Which is the best Mac VPN for you to use in 2023? Why, what a good question that is. If you’re a Mac user you’re going to want to make sure that your virtual private network of choice will be optimised for your preferred platform – you don’t want to get something all set up, only to discover that it runs really slowly on macOS.
That’s why we’ve picked out this list of the best Mac VPNs. Not only did we want to give you a list of services that are Mac-friendly, but we wanted to highlight how each of them meets the unique needs of different users. To make things as easy to understand as possible, we’ve highlighted the best features of each service (e.g. which is the fastest VPN, which is the best free VPN) and included a little table to get the details of each service at a glance.
Here are the best Mac VPNs:
- ExpressVPN – best for Mac
- Surfshark – best for families
- NordVPN – best for speed
- CyberGhost – best for streaming
- PureVPN – most secure option
- TunnelBear – best free option
1. The best Mac VPN
ExpressVPN is the best Mac VPN and its pricing works out at $8.32 USD or £5.70 GBP per month.
|Server totals||3,000+ servers in 94 countries|
|Compatible services/games||Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, FIFA, Minecraft, Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more|
|Free trial||No free trial|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days|
- Lightway protocol provides speedy service
- TrustedServer system gives an extra layer of privacy
- Servers available in 94 countries
- Pricing is a little higher than other services
- Lower limit on simultaneous connections
- No free trial
ExpressVPN may cost a little more than some of the other VPN providers on this list, but the reason for that is simple – it offers a truly fantastic service. It uses the Lightway protocol in order to provide impressive speeds, and it has the TrustedServer system in place in order to prevent its servers from writing anything about your activities on the internet.
One of its biggest limitations is that it allows for only five simultaneous connections, which is a bit disappointing considering the price. This won’t be an issue for anyone who is solely looking for a VPN for themselves, but for anybody in need of a service to protect the privacy of a whole household, another provider might be more appropriate.
With router support in the mix, along with the fact that ExpressVPN refreshes its IP addresses more frequently than other providers, and you have a really solid service. It’s really easy to use on macOS too, with a simple app that you can download onto your laptop or desktop device of choice. If you’re a gamer, you might also like to know that we ranked this one at the top of our best games VPN guide.
2. The best family VPN
Surfshark is the best family VPN and its pricing works out as $2.30 USD or £1.90 GBP per month.
|Server totals||3,200+ servers in 65+ countries|
|Compatible services/games||Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter Strike: GO, Overwatch, YouTube, Hulu, Prime Video, Netflix, and more|
|Free trial||One week|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days|
- Allows unlimited simultaneous connections
- Offers a 7-day free trial
- One of the more affordable options
- Lower server count than others
- Fewer servers locations available
If you’re someone looking to keep the internet activity of a whole family safe online (be they relatives or a family of friends), then we think that you might get on well with Surfshark. What sets this provider apart from others is the fact that it allows users to use the VPN on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Even if your whole household are using multiple devices at once, Surfshark will be able to keep everything they do private and discreet.
If you’re somebody who likes to get a feel for a service before they make any commitments, you may be pleased to know that Surfshark offers a 7-day VPN free trial. If that’s not enough, the 30-day money-back guarantee will give you plenty of time in which to decide whether or not it’s worth the cash.
Its biggest limitation when compared to other providers is the fact that it has a slightly smaller range and selection of servers. Surfshark still blows the smaller VPNs out of the water though, and there are bigger services with a comparable server offering. Considering that this is also one of the best cheap VPN providers, there’s very little to complain about.
3. The fastest VPN
NordVPN is the fastest VPN and its pricing works out as $4.19 USD or £2.99 GBP per month.
|Server totals||5,300+ servers in 60+ countries|
|Compatible services/games||Dota 2, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty: Warzone, GTA Online, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Prime Video, and more|
|Free trial||No free trial|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days|
- Impressive speeds
- Good for most streaming platforms
- Covers fewer countries than other providers
- One of the more expensive options
NordVPN is the fastest VPN. Do you feel like the wi-fi in your house is egregiously slow? Well, the chances are that your internet service provider (ISP) is artificially slowing things down because you’re trying to use a lot of bandwidth. If your number one concern is getting things to go a bit faster, we recommend that you use NordVPN – it’ll stop your ISP from slowing your connection and hopefully keep things running much more smoothly.
Nord may not allow as many simultaneous connections as other providers (only 6), and its sever range and selection may be a little less than certain others, but it still outdoes most of the more obscure providers. It’s also broadly compatible with most streaming services, which pairs well with its speedy nature.
