A Virtual Private Network (VPN) lets you connect to the internet in a private, secure manner. To do this, it routes your connection via a server, hiding the actions you take online from others. In addition to privacy, VPNs can give you access to content that is only available in other countries and lets you get around censorship or blocks. You can also use VPNs to safely use public Wi-Fi hotspots and download or share files safely.
Now that you know all about VPNs at a basic level, here are some of the best VPNs in the U.S. for those who want to prioritize privacy and speed.
Based in Romania, CyberGhost offers a range of security and privacy features. Like most other VPNs, CyberGhost does not make user activity logs. Even better, it does not store metadata, something you should recognize as rare if you know all about VPNs. The OpenVPN connects are secured via 256-bit AES encryption, as well as perfect forward secrecy. The kill switch and DNS leak protection ensure that no traffic gets out of the VPN tunnel. One neat feature of CyberGhost is that instead of selecting your server based on location, you do so based on how you want to use it, such as public Wi-Fi, streaming, or anonymous web surfing.
ExpressVPN makes use of AES 256-bit encryption and has an OpenVPN protocol by default. It does not store traffic logs, although it does record some metadata. For those in the U.S. who are concerned about privacy, even related to the government, the fact that ExpressVPN is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands is reassuring. It offers applications for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and certain types of routers.
NordVPN is one of the most well-known VPNs around the world. This VPN uses more than 5,100 servers worldwide. It offers unique, specialized servers and up to six simultaneous connections. The downside of NordVPN is that it is a bit more expensive than some of the other VPNs. Yet many users feel it is worth it thanks to this VPN’s consistently high ratings. NordVPN is good for a one-size-fits-all approach. It has a no-logging policy and uses 2048-bit SSL encryption. It also offers a mobile application and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access VPN
This VPN is relatively affordable and has a small footprint. It also offers more servers than many competitors and includes ad blocking. This VPN also features support for multiple platforms and strongly supports customer service. While the service is full-featured, the value comes from a relatively rudimentary user interface, which is something to keep in mind.
PrivateVPN is simple to install and very affordable. It has robust encryption thanks to 2048-bit encryption with AES-256. It does not store logs, and it offers six simultaneous connections with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This VPN is based in Sweden and is somewhat younger than the other VPNs, but it has been growing quickly. There is also a kill switch in case the VPN connection drops and built-in DNS leak protection. This is among the fastest VPN services.