Bypass Geoblocking

Best VPN for the US in 2022 – Simulate a US IP Address

Author
Martin Gschwentner
Last update

Not too long ago, Netflix was only available in the US. Since then, the streaming platform has spread around the globe, offering different catalogs of programming for each market, to say nothing of the number of competitors who have launched their own solutions. This means that films and TV shows unavailable in the UK, Ireland, or Australia, could be offered in the US, and vice versa. All you'll need to access them is a VPN.

VPNs aren't just good for guarding your anonymity and securing you online, they also make it possible to change your virtual location, enabling access to content from 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

Access streaming content from anywhere
With a VPN that has US-based servers, you can access American content from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+ that might not be available in the country you're physically located in.

Use US streaming services
Some US streaming services haven't been exported everywhere, such as Hulu or HBO. With a VPN, you can enjoy these as if you were physically in the US.

Bypass YouTube blocks
Platforms like YouTube also block some content for specific regions. With a VPN, you can circumvent these and enjoy content created exclusively for American audiences.

More bang for your buck 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 the discounted rate.

As can be seen, there are quite a few advantages to using a VPN to virtually travel to the US. In our comprehensive VPN evaluation, we assessed 22 providers from top to bottom, among other things, 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 looked at their overall scores from our evaluation, as well as how their US servers performed. In terms of streaming platforms, whether or not a provider allowed us to access the US content catalogs of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ played a major role.

Without further ado, here are our Top 5:

1.

Surfshark

Surfshark VPN Test
Surfshark VPN
(106,636)
3200+ servers in 65 countries
Unlimited number of devices
Many apps (Linux, FireTV, ...)
Saves no logs
Very cheap on the 24-month plan
Surfshark is one of the cheapest providers on the market, but besides the price also impresses with strong protection, many features and a great support with 24/7 live chat.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
unlimited
Protocols
3
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
Surfshark 24 months
$2.49
monthly price
Visit Website »
Get 83% Discount
Review
4.4 / 5
good

As our price-performance pick, Surfshark is not only the most affordable VPN from our sample, it's 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 also offers excellent applications which come with plenty of configuration options and features.

So far as streaming is concerned, you can also rely on Surfshark: It allowed us 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 have to contend with any performance issues.

Overall, Surfshark offers a bargain, especially when it comes to accessing and enjoying US streaming content.

Secured top spot in our US speed test

Facilitates access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ content

Price-performance winner

Server network could be somewhat larger

Review
4.4 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Server Network
4.0 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.0 / 5
2.

NordVPN

Best Overall 2022
NordVPN Test
NordVPN
(690,514)
5400+ servers, 60 countries
Excellent performance
No logs
6 devices simultaneously
Inexpensive 2-year package
NordVPN combines speed, user-friendliness and functionality into a coherent overall package that is also fairly affordable.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 24 months
+3 months
Black Friday Deal
NordVPN 2-year plan
$2.99
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.7 / 5
excellent

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, provision of important features (like split tunneling), and high security.

The provider 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 platforms we assessed it on.

Enables access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ streaming content

Overall winner offering an excellent package

Top performing

Limited protocol options

Review
4.7 / 5
04/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.7 / 5
Installation and Features
4.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.7 / 5
Server Network
4.3 / 5
3.

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Test
PrivateVPN
(10,146)
Good Performance
Simple user interface
Well suited for streaming
Only 100 servers
No external audit
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
6
Protocols
5
Contract Period
1 - 36 months
PrivateVPN 36 months
$2.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
Review
3.6 / 5
good

PrivateVPN didn't make it to the podium owing to its small server network (100 servers across 63 countries), lack of security audits, and absence of features like split tunneling.

Still, the VPN client left a good impression, providing solid speeds in the US from its 11 locations. In terms of video streaming, it allowed us 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
3.6 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Performance
4.3 / 5
Customer Support
3.7 / 5
Installation and Features
3.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
3.3 / 5
Server Network
3.0 / 5
4.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN Test
ExpressVPN
(549,412)
3000+ Server
160 cities in 94 countries
Excellent performance
Saves no logs
30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN impresses with strong performance, a huge server network and excellently designed applications, but this quality also comes at a higher price.
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
3
Protocols
7
Contract Period
1 - 12 months
ExpressVPN 12 Months
$8.33
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.7 / 5
excellent

ExpressVPN is a premium VPN at a premium price. Even though its users pay more than those of 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, allowing us to access US content on all three platforms.

