In this guide I'm going to be showing you the leading VPN add-ons for use with Safari.
If you're looking to secure your Safari browsing sessions then this guide is definitely for you.
Safari is a great web-browser and if you're an Apple fan you no doubt enjoy the streamlined experience it offers the browser.
Unfortunately though Safari isn't as popular as some of the other browsers like Chrome or Internet Explorer so finding a company that offers a VPN extension can be challenging.
There are however a handful of Safari VPN extensions and they vary in both quality and ease-of-use.
I've been taking a look a whole range of them and in this guide rounded up the top seven choices out there.
Ready to dive in? Keep scrolling.
Top 7 VPNs for Safari
A sad fact is Safari is an overthought for most VPN services but ExpressVPN isn't one of them which makes them my top pick as a VPN extension for Safari.
In fact, ExpressVPN is one of the very few providers who offer a dedicated Safari VPN extension.
Their Safari VPN extension offers a kill switch, DNS leak protection, a spoof location feature and a whole host more. The VPN extension is seriously feature rich.
I really like the fact you can get an entire 3-months free when taking an annual account which gives you 15 months of premium service rather than 12.
Not only that but they've got a 30-day money back guarantee so if it's not for you, you can simply get a refund.
The Safari VPN extension is also really easy to use, simply choose a country and click to connect. Everything you do within Safari is then secure, you won't get easier than that!
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Like most providers, NordVPN doesn't offer a dedicated Safari VPN extension but they do have a simple HTTP proxy and their apps are really easy to use.
You'll need to install one of their desktop or mobile apps to protect your Safari browsing or use their HTTP proxy. The proxy doesn't offer the same level of security as a full-blown VPN but it is an option if you want some lightweight IP protection.
My recommendation is to install one of their desktop or mobile clients for Windows, Mac, iOS or Android. Choose from one of their 60+ server locations and connect. You're then safe to browse in Safari securely.
You can use the service on 6 devices at the same time which is a lot of Safari protection and if you don't like the service then take advantage of their 30-day money back guarantee and get a refund.
IPVanish is another VPN provider that doesn't have a dedicated Safari VPN extension but their range of apps is vast meaning you can protect your Safari browsing habits on almost any device.
Without question one of their standout features is the ability to use one account on an unlimited number of devices. This equals great value for money allowing you to protect your Safari connection and every other device in your household.
There's also a 30-day money back guarantee to give you plenty of time to test the service. If it isn't the one for you or you just can't get it working then simply get a refund.
If you get stuck then there is also a live-chat option to help you get any issues resolved quickly allowing you to shore up the security of your Safari browsing sessions without hassle.
4. Cyberghost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is one of the better overall VPN services out there who have been expanding rapidly in the past few years. VPN servers are available in over 90 countries with more than 6,000 individual servers.
Unfortunately, CyberGhost VPN doesn't have a dedicated Safari VPN extension so you'll need to install either their desktop or mobile apps to protect your Safari browsing.
While this might not seem as lightweight as a dedicated Safari app it does offer better overall protection.
You can also use the service on up to 7-devices at the time same time which allows you to protect plenty of your gadgets.
The stand out feature here is the extended 45-day money back guarantee which id much longer than the competition.
5. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access (PIA) rounds up my selection of VPN services for Safari. Sadly they're again a provider that doesn't have a dedicated Safari VPN extension but if you can overlook that then they do offer one of the best VPN services.
Apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS so it's possible to secure your Safari browsing using one of their full-VPN apps.
There aren't quite so many server locations on the Private Internet Access service but they are one of the cheapest.
You can pick up a year subscription for nearly half the price of other providers. If you can live with lesser locations and no dedicated Safari VPN extension then it makes for good value for money.
Private Internet Access is highly respected across the VPN industry and they have a tested no-log policy which means what you do while connected remains private.
Next up, we have Surfshark.
