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ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a great option for the US because it has a suite of top features. It’s located in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) where there are no mandatory data retention laws, and it doesn’t keep activity or connection logs. ExpressVPN uses strong encryptions: the AES-256-bit Cipher, the RSA-4096 handshake and HMAC SHA-512 for data authentication. To balance between security and performance, it offers four VPN protocols: OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, SSTP L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP.

ExpressVPN boasts high-speed servers, serious security, and no restrictions. ExpressVPN has three subscription plans: 1-month, 6-months, and 12-months. ExpressVPN has 1500+ servers, some of which are equipped with stealth technology. These servers offer unlimited bandwidth with shared dynamic IP address and also allow torrenting. It has 5-star customer support with a 24/7 live chat. ExpressVPN works with popular streaming service libraries such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, and BBC iPlayer.

Read ExpressVPN review »

NordVPN

NordVPN is based in Panama, a republic with the best data laws for VPNs, which means you don’t have to worry about government surveillance. NordVPN also has a strict no log policy. It uses the AES-256-bit cipher, RSA-2048 handshake, and HMAC SHA1 for data authentication. You also get to choose between PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, SSTP and the OpenVPN protocols.

The NordVPN network is made up of 3518 servers in 61 different countries with unlimited bandwidth and also special capabilities for P2P, Anti-DDoS, Onion over VPN, and Obfuscated servers. It has a live 24/7 chat, email support and also provides FAQs and guides. NordVPN supports 6 simultaneous connections. NordVPN also works with Netflix, HBO, Amazon, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

Read NordVPN review »

CyberGhost

CyberGhost is based in yet another country that  doesn’t compromise your privacy, Romania. In addition,  this VPN provider also has a strict no log policy. For encryption, CyberGhost uses the AES-256 CBC cipher coupled with the RSA-4096 handshake and the HMAC SHA256 for data authentication. It has the OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec, and PPTP protocols. As a result, CyberGhost reclaims your right to digital privacy.

CyberGhost has 1300+ servers located 56 countries, which also offer P2P services and unlimited bandwidth. It has a 9- hour live chat, supports email, and provides FAQs and guides. Like the other VPNs, it supports 5 simultaneous devices and works with popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, BBC iPlayer and HBO.

Read CyberGhost review »

PureVPN

PureVPN is based in Hong Kong and claims to offer borderless internet with complete internet privacy, security, and online freedom. Hong Kong doesn’t require VPNs to keep any logs due to its favorable data retention laws, but PureVPN keeps partial records: it  logs metadata. For security, PureVPN relies on the AES-256-CBC cipher, RSA-2048 Handshake, and a data authentication hash of HMAC SHA1. It uses the OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2 protocols for various devices.

PureVPN has 750 servers with unlimited bandwidth and features 15,000 IP addresses which are both dedicated and shared dynamically. It has a 24/7 live chat, email support, and provides FAQs and guides. It supports 5 simultaneous connections, and its servers allow legal torrenting. It’s also a great solution for content libraries such as  Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other streaming services.

Read PureVPN review »

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, and like the other VPNs, it purports to be  the fastest growing VPN worldwide. It has a zero-data logging policy to ensure privacy.For encryption, PrivateVPN utilizes the AES 256-bit encryption with 2048-bit DH key and HMAC SHA 256 for data authentication. It uses the OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2, and IPSec protocols.

PureVPN has 80+ servers locations in 56 countries which they claim have 99.98% uptime. These servers offer high-speed unlimited bandwidth with server switches. Some of them provide P2P services with public dynamic, dedicated IPs. The provider offers a 24/7 email support system and provides FAQs and guides. It supports up to 6 simultaneous connections is a good option for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming services.

Read PrivateVPN review »

Why you need a VPN if you live in the USA

Living in the US without using a VPN is like using a computer without a firewall and an antivirus program. Just as you are making it so much easier for hackers and attackers to access your activities, surveillance programs are also on your trail. Here’s why you need a VPN if you live in the US.

Data Privacy

Protecting your privacy is a priority when you are in the US because you might not know if the NSA, your ISP, or the Copyright Alert System are keeping tabs on you. With their advanced monitoring systems, all of your online activities including chats, social media, downloads, and even light browsing can be under constant scrutiny. When using a VPN, all of your online activities are directed through a secure tunnel which prevents snooping, eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. In this way, a VPN helps to keep all of your data privacy intact.

Anonymity

If you are anonymous, you don’t have to worry about being monitored. Besides the secure tunnel, VPNs also have a way to make you seem anonymous when you are online. VPNs dynamically share IP addresses, and this causes tracking/monitoring agencies to get inconsistent results. Depending on your VPNs settings, your assigned IP address can change after a certain period has elapsed.

Streaming

Besides privacy and anonymity, the other primary reason why you should use a VPN is that you can gain access to a lot of online content such as legal streaming services. The US has many different streaming content options, and you’ll want to access it safely and securely at all times.

Torrenting

Torrenting is a great way to access files such as music and movies without too much hassle. All you need to do is visit a legal peer-to-peer sharing platform and hope someone has the file you are looking for. The problem with torrenting is that most of the shared content is copyrighted. When you are torrenting, your IP address is added to a torrent swarm for seeding purposes. Using tracking, monitoring, and coupling with the copyright alert system, the authorities can find you if you utilize illegal torrenting. What follows next is that you can be sued, jailed, and hit with fines for copyright infringement. To avoid this worst-case scenario, it’s advised to stay anonymous while using a legal torrenting platform. The best way to do that is by using a VPN.

