Even though Mac machines have made a bit of a reputation for offering users a lot of security internally, they can’t really do anything about what a user does on the internet.
Apple may lock down its macOS platform even more and many more restrictions on the type of apps that developers are allowed to put up on the official App Store.
But once a user has accessed the internet, there is nothing that Apple or its machines can do to protect the user’s data and private information.
For that, you need a VPN.
In short, if anyone has a Mac then he/she needs to protect it with a VPN service to stay safe in the online world.
As mentioned just now, Mac machines on their own are very secure when compared to Windows machines.
Moreover, people trust Apple way more than Microsoft when it comes to looking after their privacy.
However, it doesn’t really matter how secure a Mac is since it has no bearing on the internet connection of the user.
The internet, by its nature, is a chaotic place.
Generally speaking, it is not secure.
It isn’t that private either.
That is the reason why in terms of privacy and security, all Internet-enabled devices are equal.
In that, all are insecure and not private unless the user takes so action on his/her own.
This is where a VPN service can help users who are looking to secure their internet connection and guard their privacy in the online world.
A good VPN service for Mac Mini, iMac Pro and/or MacBook would not only improve the user’s online security but would also take care of the user’s privacy issues.
We are aware of the fact that a lot of readers would simply find everything we have said so far a bit boring.
And not enough to actually sign up for a VPN service if they are using a Mac machine.
Well, for those users, a VPN service for Mac doesn’t just protect your privacy and identity, it also allows users to watch TV shows from each and every corner of the world.
We’re talking about TV shows that are not available to the general public in certain locations.
Sometimes streaming services restrict their premium content to only a certain region of people.
In other words, they block countries based on their own preferences.
With a VPN service, a user can change that.
Users can also use a VPN service to torrent in a safe and secure manner.
In the next couple of sections, we will try our best to explain how a VPN works in the overall scheme of things.
But before that, we will need another minute to address some of our more advanced users.
Not everyone needs an introduction on what VPN services are and what do they do.
So, for such users, we would like to start this guide off with a short and quick peek at some of the best VPN services that we have ever reviewed for the Mac platform.
Here at Security Gladiators, we have reviewed each and every top VPN service provider available in the market today.
And we’ll be the first ones to admit that searching and researching for the absolute best VPN for Mac is not an easy task.
Security Gladiators has done all the hard work so that users don’t have to.
Our top picks for best VPN for Mac are VPN services that are respected throughout the world of the internet.
Users who would like to have more details on what these VPN services are and how do they perform, should click on the links that we have provided for each VPN service’s individual review.
Best VPN For Mac: The List
- NordVPN (Click here to sign up for the best VPN for Mac right now from the official website)
- CyberGhost VPN
Best VPN For Mac: The Contenders
Our pick for the best VPN for Mac is NordVPN.
Because it offers excellent encryption features.
This enables NordVPN to keep the user’s Mac machine safe and sound all the time.
- Huge discount seasons
- No logs
- Great compatibility with Mac
- Fantastic customer support
- Unmatched security features
- VPN servers located in over 60 plus countries
- No major issues.
- NordVPN sets itself apart from other VPN service providers by offering VPN servers in a total of 62 countries.
- As for the number of VPN servers, NordVPN currently boasts around 4600 VPN servers.
- The company allows users to make up to 6 VPN connection simultaneously with just one VPN account.
- Moreover, NordVPN also provides users with over 3500 IP addresses.
- As for speed, our research shows that NordVPN can reach speed up to 57 Mbits/s on average but of course that will depend on the actual internet connection speed of the user.
- The company is based in Panama so it is at least better than all the VPN service providers that operate out of the UK, the US and the EU.
Currently, NordVPN is one of the very few VPN service providers that work with US Netflix.
Not only that, NordVPN also works with Amazon Video and Hulu.
It is also compatible with BBC iPlayer.
If that wasn’t enough already, NordVPN also enables users to engage in torrenting.
The company has dedicated apps for platforms such as,
Sadly, at the time of writing this piece, NordVPN had no support for the Linux platform.
But even with that, it is undoubtedly one of the elite and fully-featured VPN services.
As mentioned just now, the company operates out of Panama and hence provides more privacy than its competitors.
What we haven’t mentioned is that, this fact also allows it to keep zero logs on its users.
It might not become apparent at first sight, but this is a pretty big draw for people who are a lot more careful about their security and privacy than normal internet users.
