Best VPN for USA: top-notch VPNs for American users in 2020

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Security researcher
Last updated: October 15, 2020

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As someone living in the US, you are under constant surveillance from tech companies, your ISP, and government agencies like the NSA. That’s why using a reliable VPN is one of the best decisions you can make for your privacy.

Spoofing your IP address and encrypting your data will hide your online activities from prying eyes.

Yet that’s not all a VPN is good for. For example, if you’re going on a trip and don’t want to miss your HBO show, a proper VPN will ensure you don’t get stopped by geo-restrictions. It will also allow you to use torrents anonymously, beat censorship, and more.

To help you choose the best VPN for the USA, we’ve gone ahead and listed our favorite ones.

No time to read? Here are our best USA VPNs in 2020:

#
PROVIDER
CATEGORY SCORECATEGORY SCORE
1.
The best VPN on the market today
9.7
2.
Forward-thinking and powerful
9.5
3.
Security-first VPN
9.3
4.
Budget-friendly VPN for USA
9.1
5.
All-around great VPN
8.9

1. NordVPN

9.7
Top VPN provider
Company location
Company location:
Panama
Number of servers
Number of servers:
5400
Number of locations
Number of locations:
59
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
466 Mbit/s
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Powerful security features, including kill switch
  • Great for streaming, torrenting, and gaming
  • No router app

NordVPN is based in privacy-friendly Panama and has the best security features on the market. This includes military-grade encryption, a powerful kill switch, Onion over VPN, and more.

If you’re looking for a provider that will ensure a smooth streaming experience, look no further. With its SmartPlay feature, you’ll be able to securely access the content that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you.

Additionally, this VPN has 5400+ servers in 59+ countries, as well as excellent speeds. Hence, choosing NordVPN will ensure you can both access your chosen content and enjoy it in full HD or even 4K.

Luckily, NordVPN is not only powerful and secure, but it is also highly affordable. What is more, because of the 30-day money-back guarantee you’ll have plenty of time to make your final decision.

For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN

9.5
Top VPN provider
Company location
Company location:
British Virgin Islands (BVI)
Number of servers
Number of servers:
1700
Number of locations
Number of locations:
60
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
185 Mbit/s
  • Camouflage Mode (traffic obfuscation)
  • Split tunneling (Whitelister)
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Weak self-help support section

Surfshark VPN’s privacy-friendly home in the British Virgin Islands, its low price, and a stellar list of features make it an excellent choice for US users.

One of the key selling points of Surfshark is the Whitelister split tunneling feature, which helps you organize your bandwidth. With it, you’ll be able to choose which websites and apps you want to connect through the VPN to secure your most sensitive data, and which ones you prefer to run without the VPN.

Furthermore, this provider is certainly among the fastest VPNs on the market, which means that if you choose to get Surfshark,  you’ll be able to use it for torrenting, streaming, or anything else you can think of.

If you need a cherry on top, how about its unlimited simultaneous connections? This feature will be extra handy if you have plenty of devices you want to connect to the VPN.

All these great features can be yours, and the best part is that the price is highly affordable.

For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.

3. VyprVPN

Company location
Company location:
Switzerland
Number of servers
Number of servers:
700
Number of locations
Number of locations:
70
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
72 Mbit/s
  • Chameleon 2.0 protocol great against censorship
  • Decent speeds
  • Works nicely for streaming and torrenting
  • No anonymous payment

VyprVPN is a security and privacy first VPN. It has great features and an independently-audited no-logging policy. These factors make it one of the best VPNs for US users.

Although VyprVPN originates with a US company, the VPN is operated out of the privacy haven of Switzerland. This puts it outside the 5/9/14 Eyes surveillance alliance and thus outside the NSA’s reach.

Due to its above-average speeds, VyprVPN is good enough for streaming or secure torrenting. And it also works fairly consistently in anti-VPN countries like China – handy if you’re going on a business trip or holiday.

If your primary goal is to stay anonymous online, this is a great tool to achieve that. To get it now, check what deals VyprVPN has to offer.

For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.

4. PrivateVPN

Company location
Company location:
Sweden
Number of servers
Number of servers:
150
Number of locations
Number of locations:
60
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
122 Mbit/s
  • Excellent security features
  • Stealth VPN mode
  • Unblocks major streaming platforms
  • macOS and iOS apps have fewer features

If you’re looking for an affordable VPN provider that doesn’t compromise on security, PrivateVPN is a good bet.

Interestingly, PrivateVPN has 150+ servers in 60+ countries, which is not a lot compared to the providers mentioned above. However, in spite of that, PrivateVPN has fast speeds that are more than enough for both streaming and torrenting.

One of the most impressive features of PrivateVPN is its Stealth VPN mode. With it, you’ll be able to bypass VPN blocking in countries with strict censorship. Therefore, if you’re ever traveling to countries like Russia, getting PrivateVPN is a solid plan.

Overall, PrivateVPN is a reliable provider that is great for US users regardless of what you intend to do with it.

For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.

5. Private Internet Access

Company location
Company location:
US
Number of servers
Number of servers:
12300
Number of locations
Number of locations:
74
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
85 Mbit/s
  • Ability to choose encryption strength
  • Decent speeds in the US and Europe
  • Free SOCKS5 proxy
  • Based in the US

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a top choice if you want a VPN for P2P. Torrenting is allowed on all servers and the free SOCKS5 proxy makes it easy to secure just your torrent app.

That’s not all PIA is good for – this long-standing VPN provider has a proven no-logs policy and strong security features. Strong encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection will keep you well out of harm’s way.

When it comes to downsides, PIA operates from inside the US. Some users may worry about the implications of data going through the servers of a US company. However, PIA’s stellar track record should keep any worries at bay.

