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Parallels, VMWare Fusion, VirtualBox or Another?

nickytonline profile image Nick Taylor (he/him) Updated on ・1 min read

My new MBP is on its way and I'm wondering what everyone is using these days in regards to a VM for Windows on a Mac.

In the past I've had VMWare Fusion and it seemed decent. I've also been using VirtualBox at work and that seems to have been fine as well.

I'm fine with upgrading my VMWare Fusion or buying Parallels, I'm just wondering what everyone else is running on a Mac these days.

A Will Ferell SNL character saying "Heck, I'm curious like a cat!"

Discussion

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Depends on what you do. I've been using VirtualBox for years and it's pretty good for testing my work in IE.

However I bought Parallels 15 a few weeks ago when it was on sale - I have to say I'm impressed by the integrations - launching windows apps from spotlight, opening files in windows from macOS, sharing files, etc. Overall it's way better & faster than VBox.

I kinda hate their pricing model though.

 

Mainly for browser testing, but I may do some programming on Windows as well. So far, looks like Parallels. Thanks for the response!

 

You could always look into online / cloud-based browser testing services. You can integrate those into CI/CD pipelines too, so that's a win.

I don't currently do that myself though, so I can't recommend a specific service.

 

Parallels is the easiest solution. 👍

 

Did you go with the Pro version?

 

Didn't even know there was a Pro version. Why not? Seems like $49.99/year is a good deal right now. I've been renewing the standard license for 5 years without issue. I used VMWare and VirtualBox too, but I really like the ease of use of Parallels.

Ahh that's if you already have a license.

In my case it'll be a new subscription, so 99.99$. Regardless, 20$ more for a business expense seems like no biggie. Well played PRO version, well played.

 

I used Parallels for years and then decided to try VirtualBox. I used it for nearly a year and decided to go back to Parallels. I missed the better integration, reliable Coherence mode, etc. VirtualBox is pretty damn good, but it does have some rough edges. I've never tried VMWare Fusion.

 
 

Parallels is very user friendly and the UX is elevated as you can use windows apps like they are mac apps (coherence) making switch between different apps (Mac or windows) a breeze

 

I use VirtualBox on macOS, but I rarely used it.

Instead, I use a CI on AppVeyor; and I also use Wine on Docker to build Electron.

 

Whichever is free and quick to setup. I had preferred VirtualBox over years and so far didn't need to change.