A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an essential online security tool these days, and you’re probably already aware that there are loads of other uses, such as accessing blocked websites or streaming more movies and TV shows on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu.
As a US resident, someone travelling there for work of pleasure, or if you’re after accessing content restricted to use within the USA only, then you can use a VPN to enjoy all of these benefits and more.
Indeed, with the US Government’s record on harvesting citizens online activity, some would argue using a VPN there is not just desirable but essential.
But how do you choose the best VPN for the US?
That’s a tough question and one we’ve answered in this guide.
With more than 500 VPNs available out there, there’s everything from the good to the average and, unfortunately, the plain terrible. We’ve tested and picked out the best VPN services on the market.
After some pretty tiring and extensive work, we achieved our goal to test VPNs across the USA, and we’ve rounded up the best US VPN options below. All you need to do is pick one.
Table of Contents
How to choose a VPN for the US
When choosing the best VPNs, there are a number of factors you should consider.
Everything from speed to server locations, their logging policy and more.
However, when you’re specifically looking for a VPN to use in the USA or to access US services, then there are some unique considerations. Below we’ve listed just a few of them.
Remembering these and taking them into account when searching will ensure you get the top VPN service possible for the USA. This will save you time and money in the long run.
- Works with US services: Many USA-based websites and certainly video streaming services try to block access to a VPN user. Some leading VPNs have managed to evade these blocks, and for the least interrupted internet connection, it’s critical to choose a VPN that works with the types of content you access. Some to consider are Netflix, YouTube TV, Hulu, HBO and others.
- Jurisdiction: The US doesn’t have any specific logging requirements meaning services registered there aren’t required to monitor your internet traffic. But the US government doesn’t exactly have a squeaky clean record when it comes to agencies surveilling you. That means it’s best to distance yourself from the country you’re in. Choosing a VPN registered outside the US and it’s spying-friendly ‘five-eyes‘ allies will improve your privacy and help to hide the IP Addresses you use.
- Security: VPNs are an essential part of your online security toolkit. Always be sure to choose a VPN provider that offers at least a 256-bit AES connection, fast and robust VPN protocols, as well as features to protect you from DNS leaks and other security threats, such as a kill switch. We know from experience how useful these features are for USA VPN users.
- Server Locations: It’s just as important to have VPN server locations outside the US as it is to have them inside. Choosing a VPN with a large number of USA VPN servers and a large selection of overseas servers gives you options for entertainment all the way through to privacy features.
- Money-back guarantee: Never sign up for a VPN client that doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. Our tests are good, but we’re honest enough to know that many factors can influence your experience. Money-back guarantees of up to 30 – 45 days will ensure you can test the service risk-free. We have made use of them and know there are times when you may need to as well.
Top 7 VPNs for the US
While you’ve got some idea of what features to look out for, let’s take a look at the Best VPNs for the US.
Remember, these best US VPN services are suitable if you’re living or travelling in the USA but also suitable if you’re outside the US but want to connect to the US to access USA-based services or other content restricted to use there.
- Plenty of US VPN servers
- Super-fast download speeds
- Audited no log policy
- Registered off-shore
- Criminal case proven log policy
- Works on every device
- Monthly package pricey
Being registered off-shore in the British Virgin Islands allows ExpressVPN to avoid some restrictions that a US-based provider would be required to adhere to. Couple this with their proven strict no-logs policy, and it means you’ve got one of the safest VPN services on the market.
Most of the large US services work with ExpressVPN, which means you can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO and YouTube as much as you want from anywhere in the world and without needing to disconnect from the VPN.
A standout feature is the vast range of apps on offer which includes everything from desktop apps for Windows & Mac devices all the way through to a tremendous iOS app and Android app plus countless other devices too. All are fast and extremely intuitive, and user-friendly.
You can enjoy simultaneous connections on up to five devices with each account, and a kill switch plus split tunneling and DNS leak protection too. Plus, there are multiple server locations across 90 different countries, including no fewer than 24 different server locations across the USA.
You’ve got plenty of time to test their range of VPN plans, too, as there’s a huge 30-day money-back guarantee to let you put the service through its paces. It is quite simply the top US VPN provider right now. It’s the one we use when visiting the USA and we know you wont be disappointed.
Best US VPN 2023
30-day money back guarantee
- Servers in 15 US cities
- Big range of apps
- Works great for streaming
- Audited no-log policy
- Great download speeds
- A lot of features for beginners to wrap their heads around
NordVPN has firmly set itself amongst the best VPNs out there, and for use in the US, they make a great choice.
