If you’re traveling out of the states, you might have noticed that most streaming platforms and websites from the US are geo-blocked when accessed from abroad. The easiest way to unblock them is to use a VPN.
A VPN for expats will help you change your IP address and make it look as if you’re back in the USA. Whether you’re traveling or have settled abroad, this will enable you to access all the sites from back home.
There are many VPN services out there, which is why it can be confusing for people to figure out which one to choose. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best VPNs for expats. Below, you’ll find our list of the top 5 picks.
5 best VPNs for expats
- ExpressVPN – Best VPN for US expats in 2023
- Private Internet Access – Cheapest VPN for US expats
- NordVPN – Feature-rich VPN for Americans living abroad
- Surfshark – Secure VPN for accessing sites from the US
- CyberGhost – User-friendly VPN for US expats
Before we explain why we’ve chosen the VPNs listed above, let’s take a look at the things we took into consideration while evaluating the best services for US expats:
- Servers in the US – How many servers the VPN has in the US
- Speed – How fast the VPN is
- Security features – What security features the VPN has
- Reliability – How trustworthy the VPN is
- Price – How much the VPN costs
The best VPNs for US expats in 2023
A lot of research and thought went into our list of top 5 VPNs for US expats. Let’s take a bit more detailed review of each of these services and what makes them stand out from the crowd:
1. ExpressVPN – Best overall VPN for US expats in 2023
- Offers 29 server locations in the USA
- Unblocks major streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video
- Uses a safe and fast protocol
- Some users may find it expensive
When it comes to accessing sites based in the US, there’s no better VPN than ExpressVPN. It’s secure, fast, and has 29 server locations in the US. All of its servers are RAM-based, so none of your data is stored. Plus, it uses a proprietary protocol called Lightway to give you the best speeds.
Use ExpressVPN to unblock sites from the US.
With this VPN, you’ll be able to block any streaming platform or site that you want. Some of its main features include military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak protection.
It’s available for $6.67 per month, but the price may vary depending on where you live. No matter which plan you choose, you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Location||The British Virgin Islands|
|Number of servers||3000+ servers in 105 countries|
|US-based server locations||29|
|Price starting from||from $6.67/month|
2. Private Internet Access – Affordable VPN for US expats
- Has servers in every US state
- You can customize the app’s dashboard
- Has been audited by Deloitte
- Cheapest VPN for US expats
- Based in a 5 Eyes country
Private Internet Access is the second best VPN for US expats because it has servers in all 50 states. This makes it perfect for sports fans, because sports games are often blacked out in some US states. For example, you can use Private Internet Access to watch blacked out MLB games.
PIA has servers in every US state.
This VPN’s app can be customized and you can change what you see on the main dashboard.
While it’s based in the US, a 5 Eyes country, it’s one of the safest VPNs you can use. It’s been audited by one of the Big Four firms, Deloitte.
You can get PIA for $2.03 per month, making it the cheapest VPN on this list. It also has a free trial version on Android and iOS.
|Number of servers||35000+ servers in 84 countries|
|US-based server locations||50|
|Price starting from||from $2.11/month|
3. NordVPN – VPN for expats that comes with a multitude of features
- Includes various security features
- Has 16 server locations in the US
- NordLynx performs marginally better than other protocols
- The UI isn’t as minimalistic as that of other VPNs’
NordVPN has 16 US server locations and it includes many great security features, which makes it an excellent choice for US expats. The protocol it uses, known as NordLynx, is a modified version of WireGuard.
US servers in NordVPN.
When it comes to the NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN debate, the former’s primary protocol does perform a bit better, but it doesn’t have as many server locations in the US as the latter.
NordVPN includes features like Double VPN, built-in Onion over VPN connectivity, dark web monitoring, and an ad-blocker called Threat Protection.
It’s available for $3.49 per month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Number of servers||5810+ servers in 60 countries|
|US-based server locations||16|
|Price starting from||from $2.99/month|
4. Surfshark – VPN for expats that provides airtight security
- Offers unlimited simultaneous connections
- Includes many similar features as NordVPN
- Has 25 US-based server locations
- Located in a 14 Eyes country
Surfshark is the perfect choice for those US expats who want unlimited simultaneous connections so their friends and family can use a VPN, too. With 25 server locations in the USA, you’ll be able to get access to plenty of sites from back home.
It closely resembles NordVPN in that it includes many of the same features and even has a similar UI. With Surfshark, you can use features such as CleanWeb, Multi-Hop servers, Rotating IP, and a kill switch.
