Best VPNs for USA

USAAre you looking to secure your online traffic from prying eyes, be they government or nefarious criminal organizations looking to steal your identity?  Do you want to access streaming media libraries that are geo-blocked from your country?  Do you need to scale massive technically advanced firewalls like the Great Firewall of China, or maybe just your local university firewall?  Maybe you just want to be more anonymous when surfing the internet and avoid the massive targeted advertising campaign from Facebook, and other online marketers.  If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then a personal VPN service is exactly what you need.  Below, is our list of the best VPNs for the USA.

RankProviderPriceRatingSoftwareLink
1IPVanish$4.87
60% Off
9.9
Read Review
SoftwareVisit Site
2OverPlay$6.25
38% Off
9.8
Read Review
SoftwareVisit Site
3ExpressVPN$8.32
35% Off
9.7
Read Review
SoftwareVisit Site
4VyprVPN$6.25
25% Off
9.6
Read Review
SoftwareVisit Site
5PIA$3.33
52% Off
9.5
Read Review
SoftwareVisit Site

What is a VPN and How Can It Help You?

Now that we have looked at some of the best VPNs in the industry, let us look at what a VPN is and how you can benefit by using one.  First off, VPNs have been used in the business world for quite some time.  They allow employees to securely connect remotely to company resources across another network. A VPN is a group of computers securely connected together to each other by means of an encrypted SSL tunnel which is piggy-backed across another less secure network.

In the case of a personal VPN, the service creates an encrypted SSL connection between your computer or other device and a VPN server of your choice across the Internet.  It then masks your IP address with one in the location of the server and acts as an intermediary between you and the Internet.  This means that as far as the Internet knows, your location is that of the server address as all Internet traffic is through the server.  All traffic between your device and the VPN server is through the secure encrypted tunnel and as such is not interpretable to those outside of it.

This provides you with the two primary technical benefits of a personal VPN service.  First, because a VPN masks your original IP address and assigns you one from its location, you can appear to be from almost anywhere in the world.  Second, you can cloak your internet activities from governments, eavesdroppers, and criminal elements looking to steal your identity.  Some of the more premium VPNs also offer other benefits like a Network Address Translation (NAT) firewall, a kill switch, auto startup on OS, auto-start on Internet connection, port forwarding, stealth mode, and others.

How Can You Benefit From Using a USA VPN?

Their are two groups of people who may be looking to get a VPN for the USA. Those who live outside the United States who are looking for a way to unblock geo-restricted content, overcome government censorship, or take advantage of the purchasing power of an American IP address.  The second group are American citizens who are looking to become more anonymous and protect their privacy while they are browsing the Internet, secure their information from prying eyes, or view or listen to geo-blocked content from other countries.

Perks of a USA VPN if You Are Outside the US

There are many reasons that you may want or need a VPN which can provide you with an IP address in the USA.  Chief among these, if you live outside the United States, is to gain access to the vast array of streaming media that through copyright agreements is only available inside the USA. Providers like Hulu, FOX, Pandora, HBO Now and many others are geo-blocked to everyone but those who are located in the USA.  Additionally, Netflix’s largest library of content is in the United States.  Using a VPN will let you appear to be located in the USA, thus bypassing these geo-blocks.  This will let you watch a greater variety of your favorite movies, TV series, original content, and sporting events, than you could otherwise.  What is more, you can access these from almost anywhere in the world.  Americans traveling, abroad for business or pleasure can also use a personal VPN for the same purpose.

Additionally, if you live in a country where the government censors access to digital media or websites containing differing religious ideas, that promote social diversity, or contrary political philosophies, a USA VPN can be used to gain access these websites.  Additionally, you will also be able to read about or watch uncensored news from sources like the New York Times, USA Today, ABC News, and Fox News.  You will not only be able to visit and use these sites uncensored but also have confidence that your browsing privacy is better protected by the anonymous nature of a VPN.  You will also be able to sleep better knowing that your traffic is securely encrypted in transit preventing deep packet analysis of its content by ISPs, government agencies, or cyber criminals.  Similarly, if you are an American traveling or working abroad in a county like China which has one of the most technically advanced firewalls to censor Internet content, you can use your VPN to keep up with world events, as well as, local news at home.

The final reason that you may want a VPN for the USA outside the US is that you may live in a country that imposes a goods and services tax on international goods bought online.  Also some countries like Australia are often charged a premium for online merchandise from international companies just because of where their IP address is located.  Many times the same companies will charge less if the purchaser is located in the United States.  Again, using a VPN will allow you to appear as if you are located inside the US, thus you can avoid these taxes and take advantage of the purchasing power an American IP address affords you.

Perks of a VPN if You Live in the United States

The main reason that you would want to use a VPN in the United States is two-fold: to become more anonymous while using the Internet and to protect your personal and financial information from prying eyes.  Once Americans thought prying eyes meant criminal elements intent on stealing your identity but recent revelations by Edward Snowden has revealed that these eyes also include your ISP, the US government, and some of its allies.  Because the VPN sends your traffic through an encrypted secure tunnel, it protects it from deep packet inspection by outside sources.  This means as long as the VPN supports P2P file transfer, you have the serenity of knowing that your privacy and the security of your internet traffic is not compromised.  Additionally because the VPN masks your true IP address, it helps to make you more anonymous and prevent online marketers from being able to target you.  Additionally, the encryption offered by using a VPN will protect you when accessing open networks in hotels or public Wi-Fi in restaurants and airports.

Another thing that those inside the US use a VPN for is to access geo-restricted content from streaming media providers in other countries like BBC iPlayer in the UK.  Some also use a VPN service to scale local university “school use” firewalls or talk to friends using VoIP.  Finally if you are traveling, you can use a VPN to connect to your streaming media provider in the US and watch all your favorite programs just as if your were sitting in your own living room.

