The 8 Best Free VPNs for Macs in 2019

Hide your Mac's location online for free with these services

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The Rundown

  • Best Overall: Tunnel Bear, "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 Multiple Devices: Windscribe, "Allows you to connect to its service with as many different devices as you want."
  • Best for General Browsing: VPN Gate, "When it comes to encouraging global free speech, VPN Gate is a great concept."
  • 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."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: 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.

Users can choose from 22 different countries around the world, with unlimited server switches available as part of the free plan. There's 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. When privacy is paramount to VPN, these are great features to have.

The only downside to this free service is you're restricted to just 500MB 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, it's speedy and highly reliable.

Best Unlimited VPN: ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN

4.6

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 that, 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


3

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, providing you choose to specifically connect to a torrenting server.

The service works differently from other VPNs. It bonds your Wi-Fi and cellular signals together to create a faster and more reliable connection. Understandably, that means faster speeds for when you browse as well as when you stream videos or download files. It's also more reliable as by combining multiple different signals, it has redundancy built into it. If your cellular connection drops, there's always the Wi-Fi to pick up the slack and vice versa.

A more reliable service for free does come at a small cost. You're only able to use 5GB of data each month. It's up to you how you use it, so you can use it all across one day, rather than spread over multiple days, but it might prove inflexible for some purposes.

Best for Speed: Betternet

Betternet

Betternet

3

A free fast VPN for Mac is the Holy Grail of VPN clients, and fortunately, Betternet is pretty close to achieving all of that. With consistently great speeds for a VPN, Betternet is an appealing prospect if speed is everything to you, even if it is a flawed free service.

The free version doesn't give you a choice of server locations which is a bit limiting but it's a reasonable trade-off for not having to pay up. Crucially, the server locations are all very reliable and in the case of a connection drop, the app reconnects you to another one automatically.

There's also no need to sign up to an account which is convenient, although do expect to see ads for sponsored apps and video links in exchange for being able to use the service for free. You can also use it to stream videos or participate in P2P file sharing such as torrenting but bear in mind that Betternet has stated that it will cooperate with the authorities if need be.

Best for Multiple Devices: Windscribe

Windscribe

Windscribe


4.3

Windscribe offers a few different paid plans, but it also has a free service that's ideal for specific needs. After a quick sign-up process, you can use Windscribe for free for as long as you want.

Each month, you have 10GB of data to use which is generous for a free VPN service. While you don't have full access to all 50 different countries available via a paid plan, there is the option of over 10 different countries which is more than enough for the average user. Speeds are generally quite respectable, too, particularly where general browsing is concerned.

Most importantly, however, Windscribe allows you to connect to its service with as many different devices as you want. That's a flexible option that few other free VPN clients provide, and is great if you want to use a VPN across multiple different systems such as your home PC as well as your smartphone. It also doesn't keep any logs so you know your browsing history is kept private at all times.

Best for General Browsing: VPN Gate

VPN Gate

VPN Gate

VPN Gate started out as an academic project in which volunteers work 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. It also actively discourages 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.

Best for Data: Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield


3.7

It's tough to find a free VPN that also offers its users plenty of data. Hotspot Shield is quite generous with data, offering 500MB per day via its free plan. You don't need to register an account and no activity logs are stored by Hotspot, so it's great for quickly setting up. It also promises military-grade encryption, which will reassure privacy-conscious users.

There are some extensive limitations though. The service has ads frequently scattered throughout the app, and you can only connect one 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 the U.S. servers. There's also the fact that your daily data cap doesn't roll over so you're truly restricted to 500MB per day.

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 a useful free service that's easy to sign up to. 

Best Ad-Free VPN: HideMe

HideMe

HideMe

Unlike other VPNs, HideMe has an entirely free service that is also devoid of ads. There's no risk of your data being sold or collected as there are no logs kept, with HideMe regularly audited to ensure it can't store data on its users.

While being free of ads might sound like a highly limited service, HideMe offers a 2GB data transfer limit each month, with unlimited bandwidth in the meantime. There's a choice of 5 different server locations including Singapore, Canada, Netherlands, U.S. East and U.S. West, 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 (and without pesky ads), it's great.