What Are The Best Free VPNs For Mac In 2024?

What Are The Best Free VPNs For Mac

Treading cautiously with free VPNs is wise. Some have been caught red-handed, secretly taking your info and trading it with governments or other groups. On the other hand, top-tier VPNs give you solid security, making your online experience more private.

When you look at free MacBook VPNs, many don’t spend much on updating their apps. As a result, you get outdated features. It is clear they want to push you towards paying. These free versions have tight data limits, fewer server choices, slower connection speeds, and other downsides.

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. Not every free VPN for macOS is out to get you. We have done our homework and picked out the best free VPNs for Macs in 2023. These choices consider safety, user-friendliness, special features, and more. Dive in and pick the best one for you!

Is Grabbing A Free VPN For Your MacBook A Smart Move?

Is Grabbing A Free VPN For Your MacBook A Smart Move

On the surface, a free VPN for your MacBook seems like a nice bonus for safety. However, there is more beneath the surface. In short, a free VPN for Mac works if you are okay with basic protection and not expecting many added features.

If you desire strong safety, many features, and a true online hidden identity, then paying for a VPN offers a complete deal. Many also let you test them out with free trials or promise your money back if unsatisfied.

To put it simply, free VPNs have downsides. They can be slow, have limited data, be too crowded, or even risk your private information. So, we suggest choosing a trusted VPN to keep your MacBook safe and offer a smooth online experience.

What Are The Best Free VPNs For Mac In 2023?

Here are some of the best free VPNs for Mac in 2023:

  • Express VPN
  • CyberGhost
  • ProtonVPN
  • Hotspot Shield

Express VPN

ExpressVPN is a top contender for macOS enthusiasts and they stand by their service with a 30-day refund policy. This means you can test drive it and if it’s not your cup of tea, claim a refund. However, we believe you will appreciate its prowess, especially when streaming favorites like Netflix and Disney+. It is equally adept at ensuring swift downloads and seamless online gaming.

A standout feature of ExpressVPN is its commitment to user privacy. Their unique TrustedServer technology ensures user data is wiped clean every time their servers reboot. This approach has been vetted by independent entities for its integrity. Additionally, they employ measures to shield both your past and upcoming online activities.

Mac users will also appreciate ExpressVPN’s split-tunneling capability. This tool lets you decide which applications route through the VPN and which bypasses it. Currently, this is available up to macOS 10.15. But they are gearing up to extend it to macOS 11.

In our own trials, ExpressVPN dazzled with its speed on my Mac. Whether it is binging on Netflix in crisp HD or diving into online games. The experience was stress-free. The application’s user interface is a breeze, complete with a one-click feature to depend on the quickest server. Also, the “Shortcuts” function is also on hand, enabling swift access to your frequently visited sites post-connection.

For those using the latest Mac models – there is more good news: ExpressVPN is optimized for Apple’s cutting-edge M1 and M2 chips. This ensures a fluid operation and might even extend your device’s battery longevity.

When it comes to subscription options, ExpressVPN presents a gamut. With our exclusive offer, it can be yours for a mere $6.67 monthly. Occasionally, they lessen the deal. It’s a three-bonus month for newcomers!

CyberGhost

CyberGhost
While CyberGhost VPN isn’t entirely free, it offers a 24-hour free trial without the need for credit card information. Plus, if you decide to go for one of their longer plans, they give you a comforting 45-day money-back guarantee, ensuring you have plenty of time to check if it’s the right fit.

One of CyberGhost’s standout features is its ability to stream smoothly. With over 100 specialized servers that frequently switch their IP addresses to stay under the radar, it boasts compatibility with more than 50 streaming giants including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. During my trials, CyberGhost efficiently accessed a mix of well-known and niche streaming platforms.

Using CyberGhost on a Mac is a breeze. The installation process is quick and what is handy is that most of its safety features come turned on from the get-go. And for those who like to tweak settings. Then each option has a brief yet clear description which is a neat touch. Importantly, for the latest Mac users, the VPN is primed to work seamlessly with the latest M1/M2 chips.

Speed-wise, while CyberGhost was swift in our tests, it left behind ExpressVPN. Web pages popped up instantly and we faced negligible buffering while trying out HD and 4K videos, though a few 4K clips did have a slow start.

On the security front, CyberGhost doesn’t skimp. Features like RAM-only servers, sturdy leak prevention, and perfect forward secrecy are all in place. An added bonus is the Content Blocker which shields users from harmful websites. But do note that split-tunneling and a sought-after feature is absent on macOS.

