The 8 Best Free VPNs for Macs in 2019

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Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Windscribe

"You can lock in a generous 10 GB/month if you verify an email address with the service."

Best for Beginners: TunnelBear

"A fantastic free VPN for Mac that's as easy to use as it is cute."

Best Unlimited VPN: ProtonVPN

"One of the few VPNs to offer an entirely unlimited data allowance for free each month."

Best for Torrenting: Speedify

"You can choose to specifically connect to a torrenting server."

Best for Speed: Betternet

"An appealing prospect if speed is everything to you, even if it is a flawed free service."

Best for Data: Hotspot Shield

"Quite generous with data, offering 500MB per day via its free plan."

Best Ad-Free VPN: HideMe

"Has an entirely free service that is also devoid of ads."

Best for Restricted Countries: VPN Gate

"When it comes to encouraging global free speech, VPN Gate is a great concept."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Windscribe

Windscribe

Windscribe

4.5

Windscribe has some great paid plans, but their fantastic free option makes this service our top pick for the best overall free VPN for Macs. It provides an excellent mix of fast speeds, generous bandwidth, and a slick native app for macOS, all of which combine to make this a great choice for your Mac.

Free Windscribe accounts receive a limited amount of data, but you can lock in a generous 10 GB/month if you verify an email address with the service. You also get to choose from 10 different country options, which is a pretty decent spread. Speeds are generally quite respectable, too, particularly where general browsing is concerned.

Windscribe has an excellent privacy policy, with a true no-log policy that doesn't even track your connecting IP or timestamp your usage, and all of that privacy is afforded to free members. Windscribe makes their money from selling premium accounts, not from selling your information.

In addition to macOS, Windscribe is also available for Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, Fire TV, and even Nvidia Shield.

Best for Beginners: TunnelBear

Tunnelbear

Courtesy of Tunnelbear

3.9

TunnelBear is a fantastic free VPN for Mac that's as easy to use as it is cute. Simply open the app, pick a country, and TunnelBear does the rest for you. It's as simple as that, which is what makes it such a fantastic choice for beginners.

Free users can choose from 22 different countries around the world by simply tapping on the desired country, with unlimited server switches available as part of the free plan. There's also an always-on feature that means your connection will never drop without warning while you're trying to browse a website or download a file. Similarly, the app's vigilant mode keeps an eye out for any security issues, immediately informing you of the problem.

TunnelBear doesn't monitor your activity or keep any logs, so it's a very private service. Since privacy is one of the main reasons to pick up a VPN, these are great features to have.

The only downside to this free service is that you're restricted to just 500MB of data per month, and you can only use your account on one device at a time. That means TunnelBear might not be your first choice if you plan on downloading files or streaming regularly. However, for general browsing and occasional use, it's speedy and highly reliable.

Best Unlimited VPN: ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

4.3

ProtonVPN is one of the few VPNs to offer an entirely unlimited data allowance for free each month. Impressively, it also offers no speed limit, no adverts, and it doesn't even log your activity while you browse. Instead, it's supported by the paying customers of ProtonVPN rather than ad-riddled interfaces favored by other VPNs.

What's the catch? You can only use it on one device at a time, and there's only a choice of three countries/server locations in the free package. Those looking for more countries or that need to use more devices at the same time will need to upgrade to a paid plan.

Despite those limitations, ProtonVPN is worthwhile for anyone who uses just one device. A free unlimited VPN for Mac is increasingly hard to find, especially without any adverts. ProtonVPN can be a little slow as users are limited to three locations, but it's hardly worth complaining about when it's entirely free to use. It's also protected by Swiss privacy laws which is useful for those worried about security concerns.

Best for Torrenting: Speedify

Speedify

Speedify

4

Finding a free VPN for torrenting can be tough. Many free services block file-sharing networks for legal and speed-related reasons. Speedify is one of the exceptions, which makes it an easy choice for the best free VPN for torrenting on Macs.

