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Best VPN for USA

Simon Migliano
By Simon MiglianoUpdated
Illustration of the flag of the USA

Often dubbed ‘the leader of the free world’, the United States of America prides itself on its freedom and its technological innovation – but it’s not that simple when it comes to your online privacy.

Citizens and visitors alike may be surprised to know that a VPN is 100% essential within the US.

Net neutrality is weakening by the day, and the US government has almost total power to monitor your online activity.

Combine that with deregulated ISPs who can throttle your internet speeds and block websites and services at a whim and it’s obvious why anyone online in the US in 2019 needs a VPN.

The five VPN services on this page are the very best: super-secure apps, fast speeds, tons of servers, unlimited streaming, and more – we’re confident you’ll find the perfect VPN for you.

Read on to find out more about the top VPNs for the US, followed by answers to some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding them.

The Most Important Factors We've Compared

  1. Servers across many US cities
  2. Extremely safe and secure
  3. Privacy-focused logging policy & no IP leaks
  4. Fast download speeds with low ping
  5. Unblocks US Netflix at home and abroad
  6. Intuitive apps on a wide range of devices

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

See More Details on the Best VPN Services for the US

Ranked #1 out of 99 VPNs for the US

Works with

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sky, SlingTV, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. Extremely secure with a solid logging policy
  2. 30+ city-level US server choices
  3. Lightning-fast speeds in and out of the US
  4. Reliable access to Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  5. Unrestricted P2P and torrent use
  6. Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser extensions
  1. More expensive than the competition
  2. No Android kill switch
The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is the best VPN to ever meet our testing, and a choice of over 30 city-level servers in the US really sets it apart for users in the States.

Wherever you are in the US, you’re sure to get optimum speeds. In our experience ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on the market on long-distance connections, too – ideal if you’re connecting into the US from abroad.

Combine those speeds with its ever-reliable ability to unblock US Netflix, as well as just about any other video service (including BBC iPlayer), and ExpressVPN is ideal for streaming fanatics, too.

Most importantly, though, Express VPN is safe and trustworthy. ExpressVPN is based in the Virgin Islands, so the US government is powerless to demand data from it, and its logging policy promises that no personal information is logged.

We only have two real criticisms of ExpressVPN: first of all, there’s no kill switch on the Android app. This could leave your IP exposed should the connection drop.

Second of all, ExpressVPN is undeniably more expensive than most of the competition. It’s still affordable over longer plans, but only you can say whether or not you’re comfortable splashing out for it.

Ranked #2 out of 99 VPNs for the US

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. High security standards and no personal logs
  2. 1,800+ servers in the US alone
  3. Tremendous download speeds within the US
  4. Hassle-free access to Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  5. Hundreds of US torrenting servers
  6. Sleek, user-friendly apps for a range of devices
  1. Slows when connecting to the US from abroad
  2. Extra protocols require complex configuration
  3. Won't unlock streaming on Fire TV Stick
The Bottom Line

From Seattle to Miami, NordVPN has nearly 2,000 individual servers spread all throughout the US to give you the best performance possible.

Speeds when connected to a server nearby are some of the best we’ve ever seen, both for uploads and downloads.

A warning, though – NordVPN’s US servers aren’t as speedy when it comes to long-distance connections. We test from London, UK, and found that speeds were roughly halved when connecting to New York.

You could potentially improve on that by changing protocol, but it requires a fair bit of extra configuration and knowledge. NordVPN uses OpenVPN by default, which is secure, fast, and our protocol of choice.

NordVPN doesn’t collect or log any personal information, either. In fact, the only information it collects at all is how busy its servers are – your privacy and anonymity are completely respected at all times.

NordVPN is a great choice for streamers and torrenters, too. NordVPN will unblock Netflix (both the US library and others around the world), and even BBC iPlayer – a notoriously tough service to access.

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 one of the most straightforward and intuitive apps on the market and NordVPN is clearly one of the best VPNs available in the US – and it’s affordable, too.

