If you’re traveling away from home, you might find some local California sites blocked. That’s because you can only access some websites and streaming platforms if you have a California IP address. On the other hand, if you’re in the States, there’s a different problem — the US is in the 5-Eyes Alliance (data-sharing countries). Without protection, your data might be leaked and shared with third parties. You can address both issues with a California VPN.
VPNs enable you to access local California websites and US content while traveling abroad by replacing your real IP address with a California one. They also offer strong encryption and no-logs policies that keep your data safe from leaks or accidental exposure. So, you get content unblocking and great security - in a single tool.
We’ll show you how to use the best VPN with the most servers and countries to unblock your favorite California sites. We’ll also take a look at what the best VPN for California specifically is and why. Finally, we’ll run through some FAQs at the end, teaching you all there’s to know about using a VPN for California.
Let’s get into it and find the best VPN for you!
How to Get a California IP Address
You can get a California IP address by connecting to a VPN server located in that US state. Our guide will walk you through how to install and use a VPN in 5 steps. Here it is:
- Sign up for a VPN that works in California (we recommend ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the VPN on your device.
- Launch the VPN and log in using your credentials.
- Connect to a server in California or elsewhere (to unblock sites).
- You can now browse the Web safely and freely. That’s it!
In our next section, we have curated from our list of best USA VPNs that would be better when you are in or travelling away from California. Check them out below.
Best California VPN
You need a VPN with a global server network to unblock geo-restricted content. The best California VPNs must also offer fast speeds for streaming, gaming, and browsing online. Your chosen VPN service should keep you safe from accidental data exposure with features like AES 256-bit encryption, a no-logs policy, and data leak protection too.
Following the criteria listed above, these are the 5 best VPNs for California:
- ExpressVPN - Our #1-Rated California VPN
- NordVPN - Best VPN for California with Specialized Servers
- Private Internet Access - Best VPN for Advanced Users
- CyberGhost VPN - Great VPN with Improved Privacy
- Surfshark - Solid VPN for California with Fast Speeds
1. ExpressVPN - Our #1-Rated California VPN
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ExpressVPN is the best VPN for California. It offers servers in 3 cities (Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and San Francisco). This helped us watch local NFL content and unblock streaming platforms such as Netflix US and Hulu easily. ExpressVPN also has 3,000+ servers across 94 countries that help you unblock services from other countries like ITV Hub and plenty more.
ExpressVPN is the best choice for seamless streaming, online gaming, and downloading files. We tested it and got excellent speeds for streaming in 4K without buffering. The service even enabled us to play games online with minimal lag on most servers.
Military-grade AES 256-bit encryption protects you online, and ExpressVPN also offers a range of different protocols you can use (including OpenVPN and Lightway). You’ll be able to browse the Internet without exposing your data.
Your privacy is guaranteed, as ExpressVPN is based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands. Its no-logs policy ensures that your data isn’t stored anywhere or shared with third parties. Moreover, it has a kill switch that will automatically cut off your Internet if you lose your VPN connection, preventing accidental leaks.
Contacting support is easy with ExpressVPN, and just requires you to use its 24/7 live chat tool. You can get answers to any question if you ever get stuck with anything. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so getting a refund is easy if you ever change your mind.
- 3 California server locations.
- Servers in 94 countries.
- Excellent speeds.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 5 simultaneous connections.
2. NordVPN - Best VPN for California with Specialized Servers
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NordVPN is a great California VPN with 3 server locations in the state (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose) that will unblock your favorite local content. It also has a vast network of 5,000+ servers spread across 60 countries.
This VPN has great connection speeds that let us stream in UHD interruption-free. Some remote locations did slow us down, but if you have a connection with base speeds of over 50 Mbps, then it won’t be an issue.
Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN keeps your sensitive information protected from data-logging services. The NordLynx and OpenVPN protocols offer added security to your network and help you stay safe online. You can even use NordVPN to scan local files for malware and block active trackers using the "Threat Manager” feature.
It also has a no-logs policy and data leak protection to safeguard your data. Moreover, it secures your connection with robust AES 256-bit encryption, making it much safer to access the Web in California with NordVPN.
NordVPN’s apps are beginner-friendly with simple user interfaces, and it can be used on 6 devices simultaneously. Lastly, the service has 24/7 customer support (including a live chat tool) and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- 3 locations in California.
- 5,000+ servers in 60 countries.
- Multiple VPN protocols.
- Protection against malicious sites.
- 24/7 live chat customer support.
- Remote servers can be slow.
3. Private Internet Access - Best VPN for Advanced Users
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Private Internet Access (PIA) offers a customizable interface that allows you to choose from multiple encryption and security protocols. Our recommendations are the OpenVPN protocol, which is the gold standard for security, or the WireGuard protocol, which is both fast and secure. PIA also has robust AES 256-bit and AES 128-bit encryption with a dedicated kill switch for added security for browsing in California.
With PIA, you can choose from 2 California locations (Los Angeles and Silicon Valley) to access local content. Thanks to its fast speeds, you can stream local California sports and TV shows without issues. Moreover, a built-in malware and ad blocker (MACE) blocks annoying ads and trackers for a seamless browsing experience.
