5 Best USA VPN Services: Protect Yourself Against All Snooping in the US

If you live in the US then there’s something you should know: the government is watching you. Not only that, it’s also collecting information on what you do on the internet. Many reports have shown that the US government can access any smartphone’s camera, microphone and any of the other sensors that exist on a smartphone.

The government will keep doing this whether you like it or not. You don’t need us to tell you that this isn’t an enjoyable way of life. Invasive laws can make your life miserable and they’re not going away any time soon.

Of course, there’s the other problem of copyright infringement threats which have become a near constant in the US. Every time you try to watch or stream a video, there are chances some copyright troll is going to come knocking on your door. This kind of snooping is just as prevalent in the US as snooping done by the government.

An image of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., United States
These are the best VPN for the USA as far as US citizens are concerned.

Why You Need a VPN

The laws governing telecommunications and electronic privacy are blurry and ambiguous.

Let’s look at the Patriot Act for example. The Patriot Act is packed with vague legalese but it essentially allowed the US government to have more power over its people by increasing surveillance of Americans. It allowed them to monitor email and phone communications, track banking and credit reporting records and track the internet activity of its citizens.

Edward Snowden brought the extent of the Patriot Act to the public’s attention and was forced to leave the country as a result. His release of documents shed light on just how far government surveillance had gone in the US and did so with undeniable proof. Up until that point government surveillance was considered an unfounded conspiracy theory, but Edward Snowden proved that wasn’t the case.

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How VPN protects users

The Patriot Act expired in 2015, but the USA Freedom Act renewed it through 2019. Legislation regarded the renewal of the USA Freedom Act was set to occur at the beginning of 2020, but no decision was made before the US Congress departed for their recess.

However, the US Senate voted in May 2020 to allow the FBI and CIA to look at the browser histories of US citizens without a warrant. Despite the expiration of the Patriot Act and the USA Freedom Act, government surveillance is alive and well in the US. This is why it’s so important to use a VPN.

Using a VPN to Stop Snoopers

We would all rather not live under the scrutiny of the government or any other entity or person. To help you get out from under the watchful eyes of everyone from government agencies to internet service provides we’ve put together this guide. It’s designed to specifically to help everyone who lives in the US to protect their privacy in the online world.

Some methods can even prevent Big Brother from snooping on your online activities and your personal data. The best and most comprehensive method to make sure that no one is watching you on the internet is the VPN method.

VPN stands for virtual private network. This technology can be used for everything from protecting your privacy from hackers, government agencies and internet service providers to unblocking region-specific content on popular streaming platforms.

It works by encrypting your internet connection using state-of-the-art encryption technology and then routes your connection through a VPN server before connecting you to the internet.

Most VPN service providers function with the sole intent of providing safety and security to their customers. However, there are some that operate maliciously to steal and sell your data while promising to do the opposite.

Some of the keep usage logs which keep track of which sites their customers use and other information about their internet browsing habits. Others may record personal information like credit card numbers to sell to third parties for a profit.

Typically, the VPNs that engage in these nefarious practices are not the elite VPNs that require a paid subscription fee. The ones that collect and sell data are usually the free ones which is why it’s so disheartening to see the popularity of search terms like “USA free VPN,” “VPN free USA,” “VPN USA free,” and “best free VPN USA.”

These search terms seem to be growing in popularity and there are many results that appear, but the reality is that if you’re looking for a USA VPN, free is not the way to go.

The best VPN service will require a monthly fee. While paying for something isn’t as great as getting it for free, paid VPN services are orders of magnitude better than free VPNs and the prices are usually very reasonable. That’s especially true if you use our exclusive links which are included with our list of VPNs. Let’s take a look at that list now.

The Five Best US VPN Providers

1. NordVPN

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Simultaneous Connections: Six

Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days

 

nordvpn homepage screenshot best for US

About NordVPN

Most US VPN users tend to prefer VPN service providers that are headquartered in a country other than the US. This keeps the VPNs from being subject to US laws, which means the NSA and other government agencies can’t force them to release user data. NordVPN operates out of Panama so its users are safe.

Even if NordVPN was based in the US, they don’t keep any logs so there would be nothing to give to the government if user data was requested.

Anonymity is key to NordVPN so they’ve gone to great lengths to ensure the privacy of their users. When looking for the best VPN, USA customers should look at NordVPN as the primary example of a great VPN service.