Registered outside the US in Panama and having a fully-audited no-logs policy means your safety is assured. They’re one of a growing number of providers that have had their claims of not logging your user activity independently verified, and while nothing is certain, it goes to great lengths to reassure you their claims are accurate.
What really stood out for us in our testing is their easy-to-use apps. If you want a VPN that doesn’t interfere with your daily use and you just want to connect and forget about it, then NordVPN is the service for you.
They’ve got some of the best VPN software, particularly mobile VPN apps, that we’ve tested with features like a kill switch, DNS leak protection, Double VPN, and even VPN-over-Tor network nodes too. They even allow 6 simultaneous connections too.
Again, NordVPN works with most of the popular streaming content websites and services, plus they’ve got the added bonus that you can connect to any VPN server worldwide and still access American Netflix. They also provide amazing and consistent VPN speeds across all of their extensive server network too.
There’s a good range of VPN plans and a full 30-day money-back offer available, so you’ve got loads of time to test it, and if the service isn’t for you, get a refund. Customer support is first-rate as well, with 24/7 live chat support.
Nord is one of the best low-budget VPN companies for the USA and one of the best VPNs around.
- Very nice apps
- Audited no log policy
- Good download speeds
- Streaming is hit and miss
- Registered in the US
VyprVPN is one of the oldest names in the industry, but most recently, they’ve become one of the most interesting VPN services.
For years they’ve offed a robust service with reliable connections, fast speeds, and plenty of server locations. They actually own all of their hardware and aren’t renting servers like many other companies. This adds an extra layer of protection alongside features like a kill switch which is handy if your VPN connection drops out.
They were one of the first providers to offer a fully independently audited no-log claim. No longer do they retain connection data on when or where you connected, meaning you can use their service without any of your usage being logged.
Security is great too, and there are up to ten simultaneous connections plus a decent range of features. If you need a split tunneling VPN, VyprVPN is a great option.
While US Netflix does work with a number of servers, they’re a little more hit-and-miss for other services, so they wouldn’t be our choice if you want to access a lot of different media services. As far as VPN speed is concerned, VyprVPN is good but not the fastest around.
Another neat feature we liked in testing is their 30-day money-back offer. You can test the full service for up to a month and still get your money back if you’re unhappy.
VyprVPN is now registered in the United States as opposed to Switzerland so you’ll need to factor this into your purchasing decision.
- Lots of US locations
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Reliable connections
- Registered in the US
- Streaming provisions mixed
IPVanish is another strong contender if you’re searching for a secure VPN for the USA with a huge number of servers and IP Addresses, including more than 1,450 in North America, most of which are in the USA.
They retain no logs of your user activity, which means you can use the internet freely without there being any history of your usage. This claim has now been independently verified too.
The service gives you the use of a shared static IP Address when you connect to a server. This should, in theory, mean your VPN traffic is tangled with other people’s activity making it extremely difficult to pinpoint your actions.
The service is one of the many US-based VPN services, so if you’re a US resident, that may be a consideration for you, but as we explored earlier in this guide, there are no data retention laws in the United States.
IPVanish’s apps are easy to use and available for almost all devices. They also offer connections to unlimited devices too. And you will find features like a kill switch, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee too. Customer support is impressive, too, and there is a range of VPN plans to choose from.
If streaming is one of your priorities, then that will definitely come in handy as speeds are good, although we did find unblocking certain streaming platforms, including Netflix, a little hit-and-miss so you may need to try several different servers before you find one that works.
However, other streaming services such as BBC iPlayer (lots of geo-restricted content) work well on their service.
- Run by security professionals
- Very fast download speeds
- Reliable connections
- Fewer countries covered
- Short money back guarantee
- Retains connection logs
VPN.ac is a really neat service if you’re looking for extra privacy features.
They’re one of few services which have added protections in place. Everything from higher levels of encryption all the way through to the way the service is maintained and secured. The speed of their server connections are a particular highlight.
It does have to be pointed out that connection data is retained, which is far from ideal. But this is only for a minimal time of 24 hours. Plus, the service claims to store this securely in an off-site location that only one administrator has access to.
The service offers apps for all devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS and even the Amazon Fire TV devices and Android TV ones too. The number of available VPN servers is modest but sufficient for the vast majority of US users.
There are added encryption options such as the ability to use OpenVPN XOR and ECC, LibreSSL rather than OpenSSL, specific modes for accessing from China, plus a whole host more.
As Virtual Private Networks go, VPN.ac is as secure as they come, and with fast speeds and strong privacy protections, our tests have shown that this is a US VPN service well worth considering.
