Best vpn client for mac os x

The downside is that while you can try and choose not to engage with online capitalism, you have precious few options when it comes to selecting an ISP. Keep in mind that ISPs routinely scan user traffic, and have the potential to see just about everything you do online.

Why would you use a VPN for Mac?

Last, and certainly not least, are spies and government agencies. The documents leaked by Edward Snowden have revealed the scale and complexity of the NSA's data-interception operation. While there have been efforts to institute firmer privacy protections in recent years, the genie is out of the bottle. All of the aforementioned snoops are platform agnostic, and that's why you need a VPN.

Best VPN for Mac OS X and Apple devices

The data inside the tunnel is inaccessible to everyone else, and whatever information an attacker extracts will be unreadable. That's the beauty of encryption. Even other users on the same network as you won't be able to see your web traffic, because it's safely encased within the tunnel. This is particularly useful because public Wi-Fi networks might not have the most robust security.


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Also, because tricking innocent devices into connecting with malicious Wi-Fi networks designed explicitly to steal your information is pretty easy to do. The encrypted tunnel also prevents your ISP from keeping tabs on your information. This can be useful from a privacy perspective, but it's also handy if you want to, say, prevent your BitTorrent traffic from being noticed. From the VPN server, your data exits onto the wider internet. Because your data appears to be coming from the VPN server, and not your computer, anyone watching will have a harder time discerning your true location.

In fact, if they were to try and capture your IP address, they'd receive the VPN server's address instead of yours. A VPN can also allow you to escape national censorship systems. When countries seek to prevent access to certain information or corners of the internet, they monitor the traffic flowing into and out of their digital borders.

Think of it like a wall, with guards standing by the gate inspecting all the travelers. The guards can't see within the tunnel, because of the VPN's encryption. You, on the other end of the tunnel, can browse the web as if you were in a country that doesn't have such restrictions.

Journalists and activists have used VPNs for years to protect their information and to access the uncensored web. It's a vitally important role, but we don't evaluate VPNs on their ability to bypass censorship , since our getting it wrong could have catastrophic consequences for our readers. Unfortunately, Netflix isn't too keen on VPNs because they can be used to spoof locations. For that reason, Netflix works very hard to block access to VPN users. There are, however, a handful of companies that have worked hard to ensure their customers can still access Netflix with a VPN without having to give up VPN protection.

You may find the same issues with Hulu and other streaming services, too. Keep in mind, however, that VPNs and streaming services are locked in a cat-and-mouse struggle, so a VPN that works today may be blocked tomorrow. There are two halves to a truly excellent VPN. First, there's the stuff you can see: the company's website, the price you have to pay to use the service, and the VPN client software.

But there's also the stuff you can't see. This latter half is everything from the number and distribution of VPN servers to the location of the VPN company to the underlying protocol to the company's privacy policy. When we review a VPN, we give particular weight to a service that has an excellent, easy-to-use client. There are, frankly, far too many security companies that give usability a backseat and focus entirely on technical perfection.

You might have the most powerful, most secure VPN ever, but it won't matter if the average person can't use it. Given the emphasis that Apple and Apple users give aesthetics, we tend to prefer a VPN that blends in well with its surroundings even more on the Mac. Note that while you can configure most computers, even Macs, to work directly with a VPN service, we recommend using the company's client software. This is far easier to set up and maintain than manual configuration, and gives you easy access to all the features you're paying for in a VPN service.

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.

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Best VPN for Mac Reviews and buying advice | Macworld

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.

Connect to L2TP over IPSec, PPTP, and Cisco IPSec VPNs

In particular, ProtonVPN is the only VPN we've reviewed that doesn't place limits on the amount of data you can use with a free subscription. 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 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. 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 are the policies it has in place to protect your privacy. 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. In the course of our testing we ask VPN providers what information they gather on user activity and whether they sell that information.

How to setup VPN (MacOS/OS X) (100% FREE FOR LIFE)

Read our full review of CyberGhost. For each VPN service we review, we conduct tests at three different times of the day: morning, afternoon, and evening, using Ookla Speedtest.

These tests are conducted to servers located in North America, the UK, Europe, Oceana, and Asia over an ethernet connection with a service provision of Mbps. To test upload and download speeds, I closed down all background internet processes on my Mac, using TripMode. The only traffic on my system able to upload or download any data was Ookla. I used this setup to ensure that the numbers that Ookla produced were not stymied by anything else that my computer may have been doing at the time.

The speeds Ookla captured were then averaged, providing us with a final numeric score. If you're looking for a basic VPN for web-browsing, Opera will more than do the trick. Best for streamers. Image: Private Internet access. PIA PIA's VPN offers a hassle-free way for streamers to control their activity through a dropdown menu and get around any geographical restrictions while binging. Once you've installed PIA, you control everything from a dropdown menu in the Mac menu bar.

With more than 3, servers in 28 countries, PIA offers a sizable number of countries and regions to set as your location of choice, making it ideal for streamers trying to get around geographic restrictions. It's also one of the easiest VPNs to use: once you've connected to the VPN, there are no other settings or menus to muck around with unless you feel like diving into the service's advanced security features.

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If you do, you'll find controls that will help you lock down PIA's already good security settings even further. Download PIA here. Best for customization. Image: Pure vpn. Pure VPN is unique in comparison to other services, in that it optimizes your connection based on what "mode" you want to use. It offers modes for streaming, "internet freedom," privacy, file-sharing, and dedicated IP.

Some might find this too limiting — why should you have to choose between a fast streaming connection and privacy — but all your activity is kept private no matter what mode you're in. In addition, the service has other features most people expect from VPN and the ability to easily change your location from a list of dozens of countries.

It also has built-in protections against pesky malware, viruses, and ads. Pure also offers extensions for Chrome and other browsers, which let you control your connection directly from your browser.