Security

5 Best VPNs for California in 2024

By Novak Bozovic / May 1, 2024

Labeled as one of the "enemies of the Internet" by Reporters Without Borders, the US is no longer a safe haven for unhindered Internet access. Luckily, those restrictions haven't yet reached California in their full swing. Nonetheless, your Internet provider sees everything you do online, and on top of that, the US is one of the founding members of the 5-Eyes Alliance, permitting widespread data logging.

If you're a frequent traveler, you'll encounter additional issues. For example, you need a California IP address to access local content, and you'll also need a foreign IP to access other countries' content and digital services. That said, you can resolve all those issues with a VPN.

VPNs enable you to access local California websites and US content while traveling abroad. 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. 

In this guide, we'll discuss the best VPN for California and give you several options. We'll explain how to use one, why you need a VPN, and how to choose the best option. Finally, we'll finish with a round of helpful FAQs.

Best California VPNs - Our Shortlist

  1. NordVPN - Our #1-Rated Best VPN for California in 2024
  2. Surfshark - User-Friendly VPN for California with Tons of Server Locations
  3. ExpressVPN - Privacy-First VPN with Obfuscated Network
  4. CyberGhost VPN - Specialized Servers and Wide Platform Support
  5. Private Internet Access - High-End VPN with Plenty of Fine-Tuning

How to Get a California IP Address

Connecting to a California-based VPN server will give you a local IP address. So, you'll need to sign up for a VPN, download its app, and pick a suitable server. Go through the following steps:

  1. Sign up for a VPN that works in California (we recommend NordVPN).
  2. Download and install the VPN on your device.
  3. Launch the VPN and log in using your credentials.
  4. Connect to a local server or a foreign one if you wish to unblock websites.
  5. You can now browse the Web safely and freely. That’s it!

By connecting to a local server, your VPN will automatically replace your IP with one from California. In a similar way, connect to a foreign server if you wish to use a digital platform not available in the US. Our #1 recommendation is NordVPN, as it has servers in 110+ countries, giving you countless options.

The Best VPNs for California in 2024

Your search for the best option available should be based on certain requirements, most of which we have already pinpointed when searching for VPNs with the most servers. More precisely, you'll want plenty of servers in California and across the world. You should also care about speed and performance, as you don't want your VPN to slow you down.

There's also the ability to unblock websites inside and outside California, especially region-specific ones like YouTube TV, Fubo TV, and Sling TV. Pay attention to obfuscated servers and a kill switch, and you'll also want a no-logs policy, strong protocols, and high-end encryption.

Ensure you get a sufficient number of simultaneous connections and support for all your devices. In the end, we'll also mention that you'll want a fair price and plenty of value. Generous money-back policies should also be there, as well as reliable customer support.

Following the criteria listed above, these are the 5 best VPNs to use in California in 2024

1. NordVPN - Our #1-Rated Best VPN for California in 2024

Editor's Pick
Servers
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Android
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Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
Chromecast
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

NordVPN is the best VPN to get a California IP address, as it offers 3 server locations in the state (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose). It also features one of the most expansive server networks out there, with 6,300+ servers spread across 111 countries. 

This VPN has amazing connection speeds and very stable connections. It's one of the fastest VPNs right now, managing to provide high-end speeds across all its nearby and remote servers. If you're looking to unblock sites, know that NordVPN can bypass any geo-block - giving you full access to Californian versions of Sling TV, Fubo TV, YouTube TV, and countless more.

On top of that, expect a range of obfuscated servers, and a kill switch is also there, meaning you won't have to worry about data leaks. The NordLynx, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPsec protocols offer added security and help you stay safe online. Those are paired with AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption ciphers, complemented by NordVPN's audited no-logs policy.

NordVPN’s apps are beginner-friendly, have simple user interfaces, and can be used on 10 devices simultaneously. You'll find NordVPN apps on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, dedicated streaming devices, and even routers.

The lowest you can pay for NordVPN is $3.09/month (2-year subscription). Your purchase comes backed by a solid 30-day money-back guarantee. Lastly, expect 24/7 customer support, including live chat and plenty of other support channels and resources.

PROS

  • 3 locations in California.
  • 6,300+ servers in 111 countries.
  • Strong privacy and security features.
  • Protection against malicious sites.
  • 30-day money-back policy.
  • 24/7 live chat customer support.

CONS

  • Not all servers are obfuscated.

2. Surfshark - User-Friendly VPN for California with Tons of Server Locations

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
Amazon Fire TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Surfshark is a user-focused VPN provider featuring powerful privacy-protection tools that require no fine-tuning. It offers two server locations in California (Los Angeles and San Francisco) and 3,200+ servers in 100 countries worldwide.

