Apple Mac products have a reputation for their sleek appearance, impressive functionality, and excellent in-built security. As a result, you might think that the security and privacy a VPN (virtual private network) can add isn’t really needed.
However, due to the strong encryption and online anonymity that a Mac VPN can provide, there are clear advantages to using one - and that's before you even get into other advantages like streaming and shopping. In this article, we discuss some of the key benefits that you, as a Mac user, can unlock with a VPN―from accessing geo-blocked content to finding the best online shopping deals.
Our number #1 rated Mac provider is ExpresssVPN
Express currently tops our chart as the very greatest VPN around, so it's no surprise that we recommend it for your Mac, too. It combines excellent encryption and audited no-logging policy with top speeds and unblocking geo-restricted services. Plus, you can try it risk-free thanks to its money back guarantee.
1. Keep your internet data private
One of the central functions of a VPN is to hide your IP address and internet traffic, and this is achieved by sending your data along an encrypted tunnel to a secure server.
By concealing your digital footprints, a VPN stops your internet service provider (ISP) and a miscellany of other third parties - including websites, data brokers, government agencies, and cybercriminals - from tracking your online activities. If you use a VPN, you will diminish the chances of your ISP gathering information about your browsing/viewing habits, as well as your location, and selling it to advertisers or analytics companies.
As for the ever-evolving threat posed by hackers, Apple has undoubtedly built a first-rate security infrastructure for its macOS operating system. However, a good-quality VPN will bolster this, making your online defenses even stronger.
2. Access geo-blocked content
If you consume most of your TVs, movies and music via streaming and subscribe to a service like Netflix, then you’ve probably found that certain content isn’t available to watch in your country or that you can’t watch your favorite shows or movies while abroad. This is known as geo-blocking, and streaming services impose it due to licensing agreements, among other reasons.
Any good news? Yes, you can sidestep these geo-blocks by using a premium VPN with lots of server locations and a high level of encryption (although this may be contrary to the service's Ts&Cs). By diverting your internet traffic via an encrypted tunnel to a suitably placed remote server, a streaming VPN disguises your real IP address and convinces the streaming service that you’re watching the selected content from an approved region.
What’s more, the best VPNs provide multiple servers across the world, meaning you can consistently bypass region-based restrictions and enjoy fast connection speeds -- regardless of your real location.
As well as global services like Netflix, the same principle applies to regional sites like Hulu in the US, BBC iPlayer in the UK or Binge in Australia. And the same can be said for if you're trying to watch your regular domestic sport coverage when on holiday or away on business.
3. Safer use of public Wi-Fi
Perhaps you’re having lunch in a café, going on a long-distance train journey, or killing time in an airport terminal. In these sorts of settings, in which you’re unable to access your secure home Wi-Fi network, you might find it’s necessary to connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot to access your online work accounts, for example.
As public Wi-Fi is often unsecured, it can be the ideal place for hackers and snoopers to target your connection and steal personal information, such as passwords. However, if you install a strong VPN on to your Mac, it will give you the encryption and, consequently, online anonymity to ensure your internet traffic remains private.
4. Avoid bandwidth throttling
Some online activities - such as streaming mentioned above, downloading large files, and online gaming - can take up a lot of bandwidth. In response, your ISP might reduce your connection speed to remedy any overall network congestion. This is known as bandwidth throttling, and it can cause commonplace problems like persistent buffering when streaming.
However, the encryption of a top-range VPN can effectively keep your internet activity hidden from your ISP. Therefore, you’re much more likely to avoid bandwidth throttling, which, in turn, means you can engage in data-heavy activities without interruption.
5. More securely bank and shop online
These days, most people regularly bank and shop online. That, of course, involves sharing sensitive banking/credit card details.
Although banks go to great lengths to make their online security infrastructure as impenetrable as possible, you can go further to protect your sensitive data by opting for a trusted VPN with a high level of encryption. This is particularly advisable if you’re banking on the go and using public Wi-Fi.
As for e-commerce websites, their online security frameworks are likely to be less rigorous than those set up by banks. Therefore, even if a website has a secure HTTPS extension, you should consider a VPN to keep your payment details firmly out of the reach of hackers.
And talking of online shopping...
6. Find better online deals
At first, it may seem a little unlikely that a VPN - a tool principally designed to guard your online privacy -can help you to find the best prices for goods and services while shopping on the internet. However, it can help you to avoid inflated prices.
You could be looking to buy plane tickets or browsing car insurance deals and, while doing so, notice that prices on the website have suddenly increased. By collecting personal data like your cookies and IP address, companies can inflate prices based on factors like your location.
If you use a VPN, the websites you visit will not gather your true location and other information they need to target you. What’s more, you can switch between servers in different world locations to find the best prices.
We're certainly not suggesting that a VPN can guarantee bargains, it’s still worth hopping between servers to see if any uncover good deals. And if getting the best value is most definitely your thing, then be sure to check out our dedicated guide to today's best overall cheap VPN providers.
Considering a VPN for your Mac?
If you’re a security-conscious Mac user, then you should consider exploring the best Mac VPNs so you can bolster your overall online safety and privacy.
With a premium VPN, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN or Surfshark, you can strengthen your defenses by hiding your real IP address and encrypting your internet traffic. This can prevent your ISP and other third parties from snooping on your activities and can also make online banking and shopping safer.
What’s more, the online anonymity a good-quality VPN provides means you can bypass the inconveniences of bandwidth throttling, geo-blocked content, and inflated prices on goods and services.
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Liam is a freelance content writer with two writing-based university degrees. He has accumulated knowledge in a variety of tech topics, including VPNs, antivirus products, cybersecurity, TV streaming, and popular apps.
He also contributes to an arts and culture online magazine called Now Then, based in Manchester, England. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing poetry.