The best US VPN

Keep your online data hidden from those prying eyes. These are the best US VPNs today.

Best US VPN

by Jack Barrell |
Updated on

There’s not a corner of the world where you shouldn’t be using a top-notch VPN, find yourself in the States, and you'd benefit greatly from a US VPN. As a matter of fact, there are select countries where the protection of a Virtual Private Network is that much more important. USA is one of these very countries, as a member of The Five Eyes alliance, the US government routinely carries out online surveillance. Only the best US VPN can guarantee your privacy in the States.

Anyone can take advantage of a reputable VPN in the US of A, whether you’re a born and bred American or you’re just visiting. Online privacy is the right of all sentient beings (the ones that can use the internet, that is). When it comes to choosing a VPN to use in the US, there are certain requirements you’ll need to prioritise that you otherwise might not have considered.

This is exactly what you’ll need to keep an eye out for when you pick your US VPN. This one might be a tad obvious, but you’ll need a provider with plenty of US servers. The wider the coverage, the better. Most of the VPNs on our ranking have an impressive resume of North American server locations, in cities across the whole country. This is so important from a connectivity stance, the more servers, the better chance you’ll have connecting the US. We mentioned the boogeymen of online privacy – the Five Eyes alliance, and it goes without saying that your chosen VPN would ideally not operate from a country that’s a part of this group. No matter how credible the provider may seem, if they’re merely based in a Five Eyes nation, you cannot guarantee the true safety of your online privacy. Five Eyes nations include USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The best US VPN to use in or outside USA at a glance:

The best US VPN overall: ExpressVPN - View on ExpressVPN
The best US VPN for security: NordVPN - View on NordVPN
The best US-based VPN: Private Internet Access - View on PIA

There’s a flood of privacy features and credentials that providers will bombard you with, but none are nearly as important as having a verified no-logs policy. A no-logs policy is a promise from a VPN that they don’t store any of your personal information. All of the most private VPNs will have them. While your online data is protected from the rest of the world wide web, it's technically accessible by the provider you’re entrusting. The best way to know if a Virtual Private Network is legit with their no-logs claim is if they run reputable independent audits. An independent audit is when the VPN provider hires a third-party organisation to investigate their operations to determine that they don’t store any customer information.

The best US VPN overall

Express VPN
Price: £5.65 p/m+

go.expressvpn.com

If you’ve been searching for a provider that ticks all the boxes but also lets you sit back and relax, then ExpressVPN is for you. This is a premium VPN provider that achieves so much, and you’ll forget it’s even there. 24 US server locations make it an obvious choice for a VPN in the States.

We couldn’t talk about ExpressVPN without bringing up just how much a breeze it is to use. The Express apps on all devices are delightful, you can find anything at no more than two clicks or taps of the screen. For the purpose of residence or access to the US, there’s few better options. Security is unmatched, ExpressVPN has run over a dozen independent audits in the last two years, all coming back clear, legitimizing their no-logs policy.

For the price, you might hope for a few more simultaneous connections than five. But if you’re residing in USA then Express does have a dedicated app for router installation which will mean protection for all devices under your roof.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Pros

  • Very regular audits - high-integrity VPN
  • Easy to use - increases the VPN experience
  • Super secure and fast

Cons

  • Only five simultaneous connections - cheaper options offer more

The best US VPN for security

NordVPN
Price: £3.09 p/m+

nordvpn.com

A VPN in the US should have robust security, even if it means other areas suffer. Luckily though, NordVPN has that security as well, impressing in every other category. This is a provider that puts security second to none.

Nord’s double data encryption is still a huge accomplishment for internet privacy. You get airtight security on super-fast servers, what else could you want? Well, 16 US server locations has got to make it an even more tempting choice for a US VPN.

Unfortunately, even the most secure provider has room for improvement. Nord users have found the provider’s mobile apps to be somewhat tricky to navigate, the customer support is very helpful though. So, we can imagine there’ll always be a Nord operator there to guide you wherever you need.

Pros

  • Stellar security
  • Lightning fast
  • Great customer support - issues can be quickly resolved

Cons

  • Mobile apps are awkward to use

The best US-based VPN

Now, we know we said any VPN based in a Five Eyes country couldn’t be trusted. But if you’re going to opt for one, Private Internet Access is the only one you should consider. This is an American VPN provider that’s really for the people.

PIA hosts 53 US server locations, for many, it’s the best US provider, and we’re inclined to agree. Its apps are feature-filled, with a well-tested kill switch being a standout. Not only do you get a terrific coverage in the States, but PIA offers 35,000 servers worldwide, which is more than 10 times as many as some other providers on this list.

