NordVPN on iOS and macOS

nordvpn ios mac

Apple devices may be renowned for being inherently more secure than other devices, but that does not make them invincible.

In fact, when it comes to the security of your privacy and personal data, you are no more secure as a user of Apple products than a user of Windows or Android products.

Why Use a VPN on macOS and iOS?

If you want to ensure your anonymity and privacy, the best and simplest way of doing this is by using a VPN. With one installed, you protect your personal data, IP address, and browsing activity, among other things, from everyone trying to eavesdrop on it.

These people can include the government and surveillance agencies, your ISP, malicious hackers, advertisers, and law enforcement agencies.

In addition, a VPN makes torrenting a lot safer and, by spoofing your location, enables you to bypass geo-blocked content on streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV. Content problems? We don’t have any.

These are just a few of many reasons why people use VPNs on macOS and iOS.

Choosing a VPN

Personally, we recommend NordVPN. It is this service that is going to be the focus of this tutorial. And since you’re reading this, it means it’s also on your list. If you would like to learn more about NordVPN and why we recommend it, check out our comprehensive review of the service.

While NordVPN is brilliant, it is not right for everybody.

NordVPN recognizes this, too. As this is the case, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their subscriptions. This lets you try out the VPN risk-free and get your money back if you don’t like it.

There are plenty of other VPNs that you can subscribe to. Most of these have undergone our comprehensive review service and the results can be found on our website.

Installing NordVPN on macOS

NordVPN offers a native app for macOS which makes the installation and use a breeze.

Here’s how you can install it for yourself.

1. Subscribe to a NordVPN plan

To download, install, and use NordVPN, you need to be subscribed to one of their plans.

We recommend their 3-year plan for the best value (remember, their 30-day money-back guarantee applies to it so there is no risk) at $2.99 per month.

Once you have chosen a plan and paid for it, activate your account via email. You will then be able to login to the NordVPN UCP and download NordVPN’s macOS app.

Once it has downloaded, head to your Downloads folder and launch the NordVPN.pkg file that has just been downloaded.

An installation window will then open and you will be walked through the NordVPN installation process. You don’t need to do anything; NordVPN does all the work for you.

2. Setting up the NordVPN app

Open your Launchpad and look for the NordVPN app icon. Double click it. A window will then appear asking you to give permission for NordVPN to install Helper, a tool that allows NordVPN to create a VPN tunnel.

This is a mandatory step; you must give it permission for NordVPN to work.

Simply enter your password and click ‘OK’. Once you have done this, authenticate with your NordVPN details.

Then you can log into NordVPN with details you signed up with.

3. Connecting to NordVPN

Once everything is installed and you have logged in, it is very easy to get connected to the NordVPN network and protect yourself. You can either use the “Quick Connect” function or choose a server yourself from the left-hand list.

Quick Connect is recommended by NordVPN because it automatically connects you to the best server for you based on “a complex formula with various server parameters” at that point in time.

Alternatively, click on the pin above a country to connect to the best server within that country or choose a specific server from the left-hand list by hovering over a country name and clicking the three dots (. . .).

You can also search for them.

There are also specialty servers that you can use that have specific functions and purposes.

You can learn more about these by reading the various articles that explain all of NordVPN’s special servers on our site—

4. Configuring your settings

If you so choose, you can configure the app’s settings to your liking. In the “Preferences” tab found in the bottom-left corner of the NordVPN app, you can change settings such as CyberSec and the NordVPN Kill Switch.

Auto Launch: Recommended—launches NordVPN when your computer starts. We recommend this option because you might forget to turn NordVPN on otherwise.

Connect on launch: Recommended—automatically connects when NordVPN starts.

CyberSec: Recommended—CyberSec blocks ads and protects against other threats.

Connection: UDP is faster whereas TCP is slower but more reliable.

Kill Switch: You must enable the kill switch. Without the kill switch turned on, you run the risk of having your data, information, and browsing activity exposed if your NordVPN connection drops (which does happen from time to time).

You can learn more about the NordVPN Kill Switch in our article covering it.

Installing NordVPN on iOS

Downloading and installing NordVPN on iOS is just as simple as it is for macOS devices. There’s a native app that can be set up and used in a matter of minutes, if that.

1. Head to the App Store and download NordVPN

You can find it by searching “nordvpn”—it is the first result.

Once it has downloaded, launch the app and sign in using your NordVPN email address and password. Once you sign in, tap “Agree & Continue”.

2. Allow NordVPN to create a new VPN profile

All you need to do is follow the steps, the app does all the legwork for you.

Without providing permission for NordVPN to do this, you will not be able to use the app or connect to any of their servers. Providing permission for NordVPN to add VPN configurations basically gives the app permission to manage your network activity.

3. Connect to NordVPN

That’s it! Once you have downloaded the app, signed in, and have provided NordVPN with the permissions it needs, you are good to go.

Just like on the desktop app, you can use “Quick Connect” to connect to your most optimum server. You can also filter servers by favorites, speciality servers (only P2P and Onion Over VPN are available on iOS at the time of writing) or search for specific ones.

By swiping from the bottom to the top of your screen, you can select specific countries. You can also tap on the pins hovering above each country to connect to the optimal server within that location.

When you click the three dots (. . .) next to a location, you see each server within that country and can choose which one to connect to. The app will also tell you your distance from the server and how full it is with a “Load…” percentage.

4. Configuring settings

The only settings you can choose with the NordVPN iOS app are CyberSec and the Kill Switch. The Kill Switch is enabled by default (leave it this way) and CyberSec is turned off.

We recommend enabling CyberSec.

Try Out NordVPN Today

As we mentioned above, you can try out NordVPN risk-free for 30 days thanks to their 30-day money-back guarantee. What have you got to lose?

After all, you need to be using a VPN service to protect yourself online. Today, the digital nature of our world means normal people such as you and I are susceptible to data theft, snooping, and other activities that could compromise us while online.

If you are going to use a VPN, you should be using the best one available. For macOS and iOS, the best VPN option is NordVPN alongside one or two other stand-out services.

If you are dissatisfied, you can always ask for a refund. It’s a no-brainer.

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Published by

David Schultz

Internet and Privacy Law | David Schultz is a Cyber Security Attorney based in Europe.

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