10 Top VPNs for Mac and Safari

Utility •  July 27, 2023

mac vpns

It is no surprise that VPNs have become a necessity these days. Even if you do not use public Wi-Fi networks or access blocked content, it makes sense to have the additional security layer that a VPN offers. But we are not yet in a position where we can recommend a single VPN service as the best option for everyone. Even when you want something specific like the best VPN for Mac and Safari, you have to accommodate a variety of options.

We have been using macOS VPN apps for quite a few years now. And, when we wanted to find the best ones out there, we decided to recommend a suitable VPN for each major purpose. In this article, you can find the 10 best VPNs for Mac and Safari.

We have included not only paid and free VPN services but also VPN services optimized for specific scenarios, such as streaming, gaming, security, etc. Without further ado, we shall check what these VPN apps offer and why you should check them out.

RELATED: Top Fast VPN Services for Netflix

10 Top VPNs for Mac and Safari

#1 ClearVPN — Best Flexible VPN for Mac

Pricing: Free, premium starts at $3.90 per month

ClearVPN definitely deserves the top spot on this list, especially considering that most people need a rather balanced VPN experience most of the time.

Pros

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Three connection modes
  • A balanced VPN service

Cons

  • Limited compatibility

ClearVPN

One great thing about ClearVPN is its intuitive User Interface. It helps you make intelligent decisions based on your purpose with the VPN service. For instance, using the Smart connection mode, you can choose one of the priorities among maximum access, speed, and security. Even though ClearVPN does not offer the best speeds in town, the servers are fast enough to use for streaming and torrenting.

The VPN app does not cut back on encryption, either. The official app integrates well with macOS and comes with essential features like an internet kill switch. So, when you stream or download something, you do not have to worry about accidental disconnections. It is also impressive that you can use the free version of the VPN service with no bandwidth limit or annoying pop-ups.

This versatile design of ClearVPN helps you save a lot of time as well. For instance, you can trust the smart connection system when you need maximum speed out of the VPN connection. At the same time, when you need access to a VPN server in a specific location, you can use the Location Changer mode. Lastly, the third mode for streaming can unlock region-specific versions of popular content streaming services.

Hence, in terms of flexibility, ClearVPN offers the best value. So, when you need a VPN that you can use for anonymity, unrestricted access, and security, you can’t go wrong with ClearVPN.

Read our full ClearVPN review for more.

#2 ExpressVPN — Best Mac VPN for High Speeds

Pricing: Premium starts at $8.32 per month

Many people find it difficult that they have to compromise download/upload speed when using a VPN. If you are one of them, ExpressVPN is probably the best VPN for your Mac and Safari.

Pros

  • It offers maximum speed on VPN
  • Widespread app compatibility
  • An extensive macOS app and extensions

Cons

  • Limited streaming options

Aptly called one of the most popular VPN services available today, ExpressVPN is an incredible pick for your Mac and Safari. Though it does not compromise in aspects like security and privacy, this VPN is known the most for its high-speed servers. Therefore, when you want to download torrents or stream full-HD content, you can expect the best download/upload speeds.

We also love how detailed and easy-to-use the macOS app is. You will find it effortless to find the VPN server location and connect to it. The app also has a feature called Presets, which arrange server locations based on their speed and privacy level. The customer support quality of ExpressVPN also is practical in case you have trouble getting started.

It is also worth mentioning that ExpressVPN works across a better variety of devices. For instance, you can set up the VPN on your router or smart TV thanks to extensions and tutorials. On top of all these, the VPN service uses best-in-class encryption technology. Gamers also endorse the VPN, mostly due to the collection of VPN servers and built-in protection against DDoS attacks.

Finally, if you can prioritize speed over security and privacy features, ExpressVPN will be an apt choice. However, we believe the VPN may not be as intuitive as other options on this list.

Read our full ExpressVPN review for more.

#3 NordVPN — Best Affordable VPN for Mac

Pricing: Premium starts at $3.49 per month

Sometimes, you do not want to spend a lot on getting a decent VPN service, right? In that case, you should check out NordVPN, one of the most affordable VPN services that work well with macOS.

Pros

  • Super-affordable pricing
  • Useful security options
  • It offers better speeds

Cons

  • Limited features in the base plan

nordvpn

The affordable pricing does not impact the quality of the VPN service, though. On the contrary, you would find that NordVPN packs some impressive security features like malware protection and better compatibility. For instance, you can easily set up NordVPN across your home network or on specific devices like your Xbox or PlayStation. Thanks to the collection of over 5700 servers, speed was never an issue.

Therefore, on an ideal day, NordVPN will let you connect your Mac to a variety of VPN servers while enjoying anonymity and unblocked access. We also loved that NordVPN brings in features like Double VPN and smart DNS, both of which improve your security and privacy. And, because the service does not keep any logs, you can stay worry-free about privacy.

