5 Best VPNs for Mac

19 Feb 2013 |

These days everyone is tracking you. The NSA. The UK’s GCHQ. Online advertisers. Google, Facebook. Using a VPN is a crucial part of taking back your privacy and your security, whether you just want to browse at a public wifi without everyone reading what you are doing, or want to download torrents.

While choosing to use a VPN is a no-brainier these days (in our humble opinion), choosing the right one can remain a tricky task. We discuss what we think is important when making this choice in some detail in our VPN Buying Guide, but to summarize:

  1. Do they keep logs? Yes = bad, no = good
  2. What other policies and features do they implement to support users anonymity and privacy?
  3. Is P2P torrent downloading permitted (only important for those who wish to P2P of course)?
  4. Do they have servers in locations that are useful to you (for unlocking geo-restricted websites for example)?
  5. Price
  6. How easy is the service to use?
  7. How accessible and helpful is the customer support?
  8. Encryption used – the short story is PPTP is rubbish, everything else is fine, and 128-bit encryption is more than enough

With these points in mind, this is our top ten. Remember that we are tirelessly in the process of reviewing new services, so this list (as with all our lists) may be subject to occasional revision.

Summary

Rank Provider Starting
Price
Review Link

1

ExpressVPN_Logo $8.32/mo 9.9
Read Review
Visit Site

2

buffered_logo $10/mo 9.9
Read Review
Visit Site

3

$6.67/mo 9.8
Read Review
Visit Site

4

StrongVPN $7/mo 9.5
Read Review
Visit Site

5

$6.49/mo 9.3
Read Review
Visit Site

Take a look below to see slightly more detailed views about each provider.

Editor’s Choice

Winner – ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN_Logo

Positives: Easy-to-use software, excellent speeds, good customer service, servers in 78 countries

Negatives: Bit pricey, very few otherwise

With apps across all platforms and a Mac client that blows the competition away, ExpressVPN secures our vote as the Best VPN for Macs. The download speeds are impressive and the software is straightforward to use. We really love some of the features like automatic protocol selection and server location recommendations.

ExpressVPN boasts round-the-clock customer support and an ultra reliable VPN network spanning 78 countries and hundreds of servers. They are also adding new locations all the time. These guys have done a pretty awesome job in building what we believe to be the best VPN service out there.

The pricing is not the cheapest, but you do get what you pay for. ExpressVPN also offers unlimited bandwidth and supports your mobile device (Android/iOS) for no extra charge.

Click the button below to sign up to ExpressVPN now! With their 30-day money back guarantee you really can’t go wrong.

Try Out the Best VPN for Mac Today!

Visit ExpressVPN »

30 day moneyback guarantee

2. Buffered

Buffered

Positives: Fast speeds, excellent design and usability, non-US

Negatives: Higher priced

Buffered are a relatively new VPN company but one who provide excellent usability and speeds. They have servers in 14 different countries, but these include all the major important ones like US, UK, Netherlands. We really like their website and software, which is one of the reasons we recommend them for Macs, the design and usabiltity is excellent.

Their speeds were perfect when we tested them, there were no problems at all.

One of their big advantages is that they are based in Hungary, which does not have strict data retention rules and is outside the jurisdiction of major countries like the US and UK.

Their pricing is not the cheapest, but it is worth the price. Click the button below to sign up now!

» Visit Buffered

30 day moneyback guarantee

3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN

Positives: Established company, fast speeds, excellent design and usability

Negatives: Not much, a bit of upselling

VyprVPN are a VPN that are part of the “Golden Frog” network of services. They are also a part of Data Foundry, a massive IT and networking business with huge data centres in Texas. This means that VyprVPN has network infrastructure like no other VPN, meaning they have awesome speeds and if anything goes wrong, instant access to correct it. Not only that, Looking at their VPN page makes us go “ooooh” inside, since their design is really really nice. This is followed up by great tutorials and great software.

Prices start at $6.99 which is mid level, which is great as the software is more high level, so you are getting good value for money. They also offer a free 3 day trial, plenty of time to test them. This is not a moneyback guarantee like most other VPNs, where you are charged the cash and then you get it back, but it’s actually free.

They also have a unique privacy protocol that works even better at hiding VPN traffic, called Chameleon, this is also a unique offering that no other VPN does.

» Visit VyprVPN


4. StrongVPN

StrongVPN

Positives: No speed restrictions, over 300 servers, excellent tutorials

Negatives: No privacy policy

StrongVPN are based in San Fransisco, and have been in the VPN business since 1995, which means they are extremely experienced in delivering a good service. They have over 300 servers worldwide, so they can deliver IPs in almost any country you could want.

You can use StrongVPN on almost any device you could want, and they have excellent tutorials explaining how to do that. We also loved the 24/7 online chat help, which means you can always get in touch with StrongVPN.

StrongVPN only has a 7 day moneyback guarantee, so not as much as HideMyAss.

» Visit StrongVPN


5. IPVanish

IPVanish

Positives: Easy-to-use software, excellent speeds, no logs

Negatives: Bit pricey, but worth it for the features

IPVanish are a very solid VPN company with over 15 years experience in managing networks. This certainly shows in their speeds, which were very very good, we were really impressed. Their software is also a very smooth experience with no hiccups. They also very strongly say that they do not log (except for email addresses, but that can be anonymous).