Criteria You Should Consider When Choosing a USA VPN

When choosing a VPN for the USA, there are a few criteria that you need to look at to help you select the best one for your purpose.

  • First is do you trust the VPN provider?
    • How much of your personal information do they collect ?
    • Is their privacy policy transparent about how they use your collected information?
    • How long have they been in the VPN industry and do they have a good reputation?
    • Do they allow P2P traffic?
    • Where are they incorporated at?
  • Second is how big is their network of VPN servers?
    • Where are its servers located at?
    • Do they have a worldwide presence?
    • Multiple servers in the US (on both coasts), the UK, and Europe are ideal for most.
      This will ensure greater speed and reliability when accessing content in the US.
  • Third, what is their logging policy regarding VPN usage?
    • A no-log policy is ideal.
    • If they do log, is their logging policy well defined and transparent?
  • Fourth, how does the VPN perform for your purpose?
    • How fast is the VPN service from your location?
    • Can it help you scale your government firewall if that is necessary?
    • Can you access and configure it from your location?
  • Fifth, how reliable is the network?
    • You want to choose a VPN which is stable.
    • You will also want to choose a VPN whose servers are not over crowded.
    • Does the service have a good reputation for service and support in case you have any questions?
    • Do they offer a kill switch to protect your privacy if the VPN drops?
    • Do they support DNS leak protection?
  • Sixth, is the bandwidth. This refers to how much data (in GB) you can download.
    • The best VPNs offer unlimited bandwidth.
  • Seventh, is it compatible with desktops, phones, tablets or other devices you might want to use with it?
    • Does it support Windows? Mac OS? Linux? iOS? Android? Others like Blackberry?
    • How many simultaneous connections does it allow? Two or more is better.
    • You should thoroughly test the VPN with all of your devices to make sure that they provide the performance and reliability that you want.
  • Eighth, is it secure and private to protect your traffic from prying eyes: be they ISP or the NSA, or cyber criminals?
    • What kind of protocols does the VPN use?  Protocols are rules for transmitting data.
      • A VPN service that supports all three protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec and PPTP is best.
        • OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) (Best mix of security and speed)
          • It is highly configurable, fast, and secure.
          • Port forwarding helps increase its utility and help scale firewalls.
        • L2TP/IPsec – Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol / Internet Protocol Security is the encryption protocol for traffic.
          • It provides excellent security.
          • It has slower performance than that of OpenVPN due to double encapsulation of data.
          • It has built-in support on most devices which makes it easy to implement.
            Like OpenVPN, it has greater utility if it supports port forwarding.
        • PPTP – Point to Point Tunneling Protocol
          • It is considered the least secure and probably better suited for devices that can not use other protocols or where speed, not security is the main concern.
          • Like L2TP, it is built into most devices and very easy to setup.
    • Encryption is usually AES or Blowfish based.
      • It should use at least 128 bit which is not as secure but provides faster speed.
      • 256 bit is better for security but provides slower performance.
    • Other protocols include proprietary stealth ones to scale the Great Firewall of China, SSTP which is primarily for Windows, and IKEv2 which provides for automatic reconnection for mobile devices.
  • Ninth, how easy is the VPN to actually use?
    • Does the VPN have easy to use and install software?
    • Does it have well written guides?
    • Does the service have an intuitive user interface?
  • Tenth, how much does the VPN service cost?
    • As always, you should spend what your budget can afford.  Trust, security and performance should be weighed against cost before choosing a VPN to make sure you will be happy with it.
    • Does it support crypto currencies like Bitcoin or other anonymous ways to pay for the service?
    • Remember to use the money-back guarantee to thoroughly test the service to ensure it suits your intended purpose.

All of the above criteria were examined for each of the VPNs in our best VPN for the USA list.  Care was taken to look at the purposes that you might need a VPN that can provide you with an IP address in the United States.  We also looked at other countries in the world you might want access to like the UK.  Additionally, we looked at users from outside the US, as well as, those inside it.  All of our chosen VPNs satisfy most of these criteria for both groups of users. You should also look at your purpose to see which VPN in our list could best suit your individual needs.  If you you need file sharing and the VPN supports, make sure you test your favorite P2P software to see that you are happy with its performance while using the VPN.

Final Thoughts

You should look at your purpose to see which VPN in our list could best suit your individual needs.  Most users from outside the US are probably looking to unblock access to the excellent media libraries available for those having an IP address in the United States.  They should place more emphasis on network size, reliability, and speed to ensure that they will be happy with the performance of their chosen service.  You should place more emphasis on anonymity, security, and local server locations if you are primarily looking to escape censorship in your country.  Those of you located in the US may be more interested in the security and privacy offered by a VPN and can also access streaming media while traveling.

Using a personal VPN service that can give you a USA IP address will make you more anonymous and secure your privacy while surfing the Internet.  It will also allow you access to the exhaustive list of steaming media providers available to US consumers including the largest available Netflix library.  Having an IP address close to you in the US can help you to escape the restrictions and censorship of the Internet that may be present in your own country.  You will also be able to take advantage of the purchasing power afforded to US residents.  If you are a jet-set world traveler, a US VPN can help to keep your personal and financial information secure while conducting your banking over the Internet.  Additionally, it can let you watch your favorite shows or give you access to live events from anywhere in the world.  The VPNs that we recommend will help you to do all of these while providing excellent performance at a good price.  They have guarantees that will let you test their services.  Select the one whose features you like the best and take it for a test drive to see if it suits your purpose and provides the performance you expect.