Considering Apple’s secretive approach to its product design, you’ll be pardoned for assuming that the sleek-looking Mac you own is secure from threats or cyberattacks. But as the number of Mac users increases, hackers have turned their attention to cracking the security of the MacOS and, apparently, they have succeeded in doing so. It might be time to consider a VPN to boost your security. You may ask: how to choose the top Mac VPN for your exact needs? And what about The Gatekeeper?
The Gatekeeper, a security feature, was introduced into MacOS to prevent breaches via application downloads. But apparently, flaws have been detected in the Gatekeeper and other layers of the MacOS that may allow hackers to slip through by one means or another. For example, a recently discovered bug allows hackers to inject malware that bypasses security prompts, rendering them meaningless.
To be fair, the Mac is impressively more secure than its Windows-based counterparts. It’s a cool machine that has the upper edge in innovation. But given the rise in cyberattacks, you shouldn’t be over-reliant on the security patches released for your Mac. Rather, you’ll want to take control of cybersecurity and install a VPN.
A VPN allows your Mac to literally disappear from the radar of hackers, especially if you are already marked as a target. Besides, having a VPN keeps the information on your Mac secure as all data exchanged on the Internet is encrypted with an industrial-standard algorithm.
You may feel that the chances of your Mac being hacked are slim. But given a security flaw in 2018 that allowed hackers to take control of a brand new MacBook, you don’t want to take any chances.
Why You Should Use a Mac VPN
The fact is, Mac is the preferred computer of choice for businesses. Chances are, you’re reading this article on a Mac that you’ve crafted business plans and sent hundreds of confidential emails with. And there’s a likelihood that you’re connected to a public WiFi that you assume is safe.
If you’re guilty of all the above, you’re putting your business and information at risk. Using a VPN is warranted as it provides you with a layer of security that protects your data. It hides your Mac’s presence on the Internet by replacing the Mac’s IP address with the VPN server’s IP address. It also uses a secure encryption algorithm to make the information sent from your Mac unintelligible to hackers. In other words, there’s no chance of them making sense of the encrypted data even if they got hold of it.
But security isn’t the only thing that makes using a Mac VPN a preferred service amongst today’s internet users. With businesses going global, there is a chance that you’ll end up on a business trip to a country with highly restricted internet access. Having a VPN installed means you’ll have access to apps and websites that may otherwise be blocked in that country.
Getting a Mac VPN is the right thing to do. However, you’ll want to be cautious with the VPN that you choose. Some may unknowingly put your Mac at risk, especially when they suffer from DNS leaks that go undetected. A DNS leak is a typical problem that exposes your IP address even when you have turned on the VPN.
Characteristics of a Good Mac VPN
Browsing the web for a good Mac VPN can be confusing, especially when you’re unfamiliar with the jargon used on service providers’ websites. Our advice is: don’t be intimidated by them nor attracted to the lowest offer on the table.
Instead, ensure that the software fulfills these criteria before you decide on which service provider to use:
Look out for terms like OpenVPN and AES-256. These represent the protocol and encryption used in ensuring the security of your data. It’s sufficient to know that OpenVPN and AES-256 are top-notch security measures by industrial standards.
Look out for DNS leak issues and the no-logging policy of the VPN. The former ensures that your Mac’s IP address remains hidden when you’re connected to the VPN while the latter ensures the VPN provider collects no data that incriminates your online behavior.
While a VPN tunnels data through its network of servers, you shouldn’t experience a significant dip in your connection speed. The top Mac VPNs allow you to enjoy reasonable browsing speed without compromising on security.
Ease of Use
It’s a cardinal sin to install poorly-designed VPN software on your Mac. It goes against the idea of having a Mac itself, as it symbolizes elegance and intuitiveness. A good Mac VPN is easy to use, even for non-technical users.
Someone ought to have your back, even if you have no issues installing a VPN on your Mac. Like every other service, responsive customer support ensures peace of mind the moment you’re subscribed to the VPN.
