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Best VPN for USA in 2021

Illustration of the flag of the USA
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

US VPN locations are some of the most popular among web users in or outside the US. To use the internet anonymously, bypass US sports blackouts, or stream US video content from abroad, only the very best VPNs for USA will do.

If you’re located in the US, and care about your online privacy, you need to know that US government agencies like the NSA continue monitoring the web activities of millions of Americans.

Moreover, schools and workplaces block countless websites (YouTube, Facebook, etc.), and United States legislation allows ISPs to sell your web browsing data to third-parties. ISPs and mobile carriers can also throttle your internet speed at their own discretion.

By connecting to a secure US VPN server, and therefore obtaining an anonymous US IP address, you can hide your web activities from your ISP, school or office network. You can also unblock any website/app at full internet speed.

These are the best VPNs for USA in January 2021:
  1. ExpressVPN: The best overall US VPN with 27 US server locations. Read Summary
  2. NordVPN: Very fast VPN with over 1,800 servers in 20 US cities. Read Summary
  3. IPVanish: The best VPN for Firestick with 700 secure servers across 15 US cities. Read Summary
  4. CyberGhost: Budget VPN with 1,100 US servers in 11 locations. Read Summary
  5. PrivateVPN: The cheapest VPN for the US with 10 server locations. Read Summary

Don’t forget that a US VPN is the tool of choice to bypass US sports blackouts. It’s also the ideal solution to stream US Netflix from abroad as well as Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, and many more US streaming services.

Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.

Best US VPNs (In & Outside USA)

1. ExpressVPN

Fast and secure VPN servers in 27 US cities.

  1. 27 US server locations across both coasts
  2. Extremely fast speeds in and out of the US
  3. No user logs & no IP address leaks detected
  4. Unblocks US Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ & HBO Max
  5. Torrenting allowed on all servers
  6. Chrome & Firefox browser extensions
  1. More expensive than the competition
  2. No kill switch on Android devices
  3. Firestick app needs a fresher design
  • Best Price

    $6.67/mo over 15 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    94 countries, 3,000+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #1 Best VPN for the US

ExpressVPN is the best VPN we’ve tested, and a choice of 27 US city-level servers really sets it apart from other VPN services.

Wherever you are in the US, you’ll experience very fast and reliable VPN speeds. Plus, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN over long-distances too – ideal if you’re connecting into the US from abroad.

And if you’re a streaming fine, then ExpressVPN unblocks a whole range of streaming platforms: eight Netflix libraries (including the US catalogue), BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, and lots more.

Most importantly, ExpressVPN is safe and trustworthy. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-haven, so the US government is powerless to demand browsing data from it. Data it doesn’t have anyway, since ExpressVPN doesn’t collect or store any user activity logs.

But, we do have three real criticisms of ExpressVPN: first, there’s no kill switch on the Android app and that could leave your IP exposed if your VPN connection drops. You’ll have to manually configure a kill-switch instead.

Also, the Firestick VPN app is starting to looking outdated and is need of a refresh. It still works fine, but we don’t think it looks as good as Cyberghost’s Firestick app, for example.

Lastly, ExpressVPN is undeniably more expensive than most other top VPN services. It’s certainly cheaper over longer plans, and we think it’s still great value for money.

For a more in-depth look, read our full ExpressVPN review.

2. NordVPN

Connect to over 1,800 servers in 20 US locations.

  1. 1,800+ US servers spread across 20 cities
  2. Tremendous download speeds within the US
  3. High security standards & no personal web logs
  4. Hassle-free access to Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  5. Hundreds of US torrenting servers
  6. Ad-blocker
  1. Slower connections into the US from abroad
  2. Won't unlock streaming apps on Fire TV Stick
  3. Not recommended for Apple TV users
  • Best Price

    $3.71/mo over 24 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    93Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 5,533 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #2 Best VPN for the US

From Seattle to Miami, NordVPN has more than 1,800 VPN servers spread all over the US to give you the best connection speeds possible.

In fact, when we connected to nearby servers we saw some of the best VPN speeds ever, both for downloads and uploads.

