The Safari browser comes bundled with Mac OS X and macOS. If you have a Mac, you already have Safari. Owners of iOS devices can download the browser, but there is no version available for Windows, Android, or Linux. In this article, we’ll cover the best VPNs for Safari and why you should use one.
If you use the Safari browser to surf the web, you should know about extra protection that you can add on to your connections. A VPN will protect your privacy and allow you to get around regional restrictions that many websites impose on access. This means that you will be able to access video streaming services from other countries, even though your location would normally get you locked out.
There are many benefits to using a VPN, which you can read about further down in this report. However, your first decision is which VPN provider to choose. When looking for the best VPN for Safari, you need to take into account the following features:
- Can be installed on Macs and iOS devices
- Has good speeds
- Offers strong encryption
- Can dodge regional restrictions
With these criteria in mind, we have compiled a list of the five best VPNs for Safari.
Best VPNs for Safari:
ExpressVPN is our top recommendation because it really fulfills all the requirements for a Safari VPN. It is the only major VPN service that is available as an extension for Safari. If you use the browser extension, only your activity in the browser will be protected by the VPN. However, the ExpressVPN browser version is a very comprehensive implementation and includes all of the security features of the app, including DNS leak protection.
Alternatively, you can install the VPN app and use that to cover everything on your device.
The ExpressVPN app is available for all of the operating systems that Safari runs on: Mac OS X, macOS, and iOS. You can also install the system on the Windows and Android operating systems, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Amazon Fire TV, Kindle Fire tablets, and Linux machines. You get an allowance of three simultaneous connections, so you can have other gadgets covered by the VPN as well as your Safari browser at the same time.
ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that actually has an app for Linux and it also has an automatic installer for routers. A router installation counts as only one of your three concurrent connection allowance even though it covers all of the internet-connected devices in your home.
ExpressVPN includes very strong encryption, which is essential if you want to connect to the internet in repressive countries. As well as using 256-bit AES encryption with the OpenVPN system, it also employs 4096-bit RSA encryption for session establishment, which is the strongest available on the market.
This service is also very good at evading detection, which makes it a good option for places such as China and Iran, and it will also get you past just about all regional restrictions in the world, including Netflix. ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, which gives you lots of options when you want to appear to be in a different country. The company does not keep connection logs.
If you use the app instead of the browser extension, you get more security features. These include a kill switch, which will prevent all the apps on your device from connecting to the internet if the VPN is not active. You also get automatic wifi protection with the ExpressVPN app, which is essential if you tend to use wifi hotspots in public places.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
IPVanish offers good speeds for accessing streaming video and the company has servers in 60 countries. There isn’t an IPVanish Safari browser extension, however, there are apps for Mac OS X, macOS, and iOS operating systems, which will protect your browser traffic. You can also install an IPVanish app on Windows and Android, including manually on Amazon Fire devices and routers. The company gives you an allowance of five concurrent connections.
The company is based in the United States, which may worrisome because the NSA and other law enforcement are known to apply secret pressure to IT companies in order to access customer information. However, IPVanish offers strong security with the AES encryption system, using a 256-bit key through the OpenVPN methodology. This level of protection is also used by the other VPNs in our list of the best VPNs for Safari.
A key privacy feature of the VPN service is that it keeps no logs. This is important if you want to download files with the BitTorrent protocol. Copyright lawyers in the USA are particularly active, so if your chosen VPN company retains activity or connection records, you would lose your privacy. The IPVanish app includes a kill switch and automatic wifi protection, which will prevent your real IP address from being detected by snoopers on the internet.
IPVanish offers a seven-day money-back guarantee.
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Read our full IPVanish review.
You get access to servers in 61 countries with NordVPN and the app is excellent at getting around regional restrictions, including those on Netflix. NordVPN does not keep any logs, which helps hide your identity on the internet. You can connect to the service on six devices all at the same time, and the website has a long list of tutorials on how to install the VPN manually on your router — that counts as just one connection.
You can install the NordVPN app on Mac OS X, macOS, and iOS, to cover your Safari browser. There is also an app available for Windows and Android and you can install the system manually on Linux computers and devices.
NordVPN doesn’t offer a Safari browser extension. However, it does have a supplementary service, called an HTTP proxy, which you can set up on your browser. A tutorial on the website explains how to set it up. A web proxy isn’t as good as a VPN because it doesn’t give you any extra encryption or other security measures, it just changes your apparent location.
The NordVPN app includes a number of interesting security features. These include encryption on all of your connections and there is also a kill switch. You can choose a double hop route that will travel through two different VPN servers and encrypt your connections twice over. You may also connect to the Tor network through NordVPN. Your privacy is protected further by NordVPN’s no-logs policy.
