Internet users in the United States have to beware of two powerful groups – lawyers and the NSA. The National Security Agency is a lot more active over the web than their much more visible crime-prevention counterparts, the CIA and the FBI. They have their secret monitoring system all over the internet, logging all traffic, which is stored for future ad-hoc scanning.
Copyright protection lawyers are gunning for the casual downloader and avid torrenter – someone has to pay for that content, and the government’s ever-tightening range of copyright protection measures make it easier for companies to sue ordinary people for downloading movies.
Americans can be a little careless about privacy when communicating these days. No one thinks twice about putting together an important business deal over a cell phone while sitting in a bar, despite the fact that anyone within a radius of ten feet can hear every detail. Similarly, with more than half of all internet access now performed on smartphones, US citizens forget that the small device in their hand can easily be snooped upon, especially if they save on airtime by connecting to the nearest available WiFi network.
Internet users need to get smart and realize that they are laying themselves wide open to prosecution that could result in bankruptcy or a jail sentence. It’s time to tool up and protect your internet activities with a virtual private network. Even if you are not a US citizen, you could still get into legal trouble if you access the internet without protection while you are visiting the USA.
VPNs for use in the USA need the following characteristics:
• No logs – if they can’t trace you, they can’t prosecute you
• Cloaking methods to prevent the NSA from being alerted to your activities
• Torrent support so you can download free stuff without worry
• The ability to evade host systems’ blocks on access to content
• Methods to dodge location-specific restrictions placed by websites
• High speeds to get the best out of gaming and streaming video
The USA is the home of the world’s best entertainment, but it is increasingly becoming the lair of paranoid government agencies that prioritize their own rights to snoop wherever they like over the constitutional rights to free speech and privacy.
These factors make this review of the best VPN services for the USA essential reading. Save time by narrowing your VPN search to these five providers and hurry to get your privacy protection installed.
Best VPNs for the USA
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ExpressVPN is our top-rated recommendation because it is easy to install, works just as well on smartphones as it does on laptops, and has straight-forward interface features that anyone can understand. You don’t need to be an IT expert to work out how to use this VPN system. If you get stuck, the customer support department of Express VPN is reckoned to be the best offered by any virtual private network service.
- Servers in 94+ countries
- Blazing fast speeds
- Three simultaneous connections
- Mobile friendly
- Based in the BVI
- Minimal connection logging
- A little pricey
Buffered is a new service that is based in Hungary. Choosing a company from outside of the USA gives you an extra level of protection, because the NSA and lawyers have less leverage with which to force the VPN company to breach the privacy of its clients. Just to be sure, the service keeps no activity logs, so even if they were taken to court and forced to hand over all their records, they don’t actually have any, so you’re still safe. This is also a good option if you are outside the USA and trying to get into video delivery sites such as Netflix, because Buffered was specifically designed to optimize performance for video streaming.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Five simultaneous connections
- Optimized for video streaming
- Based in Hungary
- No activity logs
- No App for Android
VyprVPN is a system offered by Golden Frog – a Swiss company that is expert in a wide range of online services. The company created its own system of detection avoidance, called Chameleon. This is useful because the NSA gets internet service providers to log certain types of traffic, and your ISP won’t work out that you are using a VPN thanks to this technology. The premium package also includes cloud storage space.
- Keeps no usage logs
- Five simultaneous connections
- Proprietary software
- Fast speeds
- Free trial
- No money-back guarantee
IPVanish is judged to be the fastest VPN service available. This factor is very important if you want to use bandwidth-hungry online facilities such as internet telephony, video streaming, or online games. The company runs more than 700 servers across the globe to help ease congestion and keep its customers protected in any country, not just the United States. You can make yourself even more difficult to trace by paying for this service with bitcoin.
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Two simultaneous connections
- Servers in 60+ countries
- Fast speeds
- P2P allowed
- Limited support options
VPNArea is the cheapest of the services listed in this review. However, it still affords sufficient protection to keep you safe from prosecution when you access the web. The company keeps no activity logs and they have no problem with people using the service to protect themselves while downloading with torrents. The service does not have any data transfer limits, so is great for internet telephony, video streaming, and online gaming, which all involve high levels of data traffic.
- Low cost
- Easy to use
- No logs policy
- Six simultaneous connections
- Focus on security
- Not the fastest service
VPN for the USA: Considerations
The United States is known as “the Land of the Free,” but nowadays freedom of speech and freedom of access to the internet are both under attack from a range of sources. Universities and businesses now restrict the websites that people can access over their networks. If you blunder onto one that they haven’t officially disapproved of yet, you might get thrown off your course or kicked out of your job just for your internet activity.
The government has a lot of power over ISPs in the country and you may not realize how heavily subservient internet service providers are. However, behind the scenes they are making it impossible for clients to access websites throughout the world, and many collude in restricting access to P2P networks.
VPN for the USA: Conclusion
The legal system in the USA is very accessible, and is known globally for the generous settlements that the courts award. Even if you connect to a service that feels it is on your side, you cannot trust that that company won’t be subjected to pressure from lawyers or the NSA. In 2006, a torrenting site called LokiTorrent was shut down by the lawyers of copyright holders and forced to hand over all of its logs. That exposed everyone who ever downloaded files through the service to prosecution. That is the reason why all of the VPN services in this review take pride in keeping no activity logs. They can’t hand over what they don’t have.
Thanks to the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, file sharers are liable to criminal prosecution in the United States. The crime of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement can get you thrown in jail, just for being part of a torrent swarm.
Copyright holders in the United States are becoming more forceful about prosecuting downloaders as their profits are eroded by people getting free entertainment through P2P networks. A team of lawyers, called the US Copyright Group, has brought several court cases against thousands of torrenters. Use one of the VPN systems on our list to make sure you don’t lose your house or your freedom, just for downloading a movie.