A warning, though – NordVPN’s US servers aren’t as quick over long-distance connections. We test from London (UK) and found that speeds halved when connecting to New York.

That could be improved by changing protocol – to IKEv2, for example – but it requires extra configuration with NordVPN.

NordVPN uses OpenVPN for all its apps default, which is secure, fast, and our protocol of choice. IKEv2 is also available within the MacOS and iOS apps.

Unfortunately, all of NordVPN’s VPN apps don’t come with automatic protocol selection, which is disappointing. ExpressVPN does, for example.

However, NordVPN will keep you safe online. It benefits from plenty of security features like a VPN kill switch, and it doesn’t log any personal information.

It’s also a great choice for streaming and downloading torrents anonymously. NordVPN will unblock Netflix (both the US library and others around the world), and even BBC iPlayer – a notoriously tough service to unblock.

Just be aware that if you have an Amazon Fire TV Stick we found NordVPN to be a lot less reliable for streaming.

It may not allow torrenting on every single server, but NordVPN still offers hundreds of US servers for P2P. It even shows how busy they are so you can pick one for the fastest downloads possible.

Combine all this with a straightforward and intuitive VPN app and NordVPN is clearly one of the best VPNs available in the US – and it’s affordable, too.

For a more in-depth look, read our full NordVPN review.

3. IPVanish VPN

700 no-logs servers in 15 cities across the US.

  1. Over 700 VPN servers in 15 US cities
  2. Very fast US server speeds
  3. No-logs policy & advanced privacy features
  4. Most US locations unblock Netflix USA
  5. Torrenting permitted on all US servers
  6. The best VPN for Fire TV Stick
  1. Short refund period (7 days)
  2. Doesn't unlock BBC iPlayer
  3. No browser extensions
  4. Won't work in China
  • Best Price

    $3.33/mo for 12 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    84Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    57 countries, 1,400+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #3 Best VPN for the US

Undoubtedly, IPVanish is one of the best VPN services around. It has one of the most secure logging policies, meaning IPVanish doesn’t log any of your personal web usage data.

Also, IPVanish has a wide variety of VPN protocols and extra security settings. This lets you configure your app exactly how you like it. Don’t worry, you’ll still be safe with the default settings.

There are more than 700 US servers available, coast-to-coast, with impressive speeds connecting within the US. And, you can torrent anonymously on any US server you like. The majority will also work with Netflix USA.

However, you need to be aware that neither BBC iPlayer nor Disney+ don’t work with IPVanish. In fact, streaming fans should look at ExpressVPN or CyberGhost instead.

Surprisingly, considering how good it is, IPVanish doesn’t provide any browser extensions (which are very popular among our readers).

There’s also the small matter than IPVanish is based in the US. That’s actually a bad thing, even for users within the US, due to how privacy-unfriendly the country is.

Having said that, IPVanish keeps no user logs so you have very little to worry about. Even if US authorities demanded IPVanish to hand over information, they would be left empty-handed.

For a more in-depth look, read our full IPVanish VPN review.

4. CyberGhost VPN

1,100 VPN servers covering 11 US cities.

  1. Over 1,100 servers in 11 different US cities
  2. No personal information logged
  3. Minimal speed loss on US servers
  4. Great VPN for streaming fans
  5. Simple apps with useful extra features
  6. Automatic public WiFi protection
  1. Limited protocol selection on macOS
  2. Short refund period on 1-month plans
  3. Won't work in highly-censored nations
  • Best Price

    $2.75/mo over 3 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    89Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    90 countries, 6,700+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #4 Best VPN for the US

Most top quality VPNs don’t cost much when you look at the monthly cost, but it’s easy to forget that long-term subscriptions need to be paid up front.

That’s not much of a problem with CyberGhost, though: it’s a fantastic VPN that’s extremely affordable, too. A $99 up-front payment will buy you CyberGhost for three whole years.

If you’re a US resident then we’re convinced that’s well worth it. CyberGhost doesn’t log anything that could even come close to identifying you, only retaining basic metadata to make sure that speeds stay fast.

