5 best Mac VPNs for your MacBook or iMac 2021

Make your Mac experience even better with the sleekest, most powerful VPN for you. Here are the best Mac VPNs, whether you're using an iMac or MacBook

Best Mac VPN
(Image credit: Krisda / Shutterstock.com)

You may think you don't need a VPN when it comes to just about any Apple products, but equipping your device with the best Mac VPN comes with its advantages - as well as that all-important extra layer of security. And we're here to tell you exactly how it can improve the use of your iMac, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air right here.

Able to 'spoof' websites and apps into thinking  you're elsewhere with the smooth switching up of your IP address, this means you can watch geo-restricted content on your MacBook laptop or computer, ideal if you plan to take the former traveling with you but still want to catch up on TV back home.

With many streaming platforms locking its content to certain regions, a Mac VPN will be the only way to watch when you're out of the country. What's more, a Mac VPN could help improve speeds while streaming, avoiding bandwidth throttling when doing heavy duty tasks online.

Bringing you the best Mac VPN for security and geo-unblocking, we've also taken into consideration which VPN runs smoothly on macOS, assimilating well with both optimal performance and aesthetic.

1. ExpressVPN – the best VPN money can buy
ExpressVPN tops a ton of our VPN guides, and Mac VPN is no exception. It's perfectly tailored to use on a Mac, with a clean, simple interface that hides a plethora of powerful, in-depth options. It's great for newbies and experienced users alike, and now T3 readers can claim three free months on a 12-month plan. View Deal

2. CyberGhost – great for streaming and torrenting
As one of the most popular VPNs on the market, CyberGhost is well worth considering, and its Mac apps are especially good. With over 6,600 servers and an innovative server filtering system, it's excellent for media addicts as well as anyone simply looking to stay secure online. Better still, it's plans are budget-friendly, too.View Deal

3. Surfshark – unbeatable on price
Although not as powerful as Express, Surfshark is the best-value Mac VPN around. With plenty of servers and great streaming support, it's the perfect way to stay protected on a shoestring budget. Sing up today and get 12 months free on a 12-month plan.View Deal

The best Mac VPN options in 2021:

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

The best Mac VPN

Number of servers: 3,000+
Server locations: 160
Maximum devices supported: 5
Mac client?: Yes
User-friendly interface?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent Mac client+Amazing customer support 24/7+Really easy to set up+Unblocks all streaming services+16 languages for Mac users
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly more expensive than others

ExpressVPN is our top recommendation for a Mac VPN. This is the premium option for those that want nothing but the very greatest VPN for safety, reliability, app quality and customer support. Express gives you round-the-clock 24/7 support, on top of four Mac specific tutorials.

It goes without saying it also looks great, with the option to have a Mac specific app downloaded onto your device, as well as the choice of a browser extension for either Chrome or Firefox. Seamless no matter where you use it, ExpressVPN certainly wears its Mac uniform with pride.

Recent updates also see the implementation of 16 languages on its Mac app, offering better accessibility in your native tongue. 

As one of the top VPN providers, Express lets you watch Netflix from any region you like, login to public Wi-Fi, check social media on an otherwise limited connection, or just enjoy good old BBC iPlayer when outside the UK. It also unlocks Prime Video and Disney Plus with ease.

While this is pretty much a perfect VPN for Mac, it'll also work across devices including your iPhone, Android device, smart TV, Amazon Fire Stick and more with up to five devices in use at the same time. There's also a 30-day no-questions asked refund policy so you can effectively try before you buy.

(Image credit: Cyberghost)

Specialist Mac software rich with features

Number of servers: 6,600+
Server locations: 89
Maximum devices supported: 7
Mac client?: Yes
User-friendly interface?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Clients have plenty of smart features+Good performance levels+Torrents are supported+Really sleek interface
Reasons to avoid
-Slower connection from some distant servers

We found that Mac VPN provider CyberGhost certainly has the smarts to easily back up its claims. Let's start with the basics: more than 6,800 servers spread across 90 countries, no bar on torrents and some really handy live chat support if you ever run into difficulties.

Guaranteed no logs, rigorous encryption and a kill switch for any breaches in security mean it's certainly strong. But it's the added little extras that make CyberGhost stand out from the rest. 

Wanting to unlock Netflix, Hulu, YouTube or something else? No worries, as CyberGhost will automatically connect you to the server best poised for the purpose. It's worth knowing. It can also block ads, trackers and malicious websites.

CyberGhost has recently improved its interface - previously one of main gripes with this Mac VPN. In fact, CyberGhost has done a complete U-turn with a Mac interface that should really appeal to Mac users, offering a design that is clear and sharp. Now that only gives us room to moan about the odd bit of clogging, which lead to reduced speeds from servers in the far reaches of the globe. 

Surfshark best Mac vpn

(Image credit: Surfshark)

Bargain Mac VPN doesn't skimp on features

Number of servers: 3,200+
Server locations: 110
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Mac client?: Yes
User-friendly interface?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Unlimited devices +Unblocks all streaming services+7-day free trial for Mac users+Serious value for money
Reasons to avoid
-May be a little simplistic for power users

As a Mac VPN goes, this is most certainly one of the most affordable, feature-packed options. Even better, the Mac app is simple and stable, both in terms of usability and the overlook look of its interface. On top of that, it provides excellent security right out the box. Plus, you'll also get all the essential features such as a kill switch, split tunnelling, a choice of protocols and over 3.200 servers in 65 countries around the world. 

