Best Free VPN’s For Mac

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

July 23, 2020

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Keeping yourself protected online is becoming increasingly important. A simple search for “cybercrime” on Google will pull up hundreds of articles on the effects of cybercrime.

A VPN provides a secure tunnel to browse the internet through, keeping your activity away from prying eyes. While you can get some 100% free VPN services for your mac that might look good, they can often pose additional threats.

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. 

#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.

Visit Tunnelbear

Pros

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

Cons

  • Restricted to 500GB/1MB

#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.

Visit Hide.me

Pros

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

Cons

  • Just 3 locations
  • Best Effort Bandwidth
  • 1 device

#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. 

Visit Hotspotshield

Pros

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

 

Cons

  • US servers only
  • Ad-supported 

#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.

Visit Private Tunnel

Pros

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

Cons

  • 128-bit AES-GCM
  • US-based

#5 | IPVanish (7-day free trial)

BEST FOR – Free trial on a premium VPN provider

IPVanish offers a 7-day free trial. So you can get up and running with them for free. But after the trial then you’d need to opt-out or choose one of their paid deals. IPVanish works with Netflix and BBCiPlayer, which is nice. So you can use them to stream for free for 7 days – which is great if you just need to quickly binge watch a series or use a VPN for surfing the internet on public WiFi. 

IPVanish is available in over 60 countries, making them great for speed and also unlocking Netflix content in areas that licence content that you want to watch. They don’t set limits and allow P2P/ torrenting.  IPVanish also offer 24/7 customer service and are particularly popular with people who use Kodi and Fire TV Stick.

Visit IPvanish

Pros

  • 7-day free trial
  • Supports Netflix
  • Supports P2P/ torrenting
  • 60 Countries
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Not forever free

#6 | CyberGhost (45-day moneyback guarantee)

BEST FOR – Try out one of the biggest high-performance VPNs

CyberGhost is an all in one VPN solution for your mac or apple device. The offer military-grade encryption to keep your data safe as well as a built-in adblocker. You can try CyberGhost for 45 days and if you’re not 100% happy then they’ll give you your money back. That doesn’t make them free exactly, but you can try them risk-free for 45 days. 

CyberGhost is one of the largest and most respected VPNs. They don’t impose any data caps and they allow P2P and torrenting. You can unblock Netflix and take advantage of the fact that they have an enormous network of servers in 90 countries. This makes them fast and a great choice for using the internet as though you are in a wide variety of locations.

Visit Cyberghost

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support
  • 90 countries
  • Supports Netflix
  • P2P/ torrenting allowed
  • Blazingly fast

Cons

  • No forever free plan

#7 | Express VPN (30-day moneyback guarantee)

BEST FOR – Streaming and end-to-end online privacy

If you’re looking for a free VPN for your iPad, Macbook or iPhone – look no further than ExpressVPN. They are one of the biggest and best VPNs around. You get a free app with your subscription that is easy to install on your Apple devices. ExpressVPN is more of a premium free option, as they are not truly a 100% free mac VPN. Rather you can try them for 30 days and if you don’t like them then you can duck out and get your money back. They allow streaming on Netflix, and just about every feature you’d want from a VPN. for example they don’t pose any bandwidth limits and are there for you 24/7 should you get stuck. 

ExpressVPN has a massive network of over 3000 servers in 94 locations all around the world. That makes them a great option for speed and streaming. Because ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, you get added offshore protection. They don’t keep any logs either, which is ideal for your privacy. Although not 100% free – you can try Express VPN risk-free and get your money back within 30 days, no questions asked.

Visit ExpressVPN

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
  • Easy to use apps
  • 3000+ servers
  • Great privacy
  • Military-grade encryption

Cons

  • No free trial

#8 | NordVPN (30-day moneyback guarantee)

BEST FOR – High-performance premium VPN

If you’re looking for a free solution but you are not willing to compromise, then why not try NordVPN? They are one of the most popular names in the industry now, and for good reason. They currently offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Not free – but certainly risk-free. NordVPN doesn’t restrict your data and they allow P2P/ torrenting. They have servers in over 60 countries, which makes them a great option for those looking to unblock Netflix content in other regions. 

NordVPN offers 24/7 customer support via email and live chat should you require any assistance. The security features with NordVPN are pretty tight, they offer military-grade encryption and an automatic kill switch, which is required to prevent leaks when logging off. NordVPN doesn’t keep logs and they also offer double encryption, making them one of the most secure VPNs around. 

Visit NordVPN

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Double Encryption
  • Trusted VPN Provider
  • 60 countries
  • Support P2P/ torrenting
  • Unblocks Netflix

Cons

  • No free trial

#9 | Surfshark (30-day moneyback guarantee)

BEST FOR – VPN Beginners/ streaming

Another VPN that doesn’t offer a FREE service, but they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee is Surfshark. They operate a network of servers in over 50 countries, which makes them a great option for using the internet as though you are in just about any location. They allow P2P and torrenting as well as unblocking Netflix content. Surfshark also has 24/7 live chat support. 

Surfshark is a great option for beginners. They have apps and extensions that you can use for your device including chrome and firefox extensions. When you are looking to upgrade, Surfshark is great – they are really cost-effective and friendly on the wallet.

Visit Surfshark

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Cheap packages
  • P2P/ Torrenting
  • Netflix
  • 50 countries
  • 24/7 live chat support

Cons

  • No free trial

#10 | PrivateVPN (30-day moneyback guarantee)

BEST FOR – Dedicated streaming servers

PrivateVPN allows you to try their service for 30 days. Meaning that you’ll get your money back if you are not happy, risk-free. PrivateVPN works with Netflix and BBCiPlayer and you can use their network of servers in over 55 countries all around the world. PrivateVPN has servers that they dedicate to streaming/ P2P which makes them a great choice if your looking for streaming and performance. PrivateVPN have strong privacy features and you can get in touch with them via live chat.

Visit PrivateVPN

Pros

  • 55 countries
  • Netflix supported
  • P2P/ torrenting allowed
  • Dedicated streaming servers
  • Strong Privacy

Cons

  • No free trial

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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