CyberGhost has 1,000 US servers spread across 11 different cities, including Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Dallas, and Chicago. Our only criticism is the lack of coverage for states in the Great Plains.

CyberGhost is also one of the very best VPNs for streaming, with a fantastic array of servers clearly labelled within the app for all manner of VOD services, from the usuals like Netflix and BBC iPlayer to less common choices like Crunchyroll and HBO Now.

It used to be that you couldn’t torrent on US servers with CyberGhost. But they’ve recently fixed that, meaning P2P speeds no longer take a hit.

Mac users may also be left frustrated by the lack of protocol options. CyberGhost’s macOS defaults to IKEv2 (although it doesn’t say that anywhere on the app) – a very strong and secure protocol, but OpenVPN is our first choice. You’ll need to download and set up configuration files if you want to change it.

For a more in-depth look, read our full CyberGhost VPN review.

5. PrivateVPN

Fast VPN access to 10 US server locations.

  1. One of the fastest US VPNs
  2. Strict no-logs policy
  3. Unlocks Netflix USA & BBC iPlayer
  4. P2P activity allowed on all US servers
  5. Easy setup on popular devices
  1. Small server park
  2. No browser extensions
  3. Inconsistent live chat
  • Best Price

    $1.98/mo over 24 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    94Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    60 countries, 150+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Ranked #5 Best VPN for the US

PrivateVPN is a fairly new VPN, but it’s already proven itself to be one of the very best – particularly when it comes to the US.

VPN speeds in and out of the US are more than fast enough for Full HD streaming on multiple devices, which pairs nicely with PrivateVPN’s ability to unblock streaming services like Netflix (it can unlock 19 different Netflix libraries!).

PrivateVPN also clearly states in its privacy policy that it “doesn’t collect or log any traffic or use of its service.” Unfortunately, that’s also the total extent of it. More detail would be nice, but we’ve found no reason in all of our testing not to take PrivateVPN at its word.

Unfortunately, there are no VPN browser extensions available unlike ExpressVPN, NordVPN and CyberGhost – that’s something that needs changing.

Also, PrivateVPN’s customer support needs improving. Support agents are very helpful, but live chat is inconsistent in its availability, which isn’t ideal. ExpressVPN, for example, has around-the-clock live support.

For the price PrivateVPN is asking, though, this is a top quality VPN service for the US.

For a more in-depth look, read our full PrivateVPN review.


Why Do I Need a VPN in the US?

We strongly believe using a VPN in the US is essential. Here’s four reasons why:

1US Government Surveillance

US Intelligence agencies have far-reaching powers that allow it to strip away citizens’ privacy almost entirely at will.

Basically, the US government needs very little ‘due process’ – if it feels like spying on you, it will.

The USA Patriot Act is arguably the most infamous surveillance law on the planet. Created after the September 11 2001 attacks as a means to combat terrorism, its reach has far exceeded its initial intentions.

In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed that the government was using the Patriot Act to collect enormous communications logs of all its citizens without good reason.

How is that possible? Because the US government can tap any device with very little oversight or approval needed.

This is just the worst of an alarming number of mass surveillance acts currently in place in the US – you can see a full list of them here.

2US Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

It’s simple: when you sign a contract with a US ISP you’re giving it the right to log everything you do on its service.

However, the real scandal is that ISPs and mobile carriers have been found willingly and secretively cooperating with the notorious NSA to hand over internet and phone records.

A good VPN will shield your browsing habits from your ISP, and help keep what you do online private.


The United States accounts for 18.2% of all ransomware attacks worldwide – that makes it number one.

11% of all cyber attacks originate in the US, the second highest in the world.

Between 2015 and 2017 the US suffered 303 known large-scale cyber attacks – the most of any nation.

There are plenty more figures like this, but the point is clear: if you’re in the US there’s a decent chance you’ll be targeted by hackers, snoopers, or cyber criminals, especially if you use public WiFi.

Our advice? Always use a secure VPN when on a public WiFi network. Follow our security tips on how to stay safe on public WiFi.

4Office & School Networks

a laptop screen with youtube logo is padlocked and a woman is walking towards it with a set of keys

Many schools, colleges and workplaces restrict the websites accessible on their networks.

