Numerous VPN users around the globe use them to tunnel into the United States by giving a US IP address. After all, the United States is the source of the world’s most popular entertainment, most of which is only available online to residents.
However, US citizens need VPNs for a variety of reasons, including unblocking content and enhancing privacy. The requirements of an American VPN user are likely to be somewhat different from those of a user in a foreign nation. A VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, encrypts all internet data on a device and sends it via an intermediate server in a location specified by the user.
Americans are directly observable by intelligence services such as the FBI and NSA. American firms such as Google and Apple monitor and collect data on their domestic consumers. As Edward Snowden demonstrated, business and government espionage are often synonymous.
While government agencies and commercial businesses worldwide are free to spy on everyone, only Americans are directly under their control, while users in other nations share a legal boundary. In the United States of America, copyright trolls are especially hostile, targeting torrent users.
Best VPN for the USA
Thus, Americans who use VPN services demand increased security and limited access to foreign information. We’ve suggested the top VPN for the United States to achieve this balance based on the following criteria:
- The provider does not have a physical presence in the United States.
- On the provider’s servers, no traffic records are kept.
- By default, 128-bit AES or higher encryption is employed.
- To maintain anonymity, shared IP addresses are employed.
- Bonus points for payment methods that are anonymous, such as Bitcoin.
NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN service with a strong security reputation. This includes double-hop servers, which route your data across two VPNs, and a Tor over VPN option, which routes traffic over the Tor network after leaving the VPN server. While many IP addresses are shared, dedicated IP servers are also accessible upon request. The OpenVPN protocol is encrypted using the 256-bit AES standard. NordVPN supports Bitcoin payments and provides one of the greatest value packages available from any VPN service. The corporation maintains no record of its consumers’ traffic or connection information. A single subscription allows for multiple concurrent connections.
Apps for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS are available.
Excellent VPNs based in the United States
Due to privacy concerns, we have omitted some VPN services. They are situated in the United States. That is not to say they are poor VPNs, but the possibility of the NSA or FBI knocking on their doors does not inspire trust, even if they promote a no-logging policy.
If you’re not concerned about US intelligence agencies, there are numerous more VPNs situated in the United States that are worth considering:
- Private Internet Access
In addition to their location in the United States, these VPNs match all of our other requirements. If you trust them not to keep usage records, they should have no information to share with law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the first place.
VPNs that Americans should avoid
Hola is a browser plugin similar to a peer-to-peer VPN that enables other users to access your excess bandwidth. It is not self-sufficient regarding server infrastructure. This is a data privacy issue, made worse by Hola’s lack of transparency. Previously, the firm reportedly used all of its subscribers’ network power to construct a botnet and attack websites. We advocate avoiding Hola because internet service providers often impose usage limitations in the United States and because of glaring privacy concerns.
HideMyAss is headquartered in the United Kingdom. Due to the US’s friendly relationship with the UK, this is not a viable choice for people seeking to bypass national intelligence services. HideMyAss made headlines when it handed over user records to British police, which resulted in the arrest of a LulzSec hacker. HMA claims it never monitors the content of its customers’ internet traffic, but it does maintain thorough metadata files that include users’ true IP addresses, which was sufficient for legal authorities to apprehend LulzSec hacker Cody Kretsinger after his role in a cyber assault on Sony Pictures.
VPNs that are “free”
Numerous free VPN services may try to seduce you after a simple app store or Google search, but proceed with caution. To begin with, they are often sluggish, impose data caps, and restrict bandwidth to save resources. Second, they have lax regulations regarding logging and data security. Finally, many free VPNs generate revenue by putting advertisements into users’ browsers, which reduces their privacy.
Methodology for evaluating VPNs in the United States
PrivacyExplore rigorously examines each VPN we suggest to guarantee it meets our stringent quality criteria. Regarding VPNs for the United States of America, we focus primarily on the following:
- Consult VPN providers’ privacy policies and terms of service to guarantee that no personally identifiable information is stored.
- Country of origin of the VPN provider.
- The VPN connection’s encryption parameters, such as ciphers, key lengths, hash algorithms, and perfect forward secrecy.
- Whichever VPN servers are used, shared or private IP addresses are assigned (shared is preferred for anonymity).
