Massively speed-up your Mac’s public VPN

“Recently I underwent a revelatory experience when using the public VPN service I subscribe to,” Mac Kung Fu writes. “I’d only ever been able to get 1Mbit speeds, at best, and typically the speed yo-yoed between that and just a few kilobits. On a whim I tried a third-party VPN client and, wow, suddenly I was getting near-native DSL speeds – up to 50Mbits, or thereabouts, and staying around that range while downloading.”

“I had spent a long time thinking the VPN service simply wasn’t very good, when the real story was that their client wasn’t any good (I had updated and reinstalled it several times),” Mac Kung Fu writes. “I understand from speaking to others that this is sadly not uncommon.”

Mac Kung Fu writes, “If you’re in a similar position then here are some steps that might help.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We use TunnelBear’s VPN service for our Macs, iPhones, and iPads (especially while using public Wi-Fi) which lets you choose from servers located around the world in 20+ countries. TunnelBear offers unlimited data for less than $4.17/month. Importantly, TunnelBear explicitly states, “No logging. TunnelBear does NOT log any activity of users connected to our service. Period.”

Use a VPN to protect your internet privacy – April 29, 2017
Apple should offer their own VPN service to iOS and Mac users for security and privacy – April 5, 2017
Protecting against possible ISP snooping by using a VPN and https – April 3, 2017
Privacy 101: Why you need a VPN – March 31, 2017
Why Congress’s rejection of proposed FCC data rules will not affect your privacy in the slightest – March 31, 2017
Congress to US citizens: Online privacy isn’t dead, those who want it will just have to pay for it – March 30, 2017
U.S. Congress sends repeal of FCC broadband privacy rules to President Trump for signature – March 29, 2017
Congress votes to repeal FCC Internet privacy rules – March 28, 2017
U.S. Senate votes to overturn Internet privacy rules – March 23, 2017


  1. There are well over 100 VPNs available around the planet. Finding the best one can be annoying. But MDN give excellent advice above. You want a VPN that offers what’s called ‘Trust No One’ or TNO. Specifically, make certain they log nothing of anyone’s activity on the Internet. They let you remain private, as is your right.

    Note that some VPNs are total frauds. I can point out ‘VPN Forever’ as one such fraud, as proven by my personal experience with them. Always verify the reputation of a VPN.

    If you’re going to be serious about using VPN from your device out to the Internet, there are a number of VPN services that offer ‘Lifetime’ memberships. They may be a brilliant deal or they may suck. Research the VPN. Be careful about the country of origin of a VPN. There’s one (I won’t say who, or wu) in Hong Kong that does a lot of marketing. They may be a decent VPN. But do you really want a VPN that can easily be manipulated by the government of China: Criminal Nation? I say no.

    I have a lifetime Premium membership with ‘ProXPN’. I’ve had no trouble with them and they have exit nodes in countries where I want to net surf. But they’re fairly small as a VPN service. A friend swears by ‘Hide My Ass’ because they have zillions of exit nodes all over the world and he gets decent speeds.

    Look for a VPN with an app for your smartphone or tablet. Read the reviews for their app.

    Here are some links to help research VPNs. I have to break up the list into separate posts or it gives WordPress an aneurism.

    The Best VPN Services of 2017

    1. The Fastest VPNs of 2017

      Also note that a good VPN provides an encrypted DNS tunnel as well, preventing your ISP from spying on what websites you look up.

      Every computing device should have a ready VPN to use if you’re going to connect to an open WiFi hotspot. If you don’t have to log in, you’re using open WiFi and everyone around you can spy on all the data you send and receive across the Internet, unless of course you only use HTTPS connections, which themselves are encrypted. Even then, the initial querie to an HTTPS website is in-the-clear, IOW viewable by anyone.

      Also note that OpenVPN has been found to have security holes over the past couple years. Be sure you’re using the very LATEST version of OpenVPN. If you’re using some old version, it’s likely hackable. Tunnelblick is likely to keep up to date with the latest, as long as you keep Tunnelblick up-to-date.

    2. great name…

      Hide My Ass VPN

      Hide My Ass VPN has a cheeky name, but its web-traffic protection is no joke. Its friendly, simple interface makes up for its comparatively high price.

      1. It has major problems when trying to send email. It blocks SMTP by default to prevent spammers from abusing the service, or so they say. You have to whitelist SMTP servers by IP number. For a service like gmail that has dozens of IP numbers that you can be routed to when you select… it’s a total no-go. Not to mention the fact that it doesn’t support OAuth at all, so you have to tell gmail to allow “less secure” connections for it to work. Oh, and if your IP address changes often, gmail will block you instead. So you’ll never know for sure if Hide My Ass is blocking your SMTP request or if Google is refusing you. A total cluster.

    3. Thanks Derek, that’s helpful. I checked the links, and don’t understand why IPVanish was rated as low as it is. That’s what I’ve been using, seems to be good to me, except it is expensive compared to others. It’s fast though. I tried a couple others before trying IPVanish, and they were so slow I wouldn’t buy them. Think I’ll stay with IPVanish for now though, unless somebody here or elsewhere proves another service is better. I can’t fault IPVanish though.

    1. I also started using TunnelBear and I’m often getting a “server not found” error when doing searches in Safari on iOS. For a while I was also constantly having to check Google’s “I’m not a robot box” after selecting various pictures to prove it. Have you run into this?

  2. I’ve been using IPVanish, I think (?) it’s a good one. It’s on Ethyl’s MacBook Pro, my MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhones, and is fast. But $10 per month for each of us. I tried another one, forgot, but it slowed my speed, and I won’t tolerate that. Maybe I’ll try TunnelBear… MDN seems to know about this stuff. I don’t.

  3. I use ExpressVPN after I’d been using except the latter’s tech people said that they didn’t support the OpenVPN protocol for Macs. Great! Either their tech people were wrong (and that’s troubling) or they just aren’t up to scratch for Mac users. Also, I’d had drop-outs with and there is NO kill switch. And for this I was charged much, much more than ExpressVPN.

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