Online privacy is eroding by the day and nowhere is it more apparent than the good old USA. The NSA has a long history of conducting mass surveillance without legal justification against US citizens.
With our phone lines and internet activity monitored by agencies for no reason, it is high time that we took privacy in our own hands and implemented protective measures against relentless surveillance programs sponsored by the government.
VPN services offer the easiest solution to improving your online privacy and staying below the surveillance radars of US agencies.
Here are 5 best USA VPNs to help you guard privacy from governmental antics:
- PureVPN – Hong Kong-based VPN with 490+ US servers and powerful privacy features.
- Surfshark – BVI based VPN with strong online security.
- Ivacy – Well-rounded VPN, efficient for streaming and privacy alike.
- ExpressVPN – Reliable VPN with US servers in 29+ different cities/states.
- CyberGhost – Romania based VPN service with 5,600+ servers but average speed.
- NordVPN – 5,500+ servers and powerful obfuscation technology useful for US users.
PureVPN is the top recommendation as the best VPN for the US. This is because it is based in the offshore jurisdiction of Hong Kong which guarantees American users adequate protection from all the threats to privacy brewing in US soil.
Top 6 VPN Services for the USA
The following services are all premium VPNs that consolidate online privacy and end geo-restrictions within the US.
PureVPN has over 490 servers in the US. These are available in major US locations including Miami, New York, Atlanta, Seattle, Washington, and more. The provider itself is based in Hong Kong, which puts it far away from the reach of American agencies like the NSA. Coupled with the no-logging policy, this VPN has the excellent benefit of helping US citizens avoid being subjected to surveillance.
Along with the basic features, the vendor offers diverse value-added benefits to its customers like split-tunneling, internet kill switch, and excellent customer service. If we talk about security, PureVPN supports industry benchmark protocols like OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPsec and others.
The service is vastly compatible with different devices and can be installed on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and few other devices. In addition, those users that are outside the US can utilize PureVPN to gain access to geo-restricted content on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and others.
You can avail PureVPN for $2.91/mo which comes with 5 multi-logins and 31-day money-back guarantee. Due to its affordable pricing, it is the best cheap VPN to use in the US. For these features, PureVPN has received excellent reviews.
- 490+ servers in the US
- No logging policy
- Based in Hong Kong
- Does not offer a trial feature
Surfshark offers 20+ servers within major US cities. In total, the provider has a network of 1,000+ servers in 60 countries, all of which offer excellent speeds for streaming and general browsing purposes. It is the fastest VPN service with impressive downloading speed of 27.91 Mbps.
Surfshark is a headquartered in the British Virgin Island (BVI) and follows a strict no-logs policy. This is actually quite impressive, especially for the privacy-conscious American users who have had enough of governmental surveillance.
Security-wise Surfshark supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocol, but it performs exceptionally well over IKEv2 protocol. One highlight feature of Surfshark is its simultaneous connections. You can secure unlimited devices with just one subscription plan. It is also pretty useful if you’re planning to travel abroad for a while. With the US servers, you can unblock streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
These features have earned Surfshark a great reputation among reviewers. The service is compatible with all the major platforms like Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It is highly affordable $1.99/mo and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Provides 1,000+ servers in 60 countries
- Unblocks Netflix and other streaming services
- Unlimited multi logins
- Offers a moderately sized server network
Ivacy has 75 servers in the US. These servers are well-optimized for streaming and use strong privacy controls to keep your information and identity private on the web. Furthermore, it supports torrenting on multiple servers which is especially useful if you routinely download torrents, which is a dangerous practice considering harsh anti-piracy penalties in the US.
The provider uses AES-256 encryption and offers a good logging policy which ensures protection of user information from surveillance and companies hungry for storing our information.
Ivacy works with streaming services like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Expatriates living overseas can utilize Ivacy to gain access to these websites that normally only work with a US IP address. Due to these factors, Ivacy remains highly rated among reviewers. It’s also one of the top VPNs for torrenting in 2020!
Currently, Ivacy costs $2.25/mo and comes with a 30-day refund policy with 5 multi-logins.
- Provides 1,000+ servers in 100+countries
- Fast download speed
- No logging policy
- No free trial
ExpressVPN operates a network of 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, including the US. It is based in the British Virgin Islands, a country far from the reach of the 5 Eyes, which US is a part of. Thus, you can expect top-notch privacy from this provider if you’re a US citizen.
The service is highly recommended because of its robust online security and blazing fast speeds. As a result, you can perform your daily online activities at your normal high speeds while ensuring that your privacy remains maintained to a reasonably high level.
With protocols like OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec, you can not only secure your data with rock-solid privacy but also stream and play online games without any lags. Any authority will certainly have a hard time trying to crack ExpressVPN’s AES-256 encryption, so you can count on it to provide shelter from relentless surveillance regimes like the US.
Compatibility wise it supports all popular operating systems like Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS and can be used on 5 devices simultaneously. Our ExpressVPN review gives high praise to this VPN for its all-around excellent performance that makes it a great choice for all your privacy improvement needs. The only downside is that it costs $8.32/mo , which is more expensive than most counterparts.
- More than 3,000 servers located in 94 countries
- Strict no-logging policy
- Fast servers
- Subscription rates are more expensive than other alternatives
CyberGhost consists of 5,500+ server in 90 countries, 856 of which are in the US. It is another option worth considering for securing your privacy in the US. The provider is headquartered in Romania and takes advantage of its lax enforcement of anti-piracy laws to permit p2p activities safely on most servers.
