The US is one of the worst countries in the world as far as digital privacy is concerned. Mass surveillance from agencies puts citizens at constant threat of being monitored from authorities, so the risk of privacy violations is ever-present.
Although there is no mandatory data retention law in the US, NSA has the ability to crack some VPN protocols such as PPTP and L2TP. Moreover, it isn’t out of the question that NSA can ask US-based VPN providers to retain some logs so they can continue their surveillance operations without any obstacles in their way.
Therefore, users should ideally opt for VPN services that are headquartered far from the reach of NSA and their ilk. Here are the 5 best non US VPN services that protect you from surveillance agencies:
- PureVPN: Hong Kong based VPN.
- Surfshark: Headquartered in British Virgin Islands.
- Ivacy: A Singapore based VPN service.
- CyberGhost: A Romanian VPN.
- ExpressVPN: British Virgin Islands based provider.
- NordVPN: Based in Panama.
5 Best Offshore VPNs (Based Outside US)
There are many features that differentiate a reliable VPN from a poor one. These features often include server network, speed, and privacy features.
With the passage of time, the jurisdiction in which a VPN is based has become an important factor when discussing the best VPN services. The following VPNs are all located in safe non-US jurisdictions and can be counted on to keep your privacy intact:
1. PureVPN – Best Non-US based VPN
PureVPN is the best VPN outside US. It is based in Hong Kong which is one of those places in the world where there is minimal Internet censorship. Moreover, the government is not known to perform surveillance of online traffic of users in the region, nor are ISPs required to retain any metadata or other information of their customers.
PureVPN is also one of the best VPN with no logs, which is important for privacy-conscious users. These facts, along with 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries and features such as killswitch, and AES-256 encryption PureVPN make it one of the best offshore VPNs that you can get for a surprisingly low price of $2.91/mo with 30-day money-back guarantee.
Pros of PureVPN
- Strictly follows a zero-logging policy
- Provides more than 2,000+ servers in 140+ countries
- Offers compatibility with multiple devices
Cons of PureVPN
- Does not offer a free trial
Read our detailed PureVPN review to find out more about this service.
2. Surfshark – Located in British Virgin Islands
Surfshark is worthy of being considered the best non US VPN. It is based in British Virgin Islands, which is a territory having no ties with US surveillance agencies or the Five Eyes. The provider strictly adheres to a zero-logs policy so you can safely stay private on the internet.
Some of the best features the provider offers are MultiHop, CleanWeb (ad-blocker), and WhiteLister (split-tunneling). These features enhance your privacy, while the network of 1,000+ servers in 60+ countries allows users to unblock streaming and other websites.
For a cost of $1.99/mo , Surfshark is a powerful VPN tool if you’re looking for one based outside US.
Pros of Surfshark
- Does not store user logs
- Unlimited multi-logins
- Efficient for p2p and streaming
Cons of Surfshark
- Moderate server size
For more information, read our Surfshark review.
3. Ivacy – Singapore based VPN
Ivacy is a Singaporean VPN service provider. This privacy brand offers 1,000+ servers in more than 100 locations in the world. Moreover, the company does not have to comply with the privacy-invasive laws of European and American countries.
The company delivers advanced encryption and security with features like DNS secure, IPv6 protection, and killswitch. The service has good unblocking capability and works with streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. You can acquire Ivacy for $2.25/mo
Pros of Ivacy
- Does not log data of users
- Netflix and Kodi optimized service
- Secure torrent downloading
Cons of Ivacy
- Lack of free trial feature
Our Ivacy review discusses the pros and cons of this service in more detail.
4. ExpressVPN – Located in British Virgin Islands
ExpressVPN is also based in British Virgin Islands and has been protecting user privacy with an excellent logging policy for customers all over the world. The VPN guarantees safety on the web with an optimally sensitive killswitch and military-grade AES-256 encryption.
Furthermore, the provider has over 3,000 servers in 94 countries. Utilizing these servers, you can access geo-restricted streaming services, blocked torrenting websites, and censorship issues if they apply in your country. The only drawback is that ExpresssVPN is slightly expensive, costing $8.32/mo
Pros of ExpressVPN
- Fast servers
- Compatible with p2p, streaming, and blocked websites
- 99% server uptime
Cons of ExpressVPN
- Expensive pricing
For more information, read this ExpressVPN review.
5. CyberGhost – Heaquartered in Romania
CyberGhost is another reliable VPN with base of operations outside the US. Since Romania has privacy-focused laws, citizens enjoy freedom from government surveillance of any kind nor are ISPs in the country required to maintain user logs.
CyberGhost is an impressive VPN service for users interested in P2P networking, as many of its servers from a network of 5,500+ servers in 85+ countries support p2p. In addition, the country has lax legal enforcement against torrents.
