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Best Free VPN for USA

Rebecca Duff
By Rebecca DuffUpdated
Illustration of the flag of the USA

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 VPN experience, a good free one will protect your browsing and allow you to access blocked US websites from abroad.

We’ve listed the top free VPN services for the US that’ll provide fast, secure and private internet access to those located in or connecting to the country.

The Most Important Factors When We Review a Free VPN for the US

  1. Has servers in and around the US
  2. Has the biggest data allowance possible
  3. No caps on download speeds
  4. Transparent, fair and privacy-focused logging policies
  5. Well-designed and easy to use apps
  6. Useful privacy features

Wondering why you should trust our reviews? Take a look at How We Test VPNs

Read More Information on the Top 5 Best Free VPN Services for the US

Ranked #1 Free VPN for the US

Works with

Torrenting

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Nine servers in the US
  2. Excellent speeds
  3. Sleek, simple custom apps
  4. Minimal logging policy
  5. Unlimited simultaneous connections
  1. No live chat feature
  2. 10GB data cap
  3. Unreliable access to streaming
The Bottom Line

Windscribe is our top free VPN for the US thanks to excellent speeds and nine city-level servers to choose from in the country.

Not only is it a great performer, it also offers the highest levels of privacy and you can use it on as many devices as you want.

The one major compromise is the 10GB data cap, but this is the most generous we’ve seen from any free VPN.

Ranked #2 Free VPN for the US

Works with

N/A

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  1. Choice of 12 US cities
  2. Reliable local speeds
  3. Custom apps for popular platforms
  4. Privacy-friendly logging policy
  5. Unlimited simultaneous connections
  1. 1GB monthly data cap
  2. Lacks kill switch
  3. No customer support
  4. Not good for streaming
The Bottom Line

Avira Phantom makes it into second place because of its sheer range of choice in the US – 12 city-level servers in total.

True, it’s not quite as quick as Windscribe but it’ll do the job, and the minimal logging policy puts your privacy first.

The data cap is very restrictive though, at just 1GB per month, and the apps lack advanced features such as a kill switch.

Ranked #3 Free VPN for the US

Works with

Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Two US locations available
  2. Excellent performance
  3. User-friendly apps
  4. Zero logging policy
  5. Loads of privacy extras
  1. 2GB monthly data cap
  2. Small server network overall
  3. No access to streaming
The Bottom Line

The free version of Hide.me may offer fewer US servers than our top two VPNs (East and West coast only), but it is supremely fast.

It’s also one of our best VPNs in terms of privacy, with a strict zero-logs policy and a ton of privacy extras.

The 2GB data cap will be limiting, however, international speeds are very slow too.

Ranked #4 Free VPN for the US

Works with

N/A

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  1. Servers in the US & Canada
  2. Fast local speeds
  3. Simple custom apps
  4. Minimal logging policy
  5. Advanced security features
  1. 500MB monthly data cap
  2. No access to streaming
  3. Limited customer support
The Bottom Line

TunnelBear’s free plan limits users to just one US location but there are also choices in nearby Canada and Mexico.

It’s not lightning fast but certainly quick enough, and the simple apps pack in a range of advanced security features.

The data cap is particularly stingy, at just 500MB, so you won’t be able to do much before hitting your limit.

Ranked #5 Free VPN for the US

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  1. US & Canada-based servers
  2. Reliable local speeds
  3. Works with Netflix
  4. Minimal logging policy
  5. Easy to use apps
  1. 500MB monthly data cap
  2. No kill switch
  3. Unreliable customer support
The Bottom Line

SurfEasy makes the cut due to its servers in the US and Canada, plus it’s the only VPN on this list to provide reliable Netflix access.

It’s pretty quick and comes with a minimal logging policy too, even if the custom apps do lack a kill switch feature.

The 500MB monthly data cap is likely to be off-putting, though, as is the incredibly basic customer support.

How We Picked the Best Free VPN for the US

Our top free VPNs for the US all offer at least one high-performance server in the country, with the best offering city-level server choice in a variety of US locations.

The VPN services we selected also have the fewest limitations compared to the best paid VPNs for the US, 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 these free VPN 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.

Do I Need a VPN in the US?

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.

Can I Watch Netflix with a Free VPN?

Most free VPN services don’t work with Netflix, including the VPNs we selected, apart from SurfEasy which does work.

You will therefore need to use a paid VPN provider if you want to use a VPN to stream Netflix.

Are VPNs Legal in the US?

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.

How to Choose a Free VPN for the US: 5 Tips

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.