A feature we found particularly handy is the ‘Smart Rules’. This lets users define how the VPN behaves, like auto-connecting to a favored server or launching a specific app when you boot up your device.

For those conscious of pricing, CyberGhost VPN won’t break the bank with packages starting at a wallet-friendly $2.11 a month.

ProtonVPN

Proton VPN stands out among its clients as it doesn’t cap data for free users. Unlike most other VPNs that set a monthly data limit. Proton VPN lets you browse without any restrictions on data usage.

During our tests, our browsing experience on Safari was irritating. The VPN Accelerator feature, unique to Proton VPN, noticeably improved my connection speeds. It ensured smooth streaming of HD videos on YouTube without any problems. However, we would have preferred if the VPN Accelerator functioned without me having to enable it manually.

On its free plan, Proton VPN allows access to servers across three countries, namely the US (spanning cities like New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles), Japan, and the Netherlands. A cool feature is the server load display, helping users sidestep congested servers to get optimal speeds. But, when compared side-by-side both ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN edge out with superior speeds.

Proton VPN also provides dedicated servers for Deutsche Welle (DW) content, facilitating unhindered access to global news even in regions with strict digital censorship. These servers can be easily located in the Proton VPN app by typing “news” in the search.

The free plan assures robust privacy. The open-source nature of its macOS app allows anyone to scrutinize its code, ensuring transparency. Moreover, both the app and the no-logs policy have been independently verified for security.

In terms of protection, Proton VPN doesn’t skimp even on its free version, offering full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and comprehensive disk encryption. This guarantees data safety even if a breach occurs.

The macOS app is a breeze to use. Every feature and setting comes with easy-to-understand explanations. It’s also optimized for the newest Apple Silicon M1 and M2 chips. A unique Profiles feature lets users define their connection preferences, like auto-connecting to a preferred server location. But, like many others, Proton VPN’s macOS app lacks the split-tunneling feature.

However, there are a few limitations. The free version doesn’t support streaming or torrenting. To enjoy Netflix and download files via P2P, you will need to move to a paid plan. The free tier also limits users to a single device.

Starting at $4.99 a month, Proton VPN’s premium plans offer added features like P2P support, streaming compatibility, an ad-blocker, Tor over VPN, and up to 10 simultaneous connections. Plus, all their premium packages come with a flexible 30-day money-back promise.

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is a user-friendly option, particularly for VPN newcomers. Its Mac app is very easy with a well-laid-out design. It makes navigation a breeze. Like Proton VPN, it doesn’t put a cap on data usage.

During my usage, Hotspot Shield showcased decent speed performance on its free version. Websites on Safari loaded in a flash and HD videos on YouTube played almost immediately without hitches, even when skipping through them. Although its speed was commendable, Proton VPN’s free version proved a tad quicker and ExpressVPN was even more swift.

On the security front, Hotspot Shield incorporates its unique Hydra protocol, ensuring perfect forward secrecy. The macOS app also boasts DNS leak protection. However, a potential privacy concern is its logging of IP addresses on the free plan. One notable advantage is the “Notify on public WiFi” feature which alerts you upon connection to potentially unsafe networks.

Yet, the free plan does have its downsides. The customer support team couldn’t provide clarity on compatibility with Macs using Apple Silicon chips. Moreover, server choices are limited to three countries (US, UK, Singapore), device connectivity is restricted to one, speed is capped at 2 Mbps, and there’s no support for streaming or torrenting.

On the plus side, Mac users get the split-tunneling feature, allowing you to decide which apps use the VPN and which websites (though not apps) to bypass it. However, remember this is solely available when using the Hydra protocol which is their top recommendation anyway.

For those seeking more, Hotspot Shield’s premium plans start at a reasonable $2.99 a month. These plans ditch IP logging, offer access to a broader range of servers, enable streaming, permit up to 10 devices simultaneously, and come with the assurance of a 45-day money-back guarantee.

How to Pick the Best Free VPN for Mac?

How to Pick the Best Free VPN for Mac

We know that picking up a free VPN can be very hectic sometimes. This is why we are here to guide you on how you can pick the best free VPN for Mac. Here is the guidance:

  • Go for Good Free Plans
  • Mac App is a Must
  • Safety First
  • Speed Matters
  • Keep It Simple
  • Check Out Paid Plans

Go for Good Free Plans

Most free VPNs, including free VPNs for Mac, have some limits. Pick ones without ads, have many server options, and allow a lot of or unlimited data. Among these, free VPNs for Mac like Proton VPN’s free version are ideal choices.