As for the software, our research shows that it is reasonably good.
We say that in the sense that it does what it is supposed to do.
In the past, some users complained about NordVPN not offering enough speed during operation.
But that has changed now.
Our research shows that the NordVPN’s speed performance is satisfactory. .
There is also a three-day official free trial for new users.
Along with that, NordVPN also offers users an official 30-day money back guarantee.
This should give each and every potential customer a good amount of time to make sure that NordVPN fulfills all their needs as they want it to.
We have already mentioned the fact that not only does NordVPN unlock content aboard but it also permits torrenting.
Besides, with 62 VPN server locations, online consumers are unlikely to come across a streaming service that doesn’t operate within the NordVPN server network.
The other great thing about NordVPN is that, along with the VPN service it also throws a full and comprehensive DNS server for new users without any extra cost.
So with a single NordVPN subscription package users get to enjoy a fully featured, secure and privacy-friendly top-of-the-line VPN service which has speed and user-friendliness.
The only confusing part about the service is the presence of a total of two Mac VPN clients.
NordVPN has its new and improved IKEv2 VPN client for the Mac available at the App Store.
And this is the company’s default VPN client.
However, NordVPN still maintains its older VPN OpenVPN app.
Our research shows that the older version has more features.
The new IKEv2 VPN client comes with some advanced features such as a general kill switch and a kill switch that works on the basis of apps.
We’re not saying that the OpenVPN VPN client doesn’t have these features.
But it also provides users with other features such as CyberSec protection along with custom DNS settings and obfuscated servers.
What about the price then?
Well, NordVPN currently offers four plans.
It has the,
- 1 month plan at around $1195 per month. The company will charge the user exactly $11.95 each and every month.
- 1 year plan which costs users around $5.75 per month. The company will charge the user around $69.00 after every year.
- 2 year plan which costs users around $3.29 each month. The company will bill the customer $79.00 each and every 24 months.
- 3 year plan that costs users close to $2.75 every month. The company charges the user $99.00 after every 3 years.
This VPN service provider is the perfect choice for beginner VPN users because of its ease of use and reliability.
- Offers discount seasons regularly
- Kill switch
- macOS software is superb
- Doesn’t keep any logs that are worth a mention
- VPN servers which are located in over 56 countries
- Excellent customer support
- Slightly slower than the best VPN service providers
- The live chat feature has restrictive working hours that only work for people living in the UK.
- CyberGhost VPN has over 61 VPN server locations.
- Within those 61 VPN locations, it offers users 2000+ VPN servers.
- CyberGhost VPN also offers a total of five simultaneous connections per account.
- In terms of IP addresses, the company offers over 3500.
- This VPN service provider operates out of Romania.
In other words, it doesn’t come under the jurisdiction of the US, the UK or the EU.
- CyberGhost offers average speed that can reach up to 65 Mbit/s.
Again, the actual speed will depend on the internet connection of the user.
CyberGhost VPN works with all major streaming services such as,
- Amazon Video
- BBC iPlayer
It even allows torrenting.
In terms of compatibility, the company offers dedicated apps for platforms such as,
Just like NordVPN, CyberGhost VPN also doesn’t have any support for Linux.
From an overall perspective, CyberGhost has an easy-to-use software.
This VPN service has enough about it to be counted as a fully featured VPN service provider.
CyberGhost VPN makes use of a very strong and excellent encryption implementation.
We have already mentioned the fact that it supports a total of 5 simultaneous connections.
This makes CyberGhost VPN the ideal VPN service for families.
Since it is based in Romania, it becomes very easy for the people working behind CyberGhost VPN to keep close to zero logs.
Our research shows that CyberGhost VPN doesn’t keep any meaningful logs.
This again, is a pretty big draw for most privacy-conscious people.
The only slight problem with CyberGhost VPN is that it does keep some statistics about its users.
But these are minimal.
Even VPN services as good as ExpressVPN keep these pieces of information.
With that said, users should know that CyberGhost VPN, just like ExpressVPN, does not keep timestamps.
It also does not record IP addresses.
What we want users to understand is that the kind of information which CyberGhost VPN collects presents no real threat to their security and privacy.
Overall, CyberGhost VPN has a great (but not perfect) logging policy.
It has more than reasonable local burst VPN server speeds.
The company’s fully featured applications are just one of the reasons why this VPN service has managed to hit the winning combination in terms of offering a great VPN service.
