Categories
Computing

The Best VPNs You Can Get For Mac in 2021

If you care about internet privacy, a VPN is an important component in keeping you safe online. A virtual private network (VPN) ensures that you remain anonymous online and stops your internet provider, or more malicious entities, from tracking your internet activity.

That alone gives you plenty of reason to get a VPN, but there are other benefits as well, such as accessing region locked content. However, choosing a VPN isn’t always as straightforward as the overall need for one. Many VPN services come with different features and costs, so which one is best for you and your Mac?

Here are our picks for the best VPNs for Mac, from the most affordable to feature-rich. For more on VPNs, check out our picks for the best VPNs overall. You can also read up on the latest MacBook models and the newly refreshed iMac.

The best VPNs for Mac at a glance

Surfshark

Why should you buy this? It’s affordable and extremely simple to use.

Who’s it for? People on a budget or those with lots of devices.

Why we picked Surfshark:

Surfshark is a straightforward and affordable VPN for people looking for something super simple. It isn’t as robust as some of the other options on this list, but the VPN more than makes up for that with its low price and solid speed across the board.

While many VPNs limit you to a certain number of devices, Surfshark gives users unlimited devices in its subscription plan. That’s huge if you own a ton of devices in your household. Surfshark also has a no-log policy, so your internet activity is never logged. Furthering their security features is the Kill Switch, which stops your data from being exposed even if the VPN connection goes down.

This and other security and privacy features are what make Surfshark an incredible option for most people. The price is hard to beat, too.

Get Surfshark

ExpressVPN

A rendering of ExpressVPN open on an iMac against a white background.

Why should you buy this? It’s the best VPN around by far.

Who’s it for? Those who are looking for plenty of security features and great customer service.

Why we picked Express VPN:

ExpressVPN tops many VPN lists, and there are plenty of good reasons for that. At $12.95 a month, it certainly isn’t the cheapest option, but for that price, buyers get one of the fastest VPNs on the market and a solid customer support service.

ExpressVPN is supported across five devices, which is a little limited, especially compared to Surfshark’s unlimited devices. However, the service does have a dedicated router app, which is a great workaround to get all the devices on your network connected to the VPN.

With over 3,000 servers in almost 100 countries, ExpressVPN is an excellent option for those looking for the speediest private connection possible.

Get ExpressVPN

NordVPN

Why should you buy this? NordVPN has a lot of excellent features, a browser extension, and a great price.

Who’s it for? Anyone looking for a VPN that balances performance and value.

Why we picked NordVPN:

NordVPN is probably the most well-known VPN out there, thanks in no small part to its massive marketing efforts and partnerships with popular influencers. However, marketing aside, NordVPN is also an excellent VPN in its own right.

It has the same support for standard VPN protocols, no activity logs, and support for multiple devices (up to six). NordVPN also has some other excellent security features like multi-factor authentication, a dedicated IP as well as IP masking, and browser extensions. That last one in particular is a great option for Chromebook users or anyone who doesn’t want to take up precious hard drive space.

You’ve probably heard of NordVPN already, but now you know it’s certainly worth the money and you can get a crazy good deal on it right now.

Get NordVPN

TunnelBear

A closeup of the Mac toolbar showing TunnelBear open and available servers.

Why should you buy this? It’s insanely affordable and trustworthy.

Who’s it for? People who value transparency from VPNs.

Why we picked TunnelBear:

Lower-end VPN services have a tough a shady reputation, particularly when it comes to activity logs. That can make it hard for a new VPN to make a name for itself, but TunnelBear stands out above all the rest thanks to its radical transparency. TunnelBear performs annual security audits and makes its results publicly available.

TunnelBear lets subscribers connect up to five devices with a single subscription, and that gives those devices unlimited secure browsing. TunnelBear has apps for Mac, iOS, as well as Android and Windows. The service also has a browser extension for simple connectivity.

Get TunnelBear

Hotspot Shield

Why should you buy this? It’s one of the fastest VPNs on the market.

Who’s it for? Anyone who wants a lightning fast connection.

Why we picked Hotspot Shield:

If speed is your primary concern for a VPN, look no further than Hotspot Shield. It’s been consistently ranked as the fastest VPN out there, and it can even improve your Wi-Fi speeds by up to 26 percent in some cases. That’s thanks to the proprietary Hydra protocol Hotspot Shield uses to establish private connections.

