But unfortunately for Apple fans, a stunning interface cannot compensate for security vulnerabilities. In December , a report measuring computer software security flaws found that Mac OS X had the largest number of publicly disclosed vulnerabilities — a whopping security holes! While the Mac OS X operating system, El Capitan, may lack many of the more prevalent and destructive exploits that Windows carries, it is still has some unresolved issues of its own.
One such issue appears to be with Keychain, the native password management system for OS X. There is a hole in the system that could enable unauthorized applications to steal or delete protected data, and that's just scratching the surface. While there is a long list of benefits to using a VPN for Mac computers, the ultimate reason comes down to real-time Internet security. IPVanish VPN adds a layer of protection between your desktop computer and our server, making your Internet browsing more private.
Once you establish a VPN connection, all of your online data such as emails, instant messages, web browsing history, and downloads that passes through your connection is rendered illegible to third parties. While these "third parties" can mean hackers or identity thieves, the most prevalent threat comes from Internet service providers such as Comcast and online advertisers like Google.
Internet Service Providers often employ deep packet inspection to monitor your network activity in real-time and limit your Internet speed. Manually interfering with access to activities like video streaming and P2P file transferring — regardless of how bandwidth-intensive it is — is a direct net neutrality violation.
IPVanish, a supporter of a free and open Internet, directly prevents deep packet inspection. The encryption that our VPN for Mac provides keeps your Internet provider from snooping on your Internet activity because the data is scrambled, rendering the contents indecipherable to the ISP.
As for price, our primary concern is flexibility and value. Services that only offer a single, expensive plan aren't a great option. Moreover, if your VPN stops working with Netflix or providing adequate speeds, it would be crummy to have paid a lot for a year's worth of access. Many come in below that figure, and a few go above. The ones that cost more, obviously, have to justify their hefty price tags. But money shouldn't be an obstacle for security, and there are many worthy free VPNs floating around. Granted, this only secures your browser data via VPN, but free is hard to pass up.
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Value is a bit trickier, but we believe that a single VPN subscription should meet certain criteria. It needs to include coverage for at least five simultaneous devices, which is the norm for the industry. It needs to work on multiple platforms, including mobile devices. And a single subscription needs to work for different platforms—that is, paying for a subscription for your Mac should also get you iPhone VPN functionality. If VPN forces you to jump through hoops and pay extra to secure all the different devices in your home, it's not a good value.
We also look at the number of VPN servers available with a service, as well as the number of different locations in which the servers are hosted, and how broadly distributed those locations are. Having more servers generally means more bandwidth, since there are fewer people per server to share data. Having more server locations means that you'll always have a server nearby, which is important because a server that's close to you will be faster and more reliable than one that's far away.
A variety of server locations also means you have more choices for spoofing your location. Private Internet Access comes in second on server count, with well over 3, servers. We don't look at fixed numbers for server locations, but rather check to be sure they are well distributed. As important as what a VPN company provides is how it does so, as well as the policies it has in place to protect your privacy.
Quick Tips for Choosing a VPN
You must trust that the service is going to be a good guardian of your personal information, and won't abuse its position by mining your data. The company's legal situation is important, too. Some countries have laws that require companies to store data for set periods of time. We don't claim to be experts on international law, but we do ask VPN companies if they are subject to mandatory data retention laws. We also do some investigation of our own, mostly with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's resources on data retention.
We also ask VPN providers what information they gather on user activity and whether they sell that information. Furthermore, we scour company privacy policies to confirm their answers. The first is important, as a VPN company could potentially spy on your activity. The best services log as little information about users and their activity as possible, and should explain why in their privacy policies.
The last point refers to a particularly egregious practice that has all but died out, thankfully. Back in the day, some VPN companies also injected ads into users' web traffic. That's mostly not the case these days, but we do check with each vendor, just in case. Of course, a VPN company could lie about any of these issues. But at the very least, we can ask VPN companies to explain their positions and not allow them to lie by omission.
One last point about trust has to do with location. Many readers have written to us asking whether they should trust a VPN company located in a place with repressive internet policies, such as China, or somewhere known for cybercrime, such as parts of Eastern Europe. These are valid concerns, but as with a company's information gathering policies, we think it's best to assume everyone is innocent until proven otherwise. Without proof of actual bad behavior, we believe it would be irresponsible to say a company should be avoided based solely on the location of its headquarters.
You may feel differently. All of our reviews note where each VPN company has its headquarters, so you can decide for yourself, if you disagree with our stance. They are right to be concerned. Putting more fiber and more servers between you and the internet potentially increases latency time, and decreases upload and download speeds.
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We've measured the percent change in these three categories for each of the VPNs listed below. In general, We've been surprised about how small the impact has been. Even when the numbers show a big change, it's pretty rare that we notice any problems in our hands-on testing. For that reason,we encourage readers to think of speed as a concern secondary to value and security. That said, many people want to know which is the fastest VPN service.
In our testing on Windows computers, where we've examined nearly two dozen VPN services, PureVPN has shown that it can actually improve download speeds by a significant margin for two years running. But we're also very aware of the limitations of network testing, and that PureVPN has yet to repeat this success on other platforms. We haven't gathered enough data yet to weigh in on the fastest Mac VPN, but Golden Frog VyprVPN has taken the best score in some key areas that make it very compelling in terms of speed.
We have, however, a lot of test results for VPN speeds on Windows computers. We gather these results with the Ookla speed test tool, and present the results below. Note that these are in order of score, with the top score in each category marked with italicized red text.
The 5 Best VPNs for Mac
Apple has polished macOS to a shine, and the company has always paid careful attention to stability and security. But out on the web, anything goes. That's why you need a VPN to provide a critical layer of security and privacy. It's a simple but powerful tool, and you'll be grateful for taking better control of your online experience. Chances are you don't use a VPN on your Mac—yet.
We hope this roundup convinces you to mend your ways. While you're thinking about privacy for your Mac, you should also consider security. If you're not protected yet, you ought to read our roundup of Mac antivirus software. Largest collection of servers. Specialized servers. Six simultaneous connections. Well designed, consistent user interface. Ad blocking and web protection. Lackluster speed test scores. Thousands of servers across dozens of locations. Good speed test scores. Excellent, advanced tools.
No logging. Works with Netflix. The software is nearly identical to its acclaimed Windows-based cousin. Likewise, there is a detailed list of all the servers, which automatically displays ping responses for each endpoint. Alternatively, users can browse through available server clusters on the in-app interactive map.
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As the company operates out of the US, no official data retention laws apply to its business. The provider runs a large server range and offers many helpful anonymity features alongside its core VPN functions. As it is a US-based company there are no data retention laws to force it to retain data logs. There are three subscription options, including Basic, Pro, and Premier. As with many other subscription services, yearly accounts are offered with significant discounts.
Instead, it presents itself as a simple VPN client, equipped only with the necessary features that enable the user to customise and, thus, optimise their connection. Alongside the dropdown server selection list, the app has several options, including auto-launch, auto-connect, encryption settings, port switching, as well as forwarding, an internet killswitch, and IPv6 leak protection.
The Best Mac VPNs for 12222
An individual PIA account can be simultaneously connected on up to five devices. Leave this field empty. Reviews VPN. Since , the NSA attempted to install backdoors in Apple products for nearly ten years.