CyberGhost VPN also offers an official seven-day free trial.
Remember, this free trial isn’t just a free version of CyberGhost VPN service.
The company is actually offering its premium service to new users for a period of seven days.
If that wasn’t enough already, CyberGhost VPN also offers a no-quibble 30-day official money-back guarantee.
We see no reason why users would not want to give CyberGhost VPN a whirl.
In terms of price, the company offers,
- 1 month subscription plan at $11.99 per month.
The company charges users $11.99 each month.
- 6 month subscription plan at the rate of $4.99 per month.
The company bills customers $29.94 for the first six months but then increases it to $59.95 after every six months.
- 1 year subscription plan at the rate of $2.75 per month.
The company charges users $33 for the first 12 months and then continues to charge them an increased $66 each year.
ExpressVPN is a VPN service that is built for speed.
In other words, it is probably the fastest VPN service in the world.
And because of that, we feel it is best suited to users who want to stream HD content either on their Mac or any other machine.
Why have we included ExpressVPN in our list of best VPN for Mac?
Let’s see now.
- Decent discount seasons.
- Super fast and hence great for streaming.
- Only keeps usage logs
- Brilliant application for the Mac
- VPN servers which are located in over 100-plus countries
- Round the block live chat feature available for users
- Slightly on the expensive side but is worth every penny.
Some quick facts first.
- ExpressVPN offers users a total of 148 VPN server locations.
- It fills those locations up with over 2000 VPN servers.
- As far as simultaneous connections go, ExpressVPN allows users to have three of them with just one single account.
- The company also offers over 30,000 IP addresses.
- ExpressVPN comes under the jurisdiction of British Virgin Islands.
- Our research shows that ExpressVPN can offer users an average speed of 57 Mbit/s depending on their internet connection.
In terms of compatibility with streaming services, ExpressVPN supports,
- Amazon video
- BBC iPlayer
Does ExpressVPN allow torrenting?
ExpressVPN has dedicated applications for platforms such as,
We don’t know of too many VPN services that are better than ExpressVPN when it comes to the Mac platform.
This VPN service is an awesome and powerful Mac OS X VPN.
We say that because we feel ExpressVPN has everything a Mac user could want out of a VPN service.
ExpressVPN offers users a total of 94 VPN countries to choose from.
Not only that, it has lightning fast VPN servers.
This combination not just gives users the very rare ability to unblock any and all streaming services but also do so at speed without any buffering.
ExpressVPN makes use of a military-grade encryption implementation.
This essentially guarantees the user total privacy and security.
But since we are talking about best VPN for Mac, let us just say that ExpressVPN’s Mac OS X VPN app is very user-friendly.
The other good thing is that the company allows users to install that user-friendly app on a total of three devices at any given time.
And since ExpressVPN is only one of the very few VPN services that support Linux, users can enjoy HD streaming from all the best streaming services on any of their streaming devices.
With ExpressVPN they don’t really have to think about the platform that they are running their VPN on.
ExpressVPN has everything in place to keep the user’s data safe and secure both on public WiFi connections and the user’s home network.
There is more.
ExpressVPN is a VPN service that comes packed with industry standard features such as,
- Stealth mode
- Kill switch
- DNS (or Domain Name System) leak protection
The company offers users a 24/7 live chat feature which is always a welcomed customer care measure.
And just like all the other elite VPN service providers, ExpressVPN also comes with a 30-day official money-back no-quibbles guarantee.
In other words, users are free to test ExpressVPN for a period of 30 days without having to risk any of their money.
Our research shows that users should face no problems in unblocking anything and everything safely and securely with the help of ExpressVPN.
We don’t regard ExpressVPN as an unbelievable VPN service, but it is pretty good.
Let’s talk more about the price customers will have to pay in order to use ExpressVPN on their Mac machines.
At the time of writing this piece, ExpressVPN offered,
- 1-month subscription plan at $12.95 per month.
The company bills the user $12.95 each month. No complicated maths there.
- 6-month subscription plan at $9.99 per month.
The company charges users $59.95 after every six months.
- 12-month subscription plan for $6.67 per month.
With this annual plan, the company throws 3 months of free VPN service as well.
ExpressVPN charges users $99.95 for this plan after every 12 months.
Users who are looking for a low-cost solution to all their security and privacy woes should give PrivateVPN a try.
