Best Free VPN For Mac in 2023
When it comes to internet security, it is so important that your personal data and information is protected. While internet security will protect you from hackers and such to a certain extent, one of the best ways to keep your information secure is through using a VPN.
The majority of VPN servers are paid for, however, if you are on a budget, there are a handful that are free. While some of the more well known VPNs offer free trials, such as ExpressVPN and NordVPN, they are a paid for service after this.
Given this, in this article, we have only included VPNs that offer completely free options. All the VPNs included are compatible with Mac and are the best options available. We have reviewed them in much detail, so you do not have to.
Products at a Glance
How we picked
When looking at the different free VPN options to include, we do our best to carry out as much research as possible so we can choose the best options, with the best features. We also make sure that the VPNs are safe and secure to use before recommending them. This is because keeping your information safe is paramount.
The options we have included are the best available to download. Our goal was to find VPN services that are reliable and trustworthy. After carrying out our research we would certainly be happy to recommend considering any of the options below, but why not see for yourself and then you can make up your own mind?
Best Free VPN For Mac in 2023
- Protection from malware - This provides you with extra peace of mind that you will be safe while browsing online
- Access to streaming sites - This is great if you want to use the VPN for streaming
- No logs - This keeps your information private and secure
- Ads - With the free option, there are Ads which may be frustrating for some users
Our top pick for best free VPN for Mac is Hotspot Shield. While Hotspot Shield provides a free service, they do offer a paid for service that will give you access to a wider range of features too.
Hotspot Shield is a very popular VPN, and is trusted by many. Given this, you know it will be a safe and secure option. While Hotspot shield is a VPN, it also stops users from unintentionally downloading and accessing malware, which is a useful feature. This will provide you with that extra layer of protection and give you peace of mind.
The software is easy to navigate, and it allows you the option of connecting to different servers across the world, such as Japan and Ireland. It protects your location from being accessed, and it does not log your internet history.
It features a one-click solution, though it will display Ads. This can be a little frustrating, but they are not overpowering. It allows you access to popular streaming sites, and provides some of the fastest VPN speeds.
- Unlimited data - This is rare for a free VPN and a great feature
- No logs - This will help to keep your data safe and secure
- Trustworthy - They are a popular VPN provider and are trusted by many which will give you peace of mind while using
- No torrenting or streaming - While this may not be important to everyone, if you are planning to use the VPN for these purposes, ProtonVPN may not be the best option
This is another fantastic free VPN provider worth considering. As with Hotspot Shield, ProtonVPN does offer a paid for service if you enjoy the free service and are looking to upgrade in the future. While their free service offers great protection and features, it is limited slightly in comparison to the paid for VPN.
ProtonVPN can be used on one device, and they have a no logs policy to keep users information private and secure. What is great about ProtonVPN is that it does not have any advertisements while using, and it does not have any limits when it comes to the amount of data you use.
The free VPN speeds are not limited, and the company is protected by Swiss privacy laws that will keep your data secure. ProtonVPN does not support torrenting, and it only gives you access to three different countries – the US, the Netherlands, and Japan. As it does not support streaming, if you are looking for a VPN for this purpose, it may not be the best option for you. However, it is a trusted service that is used by many.
- Unlimited Data - This is a great feature that is not always available when using a free VPN service
- Integrated into the browser - This is useful because it means that you do not need to worry about downloading any extensions, it is already available to use
- No personal data logged - This means that all of your personal information will remain private and secure
- Only available with Opera Browser - While Opera VPN can be used with Mac, it can only be used with the Opera Browser, which you will need to download. This can be an issue if you prefer to use other browsers such as Safari and Chrome.
While Opera VPN may not be one of the most popular VPN options, it has some great features, and is certainly worth considering.
What is useful about Opera VPN is that it is a completely free service. You do not have to worry about the VPN logging your details, or taking any payments. It is easy to download and use.
It provides an unlimited amount of data, which is not overly common with free VPNs. This is particularly useful. It protects you thoroughly while you are using it, and it allows you to choose from a number of different locations.
Opera VPN is integrated into the browser, however, you will need to download the Opera browser to use it. While this is easy to do, Opera VPN cannot be used with browsers such as Chrome or Safari, for example.
Overall, it is a worthwhile option that allows your data to remain secure. Opera VPN stops unwanted cookies from tracking your activity, and can be used in a private browser.
- Five Locations to choose from - This is a good number of options available for a free service
- No Ads - This means that your browsing will not be interrupted
- No logs - This keeps your information private and secure
- Limited Data - The data is capped to 10GB per month, which is not ideal if you are planning to use the VPN often
Hide.me offers both a free and a paid for service. While the free service is great, the paid for service allows you to have access to the full features without limitations.
Hide.me free service users are offered 10GB per month of free data. While it is not unlimited like the other three options featured above, 10GB is still a fair amount, especially if you are not planning to use the VPN too often.
In addition to the 10GB per month provided, there are five different locations available to choose from, which is a great amount for a free VPN. Hide.me is compatible with Mac, and it is an easy VPN to manage and use. It allows you to have one connection.
What is great about this VPN is that there are no ads that will interrupt your browsing. In addition to this, Hide.me does not keep a log of your data and activity. This is great because it means that your personal information is kept private and secure.
- 24-hour support - This is useful if you have any concerns
- Access to streaming services - This is great if you are using a VPN for this purpose
- Ad block - This will stop ads from interfering with your browsing
- Only 2GB of Data Without Email - If you do not want to use your email address, you will only receive 2GB of free data per month with Windscribe VPN
Windscribe VPN that does provide you with the option to choose the paid for version if you want to gain full access to the features. This VPN works well with Mac, and it is easy to use and navigate.
