Despite having an image of a free country, the United States is plagued by censorship, privacy intrusion, and data-logging practices. In 2014, this country found itself on Reporters Without Borders' infamous "Enemies of the Internet" list, indicating that freedom of speech is not as widely available as in the past.
Aside from blocking websites, intercepting communications, and tracking persons of interest, the US government doesn't shy away from using the threat of legal action against the country's own citizens. However, there is a solution to protect yourself.
That solution comes in the form of a VPN, and it's a simple solution that resolves a number of problems. With a VPN, you'll regain your privacy on the Web, ensure no one tracks you, and bypass Internet restrictions.
However, you'll need to pick a VPN carefully. In this article, we'll talk about the best VPNs for the USA. We'll also show you how to use a USA VPN, as well as explain what to expect from a VPN, whether it's legal to use one, and how to resolve technical issues. So, let's begin!
Best USA VPNs - Our Shortlist
- ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated VPN for the USA in 2023
- NordVPN – Best USA VPN with Specialized Servers
- Private Internet Access – VPN in the US with Servers in All 50 States
- CyberGhost VPN – VPN for America with Massive Server Fleet
- Surfshark – Best Plug-and-Play United States VPN
How to Get a US VPN
To get a US VPN, you must subscribe and then download your chosen VPN for America. Here’s exactly what you need to do:
- Sign up for a VPN that works in the United States (we recommend ExpressVPN).
- Download and install it on your device(s).
- Log in to the VPN service using your account credentials.
- Connect to a server in the US or abroad (if you wish to unblock content).
- Now you can safely and privately access the Internet. That's it!
Want to obtain a US IP from abroad and access US-exclusive content? Just pick a VPN server in the United States. To learn more, here's our detailed guide on how to get a US IP address.
The Best VPNs for the USA in 2023
The criteria for selecting the best USA VPN follow those we mentioned in our guide to the best VPNs with the most servers. That means it's crucial to find a VPN with fast, reliable, and secure servers across as many US states as possible. Also, pay attention to how many servers you'll get in other countries, helping you unblock non-US websites.
Speaking of website unblocking, your chosen VPN must be able to unblock websites inside and outside the country. That's how you'll get to unblock Netflix US or Hulu outside the US or BBC iPlayer and ITVX (UK-only websites) from within the US. Of course, speed is also important, as you wouldn't want your VPN to slow you down.
Then, a VPN with obfuscated servers will help hide your VPN traffic. Also, ensure there's a kill switch to avoid data leaks. Regarding privacy, a VPN must have solid protocols (OpenVPN and WireGuard), 256-bit encryption, and a no-logs policy. It must also work on all your devices and support a sufficient number of simultaneous connections.
Finally, there's a way to ensure a risk-free purchase. Pick a VPN with reliable customer support and a no-questions-asked money-back policy.
Based on the above-mentioned criteria, these are the 5 best VPNs for the USA in 2023:
1. ExpressVPN - Our #1-Rated VPN for the USA in 2023
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ExpressVPN is the best VPN in the USA as it features 3,000+ servers globally and an army of ultra-capable servers in the US. You'll find them in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Lincoln Park, LA, Miami, New Jersey, NYC, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington DC.
Also, based on our hands-on tests, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN available today. No matter if you connect to nearby or remote servers, ExpressVPN's performance will always be fast, stable, and fluid, without any interruptions.
ExpressVPN is equally capable when it comes to privacy protection, media streaming, torrenting, and even gaming. In terms of website unblocking, this VPN can bypass even the most complex geo-blocks. That means you'll get to unblock US-based sites (like Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and plenty more) and non-US websites.
It has RAM-only obfuscated servers and a no-logs policy (independently audited many times). Let's not forget that you get OpenVPN and Lightway (ExpressVPN's own protocol) paired with AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and support for up to 5 simultaneous connections.
Lastly, this US VPN comes with a 30-day money-back policy. Also, it offers 24/7 live chat support, making sure all your questions are answered without you having to wait.
- Fastest VPN right now.
- High-end privacy and security.
- Great for unblocking websites.
- Massive server fleet.
- Reputable VPN brand.
- No dedicated US IPs.
2. NordVPN - Best USA VPN with Specialized Servers
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NordVPN is another highly capable VPN for the USA, especially if you care about privacy. It has 5,500+ servers worldwide. Close to 2,000 of those are in the US, across 17 locations.
The most prominent feature of this VPN is its double-hop servers, which provide an extra layer of protection. By encrypting your data twice, NordVPN goes a big step forward in providing you with the level of privacy you need. Aside from that, this is an audited no-logs VPN powered by reliable protocols like OpenVPN and NordLynx (WireGuard).
