VPN Provider

Best VPN for the US: Simulate a US IP Address

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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.

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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

  • Access streaming content from anywhere
    With a VPN that has US-based servers, you can access American streaming content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+ that might not be available where you are.

  • 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

To rank each service, we noted their overall scores from our evaluation, as well as how their US servers performed. The third aspect we checked was whether a VPN allowed us to access US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ content catalogs.

Without further ado, here are our Top 5:

1.

Surfshark

Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN
(207,223 )
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but it's a lot more than a great budget option: the relatively new VPN boasts strong protection, many features, and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
3,200+ servers in 100 countries
unlimited number of devices
many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
cheap 24-month plan
expensive monthly plan
8.8
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
 $1.99
monthly price
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Get 83% Discount

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

  • Price-performance winner

  • Server network could be somewhat larger

Review
8.8
good
Visit Website*
Check Review
Performance
10 / 10
Bedienung & Features
9.4 / 10
Support
8.6 / 10
Security & Privacy
8.0 / 10
Server Network
8.0 / 10
2.

NordVPN

Best Overall 2024
NordVPN
NordVPN
(877,857 )
NordVPN is our number one VPN because it combines speed, ease-of-use, and functionality in a slick package that's also pretty affordable.
5,500+ servers, 60 countries
excellent performance
no logs
6 devices simultaneously
affordable 2-year package
9.4
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
NordVPN 2-year plan
 $3.79
monthly price
Visit Website*
30 days money-back guarantee

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

  • Top performing

  • Limited protocol options

Review
9.4
excellent
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Performance
10 / 10
Security & Privacy
9.4 / 10
Bedienung & Features
9.4 / 10
Support
9.4 / 10
Server Network
8.6 / 10
3.

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN
(16,150 )
excellent speeds
simple user interface
well suited for streaming
only 200+ servers
no external audit
7.2
good
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 36 months
PrivateVPN 36 months
 $2.00
monthly price
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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

  • Few servers

  • Lacks security audits

Review
7.2
good
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Performance
8.6 / 10
Bedienung & Features
7.4 / 10
Support
7.4 / 10
Security & Privacy
6.6 / 10
Server Network
6.0 / 10
4.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN
(736,465 )
ExpressVPN can impress with a strong performance, a huge server network, and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
3,000+ servers
160 cities in 94 countries
reliable performance
good for streaming
secure browser extensions
9.4
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
5
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
ExpressVPN 12 Months
 $6.67
monthly price
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30 days money-back guarantee

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

  • Comparably expensive

Review
9.4
excellent
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Performance
10 / 10
Security & Privacy
9.4 / 10
Server Network
9.4 / 10
Support
9.4 / 10
Bedienung & Features
8.6 / 10
5.

hide.me

hide.me VPN
hide.me VPN
(31,514 )
Hide.me secures its place in our top 10 with good to very good grades in all test categories. The app is filled to the brim with handy features, the performance is solid, and with 10 GB of data per month, the free tier is also worth a look.
78 locations in 49+ countries
many features, incl. split tunneling
free plan with 10 GB monthly
anonymous payment
no recent audit
8.4
good
Data Volume
10 - ∞
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
7
Contract Period
0 - 36 months
hide.me Free
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Free forever

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

  • Solid speeds

  • Unremarkable server network

  • Occasional connection issues

Review
8.4
good
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Bedienung & Features
10 / 10
Support
8.6 / 10
Server Network
8.0 / 10
Performance
8.0 / 10
Security & Privacy
7.4 / 10

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.

ProtonVPN

Proton VPN
Proton VPN
(144,686 )
With its open source philosophy and extra security features, Proton VPN targets security-conscious VPN users. But thanks to its user-friendly interface and suitability for streaming, it's worth a look for a wide audience.
open source & external audits
2,900+ servers in 67 countries
great performance
free plan without data limit
not suitable for China
9.1
excellent
Data Volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
Proton VPN Free
 $0.00
monthly price
Visit Website*
Free forever

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.

  • Unlimited data

  • No speed caps

  • 9 free servers in the US

  • No video streaming

  • Only possible to connect one device

Review
9.1
excellent
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Performance
10 / 10
Security & Privacy
10 / 10
Bedienung & Features
10 / 10
Server Network
8.0 / 10
Support
7.4 / 10

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.

Server Network

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.