Now, this VPN doesn't have a Safari app specifically, but it does have apps for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and more. The app that will protect your entire device is better than a Safari browser extension, however, you'll need stick with ExpressVPN if that's what you're definitely after.
Best of all, the apps are very user-friendly and easy to navigate, so you won't have any problems with using them even if you have never used a VPN before.
In exchange, you get access to over 1700 servers in 63 different countries, as well as a large number of online security, privacy, and anonymity features.
Those include the strongest encryption and security protocols, MultiHop, a kill switch, whitelister, and more.
All in all, Surfshark is a great choice that will even let you protect an unlimited number of devices per license. It is also very affordable, and it also features a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test it out first.
Finally, we have Astrill another excellent VPN for use with Safari.
Like our previous entry, this VPN also doesn't have a Safari extension, but it does have apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers. As such, it can be used on a device level, which also includes protecting you while you browse the web via the Safari browser.
With Astrill, you can access servers in around 59 countries, and 111 cities around the world, in total.
You can also connect unlimited devices, use unlimited bandwidth, and achieve unlimited speed. There are also no limits on server switching, and it doesn't keep any logs.
One advantage that this VPN has is a 7-day free trial. However, the monthy price is ridiculously expensive at $20.
What to consider when choosing
Safari is one of the better web-browsers available and being developed by Apple it lends itself to being slightly more secure than the competition. Think of the security of the iPhone and then you know you're in safe hands.
Unfortunately though there are hundreds of threats to your internet usage these days and when browsing the web many of those threats are to be found there.
Simply relying on the security of Safari and any anti-virus software you have installed is no longer enough to thwart all threats. With online privacy a big issue for security breaches a VPN is now a necessity.
When choosing a VPN extension for Safari it's important to consider these factors:
1. Extension vs Full App
There are very few VPN services which have dedicated Safari apps. In fact, I only found one, ExpressVPN who were offering any kind of decent Safari VPN extension. It comes packed with features which are often only found in dedicated VPN apps.
When choosing a VPN for Safari you need to consider the benefits of both a full-blown VPN app and a Safari VPN extension.
While Safari VPN extensions don't offer the same level of protection a full VPN app does they are lightweight and quick to activate.
If you simply want to protect your browsing to an extent then take a Safari VPN extension. If you want overall protection then a VPN app is the way to go. Thankfully if you use ExpressVPN you have the best of both worlds which allows you to choose.
2. Server Locations
It's important to consider how many and where the VPN servers are from for the VPN service you sign up to. While some such as ExpressVPN have over 90 locations worldwide, others such as Private Internet Access have less than 30.
That's not to say fewer locations are bad. If you're realistic, no one will make use of 90 locations themselves. What is more important to consider is are the locations available nearby to yourself? Or in countries where you personally will need them.
When using any kind of VPN service either as a Safari VPN extension or a standalone dedicated VPN app, speed is critical.
Some VPN providers are so bad that the speeds seriously impact on your browsing usage. This can make using the web frustrating to the point that you turn the VPN service off and forgo the lost money.
Thankfully it doesn't need to be like this. The seven recommended providers above are all known to and tested by myself to offer good speeds.
The difference when choosing a fast VPN service like the seven listed above or a slow service can be like chalk and cheese.
Differences between Safari VPN add-on and full app
You may have heard the advice that says that it is always better to use full VPN apps, rather than browser extensions.
This is advice that is often shared in the VPN world, and not without reason.
But if you're still not convinced here are some of the main reasons how a dedicated VPN app and a browser extension differ:
1. Full VPN protects ALL of your traffic
When you use a VPN app, all of the traffic coming in and out of your device is protected.
Some VPNs allow you to specifically decide which apps shouldn't be protected if you want some of them to be skipped, but by default, 100% of your traffic will be encrypted.
This is not the case with extensions, which only protect your browser, and nothing else. So, if you use a torrent client, you will be exposed. The same is true for other apps you may have on your computer or phone.
