For those who do not know, a VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and allows you to achieve complete and secure privacy when browsing the web. However, several Mac users usually do not end up using a VPN because they find the process too tedious or complicated, which ends up putting them in a disadvantage when it comes to securing their private data in the long term. But the reality is, the process of installing a VPN on your Mac is quite simple and it doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or a professional Mac user. So, we decided to put together a quick guide on what a VPN is and how you can quickly set it up on your Mac today.
So, to put it simply, a VPN allows users to generate a secure connection through their Mac to the internet. There are several reasons why it is the recommended method of browsing online and some of these include; hiding your IP address on public WiFi, accessing locally restricted content etc. It accomplishes this by forwarding all your website traffic to the private network tat you have linked with. It’s basically the same as connecting your Mac to a remote server online and from there, that connection will grant you the ability to go online using that server link. For example, if you are based in China, a VPN will allow you to easily connect to a remote server in Canada, and make it seem like your Mac is based there as well.
As mentioned before, so many Mac users prefer to hide their IP addresses and use a VPN instead for several good reasons. However, the most common reason is security. This is because by utilizing a VPN, you safeguard yourself from the risk of encountering cyberattacks, keeping your Mac protected as you browse any website online. In fact, the level of security offered by VPNs is important if you plan on going online using unsecured and public connections eg. at Starbucks, local library, college campus or even airports. These sort of networks make it easy for cyber hackers to gain access to people’s private data eg. bank information, over these public network lines.
In fact, even on a private network, there are often times that you end up struggling with a slow WiFi connection. When that happens there are usually a multitude of options you can take to help fix the problem. One of the quickest and most common solutions is to purchase some cables and switch to an Ethernet connection, instead. The benefit of using these is that they will help alleviate the issue of an unstable network connection, improve your streaming HDMI quality, provide lower latency, increase data speeds, among many other benefits. In short, it is a common and handy solution that would delver you a faster, secure and more stable data transfer connection.
However, if that option isn’t currently available to you for whatever reason, then the next best thing is to switch to a VPN connection, as this method can also sometimes help improve your WiFi’s speed! Although, you will have to keep in mind that most quality VPN services are not free either. And because Macs do not have an in-built VPN feature, you will most likely need to purchase one. The reason we are not recommending a free service instead is because most of them offer poor network connections with slow speeds and only do so with the main intention of gathering your private information to later sell to advertisers. As such, it is usually better to go premium, especially when it comes to VPN.
Things To Consider When Choosing A VPN
The first thing you need to confirm before downloading a VPN client is ensuring that they have a macOS version available. You also need to make sure that the chosen VPN client offers the right features that you need as every service tends to offer different features in terms of level of encryption, server locations etc. Other things to consider include:
- Limited Privacy: Although all VPN clients hide your location while browsing online, not all of them offer complete browser protection. Some services may end up limiting the number of browser extensions and connections or even offer limited security options.
- Limited Protection: Some clients don’t provide sufficient protection to help you protect every Mac or mobile device that you have. The best ones usually offer protection across multiple devices allowing you to keep your laptop, desktop and mobile phones at the same time. It is in these cases, that owning a USB C Hub can be extremely helpful to Mac users, when trying to ensure protection across multiple devices. This is because these Mac accessories extend the limits of your computer setup, thereby offering you a greater number of ports to which you can connect to multiple devices at once. This allows you to quickly transfer multiple files, documents, even programs quite easily at the same time. This then makes it a much more convenient user experience, whether you are trying to transfer data or in this case, transfer VPN browsing protection across multiple devices.
- Limited Servers:Some VPN clients offer very limited server locations which can end up slowing down your internet connection significantly. Moreover, you will be limited in the areas from which you can look like you are browsing from. This can then limit your access to various region-restricted websites, as a result.
In short, it is important to do enough research on the all the various VPN software clients that are available online. You need to choose one that will not cost you too much money, but also one that offers all the extended features and functionality that will suit your browsing needs.