- Unlocks lots of Netflix regions
- Easy to use apps
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Privacy policies not perfect
- Registered in the EU
Surfshark is a young VPN now based in the Netherlands, which allows it to offer some solid privacy protections, including a no user logs guarantee.
Surfshark has a lot going for it, including a wide range of impressive mobile apps that are all packed with features yet still provide a user-friendly experience. It has solid 256-bit AES encryption and offers decent speeds across its server network.
This consists of more than 3,200+ servers in 100 countries. Crucially, this includes more than multiple US VPN servers located in 25 cities across the country, from Seattle to Chicago, New York to Miami, and Houston to Los Angeles.
But aside from this, Surfshark is an otherwise excellent VPN that comes with other little perks like unlimited simultaneous connections and fast speeds. For unblocking streaming services, Surfshark VPN is almost as good as it gets.
It also provides split tunneling, good customer service, low prices and a range of VPN plans, can unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and a 30-day money-back offer.
7. CyberGhost VPN
- Lots of apps
- Great for Streaming
- 45-day money back guarantee
- Owns ‘VPN review’ websites
- Not the fastest
CyberGhost VPN is based in Romania but has a huge server network with more than 9,550 servers across 91 different countries. In the USA, there are multiple servers spread across the length and breadth of the country, meaning no-one will struggle to find a nearby server.
CyberGhost offers a no user logs promise that is robust and independently audited by Deloitte.
They have also invested in their infrastructure in recent years too, meaning they have strong encryption to protect your internet traffic, excellent VPN connection speeds, and some really impressive extra security features too such as their nospy servers.
The apps are exceptional and really easy to use. They are very user-friendly, and we rate them ideal for novice users of VPN. They also provide seven simultaneous connections with every account and can be used on almost every device you can think of too.
CyberGhost can also unblock streaming services like Netflix too and offers great customer support.
CyberGhost is competitively priced and comes with a huge 45-day money-back guarantee, one of the biggest we have seen. This is another top-quality, high-speed, privacy-friendly US VPN well worthy of a place on this list. Our testers absolutely love it.
The CyberGhost service is owned by the same company that owns ExpressVPN and others like Private Internet Access.
Which US VPN is best for you?
After many years of testing VPNs and seeing the VPN industry explode from just a handful of options to what is available now, we know better than most that choosing just one VPN can be a headache.
With all claiming to be the ‘best’ or the ‘fastest’, there seems little to separate many VPNs.
While there are obvious differences which you would only notice after testing many services, there are some more important factors that will help you choose the top VPN.
These are specific to your needs and while one service may be the best for one user, not all VPNs will be the best for you.
So we’ve broken it down into typical usage scenarios, based on our own experiences, to help you make a decision.
Best for privacy protection
Choose ExpressVPN. With a tested no-log policy, high levels of encryption and being registered outside the United States, we can guarantee that you’re getting some of the best privacy provisions around and will be enjoying true private internet access.
Best US-based VPN
Get IPVanish. If you prefer to place your trust in homegrown VPNs, then you’ll find that here.
Offering a reliable and well-respected service and lots of US servers and home-based IP address options, this one is registered in the United States, so you can be using a VPN based domestically.
Best for a risk-free test
Opt for VyprVPN. They offer a huge 30-day money-back guarantee giving you plenty of time to try it before committing any money.
Best to unblock US TV services
Choose ExpressVPN. They offer fast connection speeds and lots of US servers and work with more US TV services and streaming services than most, including all the most popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, NBC Sports and others.
Best with a proven no-log policy
Get VPN.ac. They stand out as a high security-conscious service that has a few unique features that you won’t find elsewhere and a low profile that doesn’t draw attention.
What’s the best free VPN for the USA?
If you want to use a VPN to protect your online privacy or security in the USA, then we would strongly advise you to avoid free VPN providers and pay a few dollars a month for a high-quality free premium service.
A Free VPN provider frequently harvests and sells user data. Many have close ties to Communist China, and some will even come bundled together with malware and spyware that will either steal your data or inject adverts and other junk into your browser. This isn’t just scaremongering. Both we and a number of our readers know this from bitter experience.
If you want private internet access, then a free VPN is not the answer. Free VPNs are almost always more trouble than they are worth.
However, if money is tight and free VPNs are your only option, choose the Proton VPN free version or PrivadoVPN.
Proton VPN hugely limits its free users both in terms of the number of servers available and the number of devices you can use it on. But Proton VPN is a free VPN you can trust and which doesn’t have malicious intent.
It offers decent security features, including secure core servers, and while speeds aren’t great, it doesn’t have the service limitations that many free VPNs come with and works well in the USA with US servers available.
