It doesn’t matter if you want online privacy in the US or want to unblock USA streaming services from abroad, only the best VPN software can help with that.
I’ll be highlighting the top picked VPN services to use in and outside the US, picked after successfully passing a few tests. Choosing a VPN for the US isn’t an easy task, and for that, a specific criterion is followed. I’ll also be mentioning reasons why you’d need a VPN even while residing in the States.
However, before moving on with how I chose the top 5 providers for the US, here’s a quick look at them:
- Surfshark – User-friendly, budgeted, and secure VPN to use in the USA, at $2.49/mo.
- NordVPN – Best VPN with strong security & speeds for users in the USA at $3.71/mo.
- ExpressVPN – Best speeds and unblocks services in the USA at $6.67/mo.
- IPVanish – US-based provider, fast speeds, and no-logs VPN at $3.25/mo.
- CyberGhost – Good security and privacy for users in the US at $2.75/mo.
How was the best USA VPN chosen?
There are only a few VPN services that are the best in the industry. To make things a little easier for you, I chose only the best, ran a few tests, and settled for five. These providers were not only the best to use in the USA, but also while traveling abroad.
There’s always a pattern to follow when conducting VPN tests. Along with that, specific VPN attributes are scouted. Here’s how I chose the top 5 providers:
Server coverage and US IP address
Choosing a VPN for the USA means looking for the best server coverage. There are some cases where visitors from foreign countries travel to the States. If they try getting into their media or bank accounts from back home, there might be a few issues.
The US VPNs picked, all offer a smart list of servers. There are numerous US servers available to access international content or to use for privacy in the USA. You’ll even find servers from all the major countries in the world, making it easier for foreigners to connect to, to access local content or accounts.
Additionally, these VPN services were picked based on offering numerous US IP addresses to access US content while traveling or living abroad.
Safe Jurisdiction and no-logging policies
We all know that the US is a part of the 14-eyes alliance; a group of countries that follow online surveillance laws, monitor, and share user data. The VPNs chosen are all located far away from the eyes regions. Only IPVanish is located in the US. However, sometimes a provider is much more than meets the eye. Even though IPVanish is located in the US, its privacy and no-logging policies are religiously followed.
Each provider was put through a series of tests, and one of them included unblocking streaming services from abroad. All the VPNs enlisted unblocked not only local websites and apps from geo-restricted regions but also managed to access the US and UK Netflix libraries, BBC iPlayer, Hotstar, Disney Plus, ESPN, DAZN, HBO, Amazon Prime, and much more.
Speed test and unlimited bandwidth
Most VPN users in the US require high-speed connections for live gaming and streaming. I ran these five providers through a speed test, using mainly the US, UK, AUS, CA, and IND servers. All delivered decent and consistent results. The added perk was unlimited bandwidth.
Every VPN app needs to offer the best encryption and advanced features. I looked for a Kill Switch, tested the IP and DNS leaks, and looked for other standalone features that can be enabled within the app. All the providers showed exempt performance, keeping user data and privacy away from prying ISP eyes, including surveillance conductions by the NSA.
The best USA VPN in 2020
Having selected the top 5 providers, there’s bound to be some distinct features and great performance results. This is why they were chosen. Each provider is different from the other, but all serve the same purpose, plus all come with the most affordable discounts, just in case you’re on a budget. To understand why these providers were chosen as the best VPNs, take a look below:
First, on the list we have Surfshark. This provider happens to be on the list of top VPNs in general. It’s located in the British Virgin Islands and is known for observing a strict no-logs policy. This means unlimited online privacy for users in the US and globally.
It has around 1700+ servers in 64 countries, which is inclusive of numerous servers in the US. Streaming and P2P file sharing isn’t an issue since it’s compatible with both.
Speaking of streaming, during testing, Surfshark managed to unblock numerous platforms screened mostly in the US and much more. A few of these included the US Netflix library, Amazon Prime, Hulu and others like Hotstar, BBC iPlayer and more.
The speeds were pretty decent. You can find the full report and app features in my Surfshark review. Along with being best for streaming, users in the US and abroad can secure their devices, data and connections, since the app comes heavily equipped with security features.