Now, to the best part about NordVPN: the pricing. You can get the basic premium plan of NordVPN by paying just $3.49 per month (when you get it for 2 years.) And, if you need advanced features like better encryption and data breach warning, you only have to pay $5.49 per month. Judging by any standards, these prices are so remarkable when you consider what you get.

Overall, when you want to ensure security and access while saving money, NordVPN is a great solution for Mac and Safari.

Read our full NordVPN review for more.

#4 Surfshark VPN — Best VPN for Top Security

Pricing: Premium starts at $2.49 per month

Surfshark VPN is another outstanding option to consider when you need an effective VPN service for your Mac. As opposed to the three previous options, Surfshark focuses the most on privacy and security.

Pros

  • It offers unparalleled security
  • Easily integrates antivirus and identity protection
  • Support for unlimited connections

Cons

  • The collection of servers is relatively smaller

Surfshark

An impressive thing about Surfshark is that it offers more than a conventional VPN service. Instead, you get an entire package of features to protect your digital life from common threats. Because of this all-inclusive nature, Surfshark apps for macOS and other devices can recommend the best options for your privacy. For instance, the app can recommend the best server location for different scenarios.

Compared to some other names in the industry, the collection of over 3200 servers may be smaller. But you can benefit from their maximum speed and the ability to connect unlimited devices. And, the no-logs policy from a company like Surfshark is worth relying on, and it has been verified via independent auditors. Despite all these rich features it offers, Surfshark does not cost a lot.

However, probably the most significant reason to choose Surfshark VPN over other VPNs has to deal with how easily you can integrate security features. For instance, the antivirus security and identity protection suites from Surfshark are value-adding indeed. On top of this, you can stay worry-free about any disturbance, thanks to the use of trusted encryption tech. If anything, the company is one step ahead in terms of tech.

Conclusively, we are 100% confident to recommend Surfshark when you ask for the most secure VPN service for Mac and Safari. Compared to the features/benefits inside, the pricing seems reasonable as well.

#5 Shimo – Best VPN Client for macOS

Pricing: €49 per license

Unlike the apps we have talked about so far, Shimo is not a VPN service. Instead, it is one of the VPN clients available for macOS. You can use this app to manage multiple VPN services that you may need.

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Wide compatibility with protocols
  • Useful while managing VPNs

Cons

  • It does not offer a VPN service

Shimo

Often considered the best VPN client for macOS, Shimo lets you keep track of multiple VPN connections and use them in a single click. For instance, you can store the details of the VPNs for your university or office—instead of setting up a manual connection every single time. You also get the benefits of features like auto-connect and concurrent connections.

As far as compatibility goes, Shimo does not disappoint. You can use the VPN client with protocols such as OpenVPN, IPSec, PPTP, SSL, AnyConnect, and SSH. However, the lack of PP2P/L2TP on Catalina can often be a limitation for some users. On the bright side, regardless of the VPN protocol you use, Shimo does its best to keep everything as secure as possible.

In the end, we recommend that you check out Shimo if you use multiple VPNs for different needs. The app is paid, but you can check out the free trial before you make the final payment.

#6 Avast SecureLine VPN – Best Minimalistic VPN for Mac

Pricing: Premium starts at $4.39 per month

As you may already understand from the name, Avast SecureLine VPN is a VPN from the popular antivirus software developer. It is included as a part of the overall protection package that Avast offers.

Pros

  • A lightweight design
  • Quick and easy on the Mac
  • Built-in privacy-protection options

Cons

  • It does not offer the best speeds

avast

When you get Avast SecureLine VPN as a standalone VPN service, it works as a minimal VPN service that you can rely on. For instance, the VPN service checks the basic boxes, such as public Wi-Fi protection and 256-bit AES encryption. However, the UI and the features may disappoint you if you are looking for something more customizable and advanced.

We also noticed that the macOS VPN app for Avast SecureLine VPN is lightweight for the most part. So, you do not have to worry about the app hogging up RAM or other resources.

#7 CyberGhost –  Another Privacy-first VPN

Pricing: Premium starts at $2.11 per month

CyberGhost is another option you have when you need a privacy-focused VPN app for Mac and Safari. It has been designed to provide comprehensive privacy across devices, and the Mac app works great.

Pros

  • It offers comprehensive privacy
  • Apps available across devices
  • A control-friendly macOS app

Cons

  • Some limitation in tech

CyberGhost

Something we loved the most about CyberGhost is the easy UI it employs. Once you have installed the Mac app, you can connect to the desired location in a single click. The pleasant UI makes things easy to manage as well. You also have an option to extend the benefits of the VPN to devices like Apple TV, which is not the case for many other options.

So, if you need a VPN that does not make things complicated while providing sufficient privacy features, you should definitely check out CyberGhost for Mac.

