Best VPNs for USA in 2023: Use in or outside the USA
Living in the United States comes with some pretty cool advantages as a web user. You have access to some of the best content being shown around the world today. You have the right to use video subscription sites and apps such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, etc., and you don’t have to use a VPN to do it.
But in a country such as the USA, which is a founding member of the 5/9/14 Surveillance Alliance, your online privacy is at risk. There are several organizations set up to watch the activities of individuals on the web.
A VPN can be used for many things, but to most users in the US, privacy, security, and anonymity are its top functions. A VPN protects your data by encrypting it, so even if it is copied, it’ll take years and years to decrypt. It protects your information whenever you log into a public Wi-Fi network. And with your data encrypted, your ISP cannot see what you’re doing online, and therefore, cannot sell it to anyone.
The best VPN services for the USA
With all these in mind, we’ve researched the six best VPNs for users in the USA, and we’re going to explain what’s so good about them.
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is in a location outside the Surveillance Alliance and in an excellent privacy jurisdiction. ExpressVPN is one of the best and most highly rated VPNs around because of its consistent devotion to ensuring users’ privacy and security.
ExpressVPN plays no jokes about its clients’ security. It uses the top-notch AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocol to encrypt your data. It boasts of around 3000 servers in over 160 locations spread over 94 countries, so you have lots of choices when picking a server. A kill switch serves to close your network when a break in connection from the VPN is confirmed.
ExpressVPN states that it does not collect logs of any of your activities, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, or data content. It also does not collect connection logs like logs of IP addresses, connection timestamps, VPN IP address, or session duration.
ExpressVPN enables you to stream geo-restricted content from around the globe, de-censor censored sites, and unblock websites. It allows torrenting and maintains high speeds around the globe. ExpressVPN is accessible on all the major platforms; Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, smart TVs, routers game consoles.
You’re allowed to use this VPN for up to 5 devices on one account. If you have a problem while using ExpressVPN, you can ask one of the professionals on their live chat at any time and get a quick, knowledgeable response.
The first and cheapest plan’s monthly rate is $6.67 for 12-months, with an additional three months added as a bonus for the first payment. It’s $9.99 per month for the 6-month plan and $12.95 for the monthly plan. A 30-day money-back guarantee allows would-be users to test ExpressVPN without any risks.
- Pros: Fastest VPN out there; Strict no logs policy; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest price: $6.67
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
NordVPN is a VPN provider that comes with a considerable amount of features at a price that’s hard to beat.
NordVPN has over 5200 servers in 59 countries, and more than 1500 of them are located in the United States. This concentration of servers leads to fast network speeds, which is better for streaming content. With the SmartPlay feature, you can unblock geo-restricted content, and de-censor censored websites. Torrenting is also permitted.
Security features on NordVPN are military-grade. Your data can be encrypted doubly through two different servers with Double VPN, to obfuscate your identity and location. CyberSec ensures that you browse free of ads and that any malicious websites you come across are blocked.
An automatic kill switch guards your data in case of a connection drop. Onion over VPN allows users to send their data through Tor to add more layers of encryption. NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy; your data will never be stored.
NordVPN has apps for macOS, Android, Linux, and iOS with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. A single user can extend the use of his account to up to 6 devices. Nord’s award-winning 24/7 customer service is always ready to help with any issue you might have on any platform.
NordVPN has a broader range of plans than most VPNs with four plans, spanning from 3-years to monthly. The 3-year plan’s rate is $3.49/month, with three extra months offered in an exclusive deal. The 2-year plan is $4.99/month. The 1-year plan goes for $6.99/month, and the monthly plan is $11.95. Each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you don’t have to commit to NordVPN without really seeing how good a fit it is for you.
- Pros: Lots of pricing options; Netflix support kept up to date; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest price: $3.71
- Free trial? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
- Ad blocking? Yes
- Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries
- No footprints
- Allows torrenting
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not the fastest
SurfShark operates out of the British Virgin Islands, a place untouched by the privacy laws of the Surveillance Alliance. This alone wouldn’t allow SurfShark its place as one of the best VPNs for the USA. But SurfShark, a relatively young VPN, has earned its place.