As with others here, if you plan on using this for Mac, there’s a dedicated NordVPN app for desktop and laptop that makes your VPN management perfectly simple.
Read more about this provider in our NordVPN review.
4. The best VPN for streaming
CyberGhost is the best VPN for streaming and its pricing works out as $2.19 USD or £1.92 GBP per month.
|Server totals||7,400+ in 94+ countries|
|Compatible services/games||FIFA, PUBG, GTA Online, Overwatch, Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Vide, Hulu, and more|
|Free trial||24 hours|
|Money-back guarantee||45 days|
- Compatible with most streaming services
- Covers over 90 countries
- Over 8,000 servers to choose from
- Free trial could be longer
- Slower than some other top providers
This little ghost is friendlier than Casper. CyberGhost is one to choose if you’re big on streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney Plus. Not only is it compatible with all the major streaming platforms, but it also has more than 8,000 VPN servers across more than 91 countries, so that’s a pretty big range. If you’re someone who travels a lot, you’ll always have an easy way to access the content libraries of your home region.
It allows you to use up to seven simultaneous connections, which is a rather middle-of-the-road offering, better than some, but outdone by others. If you’re an individual simply looking to protect the privacy of your Mac-based online activities, then this should be more than enough, but if you want something for your whole household, it might be too restrictive.
If you’d like to take it for a spin first, then you can use its free trial before entering any card details. Annoyingly, this trial lasts only 24 hours, which might not be enough time for you to really get a feel for it. However, on the flipside, CyberGhost does offer an extended 45-day money-back guarantee, giving you a whole month and a half in which you can get a full refund if you’re not satisfied.
5. The most secure VPN
PureVPN is the most secure VPN to use with Mac and its pricing works out as $2.08 USD per month.
|Server totals||6,500+ servers in 78+ countries|
|Compatible services/games||New World, Counter Strike: GO, League of Legends, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus, and more|
|Free trial||$0.99 seven day free trial|
|Money-back guarantee||31 days|
|Router support||Yes (PPTP and OpenVPN only)|
- Regular third-party privacy audits
- Good allowance for simultaneous connections
- Limited Linux support
- Restrictions on router support
All the VPNs in this article offer a no-logs policy to reassure customers that they will protect their privacy online, but it is understandable that some people are going to feel wary about the promises made by a business that’s trying to get money from them. What sets PureVPN apart from most others is that it willingly submits itself to regular third-party audits in order to confirm is trustworthiness and find ways to improve.
Privacy aside, it’s also a pretty great service in various other ways too. For example, you can use it with up to ten simultaneous connections, which is a rather generous allowance. Meanwhile, its selection of range of servers is also pretty impressive too – not the best ever, but better than most.
However, there are two main groups of people who might not want to use PureVPN. If you use Linux, you’ll find that PureVPN’s support for the operating system, and if you want to connect your router through the VPN, then you might encounter some troubles too. However, other than these two set-backs, it’s an impressive service.
6. The best free VPN
TunnelBear is the best free VPN for Mac.
|Server totals||2,600+ servers in 49+ countries (paid)
16 servers in 2 countries (free)
|Compatible services/games||Fortnite, Dota 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, and more|
|Free trial||Has a free plan which can be used indefinitely, but with a limit of 500MB per month|
|Money-back guarantee||None – refunds assessed case by case|
Need a VPN, but not got a lot of money to spare? Enter TunnelBear, the best free VPN. Of course, if you’re not paying for it, you’re not going to get a service on the same level as some of the other options on this list, but that doesn’t mean that what TunnelBear provides is bad by any means.
The biggest limitation of TunnelBear’s free plan is that you are limited to just 500MB of data per month. However, depending on your needs, this may be just fine – if there are certain online activities that you want to keep private, then just use it for them. Also, if you’re concerned about who’s watching on public wi-fi, TunnelBear’s allowance should be plenty for the few times that you find yourself connecting through a hot spot.
Tunnelbear has difficulty with streaming platforms, so it’s one to avoid if you want to use a VPN when watching films or TV shows. On the other hand, a point in its favour is that even though it’s free, you’re given a selection of 16 servers to choose one, which is impressive when compared to other free plans.
How we chose the best Mac VPN
We carefully consider all of the pros and cons of these VPN providers in order to determine which ones are best for different purposes. Due to the number of servers and their locations, the speed, macOS support, and many other factors, ExpressVPN was our choice for this article – but as explained, each of the other providers in this guide have their own strengths.
We hope that this has been a useful point of reference for anybody scoping out new VPN opportunities. Have a look at our guides on the best VPN service and the best gaming VPN if you want to learn more about VPN solutions.