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The best VPNs for your MacBook

Take care of your most precious property.
The best VPNs for your MacBook

Best For Security
NordVPN is a powerful service that protects your data with a wide range of advanced security features.
Pros & Cons
The Good
Numerous privacy features App is easy to use Strong network of servers Supports payment from multiple cryptocurrencies
The Bad
Malware blocking isn't effective
The Bottomline
Keep your data safe when streaming porn with a VPN that prioritises online security.
Best For Beginners
This intuitive VPN offers a large server network, easy-to-use interface, and some of the latest tech.
Pros & Cons
The Good
Massive network of servers Unblocks most streaming services Supports cryptocurrency payments
The Bad
Lacking some of the most advanced privacy features
The Bottomline
A beginner-friendly service that's easy to use and versatile.
Best For Server Network
Hunting around for a secure server is never fun, so Private Internet Access's massive network really simplifies things.
Pros & Cons
The Good
Large and geographically diverse server network 10 simultaneous connections Improved interface
The Bad
No free version
The Bottomline
A robust VPN with advanced network and privacy tools for porn.
Best For Beginners
PureVPN is a solid service that gives users both advanced and easy-to-use features.
Pros & Cons
The Good
Ad blocking Easy-to-use interface Seven-day free trial
The Bad
Cannot purchase additional simultaneous connections
The Bottomline
PureVPN is a solid VPN that offers users both advanced and easy-to-use features.
Best VPN for beginners
Pros & Cons
The Good
Transparent, easily understandable privacy policy Regular security audits Decent free version for occasional use Simple, adorable interface is very beginner-friendly Kill switch ("VigilantBear") Unlimited simultaneous connections with paid plan
The Bad
No money-back guarantee or on-demand support Not available on a ton of platforms No multi-hop connections Small server network compared to its competition Split tunneling ("SplitBear") inconsistent across platforms Can't reliably unblock international streaming content
The Bottomline

This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the UK audience.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to start using a VPN. These security tools offer many benefits, including bypassing geographic restrictions for unlocking shows and films on popular streaming sites.

VPNs can also help to protect your privacy and make your browsing more secure (although it's always a good idea to vet your VPN provider's claims carefully — some do a better a job than others). VPNs can encrypt your traffic and provide protection against things like hackers, viruses, and malware. All of this is essential if you own a MacBook, because you don't want online threats attacking your most precious device.

What is a VPN?

Without getting too deep in the weeds — we've already done so here — a virtual private network, or VPN, is an encrypted connection between your Mac and a private, remote server.

In the most basic sense, it's a service that keeps you totally incognito on the web by masking your online activities and making it seem like your connection's coming from somewhere you aren't. All of your activity is untraceable and secure because everything passes through an encrypted tunnel. Nobody can see into the tunnel, and everything inside is protected against online threats.

Do you need a VPN with a Mac?

All Macs and MacBooks come with built-in antivirus software that blocks and removes malware, and any apps you download from the internet are swabbed for malicious code by Apple's Gatekeeper tool. Furthermore, all of the data that lives on your macOS device's hard drive is secured with FileVault 2, a full-disk program featuring?XTS-AES-128 encryption and a 256-bit key.

It's when any of your precious data ventures outside the localised protection of your Mac that things start to get dicey —?and that happens every single time you connect to the web. Your Internet Service Provider, or ISP, tracks your every click to compile browsing logs they (sometimes) sell to marketers, who are champing at the bit to use your data for targeted ads. That information can also wind up in the hands of certain government agencies if your ISP is served with a subpoena.

Connecting to a public WiFi network is especially risky since you don't know who set it up or who else is using it; wannabe hackers can easily hop on to intercept your internet traffic in some sort of "man-in-the-middle" attack when you're browsing the web at a café, library, or airport.

A VPN takes care of those privacy issues and then some: With your IRL location hidden, you can skirt geo-restrictions that streaming services like Netflix have put in place and bypass government censorship in places like China. Online anonymity also means you're free to dabble in torrenting/peer-to-peer file-sharing —?not that we condone the illegal kind.

What should you consider before subscribing to a VPN?

There are a lot of VPNs out there offering similar packages. This makes it difficult to select a service that works for you. To make your life a little easier, we have highlighted a selection of the most important things to consider before subscribing:

Connection speed: Whether you're looking to use a VPN for online security or streaming, this is massively important. Using a VPN is likely to result in a drop in your connection speed, but you shouldn't accept anything significant.

Encryption: VPNs are primarily designed to provide protection for your data, so encryption is important. The best VPNs will make sure all your data is unreadable and untraceable.

Number of connections: The best VPNs offer multiple simultaneous connections, so you can stay protected on all your devices at the same time.

Privacy policy: Your VPN of choice should be very clear about how they handle, store, and use your data. These practices should be laid out in a privacy policy, and if anything isn't obvious, you should look elsewhere.

Server network: The very best VPNs provide access to literally thousands of servers located all around the world. If you're looking for a stable and speedy connection for streaming, shopping, or browsing, you need options.

You should also keep in mind things like bandwidth limits, apps for certain operating systems, and customer support, but this is a good place to start.

Should you use free VPNs?

Yes, there are plenty of free versions and trials of popular VPNs out there. It may be possible to get full access to everything you get with a premium plan, but as with most things in life, you get what you pay for with VPNs.

There is almost always a catch with free versions, and it's usually in the form of limited data usage. These plans will work fine if you're just an occasional user, but if you're going to be streaming or downloading, this isn't going to work. Free trials tend to come with everything you get in a paid plan, but this isn't a long-term solution.