Hotspot Shield lets users connect up to 5 devices and offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, which is fifteen days longer than their competition offers. Hotspot Shield has a free version that you can try for basic connections, but the premium plan is an affordable $13 per month, or $20 per month for the family plan (up to 25 devices). The price for both of those significantly drop when if you opt to pay annually.

Get Hotspot Shield

ProtonVPN

A rendering of ProtonVPN open on a Macbook against a white background.

Why should you buy this? It has extra security features to protect your privacy.

Who’s it for? Journalists and other users who handle sensitive data that needs extra protection.

Why we picked ProtonVPN:

ProtonVPN is another strong contender if privacy is a top priority for you. This is particularly true if you’re a journalist or anyone who handles sensitive data as part of your job.

What makes ProtonVPN standout among its competitors is its Secure Core servers. VPNs can be easily compromised if the servers they route to are spied on, and that is exactly why all traffic from ProtonVPN users is routed to one of its Secure Core servers first. These servers are placed in privacy-friendly countries, that way if another server is compromised your original IP is still not exposed. It’s an extra layer of protection that adds a lot of peace of mind.

ProtonVPN is also trustworthy thanks to the transparency of its open source apps and the independent audits the company subjects itself to.

If you handle a lot of data or plan on torrenting or file sharing in any way, ProtonVPN is definitely one of the best options out there.

Get ProtonVPN

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

Best Free VPNs for 2021: ProtonVPN, Hotspot Shield, and More

If you’re trying to keep your information and internet habits confidential or get around a Netflix geoblock, setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can help shield your data from prying eyes. You don’t have to pay for it, either. Our favorite free VPN is ProtonVPN, and we like it for its strong commitment to privacy and security, plus its easy-to-use client. The free version doesn’t have the best server selection, though, which is why we also recommend a number of other free VPNs.

With cybercriminals becoming bolder every day and advertisers paying your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your personal information, it has never been more critical to ensure that your web browsing habits are kept private. These are the best free VPNs you can download right now

ProtonVPN

  • Country of registration: Switzerland
  • Cost: FREE, or $4 per month; $48 per year for Basic; $96 per year for Plus
  • Number of servers & locations: 1,255, 55 countries
  • Clients supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android
  • Number of simultaneous connections: One with a free subscription

Unlike many free VPN services on the market, ProtonVPN has no monthly limits on the amount of data that you can use. In addition, you can set up a ProtonVPN client on your iOS or Android smartphone or your Linux, Mac, or Windows PC. There are no logins required; you can use an email address to sign up and get started; and there are no ads that are constantly bugging you to upgrade your plan.

However, there are some notable disadvantages when it comes to using this service. Users are only permitted to use it on one device. People who use the free version also receive less speedy connections than those with a paid plan, and there is no person-to-person support offered, either.

Those limitations aside, ProtonVPN is an extremely strong, security-minded VPN service that can act as a permanent tool in your privacy arsenal, whether you pay for it or not.

PrivadoVPN

  • Country of registration: Switzerland
  • Cost: Free OR $8 per month; $60 for the first year
  • Number of servers & locations: 517 servers, 58 locations across 47 countries
  • Clients supported: Windows, MacOS, Fire TV Stick, iOS, Android
  • Number of simultaneous connections: One with a free subscription
  • Special features: P2P transfers, SOCKS5 proxy support

If you want to take advantage of a VPN that prioritizes security and anonymity, PrivadoVPN is for you. This VPN boasts some of the most secure encryption on the market, with customers being able to choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols to tailor to their needs depending on whether they value speed or security more. More importantly, PrivadoVPN gives all users 10GB of data every month on their lightning-fast servers. The company also follows a strict no-throttle policy, where it vows to never deliberately slow down your browsing speeds (a common tactic among free VPNs). If you’re a free user there’s a limited amount of servers you can connect to, but you can feel safe knowing that they all come armed to the teeth in protective features to keep you safe. Additionally, PrivadoVPN’s free data plan is the only one out there that supports both streaming unblocking and P2P traffic.

If you decide to stick with the free version of PrivadoVPN, you’re welcome to do so, but you won’t have access to as many features unless you pay a small amount of $8 per month. Under the free plan, you can connect to 12 servers and only one device at a time, but the 10GB of data is an amazing deal to get you accustomed to PrivadoVPN and its features. If you ever have any issues you can contact the customer support team for 24/7 help. PrivadoVPN is a great service for those looking for basic protection with the free plan, but great value for money at only $8 per month if you decide to upgrade.

