Safari comes bundled with MacOS, Mac OS X and iOS so if you have a Mac, iPhone or iPad, you probably use Safari to browse the Internet on a regular basis. If, like many other people, you would like to ensure your privacy is protected at all times while browsing the Internet with Safari, a VPN is a valuable tool to have at your disposal. In addition to keeping your real location and identity hidden, a good VPN will ensure that hackers and government agencies cannot monitor your online activities or intercept and read any data that you send during your browsing sessions.
Best VPNs for Safari
Safari is a secure browser but like any other browser, it cannot hide your IP address or stop 3rd parties from seeing what websites you visit and what files you download or upload. With a VPN, on the other hand, you can mask your IP address so that nobody knows where or who you are, and you can make sure that your online activities are not logged or recorded by any 3rd parties. To help you choose the best VPN for your Safari browsing sessions, we have put together a list of what we consider to be 5 of the very best VPNs that work on the MacOS, OS X and iOS operating systems.
Top 5 Safari VPNs
All of the VPNs in this list can also be used on Android, Windows and Linux but what is important about them to us is that they all have apps that are fully compatible with Apple’s Mac and mobile operating systems. We have chosen them because they offer great protection, fast connections speeds and are provided by well-established operators with good track records.
- IPVanish – With MacOS and iOS apps, absolutely no logging of clients’ activities, and impressively fast connection speeds, IPVanish is a solid VPN for Safari users that ticks all the right boxes. Whether you choose to pay on a monthly or annual basis, you will have access to over 1,300 servers in 75+ separate locations around the world when subscribing to IPVanish, allowing you to enjoy locally restricted content in many different countries. According to IPVanish, they offer the fastest VPN service in the world so you should not have any problems streaming hi-def movies to your Mac, iPad or iPhone if you sign up for one of their plans. Their VPN service includes unlimited bandwidth and server switching, as well as up to 10 simultaneous connections from multiple devices, making it a great choice for large families or groups of friends who live together and like the idea of having unrestricted access to everything the Internet has to offer. IPVanish does not provide a browser extension for Safari but once you have installed the appropriate app on your Mac, iPhone or iPad, all traffic from your device will go through the encrypted VPN, including your Safari browser requests and any files that you download from the browser. IPVanish uses 256-bit AES encryption, which is the industry standard for online data encryption and will ensure the safety of your personal data when you are using Safari to visit websites all over the world.
- CyberGhost – CyberGhost has apps for MacOS, OS X and iOS available for download so you can use their VPN service from all of your Apple devices, including older Macs that have not been upgraded to the latest operating system. With over 5,700 servers, which are located in more than 90 different countries around the world, CyberGhost has a truly global reach and is expanding its network of servers all the time. Having been in business for more than 15 years, this is a service provider that you can rely on to be there to support you in the future, should you choose to commit to a long-term contract in order to save money on your subscription fees. In addition to providing apps for all Apple devices, CyberGhost has software that can be installed on routers, providing household-wide coverage in one simple solution. If you decide to install VPN software on your router, there is no need to install separate apps on each of your Apple devices because they will all use the VPN connection that you specify in your router settings. However, one thing to bear in mind if you rely solely on router software is that your devices will not have access to the VPN service when you are out of the house, leaving you unprotected on public Wi-Fi networks. For this reason, it is always a good idea to install the VPN apps on each tablet and phone that you own.
- NordVPN – NordVPN is another VPN service with thousands of individual servers spread all over the world (5545 servers in 60 countries at the time of writing) and is one of the most popular VPN service providers among both Apple and PC users across the globe. Although they do not offer a browser extension specifically designed for Safari, they do include an HTTP proxy in their VPN plans, which you can set up on Safari to make sure that all your browser traffic goes through a NordVPN proxy. However, if you do this, you need to realize that while the proxy will keep your true location hidden from any sites you visit and enable you to access geo-restricted content in various different countries, it will not provide you with any added protection against hackers or government-authorized monitoring activities. If you want to encrypt all the data flowing to and from your Apple devices when you are using Safari, you will need to install the MacOS, Mac OS X and iOS apps that can be downloaded from NordVPN’s website. If you are particularly concerned about the possibility of your data being intercepted and read by third parties, NordVPN has a ‘double hop route’ option that sends your data through two separate servers and encrypts it twice! As a well-established VPN service provider that offers a variety of plans at attractive prices, NordVPN is a solid choice for all Safari users and thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee they offer on all their plans, you get a whole month to test the service without any financial risk.
- ExpressVPN – ExpressVPN enjoys the distinction of being the only VPN on our list that can be installed as a Safari browser extension, which makes it the most attractive option for many Apple device users. However, if you decide to use the browser extension they provide, you need to bear in mind that only your Safari browsing sessions will be protected by your encrypted VPN service. If you use any other apps online, the data you send and receive with them will not be encrypted. If this is an issue for you, you can just install the MacOS, OS X and iOS apps that, in common with all the service providers on this list, ExpressVPN provides to their subscribers. ExpressVPN only allows 3 simultaneous connections, which is less than most of the other VPN providers in our list, but on the plus side, their router software comes in an automatic installation package and if you decide to take advantage of it, your router will count as just one connection, even if you are using 20 different devices on your home Wi-Fi network! ExpressVPN currently has over 3,000 servers in 94 different countries, which puts them up there with industry leaders in terms of network size and traffic-handling capabilities. As with all of the VPN services mentioned here, you can check the location of all of ExpressVPN’s servers by visiting their website and if you need access to a particular country, we recommend doing this before signing up.
