MacOS may still be one of the more secure operating system choices when it comes to online activities, but it doesn’t have to be wrong. There is no guarantee of safety for those who choose to create accounts on newly discovered sites without their data being sold off or who want to do light shopping without affecting their credit card information. .
A virtual private network, or VPN, extends a private network over a public network, allowing users to send and receive data between shared networks as if they were directly connected to that network. So anyone who wants to watch US Netflix from the comfort of their Russian abode can do so through the use of a VPN without the constraints of being geo-locked.
In recent years, Virtual Private Network (VPN) services have become a very real and indispensable part of our lives. With the right VPN software, Mac users can find the protection they want no matter where in the world they are.
When it comes to anything that is offered for free, you need to be careful and consider the choice that is being made. The same goes for choosing the right VPN.
3 Best Free VPN Services for Mac
Some free VPNs, like HotSpot Shield, in 2017 brought claims against them for “blocking and redirecting traffic to partner websites” and PureVPN offers a no-logs promise but retains enough information about the alleged stalker’s online activities to help the FBI track him down, cannot be trusted and therefore should be avoided.
To understand which ones will need to be excluded from your list of eligible candidates, you will need to figure out what you need a free VPN for.
Do you have to:
- Looking to avoid data breaches and/or stay anonymous while surfing the web?
- planning to get into torrenting or streaming?
- Visiting another country and don’t want to be geo-blocked from content?
All these questions can be answered with the right VPN service. What you need to decide is whether you want a completely free VPN service or want to use the free trial period offered by one of the top VPN services on the market.
Free trial vs free service
The three best VPN services on the market today, not only for Mac but all platforms, are undoubtedly ExpressVPN, NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN.
All three of these free VPN services offer trial periods to test the product before making a purchase. These industry leaders will require a monthly fee to maintain usage of their services.
However, some do not have the monthly revenue to maintain the necessary maintenance. If you fall into this category, there are plenty of options out there without going to the bank. Just keep in mind that all vendors love to be paid for their work. While they may not ask you to make money directly, some providers will choose to make money through the use of annoying ads and pop-ups while you are using the service.
Some free VPN services may bypass the use of advertising revenue and instead offer a relatively good service while hiding most of the perks behind a wall of fees. You as a user will have access to all essentials at the base level, but may be given additional levels to help improve the overall experience.
These perks come primarily in the form of priority servers, premium servers for accessing things like Netflix and Hulu, and additional, often unlimited bandwidth.
Top 3 Choices for Free VPN Service on Mac OS
TunnelBear allows you to make modifications to your IP address, access censored and restricted websites, and unlock various streaming services. The free service offers a no-logs feature that keeps your data from being traded to the highest bidder, so you can feel safe knowing your privacy won’t be compromised.
While TunnelBear has one of the fastest speeds of all the free VPN services, the very small 500MB (1.5GB after a tweet) is hardly enough for consistent streaming purposes.
The VPN service boasts a sufficient number of servers (22 countries as of the time of this writing) for those who use TunnelBear for free. What’s even better is that they will never force your pop-ups so you can use the VPN service without interruption.
Like most free VPN services, TunnelBear offers users the opportunity to upgrade for a fee. The plans have two levels; The Giant plan is billed monthly at $9.99 and the Grizzly plan is billed annually at $59.99. The Grizzly plan is of course the best for your money, allowing up to five simultaneous connections, all with unlimited bandwidth.
Windscribe boasts the same no-logs policy that TunnelBear offers but also includes 10GB of monthly bandwidth and availability of P2P servers. It is worth noting that the free service only offers a very limited number of 10 servers to use. This will often result in a larger load, causing noticeable speed and quality drops.
To increase the number of servers, up to 55 servers, you will find yourself paying a monthly premium of $9. While it’s likely you’re here to look for a free option, this might be more than worth it since the plan also offers unlimited bandwidth.
To set it apart, Windscribe offers a unique feature in the form of a configurator that allows you to tailor settings to your individual needs. This feature is tied to the premium plan which, if you go for the annual route, offers a huge discount that saves you 55% of the total price.
With BetterNet you get unlimited free access to restricted sites, secure browsing and streaming. You will get all the standard bells and whistles as mentioned earlier, all except for the no-logs policy. BetterNet doesn’t provide too much security information but they do keep some connection logs even if the activity log is still inactive.
To maintain unlimited bandwidth, the provider earns money using ads but offers a premium version of the software that makes the service ad-free. If there is no premium, you will frequently experience advertising or app offers while using the service.
Unlike TunnelBear or Windscribe, the number of servers is not disclosed, but with the premium plan at $11.99 a month you are given several server options. The connectivity and download speeds of the servers on offer are good but nothing to brag about. However, they’re still good enough for any streaming needs you might have (besides Netflix, of course).
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