Hotspot Shield VPN

Hotspot Shield VPN Client
  • Country of registration: United States
  • Cost: FREE, or $13 per month or $96 for Premium plan; $20 per month or $144 per year for Premium Family plan
  • Number of servers & locations: 1,800+, 110+ locations across 80+ countries
  • Clients supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android, smart TVs, routers
  • Number of simultaneous connections: One with a free subscription
  • Special features: Gigabit speeds, 45-day money-back guarantee

While some free VPN services can be very stingy with the bandwidth they allot you, Hotspot Shield VPN offers users 500MB per day or about 15GB per month and allows you to connect up to five devices at the same time. In addition, Hotspot lets users know upfront that their free services are paid for by purchasers of their premium VPN and that they do not keep any logs of your browsing activity. As of their 2018 annual transparency report, Hotspot proudly claims that it has never provided personal information about its users to any third party, including governments and law enforcement agencies.

Their transparency continues by letting mobile users of their free Android VPN and iOS VPN apps share limited information with Google for advertising. This information includes city-level location data, your internet device activity, and identifying cookies, which are not shared for users of the premium VPN mobile apps. Free users of Hotspot Shield VPN must also put up with advertisements encouraging them to upgrade. In fact, you will have to sign up for a seven-day premium trial and provide your credit card info in order to use the free service. On the other hand, being able to keep your activity shielded by military-grade encryption and ensuring that your financial information is safe is well worth the lengthy setup.

TunnelBear

TunnelBear VPN Client
  • Country of registration: Canada
  • Cost: FREE, or $10 per month; $60 for the first year; $120 for the first three years
  • Number of servers & locations: 1,000+, 41 countries
  • Clients supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android
  • Number of simultaneous connections:One with a free subscription

With servers in 23 countries across the world, you can connect up to five devices to TunnelBear and make use of McAfee-backed AES 256-bit encryption to keep them safe and private. If you run into any issues, you can consult TunnelBear’s dedicated support staff and review a host of commonly asked questions to resolve any problems.

Unlike some other no-cost VPN services, you won’t have your traffic throttled if you choose to make use of a free account. Also, TunnelBear no longer requires users to provide a first name when signing up, and it no longer records how many times users connect to their servers. Free users are restricted to a monthly data cap of 500MB, though, which may be inadequate for those interested in constantly using a VPN. However, if all you need from your VPN is occasional added protection when emailing or browsing using your smartphone or PC, TunnelBear is your ideal solution.

Hide.Me

Hide.Me VPN Client
  • Country of registration: United States
  • Cost: FREE, or $10 per month; $60 for the first year; $120 for the first three years
  • Number of servers & locations: 1,900+, 75 countries
  • Clients supported: Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, Android
  • Number of simultaneous connections: One with a free subscription

While some VPN services make promises to not collect your user data or sell your web traffic information to a third party, Hide.Me doesn’t collect any of that kind of data in the first place. Their free VPN provider offers users 2GB of data per month and will not sacrifice your connection speeds for their paying clientele.

With native software designed to work with both Mac and Windows PC, as well as Android and iOS, you can ensure that the VPN will work well with your setup. Even better, free users of Hide.Me have access to 24/7 technical support in the event of any issues, and they don’t have to deal with pesky ads that nag them into paying for an upgrade. Unfortunately, these benefits do come with some notable limitations. You can only use Hide.Me on one device, which is no good if you’re trying to protect your whole family.

Furthermore, while paying members of Hide.Me can access servers in over thirty countries, free account holders can only access servers located in the Netherlands, Canada, and Singapore.

Those problems aside, Hide.Me is an excellent all-around VPN service. If you are interested in keeping your privacy and still having a decent amount of bandwidth for free, Hide.Me has you covered.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Computing

Are Free VPNs Safe? What You Need to Know

You’ve probably at least heard of virtual private networks (more commonly referred to as VPNs) and if you’re at all concerned with digital privacy and security, you might have already done a bit of research on them and have been pricing them out a bit. You’ve likely also noticed that there are some free VPN plans out there, which might seem too good to be true — after all, if these services cost money to operate, why would anybody offer it for free?