SurfShark has around 1000 servers, spread out over 60 countries, and growing steadily. This VPN has a zero-logs policy and a kill switch to protect your data. A private DNS and DNS leak protection guard against DNS leaks which can be used to track your real IP address.
Your data is encrypted with AES-256-GCM encryption. MultiHop is a form of Double VPN. Your traffic is routed through two different VPN servers before being sent to its destination, which obfuscates your location and details. Whitelister is a split tunneling feature that allows users to choose which data they’d like to route through the VPN and which they’d like to pass through their regular ISP.
SurfShark has NoBorders mode, which allows you to unblock geo-restricted content and blocked websites. You’ll also be able to see censored sites. When it comes to streaming from places such as Netflix (various libraries), Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, etc., SurfShark does it readily and quickly. It unblocks websites in short order, as well. SurfShark also allows you to use an unlimited number of devices on one account. We think this is an excellent idea for families. For any questions or queries, a 24/7 live chat is always available to help.
SurfShark has some fantastic prices considering all it’s offering. As a Black Friday special offer, SurfShark’s 27-month plan is going for $1.77/month. Its 12-month plan is sold at $5.99/month, and its monthly plan is $11.95. SurfShark also offers a 30-day money-back policy for all plans.
- Pros: No footprints; Allows torrenting; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest Price: €2.09
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
ProtonVPN is located in Switzerland, a privacy-friendly country, and not a member of the 14-Eyes Alliance. ProtonVPN is very big on security and has developed a number of new features to ensure users are as safe as could be during browsing.
Apart from encrypting your data and providing a kill switch, ProtonVPN also offers some unique features to ensure your security further. Perfect Forward Secrecy guards all your connection by creating a new and unique encryption key anytime you log into any server. This is great because it means that if your encryption key got compromised, all previous connections would be safe.
Another extra security feature is Secure Core. This feature routes your data through various privacy-friendly countries before reaching your destination. This provides additional layers of security, which is essential when living and working in the USA.
ProtonVPN stores no-logs and Tor servers are supported for you to route your data through if you’d like an extra dose of anonymity. ProtonVPN also allows for torrenting and streaming. It passed the test of streaming in the USA, bypassing the blocks on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Amazon Prime Video.
ProtonVPN has a unique way of pricing. Not all features are available on all of its plans. Its best offer goes for $8/month and promises the use of all countries’ servers, connection to up to 5 devices, High speed, torrenting, Secure Core, Tor Servers, and secure streaming. The Basic plan costs $4/month and has only two countries, two devices allowed, high speed, and torrenting. The most expensive is the Visionary plan, which charges $24/month. It will enable all the features in the Plus plan with the addition of a ProtonMail Visionary account.
- Pros: Professional support; Modern interface and apps; AES-256 encryption;
- Lowest price: €4
- Speeds: 20 Gbps
- Money-back guarantee: Yes
- Activity logs? No
- Locations: 190+ countries
- Best server database on the market
- No-logs and kill switch policy
- Multiple device protection
- Expensive short term plan
HideMyAss (HMA) is a very user-friendly VPN. For beginners, this VPN even has an option for the options to be automatically filled. It’s perfect for the beginner who isn’t too sure what’s what.
HMA uses military-grade encryption with a smart kill switch, no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and a split tunneling feature. The no-logs policy is fundamental, seeing as the company that owns HMA is based in the UK. HMA’s servers are fully encrypted, and there’s DDoS protection. HideMyAss can protect up to 5 devices simultaneously.
HideMyAss has over 1000 servers in 290+ locations in more than 190 countries. You’re covered all over the world with this VPN. And with this range comes the ability to unblock different geo-restrictions. HMA unblocks Netflix (various libraries), Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, Crunchyroll, etc. It also unblocks websites and censored content. Torrenting is allowed. When streaming, the speed of HMA is enough to watch HD videos without any buffering.
HideMyAss is supported on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers. Customer support is also great with round-the-clock customer service available to answer any queries.
HMA has some of the cheapest plans we’ve seen with the 12-month plan charged at $1.99/month. The 6-month plan is $2.99/month, and the monthly plan is $3.99, which is a definite steal considering all the features listed.