Performance

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:

1.
Surfshark
200.3 Mbit/s
Download
36.6 Mbit/s
Upload
2.
NordVPN
195.5 Mbit/s
Download
34.9 Mbit/s
Upload
3.
PrivateVPN
183.8 Mbit/s
Download
25.2 Mbit/s
Upload
4.
ExpressVPN
164.7 Mbit/s
Download
28.8 Mbit/s
Upload
5.
hide.me
156.7 Mbit/s
Download
34.7 Mbit/s
Upload
6.
Proton VPN
165.0 Mbit/s
Download
21.1 Mbit/s
Upload
7.
TunnelBear
154.7 Mbit/s
Download
26.1 Mbit/s
Upload
8.
Mullvad
141.3 Mbit/s
Download
29.7 Mbit/s
Upload
9.
Private Internet Access
143.8 Mbit/s
Download
27.1 Mbit/s
Upload
10.
VPN Unlimited
118.0 Mbit/s
Download
36.7 Mbit/s
Upload

The table below shows which VPNs enable access to content on US streaming platforms:

Streaming Platform

Netflix

Prime Video

Disney+

Surfshark

NordVPN

PrivateVPN

ExpressVPN

hide.me

ProtonVPN

TunnelBear

Mullvad VPN

Private Internet Access

Keepsolid VPN Unlimited

Security and Privacy

In this area, we explored how secure user data is with each provider. We started by taking a close look at each service's privacy policy, as well as whether they or their parent company have been accused of any lapses in the past. After that, we conducted VPN leak tests and checked on each's security standards, ranging from what types of encryption are available, to the VPN protocols on offer.

Customer Support

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.

Overall Result

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:

1.
NordVPN
9.4
Review
excellent
2.
ExpressVPN
9.4
Review
excellent
3.
Proton VPN
9.1
Review
excellent
4.
Surfshark
8.8
Review
good
5.
HideMyAss!
8.6
Review
good
6.
hide.me
8.4
Review
good
7.
Private Internet Access
8.2
Review
good
8.
CyberGhost
7.8
Review
good
9.
PureVPN
7.8
Review
good
10.
Windscribe
7.8
Review
good
11.
Mozilla VPN
7.6
Review
good
12.
VyprVPN
7.6
Review
good
13.
Hotspot Shield
7.5
Review
good
14.
Atlas VPN
7.4
Review
good
15.
IPVanish
7.4
Review
good
16.
Mullvad
7.3
Review
good
17.
VPN Unlimited
7.3
Review
good
18.
Bitdefender
7.2
Review
good
19.
PrivateVPN
7.2
Review
good
20.
TorGuard
7.2
Review
good
21.
TunnelBear
7.1
Review
good
22.
ZenMate
7.0
Review
satisfactory
23.
Avast
6.8
Review
satisfactory
24.
PrivadoVPN
6.8
Review
satisfactory
25.
Perfect Privacy
6.6
Review
satisfactory
26.
Avira
6.4
Review
satisfactory
27.
VeePN
6.1
Review
satisfactory

Conclusion

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.

FAQs

Why should I use a VPN in the US?

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.

What is the best VPN to use in the US?

First place in our US speed test went to our price-performance winner, Surfshark, which offers one of the most affordable and reliable options for US streaming. NordVPN and PrivateVPN took second and third place.

Is it legal to use a VPN in the US?

Using a VPN to access foreign content is not illegal. This does conflict with most streaming platforms' terms of use. Streaming platforms license content for specific regions and must ensure that it is only available for those areas. You don't have to worry about anything, however. We're not aware of any cases of legal repercussions or even punishment (such as account suspension).

Top VPN Provider 2024
Sponsored
from $3.79
per month
NordVPN
from $6.67
per month
ExpressVPN
from $0.00
per month
Proton VPN
from $1.99
per month
Surfshark
show all
Author (German Version): Martin Gschwentner
Martin Gschwentner majored in American Studies and Media Studies in Germany, the USA and France and works as a freelance editor in Paris. He is a doctoral student at the Institute for English and American Studies at the University of Paris Diderot, where he is researching the influence of money on US politics. On EXPERTE.com he writes about IT security, data protection and software for the self-employed and small businesses.
Translation: D Bare
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5,500+ servers, 60 countries
excellent performance
no logs
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9.4
Review
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