If there is such a thing as the best free VPN, it is Proton VPN. But we still recommend going for one of the VPN providers listed above and paying a few dollars a month for a vastly superior service.
Why do I need a VPN for the US?
VPNs are now essential regardless of where you live, and with such a connected country, the United States is one of the number one locations you really should be using a VPN.
But why should you use a VPN is a very good question and one we get asked a lot.
If you’ve heard the term ‘VPN’ but are not quite sure if you really need one, then check out this brief list of reasons why a VPN is now a necessity rather than a luxury:
Protects your browsing habits from companies and other snoops
VPNs send your data through an encrypted tunnel stopping your ISP (Internet Service Provider) and other online companies or the government from being able to monitor and log your web traffic and internet usage.
Using a VPN prevents them from monetising this without your permission.
It also helps to prevent you from becoming a victim of the current net neutrality arrangements, which allow Internet Service Providers to slow down and speed up your service depending on which sites you visit. Hiding your own IP Address and offering many other IP Addresses to connect to is vital for this.
Online privacy is crucial in today’s world. Make sure you protect yourself and use reliable VPN technology.
Secures you from hackers when using public Wi-Fi networks
Public Wi-Fi networks are everywhere these days, but they are notoriously insecure. They often have no passwords, and the ones that do are easily accessible.
Even a novice hacker can crack a public Wi-Fi network and see what its users are up to. But a VPN encrypts your data giving you private internet access and secure IP Addresses on these networks, meaning it will always be safe, protecting your online privacy.
Bypasses speed throttling restrictions on certain services
Thanks to Net Neutrality laws, ISPs are now permitted to throttle your fast speeds to push you towards using certain speeds for specific services.
Some will also throttle if you are doing things like downloading BitTorrent files. A VPN hides details of what you are doing online, which prevents any throttling.
Unblocks access to more entertainment content
VPNs allow you to access just about any entertainment content you want, no matter where in the world it originates.
With a USA VPN, you can easily bypass censorship and access geo-restricted content, even on services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or Amazon Prime Video.
By connecting to a number of servers located elsewhere means you can enjoy the entertainment you want whenever you want it.
Unblocks websites and services that may otherwise be blocked in your region
Geo-restrictions can be used on streaming services and other content between states but is very common between different countries.
If you want to watch content on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video that is only available in Japan or the UK, a VPN lets you access these services by connecting to different server locations, masking your real IP address and giving you a new IP rather than you being restricted to their US platforms alone.
It’s not just streaming sites. Plenty of other apps and services are also geo-restricted to certain countries.
Allows you to bypass state-wide blackouts for certain sports
Sports can be blacked out or geo-restricted in certain states, which is hugely frustrating for fans if you can’t access the right cable service.
But a VPN can help you and other internet users by changing servers and hiding your US IP address to fool your streaming service into thinking you are out of state and therefore undoing the state government blackout and letting you watch every game.
Enables you to torrent anonymously
VPNs are essential for torrenting since they allow you to connect to servers and hide your IP address, allowing you to download privately.
All of your activity is encrypted, and your privacy is protected by the hiding of your real IP address.
However, just because you are secure doesn’t mean you should download copyrighted content. Remember, you’re only permitted to download content that is legal in your country.
They’re just a few of the many reasons why you’ll want to be using VPNs in the US. There are, however, plenty more.
Recap of Top 7 VPNs for the US
In this guide, we have given you a rundown of the top 7 US VPN providers.
ExpressVPN is our pick of the bunch thanks to its incredible all-around US VPN service. NordVPN and VyprVPN complete the top three. Both a seasoned VPNs that also offer everything a US VPN user needs.
Other providers we recommend for US VPN users are IPVanish, VPN.ac, Surfshark VPN, and CyberGhost. All have their merits, but don’t quite hit the overall heights of the top three.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a VPN for the US
While ExpressVPN is the best overall US VPN service, individual US VPN service users will have their own priorities and these are the key factors that US VPN service users need to consider when choosing a VPN provider:
- Security Provisions
- Privacy Provisions
- Apps for the right devices
- Servers in the right locations
- Connection Speeds
- Price and money-back options
Our Top Pick for the Best VPN for the United States.
The best US VPN will depend on where your priorities lie and what you want to use your VPN for.
But our overall Best US VPN recommendation is ExpressVPN. It has it all, from strong security and privacy protections to great apps, a huge server network, and fast speeds.
The best US VPN, as far as we are concerned, is ExpressVPN.
What do you think of the providers on the list, or is there one provider you think we’ve missed? Drop a comment in the comment section below, as we would love to hear about your experiences.
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