2. VPN app encrypts your traffic
There are some VPN providers that offer proxies for in-browser use, which is not the same as a real VPN.
These proxies are perfectly capable of masking your IP address, but when it comes to keeping your traffic safe, they can't do it.
This is because proxies cannot encrypt or hide your traffic in any truly safe way, so you are left exposed while using them.
It's usually the case with free VPN services and one you should be aware of.
3. Browser extensions are often cheaper than VPN apps
One point going to browser extensions is that they are often cheaper than full VPNs.
The reason for this is everything mentioned above in this section. They only protect you while you use your browser, and most of the time, they don't even do that properly.
Still, most people find them good enough in a pinch.
Just remember that subscribing to a VPN service will often cost the full price, and then allow you to choose which apps you use.
In other words, you won't always pay a cheaper price, despite the fact that you only planned on using a browser extension.
4. Browser extensions can be easier to install
Browser extensions are extremely easy to install, and most of the time, you can do it with a single click from within the browser's extension store.
Then, you just log in with your credentials, provided that you already made an account and you are good to go.
In comparison, some VPN apps might take time and knowledge to set them up.
This used to be much more of an issue years ago than it is today, as being user-friendly is now a focus of most VPN services. But, you can still run into an odd VPN that hasn't done much work to repair the issue over the years.
5. There are many more malicious VPN extensions
Malicious VPN apps are not unheard of. Hackers and scammers have been known to create these fake VPNs, that might even work like proper VPNs, but they use them to steal user data.
However, VPN extensions for browsers see this happen much more often than full VPN apps, simply because they are easier to make and quick to distribute.
This, again is especially true for free VPN extensions.
Is there a free Safari VPN add-on?
Of course, there are both, free VPN apps, as well as free add-ons. However, just because they are there, that doesn't mean that you should use them.
We understand that money doesn't come free but saving a few extra dollars will often result in you paying with your sensitive information. It's usually less costly to pay for a relatively cheap service than use a free service and risk the associated problems with losing access to your personal data.
We have already mentioned that hackers sometimes set up free VPN and offer it left and right in order to attract unsuspecting users and hack their devices, steal their data, or use it in other ways.
You won't exactly save money if you use a free VPN extension and end up being hacked along the way.
Also, even if they are legitimate and not owned by hackers, who's to say that your data won't be collected anyway, and sold to advertisers or the government?
It is much better to pay a bit more and be truly safe, than to save $10 and potentially end up in all kinds of troubles.
How to install a Safari VPN add-on
Installing an add-on for Safari is incredibly easy, and all you need to do is find a legitimate VPN provider.
Once you choose one, follow these steps to complete the process:
- Open Safari browser.
- In the Safari tab on the menu bar, choose Safari Extensions.
- You will get to the App Store's Extensions page.
- Next, find the VPN extension of your choice, and either click its price, on click ‘Get‘ button.
- Click Install and wait for the add-on to be installed.
- After the installation, click Open, and follow the instructions offered by the extension to set everything up.
And, that's it. You will now be able to use your Safari browser in a safe way.
Choosing any VPN service can be difficult and if you're searching for a VPN extension for Safari then it can be even more difficult due to the lack of availability.
If you're set on using an extension rather than a full-blown VPN app then your only choice is ExpressVPN. They're actually my favourite VPN service right now and with a 30-day money back guarantee and 3-months free on their annual package they make a good choice.
You also have the advantage that they have a dedicated Safari VPN extension and apps for almost all devices giving you the choice of alternating between the two.
If you're happy to use a dedicated VPN app to protect your Safari usage then the other six services all make for ideal options.
Don't stress over the decision too much. My recommendation is ExpressVPN but the seven above are all tried and tested and will help you protect the privacy and security of your Safari usage regardless of which you end up choosing.
Looking for a VPN for other purposes? Check out our other guides.
Have you used a Safari VPN extension? What were your experiences and who do you think is the best? I would love to hear your comments to help out other users so why not post a comment in the section below?