It operates using 256-bit AES encryption, has a Kill Switch even on the iOS app, comes with a CleanWeb feature for ad-blocking, and allows usage of the OpenVPN protocol. There’s a lot more to sure users from online surveillance in the US and abroad.
Coming to the apps support, Surfshark is compatible with all the major operating systems and devices. A few include Windows, Firestick, and Android, iOS, PS4, Browser extensions, Smart TVs and more. The best part is that you’ll be able to run multiple devices through VPN protection since Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous device connections.
Surfshark is also one of the cheapest providers and offers a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS smartphones. If you’re planning on going for a regular subscription, the provider comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee on top of each subscription.
Next for the best VPN to use in the USA, is NordVPN. For VPN users who’re looking for sound security, then NordVPN fits right down that alley. It offers a safe online connection to unlimited websites or from prying ISP and cybercriminal eyes.
NordVPN originates from a safe jurisdiction in Panama. Most VPN users who are mainly concerned with privacy over the internet subscribe to Nord. Since we’re on the topic of locations, NordVPN offers extensive coverage of 5000+ servers in 59 countries. Among this list includes 1845 US servers and others spread across various countries.
Using SmartPlay technologies, I was able to unblock US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, ESPN, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, and more. The NordVPN speeds were high and also offers unlimited bandwidth.
Now, coming to what makes NordVPN a worthy provider, let’s talk about its security suite. The provider uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption on OpenVPN protocol on all apps and NordLynx protocol for the iOS devices.
Apart from that, there are advanced features, some of which include DNS and IP leak protection, Double VPN servers, Onion Over VPN compatibility, a Kill Switch, a CyberSec ad-blocking feature and more. For a full detailed account, go through any updated NordVPN review.
You can use NordVPN protection over multiple supported devices. A few notable ones include Windows, iOS, Firestick, Android, Linux, Android TV, and others. You’ll be able to connect around 6 devices simultaneously.
If you feel like running a few tests on your own, then you’re in luck. NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS smartphones and a 30-day refund. For anyone who’s not satisfied with the service, simply ask for a refund and account cancelation. The refund only applies for purchases made through the website, so make sure you go through the terms.
ExpressVPN is another British Virgin Islands VPN just like Surfshark. This VPN delivers some of the fastest speeds to date compared to many other providers and covers a strict no-logging policy. This gives users in the USA and abroad, a fast online experience, all while promising to keep user-data and devices secure.
First, let’s talk about the ExpressVPN server coverage. It offers extensive coverage of 3000+ servers spread across 94 countries. Inclusive in its list, are also numerous servers in the US.
I ran a couple of tests using a few of its US servers and others like the UK, India, and Hong Kong servers. This was to test whether they’re capable of unblocking streaming services and websites from within the US and abroad. I managed to gain access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, Popcorn Time and much more.
Besides the high speeds and unblocking abilities, the ExpressVPN apps are also built with top of the line security features. Firstly, it offers a feature called MediaStreamer for unblocking Geo-restricted websites.
Other than that, there’s AES 256-bit encryption, a choice of protocols including OpenVPN, a Kill Switch, Split-tunneling which you can enable, DNS and IP leak protection, and a compatibility with TOR. For a more detailed look, there’s an ExpressVPN review for you to go through.
If you own more than one device that you’d like to put through VPN protection, ExpressVPN allows simultaneous connections up to 5 devices per subscription. You could add more only through connection with a router.
When it comes to device support, ExpressVPN is compatible with all the major operating systems and devices. A few of them include Windows, Android, iOS, Firestick, routers, Apple TV, Nvidia Shield and much more.
Yes, ExpressVPN is one of the priciest options, but how many providers do you know that offer exceptional VPN services that actually work? Besides, if you’re still not sure about investing, you could always go for the free trial. If you’re not full satisfied, cancel your account and ask for a refund.
Next on the list, we have IPVanish. This provider is US-bound and has managed to raise a few questions among users of the VPN world. However, although IPVanish is a US VPN provider, there are still two factors to consider, which plops it on the list for best VPN services in the USA.
