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The best US VPN to use in or outside the USA 2021

us vpn

Regardless of why you need to use a VPN, US VPN locations are by far the most prevalent. So whether you're looking to sign up for a VPN in the US, or you want to dial in to a US VPN location from outside the USA, we have got you covered. We've tested all the options out there to present you the best US VPN guide.

A VPN is a piece of software that lets your computer appear to be in a completely different country to the one you're actually in. So if you're on holiday and still want to access, say, Peacock or HBO Max (which are blocked when you try to watch from outside the US) then you can use a VPN to bypass those geo-restricted websites. The VPN will virtually relocate you back home and watch as if you're back in the US. Although lots of people will use it to access foreign stations such as BBC iPlayer from the UK, too.

VPNs also mean great privacy and protection online which is ideal for travel when connected to potentially insecure public Wi-Fi at stations, airports and hotels. So getting a premium US VPN is a no-brainer. Enhanced security, better speed and top customer service are a few examples that make the best stand out.

Narrowing down the best VPN for when you're in the US (or have headed overseas) can be tough. You're in luck though as we've already done it for you - after literally years of testing these software wonders. Here and the five best US VPN options to download right now.

1. ExpressVPN is the best US VPN
Whether it's for streaming, getting around banned websites and apps, or simply for an extra layer of security when you're on the web, ExpressVPN is our top choice. It's fast, secure, easy to use and you can now get it with 3 months extra free, too.
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2. IPVanish - top tech inside and outside the USA
IPVanish is quite a rare thing these days... a top VPN that's based within US borders. We like how thorough and wide-reaching its no-logging policy is and one of its key USPs is the fact that one single subscription will now cover you for as many devices as you like.
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3. Hotspot Shield - speedy online browsing
After testing Hotspot Shield ourselves, we couldn't quite believe the connection speeds we were seeing - especially from its US-based servers. If you know you want a VPN and your main concern is system slow down, then this might just be the provider for you.View Deal

The top 5 best US VPN in 2021:

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

1. ExpressVPN

Best all-round US VPN for privacy, speed and unblocking

Number of US server cities: 14 | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | Maximum devices supported: 5 | Trial length: 30 days

Simple and easy to use interface
Fast and stable connection across multiple US connections
24/7 customer support
Enterprise level encryption
Max 5 simultaneous connections

Best US VPN 2021 - Get 3 months free with an annual plan

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ExpressVPN is the best US VPN (and, indeed our favorite service overall) because it offers the best of everything from speed and security to ease of use, compatibility and customer service. It's particularly well suited for use in and outside the USA as it has a whopping 3,000 servers spread across 160 locations and 94 countries - everywhere from Atlanta to Washington DC!

So not only do you get high-speed US based server choices (within the top five fastest that we tested, in fact!), with smart selection wizards and 24/7 live chat assistance, but also plenty outside the country, too.

ExpressVPN will let you watch Hulu outside the US, BBC iPlayer inside the states and plenty more besides. You're secure too with Bitcoin payment, P2P support, industrial level encryption, a kill switch, DNS protection and a clear no-logging policy. 

The only downside is that while this has clients that work on lots of devices, you can use up to five at once - that's less than some other services on our list will offer you. Never going to need that? Then this is pretty much the perfect VPN.

Get the best US VPN 2021: 49% off and 3 months extra FREE
If you're in the US and want a VPN, we'd recommend not compromising. ExpressVPN tops the lot by a clear distance and isn't even that expensive when you consider that it will give 3 months FREE if you sign up for an annual plan. Fantastic value on a fantastic US VPN.
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(Image credit: IPVanish)

2. IPVanish

Top torrenting tech inside and outside the USA

Number of US server cities: 18 | Number of servers: 1,500+ | Server locations: 75+ | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited | Trial length: 30 days

Owned and managed servers
Configurable apps
Excellent speeds
No kill switch on mobile

If you're looking to use torrents while inside and outside the US then IPVanish is ideally suited. This VPN uses a staggering 40,000+ IP addresses spread over more than 70-odd countries all while dishing out unlimited P2P traffic.