- Customer support available 24/7
- No logs
- VPN servers which are located in 50-plus countries.
- Excellent OpenVPN encryption implementation
- Money back guarantee that lists 30 days
- Doesn’t offer advanced features such as Kill Switch for the macOS platform yet.
First, some quick facts.
- PrivateVPN offers users 50-plus VPN server locations.
- Within these 50 locations, the company has over 100-plus VPN servers.
- It allows users to have a total of six simultaneous connections.
- In terms of number of IP addresses, PrivateVPN offers 7000 of them
- PrivateVPN, as a VPN company, comes under the jurisdiction of Sweden.
- The VPN servers that this VPN service offers are capable of offering average speed reaching 48 Mbit/s. Again, the actual speed will depend on the customer’s actual internet connection speed.
As for the streaming services that it can unlock, the list goes like,
- BBC iPlayer
- Amazon Video
And yes, PrivateVPN does offer users good torrenting options.
In terms of dedicated applications, PrivateVPN offers them for platforms such as,
Since PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, it doesn’t have to worry about spying agencies such as the CIA, NSA and/or MI 6 keeping tabs on its customers.
It is a well-established service that offers secure VPN clients for many platforms.
As mentioned at the top as well, the fact that PrivateVPN offers users a total of six simultaneous connections means that even a single subscription is enough for a user to cover the whole of his/her house.
The company keeps close to zero logs.
This VPN service can make sure that users have plenty of choices when it comes to server selection and server location by offering plenty of choices in both.
If there is a streaming service operating in any corner of the world, there is a good chance that PrivateVPN would work with it.
This VPN service makes sure that users feel safe with the help of a strong encryption implementation.
Along with that, the availability of advanced security features such as, SOCKS5, HTTP Proxy and, of course, port forwarding mean that PrivateVPN takes its job seriously.
These are just some of the benefits that users will find hard to find in other VPN services.
As for the macOS client, Private goes the simplistic route.
Even though the client is simple, it works reasonably well.
PrivateVPN doesn’t offer users on the macOS operating system with kill switch, another advanced security feature.
But that may change in the feature.
Indeed, our research shows that PrivateVPN client developers have added the introduction of a kill switch feature on their to-do list.
Let’s switch to the price now.
Right now, PrivateVPN offers,
- 1-month subscription plan where users have to pay $7.12 per month.
PrivateVPN charges users the expected $7.12 each month.
- 3-month subscription plan where users have to pay the company $4.50 per month.
PrivateVPN requires each user of this plan to pay up $13.50 after every 3 months.
- 19-month plan for which the company charges $2.73 per month.
This subscription plan comes with 7 months of free VPN use.
The company requires users to pay $51.84 every year for this plan.
This VPN service truly sets itself apart from the rest of the pack by offering a robust VPN service that has the resources to actually own all its VPN servers.
- Zero usage logs
- Based in Switzerland
- Implements excellent encryption
- 70 VPN server locations.
- Proprietary VPN technology.
- Isn’t the best choice for users who want to engage in torrenting activities.
- The company keeps connection logs on its users for a period of 30 days. Which is obviously bad.
Some quick points first.
- The company offers more than 700 VPN servers which puts it way over what the average VPN service is offering.
- VyprVPN has VPN servers located in over 73 countries.
- The company offers more than 200,000 IP addresses. This has to be some sort of a record.
- As for simultaneous connections, the company decides to come down to earth and offer only 3, which is slightly on the lower side.
- As a VPN company, VyprVPN comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland.
- On average, VyprVPN can reach speeds up to 55 Mbit/s.
But (and for the fifth time) the actual speed will heavily depend on the user’s internet speed.
If we’re talking about the streaming services that users can unlock with the help of VyprVPN then the list goes something like,
- Amazon Video
- BBC iPlayer
Yes, torrenting is also allowed.
As for platform compatibility, VyprVPN is compatible with,
In other words, no Linux support.
Of course, the fact that this VPN service provider is based in Switzerland means that it has all the opportunity in the world to make up for the lack of Linux support with great support for operating systems such as iOS and macOS.
And it does take that opportunity.
This is why VyprVPN is on our list of best VPN for Mac.
But if it really excels at offering a good VPN service on the Mac platform, why have we mentioned it at a lowly fifth position?
The reason for that is simple.
VyprVPN does itself no favors by not allowing users to engage in torrenting.
