Best VPN for Mac

Stay anony­mous on­line and ac­cess blocked con­tent with these VPNs for Mac. Ash­leigh Macro re­veals your dif­fer­ent op­tions

Macworld - - BUYING GUIDE -

If you’re wor­ried about on­line pri­vacy or look­ing to ac­cess sites that are or­di­nar­ily blocked in your country, a VPN (vir­tual pri­vate net­work) will help. You’ll be able to hide your lo­ca­tion on­line and ac­cess blocked con­tent us­ing the ser­vices in our round-up of the best VPNs for Mac.

Many peo­ple, for ex­am­ple, use a VPN in or­der to ac­cess US Net­flix while in­side the UK or to en­joy the BBC iPlayer’s stream­ing ser­vices while out­side

of the UK. They are also a great tool to help you keep pry­ing eyes at bay, giving an el­e­ment of anonymity while brows­ing the web.

There are free net­works avail­able, but be aware that some may in­stall un­wanted tool­bars or third-party ap­pli­ca­tions, and oth­ers sim­ply of­fer much less ad­vanced fea­tures. It’s im­por­tant to first read the terms and con­di­tions be­fore us­ing a free VPN, and to make sure you know the free VPN’s lim­its. Gen­er­ally, though, even paid-for ser­vices are cheap. You can sub­scribe to many for un­der £6 per month.

1. NordVPN

Price: $2.75 (around £2) from fave.co/2CSq­drT

A great VPN op­tion for se­cu­rity, ease-of-use and a va­ri­ety of use­ful fea­tures is NordVPN. The com­pany tells us that it does not keep any logs of user ac­tiv­ity at all, and there are more than 3,200 servers across 60 coun­tries to choose from which is more than most other VPN ser­vices avail­able.

NordVPN of­fers lots of pri­vacy and se­cu­rity fea­tures to help it be­come one of the most at­trac­tive VPN ser­vices for In­ter­net users look­ing for pri­vacy on­line. One handy is Kill Switch, ends the con­nec­tion if the VPN drops for any rea­son. It’s easy to set up and it’s quick, too, and there are mo­bile apps in­cluded should you need them, plus you can con­nect to up to six de­vices at once.

You can get NordVPN for as lit­tle as $2.75 (around £2) per month if you take ad­van­tage of the

three-year deal. Al­ter­na­tive op­tions in­clude a twoyear plan, a one-year plan or a one-month plan.

2. Ex­pressVPN

Price: £5 per month from fave.co/2CSIwNF

Among the speed­i­est VPN ser­vices out there is Ex­pressVPN. It’s not the cheap­est op­tion at £5 per month, but it does of­fer 24/7 live chat cus­tomer sup­port and a 30-day money back guar­an­tee, as well as a zero log pol­icy and kill switch.

There are more than 1,000 servers avail­able in 95 coun­tries, and a range of

apps for mo­bile de­vices as well as your Mac or PC, in ad­di­tion to router apps too. Ex­pressVPN also works with Net­flix to al­low you to vir­tu­ally re­side in the country of your choice to ac­cess ad­di­tional TV shows and movies. It’s a solid op­tion.

3. PureVPN

Price: £1.40 per month from tinyurl.com/yclb­hdtg

PureVPN is fast and re­li­able, packed with fea­tures at a great price. It is among the big­gest ser­vices when it comes to the num­ber of coun­tries it of­fers. There are more than 750 servers avail­able in 141 coun­tries. It also boasts that there are no third par­ties in­volved and no logs of your ac­tiv­i­ties, as it’s a self-man­aged net­work owned by the com­pany it­self. It does, how­ever, keep a record of con­nec­tions and band­width in or­der to op­ti­mally man­age its servers.

Like NordVPN it has a Kill Switch fea­ture, and also of­fers split tun­nelling if you only want to use the VPN con­nec­tion for spe­cific apps.

PureVPN is com­pat­i­ble with more than 20 de­vices, in­clud­ing your Mac, and you can log in to five de­vices at once with your ac­count. Prices start at £1.40 per month for a three-year plan thanks to a special of­fer, but there are also sixand one month op­tions.

We did have trou­ble run­ning PureVPN on older Mac op­er­at­ing sys­tems, so bear this in mind be­fore you sub­scribe. It does have a seven-day money back guar­an­tee though, so you can al­ways try it.

Plus, the sup­port is fan­tas­tic thanks to a live chat fea­ture avail­able 24/7.

4. Goose VPN

Price: £2.99 per month from fave.co/2F6D4wo

This fast and easy-to-use VPN is aimed at home users who want to ac­cess me­dia that’s re­stricted in their re­gion. It of­fers few op­tions to main­tain a very sim­ple in­ter­face, putting it among our favourite VPNs of 2018.

There’s a 30-day free trial avail­able, oth­er­wise you can sign up for the one-year plan for £4.99 per month, or a more ex­pen­sive one month plan. There’s also a lim­ited one month plan that gets you 50GB

for £2.99, but that won’t be enough for most. You’ll be able to ac­cess US Net­flix from within the UK, as well as other re­gion-blocked con­tent like BBC iPlayer from out­side of the UK. There are less server lo­ca­tions avail­able with Goose VPN, just 77 across 27 coun­tries, and there is no kill switch. How­ever, we found that short con­nec­tion time and con­nec­tion qual­ity, as well as the ease of con­nect­ing to for­eign me­dia, makes up for it.

5. Cy­berGhost

Price: £2.50 per month from fave.co/2Hi­wz6t

Another of our favourites is Cy­berGhost of­fers one of the safest ways to browse the web, and has

man­aged to build a solid rep­u­ta­tion when it comes to se­cu­rity and trans­parency.