Surfshark’s Multi-Hop servers.
Surfshark is available for $2.49 per month and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
|Number of servers||3200+ servers in 100 countries|
|US-based server locations||25|
|Price starting from||from $1.99/month|
5. CyberGhost – US-friendly VPN that’s targeted towards beginners
- Has streaming-dedicated servers for US expats
- Offers 11 US server locations
- Has been audited by Deloitte
- Not the best choice for more advanced users
CyberGhost is a beginner-friendly VPN for US expats that’s ideal for those who mainly want to unblock streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It has streaming-dedicated servers for specific platforms and sites.
CyberGhost’s streaming-dedicated servers.
In the USA, CyberGhost has over 1900 servers and they’re all RAM-based. It also uses WireGuard protocol and has been audited by Deloitte.
Not only does CyberGhost have streaming-dedicated servers, but it also has servers that have been optimized for torrenting.
You can get it for just $2.19 per month and avail a free trial version on both desktop and smartphones.
|Number of servers||9200+ servers in 91 countries|
|US-based server locations||11|
|Price starting from||from $2.11/month|
Methodology: how we tested VPNs
We tested around 20 VPN services to find out which one is the best for US expats. Here are some of the factors that helped us create the list we’ve shared above:
- Servers in the US – We only included VPNs that have good quality servers in the US. We tested many of these servers to see how well they work and were able to unblock various US-based sites thanks to them.
- Speed – We tested the connection speeds of the VPNs to make sure you can stream in HD and browse the Internet without experiencing any lag.
- Security features – The VPNs that made it to the list all have powerful security features. These features will help you remain anonymous while you surf the Internet.
- Reliability – To see how reliable and trustworthy the VPNs are, we read their privacy policies and also checked if they’ve been independently audited.
- Price – Lastly, we wanted to make sure that the VPNs on our list are affordable and have money-back guarantees. Most of them also offer free trial versions.
What are the best VPNs for US expats?
To help you understand which VPNs are the best for US expats, we’ve added a table below that highlights their main features:
|ExpressVPN||Private Internet Access||NordVPN||Surfshark||CyberGhost|
|Location||British Virgin Islands||Colorado, USA||Panama||The Netherlands||Romania|
|US-based server locations||29||50||16||25||11|
|Number of servers||3000+ servers in 105 countries||35000+ servers in 84 countries||5810+ servers in 60 countries||3200+ servers in 100 countries||9200+ servers in 91 countries
|Audited no-log policy||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Price||Starting from $6.67 per month||Starting from $2.03 per month||Starting from $3.49 per month||Starting from $2.49 per month||Starting from $2.19 per month|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days||30 days||30 days||45 days|
Why do expats need a VPN?
The main reason why expats need a VPN is so they can easily access their sites from back home which are geo-restricted. Here are some other reasons why you as an expat would need a VPN:
- Unblock streaming platforms – Most streaming platforms like Netflix have region-specific libraries, so if you’re abroad, you can unblock the US-based Netflix with a VPN.
- Watch blacked out sports games – Sports games in the US are often blacked out in many states. If you’re abroad, you can use a VPN to connect to a specific US state’s server and watch a blacked out game.
- Access banks from back home – When you’re abroad, your bank may have certain features you won’t be able to use due to geo-restrictions. You can bypass these restrictions with the help of a VPN.
- Cheaper flight tickets – If you’re planning to go back home, you may be able to find cheaper flight tickets if you use a VPN and connect to a US-based server.
- Browsing anonymously – If you’re in a country where the Internet is monitored or restricted, you can use a VPN to connect to a US server and browse anonymously without any restrictions.
How to use a VPN when abroad
If you’re confused about how to use a VPN when you’re abroad, we’ve added a step-by-step guide below:
- First, pick a VPN from our list.
- We recommend trying out ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN on your preferred device.
- Now just find a US server you want to connect to.
- Once connected, you’re ready to start browsing the Internet as if you’re located in the US!
Frequently asked questions
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for US expats as it has thousands of servers in America, and provides a fast and safe connection. Plus, it has a very minimalistic UI, which makes it easy for anyone to use.
Most US streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ work in Europe, but their content libraries may be slightly different depending on where you are. You can use a premium VPN like ExpressVPN to get access to the US version of these sites.
ProtonVPN has a free US server, though it may not always work. Free VPNs have limited servers and they get blocked very easily. That’s why we recommend sticking to a premium VPN such as ExpressVPN.