An image of a 3D rendering filled with grey squares, in the middle you can find multiple squares in red that construct the letters VPN

NordVPN is relatively cheap, but it’s not the cheapest on this list. However, its pricing models are unmatched.

NordVPN gives excellent deals to those who sign up for long term plans. You can get the service for as little as $3.49 per month if you sign up for the longest plan and you can get it even cheaper using our exclusive link.

While the pricing models are great, they’re not the only thing that sets NordVPN apart. The service allows up to six simultaneous connections on one account, meaning that a single account can protect all of your devices at once.

It also has a broad range of servers located around the globe in more than 50 countries. They’re also continually adding to their list of servers.

Having many servers in different locations allows more users to connect to a server that’s close to them. The closer a VPN server is to you, the faster your connection will be.

While NordVPN has a lot of servers, the one place where it falls behind some of its competition is speed. While the service isn’t slow, the number of security protocols that NordVPN has in place have reduced speeds below those of many other top VPNs.

While they’ve sacrificed some speed to increase security, we still believe that NordVPN is the best US VPN. It’s above-average number of simultaneous connections and advanced security protocols make it the ideal choice for a US citizen looking to protect all of their devices from hackers and government agencies.

Pros

  • Extraordinary pricing model
  • Servers in more than 50 countries
  • Based outside the US
  • Doesn't log any user data
  • Allows six simultaneous connections per account

Cons

  • Not as fast as other US VPN services

VPN Apps

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Our Score: 9.8/10

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2. ExpressVPN

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Simultaneous Connections: Five

Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days

express vpn homepage screenshot best US

About ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN deserves to hold a spot on any VPN list. let alone a list of the best VPNs in the US. It manages to fulfill the needs of users who are based in the US almost perfectly.

As far as the quality of the VPN service goes, ExpressVPN has a lot going for it. It satisfies its customers by offering them fast, reliable reliable servers. Many of these servers are in the US making this a great US VPN.

While ExpressVPN has many servers in the US and its neighboring countries, it’s not based in the US.

As we discussed earlier, this is great because it means that ExpressVPN doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the US government. Being based in the British Virgin Islands means that users can rest assured that they’re protected and that their data won’t be shared with the government.

If you want to connect to a VPN server outside the US ExpressVPN has many options for you. They have servers in over 94 countries, giving users a broad range of locations to choose from. This range of options opens up the possibility of using a VPN to unblock region-specific content or further enhancing your security by connecting to a server in a far away country.

While ExpressVPN is one of the best US VPN services, it does have two major flaws. The first of these flaws is that there’s no free trial. Not having a free trial doesn’t allow users to try out the service before purchasing a package. However, ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee which can be used to evaluate the service similar to how you would evaluate it during a free trial.

The second flaw is that ExpressVPN is expensive compared to many other top US VPN services. You can get a more reasonable price by signing up for a longer period of time, but even then the price isn’t great. A one-year subscription equates to $8.32 per month, which still isn’t as cheap as other VPNs, but it’s more reasonable that the price of a month-to-month subscription.

Pro Tip:

If you decide to sign up for ExpressVPN you can pay using the typical methods like a credit card or PayPal or you could use a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to pay for the service. This is something that sets ExpressVPN apart from other US VPN providers.

Another way they set themselves apart is by allowing BitTorrent activity on all their servers. P2P traffic is unrestricted on all of ExpressVPN‘s servers.

Pros

  • Occasional discounts of up to 50%
  • Offers a VPN app for routers
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Operates out of the British Virgin Islands

Cons

  • More expensive than some of the other VPNs on this list

VPN Apps

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Our Score: 8.9/10

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3. CyberGhost VPN

cyberghost vpn

Simultaneous Connections: Seven

Money-Back Guarantee: 45 Days

cyberghost vpn home screenshot best US

About CyberGhost

CyberGhost VPN is another option that we recommend to those who want to use a VPN service to protect their data while living in the US. The service is based in Romania, far away from the US and its government, meaning that the US government won’t be able to force CyberGhost VPN to release any of their users’ data.

The only issue we have with CyberGhost VPN is the size of its VPN server network. They have servers in over 30 countries, but they need to invest in their network to increase the number of available servers. However, they’re still able to compete with the best VPNs even with their smaller network.

Note:

One of the ways that CyberGhost VPN sets itself apart is its encryption implementation. The VPN service offers IKEv2 which is one of the most secure VPN protocols. It also offers easy access to OpenVPN protocols if you’re a savvy VPN user and would like to switch.