The VPN is available for $2.75/mo with 45-day money-back guarantee.
Pros of CyberGhost
- The provider follows a complete no-logging policy
- Provides excellent support for P2P activities
- Offers excellent 24/7 customer support
Cons of CyberGhost
- Occasional connectivity issues
View our CyberGhost review to learn more about this VPN provider.
6. NordVPN– Panama-based Provider
NordVPN is one of the safest VPN providers you can opt for, owing to the fact that the company is based in Panama. Therefore, you can rest assured that your data will not be logged by this VPN service. The provider has a network of 5,000+ servers in 59 countries.
With NordVPN, you get valuable features like DoubleVPN, CyberSec (ad/malware blocker), Onion over VPN, and killswitch. The AES-256 encryption, coupled with the VPN’s remarkable unblocking capabilities are qualities that few other VPNs share in the industry. Currently, it s priced at $3.49/mo
Pros of NordVPN
- No logging of your online activity
- Offers 5,000+ servers located in 59 countries
- Responsive customer support through 24/7 live chat
Cons of NordVPN
- Connection speeds can drop during peak hours
Find out more about this provider in our review NordVPN.
Why non US VPNs Are Essential for Privacy
There’s hardly any other country in the world where mass surveillance and communications tapping is as widespread as in the US. With programs like PRISM and the role of US as one of the key members of domestic-intelligence sharing surveillance networks, getting a VPN headquartered in the US amounts to playing with fire.
NSA & Warrantless Surveillance
NSA conducted warrantless surveillance on millions of unsuspecting citizens people, both within and outside the US from 2001 to 2007. Although disclosure of this operation and subsequent public pressure forced NSA to end the program in 2007, it shows a glimpse of the sheer power these agencies hold. The revelation proves agencies can cavalierly ignore legal requirements if they so will it. In fact, EFF took AT&T and NSA to the court because AT&T had permitted NSA to monitor all communications of their subscribers unlawfully, violating privacy laws.
This means that if a US-based VPN provider is storing any information about you, it’s entirely possible that NSA might acquire this information without even needing a warrant. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so easy for NSA to do that if you were using a VPN that has its entire base of operations located far away from the US and thus not within reach of NSA’s surveillance apparatus. This is where offshore VPNs become so important.
NSA Can Decrypt VPN Traffic
According to researchers, NSA has the means to break some forms of VPN encryption and monitor VPN traffic. In fact, it has long been believed that NSA is capable of breaking into outdated VPN protocols such as PPTP. Again, it is much simpler for the agency to do this if the VPN provider they wanted to break into is based in the US.
Jurisdictional as well as technological complications arise if the targeted VPN is located in a territory with strong privacy laws and which has no ties in any way with American agencies.
Torrenting and P2P
The US has one of the strictest enforcement against torrent downloads. Copyright infringement committed in the form of digital piracy can lead to fines as much as $150,000 per file and even 5 years of jail time! The MPAA and RIAA are responsible for monitoring torrent usage for copyright violations. These groups have also caused many torrent websites in the US to be banned including KickAss torrents and ThePirateBay.
VPNs that are based in the US have no choice but to comply with DMCA requirements. As such, these VPNs usually do not support torrent activity using their services. However, non US VPNs are only bound to comply with national laws which may not be as stringent.
This is another reason why downloading torrents is significantly more safer if you use a non US IP with a VPN based overseas.
Disclaimer: We do not encourage nor condone the use of VPNs to engage in any illegal activity including copyright infringement.
What is USA VPN?
A USA VPN is a service that is tailor-made to cater to the privacy needs particular to the people of the US.
Why you need non-us based VPNs?
You need non-US based VPNs in order to defend yourself from American agencies performing surveillance and violating your privacy.
Is it safe to use VPN in USA?
It is not safe to use a VPN in USA as agencies such as NSA can monitor VPN traffic. In fact, VPNs based in the US usually do not support activities like torrenting. So, these VPNs are not very useful.
How do I get a US VPN?
To get a US IP address with a VPN abroad, follow these steps:
- Subscribe to a VPN that offers servers in the US.
- Download and install the VPN app on your device.
- Launch the VPN and login with your credentials.
- Connect your VPN to a US server
You will now acquire a US IP address.
Do you really need a VPN?
Yes, you really need a VPN if you want to improve your privacy online and unblock inaccessible websites anywhere in the world.
There’s hardly any room for doubt that all privacy-conscious users should choose non US based VPN services in order to avoid being a subject of unlawful surveillance by American agencies.
PureVPN is the best VPN based outside the US, keeping in minds its low cost, privacy-focused features, and excellent server network. Surfshark is another good choice for people on a budget.
If you have any cool tips to share about staying safe from US spying programs or have any suggestions about non US VPNs, don’t forget to leave a comment below.