Best VPNs for USA in 2018 | Protect Yourself From US Government Surveillance

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The US Government has one of the most intrusive surveillance programs in the world. For residents of the country, it’s almost guaranteed that your online activity is no longer private. Using a VPN can restore your anonymity – plus, it grants you access to services like iPlayer, Channel 4 and international Netflix! We tested popular VPN providers to find the best USA VPN.

We recommend ExpressVPN for all internet users in the USA.

Best VPN for USA

The USA often cites itself as the ‘land of the free,’ but this title has fallen under much speculation in the internet age. While the country imposes minimal censorship, their surveillance is one of the most intrusive in the Western world.

According to Venafi, 65% of US citizens already believe the government is overstepping the line regarding online data farming and espionage. Legislation, such as the 2001 Patriot Act, publicly defies residents right to privacy. The law, which states that warrant procedure is not required when terrorism is cited, caused controversy across the country.

Accusations that authorities were abusing their investigatory powers rose quickly. In 2013, the Edward Snowden revelations confirmed these fears. The ex-NSA employee detailed harrowing schemes designed to monitor our web activity. As the post-war ‘Five Eyes’ alliance ensures intelligence is shared between the US, UK, Canada, Australia & NZ, it’s likely these intrusive tactics are occurring all across the English-speaking world.

If you live in the US, your data is no longer your own. Whether you like it or not, an eye-in-the-sky is watching.

Protect Your Online Privacy in the USA with a VPN 

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a popular software type, used around the world for multiple reasons. For US citizens, it affords the ability to remain secure and anonymous while online. Once installed, the VPN client will divert your traffic via another server, assigning a new IP address and masking your identity.

Furthermore, the initial data tunnel uses military-grade encryption to prevent snooping parties from being able to view your information. The VPN providers used shared servers, so no single person can be traced or monitored. For US residents, it provides a simple solution to growing surveillance concerns.

When choosing a VPN for the US, certain features are required:

  • Fast & Reliable Service. Drops in connection will expose your information and make using security software obsolete.
  • Foreign Headquarters. US-based companies are under the remit of strict American data retention laws. Finding a provider who is not required to keep any logs is key to ensuring complete privacy.
  • International Server Network. Opting for a different US server guarantees anonymity while retaining access to the US web. International servers allow access to alternative content catalogs, alongside providing top-level security.
  • Active Customer Support. To quickly remedy any problems, a fast and responsive customer is essential.
  • Diverse Security Features. Government surveillance tactics are always complexifying, so a wide range of additional security is necessary to stay ahead of the game.

How We Select the Best VPN in USA

At Secure Thoughts, we are dedicated to finding the right tools for every user. To determine the best VPN for USA citizens, we tested some of the biggest names on the market. By looking at all the crucial elements and developing structured comparison experiments, we were able to crown a winner.

Alongside price discrepancies, we measured results from several VPN inspections to ensure users can get the very best service for their money.

Using a Ping Test, we were able to monitor speeds across different servers and establish how much the system slowed when connected. We also measured the Capacity to Bypass Geoblocks, by testing the server on popular streaming websites such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Server Locations played a significant role in the overall score, as did individual reviews of specific Additional Features.  We also employed a Response Time Test on each provider’s customer service, to gather real-time numbers of how instant the support actually was. Finally, we looked for Third-Party Reports of problems with each VPN, and examples of how secure they’ve been with customer data in the past.

From this process, we were able to uncover the best USA VPN providers available.

#1 ExpressVPN

Notable Features:

  • 99% Uptime Guarantee
  • Impressive International Server Network
  • Unmatched Speed & Reliability

ExpressVPN scored the highest overall points in our tests. Located in British Virgin Islands, you’ll have no problem with logs. However, their real expertise is in the quality of their service. The VPN client showed the fastest speeds out of all those we considered. They also boast an impressive uptime guarantee. Their vast server network spans 94 countries, granting access to an impressive number of content catalogs – meaning you can watch media from all over the world with ease. ExpressVPN does not offer many additional features, as their core service is already rock-solid. However, they do provide a kill switch and auto-connect, to ensure the internet is never running without VPN protections.

Prices (30-day money back guarantee on all plans):

1 Month

$12.95

6 Months

$9.99

1 Year

$6.673 months free, Save 49%

#2 NordVPN

Notable Features:

  • Optimized Servers
  • Panama Headquarters
  • Impressive Additional Security

NordVPN rated well in both speed and reliability. They also provide a fantastic family service, as six devices can be connected at once. However, the company gained second place on our list thanks to their extensive and diverse additional privacy solutions. Alongside a kill switch and auto-connect, they also offer a DoubleVPN feature, which routes your traffic via two servers, instead of one. If one connection should drop, your organic data still won’t be visible. NordVPN also offers optimized servers for different online activities, to further optimize your protection. The Panama headquarters means you don’t have to worry about data logs.