CyberGhost VPN allows up to seven simultaneous connections, thereby allowing you to protect all of your devices with a single account. You can also split your account with a friend since not many of us have seven different devices that need VPN protection. This would allow you to split the cost as well.

Speaking of the cost, CyberGhost VPN comes at a very fair price. If you purchase the one-year plan you’ll end up paying about $4.99 per month. This price is about average for the VPN market.

Pros

  • Servers in over 30 countries
  • Blocks ads and malware
  • Doesn't keep any activity logs
  • Native IKEv2 encryption technology available
  • Occasionally offers three-year plans which can reduce the cost by up to 77%

Cons

  • Monthly plan is expensive at $12.95 per month

VPN Apps

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Amazon Fire TV

 

 

 

Our Score: 9.3/10

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4. SurfShark VPN

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Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited

Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days

SurfShark vpn homepage screenshot best US

About SurfShark

Like all of the VPN providers on this list, SurfShark is based outside the US. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, meaning that it’s not under the jurisdiction of the US government and their laws. Users can rest assured that the government won’t be able to force SurfShark to release user data.

Even if SurfShark was requested to release user data, they would be unable to do so because they have a zero logs policy. The best VPN services have policies like this that guarantee that the service keeps no logs of your data or browsing information. All of the VPN providers on this list have this policy.

SurfShark has servers in over 50 countries, which is great but the number of servers spread across these countries is relatively small.

However, VPN providers often add more servers to their network so this number will likely grow as time progresses. Even though the number of servers is fairly low, SurfShark is still able to unblock popular streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer.

Just like the rest of elite VPNs on this list, SurfShark offers strong encryption and the ability to download torrents on any of its servers. There’s also a built-in kill switch feature for extra security. Additionally, desktop and mobile users get to use dedicated apps for each platform.

Pro Tip:

All the apps offer advanced security features that protect from all kinds of IP leaking problems. There’s also a 24/7 customer support live chat feature in case you run into any issues.

What really sets SurfShark apart is the fact that it allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections on a single account. You could sign up for a single subscription and protect every device in your household. You could even split the subscription with friends and family. If you have any problems with the service, you can take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • Zero logs policy
  • Unblocks streaming services like Netflix and Hulu
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

Cons

  • Slower than some of the other VPN services on this list
  • Relatively small VPN server network

VPN Apps

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Windows
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macOS
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Linux
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Android
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Apple
Chrome App Icon
Chrome
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Firefox
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Amazon Fire TV

 

 

 

Our Score: 8.5/10

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5. PIA

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Simultaneous Connections: Ten

Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days

Private Internet Access homepage screenshot best US

About Private Internet Access

There was a time when anyone who recommended PIA as a good VPN service had to include a big caveat with the claim. That caveat was that the service didn’t offer a user-friendly GUI. Luckily that’s no longer the case. PIA, which stands for Private Internet Access, has put in the resources to completely revamp their interface.

PIA has finally managed to bring its GUI level up to its excellent technical prowess. With those positives though, PIA has also started to charge more for its service. This is the primary reason it doesn’t have much over the rest of the competition when it comes to elite US VPN providers.

This VPN service allows users to connect up to ten devices at any given time.

This should help PIA attract users who want to protect their whole household with a single subscription package. Unfortunately, this great feature is somewhat offset by the fact that PIA decided to raise their prices.

Even with the price increase though, it can still present itself in good light against the likes of NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN. However, when all is said and done, PIA is a tier below them and probably belongs to the same category as some of the other good services like ProtonVPN and TunnelBear VPN.

Pros

  • Lots of available servers
  • Up to ten simultaneous connections
  • Great app redesign

Cons

  • No advanced streaming servers
  • No free trial

VPN Apps

Windows App Icon
Windows
macOS App Icon
macOS
Linus App Icon
Linux
Android App Icon
Android
Apple App Icon
Apple
Chrome App Icon
Chrome
Firefox App Icon
Firefox

 

 

 

Our Score: 7.6/10

Visit Private Internet Access

Do I Really Need a VPN If I Live in the US?

No matter where you live, the answer is always yes. Government agencies, internet service providers and hackers are everywhere and they’re always looking to steal your information or catch you doing something wrong. What’s strange about the US is that it’s founded on freedom, so it would stand to reason that government spying would be illegal in the country.