We'll also mention that NordVPN has specialized servers on offer. Some of those are obfuscated servers, and you'll find them across many US locations. Of course, a kill switch is there to prevent accidental data leaks. Aside from that, NordVPN supports up to 6 simultaneous connections and even allows you to get a dedicated US IP address.
Let's not forget that NordVPN works amazingly well for website unblocking. It has servers in 60 countries, giving you plenty of options to obtain foreign IPs and access new sites. For example, it unblocks various versions of Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, HBO Max, and more. It also helps you access non-US sites like iPlayer, Hotstar, VKontakte, and countless others.
Lastly, this United States VPN comes with 24/7 live chat support. It's also risk-free to buy thanks to its 30-day money-back policy.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Dedicated US IP addresses.
- 2,000+ servers in the US.
- Regular privacy audits.
- Reliable customer support.
- Highly remote servers can be slow.
3. Private Internet Access - VPN in the US with Servers in All 50 States
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Private Internet Access is a true US VPN service, as it's headquartered in the country. It has thousands of servers worldwide, but it also covers all 50 US states. So, you won't get any random US IP address. You'll get to pick an IP from a specific state.
This VPN comes with AES-256 encryption, protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard, and it also supports unlimited simultaneous connections. If you're after a US IP address, you can get one from any US PIA server, but there are also dedicated US IPs on offer (priced extra). And, yes, this VPN also comes with a solid no-logs policy.
We'll also mention that PIA features a high level of customization. It allows you to optimize your VPN connection in a number of ways. For example, you can use a custom level of encryption, fine-tune VPN protocols, use two types of kill switches, and more. That said, PIA provides fast performance, but you'll need to fine-tune its settings.
Thanks to Shadowsocks, which comes built into PIA, obfuscation is present. There are also two types of kill switches, ensuring you connect only through a VPN connection. That's also why PIA is so good at unblocking websites - especially media streaming platforms. It gives you access to Netflix (dozens of libraries), Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and more.
Like any other reputable VPN for the USA, PIA has a 30-day money-back policy. There's also 24/7 live chat support.
- Servers across the USA.
- Court-proven policies.
- High-end privacy features.
- Works on any device.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- Overly complex for beginners.
4. CyberGhost VPN - VPN for America with Massive Server Fleet
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CyberGhost is a trustworthy VPN brand with a major presence in the US. It comes with 9,000+ servers in 90+ countries. Around 1,400 servers are in the US across 11 locations.
When it comes to what else to expect - well, you can expect plenty. There's 256-bit encryption, multiple VPN protocols (OpenVPN and WireGuard, primarily), support for 7 simultaneous connections, and dedicated US IPs. There's no obfuscation, but you get an automated kill switch, which works in the background. And yes, it has an audited no-logs policy.
CyberGhost also offers an option to pick servers optimized for streaming platforms. For our US readers, the most notable ones would be Netflix DE, Netflix FR, TVNow, Canal+, and BBC iPlayer. They also have options for Hulu, Crunchyroll, Disney+, Discovery+, and Netflix US - great for when you're vacationing abroad. There are also standard, torrenting, and gaming servers.
Even though Surfshark isn't the fastest VPN out there, it should work extra smoothly if you have a relatively fast Internet connection (>50Mbps). There's not much you can do to improve its speeds, as its customization is somewhat limited.
Let's also not forget to mention CyberGhost's money-back policy. If you buy a long-term plan, you can count on a 45-day money-back guarantee. Lastly, this VPN has 24/7 live chat customer support.
- Specialized servers on offer.
- Easy-to-use applications.
- Great for media streaming.
- Works on any device.
- 45-day money-back policy.
- Slower than its competitors.
5. Surfshark - Best Plug-and-Play United States VPN
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Surfshark is a hugely capable USA VPN service, with 600+ servers in the country alone. They're spread across 25 cities. And regarding its global presence, this VPN has 3,200+ servers in 100+ countries in total.
An interesting thing about Surfshark is its support for an unlimited number of devices, meaning you can secure your data on all your gadgets. Not to mention you can switch between devices during your weekend binge sessions on your streaming platform of choice.
When it comes to streaming, Surfshark is perhaps the best VPN in the USA in that sense. It unblocks practically any digital platform (12+ Netflix libraries, Disney+, Paramount+, Hulu, and a huge number of other platforms), and it's also ultra-fast.