For those asking, what has that to do with best VPN for Mac, we’ll say, not much.
But the fact is, other VPN services are good VPN for Mac and they also offer torrenting.
So how can one objectively put VyprVPN over such VPN services?
Apart from that, this VPN service provider is the ideal VPN service for users who want to access geo-restricted online content via streaming services such as,
The company has VPN servers in over 70 locations to users can rest assured that VyprVPN will work with other streaming services as well.
In terms of simultaneous devices, VyprVPN hits the industry average with the number five.
The company also offers customer support round the clock in order to help users in their daily VPN problems.
VyprVPN, as a VPN service, also offers VPN servers that can hit above-average speeds.
Combine that with a proprietary VPN technology and powerful encryption protocols, and you have a VPN service that doesn’t just offer security but water-tight security.
Users who would like to sample their best VPN for Mac on the iOS or macOS platform before making the decision of committing to the VPN service, they can utilize the free and official 3 day trial period.
Now, let’s move to the pricing model.
In total, the company offers two VPN plans.
- Basic plan where the user has to pay either $43.50 every year or $33.63 each month.
- Premium plan where customers have to pay the company either $57.50 per year or around $4.79 each month.
Best VPN for Mac FAQ
Why should I care about a VPN? What is a VPN Anyway?
As alluded to at the start of this guide, a VPN service is an online consumer’s best chance of securing his/her connection against hackers, spying agents and government surveillance programs.
Users who are on the macOS platform should try and sign up for best VPN for Mac.
After signing up for a VPN service, users will have the option of connecting to a VPN server from the VPN service that the VPN service itself maintains and runs.
These are what we call commercial VPN services.
After the user has made the connection, his/her Mac should gain the ability to connect to the larger world of the internet but only via the VPN service provider’s VPN server.
The one thing we want to make clear is that, users who are short on time will not find a better option to secure their identity and privacy than a VPN service.
Some believe that a VPN service is the single most cost effective and time efficient measure that any online consumer can take in order to improve his/her chances of staying safe from cyber attacks such as DDoS.
The other thing users need to understand here is that, a VPN service encrypts all the data that passes through the user’ Mac machine and the service’s VPN server.
In simpler terms, a VPN service is a tool that hides the user’s online data from not just the user’s internet service provider but also the government and hackers.
No one can spy on a user who has installed a VPN service on his/her computer machine.
It is also true that good VPN service providers usually operate servers in many and various locations all over the world.
This may sound like something that isn’t essential but it is.
With a large number of servers, users increase their chances of avoiding censorship.
All that a user (who has subscribed to a VPN service) has to do is to connect to a VPN server where there isn’t even a hint of censorship.
That is usually enough to bypass online censorships 90 percent of the time.
The other thing readers should note is that whenever a user connects to the larger internet via a given VPN service’s VPN server, all websites including streaming services and apps along with anyone else with enough skills to actually extract information from a random user, would see the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the Virtual Private Network’s server instead of the user’s real IP address.
Not all VPN services offer dedicated and custom VPN clients for the Mac platform though.
However, the best VPNs for Mac we have mentioned in this list offer customized and dedicated VPN apps for the Mac platform.
Moreover, if the user comes across a VPN service that he/she likes but the VPN service doesn’t have a Mac client, then he/she can explore further options such as manually configuring the VPN service in question for OSX and macOS.
There are lots of guides on the internet that teach online consumers on how a VPN actually works in detail.
To read one of these guides, click here.
Why Do I Need a VPN for Mac?
There are lots of reasons for that.
But let’s start with the fact that VPN services don’t just offer anonymity.
In fact, some consider VPN services to be more like the Swiss Army knife of online security and privacy.
For the end user, that means, VPN services should form a critical part of any Mac user’s online privacy toolkit.
Do I Get Real Privacy With a VPN Service?
Let’s start by saying that whenever a user runs a VPN service in the background, his/her internet service provider, or ISP, doesn’t have a single opportunity to see what the user is doing while he/she is connected to the internet.
If one thinks about it, that is pretty amazing.
Of course, that doesn’t mean users don’t need internet service providers.
Any given Internet service provides the first thing a user needs in order to connect to a VPN server via a Mac.
That thing is, you guessed it, the internet.
Without the internet, the user would not even have access to a VPN service let alone a secure network.
Now, even though the internet service provider is offering the user a pathway to an infinite online world, it doesn’t really see any of the data that passes between the user’s machine and the VPN server.