There are more than 1,150 servers avail­able across 49 coun­tries, and the list is grow­ing fast.

In ad­di­tion to help­ing to keep you anony­mous on­line, Cy­berGhost also boasts mil­i­tary-grade en­cryp­tion to pro­tect you against hack­ers try­ing to steal your data on pub­lic Wi-Fi hotspots.

It works with most de­vices in­clud­ing phones and tablets, and there’s also an ad-blocker in­cluded in the ap­pli­ca­tion to speed up surf­ing. Of course, that does de­prive im­pov­er­ished writ­ers of their hard earned money, so that’s some­thing worth bear­ing in mind if you want to switch the ad-blocker on.

It can cost as lit­tle as £2.50 per month if you sign up for two years, but there’s also a one year or one month op­tion.

6. VyprVPN

Price: £4.08 per month from fave.co/2CUwd33

This fam­ily VPN of­fers great value for money. You can con­nect to five de­vices si­mul­ta­ne­ously for £5.83 per month if you sign up for a year’s sub­scrip­tion. For three de­vices the price de­creases to £4.08 per month.

The down­side is that we had trou­ble con­nect­ing to Net­flix US the first time, al­though we have since been more suc­cess­ful and found an easy and fast con­nec­tion to the ser­vice. This is com­mon among VPNs as Net­flix is con­stantly block­ing VPN servers while VPNs are cre­at­ing new ones to get around it.

There are more than 700 servers avail­able world­wide, and you’ll find that you can con­nect to

them quickly and eas­ily. There’s also a kill switch and great mo­bile apps to boot.

7. Pri­vate In­ter­net Ac­cess

Price: £2.10 per month from fave.co/2CTqevm

For an even wider choice of servers, Pri­vate In­ter­net Ac­cess of­fers a whop­ping 3,340. It’s also cheap at £2.10 per month, and you’ll get five li­cences for that small fee that can be used si­mul­ta­ne­ously on any de­vice, in­clud­ing iOS and macOS.

It doesn’t track your IP ad­dress or time­stamps, of­fers a Kill Switch fea­ture and lets you pay anony­mously. It’s also among the fastest VPNs avail­able. There is one big down­side, though, and that’s that it is based in the US, which is the very cen­tre of the 5-eyes data swap­ping col­lec­tive. For some, that will ring alarm bells, but if you’re not con­cerned this is a def­i­nite con­tender.

8. IPVan­ish

Price: £5 per month from fave.co/2oTjJ7Y

IPVan­ish is good-look­ing and easy to use, so is one of the best VPN op­tions for be­gin­ners. It won’t help

you watch US Net­flix, but it is a pop­u­lar op­tion that is well-worth con­sid­er­ing if you have a dif­fer­ent pri­or­ity such as tor­rents or se­cu­rity/pri­vacy.

It’ll ap­peal to home users thanks to ac­cess to Net­flix US. How­ever, it’s also based in the US, which is a dis­tinct turn-off for those wor­ried about on­line pri­vacy, but it doesn’t keep any traf­fic logs at all so it’s un­likely any data will be avail­able to share with the gov­ern­ment any­way. The good news is that it has a whop­ping 700 servers across 60 coun­tries, and you’ll be able to con­nect via five dif­fer­ent de­vices at once with the same ac­count.

If you do want to use the ser­vice for tor­rents you can re­duce the en­cryp­tion to hide your IP ad­dress with­out sac­ri­fic­ing down­load and up­load speeds.

Bet­ter yet, IPVan­ish owns and op­er­ates the en­tire in­ter­nal in­fra­struc­ture (its pri­vate net­work,

phys­i­cal points of pres­ence and servers), which is un­like most other VPN ser­vices avail­able to­day.

IPVan­ish of­fers a Kill Switch, and of­fers apps for iOS, An­droid and Win­dows in ad­di­tion to Mac. You’ll get a seven-day money back guar­an­tee, and prices start at around £5 per month.

9. Hid­den24

Price: £3.33 per month from fave.co/2F7IbwA

Hid­den24 focuses com­pletely on pri­vacy and anonymity, af­ter start­ing life in 2005 as a re­ac­tion to Swe­den’s snoop­ing laws. It now has a UK-based server farm that means you can pro­tect your­self on­line by con­nect­ing to another UK server. It uses the op­er­at­ing sys­tem’s own VPN ca­pa­bil­ity, so there’s no app to down­load, and setup is sim­ple thanks to com­plete, de­tailed guides.

We found the ser­vice to be speedy and sta­ble, but there’s no kill switch op­tion and you can only con­nect to UK servers for now, so no US Net­flix.

It is use­ful for ex-pats or those trav­el­ling out­side of the UK though, as it means you can ac­cess UK con­tent in­clud­ing BBC iPlayer even when you’re not in the country.

10. SpyOFF VPN

Price: £6.99 per month from fave.co/2oSHIE5

SpyOFF is fast and easy-to-use, with un­lim­ited con­nec­tions avail­able for £6.99 per month. That’s a lit­tle on the pricey side, but it is good for fam­i­lies that need to con­nect via mul­ti­ple de­vices at once. The num­ber of servers is quite low, at 395 across 25 coun­tries, but you will get a kill switch and there are mo­bile apps avail­able.

If you’re wor­ried about com­mit­ting right away, you can sign up to the 15-day trial.

Hid­den24

IPVan­ish

VyprVPN

Cy­berGhost

PureVPN

NordVPN

SpyOFF

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