Using a VPN can be important to your online privacy, hiding your browser usage from your ISP. A lot of VPN clients are available for Windows, but there aren’t as many for Mac. This guide will cover some of the best free VPNs for Mac.
ProtonVPN – Unlimited free tier throttled
ProtonVPN is a Swiss-based VPN service run by a privacy organisation with a solid track record. Being based in Switzerland also means it benefits from the strong Swiss privacy laws. Free tier users are able to access VPN servers in the US, Netherlands and Japan.
Free tier access allows unlimited downloads but does throttle your internet speed. It’s suitable for browsing but you’ll struggle to stream video content or download through it.
Paid plans are also available starting from just €4 a month.
Opera Free VPN – Free and unlimited, requires the Opera web browser.
The developers of the Opera browser have released a free VPN add-on that integrates into their Mac supporting browser. Opera Free VPN is completely free, not offering any paid plans at all. Downloads are also unlimited and unthrottled.
You can select one of three regions to connect to; the Americas, Europe, and Asia, from which you’ll connect to a server. This does make it slightly difficult to connect to a specific country, so you may need to try a few times if you’re specifically wanting to connect somewhere.
Windscribe – 10GB a month free tier
WindScribe only requires you to confirm your email address to access the generous 10GB a month free tier. The free tier is obviously limited but doesn’t have any bandwidth throttling. Netflix US, UK, France, Germany and Canada are all unblocked, although even the 10GB free allowance won’t stretch to too much streaming.
Paid plans are also available starting from US$4.08 a month for a 12-month plan.
Hotspot Shield – 500MB a day free tier
The developers of Hotspot Shield have designed their own VPN protocol rather than using the standard OpenVPN protocol. Their proprietary Hydra algorithm is faster and lower latency than other VPN services.
The 500MB a day free tier comes with no throttling but can only be used to connect to one US-based server, which can see slowdowns as it gets overloaded at peak times. It also includes ads and sells your location data (although not your actual browsing data).
A paid plan is also available for €7.99 a month for a 12-month plan.