Have you noticed that when you are outside of the USA you can’t access the same web services that you can at home? This is because many sites are geo-restricted such as US Netflix and Hulu require that you have a US IP address. We explain how you can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to get a US IP address from anywhere.
The address that identifies your computer belongs to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
When you connect to the internet from outside of the USA, your computer gets an IP address from the ISP that facilitated the connection and your location abroad is exposed. Many services, such as HBO and ESPN, geo-restrict their content and impose blocks based on your IP address. Additionally, banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo might flag your account when you log in from abroad.
There is a simple solution to this problem. If you get a US IP address, you can continue to access American websites and internet services, even though you are outside of the country. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can mask your existing IP address and assign you one from a location of your choice. VPN services operate servers in many countries, so you can access restricted content in lots of countries just by selecting the right server location.
VPN’s also encrypt your internet traffic, making it unreadable to hackers, government agencies, ISPs, and any other snoopers.
How do I get a US IP address from abroad?
You don’t need technical skills to get a US IP address from anywhere. Just follow these steps:
- Pay for a VPN service (we recommend ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the recommended app for your device’s operating system.
- Open the app and select a VPN location in the US.
- Surf to a US website that geo-restricts content and try to access your desired web page or video. If it doesn’t load immediately, clear your browser’s cache and cookies, then refresh the page.
GET A US IP ADDRESS FOR FREE: If you just need a US IP address temporarily for a vacation, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s deal. This service includes a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can use the service for a month and get a refund at the end, no questions asked.
How to choose the right VPN for a US IP address
We’ve taken the following criteria into account when selecting the five best VPNs for getting a US IP address from abroad.
- Servers in the USA
- Fast speeds for video streaming
- An easy-to-use app that doesn’t require technical skills
- Apps for different operating systems
- Strong security features and effective privacy protection
Best VPNs for a US IP address
Here is our list of the best VPNs to get a US IP address:
ExpressVPN offers an excellent service for accessing US websites from abroad. Its speeds are more than fast enough to stream video without buffering or stuttering. The company operates servers in 148 locations in 95 countries. In the USA, there are 33 servers in 20 cities across the country. ExpressVPN can provide access to a ton of streaming sites, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and ESPN. If you need help finding the right server, customer support is available 24/7 via live chat.
Privacy features in the VPN include a kill switch, a private DNS service, and a no-logs policy. Connections are established under 4096-bit RSA public key encryption and data transfers are made secure with 256-bit AES encryption.
Apps are available for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. ExpressVPN can also be installed on Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Kindle Fire tablets, and some routers and set-top boxes. You can also use a free browser plug-in for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, although these must be used alongside the VPN app. You get an allowance of three simultaneous connections and a router installation counts as one of those even though it will cover all of the devices in your home.
- Fast speeds for streaming and downloading
- Secure and private
- Able to unblock many streaming sites
- App that’s easy to install and use
- Great technical support team available all the time through live chat
- A little more expensive than rivals
BEST VPN FOR A US IP ADDRESS:ExpressVPN is our #1 choice. It gives a high-speed, constant service, which is great for streaming and downloading. It works reliably in the US and its best-in-class security features and ease of use make this VPN one of the best in the world. ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to try the service risk-free.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
NordVPN has a huge server network with more than 5,200 spread across 62 countries. The company has almost 2,000 servers in the United States alone. Speeds are more than adequate to watch uninterrupted video streams. NordVPN is known for its ability to unblock geo-restricted sites, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
The NordVPN apps give access to servers all over the world through a map or dropdown list. The list access to servers includes double-hop options that will route your connections through two servers in different countries for an extra layer of security. You can also connect to the Tor network through an encrypted NordVPN connection.
Connection security is provided by a 256-bit AES cipher. The key exchange and session establishment procedures are protected by 2048-bit RSA encryption. A kill switch and leak protection are built in and no logs are maintained.
Apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It can be installed manually on Blackberry, Raspberry Pi, and on some routers and set top boxes. The company also provides browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome which work independently of native apps but only secure your browser traffic. NordVPN gives each account an allowance of six simultaneous connections.
- Fast speeds
- Great value for money
- Gets into Netflix USA and others streaming sites from abroad
- Has lots of security features
- Server connection can sometimes be slow
BEST DISCOUNT CHOICE:The extras built into NordVPN’s service are exceptional. The low prices make this the best choice for a tight budget. Plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full NordVPN review.
CyberGhost has a total of 3,000 servers in 60 countries. There are more than 500 servers in the United States. The interface allows you to specify an activity for the session, such as downloading or video streaming. The app will adjust its settings automatically in accordance with your response in this screen. For streaming, you can select a server based on which site you want to access, such as Netflix US or Amazon Prime Video.