The most-blocked websites in the US are:

  • Facebook: 19%
  • Twitter: 15%
  • YouTube: 14%

When you connect to a VPN server, you’re assigned a different IP address and your school or employer can no longer see which websites you’re trying to access.

Tip: if you’re using an office/school computer, you may not be able to install unauthorised software on it. If that’s the case, trying installing a VPN browser extension instead.

5Sports Blackouts

US sports blackouts are frustratingly common, and often you won’t be able to watch your team play on TV (cable or online).

Blackouts affect three main US sports leagues: NFL, MLB and NBA. Both TV broadcaster as well as online streaming services like Game Pass must adhere to the blackout schedules.

Jump to our VPN blackouts workaround below to see how to bypass these broadcast restrictions.

Using a VPN service in the US is completely legal.

In fact, a lot of major companies use corporate VPN software to protect sensitive data, and it allows staff to access company files and tools remotely.

But, the fact that VPNs are legal doesn’t mean you’re exempt from other state or national laws, especially those regarding copyright.

Basically, when using a VPN we don’t recommend doing anything that you wouldn’t do without one.

Are VPNs legal throughout the world?

Almost, although some countries have either banned them or restricted their use. To know more, read our guide on where VPNs are and aren’t legal.

How Do I Get a US IP Address?

Getting an anonymous US IP address is easy, and with it you can browse the web as if you were in the US.

Follow these three simple steps to change your IP address to a US one:

  1. Find & download a good US VPN

    A US VPN must have fast US servers spread across the nation. And, it can’t leak your real IP address.

    Select one of the VPNs in this guide and won’t have any issues.

  2. Setting up & running the VPN

    Once you’ve download the VPN software onto your device, go ahead and install it (see our VPN setup guides for extra help).

    Then, open the VPN app, sign in if necessary, and choose a US location to connect to.

    ExpressVPN has over 30 US cities to pick from:

    Screenshot of ExpressVPN server addresses

  3. Look out for IP leaks

    The best US VPNs won’t leak your IP address. If you want to make sure your real IP address is hidden, use our IP info tool. If you see your real IP address, then your VPN is leaking.

What's the best free US VPN?

Some free VPNs also give you anonymous US IP addresses. Word of warning, though, as many free VPNs are insecure and some are actually unsafe.

Unsurprisingly, we recommend you use a paid VPN that will give you a much better experience overall.

However, if you’re still determined to try out a free VPN first then read our Windscribe review, our current favorite free VPN.

VPNs & Torrenting in the US

Naturally, we recommend always using a VPN online, but we believe a VPN is especially important when torrenting.

Torrenting, or BitTorrent technology, utilizes what’s called a ‘peer-to-peer’ (P2P) connection. When you download torrent files, you’re not downloading a whole file from one website, instead you’re downloading different fragments of that file from many other people (the torrent ‘swarm’).

If you torrent without a VPN, your IP address is VISIBLE to the entire torrent swarm. There’s often more than 1,000 connections at once – that’s a lot of strangers and you just don’t know who’s hiding among them.

Is Torrenting Actually Legal in the US?

Yes, torrenting is legal, but downloading and/or sharing copyrighted digital material isn’t. If you don’t hide your torrent IP address, and are caught downloading copyright-protected videos, music or software then you risk being fined up to $250,000.

Two laws affect torrenting and P2P activity in the US:

US ISPs store subscribers’ download data for many months, and sometimes even years. If you’re caught torrenting unauthorised digital works, you’ll receive a warning letter from your ISP.

Screenshot of a Comcast warning message about copied or shared copyrighted content

Also, your ISP will probably start throttling your torrenting speeds at this stage.

Typically, US ISPs have a three-strike (warnings) policy, after which they’ll pass on your details to the content owners who may start legal proceedings against you.

How Do I Protect Myself?

In our opinion, the best solution to hiding your true IP location is to use a P2P-friendly VPN (one that allows torrenting). When you connect to a VPN server, you’ll be assigned an anonymous torrent IP address, which will be the only IP address visible to other torrenters and your ISP.