With a VPN service, the internet service provider also cannot ascertain what kind of websites does the user visit.
In short, beyond the user’s initial connection to the VPN service’s server, the internet service provider has no idea what is happening.
Now, why is that so important?
That is important because almost all, if not all, government mass surveillance programs depend on internet service providers to actually log user information.
This information basically tells the government what the user is doing on the internet.
Internet service providers are also notorious for handing over sensitive logs right over to different agencies such as GCHQ and NSA.
However, if the user protects himself/herself with the help of a VPN service then they effectively block out all of these problems.
In short, a VPN service is the best way to prevent any and all forms of untargeted government spy programs.
There is a flip side to using a VPN service as well.
And we have touched upon it before.
When a user connects to a VPN service, no website in the world can see the user’s real IP address.
What do they see instead?
They see the IP address of the VPN server.
A VPN service is a must-have tool for people who are just fed up of all the monitoring and surveillance programs.
We think, signing up for a VPN service is the first step that users should take in order to protect their privacy.
However, there are lots of other things that users can do right now in order to protect their privacy in the online world.
Click here to read a guide about those things.
Can I Use a VPN to Unblock BBC iPlayer? Can I Unblock Netflix With a VPN on Mac?
Let’s see now.
If the user makes an effort to connect to a VPN server that is located in any country of the user’s choosing, then as far as all the streaming services and websites are concerned, the user is in THAT COUNTRY!
Doesn’t matter where the user is located originally.
A VPN service is perhaps the most convenient way to access streaming services and newspaper sites which are otherwise completely blocked to all types of overseas users.
For the end user that means a VPN service wouldn’t just unlock BBC iPlayer and call it a day.
It would also unblock other popular and unpopular streaming services including,
- US Netflix
- Some of the most sought-after United States cable channels like CNN, ESPN, and FOX.
In fact, with a VPN service, users can even view content from cord-cutting geo-restricted services such as SlingTV.
There are lots of other examples but we can’t go through them all today.
Can I Use VPN on an Apple Device To Evade Tough Censorship?
We have already noted the fact that a VPN service is a powerful enough tool that can block governments and internet service providers from monitoring users and what they get up to when they are online.
Again, to have this protection, the user first has to connect to a specific VPN server in any country of his/her choice.
After that, the user should not have any problems in accessing the complete range of what the online world has to offer in terms of content.
Individual countries want their content to be only viewable by a certain section of the online population don’t stand a chance against good VPN services.
Our best VPNs for Mac have dedicated clients for the Mac platform.
Hence these provide the best and most convenient way to evade all kinds of censorship measures.
It doesn’t matter if your reasons for using a VPN service are social, political, moral, religious and/or copyrights-related in nature.
A VPN service helps in every case.
Some give VPN services a bit too credit and declare them to be the ultimate anti-censorship online tools.
But we don’t consider them that.
We think VPNs are great tools.
But the user has to exercise some basic online hygiene to stay safe and secure.
Can I Use a VPN to Protect My Mac From Cyber Attacks and WiFi Hackers?
Yes, you can.
With good VPN service providers, like the ones we have mentioned on this list, a user on a Mac machine can easily protect himself/herself from online hackers.
In fact, one of the major uses of VPN services is to protect oneself when one has connected his/her internet-enabled device to various public WiFi hotspots.
With a VPN service, the user doesn’t have to worry about someone or something stealing his/her data.
The data remains secure in an encrypted tunnel between the VPN server and the user’s mac machine.
VPN services can even protect users when they connect to those fake evil twin WiFi hotspots.
Even if a hacker gets to the user’s data, the hacker would have no use for it since a VPN service not only hides the user’s data but also encrypts it.
Encrypted data is useless for anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key.
Can I Use a VPN To Torrent On Mac Safely?
Most of our readers would already have some familiarity with file sharing and P2P activities.
These are basically synonyms.
BitTorrent also allows users to share files.
Some call it the social protocol.
And because it is social, anyone with the required skill set can see what user is downloading what file.
In fact, some may even know the files stored on the user’s computer machine.
Moreover, other torrent users on the network can actually know who has downloaded what from them.
The worst part about torrent networks is that they promote sharing to an unacceptable level.
We know that some people get that nice warm and fuzzy feeling in their tummy when they really ponder over what BitTorrent has done for them.