Prices (30-day money back guarantee on all plans):

1 Month

$11.95

1 Year

$5.75

2 Years

$3.29

#3 SaferVPN

Notable Features:

  • Multi-protocol Support
  • Auto-Configuration
  • Torrent Support

SaferVPN is a well-designed VPN app that is ideal for both new and experienced users. Although they have a smaller server network, it’s well-curated to prioritize speed. Overall, we only saw a 20% drop once the VPN was connected – which is less than most providers. They also offer a vast range of protocol options so that tech experts can create their own bespoke protection. However, if you’re new to VPNs, the auto-configuration feature can predict the best options for your connection. SaferVPN is also one of the few providers who still allow torrenting – although only on Netherland servers. The only drawback is that the company is based in Israel. Due to their affiliation with the US, there is a risk surrounding potential data logs.

Prices (30-day money back guarantee on all plans):

1 Month

$9.99

1 Year

$4.49Save 55%

2 Years

$2.49Save 75%

#4 PrivateVPN

Notable Features:

  • IPv6 and DNS leak protection
  • Remote installation
  • Netflix Access

PrivateVPN is a company based in the cradle of online privacy regulations. Sweden was the first country to enact legislation around data protection, so PrivateVPN is not required to keep any logs at all! They boast a modest server network and are one of the few providers who has side-stepped the Netflix ban. The VPN client comes with some additional security features, including IPv6 and DNS leak protection. Although this type of protocol is yet to guarantee complete privacy, it does significantly reduce the risk of data leaks unveiling your identity.

Prices (30-day money back guarantee on all plans):

1 Month

$8.21

3 Months

$5.63Save 48%

1 Year

$3.615 Months, Save 67%

Unblock Content Online in the USA

As the US enjoys a relatively open net comparatively, VPN software is usually only considered for security. However, the added benefit of bypassing geo-restrictions and granting users access to worldwide content should not be overlooked! If you’re a film, TV or music fan, then this extra benefit is ideal for you. If you want to watch foreign content –  such as the BBC (for example) – then you merely need to employ the BBC iPlayer VPN workaround tactic.

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Configure VPN to connect to a British server.
  2. Launch the software
  3. Visit the BBC iPlayer website or app
  4. Enjoy with no restrictions!

This ability to bypass geo-blocks is invaluable both at home and abroad. Once subscribed to a VPN package, you can unblock Channel 4, BBC and countless other foreign channels to watch whenever you want.

If you’re traveling overseas, running a VPN will guarantee access to all your favorite shows back home. If you want to use the software for a one-off event – like a vacation – you don’t even need to lose any money! By taking advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantees, you can enjoy a premium service with a full refund once you’re back home.

Be Aware of Copyright Laws in the US

The use of a VPN to access certain online content can breach copyright laws. In the US, the Copyright Act of 1976 dictates the rights of content creators to retain control of their media and its distribution. In 1998, The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed, specifically addressing the production and use of technology to bypass digital rights management systems.

More recently, the controversial SOPA and PIPA acts proposed an intrusive campaign to tackle online piracy. Fortunately, national protests derailed the government’s plans; while they have not scrapped the proposal, it has been put on the backbench for now.

However, it’s not the time to become lax over your only privacy. Choosing a high-quality VPN has always been essential to protect your identity when bypassing copyright restrictions, such as when torrenting. As the international crackdown on P2P file-sharing continues – including a rising arrest rate for infractions – using a VPN on torrent sites has never been more critical!

Best VPN in the USA

By now, we all know that the US Government is watching our every online move. Still, many people are failing to take steps to protect themselves. Using a VPN is a quick, efficient and legal way to ensure your internet activity stays between you and your computer!

Plus, you get the added bonus of unlimited access to media all over the world – which is not a bad extra!

We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN in the USA, as it offers customers a reliable, slick and comprehensive service.

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Sarah Turner is a digital nomad and travel lover, who specializes in tech and online security.

2 Comments
  1. Reply jeanericblas@gmail.com'
    jean eric
    January 20, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    what about pure i usually read many reviews base website about pure and they suggest to get their vpn in fact vpnrank.com and from many other website i have read about it.

    • Reply
      Lyndon Seitz
      February 1, 2016 at 7:26 am

      Jean,

      We have found ExpressVPN to be the most reliable. Pure seems to have challenges with their server network more often than other VPN’s

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