Despite Windows being the most popular desktop OS in the world, a lot of security and design conscious users opt for the Mac OS for running their desktops. One of the biggest reasons behind this choice is the common perception that Macs are more secure than Windows when it comes to preventing users from attacks that involve exploiting system vulnerabilities.
And yes, Macs certainly are better adept at protecting their users from such catastrophes as compared to Windows. Just take a look at how the ransomware Wannacry wreaked havoc on systems running the Windows OS in 2017 and you will get a very good idea on how opting for Mac as your OS was definitely the better choice indeed.
But, despite the magnificent in-built protective features like sandboxing and restrictive root base access offering maximum security to your system by virtue of not having such zero-day points of entry, Macs can still suffer from malware and ransomware attacks if you are not taking enough steps towards toughening up your cybersecurity.
We now spend a major chunk of our times online, performing almost all types of tasks ranging from conducting financial transactions to accessing our social media handles. Highly sensitive information passes through our internet connection when we do that and without adequate protection, anyone from hackers to even your ISP can siphon that data or invade your connection on a whim.
To secure your privacy online and ensure that your data remains protected while it’s being transferred in the online domain, it needs to pass through a VPN enabled connection.
VPNs, simply put, are tools that allow your online activities to pass through a private connection, thereby effectively sealing your internet activity from any undue meddling.
If you are still not using a VPN on your Mac device, then you are surely setting yourself up for an impending disaster. Using a VPN on Macs is not hard at all, contrary to popular belief. Modern-day VPNs are easy to use, even by newbie users, allowing you to take your online security up a notch and bring your overall privacy to an unassailable level.
Still, need more reasons to convince you that deploying a VPN on your Mac is absolutely necessary? Or are you a bit hesitant that you don’t know much about VPNs?
Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. We’ve covered everything about using VPNs on Mac in this guide. Let’s get you through it from the beginning:
1) Let’s Start At The Beginning:
First things first, do you first want to know what a VPN actually is?
Well, a VPN is currently the best tool available to safeguard your privacy and make you go anonymous online. This tool encrypts your data and makes it pass through a secure tunnel, along with activating other safeguards to make sure that your internet connection cannot be broken through in.
From offering obfuscated servers to prevent deep packet inspection to being based in countries that have no data retention laws, modern-day VPNs work towards sealing off all those gaping holes through which your security can be compromised.
And they also care for offering maximum user ease by offering easy to use client apps for every popular platform, even Macs.
You can get a lot of advantages just simply by deploying a VPN over your internet connection that you might not even have been aware off till now.
Firstly, they secure your internet connection protecting you from a diverse range of threats like Man in the Middle attacks that often afflict people who nonchalantly us Public Wi-Fi.
Secondly, they allow you to bypass geo-restrictions so that even if you are in place with restricted access to the free internet like China, you can still visit all of your favorite sites whenever you want.
Thirdly, VPNs also amplify your entertainment experience as they offer you the chance to access your favorite streaming sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer even when you are not in locations that don’t offer access to them.
Fourthly, they can save you an incredible amount of money. For e.g., if the price of room booking in hotels or air tickets differs between regions, you can turn on your VPN, connect to the server placed in the area where prices are lower and buy the same service or product at a reduced price.
The advantages that VPNs offer are almost all relevant to the problems you can face online, so you won’t ever regret subscribing to one in the first place.
3) Best VPN Software for Mac:
If you make up your mind to subscribe to a VPN service, the next question that will pop up in your mind would be related towards the best provider that suits your needs perfectly.
And while there a lot of providers out there that claim to offer the best VPN services for Mac, here are some points that you need to look for in a provider to verify its claim:
- Does it offer Military Grade Encryption?
- Does it support OpenVPN Protocol?
- Can it unblock Netflix or other geo-restricted streaming sites?
- Does it offer a compatible client app for Mac and other related devices?
- How many multi-logins does it support?
- Are its pricing plans equal to the value it’s offering?
- Does it offer a good server infrastructure?
- Does it work in China?
- Does it protect against DNS or WebRTC leaks?
- Does it keep zero logs?
- Is it based in a place with no data retention laws?
- Does it offer unlimited bandwidth?
- Does it support high speeds?
4) Other Things You Need To Know:
VPNs are incredible towards protecting your security as you might know by now, but still, there are a lot of caveats in this domain that you need to be aware of.
Free services are mostly to be avoided, even though they look enticing. Paid providers might feel expensive to subscribe to, but they guarantee you a premium performance. Running a VPN is expensive stuff and if a provider is offering a free service, then it must be making money out of nefarious areas like selling your data.
Also, take care even when you opt for the paid providers. Not all of them are trustworthy enough. Some VPNs market themselves as secure but actually aren’t. So do make it a point to do proper research on whether they have ever complied with government data gag requests, are they owned by someone credible etc. to ensure that you are entrusting your privacy in safe, reliable hands.
5) The Pros and Cons of VPNs
VPNs have a lot of pros but they also have cons, which are mostly unavoidable due to the nature of their service.
The pros include the obvious, which we’ve already covered in this post above, like making your connection private, unblocking geo-restricted sites, reducing costs of products by spoofing your location etc.
But there are some cons that you will have to contend with if you choose to use a VPN on your Mac for e.g. you will experience a considerable speed loss once you turn your VPN due to the heavy encryption, tunneling, and location hop that your internet connection goes through.
Sometimes they can stop working suddenly leaving you exposed online as well, which is a big problem if you are doing something extremely sensitive on your Mac like Torrenting. But some VPNs offer protection against this issue by virtue of a kill switch, which stops your real IP from being exposed online by killing off your internet connection as well when the VPN goes down.
Subscribing to VPNs is one of the best investments you can make in today’s world where you spend most of your time on Macs traversing the online sphere. Improving your cyber-security ensures that hackers can’t find their way so easily into your system just like they do on unprotected systems.
However, do keep in mind that even though your Mac might be a secure device and you also protecting your online privacy through a VPN, both of these can never be enough alone for your overall internet hygiene.
So keep stronger passwords, enable two factor authentication whenever possible, don’t click on spam links or emails and learn to recognize spear phishing attempts along with opting for a VPN for your Mac and you will virtually never be at receiving end of a malicious ransomware or malware attack that could steal your sensitive personal or private data.