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Table of Contents

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Published on Nov 10, 2023
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Juliya Smith

Mac Security 101: Why You Need a VPN and How to Use One

Every year, the world loses trillions of dollars to various forms of cybercrime. This happens across all types of devices, including Macs. What any internet security expert knows is this: having antivirus software doesn’t offer the full protection that you need.

Any solutions to bridge the security gap? A virtual private network, or VPN. It is like having your own tunnel on the internet that provides data encryption and geo-spoofing, among other things.

Therefore, anyone looking for a low-risk, high-reward investment in privacy should definitely download VPN for Mac to fortify their cyber defenses. As a VPN encrypts your IP address and all other information that can identify you, hackers lose all chances to steal your identity.


The Decision Not to Use a VPN May Be Based on These Two Myths

Like most internet users, we know that you want to keep your device protected. After all, a Mac is a huge investment! But these two myths may be leading some to make unwise security decisions:

Myth #1: Mac Devices Can’t Get a Virus

Many Mac users tend to think that it’s impossible to get viruses on their devices. And this myth has been going on practically since the first Mac laptop came out.

To some extent, there’s some logic behind this, as the product already comes with a built-in XProtect. This is designed to protect it from malware and viruses. And on top of that, Apple also complicates transferring files from a non-Apple device.

Still, this doesn’t make these computers immune. They are still subject to threats, and if hackers find a weak spot, they’ll exploit it to get in.

Myth #2: VPNs Can Prevent Viruses

A virtual private network can do many things to create a more secure online experience for you, but preventing viruses isn’t one of them.

For that, you need a different product: antivirus software; but this doesn’t mean that a VPN is little more than a novelty product. As we’ll discuss in the next section, there are still reasons to get one for your device.

So how are these two things connected? Some Mac users tend to think that VPN's purposes are incompatible with their needs. Since they believe that it’s impossible to get a virus, they don’t get VPN as a protective measure.

Considering what’s at stake, it’s dangerous to maintain this line of thinking. You only have to get unlucky once to potentially lose a lot—whether it’s your device or the exclusive use of your personal information.

Three Reasons You Should Set Up VPN for Your Mac

Do you need a VPN on Mac? The short answer is yes! If you’re having doubts, here are a few things that could change your mind:

You Want to Hide Your Internet Activities

Going incognito on Chrome isn’t going to do the trick. Your internet provider can still track your activities and, depending on what’s in your contract, sell the resulting data to advertisers.

Even worse is if you’re using a public connection because anyone can use that network, and hackers can just get in. From there, they can siphon the data from everyone else.

That’s where a VPN comes in. Although it can’t do anything about bad actors connecting to the same network, it can encrypt your data, so it becomes useless to anyone who retrieves it.

You Want Better Internet Security

Perhaps you do a lot of online banking on your laptop. Having seen what’s happened to victims, you refrain from using public connections. But you’re not satisfied with that measure.

Just in case someone has hacked into your home network, you may want to use VPN. This prevents anyone from intercepting your login credentials or other important data.

You Want to Browse from Another Country

This may seem nothing more than a novelty perk to some, but it’s actually pretty helpful. Essentially, your VPN can tear down the geographic restrictions on the internet. It will

Enable you to:

  • Take advantage of deals only available in certain places
  • Visit websites and stream various forms of content that are blocked in your country
  • Download apps and software that haven’t been released in your country

The ability to change your location is very useful, especially when traveling. Having this can mean getting rid of small nuisances like web pages loading in a foreign language.

You Don’t Want to Get a Separate Device for Working Remotely

Especially for freelancers who don’t have companies to provide equipment for them, getting a work-only laptop can feel like a waste of money. A great alternative here is using VPN, as you can just activate this connection for work.

Why is this important? You may be accessing sensitive documents as part of your job. The last thing you want to do is to compromise their security and potentially lose your employment. Thanks to the encryption capabilities of VPNs, you don’t have to worry about this happening.

What Should You Consider in Selecting a VPN Provider?

To fully enjoy the benefits mentioned in the previous section, you can’t just go with the first VPN provider that you know about. Strongly consider these criteria before paying for the service:


When assessing price as a criterion, we usually look for the cheapest solution. But that isn’t the case with VPN; if anything, you should avoid providers offering their services for free.

Like any other business, providers need money to continue delivering their service. So, if they’re not getting it from you, they’re getting it in other ways, like selling information to advertisers and other third-party buyers.

There always needs to be a financial incentive for them to provide a service. It’s always better if it’s you giving this incentive rather than an unknown entity.

Kill Switch

If the VPN connection is suddenly terminated, would your real IP address be exposed? This defeats the purpose of getting this service in the first place.

So, before you sign up with any provider, ask about whether or not they have this feature. Depending on the activities you want to do on the internet, you might not be able to afford to go without it.

Data Handling

How does the company handle the data that comes from you? Despite the promises of anonymity, using a VPN may not make you as invisible as you want to be… if you go for the wrong provider.

Almost everyone agrees to privacy policies without actually reading them, but considering the primary purpose of a VPN connection is privacy, it only makes sense to take the time to look into how the VPN works. In Particular, what data do they collect from you? The ideal provider would have a no-log policy, so none of your browsing activities would be stored anywhere.

Performance is also a consideration.

Security should never come in the way of an excellent browsing experience. Therefore, your connection shouldn’t throttle your internet speed.

There’s no definite way to know this until you try out the service. So, try to talk to their customer support team to see if they can offer a quick free trial before you purchase. You may also refer to reviews from other users to get more insights into what your experience is likely to be like.

How to Secure Your Connection with a VPN: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve already invested in a VPN for Mac, the next step will be to use it. We recommend using it permanently instead of turning it on and off when you feel like it. Follow these steps to keep your browsing protected at all times:

  1. Locate and click “System Settings” on the Apple menu.
  2. From the sidebar, scroll down until you find your VPN. Click it.
  3. Select the name of the VPN service.
  4. Use the default configuration. For an L2TP over IPSec VPN, go to the Configuration pop-up menu.
  5. Type in your VPN settings, which may include your VPN account details, authentication method, and server address.
  6. Click “Create.”

That’s it! Moving forward, you’ll be more protected against security threats coming from the internet. To avoid subscription termination, make sure to set up a recurring payment to your service provider.

It’s Never Too Late to Amp Up Your Mac’s Security with a VPN

Let us paraphrase a quote about saving the environment: the best time to get a VPN is when you buy the device. The next best time is now.

Even though you might not have encountered any security threats so far, the potential consequences of falling victim to them are just not worth it. Many cybersecurity victims probably thought they were safe until they weren’t. We hope this piece has shed light on how valuable a VPN subscription from a reliable provider can be.

And remember, even the best VPN for Mac isn’t a magic solution that will automatically protect you from every threat on the web. You still have to do your part. Be vigilant by being mindful of the links you click and the sites you visit.

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