That’s a fair question, and as you can imagine, there’s a pretty big catch with those “free” VPNs. Virtual private networks require hardware infrastructure to run (which means money), and free providers have to recoup their costs somehow. They typically do this by collecting and selling your data to marketers, which means they’re likely keeping some sort of activity log. This defeats much of the purpose of using a VPN — protecting your online activity, habits, and information from third parties and other assorted snoops — in the first place. And in any case, are you really willing to risk your online security just to save a few bucks each month?

That’s not to say that free VPNs are necessarily bad, at least in the sense that they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do (which is encrypt your internet connection and reroute it through the VPN operator’s remote servers). Also bear in mind that free VPN plans are going to be rather limited. They may have data caps, and they’ll certainly have speed caps. There will be restrictions on which security protocols you can use, which devices you can use, and which global servers you’re allowed to route your connection through if you can even have control over any of these at all. They also lack advanced features like ad-blocking and malware protection, making them considerably less safe. All of these are reasons why, in general, we recommend that you ditch free plans and set up a VPN through a trusted provider like NordVPN.

All that said, good virtual private network providers often offer free “money-back guarantee” periods that function as free trials, letting you cancel your plan and receive a full refund (usually within 30 days), and some, like NordVPN, also often run specials that include a few free months. This gives you a bit of time to give a VPN service a spin and decide if it’s a good fit for your digital lifestyle before you have to fully commit to a subscription. More good news is that the best VPN services actually aren’t that expensive considering the security and peace of mind that they deliver, and most also have different plans you can choose from. Longer-term yearly plans are the best value and usually only come to only a few dollars per month.

Here are the top four virtual private network providers we trust the most, including some more about each one, how much they cost, and whether they offer a free trial to new subscribers.

Secure VPNs you should be using

  1. NordVPN — from $12/month
  2. ExpressVPN — from $13/month
  3. Surfshark — from $13/month
  4. IPVanish — from $11/month

NordVPN

There’s a very good chance you’ve heard of NordVPN already, which is not a huge mystery considering that this is the most highly trusted virtual private network provider out there today. It’s our own top pick, too, because it has all the features we want in a VPN. You can use split-tunneling to choose which sites and services you want on the VPN and which ones you don’t (if you don’t want to encrypt 100% of your online activities to improve performance for things like gaming, for instance), and it boasts more than 5,000 servers in 59 countries worldwide. It also works great on both PC and mobile devices with intuitive app controls.

Pricing for NordVPN plans ranges from $12 per month for the monthly tier to $89 for the two-year plan (which comes to only $3.30 per month, making this package the best value by far). This allows you to connect and use up to six devices on your NordVPN service at a time.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a fierce competitor to NordVPN and another contender for the best virtual private network service provider. It’s slightly more expensive, but the trade-off is that you have more server locations to route your connection through — ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries (160 locations total) that are well-spread across the world — with no bandwidth restrictions. It’s also compatible on virtually all devices, from computers and mobile devices to smart TVs and gaming consoles, and offers good speeds along with a pretty straightforward setup process.

ExpressVPN is a little pricier than the competition, but it’s a solid choice if you want more regional servers and no-brainer compatibility across multiple devices. The service plans ring in at $13 per month, $60 for six months, or $100 for one year (which comes to $8.32 monthly) for use with up to five devices simultaneously. You also get a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee.

Surfshark

If you’re looking for the best cheap VPN and even NordVPN’s two-year plan is more than you want to spend at once, Surfshark is the one. Its server list isn’t quite as impressive as that of the other big-name providers like ExpressVPN, but it delivers solid connection speeds, can be run on an unlimited number of devices (yes, really — no device limits!), and does pretty much everything that we want a virtual private network to do, right up to offering built-in ad-blocking and malware protection. The fact that it’s cheap and runs on an unlimited number of local devices simultaneously makes Surfshark a great choice for families and offices.

The price is also highly appealing. Although the monthly plan costs $13 per month (the same as ExpressVPN), you can grab a two-year package for $120 (billed $60 per year). That comes to a dirt-cheap $2.50 monthly for a solid virtual private network you can use with all of your devices. Who needs a free VPN?

IPVanish

Last but certainly not least is IPVanish, which is another low-cost option that offers some nice value-added features. Chief among these is its optional backup service add-on, which automatically backs up data of your choosing in a secure encrypted cloud. This not only guards you against ransomware attacks but allows you to restore lost data in the event of theft or a hardware/software failure (such as a computer crash and the resulting file system corruption). IPVanish also operates more than 1,600 servers in more than 75 locations worldwide, and, like Surfshark, there are no restrictions as to how many devices you can connect to the VPN at once.