This VPN has ultra-fast speeds that are great for streaming, playing online games, and browsing. It can take a while to connect, but you'll get highly stable connections every single time. On top of that, you'll get to unblock any website and digital service, including YouTube TV, Sling TV, and more.

If you need obfuscation, pay attention to Surfshark's 'Camouflage Mode,' which allows you to enable it when necessary. A kill switch is also available, as are protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPsec, paired with AES-256 and ChaCha20. You'll also be happy to hear that Surfshark offers a verified no-logs policy.

Expect minimalist applications with simple UIs that are great for beginners and pros alike. It also allows unlimited simultaneous connections, meaning you can cover all your devices at once. It has apps for all major operating systems, including Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and more.

This VPN's 2-year plan costs $2.29/month and is complemented by a 30-day money-back policy. If you have any issues at any point, you can contact its customer support via 24/7 live chat.

PROS

  • Two locations in California.
  • Servers in 100 countries.
  • Excellent security and privacy.
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • 24/7 customer support.

CONS

  • Spotty connection times.

3. ExpressVPN - Privacy-First VPN with Obfuscated Network

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chromebook
Kindle
Nook
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Apple TV
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Chromecast
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

ExpressVPN is a high-end VPN provider that puts a lot of emphasis on privacy protection. It has servers in 3 cities in California (Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and San Francisco). ExpressVPN also has thousands of servers across 105 countries in total.

You can expect extra-fast speeds and stable connections whether you connect to a nearby or remote server. Also, you can use ExpressVPN to unblock practically any website. We had no issues streaming YouTube TV, Sling TV, Hulu's Live TV, and more.

What's unique about ExpressVPN is that all its servers are obfuscated. This feature works autonomously in the background, so you get the best possible data protection from the get-go. Moreover, it has a kill switch, protocols like OpenVPN, Lightway, and IKEv2/IPsec, as well as encryption ciphers like AES-256 and WolfSSL. To top it all off, this VPN has a watertight no-logs policy.

You'll also like the fact that you'll get 8 simultaneous connections. Plus, you'll get apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, various streaming devices, and routers. ExpressVPN's apps are suitable even for first-time VPN users, as they all have a mobile-like user interface.

ExpressVPN's annual plan costs $6.67/month, which puts it among the more expensive VPNs - but it's certainly worth its price. It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so getting a refund is easy if you change your mind. And should you ever need help, you'll get to rely on 24/7 live chat support.

PROS

  • 3 California server locations.
  • Servers in 105 countries in total.
  • Among the fastest VPN services.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

CONS

  • On the pricier side.

4. CyberGhost VPN - Specialized Servers and Wide Platform Support

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
Samsung Smart TV
All game consoles
All smart TVs
Roku
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

CyberGhost offers plenty of interesting features, most of which are aimed at the average home user. It has 2 server locations in California (Los Angeles and San Francisco) that you can connect to and use to watch local content. You can also choose from a network of thousands of servers in 100 countries to access restricted content outside of California.

That said, we have to note that CyberGhost isn't the fastest option. It provides medium-fast speeds, and there's not much you can do to optimize it. So, having a fast baseline connection would certainly help. On the plus side, it provides specialized servers for unblocking content. Using those, you can stream YouTube TV, Sling TV, Fubo TV, various Netflix libraries, Hulu, and more.

This VPN doesn't offer obfuscation, but it does have a capable kill switch that works in the background. So, you will get connections free of data leaks. You can also expect protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPsec, coupled with AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption. There are also features such as an audited no-logs policy and a dedicated ad-blocker.

CyberGhost supports up to 7 simultaneous connections and delivers apps for any device imaginable. That includes computers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, and routers.

This VPN's lowest price is $2.03/month (2-year subscription plan). Plus, it offers an extended 45-day money-back guarantee if you purchase a long-term plan, meaning you get a hassle-free refund if you change your mind. There’s also 24/7 live chat support to help you answer any questions that come up.

PROS

  • Full data leak protection.
  • 2 California server locations.
  • Good speeds for browsing.
  • Responsive 24/7 customer support.
  • 45-day money-back guarantee.

CONS

  • Not the fastest option.
  • Doesn't offer obfuscation.