- Which cryptocurrencies or other forms of anonymous payment are accepted, if any?
In addition to these findings, we examined each VPN for the following:
- Speed – We undertake speed testing on each provider’s worldwide network of VPN servers regularly.
- Unblocking streaming services – Our testers conduct real-world testing to see if they can use a VPN to unblock popular streaming services such as Netflix while traveling. This year alone, we’ve done around 3,000 tests.
- Data leaks – We inspect each VPN for DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC breaches that might jeopardize the user’s privacy.
Our suggestions are based on a weighted average of the aforementioned factors.
Restriction on blackouts
While Americans often enjoy the finest content selection, they face one persistent kind of geoblocking: blackouts.
Typically, blackout limitations apply to live streaming content, particularly sports. Even if you have a legal internet streaming subscription, such as MLB.tv for baseball, local clubs are sometimes inaccessible online. This is because regional television stations often purchase the broadcast rights to local games due to the inability of internet streaming providers to compete.
VPNs solve this issue. The stream may be unlocked by simply connecting to another location in the United States where the specific event is not blacked out. Simply use our suggested best VPN for the USA to guarantee that you have enough data and bandwidth to watch acceptable quality videos without experiencing frequent buffering.
Check out our comprehensive lessons on how to circumvent blackout restrictions on MLB baseball, NHL hockey, and NFL football using a VPN and Kodi, a free home theater software.
VPNs in the United States for torrenting
In the United States, it is unlawful to download and distribute copyrighted content. Internet service providers often enforce a three-strike policy that penalizes consumers for unlawfully downloading content through BitTorrent.
While BitTorrent is not usually unlawful, it is often connected to illicit conduct, most notably internet piracy. However, downloading non-copyrighted information is entirely legal.
Copyright holders often act via copyright trolls, who monitor torrenters’ IP addresses and issue settlement letters asking for payment. Copyright trolls are allowed by the authorities to litigate on the copyright holder’s behalf. However, since an IP address does not legally constitute a person in the United States, it is generally prudent for recipients to disregard settlement letters that lack identifying information.
The encryption provided by a VPN shields BitTorrent transmission from the user’s ISP. Additionally, since the VPN server masks the user’s true IP address with that of the VPN server, copyright trolls are unable to link torrent downloads to a particular device.
VPN for America FAQs
Can I torrent in the United States using any VPN?
While it is technically possible to torrent in the United States using any VPN, many VPNs simply do not perform adequately. To begin with, some VPNs are very sluggish and may be throttling your bandwidth. However, the best VPNs provide limitless bandwidth and dedicated P2P servers. Additionally, some VPNs do not offer enough security. It is against the law to download and share copyrighted content. It is critical, then, to select a VPN that not only changes your IP address but also encrypts your internet traffic and has a strict no-logs policy.
Is there net neutrality in the United States?
Net neutrality is the notion that Internet service providers (ISPs) must handle all data similarly and without prejudice. The United States does not have net neutrality as of this writing (August 2020). In December 2017, the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission revoked a net neutrality rule, enabling providers to restrict or limit information as they see appropriate. However, some states in the United States, including California, have implemented their own net neutrality legislation.
What is the difference between a VPN that operates in tunnel mode and one that operates in split tunneling mode?
Tunnel mode VPN is a conventional VPN that sends all of your internet traffic to its own servers over a single encrypted tunnel. However, a split tunneling VPN enables you to choose to connect some devices and programs to the VPN and others to the internet directly. ExpressVPN is a hybrid VPN service that combines the best of both worlds. This implies that you may either safeguard all of your data or exclude certain applications.
Which VPN service is best for California residents?
NordVPN is our top suggestion if you live in California or want a California IP address if you live outside the state. San Francisco and Los Angeles servers are available. NordVPN even arranges for California residents to exercise their rights under the CCPA, a California privacy law that entitles you to ask for access to and deletion of your personal information without discrimination.
What is the best VPN for the West Coast of the United States?
Surfshark has the most server locations on or near the west coast of the United States for all VPNs that match our specifications. They include the following:
- Bend, Oregon
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Los Angeles, California
- San Francisco, California
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Seattle, Washington