Read our full NordVPN review.
This company is based in Sweden, but its support staff all speak excellent English. The support team can be contacted online during European office hours via a live chat window on the service’s website. The team is very competent and can even take control of your computer remotely to fix problems for you. However, you are unlikely to encounter any problems installing this app because it comes with an install wizard that will get the VPN operating without much input from you.
You can protect Safari browser by installing the PrivateVPN app on Mac OS X, macOS, and iOS devices. Apps are available for Windows and Android, and you can install the VPN manually on routers, Amazon fire devices, and the Linux operating system.
PrivateVPN runs servers in 56 countries. This is a particularly good option if you like to download with torrents because the company does not keep any logs. The OpenVPN protocol is protected with 256-bit AES encryption. You also get a kill switch and automatic wifi protection options with the PrivateVPN app.
The service gives each customer and allowance of six simultaneous connections and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the system.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
CyberGhost doesn’t have a Safari browser extension, but you can install it on Mac OS X, macOS, and iOS. Apps are also available for Windows and Android, and you can install the system manually on routers and Linux computers.
The service gives you access to servers in 54 countries and a special cloaking option will help you in places that have tough government restrictions on internet access. The VPN connections are connected by AES 256-bit encryption and 4096-bit RSA encryption for session establishment. A kill switch and automatic wifi protection are built into the app.
The company doesn’t hold any details on its customers. All payment processing is carried out by a third party and you are only identified on the CyberGhost system by an account number. The company does not keep activity logs and it is based in Romania where there are no data retention requirements.
The interface of the app opens with an activities screen where you can choose a VPN server adjusted for activities such as watching streaming videos or downloading. You get an allowance of five simultaneous connections with CyberGhost and the company gives all new customers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full Cyberghost review.
Do free VPNs work with Safari?
It is better to avoid free VPN services. You won’t find any that will give you full privacy protection. Keeping ahead of restrictions and the detection systems of governments and websites costs a lot of money. So, you should be suspicious of companies that claim to offer a full VPN service for free. How do they pay their bills?
Some free VPNs are scams and rather than protecting your personal information, their VPN apps actually harvest it to sell to advertisers. A VPN is not a VPN without encryption and, surprisingly, there are many free VPNs that don’t include any encryption at all. These services give you a false sense of security and can actually prove to be dangerous. All of the traffic that passes through your connection is available for any interceptor to read if your VPN does not use encryption.
Many reputable VPN services offer a free version to lure in new customers. Obviously, these free versions are not as good as the paid VPNs offered by the same company, otherwise, those providers would never be able to persuade anyone to pay for the service. Usually those bona fide free services have restrictions imposed on them. These include a limit on the servers that you can access, a limit on the throughput speed, or a limit on the amount of data that you can use each month.
Although free VPNs are tempting, they are usually a waste of time. This is why we do not recommend that you spend precious online hours hunting for bargains. The VPNs on our list offer very good value for money.
Browser extension or app?
You will notice that ExpressVPN is the only service on our list that actually has a browser extension for Safari. You also get an app with ExpressVPN and nine times out of ten, you would be better off using the app rather than the browser extension. This is because the browser extension only covers the internet transmissions that go from and to your browser. In the meantime, lots of background processes and apps on your computer will also be accessing the internet.
When you only use a browser VPN, all of the other internet activities on your computer are not protected. This means that they all communicate using your real IP address and all of the computers that they connect to can also be recorded by your internet service provider. So, if you have a downloading client running on your computer and you are only using the browser extension VPN, those transactions performed by the downloader will all be visible to anyone on your network.
The HTTP proxy offered by NordVPN will change the location of all of your browser transactions, but won’t give you any encryption. As with the browser VPN extension, a web proxy set up in your browser won’t cover any of the other apps running on your computer that also connect to the internet. Overall, when you have a choice between a VPN app and a VPN browser extension, it is better to use the app.
VPNs for Safari
Now that you have recommendations on the five best VPNs to use for Safari, your search for internet privacy just got a whole lot easier. There are so many VPN services available on the market today and it is difficult to work out which are good and which are bad.
The VPNs on our list will encrypt all of your connections and help to keep them protected from hackers and data thieves. They will prevent ISPs and government agencies from blocking off access to certain sites and they will dodge the regional restrictions that some websites impose.
Take advantage of the money-back periods offered by the services on our list to give a few of them a spin without any risk. A VPN will improve your enjoyment of the web and strengthen your privacy, so try one out today.