Best Free VPN’s For Mac

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

November 1, 2020

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There are a few ways that some supposedly “free” VPN providers can take advantage of you. After all, you have to wonder why they are offering their service free of charge – what do they get out of the exchange?

I am not saying that all free VPNs are dodgy, but there are a few things that you should watch out for.

Choosing a free package or free trial from a reputable provider gives you peace of mind that you will be safe.

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How a FREE VPN Can Be a Bad Idea

Some free VPN services are worse than no VPN. They can inject malware, infect your machine with viruses and sell your data. Which is exactly the kind of stuff you are looking to get away from by using a VPN. Other issues with free services can be related to the speed and quality of software. 

The good news is that there are quite a few reputable VPN providers that offer their service for free. Often that means a cap on the amount of data that you can transfer or other restrictions – so it pays to look around. 

To save you hours of searching for free mac VPNs that are the real deal, I’ve put together a list of 10 of the very best free VPNs for mac that you can get started with today. 

You can get both 100% free VPNs and also free trials/ money-back guarantees from high-quality VPN providers. I’ll list both so that you can decide what free mac VPN offering is best suited for you.

Are There 100% FREE Mac VPNs That Are Safe?

Thankfully, yes! There are a lot of great VPN providers who offer free trials or some sort of free service. Some reputable VPNs (like Tunnelbear) offer a forever free option that you can take advantage of. They justify this by only inviting you to upgrade when you need a more powerful VPN. Which is a pretty decent offering.

What FREE VPN Will You Choose For Your Mac?

When deciding what free VPN to choose for your mac it’s important to consider the following features:

  • Encryption – the level of security offered by the company will determine how well you’ll be protected online.
  • Customer Service – in the event that you have an issue, it’s important that the provider is available to resolve any issues.
  • Speed – performance is a big one, especially if you are looking to stream or do any heavy-duty online work.
  • Data Cap – this is the limit that the VPN might place on a free service, which makes it almost impossible to torrent or stream with a free service. 
  • Netflix – Unblocking Netflix content is a popular use of a VPN, so its good to know if this is an option with your chosen VPN 
  • Time Limit – is there a free trial or a money-back guarantee that will protect you so that you can maximise what you get for free? we’ll go over this for each provider
  • P2P/ torrenting – not all VPNs allow P2P/ torrenting, despite it being one of the major reasons people decide to use a VPN. 

Before we dive into the top 10 free VPN clients for macOS I’d like to disclose that the 100% free VPNs are not any good for much more than protecting you when you’re on public Wifi. The restrictions imposed on any decent VPN won’t allow you to do much of anything for free. You’ll need to pay if you want to stream or use the internet properly. 

That is why I’ve listed my top 3 forever free options and then the rest offer a free trial or moneyback guarantee so that you can try them risk-free. there is no point in listing VPNs that are dodgy, so I’ve made sure to only list the best of the best that you can take advantage of today and get optimal protection. 

Tunnel Bear Pros:

Tunnel Bear Cons:

1. TunnelBear (Forever FREE)

BEST FOR – Public Wifi or small tasks to protect with VPN

TunnelBear is one of the few reputable VPNs for mac that offer a “forever free” option. They are really fun, friendly and easy to use – making TunnelBear a great option for complete VPN beginners. Their app is great, you can set it to work as you like, this includes choosing from 20 international locations, deactivating, allowing your VPN to be always on and run in the background. 

TunnelBear offers military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and they also don’t store logs. With the free account, you’re limited to 500 MB of data transfer. This can be upgraded by tweeting about them – if you do this you’ll get another 1 GB. I love the fact that Tunnelbear doesn’t restrict the number of devices that you install their app on – making it a great option for families and small businesses.

Pros

  • Forever FREE
  • No logs
  • 20 locations
  • Unlimited connections
  • AES 256-bit encryption 

Cons

  • Restricted to 500GB/1MB

Does TunnelBear sound right for you?

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hide.me VPN Pros:

hide.me VPN Cons:

2. Hide.me (Forever Free)

BEST FOR – Light use/ public Wifi privacy

If you’re looking for a completely free option then Hide.me has a forever free plan. With this plan, you get access to servers in just 3 locations, which is pretty restricted. You can also use the subscription on just one device. I am also not entirely convinced with their “best effort bandwidth” offering. If you’re looking for a fast and free VPN then you’ll probably have to try a free trial or money-back guarantee. I suppose you can’t always have it all. 

Hide.me is good if you are looking for some protection for your mac book or iPhone when on a public Wifi network. But their free plan won’t stretch much further than that. Hide.me don’t keep any logs, which is great for your privacy and something that you should look for in a VPN. They are a fairly large VPN company, trusted by over 5 million members, with 115 servers across 23 countries.

Pros

  • Forever free
  • Trusted VPN
  • No logs
  • Kill switch
  • Easy to use app

Cons

  • Just 3 locations
  • Best Effort Bandwidth
  • 1 device

Does Hide.me sound right for you?

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Hotspot Shield Pros:

Hotspot Shield Cons:

3.Hotspot Shield (Forever FREE)

BEST FOR – Forever free US VPN

Hotspot Shield offers a completely free VPN solution for Mac users. The restrictions for the free account are that you can only access their US servers. If you want to access their other servers (all 3200+ of them) then you’ll need to upgrade to one of their paid subscriptions. You’re bandwidth and the amount of devices that you can use with your membership is also capped. Their apps are clean and easy to use. 

One downside to using the free service from Hotspot Shield is that it is ad-supported. Which is great if you don’t mind ads popping up when you are surfing the net. On the other hand, you’ll get military-grade encryption. If you decide to upgrade to their paid account, it is just $2.99 per month (with a 45-day money-back guarantee) and you’ll unlock all of their servers across 70 countries and be able to connect their tech support. You can’t speak to support on the free plan. 

Pros

  • Forever free
  • Large VPN provider
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy to use app
  • Military-grade encryption

Cons

  • US servers only
  • Ad-supported 

Does Hotspot Shield sound right for you?

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SurfEasy Pros:

SurfEasy Cons:

4. Private Tunnel (7-day FREE trial)

BEST FOR – Smaller VPN provider offering 2GB of data – free trial

If you are looking for a free VPN for your Mac then Private Tunnel could be a great option. However, they cap the amount of data that you use to 2GB on their free plan.  Private Tunnel is a smaller company with just 12 server locations across 9 countries. One of the major downsides of this offering is the fact that they are based in the US. This means that they are not as secure as other offshore VPN providers as they need to comply with the US legislations. They also keep logs. The encryption is also not the best from Private Tunnel. You get 128-bit AES-GCM encryption, which falls short of other providers.

Pros

  • 7-day free trial
  • Trusted by fortune 500 companies
  • Use OpenVPN
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons

  • 128-bit AES-GCM
  • US-based

Does Private Tunnel sound right for you?

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In Conclusion

All of the VPNs that I’ve listed are the best of the best. They offer you great security, protection and anonymity online. The top 3 are totally free, but they do impose hefty restrictions for the privilege. Depending on what you need your VPN for, the top options might work – but if you are into doing some serious streaming I’d always suggest giving one of the VPNs with a long moneyback guarantee a go.

That way if you don’t like them, then you’ve lost nothing. It’s a win-win situation.

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