The spying carried out by the US government is totally at odds with the ideals they claim to uphold and try to spread to other countries.

Despite the fact that the US was founded on freedom, the government appears to have no issue with violating the privacy and freedom of their citizens, claiming that they do so to protect the country from malicious actors. Whatever the case, a USA VPN service will give you some of your freedom back.

As we discussed earlier, Edward Snowden unveiled to the public that the NSA was regularly spying on American citizens. They were doing everything from accessing credit reporting data to listening in on phone calls. While Edward Snowden was forced to the leave the US for fear of prosecution, his sacrifice opened a lot of Americans’ eyes to the need for privacy.

Privacy has continued to be an issue for Americans. This is why we put together this guide to help you find the best VPN for USA citizens.

A VPN can do wonders for you if you’re concerned about privacy. All of the VPN services on this list are based outside of the US and aren’t under the jurisdiction of the US government.

Programs like the one that Edward Snowden exposed, PRISM, were originally launched as part of the US government’s anti-terrorism efforts. They were trying to collect data related to specific keywords which were used to spot terrorist terminology or threats, which sounds reasonable at first.

However, what ended up happening is that the government just started spying on their own citizens. Global terrorist activities weren’t reduced and American freedoms and privacy were needlessly violated.

an image with pens in the background as well as clippers and a yellow note in the middle which says VPN in red

When this information was released to the public, the need for VPN technology and similar technology became apparent. People needed to be able to take their freedom and privacy into their own hands, which is what VPN technology allows them to do. While having to fight against privacy violations isn’t the best way to live, it’s nice to know that VPN technology is out there to provide freedom and privacy when the government falls short.

iPhones, VPN Services and the US Government

The US Bill of Rights is comprised of ten constitutional amendments that lay out the inalienable rights the founders of the US felt were most important. The first and most commonly referred to of these amendments is the First Amendment which protects freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to assemble. While this is an incredibly important amendment, the most important one in this context is the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment protects US citizens from unlawful searches and seizures of their houses, persons, papers and certain personal effects. Since the Constitution of the USA was written over 200 years ago, it didn’t include any information about the search and seizure of telecommunications information, personal data or devices like smart phones. This leaves these items in a sort of legal gray area.

The US government has attempted to take advantage of this gray area in the past with regard to Apple and their iPhones.

Every year, Apple releases a new version of iOS that addresses issues with old versions of the software and adds new features. As is the case with every software release, there are always security flaws in the software that are patched throughout the year in between major releases.

The US government and government agencies are aware of these security flaws, but are often unaware of how to take advantage of them. In order to get around this problem, agencies like the FBI and the NSA have tried to coerce Apple into intentionally designing backdoor vulnerabilities into the iOS software.

This attempted coercion was done with the intent of allowing law enforcement agencies to seize citizens’ iOS devices in the event of perceived criminal activity and search through them using the built-in backdoors.

An iPhone charging next to a MacBook on a white table

As far as we know, Apple declined to add these intentional security flaws to the software. While it wouldn’t make sense for Apple’s business model to open their customers up to these security flaws, the reality is that no one knows for sure if the government’s coercion attempts were successful.

iPhones and other iOS devices are known for their built-in security. They’re notoriously hard to break in to, which is one of the reasons they’re so popular.

While they’re incredibly secure, they can only protect the data that’s stored on the device’s built-in storage. As soon as data is uploaded to a cloud server or an unsafe website is accessed, the user’s data immediately becomes vulnerable.

This problem isn’t specific to iOS devices, but the solution is specific to these devices. iOS devices encrypt the data they’re transmitting to protect it. However, this feature doesn’t always work as well as it should. This is why US citizens should look into using a VPN for USA citizens.

VPN services are specifically designed to encrypt data and their failure rate is extremely low.

The reality is that unless you use a VPN, your data isn’t safe in the USA. Companies like Google and Facebook that are based in the USA can freely give up your data to law enforcement agencies if they request it. They fall under the jurisdiction of the US government and often don’t have a choice of whether or not to release the data.

Using one of the best VPN services on the market like the ones on this list will protect you in the event that your personal data is requested from these companies.

Copyright Infringement Issues

A major issue that’s long been at the forefront of the internet is copyright infringement. This is especially true in countries like the US that have strict copyright laws that are enforced with a heavy hand.