Firstly, when I went through the privacy policies, I noticed that IPVanish made a couple of updates, securing a strict no-logging policy. Secondly, since this provider is located in the US, it gives users an upper hand to unblock unlimited US-aired websites, streaming services or apps.
It has around 1400+ servers in 75+ countries, with the majority of its servers in the USA.
There are times when a provider may include numerous servers, but most fail to work. When put through the unblocking and speed tests, IPVanish managed to give me access to US Netflix and other libraries, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, and more.
The speed results were pretty satisfactory, provided that the VPN also offers unlimited bandwidth.
Other than that, IPVanish makes a great app for multiple devices. A few supported platforms include Windows, Firestick, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, Roku, Routers and much more. The latest update on its device support now allows users to make not 10 but unlimited simultaneous device connections.
Coming to the technicalities of the provider, it uses AES 256-bit encryption, supports multiple protocols mainly on the Windows app, and has a Kill Switch and split-tunneling feature. There’s a lot more to go through, which you’ll find in a detailed IPVanish review.
There’s now a free trial and refund over each subscription if you’re interested in a test run.
Last, but not least, we have CyberGhost. This provider is known for having great performance and features suitable for anonymizing online activities. This is perfect for internet users in the USA, keeping away ISP and government eyes. It’s also equally good for anyone living abroad or traveling.
CyberGhost offers a hefty coverage of 6000+ servers in 90 countries. In this list, it has around 1069 servers covering the USA.
A very distinct feature on the CyberGhost app, is the fact that it labels each server under streaming and torrenting, along with the services it unblocks. That makes things quite easy. When tested, I unblocked Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and also Popcorn Time. Speeds were moderately good.
CyberGhost doesn’t offer a huge advanced list of security options but has a good infrastructure, able enough to serve its purpose. You’ll find that the apps are built with AES 256-bit encryption, a Kill Switch, Split-Tunneling, and is DNS/IP leak protected. You can find the entire list, along with the apps test results in this CyberGhost review.
You’ll be able to protect multiple devices since CyberGhost allows 7 simultaneous device connections. A few of its supported devices include Windows, Android, iOS, Fire TV, macOS, and more!
If you’re willing to test the VPN, it offers a 24-hour absolute free trial for Windows, a 7-day trial for iOS and Android phones, and huge 45-day refund policy.
Why do you need a USA VPN?
Needing a VPN that’s best for the USA depends on both, requiring one to access restricted services from abroad as well as scoring an anonymous and safe online experience while living in the US. However, a VPN, in general, has become more of a need rather than a want.
A VPN is a great tool that’ll get you across almost half the online restrictions you face, but to choose the best VPN is a mammoth’s task.
If you look below, you’ll find the following points highlighting why you’d need the best VPN while living within and out of the USA.
- Avoid getting surveillanced 24/7 by your ISP, the NSA, or even hackers on the internet.
- Secures your data and prevents it from being stored and shared.
- Using a VPN also means securing you from threats from random links, websites or browsers.
- Let’s you unblock multiple streaming services from within the country and abroad.
- You’ll have a more private and secure internet connection, one that’s safe and undisturbed.
- It will help stabilize your speeds and bandwidth.
- Secure multiple devices in one go, rather than just one.
Is it safe and legal to use a VPN in the USA?
Yes, using a VPN in the USA is legal, free from violating any laws. However, you should always use it wisely and cautiously.
Can I use a free VPN in the USA?
Yes and no. It depends on which provider you go with. Usually, free VPNs come with added issues, like weak protection, viruses, steal data, slow speeds, and more. Plus, if online privacy is your main concern in the States, then a free option is out of the question. However, if you’re still keen on free VPN services, there are only a handful of the best providers that offer free trials.
Online surveillance hampers user’s rights to exercise their online freedom, and the USA seems to be right in the middle of it all. Using the best VPN when in the USA or abroad can help you get across some of these restrictive barriers, and aid you with a safe and secure connection. I’ve shortlisted 5 of the safest (Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and CyberGhost), each different in their own ways.