Ranked #3 out of 99 VPNs for the US

Works with

Netflix, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. 100% zero-logs policy
  2. Over 400 individual servers in the US
  3. Super fast US server speeds
  4. Most locations work to unblock Netflix
  5. P2P permitted on all US servers
  6. Amazon Fire TV Stick app available
  1. App is a little ugly
  2. Short refund period (7 days)
The Bottom Line

Let’s get the one obvious flaw out of the way first: IPVanish simply isn’t a good-looking app. At least, not when compared to its rivals on this page.

Look beyond that, though, and you’ll find IPVanish to be one of the best VPNs on the market.

It starts off strong with one of the most secure logging policies we’ve ever come across: IPVanish doesn’t log a single bit of personal data. We’re convinced you can trust it.

IPVanish also has a wide variety of VPN protocols and extra security settings to ensure that your app is configured exactly how you like it, nice and safe with no leaks in sight.

There are more than 400 US servers available, coast-to-coast, with IPVanish’s speeds when connecting to from within the US to nearby servers as fast as any VPN out there.

You can torrent on any US server you like, and the majority will work to unblock Netflix, but TV buffs should beware that BBC iPlayer rarely works with IPVanish.

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.

However, the superb logging policy means that we believe you have very little to worry about. Even if US authorities demanded IPVanish to hand over information they would be left empty-handed.

Ranked #4 out of 99 VPNs for the US

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. No personal information logged
  2. Minimal speed loss on US servers
  3. Servers in 13 different US cities
  4. Fantastic for streaming fans
  5. Simple apps with useful extra features
  6. Cheap
  1. Torrenting not available on US servers
  2. No protocol choice on MacOS
The Bottom Line

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 13 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.

Torrenting is a different matter, though – you can’t torrent at all on CyberGhost’s US servers. There’s nothing stopping you from doing so while connected to servers in nearby countries (like Canada, for example), but your P2P speeds will take a hit.

Mac CyberGhost users may also be left frustrated by the lack of protocol options. CyberGhost 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.

Ranked #5 out of 99 VPNs for the US

Works with

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. Ios
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  1. One of the fastest US VPNs around
  2. Strict zero-logs policy
  3. Reliably unlocks Netflix & iPlayer
  4. Torrenting permitted on all US servers
  5. Connect securely to 59 countries
  6. Easy setup on popular platforms
  1. Small number of individual servers
  2. Inconsistent live chat
The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is one of the newest VPNs on the market, but it’s already proven itself to be one of the very best – particularly when it comes to the US.

PrivateVPN holds its own against the bigger, more established names in just about every aspect.

Speeds in and out of the States on PrivateVPN are more than fast enough for Full HD streaming on multiple devices, which is pairs nicely with PrivateVPN’s reliable unblocking of all manner of streaming services (US and international Netflix included).

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.

Using PrivateVPN, the only way you’d be able to tell that it’s not a long-established VPN service is through the live chat. While very helpful for most issues you might encounter, PrivateVPN’s live chat is also inconsistent in its availability – ExpressVPN, for example, has around-the-clock live support.

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

Do I Need a VPN in the US?

Signage outside of the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, USA

If you want to protect your personal information from prying eyes, using a VPN in the US is absolutely essential.

There are three key parties that you need to protect yourself against when you’re online in the US:

  1. The US government
  2. US ISPs
  3. Hackers

Sound like an exaggeration? Allow us to explain.

1The US Government

The US government has a wide array of far-reaching powers that allow it to strip away its citizens’ privacy almost entirely at will. Very little ‘due process’ is needed – if the US government feels like spying on you, then it can find a way.

The USA Patriot Act is probably the most famous 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 USA Patriot Act to collect enormous communications logs of all its citizens without good reason. It also allows the US government to tap any device you may use, 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

It’s simple: when you sign a contract with an ISP you’re agreeing that it has the right to log virtually everything you do on its service. There’s nothing you can do to prevent that, it’s just a simple fact.

The real scandal, though, is that ISPs and mobile network operators have been found willingly and secretively cooperating with the US government’s 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.

3Hackers

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 (either as a permanent resident or just visiting) there’s a strong chance you’ll be targeted by hackers, snoopers, or cyber criminals.

It take a lot of vigilance to stay completely clear of them, but a VPN is a vital first step to take.