We're sorry to say, but to gain access to advanced security and streaming features without limitations on usage, you need to pay up. Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap plans on offer from the most popular providers.

What is the best VPN for your Mac?

There's no specialised VPN for Macs, but almost all major VPN providers maintain support for macOS apps. So, with lots of options, you'll want to think carefully about which features matter most to you: Do you want a VPN with a huge server network and split tunneling for streaming and gaming? Will you feel more confident browsing with a kill switch or multihop (double VPN)? Do you need support for a bunch of connections based on the size of your household? Do you have the budget for add-ons like a dedicated IP?

Choosing the right VPN for your MacBook can be a daunting task. Fortunately for you, we have highlighted a selection of your best options. This list includes popular names like PureVPN, NordVPN, and TunnelBear.

These are the best VPNs for your Mac in 2023.

NordVPN

Best For Security

The good
Numerous privacy features App is easy to use Strong network of servers Supports payment from multiple cryptocurrencies
The Bad
Malware blocking isn't effective
The Bottomline
Keep your data safe when streaming porn with a VPN that prioritises online security.
Specs
  • Monthly: ?10.39/month
  • One-year plan: ?3.99/month
  • Two-year plan: ?3.19/month

Online security is something to take seriously if you're regularly using porn sites. NordVPN is a service that prioritises security, with a large and diverse network of servers and specialised features that safeguard your data when you're navigating the online world. If you value security above everything else, you should probably pick NordVPN.

Subscribers get access to over 5,500 servers located all over the world, with the option of connecting six devices at the same time. NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that lets you route your traffic between its own secure VPN servers and the Tor network, which creates another layer of security when you're visiting adult sites.

NordVPN doesn't offer the connection speeds of ExpressVPN or the server network of Private Internet Access, but you can rest assured that your data is protected with this secure service.

CyberGhost VPN

Best For Beginners

The good
Massive network of servers Unblocks most streaming services Supports cryptocurrency payments
The Bad
Lacking some of the most advanced privacy features
The Bottomline
A beginner-friendly service that's easy to use and versatile.
Specs
  • Monthly: ?10.89/month
  • Six-month plan: ?6.19/month
  • Two-year plan: ?1.92/month

CyberGhost VPN is a strong choice for beginners due to its attractive and easy-to-use interface. VPNs can be overwhelming, but CyberGhost VPN keeps things nice and simple.

Some of the most advanced privacy features are lacking, but CyberGhost VPN does not store information on your IP address, DNS queries, browsing history, or session duration, which is particularly reassuring when you're navigating porn sites. Users also get access to a massive network of servers, split tunnelling, multiple simultaneous connections, and so much more. Connection speeds can be inconsistent, but you can't have absolutely everything.

Private Internet Access

Best For Server Network

The good
Large and geographically diverse server network 10 simultaneous connections Improved interface
The Bad
No free version
The Bottomline
A robust VPN with advanced network and privacy tools for porn.
Specs
  • Monthly: ?10.99/month
  • Six-month plan: ?5.39/month
  • Two-year plan: ?1.69/month

Private Internet Access is an impressive service that offers powerful levels of encryption and a massive server network. Both of these things are pretty crucial when navigating popular porn sites.

Users can connect 10 devices simultaneous with the same account, meaning it's a great option for large households or anyone who streams porn on multiple devices. Users also get a dedicated IP address feature and plenty of customisation options, making Private Internet Access one of the most versatile options for secure streaming of porn.

All of the above is packaged in an easy-to-use and intuitive interface, which will be appealing to complete VPN beginners.

PureVPN

Best For Beginners

The good
Ad blocking Easy-to-use interface Seven-day free trial
The Bad
Cannot purchase additional simultaneous connections
The Bottomline
PureVPN is a solid VPN that offers users both advanced and easy-to-use features.
Specs
  • Monthly: ?8.37/month
  • One-year plan: ?2.86/month
  • Two-year plan: ?1.75/month

Read our full review of PureVPN.?

PureVPN users get apps for every operating system, enterprise-grade security, 10-multi logins, and access to over 6,000 secure servers in 140 countries. PureVPN also has a strong record for good customer support.

TunnelBear

Best VPN for beginners

The good
Transparent, easily understandable privacy policy Regular security audits Decent free version for occasional use Simple, adorable interface is very beginner-friendly Kill switch ("VigilantBear") Unlimited simultaneous connections with paid plan
The Bad
No money-back guarantee or on-demand support Not available on a ton of platforms No multi-hop connections Small server network compared to its competition Split tunneling ("SplitBear") inconsistent across platforms Can't reliably unblock international streaming content
The Bottomline
Specs
  • TunnelBear Free: Free!
  • TunnelBear Teams: $5.75/user per month
  • TunnelBear Unlimited: $9.99/month, $59.88/year, or $120/3 years

Read Mashable's full review of TunnelBear.

Who it's for:

TunnelBear is a no-brainer for those who didn't know what "VPN" stood for prior to reading this guide. Its free tier can also fit the bill if you only need a VPN for short-term, occasional use.

Why we picked this:

TunnelBear democratizes the VPN experience, eschewing advanced features, a large server network, and convoluted jargon in favor of a cute, basic app and a straightforward privacy policy. It'll underwhelm power users, but VPN beginners will find it refreshingly approachable.

TunnelBear also deserves props for its commitment to transparency, having been the first consumer VPN to publish a third-party audit of its infrastructure and technologies back in 2017. (It's done one every year since.) Notably, it gives users the option of signing up for a restricted but workable free tier with 2GB of data per month; a paid Unlimited plan unlocks unlimited bandwidth, unlimited simultaneous connections, and city-level server selection.

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