Speedify works differently from other VPNs. It bonds your Wi-Fi and cellular signals together to create a faster and more reliable connection. That means faster speeds for when you browse, as well as when you stream videos or download files. It's also creates more redundancy in your VPN connection. If your cellular connection drops, there's always the Wi-Fi to pick up the slack, and vice versa.

The main catch here is that you're only able to use 5GB of data each month on the free plan. You do get the entire allowance at once, so you can choose to use it on one massive torrent if you want, but that's all you'll get for the month.

Best for Speed: Betternet

Betternet

Betternet

3.7

Free and fast are two things that don't usually come together in the same VPN service, but Betternet is pretty close to bridging that gap. With consistently great speeds for a VPN, Betternet is an appealing prospect if you consider speed to be secondary only to security. It isn't a perfect service, but it is fast.

The free version of Betternet for macOS doesn't give you a choice of server locations, which is a bit limiting. It's also a reasonable trade-off for the fantastic combination of high speed servers and not having to pay. Crucially, the server locations are all very reliable and in the case of a connection drop, the app reconnects you to another one automatically.

The main problem with this service is that it includes built-in ads for sponsored apps and video links in exchange for being able to use the service for free. Betternet has also stated that it will cooperate with the authorities if need be, so keep that in mind when using the service.

Considering Betternet's questionable privacy policy, you may want to take advantage of the optional feature where they let you sign up without providing any identifying information, including an email address.

Best for Data: Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

3.7

Hotspot Shield is our pick for the best free Mac VPN for data due to its generous daily bandwidth allowance. It's tough to find a free VPN that also offers its users plenty of data, and Hotspot Shield definitely fits the bill. You don't need to register an account, they don't keep any activity logs, and the VPN even promises military-grade encryption.

When you sign up for the free Hotspot Shield plan, you unlock 500 MB/day of data. This cap resets every single day throughout the month, so you could theoretically use a massive 15.5 GB of data each month.

The main problem with this free VPN is that it includes baked-in ads that you have to view. It also only allows you to connect a single device at a time with the free plan. While the premium service offers over 3,200 servers across 70 countries, the free version of Hotspot Shield restricts you solely to their US servers.

If you need flexibility, Hotspot Shield isn't for you. However, if you simply need to be able to download or stream small files or data each day, this is the free Mac VPN that you're looking for.. 

Best Ad-Free VPN: HideMe

HideMe

HideMe

If you're sick of ad supported free VPN services, you might want to check out HideMe. This service takes our top pick for the best ad-free Mac VPN because the app is utterly devoid of ads, they don't keep logs or records, and they even submit to regular third party audits to prove that the service is really safe.

While being free of ads might sound like a highly limited service, HideMe offers a decent 2 GB data transfer limit each month, with no limitations placed on bandwidth. There's a choice of 5 different server locations including Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, and two US-based locations, so it's pretty flexible. The only real issue here is that you can only connect via one device at a time.

Other than that, HideMe is surprisingly effective and speedy for a free service. It even provides the same level of customer service for free customers as it does paid, with 24/7 tech support. HideMe won't suit heavy users of VPN services, but for occasional browsing that works just as well as a paid service, it's great.

Best for Restricted Countries: VPN Gate

VPN Gate

VPN Gate

VPN Gate started out as an academic project in which volunteers worked together to create a VPN service that's entirely free for the sake of those living behind oppressive internet restrictions. It works differently from commercial endeavors in that its server IP addresses are dynamic and continually change as volunteers rotate.

Such a method offers advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it's ideal for users in countries such as China and Iran whose governments frequently block typical VPN services, but it also means that there are other privacy concerns. Namely, VPN Gate logs everything about what you're doing and maintains those logs for three months. They also actively discourage file sharing because of the typically slow connection speeds.

So, why use VPN Gate? It has a vast list of servers to choose from and it's very flexible in that regard. There's also no data cap or sign-up process. It's perfect for travelers who may end up somewhere with restrictive policies. When it comes to encouraging global free speech, VPN Gate is a great concept.

Our Process 

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular free VPNs for Macs on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 12 different VPNs overall, screened options from 19 different brands and manufacturers, read over 50 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the VPNs themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.