If you’re out and using public WiFi then you should always be connected to your VPN, but it’s important to use one at home, too. Some even have malware and spam filters built in to help add protection, too.

Using a VPN service in the US to protect your personal data and hide your true IP address is completely legal.

In fact, a lot of major companies use corporate VPN software to protect sensitive data from prying eyes, and also to allow employees to access company files while working remotely.

There are absolutely no laws that prohibit US citizens from connecting to a VPN server. The main purpose of a VPN is to keep your keep your online activity private, and there are no laws that state you cannot use one in the US.

The only legal consideration when using a VPN in the US is that it doesn’t mean you’re exempt from other state or national laws, especially those regarding copyright.

We don’t recommend doing anything while using a VPN that you wouldn’t do without one.

Some other countries aren’t so lucky, though. If you want to learn more we’ve prepared a guide to where VPNs are and aren’t legal around world.

What's the Best VPN for US Netflix?

A screenshot of the home screen of the US Netflix library, as accessed through ExpressVPN

The best VPN for Netflix in the US is ExpressVPN.

In fact, ExpressVPN is probably the best VPN for Netflix no matter where you are in the world, as well as being our best VPN overall.

Over thousands of tests we’ve never found ExpressVPN to fail, always unblocking the service with no issues.

Its fast speeds mean that your connection should remain relatively unaffected, streaming in buffer-free Full HD just like you normally would.

There’s no servers labelled for streaming optimization, but that’s fine – you likely be connected to one that works first time of asking.

ExpressVPN has servers in 34 US cities, meaning that wherever you’re based you’ll be able to connect to a server nearby.

Not only that, but servers in dozens of other countries all around the world you’ll be able to watch Netflix libraries from other countries like the UK, Australia, and Japan, too.

A good streaming VPN won’t just unblock Netflix, either – it’ll also work with Hulu, Sling TV, and provide an easy workaround for MLB, NBA, and NFL blackouts.

What's the Best VPN for Android in the US?

The best VPN for Android is ExpressVPN.

No VPN has scored higher in our testing, and this is a big part of the reason why.

ExpressVPN for Android is almost identical to ExpressVPN for desktop. You get the full range of 3,000+ servers, super-fast download speeds, and even a kill switch (an important feature often missing on other mobile VPN apps).

The only real difference here is that ExpressVPN for Android only lets you choose between two protocols: UDP and TCP, both of which are variants of OpenVPN.

We strongly believe OpenVPN to be the best protocol on the market, but for those knowledgeable enough about VPNs to enjoy making their own choice this may be a slight disappointment.

ExpressVPN couldn’t be any easier to use, has split-tunneling so that you can choose which apps are protected by it, and it won’t drain your Android smartphone’s battery life. It even works with Android TV devices.

Do I Need to Use a VPN for Torrenting in the US?

A screenshot of NordVPN's P2P-optimized UK server

Naturally we recommend you use a VPN whenever you’re online, but we believe a VPN is especially important when torrenting.

Torrenting utilizes what’s called a ‘peer-to-peer’ connection, commonly known as ‘P2P’. This means that rather than download a whole file straight from one website, you instead download different fragments of that file from multiple other people.

This means that everyone you connect to when downloading a file can potentially see your IP address. There’s often more than 1,000 connections at once – that’s a lot of strangers to reveal your true IP address to.

By using a VPN before you open your torrenting client you’re assigned a new IP address, which will be the only one visible to other torrenters as well as your ISP.

Be sure to connect to a server near your true location though, otherwise your download speeds could suffer.

As always, we strongly recommend that you don’t do anything with a VPN that you wouldn’t do without one and adhere to all applicable laws regarding torrenting and filesharing.

Not all VPNs allow torrenting, though. Some will have restrictions on which servers can be used for P2P, while others will disallow it altogether.

We’ve found that ExpressVPN is the best VPN for torrenting thanks to its mixture of fast download speeds, watertight security, and P2P friendliness.

You can find more on ExpressVPN the rest of the top five VPNs for torrenting here.

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon leads our investigations into VPN safety and internet freedom research. His work has been featured on the BBC, CNet, Wired and The Financial Times. Read full bio