They also use shared IPs, which makes it impossible for users to be singled out for any one activity.

They have a lot of servers in every country you could possibly want.

Their pricing is not the cheapest, but it’s well worth it for the quality of service that you get. Going for cheap VPNs is not always good. There is also a 7 day moneyback guarantee which means if you don’t like the service, you can just get your money back.

» Visit IPVanish


Summary

Rank Provider Starting
Price
Review Link

1

ExpressVPN_Logo $8.32/mo 9.9
Read Review
Visit Site

2

buffered_logo $10/mo 9.9
Read Review
Visit Site

3

$6.67/mo 9.8
Read Review
Visit Site

4

StrongVPN $7/mo 9.5
Read Review
Visit Site

5

$6.49/mo 9.3
Read Review
Visit Site
Written by Pete Zaborszky
Pete runs Best VPN and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does. You can also find him on Twitter or Google+

31 Responses to “5 Best VPNs for Mac”

  1. Glasgood says:

    Hey Pete,

    Any thoughts on VPN for mobile (IPad or IPhone)? Express VPN they are fairly new to the market?

  2. Douglas Crawford Douglas Crawford says:

    Hi Glassgood,

    You may want top check out our articles on

    5 Best VPNs for iOS (http://www.bestvpn.com/blog/6070/5-best-vpns-for-ios/) and
    5 Best VPNs for mobile secuirty (http://www.bestvpn.com/blog/6178/5-best-vpns-for-mobile-security/)

  3. wendy rosen says:

    What’s the best VPN to use in China that can be used with a Mac?

  4. jim says:

    i would like to set up a VPN for security and cloaking, but i don’t know whether i should use a service with servers near me, in cambodia, or in the states.
    i want the fastest connection possible (although that said my ISP caps me at 2mbps so that’s all i currently need.) but i also want to be able to access content in the states–e.g. hulu, etc.
    does choosing a server that’s far away slow my uploads/downloads? it seems like it would but i’m naive to this. if so, should i instead use a service with a server near here and then can i just configure the VPN to present an IP that makes it look like i’m connecting from within the US?
    cheers,
    jim

    • Douglas Crawford Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Jim,

      To access US content using VPN, you will have to connect to US servers, which will incur a performance penalty unfortunately. You cannot ‘just configure the VPN to present an IP that makes it look like i’m connecting from within the US’, although if all you want to do is access US content then you can use a DNS service (such as http://www.unblock-us.com/) instead. These work well for unblocking geo-restricted content, but are a pain as they create problems when using the internet for other things.

      Many providers offer a free trial or money back guarantee (for example ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money back guarantee), so why not try a couple and see how badly lag issues affect you. Also remember that most VPNs let you change servers whenever you want to, so you can simply connect to US servers when you want to access US content, and local servers for the rest of the time.

  5. Patrick says:

    What about ipredator.se?

  6. nora says:

    If I get one of these, would it prevent my landlord from seeing which websites I visit using the landlord’s Wifi on my Mac?

    • Douglas Crawford Douglas Crawford says:

      Yes, all communication between your computer and the VPN server is encrypted so no-one – not your landlord or ISP can see what you get up to. The VPN provider can see what you get up to, but all good ones keep no logs of this.

  7. Nate says:

    You forgot to mention Astrill… they have stealth vpn which is very secure and made for China.

  8. barry says:

    can any one tell me please what is the best free VPN to use for mac os without no hidden charges of any kind, please let me know

    • Douglas Crawford Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Barry,

      We do not usually recommend free VPN services for the following reason: they cost money to set up and run, so if you are not the paying customer then you are almost certainly the product, and they make money by selling your information. If all you are interested in is streaming media from a different location this may not be a huge issue, but if privacy matters then its worth shelling out a few dollars each month.

      An exception to this rule is CyberGhost, who operate a good free service in the hope that you’ll opt for their very good (and cheap) Premium service. The CyberGhost VPN client is Windows only, but their are instructions on the website for setting it up on a Mac using Viscosity or Tunnelblick.

  9. Margaret says:

    Yes my head is spinning I want to make sure I purchase the right protection with the right company. I have been researching Hotspot Shield Elite. I notice they did not make the top 5 and I compared them with Hide My Ass which they faired quite well Pete do you have any comments on Hotspot Shield Elite even though they did not make your top 5.

    Thank you in advance
    Me

  10. Karl says:

    Just wondering how much you are paid to post these devious and misleading reviews, allow me sir to review express VPN ” Just does not work” if you are lucky to be able to connect to a country it will take up to 10> 20 minutes and then your Com will take for ages to open up a page.

    I could not even connect to my home Country server, hot spot shield was instantaneous , the only problem with Hotspot shield was that there were not enough Countrys to connect to.

    Hate to sat it but tor/or firefox is the quickest, can not understand how these people are allowed to get away with this BS, don’t they realise that if you provide the service you promote then business will grow,called good business sence.