#8 Astrill VPN — The Best Small Company VPN for Mac

Pricing: Premium starts at $12.50 per month

Even though it does not have an enormous server network, Astrill VPN is one of the fastest VPN services you can get for your Mac. It does not compromise basic features, either.

Pros

  • It has a straightforward UI
  • It can offer stable speeds
  • Incredible tech support

Cons

  • The experience is a little rudimentary

astrill

Like many other VPN apps we have tested, the Astrill VPN app for macOS remains simple and easy to use. In a single click, you can connect and get started. Though it has only around 100 servers, you can expect the best speed since things are not that crowded. We also found it easy that you can choose between two simple plans: personal and business.

We think you should check out Astrill VPN if you want to move away from big companies. And the benefits of doing so include better privacy and higher speeds.

#9 Hotspot Shield — Best VPN for Gaming and Streaming

Pricing: Free, Premium starts at $7.99 per month

Do you want a VPN service that is optimized for streaming, downloading, and gaming? In that case, Hotspot Shield is one of the best choices you can make as a Mac user.

Pros

  • Suitable for gaming and streaming
  • Offers the best download speeds
  • Works across the Apple ecosystem

Cons

  • Getting started can take more time

Hotspot

Hotspot Shield has been well-optimized for unlocking content, thanks to more than 115 server locations in its collection. More importantly, these servers seem to provide better speeds for most purposes. So, even when the service uses its military-grade encryption, you can expect relatively higher download speeds. You can connect to ten devices using a single account as well.

It is also impressive that Hotspot Shield comes with a rather advanced User Interface for its VPN app. While being easy to use, it leaves sufficient room for extra control.

#10 PureVPN — Best Ultra-secure Package for macOS VPN

Pricing: Premium starts at $2.29 per month

Last on the list, but definitely not the least, PureVPN has an impressive macOS VPN application as well. We recommend you check this service out if you need more security options.

Pros

  • Designed for maximum privacy and security
  • Built-in protection features via connection
  • Lightweight, on-the-fly, macOS app

Cons

  • There can be too many premium options

purevpn

For instance, the security system from PureVPN claims to be 4 times more effective than the conventional options in the market. At the same time, the company manages to bring some balance to the equation thanks to high-speed servers and content-unblocking algorithms. So, you can stream your favorite content without compromising the intensity of security.

The company also aims to focus on aspects like identity protection and internet freedom. So, if you would like to have a service that works in different scenarios, PureVPN for Mac is a great choice, indeed.

FAQs

What’s the best VPN for Mac right now?

Depending on your specific requirements, you can find many great VPNs for Mac right now. Because of the same reason, we cannot recommend a single VPN as the best option. But, for most people, a balanced VPN service like ClearVPN will do the job.

Which free VPN is the best for Mac?

Even when you do not want to pay for a subscription, you can choose between multiple VPN options for the Mac platform. For instance, NordVPN is known for its free service, and you can get unlimited bandwidth with the likes of ClearVPN.

Does Safari offer free VPN?

No, Safari does not offer a free VPN. However, you would not have trouble finding some great VPN apps for Mac and Safari. It is also worth noting that system-wide macOS VPN apps will enhance the protection when using Safari to browse the web.

How do I set up a free VPN on my Mac?

Setting up a free (or paid) VPN on your Mac is incredibly easy. You first have to download the official VPN app from the developer and install it. Then, the app will install the VPN configuration, helping you connect to the desired server in a single click.

How do I choose the best VPN for gaming?

Latency and speed are the most important things while choosing a VPN for gaming. You should make sure that the VPN app can offer a stable connection while also having servers close to the game servers. In this way, you can expect a smooth gameplay experience.

Wrapping up

We believe this guide helped you find, or at least short-list, the best VPN apps for your Mac. As you can guess from the reviews, all these VPN services work great with Safari, meaning that you do not have to worry about compatibility issues.

However, it is important to make sure that you choose a VPN that suits your priorities. For instance, if you need a balanced VPN that provides security, access, and anonymity, you can go for something like ClearVPN, which we have covered as the most flexible option.

On the other hand, if you have specific priorities, you have to make informed choices. For instance, if you are looking for the maximum download/upload speed, something like ExpressVPN will be the best choice. If, alternatively, you need increased gaming performance, you need a gaming-friendly VPN service.

In fact, one of the reasons for including ten entries here is to provide you with sufficient options. This way, even when you want to work within a specific budget, you will have options to choose from. More importantly, it may be necessary to select some specific features, such as Double VPN.

Rest assured, you do not have to worry about the authenticity or reputation of these providers. We have double-checked these aspects before recommending these products to you.

* Readers like you help support TheSweetBits. When you buy something through the links in this article, we may get a small commission at no extra charge to you.