Mac App is a Must

The VPN should have a special app for Mac. It is best if it works with the newest macOS versions, like macOS 11. Many good ones also work with Apple’s new M1/M2 chips.

Safety First

Your data should always be safe, especially when using free VPNs for Mac. Choose VPNs with strong encryption, a promise not to store your data, safety switches to keep data from leaking, and protection from leaks. It’s crucial to pick reliable free VPNs for Mac that prioritize these security features.

Speed Matters

There are VPNs that will slow you down for a bit. There are some that are faster than others. We think that free VPNs, even some of the best free VPNs for Mac, are usually slower because many people are using them at once. But if you get the best one, like the best free VPNs for Mac, then you can get decent speed for most of the online stuff.

Keep It Simple

Your VPN app should always be easy to get. And you can also set up your Mac easily with it. Using simple and easy will make your work much easier.

Check Out Paid Plans

The best VPN is one that will give you a paid option that is worth the money. These paid plans should offer more features such as more server options, streaming support, extra safety features, and no limits on data.

You should remember some of these tips. Because of it, you can find the best free VPNs for Mac in 2023.

What Are The Risks That Come With Using Free VPN For Mac?

What Are The Risks That Come With Using Free VPN For Mac

The following risks that come with using a free VPN For Mac are:

  • Security Gaps
  • Data Sales
  • Lagging Speeds
  • Blocked IPs
  • Streaming Troubles

Security Gaps

Even though MacOS has top-notch security, using a free VPN, even some of the best free VPNs for Mac, can put you in danger. Without the right VPN, your data might get exposed, leaving you more vulnerable than if you hadn’t used one of the best free VPNs for Mac.

Data Sales

Some free VPNs, including even some of the best free VPNs for Mac, might track what you do online (like shopping or the sites you browse) and then sell this info to others. You can only trust that your data stays private if you use high-quality VPNs, especially the best free VPNs for Mac, that promise not to keep logs and have clear privacy rules.

Lagging Speeds

A lot of free VPNs only have a few servers, which get busy. This makes things slow. On the other hand, top-tier VPNs for Mac have tons of servers, spreading out users and giving better speeds.

Blocked IPs

Free VPNs often reuse IP addresses. Many websites have blocked these, so you’ll get lots of security warnings and CAPTCHAs, which can be annoying.

Streaming Troubles

If you like watching Netflix or other streaming sites, then many free VPNs, even those advertised as free unlimited VPN for Mac, won’t help. They often can’t get past the blocks these sites have. But premium ones like ExpressVPN, or a quality free unlimited VPN for Mac that might be available, are made to let you stream easily and safely.

In short, if you want a smooth and safe online experience on your Mac, a premium VPN like ExpressVPN is the way to go. It’s fast, private, and reliable, ensuring your online safety.

Conclusion

In the end, the value of a free Mac VPN really depends on what you are looking for. Generally, totally free VPNs offer only basic services. If you’re specifically hunting for a free unlimited VPN for Mac, you might find limitations in those that are totally free. While you can use a free VPN as a short-term fix, it’s usually limited. Even for brief use, choosing a top-tier VPN, possibly one that offers a free unlimited VPN for Mac, and that comes with a 30-day refund policy is a smarter move.

This way, you get top-notch security, access to your favorite streaming platforms, and a chance to explore content worldwide. We hope that we have cleared up all your confusion. However, if you still have any questions then feel free to ask us.

Customer Reviews for NordVPN: In-Depth Review, Tests, and Stats

IR Irina

What Are The Best Free VPNs For Mac In [year]?
Verified
Connection issues with MLB.TV
So I had some connection issues on my iOS device (iPad) with MLB.TV streaming, and representative named Garfield SOLVED my unique problem that I had spent hours researching and tackling with no luck before today! Garfield was extremely patient, personable, and very knowledgeable. Through multiple approaches and problem-solving steps, he created a solutuon that worked. Way to go, and definitely a returning NordVPN customer here. Thank you, Garfield.
Date of Experience:
May, 2 2023
CH Christina

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Verified
Prompt customer service
My subscription automatically renewed and a payment was taken, which I didn’t want as I haven’t been using the service. I contacted the company and received a prompt and efficient response where my subscription was reversed and the payment was returned. If only every company was so easy to contact and communicate with!
Date of Experience:
May, 6 2023
MW Michael White

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Verified
I would highly recommend
Excellent service and easy to use to protect your privacy. I have NVPN on my laptop, iPhone and fire stick, great value for money.
Date of Experience:
December, 15 2023
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