Obfuscated servers in 84 countries make your VPN connection appear just like regular Internet traffic. This means you can even bypass geo-restrictions and unblock sites that can usually detect VPNs and block them.
You can use PIA with all major operating systems, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and more. In-depth support guides with a 24/7 live chat tool will help you install this California VPN quickly and easily.
A 30-day money-back guarantee also backs your subscription, so you can get a full refund with a straightforward process if you don’t like the VPN.
- Customizable interface.
- OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols.
- 2 California locations.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Best for more advanced users.
4. CyberGhost VPN - Great VPN with California Servers and Improved Privacy
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CyberGhost offers top-notch VPN features, such as an audited no-logs policy and a dedicated ad-blocker, which helps you avoid annoying ads and malicious sites. An automatic kill switch and leak protection also secure your data from accidental exposure.
This California VPN service protects you with air-tight AES 256-bit encryption. Plus, CyberGhost is based in Romania, outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (data-logging countries). You can also configure the VPN to launch automatically when you start your computer or when you open specific apps.
CyberGhost has optimized servers for online security, streaming, and gaming. You can also choose from a network of 9,500+ servers in 90+ countries to access restricted content outside of California. It has 2 server locations in California (Los Angeles and San Francisco) that you can connect to and use to watch local content.
There’s also a 24/7 live chat tool to help you answer any questions that come up. Plus, it offers an extended 45-day money-back guarantee if you purchase a long-term plan, meaning you can get a hassle-free refund if you change your mind.
- Full data leak protection.
- 2 California server locations.
- Good speeds for browsing.
- Responsive 24/7 customer support.
- 45-day money-back guarantee.
- Slower than its competitors.
5. Surfshark - Solid VPN for California with Fast Speeds
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Surfshark has fast speeds that are great for streaming California NFL games in UHD with no buffering. It even lets you game online without any lag. We were also able to watch shows on BBC iPlayer and HBO Max, and never faced any random buffering issues.
With Surfshark, you get 3,200+ servers across 100 countries, including 2 different server locations in California (Los Angeles and San Francisco). This makes accessing platforms like Hulu and Netflix US a piece of cake.
Its Multi-Hop servers make your IP untraceable by sending your data through multiple servers. Surfshark also has its proprietary Nexus Technology that rotates your IP address for added security. It has strong encryption and secure protocols that protect you while you’re on the Web, too, like WireGuard and OpenVPN.
Surfshark has minimalist apps with simple UIs that are great for beginners and pros alike. It also allows unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can cover all your devices with just one subscription. It has apps for all major operating systems, including Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS.
Installing Surfshark’s apps is an easy process. However, in case of any issues, you can contact its customer support via 24/7 live chat. Surfshark also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Quick speeds for streaming.
- Servers in 100 countries.
- Excellent security and privacy features.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections.
- 24/7 customer support.
- Can take a while to connect.
Why Do I Need a VPN for California?
You need a VPN for California to unblock local California channels and shows from abroad (think NFL games) and to protect your online presence.
Here’s more information on how a VPN can help you:
- Protect Your Sensitive Data - VPNs include great security and privacy features that protect your Web experience. AES 256-bit encryption and a no-logs policy are essential for keeping your information safe from hackers online.
- Access Geo-Blocked Services - Many global platforms are restricted in California, such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and more. A VPN lets you bypass these restrictions and access your favorite content without interruptions.
- Block Ads, Trackers, and Spyware - If you aren’t careful enough, surfing the Web can infect your device with spyware. At the very least, you’ll be blasted with ads and trackers. Only reliable VPNs can help protect you against all those threats at once.
- Secure Torrenting Experience - Torrenting can get risky and lead to accidental data exposure. A VPN service will encrypt your data using secure servers so you can download files without data leak issues.
Can I Use a Free VPN in California?
Yes, you can use a free California VPN, but we don’t recommend it. Free VPNs don’t have many servers, and they might not even have one in California in the first place - which is necessary for unblocking California sites.
Free VPNs also aren’t secure enough as they don’t have reliable privacy features. Moreover, some might leak your data or even sell it to make a profit.
They’re also likely to have data caps - most free VPNs offer around 500MB - 10GB of data per month. They’re a bad choice for anything data-intensive like downloading or streaming.
However, if you really want a free VPN for California, we recommend going through our free VPN guide to choose the best one (or, the least restrictive one).
Being able to unblock your favorite California sites while keeping your data secure online is essential. That said, VPNs encrypt your connection and give you unrestricted access to local California content from anywhere in the world. However, you need to make sure you get one with great security features and fast connection speeds.
That said, our #1 recommendation is ExpressVPN, which is by far the best California VPN available today. It has an extensive network, military-grade encryption, and data leak protection to keep your data secure online. Best of all, ExpressVPN backs your purchase with a trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee, so there are zero risks involved.
Is It Legal to Use a VPN in California?
Yes, VPNs are legal in California. You can use any California VPN that meets your needs to encrypt your connection with a secure server network.
What Is the Best VPN for California?
ExpressVPN is the best VPN to use in California. It has 3 server locations in the state and allows you to stream content in 4K without any buffering and access local sites with no problems.
That’s all for our take on the best California VPN services. If you have any questions, drop a comment below. Thank you for reading!