5. Private Internet Access - High-End VPN with Plenty of Fine-Tuning

Servers
Countries
Apps
Windows
Android
Mac
iOS
Linux
Router
Chrome
Firefox
PlayStation
Xbox
Amazon Fire TV
Nintendo Switch
Parallel Connections
Live Chat

Private Internet Access (PIA) allows you can choose from 2 California locations (Los Angeles and Silicon Valley) to access local content. On a global scale, this VPN offers thousands of servers in 90+ countries. What's unique here is that PIA has servers in every single US state.

Out of the box, you'll get medium-fast speeds. That's because PIA is optimized for the highest level of data security and privacy. You can achieve faster speeds, but only if you dig into its settings and tweak PIA's protocols and encryption. Also, the good news is that PIA can bypass any geo-block, so using it with YouTube TV, Sling TV, or Fubo TV is never an issue.

If you need obfuscation, you can enable it on demand. The same applies to PIA's kill switch, which comes highly customizable. There are also protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPsec, as well as encryption ciphers like AES-128/256 and ChaCha20. An audited no-logs policy ensures that no data is collected.

PIA supports unlimited simultaneous connections and offers modern-looking applications for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS/iPadOS, streaming devices, and routers.

PIA's 2-year subscription plan costs only $2.03/month. Your subscription is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund with a straightforward process if you don’t like the VPN. In-depth support guides with a 24/7 live chat tool will help you in case of any questions.

PROS

  • Customizable interface and features.
  • 2 California locations.
  • High-end data privacy and security.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

CONS

  • Best for more advanced users.
  • Requires some fine-tuning.

The Top Reasons to Use a VPN in California

A VPN is the safest way to a more secure Internet browsing experience. It allows you to anonymize your Web browsing, access blocked sites, avoid local censorship, and more. Let's take a closer look at why using a VPN in California is so beneficial:

How to Choose the Best VPN for California?

We recommend you focus on finding a VPN with a wide server network, fast speeds, reliable security features (strong protocols, high-end encryption), and dependable customer support. Let's go over the requirements you need to follow to the best VPN for California:

Can You Use a Free VPN in California?

In general, free VPNs are far from dependable. So, even though you can opt for a VPN in California, there are many reasons why we don't recommend them. As you're about to see, those VPNs can be useful only for quick browsing sessions - and that's about it.

Free VPNs come with limited bandwidth and a daily or monthly data allowance. Also, they typically offer a handful of servers only, targeting 3-5 countries in most cases. You'll also encounter very limited speeds and won't be able to bypass geo-blocks.

Next, free VPNs log your data and sell your browsing history to the highest bidder. They also bring limited features, so you'll risk a data leak. Most worryingly, they can infect your device with malware, which we've seen happen countless times in the past.

There's really no alternative to using a reputable premium VPN. So, what you can do is test a premium VPN for free through a trial. For example, you can start your NordVPN trial on Android and use the VPN app for 7 days without any limitations.

Also, you'll see that all of the top-rated VPNs come with solid money-back guarantees, so getting a long-term subscription is a risk-free decision. In other words, there's no reason to reach for free VPNs, as even high-end premium ones cost only a couple of dollars per month.

Final Thoughts

By default, everything you do online is tracked by your Internet provider - and no one has privacy on the Web anymore. On top of that, if you travel or move frequently, you'll have a hard time accessing local and foreign content, and you'll have to deal with ISP throttling as well. However, the best California VPN can fix all those issues as long as you pick a truly trustworthy option.

If you subscribe to NordVPN, you'll get hugely powerful features and tools that make it the best VPN to use in California. You'll encounter a wide server network, high-end privacy, the ability to unblock local sites using your California IP, access to foreign servers, and plenty more. Lastly, the VPN itself will respect your privacy as it's based on an often-audited no-logs policy.

FAQ

What's the Best VPN for California?

The best VPN for California is NordVPN, providing an endless set of features, including California servers, bulletproof protocols, capable encryption, anti-tracking tools, and plenty more.

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. 

Can I Use a VPN in California?

Yes, you can use any commercially available VPN in California. That said, every VPN is different, so make sure to pick a capable and trustworthy option, such as NordVPN.

How Do I Get a VPN in California?

To get a VPN in California, you need to subscribe to one first (we recommend NordVPN). Then, install its app, launch it, and connect to a local server or pick a foreign location.

Does NordVPN Work in California?

Yes, NordVPN works in California. In fact, it's our #1 recommendation as it offers a long list of features that can make both newbies and experienced users happy.

How Do I Change My IP Address to California?

To change your IP address to California, you need to connect to a server located in that US state. So, you need a VPN with servers located there, which is what NordVPN offers.

That’s all for our take on the best VPN for California in 2024. If you have any questions, drop a comment below. Thank you for reading!



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