The backup service is an optional add-on, so you’ve got more IPVanish plans to choose from. The VPN itself is available for $11 per month or $45 for your first year ($3.75 per month), but reverts to its usual price of $90 per year after that. The VPN + Backup plan comes to $13 monthly or $50 for your first year (which averages to $4.17 per month), then $100 per year after that.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Computing

One of the Best VPNs Just Got a Massive Price Cut

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If you’re not using a VPN while browsing the internet, you may be putting your IP address at risk. Not to mention, there’s no telling who can see what you’re doing and what sites you’re visiting. VPNs are excellent for privacy, safety, and peace of mind. Since there are a ton of services out there, it helps to know the best VPN providers.

It just so happens that one of the best VPN providers has massively slashed its subscription prices, so now’s the perfect time to sign-up! IPVanish is currently offering a full year’s subscription for $29. That price applies during the first year — after that it goes back to the regular price of $90 per year.

For those who don’t know what a VPN is, here’s a quick primer. A VPN, or virtual private network, essentially masks your original IP address with that of a remote address. This does many different things, but most importantly it allows you to browse the web anonymously and privately. It can also help you circumvent region restrictions or locks, like when media content won’t play in your country. Either way, it’s always recommended that you browse, download, or access the internet from a VPN.

IPVanish is a VPN service with servers in 75 different locations worldwide, meaning you can be assigned an IP from all of those various places. It uses advanced encryption to secure all internet traffic and data, with no speed limits and no browsing caps, including downloads. You get fast connections to all available servers, allowing you to browse at the speeds you’re used to with virtually no delays. You can also use the service to browse from any device, not just a desktop or laptop.

IPVanish is currently offering a year’s subscription for $29 for the first year and $90 per year after that. It’s an excellent opportunity to secure and privatize your browsing on any device. You can also try the service for 30 days risk free, but only if you opt for the yearly plan.

More networking and VPN deals available now

Not sold on an IPVanish subscription? There are a few other networking and VPN-related deals available. We gathered all the best ones for you below.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.

Editors’ Choice




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Categories
Tech News

Goodbye, VPNs. Hello, decentralized private networks with the innovative Deeper Connect Nano

TLDR: The Deeper Connect Nano goes beyond VPNs, creating your own fully protected web connection for all your home devices so you can stop accruing monthly VPN charges.

Virtual private networks are practically essential protection measures for web users these days, providing valuable anonymity and fortified security services. 

But nobody enjoys paying those annual, or sometimes even monthly VPN provider fees. And nobody appreciates the worry that that provider might one day slip or even willingly turn over information about you and your web activities to…well, anybody.

While VPNs are great, many security-conscious web users are now turning to the next evolution in personal online protection — a decentralized private network, or DPN.

The Deeper Connect Nano Decentralized VPN Cybersecurity Hardware ($199.99, 33 percent off from TNW Deals) is the tiny device that can eliminate that dreaded VPN bill while offering full control over internet connectivity by letting the user handle it all by themselves easily.

Rather than running all your web activity through a company’s private internet tunnel, a DPN allows users to become their own client and server without the service provider. And with no outside servers to access or anywhere for personal data to be logged and collected, that personal conduit to the internet remains fully encrypted for data transfer and web access everywhere.

The 2.5-inch Deeper Connect Nano attaches via ethernet cables, then connects wirelessly to any and all WiFi-enabled devices in your home. Unlike networks, devices hooked to the Nano enjoy high speed connectivity without any slowdowns.

Meanwhile, your private web connection is savagely protected, shrouded in 7 layers of deep packet enterprise-grade cybersecurity. That safety is also extended to any device on the Nano’s connection, so if you’re worried about someone hacking your baby monitor or home assistant device, the Nano puts an end to that fear.

The Deeper Connect interface also makes this process incredibly simple, offering users a full view of their Nano network, all attached devices, and insightful visualization so you have a better understanding of how each device is connected and accessing the web.

The Deeper Connect Nano was a hit on Indiegogo as tech-centric fans latched on to the next-level device to the tune of nearly $1 million in contributions.

Users can dump their VPN subscriptions forever with the one-time purchase of the Deeper Connect Nano, a $299 device now available at $100 off, down to just $199.99.

Prices are subject to change.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link