Also, its CleanWeb feature is similar to what NordVPN offers with its Threat Manager. A (literally) cleaner browsing experience, free of most intrusive advertising and protection against malware and phishing attempts. On top of that, Surfshark's obfuscated servers work in a special mode, designed to bypass even the strictest online censorship.
We'll also mention that this US VPN has 256-bit encryption, it's powered by OpenVPN and WireGuard, and it follows a no-logs policy. As you can expect, this is an audited no-logs policy.
Let's finalize this recommendation by saying that Surfshark has a 30-day money-back guarantee. And, of course, there's 24/7 live chat support.
- Highly polished interface.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Ad-blocking built-in.
- 24/7 live chat support.
- 30-day money-back policy.
- Can take a while to connect.
Why Do You Need a US VPN?
You need a USA VPN to protect yourself against online threats and surveillance. Also, you'll get to connect to servers anywhere in the world to access geo-restricted content.
Other reasons why you need a VPN for the US are:
- Protect Your Identity – The best VPN for the USA will offer military-grade encryption and privacy-enhancing features. When you connect to the Internet with a powerful VPN, you will be free from the prying eyes of your ISP or other snoopers on the Web.
- Access Geo-Restricted Services – If you're traveling abroad, you can use a USA VPN to access content available only back home. Additionally, a VPN for America will help you access sites restricted in certain US states, such as porn or gambling services.
- Secure Torrenting – Torrenting in the USA is risky due to data logging. A VPN for the USA will allow you to torrent without any concerns about your activity being tracked.
- Block Ads and Trackers – VPNs are also very effective in blocking ads and trackers. If you don’t want the websites you visit to collect your data and browsing history to use for generating targeted marketing content, a VPN will prevent this.
- Find Better Online Deals – Many online shopping deals are specific to certain regions. A VPN can help you spoof your location to access the best deals and save money.
How to Choose the Best VPN for the USA?
To narrow down your options and choose the best VPN for the USA, you need to think about your needs primarily. However, you must also pay attention to specific VPN features, as explained below.
- Find a VPN That Works in the US – A VPN for the USA needs to work properly in the United States. It must be capable of masking your IP address to shield your identity and location. It should also be able to unblock any geo-restricted content.
- Ensure There Are Plenty of Servers – Having a wealth of US-based and global servers at your disposal is necessary to ensure you can access any content from any country. Plus, the more servers a VPN has, the less overcrowding you’ll experience.
- Check Platform and Device Coverage – Your chosen VPN should offer apps for all your devices. Some VPNs even offer a Smart DNS feature to unblock streaming platforms on smart TVs and gaming consoles.
- Determine Performance Expectations – VPNs will slow you down because they encrypt and route your traffic through their servers. It’s crucial to find a VPN that causes a minimal reduction in speed. Read reviews from reputable sources who have run speed tests because many VPN providers over-promise their capabilities.
- Secure a Money-Back Guarantee – A generous money-back policy allows you to try the VPN, verify its performance, and ensure it suits your needs. All the USA VPNs we reviewed in this article have at least 30-day money-back guarantees, which is a good standard to follow when considering other VPNs.
Websites That Are Blocked in the United States
The United States rarely blocks websites explicitly. However, websites can be blocked in the US due to commercial restrictions and copyright infringement, for example. Here's more info:
- Commercial Geo-Based Restrictions - Due to licensing agreements, many sites don't operate in the US and impose geo-based blocks willingly. Those sites (such as BBC iPlayer, ITV X, or Hotstar) are not blocked or banned explicitly; they don't have the required legal framework to operate in the US.
- Restrictions in Schools - Many schools in the US block access to sites related to gaming, social networking, and pornography. Also, chat apps and forum sites are often blocked.
- Restrictions on Pornographic Sites - In Louisiana, access to porn websites (affecting PornHub at the moment) is possible only after you verify your driver's license.
- File Upload Services (Intellectual Property Protection) - Napster, WikiLeaks, The Pirate Bay (and many other P2P repositories), and MegaUpload were banned at some point in the past due to copyright infringement.
Are VPNs Legal in the USA?
Yes, VPNs are legal in the United States. There are absolutely no legal restrictions that would restrict your use of a VPN service in any way.
However, a VPN is not an excuse to engage in illegal activity. In other words, a VPN can hide your activities even from your Internet provider. Still, don't make a mistake thinking that a VPN gives you the right to do anything you wouldn't do otherwise.
You can find more information in our guide that answers the question - is a VPN safe and legal? That's where you'll learn in-depth about the legality of using a VPN for privacy protection, media streaming, and more.