    Express VPN RUN A MILE

    • Pete Zaborszky says:

      Hi Karl, where do you live? Your location in some cases might slow you down but it seems unlikely that ExpressVPN “does not work”. I personally use them every day and have no problems at all. What OS are you using? Are you on a Mac? Some more information might help me and ExpressVPN, but I can definitely verify that they do work.

    • Douglas Crawford Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Karl,

      I assure you that when we reviewed ExpressVPN (https://www.bestvpn.com/blog/3407/expressvpn-review/) the client worked and worked well, and as you can see in the review, ExpressVPN turned in very respectable performance results (although we only had the opportunity to test the Windows client). Did you try contacting ExpressVPN’s support to try to resolve your problems?

  11. Selimunati says:

    Sorry but ExpressVPN’s services are really slow. I just purchased for 1 month usage and i think i will back to my old VPN company

  12. Mark says:

    I’m wondering why I haven’t seen a review on your site of IVPN. They’re really not much pricier than ExpressVPN, don’t keep logs, are not based in the UK or the US, and seem, by all accounts, to offer a superior service to companies like HideMyAss, which, log-wise, cannot be trusted. Also seem to be very fast. I haven’t had a single issue with them, so I’d be interested to know what experience others have had with IVPN.

  13. Lacey says:

    I’ve been solicited by AVG/ Surf Easy. What is your opinion of their VPN service?

    • Douglas Crawford Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Lacey,

      Well, AVG is of course a very reputable anti-virus software maker, so its partnership with Surf Easy speaks well of the company. We have not reviewed the service yet, but looking at Surf Easy’s privacy policy, they keep minimal logs, and although it does state that…

      ‘We may collect and disclose personal information, including your usage data, to governmental authorities or agencies, including law enforcement agencies, at their request or pursuant to a court order, subpoena or other legal process, if there is a good faith belief that such collection or disclosure is required by law.’

      … this is pretty true of VPN services everywhere (no service is going to say it does not cooperate with legally binding requirements). Our first impressions are quite good then, but if you can wait bit then look out for a full review.

  14. sudon't says:

    I find it strange that you only talk about the Windows client for ExpressVPN in an article called Best VPNs for Mac. I have no way to test any Windows clients, so I really can have nothing to say about them, but I’m willing to bet PureVPN’s Windows client works a whole lot better than their Mac client, else they’d be out of business.

  15. Linda Claudine says:

    I am a Mac only household ( just me at moment but will be staying at my parents under my decidedly untechnilogical sister’s setup. I am currently using expressVPN, only IsP possible for now is ATT ( I’ve alteady had uninvited visitors but I do have yourkarma hotspot (great) but too $$ when watching video etc as no one to share with). Have ongoing – 4 yr – case with Apple (free due to my documentation that they can and are hacked). ExpressVPN; support is great – but I am questioning their efficacy. Ran into site for NordicVPN; sounded good tho was happy that they had wrong ISP etc for me, they also had “unprotected,” probably a way to unnerve me BUT then I read the above question – as yet unanswered – and I begin to worry. Though have year contract with Express – they are flexible re ending service. And I have connection issues regularly. In US, currently TX, soon IL temp but in 6 months for good. I am confused.

    • Douglas Crawford Douglas Crawford says:

      Hi Linda,

      If you are connected to ExpressVPN then you are almost certainly ‘protected’. Visit a website such as http://ipleak.net/ to check. Many VPN providers have a similar notification on their front page – it simply detects your IP, and if the IP does not belong to them then it says you are unprotected. Although common, this kind of self-promotion is misleading, so bad NordVPN (who are otherwise generally recommended by us).

      As for how good the Mac client is, sudon’t seems to be confusing ExpressVPN and PureVPN (who we rarely recommend). I’m afraid that I personally don’t have a Mac, so will have to leave it to others to comment on the ExpressVPN client for it, although you should also let your own experiences guide you on that front.

  16. William says:

    Can you tell us how to apply a VPN to apple TV?
    It runs wirelessly in our house and I have a VPN on my computer. Does that mean that my apple TV is protected and how could that be so if I can watch apple TV when my computer is turned off.

  17. Eddie says:

    Hi Pete…so are you saying that ExpressVPN is the very best for Mac.. and we have no worries about our data being shared with the Gov’t….. thanks.

    • Peter Selmeczy Peter Selmeczy says:

      Hi Eddie
      Yes Express keeps some logs but overall they provide a good service. Also we’re unaware of any accusations towards Express for any reason what so ever, unlike with some companies.
      However, we do understand that some people are worried by US companies as a whole and this is why we have our Logless list.
      Peter

      • Eddie says:

        Thanks Pete for such a swift response… yes I view your Logless list…excellent by the way.

        I’m so leaning towards NordVPN… but just not sure which way to go..Express or Nord.

        All the same..thanks for the excellent information and thanks for the kind responses.

        Happy Holidays to you and yours.

        • Peter Selmeczy Peter Selmeczy says:

          Hi Eddie

          No problem, one of the reasons we have so many lists is in order to be able to help everyone.
          Well if you want security then go for NordVPN but if you want better speeds and platform support then go for Express.

          Happy holidays to you too

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