VPN for Mac Overall
Kaspersky Internet Security 2020
Kapersky Internet Security 2020 is our top choice for protecting you and your family from online threats.

Important Features to Consider

A VPN for Mac should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a VPN for your Mac computer:

  • Mac accessible. First and foremost, the VPN obviously needs to be accessible for macOS. If a VPN isn’t compatible with macOS, any other features don’t matter since you can’t access them in the first place. Most VPNs are compatible with macOS, but not all of them are. Furthermore, some VPNs are compatible with macOS, but not all features are. Make sure you’re getting the most from your money by choosing a VPN with features that all work on macOS.
  • Speed. Speed is also important. You don’t want to have to sit around waiting for pages to load. This is especially important when streaming or online since it requires so much data compared to just loading web pages. Many VPNs provide speed data, but you can also get a good idea from looking at how many servers they have. More servers generally mean faster browsing, since each server is less likely to get overcrowded.
  • Data limits. Many VPNs offer unlimited data, but others have monthly or daily caps. Caps are fine, as long as they’ll still allow you enough data to use your VPN the amount you want. You can check your web provider to see how much data you use each month, but be sure to also consider if you’d like to use your VPN for all of your web browsing or for certain activities. If you only want to use it for certain things, consider not just how much time you spend doing those things, but also how much data they use. For example, you may spend equal amounts of time streaming and browsing social media, but streaming requires a lot more data.
  • Encryption strength. Stronger encryption means greater security. Since security is a major benefit of VPNs and often the whole point of using them in the first place, the stronger the encryption the better.
  • Data collection by the VPN provider. On a similar note, most people are using VPNs because they don’t want their data collected, but some VPNs do. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the company has bad intentions: some countries require that VPN providers log user data. Still, it is a vulnerability for your data’s security and some VPN providers do sell user information, so it’s best to choose a VPN provider that has a no-logs privacy policy.
  • Additional features. Some VPN providers also provide additional perks alongside the VPN itself, especially if it comes as part of a larger suite of security programs. One of the most common features is support for multiple devices and platforms. If you’d like to be able to use your VPN, on devices and platforms other than your Mac, check to make sure that it supports the other devices and platforms that you need, such as iOS, Apple TV, FireTV, Xbox, Playstation, or Android. Other common additional features include malware scanning, ad blocking, and parental controls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Mac have a built-in VPN?

Mac does not have a built-in VPN. It does, however, have built-in support that allows it to connect to most of the most popular types of VPNs.

Is a VPN safe for Macs?

It is totally safe to use a VPN with a Mac. In fact, it’s safer to use a Mac with a VPN than without one, since VPNs provide additional protection and security.

Do I need a VPN with Apple products?

We recommend using a VPN with just about all devices, regardless of manufacturer. VPNs provide vital protection for your data, particularly on public wifi networks, but also at home. Apple products are not exempt from these types of online threats.

How do I set up a VPN on Mac?

To set up a VPN on Mac, first ensure that you have a VPN settings file. You’ll generally download this from your VPN provider, so check their site for downloading instructions. Once you have a VPN settings file, you can import the file by double-clicking the file, which will open Network preferences and begin automatically importing the settings. Then choose the Apple menu, then System Preferences, then Network. Next, click the gear for the Action pop-up menu. Once the pop-up menu is open, select Import Configurations, then the VPN settings file, and then import.

Alternatively, you can enter your VPN settings manually. You can consult the macOS User Guide for more detailed instructions on how to do this based on the version of macOS that you’re using.

Other VPNs for Mac We Reviewed

Best VPN for Mac Overall
Kaspersky Internet Security 2020
Kapersky Internet Security 2020 is our top choice for protecting you and your family from online threats.

We looked at 20 other VPNs for Mac. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best VPNs for Mac list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your Mac computer. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

High-Security Mac VPNs

IPVanish

IPVanish-min

IPVanish has a zero-log security policy, so even they don’t record your activity or connection data.

Key Features:

  • Kill Switch
  • API load balancing
  • 1,400+ servers across 75+ locations

Cost: $80

Mullvad VPN

Mullvad VPN-min

Mullad VPN is designed to be as easy to use as possible with no setup configurations or multi-step registration necessary

Key Features:

  • Never asks for personal information
  • No activity logs
  • Encourages payments through anonymous methods like cash and cryptocurrency

Cost: $5 per month

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN-min

ProtonVPN uses the highest strength encryption and only encryption cipher suites that have perfect forward secrecy so that each connection session uses a newly generated encryption key.

Key Features:

  • No-logs security policy
  • Highest strength encryption
  • All apps are open source and security audited

Cost: $95

VyprVPN

VyprVPN-min

VyperVPN has tons of great security features, including VyperVPN Cloud, which provides extra protection when you’re accessing your cloud servers to prevent.