Can You Get In Trouble for Using a VPN in the USA?
No, you can't get in trouble for using a VPN in the United States. No matter if you get access to the Internet from AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile, Verizon, Charter, or some other Internet provider, you won't face any issues if you start using a VPN.
Of course, as explained in the previous segment, stay on the legal side of things - even if you hide behind the best VPN for the USA. Today's VPNs are so powerful that it's impossible for third parties to get to your data. However, there's no need to push your luck.
VPN Not Working in the US - How to Fix?
When your US VPN stops working properly, you can do a lot to regain access to your VPN session. Here are some quick and actionable tips on what to do:
- Restart Your Device & Your VPN - Sometimes, something as simple as restarting your device can resolve VPN-related issues. So, no matter if you use a VPN on a computer, phone, tablet, or streaming device, your first step is to restart your device and your VPN.
- Try Another Server - VPN servers are usually under a heavy load, which means they can encounter all kinds of technical issues. That's not something you can resolve - but you can access your VPN and connect to a different location (in a different country, preferably).
- Try Another Protocol - VPNs typically have at least a couple of protocols. You can switch between them by visiting your VPN's settings menu. Make sure to disconnect from your session, switch to another VPN protocol, and then connect to another server.
- Reinstall or Update Your Software - When was the last time you updated your VPN app? Visit its settings menu and check for updates. If there are no updates, you can re-install your VPN, restoring the application to its factory settings.
- Restart Your Modem/Router - Even the best USA VPN can't do much if your connection is slow or weak. That's why we recommend you restart your networking equipment. Unplug it and keep it unplugged for about 30 seconds. Then, re-enable your Web connection.
Can I Use a Free VPN in the USA?
Yes, you can use a free VPN in the USA - but that's actually a very bad idea. That's because free VPN services are severely limited, they are very slow, and they can endanger your privacy.
First of all, most free VPNs log and sell your data. Then, free VPNs offer few servers and slow speeds, which makes sense if you think about it for a second. After all, it costs a lot of money to rent and maintain a server network, pay developers, provide customer support, etc.
To top everything off, your device could get infected with malware. Most free VPNs on Apple's and Google's app stores are scams. They're designed to extract your data, often maliciously.
Your goal is to protect your data and privacy - not to put yourself in danger. And the only way to get everything you want is to use a premium USA VPN. So, pick any of the recommendations we listed above, or expand your options using our guide to the best VPN service.
As mentioned earlier, the United States is one of the world's leaders in digital surveillance and data logging. That said, a powerful VPN is your best defense mechanism, letting you access the Web privately and unblock any digital roadblock. However, make sure to pick a VPN that truly deserves your trust and your money.
We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for the USA because it’s incredibly fast, reliable, and secure. Maintaining a strict no-logs policy and a steadfast commitment to user privacy, the provider will protect you from any government or ISP snooping. Using ExpressVPN, you can safely browse, torrent, or access as much geo-restricted content as you’d like.
Which VPN Is Best for the USA?
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for the USA. It brings impeccable privacy protection, a lot of servers in the US and abroad, and allows you to unblock any website.
Which VPN Has the Most US Locations?
At the moment, Private Internet Access has the highest number of US locations - as it has servers in all 50 US states. No other VPN can match that.
Should You Use a VPN If You Live in the US?
Yes, you should use a VPN if you live in the US - to protect your privacy, ensure no one collects your sensitive information, and bypass Internet roadblocks.
Does the US Allow VPNs?
Yes, the US allows VPNs. There's nothing illegal about VPNs in the United States, which means you're 100% free to pick any commercially available VPN service.
Is It Safe to Use a VPN in the USA?
Yes, it's safe to use a VPN in the USA. In fact, a VPN will ensure that no one knows what you do online. So, they'll make sure 100% safe on the Web.
What's the Best VPN Protocol to Use in the United States?
The best VPN protocol to use in the United States is the OpenVPN protocol - as that's the most secure option available. We also recommend ExpressVPN's Lightway and NordVPN's NordLynx, both ultra-fast and ultra-safe.
How Many Server Locations Does NordVPN Have in the USA?
NordVPN has close to 2,000 servers across 17 locations in the US. Those locations are: Atlanta, Buffalo, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, LA, New Jersey, Miami, NYC, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, SF, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, and Manassas.
Which VPN is US-Based?
Private Internet Access is US-based (Denver, Colorado) and one of the most trustworthy VPN services available today. It brings high-end security and servers in all 50 US states.
That wraps up our guide to the best VPNs for the USA. If you have any questions or remarks, leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!