Most popular VPN providers produce native apps for Mac OS X, and this is by far the easiest way to get online if you’re new to VPNs. For the purpose of this guide we’re using ExpressVPN, but the majority of the steps we show here will apply to all providers.
Before you start, it’s a good idea to check that you have the latest version of OS installed (you can find this out in the Software Update section of your Settings app). Once you’ve down this simply download the app, and then follow the provider’s instructions to get logged on. Here’s a demonstration of how it’s done:
- Log on to ExpressVPN’s website and download the Mac installer.
- Double-click the installer package to begin the installation process. If you see a dialog like this, click Continue.
- Click Continue again to start the installer.
- If you want to change the install location, now’s your chance. Otherwise, click Install, and enter your password to confirm when prompted.
- When the installation completes, you can move the installer file to the Trash.
- ExpressVPN opens automatically. Click Sign in to continue, assuming you’ve already got your account set up.
At this point, you’ll be prompted for an activation code. You’ll find this in your account area on the ExpressVPN website. It’s on the page you see as soon as you sign in, right underneath the green Set Up ExpressVPN button.
Remember: your activation code is unique, so don’t share it with anyone else or send it via an unsecure channel like email.
To pick up the installation:
- Copy your activation code into the ExpressVPN app, then click Sign in.
- Click Allow if you’d like ExpressVPN to open when you boot up your Mac.
- Click Allow if you’re comfortable sharing anonymous data about your connection. If you click Don’t Allow, your information won’t be shared.
The installation process is now complete, and ExpressVPN opens, ready for you to initiate a connection.
One of the benefits of using the ExpressVPN app is the choice of server locations. With the other installation methods here, you’d have to install each of these manually, but the app has them all set up and ready to go.
Of course, if you don’t need a server in a particular location, it’s best to use the Smart Location, which is the best server available for your connection at that time.