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Mac VPN: Benefits, Drawbacks, and Alternatives

If you know the internet, you know it’s not as free or secure as people often think. Privacy scares and blocks are all too common. How do you navigate internet freedom and security issues? Plenty of people turn to a Mac VPN, but is that the best option? Here are the benefits, drawbacks, and alternatives to a VPN.

What is a Mac VPN?

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First, let’s break down the basics. A Mac VPN like WeVPN changes your Internet Protocol (IP) address. What does that mean? Think of your IP address like tracking the location on your phone — if someone knows how to find it, they can learn a lot about you, and even lure you into a trap.

Sounds silly, but your IP address can lead to security threats and missed opportunities more than you probably realize. Millions of people are plagued by cyber attacks every year, and every minute another person falls victim to a hacker. Not only that, but think of all of the online content you’re missing out on — if something is blocked in your location, whether it’s your country, job, etc., your internet freedom is cut off.

Why They Work

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So, how does a Mac VPN change any of this? Short and simple, a Mac VPN changes your IP address, and protects your data and internet activity while doing it.

A Mac VPN will have hundreds of servers across the world. A server is how you connect to the internet, and the one you connect to determines all of those factors talked about above. If you connect to a server in the United States, for instance, you’ll have access to all of the country’s available media. But what if a website, video, TV show, movie, etc. isn’t available in the United States? Unless you get on a plane and fly off to another country, you’re out of luck, right?

Not unless a Mac VPN hides your location, placing you in the location you choose. Plus, you don’t have to worry about hackers sniffing out your real location — even with public Wi-Fi, which is especially vulnerable to cyber attacks, your online traffic and identity are safe. Here’s a word of wisdom — beware public Wi-Fi, and refresh your knowledge of good security practices!

What Turns People Off

That all sounds great, right? So what are the drawbacks? There are some factors to keep in mind that prevent people from signing up for a Mac VPN. Towards the top of the list is price — if you want a reliable VPN that actually keeps you safe, you cannot get a free VPN. They’ll likely collect your data and sell it to advertisers, and not go the extra mile to keep you safe.

So, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee, even though free alternatives exist, which we’ll discuss in a later section. How much money are we talking about? The average Mac VPN runs from $2 to $5 per month for a one to two year plan. That’s roughly $38 per year. For most people, that’s not breaking the bank, but can be a turn off nonetheless.

Another factor is the user. If you feel like you’re a tech novice, you probably feel like the world of the Mac VPN is too complicated. Or, you may feel like it’s just not worth your money — if you’re a tech novice, why do you need any fancy features?

However, the tech-illiterate may need a Mac VPN just as much (if not more than) an expert. Why? You probably don’t know best practices and steps to make sure your online data is safe and secure. That’s understandable, but you’re putting yourself at risk every time you go online. A good Mac VPN should be incredibly simple and easy to use, and provides a much-needed security buffer.

What Makes Them So Popular

You can probably start to see the reasons why someone may decide that a Mac VPN is worth it. But there’s more to the story, too. We live in a streaming culture — videos, movies, and TV shows are our cultural staples. Well, one of the main reasons why VPNs have grown so much in popularity is how they improve streaming.

Copyright, government restrictions, workplace and school bans often restrict access to content that is available elsewhere in the world. The Office may not be available on Netflix in the United States, but it is available on Netflix in the United Kingdom. The same goes for YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and more.

Security is also a big draw for many people. If you use public Wi-Fi, you’re at an incredibly high risk of a hacking scheme. Even your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can track and sell your online data, or throttle your internet speeds whenever they please. A VPN will fix that.

Alternatives and Why They Might Not Live Up To Expectations

A Mac VPN isn’t your only option, however. Tor, a volunteer-run online browser, offers servers to users for free worldwide. It works similarly to a VPN by hiding your IP address, so why not just use it instead? For one, it’s a lot slower. Secondly, it probably won’t work for streaming, and it’s next to impossible to use on your Smart TV for streaming as well. And, it’s missing the security and protection offered by a Mac VPN.

Proxy servers are another common, free alternative. But, like Tor, it falls into the same pitfalls — slow, not fully functional, and not nearly as secure as a Mac VPN. Sure, they may work for a one-time work around for a blocked website, and if that’s all you need, great, go for it. But for a long time, more useful solution, not much compares to a Mac VPN.

Mac VPN: Is it Worth it?

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You probably have already made up your mind one way or another if a Mac VPN is worth it. Our verdict? There’s not much else that can stack up, and there’s no better, simpler solution for online freedom and security. It’s the perfect compliment to your internet experience.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com