Warning:

Punishments for violating these laws continue to be strict and are increasing in severity in some cases as peer-to-peer or P2P file sharing sites have gained prominence.

The US government has always been opposed to these sites. In the past we’ve seen services like Limewire and Kazaa go out of business due to the government’s restrictions.

The individuals associated with these businesses were forced to undergo lawsuits, many of which were extremely damaging financially. This includes Kim Dotcom, founder and CEO of Megaupload.

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All of this has lead to VPN services becoming essential for torrenting. With the government’s crackdown on copyright infringement and the growing number of copyright trolls, it’s foolish to engage in torrenting without using a VPN. The best VPN services allow P2P file sharing on all or most of their servers, so you shouldn’t have any issues as long as you use the VPNs we discussed earlier.

This leads us to the Copyright Alert System. This was a program launched in 2013 by the US government with the intent of curbing copyright infringement cases. It used what was known as the “six strikes program” to issue warnings and punishments to internet subscribers whose internet connections were used in violation of copyright law.

Repeated violations would result in the user’s data and browsing history being handed over to copyright holder groups and legal agencies by the user’s ISP.

Copyright holder groups and ISPs have increasingly prepared themselves to go over the legal hurdles to protect copyrighted material. Their efforts have resulted in DMCA notices that are served to those who infringe upon copyrights. That includes individual torrent users.

This type of courtroom case has become more common than ever before and can results in fines of up to $150,000 and/or prison time. The minimum punishment is around $200.

This is important:

This is why we always advise our readers to make sure that they’ve adequately researched the file they’re downloading. Check to see if the file is subject to copyright law before you download it and always use a VPN while downloading files. Be sure to look into federal copyright laws as well as the copyright laws in your state.

Using a VPN to Stream HD Content

If there’s one country that has a ton of high-quality content available for streaming it’s the US. TV series like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have amassed millions of followers and are available to stream in the US. There are also sites like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu, all of which are based in the US. A lot of copyrighted material in general comes out of the US, which is why these services have blocked access to their content outside of the US.

While most people in the US can stream content from these services, there are some places in the US where the content is blocked. Institutions like schools and universities as well as places like hotels and libraries can configure their networks to block these services to conserve bandwidth or keep unwanted content out of their establishments.

To get around these restrictions you need a VPN service. While a VPN has a lot of positives that come along with it, there are downsides to using a VPN as well.

an image showcasing streaming services such as netflix and huluFor example, VPN services slow down streaming services which can result in buffering and lag. It’s almost impossible to stream HD content on the average VPN connection.

While there are VPN services that specialize in streaming, we don’t recommend them for users in the USA. These VPN services typically sacrifice privacy for speed, meaning that your data is left vulnerable to hackers, ISPs and government agencies.

If you’re fine with this you can feel free to sign up for these VPN services, but keep in mind that you’re not as well protected as you would be with a better VPN. If you’re looking for a fast VPN that also has high-quality privacy protection features, sign up for ExpressVPN or Buffered VPN.

When you’re signing up for a VPN, make sure you choose one that has servers in the USA and the UK.

You’ll need to connect to servers in these countries to watch the content that isn’t available outside of these countries. Keep in mind that sometimes using a VPN is in a sort of legal gray area. One of the most common searches we see is “Is VPN legal in USA?”

You can check out our article on the legality of using a VPN to learn more.

Types of VPN Services to Avoid in the USA

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Even though we, like many others, recommend that everyone who lives in the US should use a VPN, keep in mind that not all VPN services are good. The best VPN to USA citizens is one of the ones we discussed earlier, but there are many others out there that aren’t worth your time or money. You should avoid them at all costs.

Fundamentally, you use a VPN service to have extra personal privacy and data security. But sometimes, despite what they may claim, VPN services don’t do these things.

In fact, using them puts you at an increased risk of getting malware and having your data stolen. Some services have very poor server networks, which increases the chance of your internet traffic getting routed through places you don’t want it to pass through.

In addition to the topics we discuss below, you should also avoid VPN services that have limited privacy and security features. The best VPN services have the best features, which makes them worth paying for.

This is important:

If a VPN doesn’t have a kill switch feature it might not be worth using. A kill switch will keep your data from leaking if your connection to the VPN server is lost.

Additionally, any VPN that doesn’t use the best available encryption protocols isn’t worth using. Why would you pay for a VPN that doesn’t use the latest and greatest technology when there are plenty of other VPNs that take advantage of the latest technology? To get the best bang for your buck you should always use a VPN that uses the best available encryption technology.

