Using a VPN in the United States is a total necessity – its invasive privacy laws that mean the government and your ISP can track your every move online.
While paying for a VPN will usually get you the best all-round experience, a good free one will protect your browsing and allow you to access blocked US websites from abroad.
We’ve listed our top free picks for the US that’ll provide fast, secure internet access to those located in or connecting to the country.
Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs
Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Torrenting, Kodi
Our top free VPNs for the US all offer at least one high-performance server in the country, with the best offering city-level choice in a variety of US locations.
They also have the fewest limitations compared to their paid counterparts, especially when it comes to speed. We also tried to only select VPNs with data caps generous enough that they won’t be too restrictive.
Most importantly, we made sure that our free picks for the US will effectively secure your browsing and protect your personal information. This means transparent, privacy-friendly logging policies and effective security features.
Unfortunately, choosing the wrong free VPN can seriously damage your online privacy, as we discovered after conducting an in-depth investigation on a number of free providers. Our findings revealed some seriously alarming stuff – you can read the full report here.
Stick with one of our picks, though, and you can’t go wrong.
Long story short, you absolutely do.
The US is well-known for being a total privacy nightmare, so you need to use a VPN if you want to ensure your online activity remains private.
Not only does the US government monitor web traffic constantly, ISPs also no longer need your permission to share your confidential data with third parties.
This means that unless you’re protected with a VPN, advertisers can target you with tracked ads, or you could be put under scrutiny simply for searching for one suspicious word.
There are no laws in the US that prohibit internet users from using a VPN. Their main purpose is to protect your personal data and hide your true IP address, and this is perfectly legal.
In fact, a lot of major companies actually use VPN software to protect sensitive data from potential hackers, as well as to allow employees to access company files when working remotely.
One thing to remember when using a VPN, though, is that you’re not exempt from other laws, particularly those regarding copyright. You shouldn’t use a VPN to do anything that you wouldn’t do without one.
Simply put, the closer your chosen server is to your physical location, the better performance will be. This is why it makes sense to choose a provider that offers a wide range of US-based servers, so you can select one nearest to you.
Of course, there are limitations with free providers in terms of server network size, but our top picks all offer a respectable amount of choice within the country.
Speed and data restrictions are the most common limitations we see with free VPNs, but they vary from one provider to the next.
If you’re only going to be using the VPN for light browsing, you may be able to live with a smaller monthly data cap, but if you’re planning on streaming or torrenting it might be more of a struggle.
Not all VPNs (particularly free ones) will work with popular sites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer, so we make sure to test them all on a regular basis and share the results in our VPN reviews.
Maintaining access to these sorts of sites costs providers lots of money, though, so it’s no surprise they won’t always work for free users.
There’s no point finding a fast, secure free VPN if it isn’t compatible with the devices you want to use it on. Most VPNs will work on all major platforms, but sometimes free users are restricted to certain apps.
You should also take into account the number of simultaneous connections permitted from one account – will you be able to protect all of your devices at once?
So many providers claim to be zero-logs, but this is very rarely the case. Most VPNs need to collect at least some connection metadata in order to provide a good level of service.
You only need to worry if it’s collecting any personally identifiable data, such as your originating IP address or specific connection timestamps. Take a look at where the company is based, too, as jurisdiction is very important when it comes to sharing user data with third parties.