But perhaps they don’t know that copyright holders can take advantage of this “sharing” network to know which user downloaded their copyrighted content.
Even though it is rare, copyright holders can take a user through the legal hellhole if they want to.
Here are Security Gladiators we don’t consider stealing someone’s intellectual property as something praiseworthy.
Some find it morally depraved.
Others say that it is simply not a clever way to go about things.
We also do not condone anyone involving himself/herself in downloading illegal content.
Of course, if downloading the illegal content will save your life and there is no other way for you to buy that product, then that’s another discussion altogether.
What we can say for sure is that users can make their travels to torrent sites a lot safer if they just turn on a VPN service whenever they go to one.
How to Install a VPN on Mac
First off, it is not that difficult.
Secondly, Mac machines have become very popular.
And because of that, VPN services have started to offer a great deal of support for them.
Most good VPN service providers offer users custom-built and dedicated Mac VPN clients.
There is one annoying problem though.
Apple is very strict when it comes to implementing guidelines that developers have to follow if they want to publish something on the company’s platform.
Therefore, developers have to spend a lot of time thinking about what they can and cannot do with a VPN on Mac.
Because of that, some VPN services aren’t able to offer the same kind and amount of features on the Mac platform as they are able to on the Windows platform.
With that said, it is also true that Mac users now have plenty of alternatives.
Mac users have the option of manually configuring their operating system’s built-in and dedicated macOS VPN client.
That client makes use of PPTP most of the time.
But users have the option of using other protocols such as,
- IKEv2 protocol
- L2TP/IPsec protocol
- For OpenVPN protocol implementation, the Tunnelblick client (which is open source).
Perhaps this is a good time to mention that the latest version, still in beta, of Tunnelblick, offers users all sorts of advanced features such as Kill Switch and the rest.
Safari Privacy and VPN for Safari
The problem with the Safari browser is that, it is unlike Opera, Firefox, and Chrome.
What we really mean is that it does not provide any support for standards such as WebRTC or Web Real-Time Communication.
Well, we forgot to mention, for whom it is a problem.
It is a problem for no one except hackers.
But because Safari has no support for it, it is not vulnerable to WebRTC leaks.
Users who have Safari as their primary browser don’t really need to worry about WebRTC leaks when they are using a VPN service.
Additionally, Apple is unlike the Android or the Windows platform in the sense that the company virtually makes no money from advertisements.
On the other hand is Google.
Google’s sole purpose of offering people free services is to collect their data and then sell that data either to advertisers or use it to throw targeted ads at them.
In other words, without spying on the user, Google would go bankrupt.
And there are many cases where the law has taken Google to task for its malpractices such as these.
Apple is different.
It protects the data of its customers.
Recently, the FBI demanded Apple to allow it access to the iPhone device of the San Bernardino shooter.
While there are merits and demerits of not cooperating with the law, the fact is, Apple cares about its customers’ private data.
Of course, Apple has its own flaws.
Unlike Google, most of the stuff that Apple puts out is closed source.
In other words, Safari is a closed-source web browser.
It is also true that Apple did play a role in the NSA PRISM program which launched mass surveillance all over the country.
Here at Security Gladiators, we always recommend that user should go with open source web browsers.
In fact, we go one step ahead.
We vouch for open source and privacy-focused web browsers.
A prime example of such web browsers is Firefox.
There are many reasons why someone would want to prefer Firefox over all other browsers.
We don’t discuss those reasons here.
What we will say is that Firefox is the definite winner when pitted against a web browser like Safari.
Before moving to Firefox, we would like to recommend that user should make extra sure that they have checked the option of WebRTC in Firefox to disabled.
Of course, there are lots of other options which are based in either Chromium and/or Firefox.
For users who don’t have Safari as their main web browser, we would say this:
Start using either Firefox or Chrome and search for VPN services that are compatible with both.
Does a Mac VPN work with iPad and iPhone?
The first thing users need to understand is that even though iOS and macOS both come from Apple, they are essentially different operating systems.
What we mean to clarify here is that the macOS application wouldn’t necessarily always work with iOS.
Or even vice versa.
But here is where VPN services show their true class.
Most good VPN service providers, especially the ones that we have provided on this list offer user dedicated VPN clients for several number of different internet-enabled devices with nothing but a single subscription account.
With our VPN services, Mac users can actually protect a multiple number of devices all at the same time.