You should also avoid VPNs that don’t have servers in countries like the US and the UK. While the primary purpose of a VPN is to enhance your privacy while you’re online, an added and much-appreciated benefit of using a VPN is their ability to unblock restricted content.

The vast majority of restricted content is only available in either the US or the UK, meaning that you’ll have to connect to a VPN server in one of these countries to watch the content.

If the VPN you’re using doesn’t have servers in the US or the UK, you’ll be unable to watch this content.

Now that that’s out of the way we can move on to some of the major things you should look out for in a VPN. Let’s take a look at some of the types of VPN services that people in the US should try and stay away from for more privacy.

Country of Origin

Simply put, you should always try to avoid VPN services that are located in countries that are members of the Five Eyes group. This group consists of Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the US. In addition to these, you should also keep your distance from the Nine Eyes countries which include the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and France.

It’s also important to stay away from Fourteen Eyes countries as well as the ones we’ve already mentioned. Fourteen Eyes includes countries like Sweden, Spain, Germany, Belgium and Italy.

Why do we want you to stay away from them? Well, these countries have governments that don’t shy away from spying on their own citizens as well as each other’s. More specifically, intelligence agencies and spy agencies in these countries regularly share data with each other.

They also encourage each other to engage in more spying and surveillance by sharing various technologies with each other.

If a VPN service is based in one of these countries, it means their servers are likely to come under great pressure from law enforcement agencies. Most of the time intelligence agencies will find a way to get information out of these services. Even those with the best privacy policies can be forced to give up user data if the government requests it.

Logging Policies and TOS

The best VPN services don’t keep any data on their users but the majority of mediocre VPN services keep logs, even minimally. What you need to understand is that when you connect to a privacy service, your internet traffic has to go through the service’s servers.

If a service is keeping tabs on you, recording your browsing activities and detailing the apps you’ve used and websites you’ve visited, that’s a big problem. Any service that keeps logs is bad because if a service has logs on you then any of your activity can and will be traced right back to the you.

We should also mention that you shouldn’t trust any service that says it doesn’t keep any logs. Don’t take things at face value. You need to look into the service to ensure that what it’s telling you is the truth.

This is important:

This is where you need to go to their Terms of Service page and check if their zero-logs claim satisfies you. If the service you’re trying to sign up for is any good, it should have a fairly lengthy Terms of Service page in which it should explain what it tracks and what it doesn’t.

A good service may also list the activities that it forbids on its servers. If you still don’t know the exact details of a service’s privacy policy or Terms of Service it’s always advisable to contact the service and ask their representatives.

No Anonymous Payment Methods

This tip is for people who want extra security. Truth be told, there are very few services that offer anonymous payment methods. However, that doesn’t change the fact that if a service is offering one, then you get to enjoy an extra obfuscation layer on top of everything else the service has to offer. So if possible, try to sign up for services that offer payment methods that are anonymous.

Keep in mind that whenever you pay via PayPal or credit card, law enforcement agencies or the service itself can trace the payment back to you.

Pro Tip:

Use Bitcoin or another top tier cryptocurrency when and where you can. These payments will be anonymous and will serve as an extra layer of privacy on top of what the VPN service offers.

The best VPN services typically allow payments using anonymous methods. The VPN service’s website will clearly state if they allow payment to be made using cryptocurrency. The best of the best VPN services accept multiple kinds of cryptocurrency to give their users as much freedom as possible when it comes to taking their privacy into their own hands.

VPNs to Avoid in the USA

Hola

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Hola has lots of good ratings on both the Google Chrome extensions page and the Mozilla Firefox add-ons page. however, you really need to question the veracity of those ratings when you know that in 2015 Hola turned many of its users’ machines into exit nodes.

Note:

An exit node is where encrypted internet traffic leaves the protection of the VPN network and enters the regular internet. A user whose computer is an exit node can monitor all of the traffic passing through the exit node and see where it’s going.

This is obviously a major security flaw that Hola allowed to happen. There has not been another case of a VPN service allowing this to happen.

Due to Hola’s actions, other users of Hola used these exit nodes to route their own traffic. Not only that, the company then sold the generated bandwidth to various third-party services. This is a severe violation of not only one’s privacy but also one’s trust.

