A VPN is handy for several purposes. First, it is useful for unblocking restricted content that is not available in your country or your particular network. Second, it prevents third parties from monitoring your online activities, giving you the privacy that you need. And finally, it secures your connection and protects your data when connecting to the internet.
The security layers provided by using a VPN are extremely beneficial to Mac users, as Apple’s desktop computers and MacBooks are increasingly becoming popular targets by malicious attacks. Every additional layer of protection can go a long way in protecting your system and personal data. Hence, getting the best VPN for Mac in 2020 makes sense.
What is a VPN?
Normally, when you connect to the internet, you do so by connecting your device to your router or modem that is directly connected to the internet. But with a VPN, your internet connection gets additional security layers to protect you and your data. How does it work?
When you use a VPN, your device is not directly connected to the internet. When you turn on your VPN service when using the internet, the VPN software automatically creates a digital tunnel through which your internet connection is routed. The secure tunnel is secured and your data is encrypted before being sent through the tunnel. The end point of the tunnel is the VPN server you’ve chosen to connect to. This is where your IP address is masked so that the public internet won’t be able to know your real IP address and location.
Once your internet traffic exited the VPN server, that’s only the time when it becomes visible to others. The public won’t know where it came from and what the real IP address is before your traffic exited the VPN server. So no matter what you do, your activities won’t be associated with your real identity.
Why You Need a VPN for Your Mac
As mentioned earlier, online security is one of the biggest reasons why you should get a trusted VPN for Mac in 2020. According to the 2020 Malwarebytes State of Malware Report, ” the volume of Mac threats increased by more than 400% year-on-year in 2019, outpacing Windows threats per endpoint by a ratio of nearly two to one.” This means that more malicious hackers are now targeting Macs than PCs. For so long, Windows has been the favorite target of malware, but cybercriminals have become more inventive and deceptive in trying to escape Apple’s detection.
Earlier this July, cybersecurity experts discovered a more dangerous ransomware variant, named as EvilQuest, which poses as Apple’s CrashReporter or Google Software Update. What makes this ransomware more insidious is that it comes with capabilities that are beyond the functions of ransomware, including keylogging, creating a reverse shell, and stealing crypto wallet-related files.
Evilquest is the most recent addition to the long list of malwares designed to target Apple’s system. The list includes the Chill Tab virus, SearchExploreDaemon, Alphashoppers, and the Search Marquis virus.Although a VPN won’t help you to actually get rid of these types of malware, it can however, alert you when you’re accessing malicious website where these threats are hosted.
Aside from protecting your Mac from data theft and online threats, using a malware carries other benefits, including:
- Evading data capping and bandwidth throttling – Since your traffic is shielded from the eyes of your internet service provider, you won’t be subjected to data capping and your internet speed won’t be subjected to throttling.
- Accessing blocked services, such as Netflix – Streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and BBC, are known for delivering country-specific libraries to their subscribers. Using a VPN helps you overcome these boundaries and access foreign libraries that are otherwise unavailable in your location.
- Avoiding censorship – When you travel to countries where censorship and surveillance are strictly implemented, subscribing to the best Mac VPN in 2020 can help a lot in bypassing these restrictions.
- Enjoying subscription discounts and accessing other deals – Some services are cheaper in other countries. Netflix’s standard plan, for example, costs only Rs. 649 ($8.66) per month compared to the US plan which costs $12.99 per month. You can use a VPN to purchase the plan using an Indian VPN server, saving you more than $4 every month. You can also access region-specific deals that are not available to you.
Best VPN for Mac in 2020
Now that we’ve established the benefits of using a VPN, let us now look at some of the most trusted VPNs for Mac in 2020.
Getting a VPN means getting another layer of protection, plus a lot of extra benefits. If you’re concerned about your privacy or you simply love the unblocking function of a VPN, you can subscribe to any of the services listed below.
One of the best Mac VPNs in 2020, ExpressVPN provides all-round protection for your device. It has a dedicated macOS client which is very intuitive and user-friendly. It is also available for Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux devices. The app features a one-click option to connect, a kill switch, split tunnelling, and 256-bit encryption over OpenVPN UDP. It allows up to five simultaneous connections, so you can maximize its protection.
You can also install the iOS apps and Safari browser extension for a complete VPN experience. Plus, it has features that are dedicated for Apple users. For example, if your Mac uses wired internet connection, you can use it as a hotspot for your other devices, so you don’t have to individually connect them to your VPN.
ExpressVPN has 160 servers in 94 countries, giving you a wide server selection. This VPN costs $12.95 per month or $8.32 per month for the annual plan.
This straightforward and secure VPN offers double data encryption, which means your data gets twice the protection since it passes your traffic through two separate VPN servers. It has a client dedicated for macOS, but it is also available for other major platforms, including Windows, Android, and Linux.
NordVPN‘s other security features include encrypted chat, web proxy extensions, zero-logs policy, and others. You can choose from its wide network of more than 5100 servers located in 59 countries. It allows a maximum of 6 connected devices and an unlimited bandwidth.
NordVPN costs $11.95 per month, but you’ll save a lot when you avail the 3-year plan at only $3.49 per month. If you want to check out the service, you can subscribe to the 30-day free trial with a money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost is one of the popular VPN choices for Mac users, and this service definitely has the features to back up its claims. It has over 6,000 servers located across 80 countries, with some of them dedicated for torrenting. It has zero logs policy, handy live chat support, strong encryption, and a kill switch.
It has clients for macOS, iOS, Windows, Linux, and Android devices. If you do a lot of streaming, CyberGhost should be your top choice because it automatically connects you to the best server designed for streaming purposes. You also don’t have to worry about ads, trackers, and malicious websites because they are automatically blocked.
CyberGhost allows up to seven simultaneous connections and has 24/7 support. The monthly subscription costs $12.99 per month, which is a little pricey. However, the 18-month plan cuts down the price to just $2.75 per month. You also get a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is longer than the usual 30-day trial period.
Surfshark is currently the most affordable VPN for Mac today. It costs $11.95 per month, but the 24-month subscription plan only costs $1.99 per month which is the lowest subscription package on the market right now.
It has a dedicated client for Macs, as well as other major platforms. Despite the cheap price, you’ll be surprised at how fast the connections are regardless of which server you connect to. It has a simple and easy to use interface plus powerful Netflix unblocking capability.
What makes Surfshark perfect for Macs is the extra layer of security it provides. It offers OpenVPN UDP and TCP, IKEv2 security protocols, along with an AES-256 encryption. Here’s a bonus: you can connect as many devices as you want because it can support unlimited simultaneous connections.
This brilliantly-balanced VPN for Mac features a nifty user interface and powerful security features. It has great features such as a kill switch, automatic IP switching, Netflix unblocking, and split-tunneling function. The servers are quite fast and IPVanish can automatically connect to the fastest server available. Most of its servers are also optimized for torrenting.
Aside from the macOS client, you can also enjoy IPVanish on other major platforms. You can connect up to 10 devices at the same time without suffering from a significant speed drop.
IPVanish does not log your activities and you can try the 30-day money-back guarantee to see how the service works. A monthly subscription costs $8, but you can enjoy a lower rate ($5.20) if you get the yearly plan.
Thinking of Getting a Free VPN?
If you really love the benefits of a VPN for Mac, but you don’t have the cash, you can try Hotspot Shield instead. It is basically the free version of the premium Hotspot Shield VPN. You’ll have to bear with the ads and the limited features though, since it is free. At least, you still get military-grade encryption to protect your data.