Does Safari have a VPN?
The Safari browser itself doesn’t have a built-in VPN. So, if you want to encrypt your browsing traffic with a VPN, you’ll need to purchase a third-party service compatible with macOS and iOS. A VPN will route your Safari and all the internet traffic on your device through secure tunnels, scrambling it and making it hard for hackers to intercept.
Why you should use a VPN for Safari
Increased security while browsing online is the primary, but not only, reason to use a VPN for your Safari experiences. Let’s uncover the purpose of a VPN for Safari:
- Online security. Websites and your internet service provider (ISP) can track and log your Safari activity. A trustworthy VPN will hide your online activities by encrypting all your traffic and making your browsing more private.
- Safe public Wi-Fi connections. A hotspot at your favorite cafe, local library, or airport may not always be safe. These public networks can often be playgrounds for hackers aiming to steal your sensitive data. A VPN on your Safari browser will create a secure tunnel, protecting your traffic from eavesdropping.
- Extensive security features. Premium VPNs, such as NordVPN, used with Safari, offer additional features to up your cybersecurity. It works as an ad blocker, blocking malicious ads, keeps your DNS safe with DNS leak protection, and can route your internet traffic through two servers instead of one with multi hop connections.
- Global content accessibility. When traveling abroad, you may struggle to access the sites and services you usually use. A VPN for Safari may be a good idea when traveling in restrictive countries. Just change your IP address with a click, bypass censorship, and browse the internet freely.
- Shopping deals. Different regions sometimes see different prices for the same product or service online. Using a VPN when surfing the web on Safari can enable access to cheaper airline tickets, car reservations, and hotels.
How to choose the best Safari VPN
Before you purchase a VPN for Safari, it is important to understand your needs and expectations. You might need a different service for traveling, working remotely, and everyday browsing. However, the essence of choosing the most suitable VPN remains the same.
Besides choosing a VPN compatible with Apple devices, pick a trustworthy VPN provider with legitimate customer reviews and zero tolerance for information leakage. In addition, avoid free VPN providers for Safari at all costs. The best VPN will never offer free services. Free ones tend to sell their customer data to third parties, while reputable companies invest in product development and server maintenance.
Ensure your chosen VPN company encrypts your Safari activity with cutting-edge encryption, such as the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with a 256-bit key. It is one of the most robust encryption technologies, approved by cybersecurity and cryptography experts. Also, check the number of servers that a VPN provides. A high server number usually means faster VPN connections and internet speeds.
How to set up a VPN on Safari
Since the Safari browser does not support VPN configurations, it has to be configured on your device. Here are step-by-step instructions for manually setting up a VPN on Mac and iOS devices.
Set up a VPN for macOS:
- Head to the Apple menu and select “System settings.”
- Hit “VPN” in the sidebar.
- Choose “VPN configuration” and select the type of VPN connection you want to set up.
- In the “Display name” field, enter the name of your new VPN connection.
- If you don’t need a custom configuration, choose “Default configuration.”
- Enter the server address, account name, password, and authentication method.
- Click “Create” and connect to the VPN.
Set up a VPN for iOS:
- Head to “Settings.”
- Select “General.”
- Tap “VPN and device management.”
- Tap “VPN.”
- Hit “Add VPN Configuration.”
- Select a VPN protocol by tapping “Type” and choose IKEv2, IPSec, or L2TP.
- Enter “Description,” “Server,” and “Remote ID.”
- Under “Authentication,” enter a username and password.
- Hit “Done.”
Apple Private Relay vs. VPN
First, Apple Private Relay (a feature of iCloud+) is not a VPN. Rather, it is a feature for enhanced Safari browsing security, which encrypts the user’s traffic by encoding your IP address and everything you access through Safari. Private Relay stops third parties, including Apple, from collecting bits and pieces of your personal information.
Even though Private Relay is similar to a VPN by encrypting your Safari traffic, the differences are significant. Private Relay lacks all the additional features a VPN offers, including Kill Switch and obfuscation. So, Apple Private Relay is a good option for Safari users who want additional protection while browsing without all the extensive third-party VPN features.
Tips for safely using a VPN with Safari
If you’re looking for a way to make your Safari experiences smooth and secure, here are a bunch of tips for optimizing VPN usage with Safari:
- Keep your desktop and mobile apps updated. Keep your VPN app and Safari up-to-date. This simple practice ensures your data is protected by the latest security patches and feature updates.
- Enable Kill Switch. The Kill Switch feature is designed to disconnect you from the internet if your VPN connection drops and prevents potential data leaks.
- Check for IP leaks. Regularly check for IP or DNS leaks to ensure a VPN’s proper function.
- Avoid relying on only VPN extensions. A VPN proxy browser extension only encrypts the browser data and not all internet traffic, exposing you to prying eyes.
- Carefully read logging policies. Before purchasing a VPN for Safari, read the VPN’s no-logs policy to ensure it doesn’t log your online activities.
- Secure ongoing protection. Ensure your traffic is always protected by leaving your VPN active and connected even when you’re not using Safari actively.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi without a VPN. Never access your online banking or other important accounts while connected to a public hotspot without a VPN. This will help you safeguard your sensitive credentials.
- Try the nearest servers for maximum speed. The further the VPN server, the slower your internet connection. To solve this, try switching to a server close to your location for optimal internet speed.
- Switch between protocols. If you encounter connectivity issues, try switching between protocols.
- Avoid IP blocklists. Some websites block traffic from known VPN servers. If you encounter this, try connecting to a different server or use obfuscated servers if your VPN provider offers them.
Using a VPN with Safari will significantly enhance your online privacy. By following these tips, you can ensure your VPN is optimized to maintain your Safari browsing security.