It'll also work across on as many devices as you can handle at once so you're able to download, stream, upload, listen, watch, and anything else across your tech. You can take advantage of that thanks to lot of client compatibility across phones, laptops, tablets, Windows, Mac and even Fire TV.

IPVanish works well in real-world use with excellent speeds for streaming the likes of Netflix and Hulu (but it won't be much help as a BBC iPlayer VPN)  as well as for downloading torrents across all the servers. The lack of a kill switch on mobiles may affect some, but otherwise this is a solid VPN.

Hotspot Shield US VPN

(Image credit: Hotspot Shield)

3. Hotspot Shield

Speedy online browsing privacy-focused US VPN

Number of US server cities: 27 | Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 70+ | Maximum devices supported: 5 | Trial lnegth: 45 days

Decent pricing
Sensational speeds
Simple to use
Limited app access
Can't unblock BBC iPlayer

Hotspot Shield has a totally unique Catapult Hydra protocol which it developed as a way to enhance download speeds – and it really works, this VPN is rapid. That works across long distances too making this a great US VPN to use when overseas. It works on the likes of iOS, Android, Windows and Mac also making it great for mobile devices. Those lickety split speeds are really consistent as well.

This VPN will unblock Netflix so you can still access US content when away - it even works for BBC iPlayer, if you want to watch UK shows when you're across the Atlantic.

The software of the client is simple to use and just works, fast, making this great for beginners and seasoned VPN aficionados alike. P2P support runs across servers making this torrent-friendly too, although there is some logging so be warned. Support could be better but with no bandwidth limit and some stunning speeds you'll likely never even notice that.

(Image credit: Future)

4. Surfshark

Proof that cheap doesn't have to mean low-quality

Number of US server cities: 24 | Number of servers: 1,700+ | Server locations: 100+ | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited | Trial length: 30 days

Eye-catching pricing
Use on unlimited devices
Looooads of US server locations
Privacy policy could be more detailed

Surfshark is undoubtedly the rising (Hot)star of the VPN world. It's probably fair to say that its clean and friendly interface and branding are a tad less intimidating than some of the competition. And the pricing certainly is - nobody really comes close to stealing away Surfshark's spot at the top of our best cheap VPN countdown. You can subscribe to a two years for around $48 (roughly 3,600 rupees) - or the equivalent of less than $2 (150 rupees) per month.

But unless you're an advanced user that wants all the features going, you won't feel shortchanged by Surfshark. For starters, it's available to use on as many devices as you can handle in your household on the same, low-priced account. It's available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux and a whole host of other gadgets.

At the time of writing, it offered servers in three different Indian city locations. It also has an additional protocol not available to all providers - Shadowsocks, which it claims is particularly useful in regions with the most restrictive site censorship.

(Image credit: Future)

5. NordVPN

Superb security at its best

Number of US server cities: 15 | Number of servers: 5,400+ | Server locations: 80+ | Maximum devices supported: 6 | Trial length: 30 days

Excellent speeds
Double encryption
Superb user experience and support
Some servers are flakey

You've probably heard of NordVPN - the company does a lot of VPN advertising in the US and around the world.

It takes security to another level by doubling the encryption to a 2048-bit setup and adding two kill switches plus DNS leak protection, then letting you pay for it all anonymously using Bitcoin or PayPal. For USA and outside use this is ideal as it offers a DNS-like SmartPlay system which is made specifically for getting around geo restricted content, so you can watch anything, from anywhere, wherever you are.

The live chat support is excellent, should you find issues. But generally the software is easy to use with decent compatibility so you can get on via smartphone, tablet, laptop and more.

This all sounds perfect, so why isn't it higher in the list? We found that some server connections were flakey at times over long distances and the user experience isn't as good as ExpressVPN's.

  • Want a freebie? These are the only free VPN options to consider