- Pros: Best server database on the market; No-logs and kill switch policy; Multiple device protection;
- Lowest price $2.99
- One click connect? Yes
- Servers: 100+ superfast servers
- Bandwidth cap? No
- Platforms: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
- Apps for all devices
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not as many servers as others
UltraVPN is a young VPN provider, and the major point in this VPN is in its interface. UltraVPN has a self-explanatory and straightforward user interface. All functions and features are displayed optimally and within easy reach of the user. This is unusual because most VPNs have adopted the practice of keeping the more advanced settings buried within several menus.
UltraVPN has a no-logs policy and is an exception at preventing IP and DNS leaks. Its website boasts of over 1000 servers in 100+ countries which gives US users some choice in server locations. It has some servers dedicated to streaming. UltraVPN is able to stream Netflix (various libraries), Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. It does this seamlessly, too, without throttling or bandwidth caps. It also does well in unblocking blocked websites.
UltraVPN also encrypts your traffic with AES-256 bit encryption, with a secure firewall to ensure no traffic goes outside the VPN. A kill switch is also provided in the apps to block your data in case your connection drops. UltraVPN has apps available for Windows, macOS, Android, iPhone, and Fire TV. A 24/7 customer phone support is always available to help you resolve any problems you might have with the app.
UltraVPN is a simplified VPN. This VPN is perfect for the beginner. Its pricing is set at $3.75/month for the 12-month plan, which is the biggest deal. The 6-month plan is $5.99/month, and the monthly plan is $7.99. There is a 30-day refund policy in effect.
- Pros: Firewall; Apps for all devices; 256-bit AES encryption;
- Lowest price: €2.99
What else is a VPN good for in the USA?
This may come as a shock to you, but VPNs aren’t just used for security while browsing and streaming. There are a number of other things a VPN can do for you, which can make your life a little bit easier.
- Save money on flight, hotel, and car rental deals
Planning a vacation? Well, your VPN can help you shrink some of those high prices. Your IP address might be causing rates to be higher because it’s giving away your location. If you use your VPN to appear as if you’re browsing in a different country, you’ll be surprised to see that the prices might come down quite a bit.
- Save money shopping online
Your IP address is the culprit again. By giving away your location, your IP address allows some online stores to inflate their prices when you check them using your usual ISP. But when you use a VPN, the prices might reduce because your IP has been replaced by another country’s own.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Free VPN for the USA
Is it legal to use a VPN in the USA?
Yes, if you’re connecting from the US, then your VPN usage is legal. There are currently no laws that prohibit or restrict the use of VPNs. So, several companies and private individuals freely use VPNs to secure that network and evade geo-restrictions. However, using VPNs for unlawful activities wouldn’t legitimize such actions. Some of them include purchasing or selling contrabands on the dark web or cyberstalking, bullying, or other cybercrimes.
What if I don’t want to route all my internet traffic through a US VPN?
Sometimes, netizens want to use VPNs for only specific apps or browsers. Fortunately, some of the VPNs above allow this practice. So, you can choose what portion of your internet traffic you’ll channel through the VPN. This is called a split-tunneling feature. All you need to do is set the apps you want to access the internet directly while the rest go through the VPN’s encrypted tunnels.
Is torrenting legal in the US?
Yes, downloading files through peer-to-peer (p2p) platforms is legal in the US. So, torrenting over a VPN is also lawful. However, downloading specific content may be illegal. For example, downloading copyrighted materials on torrenting platforms is illegal. Furthermore, there could be legal consequences for downloading such protected content. It could range from warning letters to lawsuits. So, indeed you should try not to torrent copyrighted materials. However, you can use the good VPNs above as they don’t store your internet data.
Can I get a dedicated US IP address?
Yes, some VPNs can offer a static US IP address for your VPN needs. This way, you avoid the default shared IP addresses that other VPN users use. Furthermore, you get to control your online reputation with your personal IP. However, you may have to pay an extra fee for a dedicated IP address. Therefore, it would also help to carefully consider whether you truly need a dedicated IP address before getting one.
As an individual living in the USA, using a VPN has become nearly mandatory for your peace of mind while online. Protecting your information from the prying eyes of both individuals and government organizations is a task that cannot be undertaken without some tools to help. But choosing a VPN out of the many providers can be a daunting task. We hope we’ve narrowed down the list for you with our top picks for the best VPNs in the USA.