This should ensure that you never use Hola as it would completely defeat the purpose of using a VPN in the first place.

HotSpot Shield

HotspotShieldVPN screenshot
While not a fraudulent service like Hola, HotSpot Shield is definitely something to stay away from if you primarily use privacy services for privacy and not just to unblock streaming services. If you’re reading this article, your primary concern is likely your internet privacy.

In 2017, the Center for Democracy & Technology alleged that HotSpot Shield participated in a scheme where the service not only intercepted user traffic but also redirected it to some of its partner websites. Some of those partner websites were advertising companies. The report also mentioned that the service kept detailed connection logs. That was a big problem because HotSpot Shield mentioned on its privacy policy page that the service didn’t keep logs.

That’s not all. A year before that researchers found HotSpot Shield injecting custom Javascript codes in addition to directing a portion of its e-commerce traffic to its own commercial partners. This endangered users’ privacy which was made even worse by the fact that HotSpot Shield claimed to not do things like this.

Such incidents, along with the fact that most people who use HotSpot Shield use it for free should be enough for any privacy-conscious individual to stay away from HotSpot Shield. If you only want to use the service to unblock some content and don’t care about it invading your privacy or putting your traffic at risk then there’s not a lot of harm in using it. However, you should take into consideration the possible ramifications of your private information being released before using a service like HotSpot Shield.

Opera Free VPN

OperaVPN screenshot

Opera is perhaps the only mainstream web browser that offers a privacy service right out of the box. You don’t have to install any add-ons or extensions to get a VPN working on Opera. The browser introduced this new feature in 2016. According to Opera, the VPN service is free to use and unlimited for all Opera users.

However, as we’ve mentioned here time and time again, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Free VPNs are simply unsustainable without some sort of revenue generation scheme. Many free VPNs sell user data to third parties or serve near-constant ads to their users to generate money.

Operating a VPN is expensive so no one is doing it for free. Besides, OperaVPN is more of a web proxy than anything else. Opera also collects usage data on its users and there’s no guarantee that it won’t share any of this data with other parties.

PureVPN

PureVPN screenshot

The reason why we don’t recommend US users to sign up for PureVPN is not that it’s a poor service. It’s actually quite good. We don’t recommend it because back in 2017, law enforcement agencies in the US tracked and then arrested an online stalker whose location was found using data from PureVPN.

At the time, PureVPN mentioned on its website that it didn’t keep any logs on its users. However, evidence suggested otherwise.

The company kept a sufficient amount of information that law enforcement agencies were able to use to identify the stalker. Make no mistake; stalking is bad. But a service lying about its data logging policies is not good either.

Facebook OnavoVPN

Onavo by Facebook USIt doesn’t matter how effective the service is, if there’s one thing about Facebook that we know it’s that it will collect your data. Their advertising-based business model relies on the collection and analysis of user data. For that reason alone, you should avoid not just OnavoVPN but any Facebook product.

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter if you’re a citizen, tourist or just a temporary resident of the US. Even without a VPN service you’ll have easy access to the country’s massive internet infrastructure which is, for the most part, free. It’s one of the best in the world and for good reason.

While that’s true now, it’s steadily starting to change. The USA has become a dangerous place for those who want to browse the internet and maintain their privacy. The government regularly passes laws that allow them to delve into their citizens’ private data, often without alerting them.

The best way to avoid this unwanted snooping is to use a VPN.

They have the added benefit of unblocking region-specific content and will protect you and your private data from hackers, ISPs and government agencies. You can sign up for any of the VPNs we discussed earlier and have a great experience.

Just go through our list, take a look at the pros and cons and decide which one is right for you. The best VPN for USA citizens is the one from our list that beast suits your needs.

Readers who have any comments or questions about the best VPN in USA should contact us by using the comments section below.

Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.

4 thoughts on “5 Best USA VPN Services: Protect Yourself Against All Snooping in the US”

    • Thank you for the comment BLS,
      IPVanish is the best general-purpose VPN service for the vast majority of online consumers.
      However, there are other VPN services which are better at specific things.
      For example, NordVPN is great at unblocking US Netflix.
      Similarly, IPVanish is not the best for people living in China and/or US.
      There are others.
      Hope that answers your question.

      Reply
  1. PureVPN is the one I use. Netflix USA doesn’t have a whole lot more than what Netflix Aus has anyway, few more series and a movie or two but not a massive difference.

    Reply
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