Key Features:

  • Chameleon VPN protocol helps users get around government censorship online
  • No-log VPN
  • Kill switch

Cost: $45

High-Speed Mac VPNs

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN-min

ExpressVPN is consistently rated one of the fastest VPNs on the market so you know you’ll get some of the fastest speeds available.

Key Features:

  • Split tunneling allows you to choose which apps do and don’t use the VPN
  • Network Lock kill switch
  • Multilingual interface

Cost: $100

HMA VPN

HMA VPN-min

HMA VPN is another popular VPN that’s consistently rated as one of the fastest available.

Key Features:

  • No activity logs
  • Military-grade, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Servers in over 190 countries

Cost: $85

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield-min

Hotspot Shield uses proprietary Hydra VPN protocol for a VPN that’s both very fast and very secure.

Key Features:

  • Military-grade encryption
  • Support for up to five devices
  • No activity logs

Cost: $85

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN-min

PrivateVPN offers fast speeds for a great streaming experience, even with 4K and HD video.

Key Features:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Allows you to choose from a variety of VPN protocols
  • Bypass censorship and website blocks

Cost: $45

VPN by Private Internet Access

VPN by Private Internet Access-min

VPN by Private Internet Access allows you to configure your device to automatically connect to the VPN so you never forget to use it.

Key Features:

  • 1,650+ servers in 11+ countries
  • Proven no-log VPN service
  • DNS leak protection

Cost: $40

Mac VPNs for Beginners

AVG Secure VPN 2020

AVG Secure VPN 2020-min

AVG is a company known for user-friendly cybersecurity software and its Secure VPN is an excellent VPN option that fits that description.

Key Features:

  • Turn on and off with one click
  • Digital download and key card activation options
  • License covers five devices for two years

Cost: $40

CyberGhost

CyberGhost-min

CyberGhost is consistently rated as one of the best VPN providers for VPN beginners.

Key Features:

  • One-click activation
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption
  • No logs

Cost: $70

Norton Secure VPN

Norton Secure VPN-min

Norton Secure VPN is easy to set up and configure so you can start browsing safely as quickly as possible.

Key Features:

  • Bank-grade encryption
  • Ad and tracker blocking
  • Access for up to five devices

Cost: $30

PureVPN

PureVPN-min

PureVPN offers 24/7 support to help you with any questions or problems you have well setting up or using the VPN.

Key Features:

  • DNS leak protection
  • Split tunneling
  • Up to 10 devices on the same account

Cost: $80

TunnelBear VPN

TunnelBear VPN-min

TunnelBear VPN is famously easy to set up and use, yet also highly secure and very fast.

Key Features:

  • High security and transparency
  • Easy to get started
  • Simple on/off switch

Cost: $20

UltraVPN

UltraVPN-min

UltraVPN has a very user-friendly interface that allows you to connect to the VPN in seconds.

Key Features:

  • High speed and no bandwidth caps
  • Zero logging policy
  • 256-bit encryption and secure firewall

Cost: $45

Mac VPNs for Multiple Devices

encrypt.me

encrypt.me-min

encrypt.me’s family subscription plan allows up to five family members to use the VPN on an unlimited number of devices.

Key Features:

  • Custom content filtering allows you to block adult content, malware, social media, ads, and mor
  • 24/7/365 customer support
  • Private endpoints

Cost: $100

Surfshark

Surfshark-min

Surfshark VPN allows access from an unlimited number of devices and supports not just macOS, but also a variety of other computer, smart TV, mobile, and console operating systems.

Key Features:

  • DNS leak protection
  • Kill switch
  • Doesn’t log your data or activity

Cost: $50

Mac VPNs with Antivirus

AVG Technologies AVG Ultimate 2020

AVG Technologies AVG Ultimate 2020-min

AVG Ultimate 2020 combines an antivirus program, desktop cleaner, VPN, and more into a single comprehensive cybersecurity suite.

Key Features:

  • Protects from viruses, spyware, ransomware, hackers, and more
  • Automatically updates for the most current protection
  • Allows for unlimited devices

Cost: $60

Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe-min

Norton 360 Deluxe includes virus protection, Norton VPN, and Lifelock Dark Web Monitoring for up to five devices.

Key Features:

  • No-log VPN
  • Virus protection and dark web monitoring
  • Automatic subscription renewal ensures no gaps in protection

Cost: $20

Norton 360 Standard

Norton 360 Standard-min

Norton 360 Standard is similar to Norton 360 Deluxe but only covers a single device.

Key Features:

  • No-log VPN
  • Real-time threat protection and Lifelock Dark Web monitoring
  • Automatic subscription renewal ensures no gaps in protection

Cost: $25

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