Such a feature is what some VPN services like to refer to as simultaneous connections.
What does it really mean?
It means that if a given VPN service allows users to have five simultaneous connections then users can potentially run that VPN service on their,
- One more iOS device such as an iPhone or another iPad
- Windows machine that the user may have for gaming purposes
Even with that, the user would still have on slot left which the user can share with her/her spouse and/or family member.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention that just like there are best VPNs for Mac, there are also best VPNs for Android.
So if you want to protect your Android device with a VPN service then watch out for one of our upcoming guides.
Why should I just not use a free VPN for Mac?
There are many reasons why that may be ill-advised.
But first off, we would like to be straightforward with our reader.
There are free VPNs for Mac.
In fact, there are free VPN services for each and every VPN service on the planet.
And there is nothing particularly wrong about using one of these free VPNs for Mac on one’s Mac machine.
The only practical problem with these free VPN services is that, most of the time, they aren’t that good.
Free VPN services are also known to be simple scams.
If the user has a bit of luck on his/her side, he/she may stumble on a mediocre free VPN.
The rest will have to do with free VPNs that are nothing but data-collecting and DDoS-launching malware-ridden software applications.
We suggest that when it comes to online identity and privacy, users should not take the cheap option.
In such a case, we don’t even recommend users going for the most cost-effective VPN option.
However, if you are still inclined towards using a free VPN service, then please read this guide and stay safe.
Best VPN for Mac: The Protocols
What is a VPN protocol anyway?
It is nothing but a set of standardized instructions that computers use in order to successfully negotiate a secure and safe encrypted connection between themselves and others.
Commercial VPN services commonly support a multiple number of VPN protocols.
Let’s discuss some of those right here and right now.
For all intents and purposes, this is one protocol that the security community no longer considers secure.
Some operating systems such as macOS do support it.
However, at Security Gladiators, we recommend that users should stay away from it.
Most VPN services typically implement this protocol with the IPSec or Internet Protocol Security authentication suite.
Many of you may know this protocol as L2TP/IPsec.
Our research shows that this protocol is no longer secure because the NSA knows how to crack it.
However, for general purpose use, this protocol has enough about it to protect the average online consumer.
This protocol is fast gaining popularity.
Because it is secure.
And also new.
But how secure is IKEv2?
Especially against the likes of spying agencies such as the NSA?
The answer is, we do not know.
No one knows.
Currently, there is proof that the NSA can or can’t break IKEv2.
One thing is for sure:
Apple is a big fan of this new protocol that we call IKEv2.
Our research shows that MacBook user may even prefer this protocol over the much more secure OpenVPN.
Because, when they are moving and they need the protocol to have the ability to actually reconnect on its own whenever it detects an interruption in internet connection, then IKEv2 is more resilient than OpenVPN
OpenVPN, as the name suggests, is fully open source.
It is not only open source, but many researchers have fully audit it.
The security community widely considers the OpenVPN protocol as the most versatile and secure VPN protocol in the world today.
Of course, VPN services have to work a bit in order to implement this protocol correctly.
Security Gladiators generally recommends that users should stick with the OpenVPN protocol whenever and wherever they can.
However, readers should now become wary about how some VPN services over-advertise the use of AES 256-bit encryption.
AES 256-bit encryption, on its own, is without a doubt a gold-standard and secure cipher.
However, in and of itself, it is pretty much meaningless.
Well, let’s just say the devil is always lurking in the details.
To discuss VPN encryption in detail would take another guide.
So we’ll leave this subject for another day.
For now, users should know that a VPN service has to do a couple of things more than just provide the user with a strong encryption standard.
A decent VPN service provider would not only use AES 256-bit encryption.
It would also prevent,
- WebRTC leaks
- IPv6 leaks
- IPv4 leaks
If a VPN service provider does not take care of these problems then it may actually expose the user’s IP address to hacking even when the user has taken the good step of using a VPN service.
One can hardly go 24 hours without hearing a breaking news about a hacking event that has caused millions of dollars worth of damage.
Moreover, even businesses and governments are now invading people’s privacy and security.
As far as online security and privacy are concerned, the days on a one-stop fix are long gone.
Now, users have to take multiple precautions.
The best of those precautions is to use a VPN for Mac.
It is very important.
That’s what we want to leave you with today.
Use the comments section below to tell us your thoughts about how VPN for Mac may affect your privacy and security in the online world.