Connection security is guaranteed by 4096-bit RSA encryption for session establishment and key exchange and a 256-bit AES cipher that encrypts all data. CyberGhost doesn’t collect payment directly from customers. Instead, you buy a voucher from a different company, which gives you a login to the CyberGhost system. The voucher will eventually expire when the period you paid for completes. This avoids the company needing to keep any information on its customers and guarantees anonymity. The company also runs a no-logs policy, so you can’t be traced.
Apps are provided for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Amazon Fire Stick. You can set up a CyberGhost VPN connection manually on Linux computers, and some routers and set-top boxes. Each account allows up to seven simultaneous connections.
- Good transfer speeds
- Strong security procedures
- User-friendly app
- Account anonymity possible
- You lose anonymity if you contact the Help Desk
GREAT FOR BEGINNERS:CyberGhost gives you anonymity on the internet, so all of your connections are as invisible as a ghost. You will get a 45-day money-back guarantee on all subscription periods except for the one month plan, which has a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
IPVanish is based in the United States and it provides excellent speeds which is one of the reasons it’s especially popular with torrenters and Kodi users. The company has more than 1,100 servers in 60 countries with 520 in the United States. It can provide access to various streaming sites, including Netflix.
Privacy measures include a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a no logs policy. Connection establishment is encrypted with a 2048-bit RSA public key cipher and transmissions are protected by 256-bit AES encryption.
Apps run on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices and also on Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, and Kindle Fire tablets. For Linux computers and some routers and set-top boxes, you need to set up a connection manually. IPVanish gives each account a simultaneous connection allowance of 10.
- Very high speeds
- US-based VPN service
- No logs policy
- Allows you to connect 10 devices at once
- Customer support is a little slow
MULTIPLE CONNECTION OFFER:IPVanish’s 10 simultaneous connection allowance is one of the biggest in the business. This provider offers a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
PrivateVPN was created by internet freedom activists and is a small but powerful competitor in the industry. This VPN includes access to more than 80 servers located in 56 countries, including 14 servers in the United States. The speeds of this service are excellent and sufficient to stream video uninterrupted.
The transmission security system relies on encryption. The session creation procedures are covered by a 2048-bit RSA cipher and the data channel is encrypted with a 256-bit AES cipher. A kill switch and DNS leak protection are included. The service uses a third-party company to process payments so it does not keep any information about customers on file. PrivateVPN also does not keep activity logs so all customers are untraceable.
Apps run on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. You can also set up a VPN connection on Linux computers and some routers and set-top boxes. You get an allowance of six simultaneous connections per account.
- Great speeds for downloading and video streaming
- All accounts are secure and private
- Easy-to-use app
- Excellent technical support available online
- Only 14 servers in the USA
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat support
STRICT PRIVACY:PrivateVPN's service blocks snoopers; even the VPN operator doesn’t know who you are or what you are doing on the internet. PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Can I get a US IP addresses for free?
There are a lot of free VPNs on the market. However, they usually aren’t any good and some of them are actually scams. There are services that claim to work as VPNs but do not include any encryption. Other services track your activities on the internet and sell that information to third parties.
It takes a lot of stealth to evade detection and free services can’t afford to invest in that level of technology. Media streaming sites are particularly strong at blocking VPN traffic and free VPNs don’t have the skills to dodge them. A free VPN could simply be a waste of your time because it won’t get you into the US websites that you want to access from abroad. Even if you do get access, high loads (too many users) on a small number of servers will likely result in a slow, unreliable connection.
From a security and practical standpoint, it’s worth going with a reputable paid provider.
Why else do I need a VPN?
Recruitment sites check on the location of visitors and block them from applying for jobs in the USA if they detect that the applicant is not in the country. News websites will send out an “international version” to visitors who are not in the USA, so you aren’t allowed to read the same news items if you are abroad. Even banks, such as Citibank, Wells Fargo, or Bank of America may block you from checking your account online from outside of the USA.
Even if you’re in the USA, you can still benefit from using a VPN. For example, you can use it to gain access to geo-restricted content from other countries. Plus, VPNs encrypt your traffic so that no one can monitor your online activity.
Another good reason to use a VPN is to protect your data when using wifi hotspots. Fake hotspots are increasingly common. It’s difficult to tell when you connect to one of these because the hacker forwards all traffic to and from a real internet connection. However, the hotspot controls the encryption that is applied for the wifi session, so the hacker will be able to decrypt all of your data in transit. A VPN negotiates extra encryption security with a remote server that is beyond the local wifi system and the hacker won’t be able to crack that.
Selecting a VPN
You won’t get blocked out of US sites anymore while you are outside of the country if you use a VPN.
The five services on our list are all well-managed and reliable VPNs. You will get constant service from them and you shouldn’t notice any impact on your connection speeds when the VPN is turned on. A VPN will provide you with total privacy when you surf the web and help you defeat access restrictions so that you can get into any US website while you are abroad.