It does not hold a lot of your private information, but when it comes to the amount of data available to use, if you want access to 10GB per month, you will need to input your email. If you are not comfortable using your email, you will only have access to 2GB per month, which is a limited amount.
Your browsing activity is safe and encrypted with Windscribe, and it will block any unwanted ads. If you are looking for a VPN that will allow you access to streaming and entertainment, this is a great option.
Windscribe will prevent your information and history from being tracked. The company provides 24-hour live chat support should you have any questions or concerns.
Things to consider
Before you settle on a VPN, there are a few different aspects you will need to take into consideration.
What Is A VPN, And How Does It Work?
Before you download a VPN to your Mac, you should be aware of what a VPN is, and how it will benefit you. VPNs are useful to have on your Mac, and as the years progress, they are growing in popularity.
VPNs help to keep your information and internet activity safe and secure from prying eyes such as hackers, and businesses. It works by concealing your IP through virtual tunnels and servers. It encrypts your data and thus confuses those trying to access your information.
VPNs stop your activity and information from being traced. If you want your data to remain anonymous and as safe as possible, it is certainly worth considering a VPN.
All the VPNs we have included in this article are completely free to use and download. If you are looking for a VPN on a budget, these are fantastic options as you do not have to commit to a one off payment or plan.
This is especially useful if you are trying out a VPN for the first time, and you are not sure about whether it is the best option. The beauty of free VPNs is that you can try all the options we have chosen above to see which one is the best for you.
It is worth noting that while these options are free, some of them do offer a paid for service which provides you access to more features, such as Hotspot Shield. In addition to this, some of the more popular paid for VPN services such as NordVPN and Expressvpn do offer free trials of around 30 days too.
Bandwidth And Performance Speeds
The bandwidth and performance speeds of a VPN is important, especially if you are planning to use your VPN to stream or watch movies. The last thing you will want is for the VPN to affect the show or movies you are watching by buffering constantly or lagging while browsing the web.
The majority of free VPNs do provide good bandwidth and performance speeds overall, and they are unlikely to significantly slow down your Mac. However, with free VPNs, when compared to paid for services, the performance they provide is limited slightly.
Safety And Encryption
As we have already touched upon, the safety that the VPN provides is paramount. After all, you are choosing to use a VPN to protect your information and data. The last thing you will want is for your information to be leaked or hacked into.
You will want to choose a VPN that is trusted and reliable. All the VPNs we have chosen are well-known for their safety. Typically, VPNs will use IKEv2 and OpenVPN to ensure complete safety and anonymity, however, this may be limited when using a free VPN.
The VPN you use should encrypt your data to prevent and confuse hackers from accessing your personal information and data. A good VPN will have a wide range of servers across different countries and will connect you to the best server with each use. Some may also offer split tunneling.
What You Can Access
What you are planning to access using a VPN can be a deciding factor of which one you choose. For example, some will allow you access to more streaming sites from different companies than others. If you are looking to use the VPN for streaming, you will want to choose one that provides you access with the most options.
While all VPNs will conceal your IP address and locations, depending on the provider you choose, some will offer more additional services than others. With free VPNs, on the whole they typically do not offer as much access when compared to paid for services. This is why it is important to check the specifications before purchasing.
Ease Of Use
When choosing a VPN, you will want it to be easy to access and use. All the options we have featured are easy to navigate and are not complicated, which is important.
When you are using a VPN, there may be times when you run into problems with the service provided. Given this, you will want to look into whether there is customer support provided.
The majority of VPN services will have some form of customer support to help answer any questions or queries you may have. This support is typically available in different forms, such as live chat, phone call and emails. The majority of VPN services provide 24-hour live chat support.
While this is not something you necessarily need, it is useful to have if you do run into any issues or concerns with your chosen VPN.
Does Apple have a free VPN?
No, Apple does not have a free VPN built into Mac, and they have not added OpenVPN to their systems. However, even though Apple does not have their own type of VPN, they do allow you to use other types of VPN, like the ones we have mentioned.
While not all VPNs will work with Mac, all the ones featured in this article are free and compatible. These options are provided by third parties, but will become integrated.
Does Mac need VPN?
Technically, no, you do not need to use a VPN with Mac. You can choose to use your internet browser without using a VPN. However, if you do not use a VPN, even with internet security, you are more vulnerable to hackers accessing your information and stealing data.
If you want as much protection as possible when using the internet, we would definitely recommend downloading and using a VPN.
Is VPN legal?
Yes, using a VPN is legal. However, you will need to make sure that you are sticking to the legal guidelines of this. There are certain countries across the world and certain aspects of using a VPN that can be illegal.
Given this, we would always recommend researching into the guidelines for your country and state to ensure that you are using a VPN within the law, rather than outside it.
While their paid service is without a doubt one of the best VPN services available, after testing and researching each of the options we’ve included in this list, it was the free VPN service by Hotspot Shield that really took our breath (but none of our money!) away.
It’s ideal for streaming and for secure internet browsing, as is their rival Windscribe, although if you’re looking for a free VPN that’s also free from ads, you’ll want to check out Hide.me instead. Comparably, Proton VPN and Opera VPN offer unlimited data for endless scrolling.
With that said, all of the options above would work well with Mac PCs or laptops and are free to use, so unless you need a VPN for something specific or for a dedicated task like for streaming content that’s unavailable in your country, you can’t go wrong with any of them!