Enables access to US Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ streaming content

Large server network, with 23 locations in the US

Regularly submits to security audits

Comparably expensive

Review
4.7 / 5
04/2021
excellent
Visit Website
Performance
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.7 / 5
Server Network
4.7 / 5
Security and Privacy
4.7 / 5
Installation and Features
4.3 / 5
5.

hide.me

hide.me VPN Test
hide.me VPN
(24,005)
1900+ servers
75+ locations in 47+ countries
Saves no logs
14-day money-back guarantee
with free plan
Data volume
10 - ∞
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
7
Contract Period
0 - 24 months
hide.me Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.2 / 5
good

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 assessed its live chat support as a positive.

hide.me offers nine different server locations in the US (unfortunately, we couldn't tell how many servers these represent), which, thanks to their decent speeds, helped hide.me to fifth place in the 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

Unexceptional server network

Suffers from occasional connection issues

Review
4.2 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Bedienung & Features
5.0 / 5
Customer Support
4.3 / 5
Performance
4.0 / 5
Server Network
4.0 / 5
Sicherheit & Privatsphäre
3.7 / 5

Best Free VPN for the US

All of the VPNs listed above are premium (paid) services. Should you want to enjoy US content from streaming platforms, 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

ProtonVPN Test
ProtonVPN
(92,270)
Strong focus on security
1200+ servers in 55 countries
Headquarters in Switzerland
Solid performance
Open Source & external audits
Data volume
unlimited
Devices
1 - 10
Protocols
3
Contract Period
0 - 12 months
ProtonVPN Free
$0.00
monthly price
Visit Website »
30 days money-back guarantee
Review
4.3 / 5
good

From all of the premium VPN services in our sample, ProtonVPN possesses the best free version, since it levies no data or speed limits. Users can only access 24 servers in three countries, however, nine of the former 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 data limits

Lacks speed restrictions

9 free servers in the US

No video streaming

Only possible to connect one device

Review
4.3 / 5
04/2021
good
Visit Website
Installation and Features
5.0 / 5
Security and Privacy
5.0 / 5
Performance
4.3 / 5
Customer Support
3.7 / 5
Server Network
3.7 / 5

How We Tested

As part of our comprehensive VPN evaluation, we purchased subscriptions to all 22 providers from our sample in order to put their clients and apps through the wringer. 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 around the world.

Performance

The bulk of our performance score equates to how the provider fared in our speed test. This represents a continual measurement and collation of their speeds into 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, comparing them, the results for which can be seen below in our Top 10 fastest VPNs for the US:

1.
200.3 Mbit/s
Download
36.6 Mbit/s
Upload
2.
195.5 Mbit/s
Download
34.9 Mbit/s
Upload
3.
183.8 Mbit/s
Download
25.2 Mbit/s
Upload
4.
164.7 Mbit/s
Download
28.8 Mbit/s
Upload
5.
156.7 Mbit/s
Download
34.7 Mbit/s
Upload
6.
165.0 Mbit/s
Download
21.1 Mbit/s
Upload
7.
154.7 Mbit/s
Download
26.1 Mbit/s
Upload
8.
141.3 Mbit/s
Download
29.7 Mbit/s
Upload
9.
143.8 Mbit/s
Download
27.1 Mbit/s
Upload
10.
118.0 Mbit/s
Download
36.7 Mbit/s
Upload

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

Streaming PlatformNetflixPrime VideoDisney+

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 your data is with each provider. To do this, we start 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 data security trespasses or issues 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 guides which are full-text searchable. For email support or tickets, responses should come within 24 hours or less.

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 22 providers from our sample:

NordVPN
4.7 / 5
excellent
Check Review
ExpressVPN
4.7 / 5
excellent
Check Review
Surfshark
4.4 / 5
good
Check Review
ProtonVPN
4.3 / 5
good
Check Review
HideMyAss!
4.3 / 5
good
Check Review
hide.me
4.2 / 5
good
Check Review
Private Internet Access
4.1 / 5
good
Check Review
CyberGhost
3.9 / 5
good
Check Review
PureVPN
3.9 / 5
good
Check Review
Windscribe
3.9 / 5
good
Check Review
VyprVPN
3.8 / 5
good
Check Review
Hotspot Shield
3.7 / 5
good
Check Review
IPVanish
3.7 / 5
good
Check Review
Mullvad
3.7 / 5
good
Check Review
VPN Unlimited
3.7 / 5
good
Check Review
PrivateVPN
3.6 / 5
good
Check Review
TorGuard
3.6 / 5
good
Check Review
TunnelBear
3.5 / 5
good
Check Review
ZenMate
3.5 / 5
satisfactory
Check Review
Avast
3.4 / 5
satisfactory
Check Review
Perfect Privacy
3.3 / 5
satisfactory
Check Review
Avira
3.2 / 5
satisfactory
Check Review

Conclusion

A number of streaming platforms that have become major parts of our daily lives have their origins 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 access content as if you were physically in the US. The providers we've introduced above are all reliable for doing 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 disable or enable access, respectively.

Comprehensive reviews of all 22 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, often providing the largest catalog in the US. 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, offering one of the most affordable and reliable options for US streaming. NordVPN and PrivateVPN took second and third place, respectively.

Is it legal to use a VPN in the US?
Using a VPN to access foreign content is not illegal. Most of the time, this does conflict with the streaming platforms' terms of use. This is because streaming platforms license content for specific regions and must ensure that it is only available for those areas. You, the end-user, 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).

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.
Translator & Editor: D Bare
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