If this sounds like a good choice for you, check PIA deals out on their website – the VPN’s low prices are the real kicker.

For a deeper investigation of Private Internet Access, read our Private Internet Access review.

6. IPVanish

Company location
Company location:
US
Number of servers
Number of servers:
1500
Number of locations
Number of locations:
75
Avg. download speed
Avg. download speed:
105 Mbit/s
  • Top-notch security features
  • Owns its servers
  • Fast speeds
  • No anonymous payment options

IPVanish is a great option for someone living in the US. First of all, the product has excellent security features and, unlike the majority of providers out there, IPVanish owns their whole server network.

Subscribing for IPVanish will enable you to access their 1500+ servers in 75+ countries. This way, you’ll be able to both torrent and stream with fast speeds and no interruptions.

What we don’t appreciate, though, is its short money-back guarantee. You’ll only have 7 days to test the product out – less than other top providers offer.

For a deeper investigation of IPVanish, read our IPVanish review.

Is using a VPN legal in USA?

The short answer is – YES.

What you have to keep in mind, though, that any activities that are illegal without using a VPN are still illegal when using one. One of the most relevant examples is torrenting copyrighted content.

On the other hand, it is not illegal using a VPN to access different streaming platforms, such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, or Hulu. It does violate their terms of use, but you won’t end of in the prison for that.

Why do I need to use a VPN in the US?

If you want to keep your anonymity while browsing, you need to use a VPN in the US.

By using a VPN, it would seem that you’re connecting to the internet from your chosen part of the world, instead of the US. As the country is famous for the lack of respect for your privacy online, why wouldn’t you make it think you’re somewhere else?

Moreover, using a VPN will help you access the geo-blocked content on your favorite streaming platforms. You may want to access a particular documentary that is only available in the UK, Japan, or somewhere else. In such a case, a reliable VPN is essential.

How to choose the best VPN for the US

When choosing the best VPN for the US, here are some things you should consider:

  1. Privacy features. When choosing a VPN, security should be your top priority. Make sure your chosen provider offers military-grade encryption, kill switch, and some additional security features, such as NoBorders Mode, or Stealth Mode)
  2. Speed. A VPN can be the most secure one in the world, but if it is slow, it’s not an option for many. Therefore, look for a product capable of fast speeds. If it allows you to stream in full HD or 4K, you’ve found a good one.
  3. Features and Services. Consider the extra features you may need by asking yourself the following questions. Do you own many devices, and unlimited simultaneous connections would save your life? Is the Smart DNS feature something you need? Is the ease of use more important than nice-to-have additional features?
  4. Ability to unblock streaming platforms. One of the most common reasons to get a VPN is the ability to access streaming platforms. Before purchasing the product, do some research and make sure whether it will allow you to access your favorite British detective on BBC Player or binge-watch some Australian reality shows.
  5. Location. When it comes to finding a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, the US is not exactly a good option. This applies to the VPN companies as well. Having said that, it all comes down to the logging policy. If a VPN provider has a strict no-logs policy, law enforcement won’t be able to find anything about you and your online activities. And that’s why you should avoid any US-based service with a poor reputation.
  6. Price. Last, but not the least – consider how much you are willing to pay for the service. As much as you may be tempted to save some dollars, don’t sacrifice your security – paying a little extra will pay-off in the long run.

Are free VPNs for US any good?

When it comes to free VPNs, it is really rare to find high-quality ones on the market. Of course, there are some, but more often than not, you’re still paying, and that price is your security.

Hence, we always recommend investing in a reliable paid service – that way you’ll be sure that your online actives are private and safe. All of the VPNs mentioned above will do an excellent job of keeping you anonymous and secure online.

If you are not willing to spend money, we have compiled a list of Best Free VPN for USA – check it out.

How much does a USA VPN cost per month?

A USA VPN doesn’t cost that much, especially if you choose a long-term plan. The discounts can be 50% and even more, depending on the time of the year. Here are the prices of our Top 6 services, from cheapest to priciest.

  1. PrivateVPN$1.89/month
  2. Surfshark VPN$2.49/month
  3. VyprVPN$2.50/month
  4. Private Internet Access$2.69/month
  5. NordVPN$3.71/month
  6. IPVanish$3.25/month

Is USA VPN safe?

Yes, it is. Using a reliable USA VPN with zero-logging is way safer than exposing your IP address and your traffic. When you use a VPN, it becomes much harder for your ISP, the government, and other third parties to track you down.

 

5 comments
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  1. The Iceberg

    I’m a big ExpressVPN fan. I’m disappointed that they don’t do independent audit reviews but otherwise they’re an excellent value. People drop $5 for a cup of coffee so why not cut back and get yourself a VPN that does everything you need?


  2. Bob Scott

    This is a pretty exhaustive list of the best VPNs available! The top runners are also the most likely to work in other countries, too. I’ll always be won over by NordVPN’s prices, but you’re right that you get what you pay for with ExpressVPN!


  3. JorgSeiler

    Thanks for posting this article. I’ve been reading about the no-log audit and was pleased to see that NordVPN participated in it. I know that their were accusations about Nord being a front for a data mining operation and I’ve been anticipating the outcome of the audit. I’m relieved they were vindicated and I’m glad that I won’t need to find another provider. I hope that this will set a new standard in the industry.


  4. Nelson Dias

    I know this is kind of laughable but just to ask which is more secure. Using a VPN located outside the USA or within the States ?.. I have a feeling VPN services outside the states compromise our data since we can’t sue them from another country assuming something like that happens


  5. Ed Jkl

    I’ve been using NordVPN for quite a while now and it’s really good. The speed is great, you can do torrenting and any other stuff you’d expect. It also suits casual internet browsing. I’m really happy with this one and I’m not surprised it’s in the top 3 of the best VPNs.

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