Best VPN for the US in 2023: Simulate a US IP Address
It wasn't that long ago that Netflix was only available in the US. Since then, the streaming platform has spread around the globe, offering different content catalogs for each market, to say nothing of its competitors who have launched their own solutions. Films and TV shows unavailable in the UK, Ireland, or Australia, might be offered in the US, and vice versa. All you'll need to find out is a VPN.
VPNs aren't just good for guarding your anonymity and connections, they also make it possible to change your virtual location and gain access to content anywhere. Should your VPN offer US server locations (most do), you'll meet all technical requirements for enjoying US content on streaming platforms.
With a VPN, you can simulate a US IP address from anywhere in the world.
Still, the question remains: Why should you simulate a US IP address in the first place?
Advantages of Simulating a US IP Address
Use US streaming services
Some US streaming services, like Hulu or HBO, haven't been exported. With a VPN, you can enjoy these as if you were physically in the US.
Bypass YouTube blocks
Platforms like YouTube block some content for specific regions. With a VPN, you can get around these and enjoy content created exclusively for American audiences.
Save more online
Some online businesses charge different prices based on the location you're accessing from. In certain cases, US customers pay less. With a VPN, you can trick the retailer into thinking you're a US-based customer, and take advantage of any discounts.
There are quite a few advantages to using a VPN to virtually travel to the US. In our comprehensive VPN evaluation, we assessed 27 providers from top to bottom. This allowed us to see how well they facilitate streaming content from abroad. But which VPN is the best for US content?
Best VPNs for US Content
Surfshark, our price-performance pick, isn't just the most affordable VPN from our sample, but also one of the best. In our regular speed test, the service took second place, and among servers based in the US, moved up to first. Beyond that, it offers excellent apps that come with plenty of configuration options and features.
So far as streaming is concerned, Surfshark is reliable: We were able to watch US content on all three platforms. Beyond that, more than one-third of the provider's 1,700 servers are in the US, making it unlikely that you'll ever face performance issues.
Overall, Surfshark offers a bargain, especially when it comes to accessing and enjoying US streaming content.
First place in our US speed test
Provides access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ content
Server network could be somewhat larger
NordVPN triumphed in our overall evaluation, offering the best overall VPN package from our sample. In addition to its excellent performance, NordVPN also carried the day thanks to its user-friendly apps, inclusion of important features (like split tunneling), and high security.
The VPN has a considerable number of servers in the US: 2,000 to be exact. These are reliable and helped NordVPN capture second place in our US speed test. In terms of streaming, we were able to access US content on all three platforms.
Provides access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ streaming content
Overall EXPERTE.com, excellent VPN package
Limited protocol options
PrivateVPN didn't make it to the podium owing to its small server network (100 servers in 63 countries), lack of security audits, and absence of features like split tunneling.
Still, the VPN did make a good impression, offering solid speeds in the US from its 11 servers. In terms of video streaming, we were able to access US content on all three platforms.
Allows access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ streaming content
Offers good speeds
Easily navigable user interface
Lacks security audits
ExpressVPN is a premium VPN at a premium price. Even though its users pay more than they would for comparable services, like NordVPN, it offers a nearly flawless package with top speeds, high security, an intuitive VPN client, and a huge server network.
We don't know precisely how many servers ExpressVPN offers across its 23 locations in the US, but with 3,000 servers in its network, the figure is likely high. For the US speed test, the service took a respectable fourth place and gave us access to US content on all three platforms.
Enables access to US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ streaming content
Large server network, 23 locations in the US
Regularly submits to security audits
In our comprehensive evaluation hide.me did well. We liked the intuitive user interface of its clients and apps, which offer plenty of features and configuration options. Even though its performance wasn't remarkable, it wasn't bad either. We also had a positive experience with its live chat support.
hide.me offers nine different server locations in the US (unfortunately, we couldn't tell how many servers these represent). Thanks to their decent speeds, hide.me finished in fifth place in our US speed test. We did, however, encounter some connection problems.
In terms of streaming, hide.me allowed us to access US content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. You should note that hide.me offers dedicated streaming servers that you'll need to use to access the platforms.
Allows access to US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ streaming content
Good support with live chat
Unremarkable server network
Occasional connection issues
Best Free VPN for the US
All of the VPNs listed above are premium (paid) services. Should you want to enjoy US streaming content, there's no way around paying for one of these. Even though some VPN providers offer free versions, almost none facilitate video streaming.
In the event that you want a US IP address for another purpose (i.e. online shopping, accessing a specific website), we recommend ProtonVPN.
Of all of the premium VPNs in our sample, ProtonVPN has the best free version, since it doesn't impose any data or speed limits. Users can only access 24 servers in three countries, however, nine of these are in the US.
As mentioned above, video streaming isn't possible in ProtonVPN's free version, however, you can access online shopping platforms or other websites normally restricted to US-based visitors.
No speed caps
9 free servers in the US
No video streaming
Only possible to connect one device
How We Tested
As part of our comprehensive VPN evaluation, we purchased subscriptions to all 27 providers from our sample to test their clients and apps. Each review examines six aspects, five of which were scored and are detailed briefly below:
Installation and Features
We began by examining how many operating systems each provider offers clients or apps for. After that, we checked their user-friendliness and what sort of functionality these have, paying special attention to whether the most important features, like split tunneling, are offered.
Here, two numbers matter: How many servers a provider has and how many countries they're based in. The services that did best in our assessment offer thousands of servers all over the world.
The bulk of our performance score reflects how the provider fared in our speed test. We measure these continually to create an average. We also tested how each VPN performed on a day-to-day basis, such as for video streaming.
To test US performance, we took another look at the speeds of each's US servers and compared them. The results of this can be seen below in our Top 10 fastest VPNs for the US:
The table below shows which VPNs enable access to content on US streaming platforms:
|Streaming Platform||Netflix||Prime Video||Disney+|
Private Internet Access
Keepsolid VPN Unlimited
Security and Privacy
We expect VPN providers to offer straightforward contact methods for direct support, ideally through a live chat. Static support should include helpful FAQs and full-text searchable guides. For email support or tickets, replies should come within 24 hours.
If you're outside of the 50 states and want to access US content, look no further than our Top 5.
Should you instead want the best VPN service that is reliable in the US, we recommend taking a few minutes to browse through our reviews. Below, we've provided a ranking of all 27 providers from our sample:
A number of streaming platforms that are major parts of our daily lives started in the US. Often, these offer the largest variety of content to their American audiences. VPN services make it possible to change your virtual location and stream TV shows or movies as if you were physically in the US. The providers we've introduced above all reliably do this.
Of course, streaming services are legally obliged to clamp down on VPN usage since their licensing agreements are for specific regions or jurisdictions. At the same time, the ability to stream content from abroad is one of the main selling points for VPNs, meaning that both are in a constant cat-and-mouse game with one another to prevent or enable access.
Comprehensive reviews of all 27 VPN providers from our sample can be found in our VPN comparison.
Streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+ offer different content for each region, with their US catalogs often the largest. VPNs help to circumvent geographic restrictions by altering your virtual location.