Speeds may not be some of the best on the market, but where PIA doesn’t wow in speed, it compensates in security. Private Internet Access runs independent audits from the big four audit firms, four of the largest audit companies in the world.

Pros

  • Amazing US and worldwide coverage - plenty of servers to choose from
  • Best independent audits
  • Excellent kill switch - top security

Cons

  • Speeds aren't exceptional
  • Is still based in a Five Eyes country

The best US VPN for value

Surfshark logo
Price: £1.83 p/m+

surfshark.com

Protect your information online and avoid steep costs with a provider like Surfshark. Value for money is Surfshark’s bread and butter and has been for some time. This is a VPN that you get so much out of, and it’s brilliant in the US too.

Surfshark has servers in 20 US cities, these are servers that can reach some pretty impressive peak speeds. You can enjoy unlimited simultaneous connections too, which is offered by very few providers.

Surfshark has been independently audited by Cure53 since 2018, this is a highly reputable German cybersecurity company which has reported nothing but positive findings from Surfshark.

Not all servers can achieve the peak speeds that have been recorded, so finding one may take some playing around. When you do find that speedy server though, you can enjoy seamless unblocking and access all your favourite shows in the US or anywhere else in the world.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • High peak speeds

Cons

  • Not all servers are super fast

The best US VPN for features

ProtonVPN
Price: £4.35 p/m+

protonvpn.com

After a VPN that packs more of a punch? ProtonVPN has a serious arsenal of features, and it’s a sound option as a US VPN. Server in 14 US cities means connectivity should be no problem at all.

Secure Core servers can only be found at ProtonVPN, they’re exceptionally secure and are capable of delivering some impressive speeds as well. Waste no time getting your hands on the VPN accelerator tool either, this little feature will bump Proton up a few gears in the case that your connection speeds ever drop.

Users won’t find a super responsive 24/7 live support at ProtonVPN, but there is a highly generous free plan available that has no time limit. This can act as a great option for VPN beginners.

Pros

  • Feature-packed
  • Great free plan
  • Super secure

Cons

  • No 24/7 live support

Please note: All prices are correct at time of writing. VPN deals and savings are subject to change at short notice.

About our expertise

At What’s The Best, we live and breathe technology. Among our team of tech experts, we have pretty much every base covered - from televisions and speakers to cameras and smartphones.

To say we spend a lot of time on the internet is a bit of an understatement, and most of the time, we’re using a VPN. Whether for work or recreation, we’re regularly connecting to VPN servers near and far.

It’s by collecting this shared knowledge, experience and passion, that we are able to select the best VPNs for you. We trust each of our picks implicitly - in fact, many of them we use ourselves. That's because at What’s The Best, if we wouldn’t buy it ourselves, we don’t recommend it. Simple.

Essential terms

VPN – Virtual Private Network

Encryption – The method in which your data is converted into code to prevent unauthorised access

No-logs – When a VPN providers stores zero data form customers

Kill switch - When internet connection is lost, it’s a feature that kills any internet connection until a secure VPN link can be attained once more

What is Five Eyes?

The Five Eyes is an intelligence alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It was formed in 1946 and is the world's most extensive intelligence sharing arrangement. The alliance has been instrumental in gathering intelligence on a wide range of threats, including terrorism, cyberwarfare, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, it has also been criticized for its secrecy and for its potential to violate the privacy of individuals.

The name "Five Eyes" comes from the security classification of intelligence documents shared between these countries: "SECRET—AUS/CAN/NZ/UK/US EYES ONLY."

It's worth noting that even if a country isn't a Five Eyes member, there may still be unique privacy obstacles for that nation. You'll still need a UAE VPN and VPN for China as these countries do not conduct goverment surveillance (that we know of), but they still require an effective VPN.

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s an online privacy tool that encrypts your internet connection from device to the network. It’s a security safeguard, but it also has some extra VPN benefits like allowing users to change their IP address and access regionally blocked content.

Yes, VPNs are completely legal in USA, that goes for using them in the country and accessing their servers from another. You're legally allowed to use a US VPN just as much as you are a Canada VPN. You only instance you’d acting unlawfully, is if you were using a VPN to mask criminal activity.

Free VPN USA

There are plenty of free VPNs that you can use in or outside USA, it will depend on your internet usage though. Free VPNs are typically very restricted on data, bandwidth, and features, so we’d only recommend a free provider if your internet usage is on the lower side.

Jack Barrell is the Commercial Content Writer for VPNs. He's hands-on when it comes to producing best-of articles, how-to guides, and product reviews for Virtual Private Networks. On his off-days, Jack can be found in the gym, at the movies, or flicking through a car mag.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us