Tip: make sure you connect to a nearby VPN server for faster speeds and, crucially, BEFORE you open your torrenting client. Otherwise, your real IP may be exposed.

You can learn more about torrenting and VPNs in our dedicated guide.

How Do I Watch US Netflix Abroad?

A man breaking through a wall with a hammer to reveal the Netflix logo

By now it’s common knowledge that the American Netflix library has the widest range of video titles.

Amazingly, the US catalogue has over 5,500 titles compared to only 3,571 in Canada and 2,967 in the UK.

So, how do you access Netflix USA when you’re outside the US?

Easy, all you need to do is:

  1. Download a VPN that works with Netflix
  2. Connect to one of their US servers
  3. Visit the website or open up the app
  4. Start streaming

Tip: Clear your web browser cookies before you open up Netflix.

US Sports Blackouts Workaround

Despite the FCC repealing sports blackout rules in 2014, blackouts still happen because of private agreements between the sports leagues and broadcasters.

There are three types of blackouts:

  1. Location-based

    National blackouts: if a national broadcaster like ABC or CBS acquires the rights to a specific game, viewers in the home team’s locality won’t be able to watch the game on other channels.

    Regional blackouts: if a regional blackout is in place for a particular game, only viewers in a specific area will be able to watch that game.

  2. Device-based

    Some blackouts affect specific devices, such as mobile devices, Rokus or Chromecasts. This affects NFL fans the most.

  3. Streaming-based

    Once you’ve downloaded the VPN software onto your device, go ahead and install it (see our VPN setup guides for extra help).

So, how do you bypass sports blackouts?

All you need to do is get a VPN with servers in many US cities and connect to a location that isn’t blacked out.

ExpressVPN has servers in over 30 US locations, while IPVanish covers 15 cities.

Can US ISPs Really Sell My Browsing Data?

Unfortunately, since April 2017 American ISPs really can sell your web browsing data to third-parties, and without your consent.

This was a huge loss to US consumer’s privacy and, unsurprisingly, many people turned to VPNs to protect their online privacy.

If you don’t think this is actually happening, think again.

A Motherboard investigation published in 2019 proved how US internet providers have been selling access to their subscribers’ location data.

Furthermore, US ISPs have been known to mine customers’ web browsing habits for advertising purposes.

What Does the Net Neutrality Repeal Mean?

Illustration of a man speeding up his connection

In July 2018, the US government repealed the 2015 Open Internet Order, which prevented US ISPs from throttling internet speeds at their discretion.

With the removal of these ‘Net Neutrality’ rules, ISPs have once again been given the power to control internet speeds as they wish.

Unsurprisingly, in 2019 researchers reported how American ISPs were slowing down Netflix, YouTube streaming speeds.

So, if you don’t want your ISP to slow down your internet speed, use a VPN to prevent your internet provider from detecting what you’re doing online.

US Surveillance: What’s the NSA?

Logo of the National Security Agency (NSA)

The National Security Agency (NSA) is the largest US intelligence agency. It monitors, collects and processes information and data on a scary amount of people.

In 2013, Edward Snowden revealed the frightening scale of the NSA’s surveillance machine.

Regardless of whether a person is considered of ‘interest’ or not, the NSA will store records of millions of web users’ online activities for up to a year. This data is used to build a so-called ‘pattern of life’ of individuals being tracked.

Since Edward Snowden’s revelations, the NSA has ceased some the above activities however there are several ways it’s still spying on US citizens.

US Surveillance: What’s the Five Eyes Alliance?

Not only does the US have the NSA and the CIA, it is also a member of the the Five Eyes Alliance. This is an agreement to share sensitive data between:

  • US
  • UK
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

Members of the Five Eyes Alliance share surveillance data on individuals it considers of ‘interest.’ This personal data can range from phone records to text messages to web browsing logs.

A VPN won’t help much with phone records and text messages (SMS), but it will hide your web activity from your ISP. As a result, your ISP will have nothing to hand over US agencies.

Eager to know more? Our Jurisdictions and VPNs guide has all the information you need.

About the Author

  • Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio