If you’re looking to protect your privacy and browse anonymously on your Apple device, you may want to consider getting yourself a VPN subscription so that you can access the web from anywhere in the world without having to worry about hackers and other people snooping on your data. The best VPNs have fast speeds and strong privacy protocols, but there are dozens of them out there, so it can be hard to make the right choice. Here’s what you need to know about finding the best VPN for Mac devices, including how to evaluate their performance and which features should be part of your search criteria.
Think about what you need out of a Mac VPN before you begin your search. Do you want to unblock websites and hide your identity, or are you more concerned with preventing hackers from stealing sensitive data? Each will require a different set of features. You should also take into account how much time you’re willing to spend learning how to use a specific product. If you’re using Mac VPN for the first time, some products may be more difficult than others.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network (VPN) is a private network that extends across a public network or internet. It enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to a private network. A VPN is used like an intranet, which can be set up by your organization and shared with employees on an ad hoc basis.
How do Mac VPNs work?
A Mac VPN encrypts all your data, including web surfing, e-mail, and messages, before sending it through its own proprietary tunnel. With a typical Mac VPN service, you connect directly to an IP address in another country (say Ireland or Canada), and then all of your data is encrypted on that virtual network. When it reaches its destination (Facebook’s servers in Oregon), Facebook sees only encrypted packets with no way of knowing where they originated.
What are your privacy concerns?
Before you can choose a great VPN, you’ll want to consider your needs in terms of privacy and security. Do you want strong encryption? Does your personal data pass through other countries? Are there regulatory or legal issues that affect you? Will your traffic mix with others from different networks when using a shared IP address (such as in a coffee shop)? Depending on these factors, certain VPNs may not meet your needs.
What do you want from your VPN?
Your expectations are likely tied to what you use your VPN for. If you want a great experience on streaming sites and don’t care about security, then you’ll likely want a different solution than someone who wants maximum security with no logs. Expectations should also be based on how much information you’re comfortable sharing with your provider. For example, some people will expect their data to be secure but don’t mind ads following them around online—they just want their Netflix uninterrupted.