Why Use a VPN for iPhone and Android

VPNs are necessary not only on desktops and laptops but also on smartphones and tablets. Not all VPNs offer support for all platforms. When choosing a US VPN, be sure to choose one that supports your mobile device’s platform. Most people use their smartphones more than their computers, especially when traveling and without protecting them you can expose your identity.

Often, smartphones are used for tasks dealing with sensitive information that require a high level of security, and that’s where a VPN comes in. For instance, you might connect to unprotected public wifi, which is an opportunity for cybercriminals to snoop, eavesdrop, and even steal your credentials. It’s dangerous to conduct mobile banking and shopping activities over unsecured public wifi networks because you can be exposed to online fraud. A US VPN that offers an iOS or Android app will eliminate such online dangers and threats to your privacy and security.

American VPNs for Non-Residents

Apart from privacy, a VPN helps users gain access to legal global content libraries, particularly the ones that are not available in your country. Take for example streaming; the USA has a lot of services which deliver unlimited entertainment, music, and gaming content to users. Some of the popular streaming services in the US include Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Spotify, Twitch, and others. If you are not in the US, these services are probably not available in your country. Using a VPN for the US can provide you with safe access to streaming libraries. What makes a VPN for US exceptional for accessing these services is that they use US servers and provide you with a US IP address. When you log onto their platforms after connecting to a US server, you will have a US IP address.

Benefits of a US VPN Service

As discussed earlier, using a VPN service in the US helps keep your privacy intact and also helps you to stay anonymous while torrenting and streaming legal content online. But that’s not all! A VPN also ensures that you are secure while surfing the internet. Here’s how:

Protects against cyber threats

For a VPN to ensure you are secure, it must create a secure tunnel. How secure the tunnel will be is dictated by what protocols are in use by the VPN. Protocols are governing standards that tell the VPNs how communication and encryptions will be performed. These protocols include PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol – the most non-secure but fast protocol), L2TP/IPSec (Layer-to-Tunneling Protocol), SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol), and OpenVPN.

When using a VPN for security purposes, its best to choose a VPN protocol that ensures both security and performance. The only protocol that fits this description is the OpenVPN protocol. Its reliable, fast, and uses stronger encryptions with unbreakable ciphers.

Stronger encryptions ensure that intelligence services and cybercriminals cannot decrypt your traffic even when using brute force attacks with the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

Avoid online price discrimination

Organizations and industries use market segmentation to ensure they get the most returns and profits from their products. This segmentation gives rise to price discrimination; that is, the same product will be sold at a higher price than the market price in some places. This is most evident in the flight and the car rental industries. Some countries may charge lower fares for domestic passengers or locals. To enjoy this privilege, you need to do your ticket booking/renting using an IP address of that particular country or state. And the safest way to do this without complications is by using a VPN.

Free VPNs

If you are in the US or you want to utilize US services, it’s not advisable to use the services of free VPN providers – even the reputable ones. This is because a number of free VPNs do not deliver what they say they will, and you may end up risking your security as well as your identity. Below are risks associated with free VPN providers:

  • Some free VPNs have been found to have poor privacy policies. These policies stipulate what happens to your data and what logs the VPNs keep. Free VPN providers, especially those located in the US, log almost every online activity.
  • Those free VPN services that have better policies may be slow or cap your internet bandwidth after you have hit a certain limit. Some of them have weaker encryptions, which can be broken easily by the NSA and other surveillance agencies and hackers. At times, you may not be able to gain access to global streaming content due to lack of servers and other resources.
  • Besides security and privacy issues, free VPNs may lack sufficient customer support. Others won’t even respond to your queries. Since you don’t pay anything for their services, free VPN clients/apps are generally loaded with ads that might also risk exposing your privacy.

Before trying a free VPN service, remember you are about to give the provider access to all of your online activities, which they may then pass on to third parties.

USA VPN FAQs

Are VPNs legal in the US?

Yes. There’s nowhere in the law that states using a VPN is illegal.

What is the most secure VPN protocol for the US?

There are two VPN protocols which are the most secure: the L2TP/IPSec protocol is secure but slow. The other is OpenVPN which is the favored protocol. It’s secure, fast, and reliable and doesn’t hinder performance, it’s.

If I am a US resident, are there certain VPNs that I should avoid?

There a lot of VPNs that you should avoid. These include the ones that log any information that might compromise your privacy as well as VPNs based in countries that require them to retain user data. We also advise against almost every free VPN.

Can the NSA break my encryption?

There’s no evidence that the NSA can break the secure AES-256-bit encryption used by VPNs.

Conclusion

VPNs help to reclaim your online security and anonymity. Whether you are in the US or not, a VPN masks your online identity giving you protection from cyber threats, access to global content, and legal, anonymous torrenting. Our recommended VPNs are easy to use, offering a simple sign up and installation process. From there, just connect to your favorite server, and enjoy total online freedom. Express VPN is our number one pick as the best VPN for the USA. It offers strong encryption and a great log policy to ensure your security and privacy are never compromised.

Written by: Graeme Messina

Graeme is an IT professional with a special interest in computer forensics, security, and software. When not building networks and researching the latest software trends, he enjoys writing technical articles and blog posts.

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