5 Mac VPNs You Should Use in 2021
NordVPN is undoubtedly one of the top Mac VPNs that deserves to be on your shopping list. It has a range of tunneling protocols to choose from, including the popular and secure OpenVPN with the AES-256 encryption. Besides that, you get to double up the encryption by enabling a feature that routes the data through two VPN servers before entering the Internet.
You can expect the utmost of privacy protection as NordVPN has a strict no-logging policy. NordVPN has also been tested for DNS leaks, and the results are convincing. The fact that NordVPN is based in Panama means there’s no danger of the company being forced to give user information to the authorities.
With live chat and email support, you won’t have to worry about getting stuck when using its already easy-to-use software.
- Highly secure VPN protocols and encryption.
- Double data protection.
- Stable and decent connection speed.
- No DNS leak issues detected.
- Strict no-logging policy.
- Located in Panama.
- The refund process may take a while.
Mac users looking for a budget-friendly VPN will find CyberGhost a decent option. Despite its affordability, CyberGhost does not compromise on security. It supports OpenVPN and other major protocols while protecting the data with the industrial-standard AES-256 encryption.
CyberGhost has no reported incidences of DNS leaks, and user privacy is beefed up by its strict no-logging policy. It is located in Romania, which means CyberGhost is not subjected to any regulations that may demand the handover of user information.
In case you’re stuck when using the VPN, its friendly customer support is ready to help you over the live chat, or conventional email.
- Uses OpenVPN and AES-256 encryption.
- No DNS-leak issues.
- Strict no-logging policy.
- Located in Romania, no obligation to data-retention laws.
- Torrent and Netflix friendly.
- Moderate connection speed.
Surfshark is making waves despite being a relatively new VPN that you can install on your Mac. By subscribing to SurfShark, your Mac is protected by all the security features any decent VPN should have. This includes the ever-secure AES-256 encryption and the OpenVPN protocol.
Surfshark collects none of your browsing data. To further protect your interest, Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands, freeing the company from any law that requires data retention.
What’s notable is the connection speed of Surshark which performs reasonably well for its servers across the world. This goes well for Mac users who are hoping to access Netflix or torrenting software, both of which are well supported by Surfshark.
- Located in the British Virgin Islands.
- Uses OpenVPN and AES-256 for data encryption.
- Decent connection speed.
- No-logging policy.
- Allows Netflix access and torrenting.
- Lack of information on the parent company.
TunnelBear is an inherently secure VPN that impresses technology experts. Besides the highly secure OpenVPN and AES-256, TunnelBear implements measures to detect any potential DNS leaking, which of course, has never occurred.
The TunnelBear iOS app is also cleverly designed and easy to use. While it lacks live chat support, you can expect a speedy response from the conventional ticket system. It also has a strict no-logging policy, and that means your privacy is assured should the TunnelBear be summoned by the Canadian authority to hand over its data.
- Highly-secure VPN.
- No DNS leaks reported.
- Responsive ticket support.
- Strict no-logging policy.
- User-friendly app.
- Below average connection speed.
Private Internet Access VPN is a US-based provider that has been on the market since 2010 and has proved its zero-logging claim in court. PIA has servers in 30 countries, provides industry-standard OpenVPN encryption, and has a large fanbase on Reddit.
Your privacy is guaranteed as PIA is free from any DNS leak issues. On top of that, it has a clear no-logging policy that has your privacy protected at all costs. As far as Mac VPNs are concerned, PIA is quite generous in its device sharing limit. You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously on a single account.
- Impressive connection speed
- No DNS leak issues.
- Uses OpenVPN and AES-256.
- Supports up to 10 devices.
- Clear no-logging policy.
- Not a multi-hop VPN available.
It’s about time you take charge of your Mac’s security. While it’s undeniably more secure than other competing machines, security loopholes pop up in the MacOS now and then, making you vulnerable to hackers.
Installing a VPN is the right thing to do. It keeps your Mac hidden and protects your data in the case that it gets intercepted. But choosing the right service provider can be a daunting process.
The purpose of this article was to save you time by doing the research ourselves. Our top VPNs for Mac stood above their competitors in terms of security, privacy, speed, ease of use, and support. So, to make sure your Mac has that extra layer of security, sign up for any of our recommended VPNs today.