Surfshark's also great for streaming. You'll be able to access pretty much any regional Netflix library, BBC iPlayer outside the UK, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.

We also love Surfshark's generous unlimited connections policy, which means you'll not only be able to cover your iMac and MacBook Pro, but also your iPhone, iPad and Apple TV – and if you want to pay it forward, anyone else in your household can use it as well.

Surfshark does offer a 7-day trial specifically for Mac users. However, to bag the very best deal on this top-class VPN, sign up directly with Surfshark to make the most of its exceptionally good value plans.

(Image credit: NordVPN)

Great performance and ideal for Macs

Number of servers: 5,600+
Server locations: 59+
Maximum devices supported: 6
Mac client?: Yes
User-friendly interface?: No
Reasons to buy
+Reduced batter usage on Mac+Up to six devices at once+Good speeds
Reasons to avoid
-Map interface can be clunky (particularly on mobile)

There's plenty of reasons why NordVPN is a decent Mac VPN, from the inclusion of its automatic kill switch, dedicated IP addresses, strong DNS leak protection and the ability to pay in Bitcoin. 

It'll also allow you to connect up to six devices at a time which is great value for money, meaning you'll only need one subscription to keep all your devices secure. Plus, the macOS and iOS clients are minimal and simple, which can be great as a straight forward beginner platform that also offers P2P-friendly zero logs access with decent performance. That said, while its map focused interface works best on iOS, it does lose some of its charm on Mac where it is more clunky, which is why NordVPN finds itself a little lower on our best Mac VPN guide.

If you can look past its quirks, though, NordVPN is certainly one of the most powerful VPN providers, not sitting that far behind the best of the best, ExpressVPN.

The great news is it has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test it before committing to it!

(Image credit: IPVanish)

Great Mac VPN for US users

Number of servers: 1,600+
Server locations: 75
Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
Mac client?: Yes
User friendly interface?: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great graphic visual interface+Manual set-up option for Mac+Unlimited connections
Reasons to avoid
-Apps aren't very straightforward-Doesn't unblock Prime Video or iPlayer

IPVanish has stood the test of time, meaning it's matured into a really impressive and reliable service over the many years it's been running. 

Nice touches like auto IP switching, a kill switch, OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP support plus P2P all make this a really impressive Mac option. While paying more for ExpressVPN gets you things like more servers in more countries, a slightly better app, an enhanced user experience and that superb customer service, IPVanish will be more than enough for most needs. Plus, we're big fans of the option to view current connections via its graph visual.

IPVanish bosses claim this is the world's fastest VPN, and we did find it to be rapid. Within the limits of varying connections based on location, signal strength, device and plenty more besides that will change from time to time, it pays to make sure the VPN is quick to start with. It also competently unblocks both Netflix and Disney Plus.

This works brilliantly on Mac to ensure maximum connection speeds and also works across other devices with no limit on how many you can use at once. You also get a 30-day trial with money-back guaranteed.

Best Mac VPN

(Image credit: Krisda / Shutterstock.com)

How do I hide my IP address on my MacBook?

Good news, you're in the right place! A Mac VPN is the best way to conceal your IP address from prying eyes. With the main function of VPN to encrypt and secure your data, part of this means hiding your IP address, the very thing that identifies where you're browsing from, and even the device you're using.

By connecting to a VPN, regardless of which server you choose to join, as soon as your VPN is switched on, your IP address will change to make it appear as if you're browsing online from somewhere else.

Switching your IP to somewhere else in the world is just one thing that a VPN can come in handy for, and is a great foil to streamers who want to watch overseas content and torrenters that wish to keep their web exploits anonymous. In fact, you can find out best streaming VPN and best torrenting VPN guides right here.

What is the best free VPN for Mac?

Spanning an array of VPN providers, we fully believe our top five are the best Mac VPN tools, offering both extensive functionality in terms of each one's security features, speed potential, as well as other useful tools. We've also offered a balance in terms of budget, too.

In addition, while there are some good free VPN options out there, if you're looking to dip your toes into the world of VPN without parting from your cash, many of our top Mac VPN choices offer a risk free trial period with 30-day money back guarantee policies. There are also a ton of amazing cheap VPN out there that do a fantastic job while saving some of your pennies.

Does Apple recommend VPN?

Of course, Mac devices are renowned for having strong defences. That said, that doesn't mean the likes of VPN and antivirus software aren't just as essential. Still, Apple doesn't offer its own company-approved recommendation where VPN is concerned. Not to worry, though. With our best Mac VPN buying guide, we're sure you'll find the perfect fit in terms of both your personal requirements and budget.

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Alice Marshall
Alice Marshall

Alice is the resident eCommerce Staff Writer at Future, with a focus on VPN and streaming services. She oversees all T3 VPN buying guides and deals, as well as how to watch content.