This VPN service is truly impressive and offers one of the fastest speeds in the industry at a budget price of $2.75/mo . In terms of features, you can expect to see protocols like L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, and a powerful kill switch. You can rest assured no malicious user or spying agency from the US will be getting a sniff out of you under CyberGhost’s strong encryption and security features.
This super lowkey VPN service is compatible with all the major operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and can protect up to 7 devices simultaneously. This CyberGhost review evaluates of all of these features in more detail.
- Provides 3000+ servers globally
- Offers internet kill switch feature
- Delivers 45 days money-back guarantee
- Might not work with Netflix at times
NordVPN offers 1,554 servers in the US alone. Overall, the provider has 5,500+ servers, most of which are efficient for purposes such as torrenting and streaming. In reality, the provider is a Panama based provider which makes it extremely valuable if you want to escape US surveillance and data retention laws.
One of the reasons why NordVPN is valuable for people in the US is its innovative advanced features such as CyberSec, DoubleVPN, and Onion over VPN. These features protect you from hackers and agencies with surveillance apparatus to monitor your online traffic and activities. With the technological capabilities of US agencies, these features become important if you want to remain anonymous and keep your activities private. This is one of the reasons why NordVPN has received largely good reviews for its service.
The provider is currently available for $3.49/mo and comes with 6 simultaneous connections and 30-day money back guarantee.
- Allows 6 simultaneous multi-logins
- Server strength of 5,500 + in 50+ countries
- 30 days money-back guarantee
- Enabling the double VPN feature enhances security but reduces speed
Why Do You Need a VPN in United States?
The state of online privacy requires serious reforms in the US which is what makes the use of VPN services important for Americans. Here are some good reasons why VPNs are necessary in the US:
- Surveillance from agencies: NSA has historically abused its powers against US citizens, putting innocent people under surveillance without due cause. Wide-ranging surveillance programs like PRISM further reveal just how extensively NSA can monitor online traffic of users. Although it is quite possible that NSA can break VPN encryption, it would be a formidable task especially if the VPN you are using is based offshore.
- Accessing geo-restricted websites: In every country, there are websites such as local banks, institutes, and especially streaming channels that can only be accessed with a local IP address. In the US, apps such as Hulu and HBO Go only work with a US IP address. Therefore, if you’re traveling overseas or are an expatriate, you can use a VPN to watch these channels from abroad.
- Unblocking torrents safely: US laws impose heavy penalties on torrent downloads that violate copyrights. Many torrenting websites are blocked in the US and it can cost as much as $150,000 per file in fines. It is therefore important that you keep your identity anonymous when downloading torrents, which is something that can easily be done with VPNs.
- Staying safe over public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi hotspots in places such as hotels, cafes, airports, malls etc. are freely available for everyone and lack any password protection. The overall security of these hotspots is, in fact, pretty basic. This is what typically attracts hackers and criminals to these hotspots. VPNs strengthen security of users over public Wi-Fi, making it much more difficult for any hacker to breach your data and violate privacy.
Should I use a free VPN?
As a general rule of thumb, free VPNs should be avoided, especially if you’re concerned about your privacy. Even though you might see tons of free VPN that offer US servers, they aren’t equipped with adequate encryption and security mechanisms. In fact, some are scams that might steal your data and sell it for profit.
Some lesser-known free VPNs have actually been found collecting user data and selling to authorities or advertisers. Considering this, it’s way better to opt for premium VPNs. I’d recommend you to check out our VPN deals and amazing VPN christmas deals 2019 instead and get premium VPNs at affordable rates.
That being said, there are still some free VPNs for USA that operate on the freemium model which you can still trust:
However, keep in mind that these services only offer limited functionality and you will need to use paid VPNs to attain the full range of benefits of a VPN.
VPN Services That are Based in the US
When it comes to US-based VPNs, there is always the concern that government agencies might demand the company to reveal your logs.
Even if a no-logging policy is followed by these services, strict government surveillance may prevent maintaining your privacy. However, if you are not concerned with your privacy, then you can use the following services:
- IPVanish – As discussed above, IPVanish is a US-based VPN provider that offers 1,000 servers in more than 60 countries. It offers good encryption and privacy.
- Private Internet Access – is another service based in the USA, equipped with excellent security-enhancing features. PIA also offers great customer service and is available at affordable rates.
- LiquidVPN – has an attractive user-interface and decent security features. Although it has a limited network of servers, all of them provide high connection speeds.
VPNs You Should Avoid in USA
1. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is a famous service that is just as much controversial. This is because the provider has previously been involved in cases of intruding users’ privacy and manipulating information for private gain.
A research paper revealed that Hotspot Shield redirects user traffic to its partner entities which include some popular e-commerce websites. Therefore, it is not a secure choice out there and should, therefore, be avoided.
The Germany-based ZenMate also suffers from some security issues. For instance, the provider has inherent technical problems in its encryption which sometimes can lead to leakage of IP address. As such, users that cherish their security should avoid this service, especially if they are in a high surveillance zone like the US.
VPNSecure is also known for serious security vulnerabilities. According to the same research paper cited above, the service fails to prevent DNS and IP leaks. If you are located in the USA where the government can spy on your data, then this provider is not an ideal choice.