- Private Internet Access – Last but certainly not least on our list is Private Internet Access (PIA), a VPN service that boasts over 3,300 servers in 32 separate countries across the globe. PCMag declared it to be one of the best performing VPNs in a comparison test they performed and with unlimited bandwidth, integrated malware blockers and no traffic logs, PIA is a VPN service that merits serious consideration whatever type of browser you use to access the Internet. For Safari users, PIA provides MacOS and iOS apps for download on their website and the installation process for each one is very simple. Companies that wish to provide their workforce with class-leading VPN data encryption for all their Apple devices may be interested in PIA’s bulk purchase option, which includes a generous discount on their standard VPN package prices. In addition to their apps for Apple devices, PIA provides apps for Windows, Android and various different Linux distros, making their VPN service a good choice for households that use a variety of different PC and smartphone operating systems. With a 7-day money-back guarantee, you can test PIA’s VPN service before committing to a monthly or annual payment plan but with their track record and stellar reputation in the industry, you are unlikely to be disappointed with the performance of PIA’s VPN service, whether you are using Safari or any other browser app to access the Internet.
Do You Really Need a VPN When using Safari?
In its early iterations, Safari was not very well received by Apple device users, owing to its relatively slow performance and poor security features, but over the years it has been developed to the point where it is now considered to be one of the fastest and most secure browsers currently available for the MacOS and iOS operating systems. Given its advanced security features, you may be wondering whether it is really worth going to the trouble of installing a VPN on your Mac, iPhone or iPad to protect your data when using Safari to access the Internet. The answer to this question really depends on what kind of websites you visit on a regular basis and what type of data you send and receive over the Internet. For casual users who never send any personal data online, never want to view geo-restricted content and don’t care whether the websites they visit can see where they are located, a VPN may be an unnecessary expense. On the other hand, if you would like to view content that is only available in certain countries or you are bothered about the fact that your data could be intercepted and read by hackers once it leaves your device, a VPN is definitely worth considering. Anybody who values their privacy and would prefer to keep their real location and identity hidden when browsing the Internet with Safari, will find a VPN to be a valuable addition to their online defenses.
If you are still not sure whether you need a VPN, the following questions may help you to make up your mind:
- Do You Sometimes Want to Watch Netflix Movies That Are Only Available in Other Countries? – Streaming video service providers such as Netflix often tailor the content they provide to meet the different tastes of subscribers in different countries around the world, which means that movies available to subscribers in the USA, for example, may not be the same as those available to subscribers in India, South Africa, or any other country you care to mention. If you often find yourself wishing that you could watch a movie or TV show that is only available to subscribers in another country, a VPN with fast connection speeds and unlimited bandwidth could be a really useful service to have. On the other hand, if you never use streaming video services or have little interest in the content that is available in other countries, this particular benefit will be of little interest to you.
- Is Government Censorship an Issue in Your Country? – The governments of some countries restrict access to certain websites and online content, which can be very annoying if you happen to live in one of those countries. If you often find that sites you would like to visit are not reachable from your location, you may find that a VPN service really enhances your online browsing experience with Safari. However, you should, of course, check to make sure that it is legal to use a VPN in your country before you go ahead and subscribe to any of the services recommended in this article. The laws covering VPNs vary in different countries around the world: in some countries it is legal to use them for some, but not all, online activities whereas in other countries, there are no restrictions at all on the use of VPNs.
- Do You Ever Worry That People Could Discover Your Real Location from Your IP Address? – If you are bothered about the fact that people you interact with online could discover where you live and possibly try to find you in real life one day, using a VPN to mask your IP address is an excellent idea. You can choose to connect to any of the servers that your VPN service provider operates, making it seem as though you are actually located in a completely different country. Most VPNs offer subscribers the option of choosing a specific server when connecting to their networks, and you can close your connection and reconnect to a different server at any time.
- Do You Frequently Send Sensitive Data over the Internet? – If you often send personal details such as your name, address, passport number or telephone number to other people on the Internet and you would like to make sure that nobody but the intended recipients can ever see this data, the high level of encryption that VPNs provide will definitely be of interest to you. With all your data being sent through an encrypted tunnel, you will never have to worry about hackers or government agencies getting hold of personal information that you wish to keep safe.
Now that you have had time to consider some of the key benefits that VPNs have to offer, you should be in a better position to decide whether you would like to use one when browsing the Internet with Safari on your iPad, iPhone or Mac. If you would like to try one and see how it goes, any of those mentioned in this article would be a good place to start.
A Word about Free VPNs for Safari Users
In conclusion, we would like to offer a warning about the many free VPN services available online. The idea of being able to protect your data and mask your true location and identity for free is an appealing option but in the majority of cases, the level of service you will receive from a free VPN is much lower than what you will get when paying for a plan offered by a well-established, reputable VPN service provider. Furthermore, some of the free VPNs you may come across are not safe at all: you could potentially expose yourself to identity theft by accessing the Internet via a free VPN that is actually run by hackers rather than a genuine VPN operator.
If you want to take advantage of all the benefits that VPNs have to offer when using Safari to browse the Internet, we recommend trying one of the paid services mentioned above and if you find that the first one you try does not meet all your needs, you can simply cancel your subscription before the money-back guarantee period expires and try another one.