Using a VPN to protect your Apple Mac is essential for privacy and security reasons – even if they are more resistant to viruses and hackers than Windows devices.
Maybe you’re not ready to commit to a VPN subscription yet, or you’d like to test out a few before you do, there are plenty of free VPNs with custom apps for MacOS.
We’ve reviewed loads of them, and have found some awful (and dangerous) ones out there to avoid. You won’t find any of those here, though – these are our top five picks to try before you buy.
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
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Our top free VPN recommendations have user-friendly, intuitive, and secure custom apps for MacBooks and iMacs.
We tested their speeds on local and international connections too, and they’re some of the fastest in their field.
Many free VPNs come with data caps, so we’ve chosen VPNs that allow you to do what you want online – within reason.
Most importantly, out top picks have minimal logging policies that put user privacy first. They come with extra security features like a VPN kill switch and leak protection too.
Each of our top picks come with a simple custom app for MacOS devices, meaning that all you need to do is download the software from the VPN’s website and log in.
Some of our recommendations provide OpenVPN configuration files so that you can set up the VPN manually. This allows you to install the VPN at router level in order to protect all internet-connected devices in your home.
Once it’s all set up, make sure to enable the VPN kill switch and leak protection if available. All that’s left to do is connect to your preferred server
If you need a little extra help setting up a VPN on your Mac, check out our guide How to Install a VPN on Your Mac.
If you’re not keen on manual config, you’ll need to get a VPN that offers a custom app for MacOS devices.
Make sure it’s easy to use and offers the security features for the level of privacy you need.
Loads of free VPNs – especially the ones that care about your privacy – put data caps on their service so that you’re able to test it out before purchasing the premium plan.
If you need a VPN for general browsing you won’t need a large data allowance, but if you’re a streaming fan or heavy torrenter you’ll need the biggest possible.
No one like buffering or snail-pace downloads, so the faster the VPN the better. Take a look at the Speed & Reliability sections of our independent VPN reviews to find out how each performed locally and internationally.
Popular streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer often block VPN traffic, so not all will allow you to watch your favorite shows.
Free VPNs are even trickier – more often than not, they aren’t reliable for streaming. Take a look at the Streaming & Torrenting sections of our reviews to find out if they work with your favorite services.
Your VPN is responsible for loads of your online data, so be sure to pick one that doesn’t keep detailed logs of what you do online.
Ideally, choose one that doesn’t collect your true IP address as this can be used to identify you. There are some zero-logs free VPNs out there, but more often than not they have to collect some data in order to monitor and maintain server performance.