How you can protect your Mac against cyberthreats


A good VPN adds an essential layer of security to your Mac.
A good VPN adds an essential layer of security to your Mac.
Photo: John Sting/Unsplash CC

This post on VPNs for Mac is brought to you by VPNOverview.

Many advanced Windows users have been using VPNs for various reasons for years. However, not many people are aware that VPNs can be just as beneficial for Mac owners. There is a misconception that Macs do not get viruses, and that you are completely safe browsing the web if you do it on a Mac. Apple products are better at defending against attack — and are less frequently targeted by malware. But that does not mean VPNs aren’t useful for Apple computers. In fact, VPNs for Mac are just as effective as they are for Windows systems.

How a VPN protects you on the internet

A VPN (short for “virtual private network”) is your own private connection to the internet. When you use one, all the data flowing between your Mac and the internet will do so via the VPN, which will encrypt the information so nobody can steal private data. A VPN can protect you from hackers, government snoops, identity thieves and law enforcement. VPNs for Mac don’t just give you protection against threats. They provide you with much-needed privacy. There is not enough of that in today’s technological age.

Using a VPN, which you can do simply by installing an app and signing into it, will make you virtually invisible on the net. Everything you do, and every website you visit, will be hidden from those around you. A VPN will keep everything private, including online purchases, web browsing and personal messaging, as well as your identity, location, passwords and IP address. You can do as you please without anyone knowing your personal business. These are the advantages that VPNs for Mac provide to their users.

Importance of online privacy

If you don’t use a VPN, everything you do on the internet is recorded: which sites you visit, items you purchase, messages you send and receive, etc. These activities are incredibly intimate and personal, things that no one would want to have disclosed outside of their inner circle. Some of the data is so sensitive that it can make you easy prey for thieves looking to steal your identity.

No matter why you would not want your information shared with the world, a VPN is going to keep all the data that you put into your computer private and encrypted, so nobody can spy on you via your Mac.

Choosing a VPN for Mac

Most VPN services offer similar options when it comes to speed, performance, encryption protocols and the number of server locations. However, some variations will affect how the service will operate for you. Here are popular uses and what to look for in VPNs for Mac.

  • Browsing. VPNs are designed to hide the IP and your physical area along with encrypting the data traffic that flows through public networks. VPNs will vary as far as which features they have, so research is important when choosing. Look for the number of allowable connections, as well as the VPN’s data log policy. You should also consider whether the Mac VPN offers a browser extension, company jurisdiction, torrenting support and extra security features — things that you feel will support your Mac the best.
  • Free. It is best to avoid free VPNs for Mac. All VPN companies need to make money, including the supposedly “free” services. Some of the free VPNs could potentially install adware to your Mac, which is totally against what a VPN stands for (i.e., keeping you and your privacy protected). If you can’t afford to pay for a VPN, you need to read and understand precisely what kind of information you are going to be exchanging for the free service.

VPNs for Mac are very useful as they give users the ability to operate on their computers freely and virtually invisibly. Privacy is sacred — and VPNs give that back to us to a degree.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.