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Best Chicago VPN services in 2024


In an increasingly connected world, digital freedom and privacy are paramount. For both Chicago residents and outsiders, the challenge is real. Whether it's catching a Bulls game, enjoying a locally streamed movie, or accessing region-specific content, geographical restrictions and blackouts are a common hurdle. This is where a reliable Chicago VPN comes into play.

By providing a Chicago IP address, our top VPN services offer a seamless solution to bypassing geo-restrictions. Of course, a reliable Illinois VPN is not just about bypassing entertainment-related restrictions. A Chicago VPN is essential for safeguarding your digital identity and ensuring your online activities remain private.

As we dive into the best Chicago VPNs in 2024, prepare to unlock a world of unrestricted, secure internet access that keeps you connected to your favorite local content, no matter where you are.

5 best VPNs for Chicago

What makes the best Chicago VPN?

Choosing the right VPN for Chicago hinges on several critical features:

  • Chicago-based servers. Essential for accessing local content, a VPN must offer servers in Chicago for a genuine Chicago IP address.
  • Advanced tunneling protocols. Look for protocols like WireGuard, ensuring fast connections and robust security.
  • Market-leading encryption. AES-256 encryption is a must for top-tier security.
  • Obfuscation feature. This essential feature helps hide VPN usage, offering an additional layer of privacy.
  • No-logs policy. A trustworthy VPN should strictly adhere to a no-logs policy, keeping your online activities private.
  • Multiple device support. If you want to ensure security across various devices, this feature is vital for comprehensive digital protection for you and your family.

Best Chicago VPN services – our detailed list

After rigorously testing 42 quality VPNs, we focused on those offering a reliable Illinois IP address and robust Chicago VPN capabilities. Our selection criteria emphasized security, speed, and local server availability. Stay tuned as we delve into the standout VPNs that made our list.

1. NordVPN – top choice for obtaining a Chicago IP address

NordVPN banner
Servers/countries:6400+ servers in 111 countries
Servers in Chicago:Yes
Nearby servers:Saint Louis, Kansas City, Toronto, and Buffalo
Current deal:🔥 Get NordVPN, now up to 72% OFF + free travel data! 🔥

NordVPN is the top VPN for those seeking a reliable Chicago IP address. With servers in Chicago and additional ones in Saint Louis, Kansas City, Toronto, Buffalo, and other nearby locations, users have plenty of robust connectivity options.

Security and privacy. NordVPN has an independently audited no-logs policy, which means that users’ activities are not logged. The VPN also uses advanced encryption methods, AES-256-CBC and ChaCha20, which ensure top-notch security and privacy. Furthermore, NordVPN operates from Panama, which is considered a privacy-friendly country, meaning that the government cannot force the company to disclose any sensitive data. Additionally, with features like a reliable kill switch, RAM-only servers, and Dark Web Monitoring, NordVPN is, without a doubt, one of the most secure VPNs on the market.

Geo-restriction bypassing. With a Chicago IP address provided by NordVPN, you can watch Chicago Bulls and other games without restrictions. This VPN lets you bypass geo-restrictions and blackouts that might make certain games unavailable in your state, too. NordVPN will also help you bypass restrictions related to streaming, gaming, or torrenting platforms. This VPN shines in unblocking streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Its Smart DNS technology facilitates unrestricted streaming on various devices, even those without native VPN support.

Performance. NordVPN reliably reaches unmatched speeds, thanks to its NordLynx protocol – a modern variation of WireGuard – and its impressive server infrastructure that spans across 111 countries and offers 6400 servers. This results in a seamless online experience, whether you’re browsing, streaming, or downloading.

Compatibility. NordVPN is compatible with major operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS) and browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge). It supports up to 10 simultaneous connections, which means you can take advantage of the VPN's services on multiple devices at once.

Pricing. With plans starting at $3.39/month and a 30-day money-back guarantee, NordVPN provides excellent value. There’s also a free trial, and while it's exclusive to Android devices during registration, you can later sync the account on other devices running on different operating systems, too.

2. Surfshark VPN – remarkable speed and support for unlimited devices

Surfshark banner
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Servers in Chicago:Yes
Nearby servers:Saint Louis and Detroit
Current deal:🔥 Get 83% OFF Surfshark + 3 months FREE 🔥

Surfshark earns its place as one of the top Chicago VPNs. It offers a perfect blend of speed, security, and device compatibility. With servers in Chicago and nearby locations like Saint Louis and Detroit, Surfshark ensures optimal connectivity.

Security and privacy. Based in the Netherlands, Surfshark VPN upholds a strict no-logs policy and operates on RAM-only servers, which means that users’ data is not logged, and all activities are regularly wiped from the servers. Additionally, the VPN employs AES-256-GCM and ChaCha20 encryption, and users can choose between WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunneling protocols for advanced security and privacy. To further enhance users’ security, Surfshark introduces features like Camouflage mode, NoBorders mode, CleanWeb, and an effective malware blocker.

Geo-restriction bypassing. With Surfshark, you will have no trouble watching blackout NBA games and other sports events restricted outside Chicago. All you have to do is connect to a server in the city, and you will get a Chicago IP address that will grant you full access to the content available for Chicagoans. Surfshark also excels in unlocking various streaming services, including Netflix, Apple TV, and Disney+. Its Smart DNS feature extends this capability to a wide range of devices.

Performance. Our tests revealed minimal speed drops with the WireGuard protocol. And while OpenVPN offers slightly slower speeds, they are still impressive, ensuring smooth gaming and streaming experiences. During our Surfshark performance tests, it retained 86% of the original connection speed – an impressive feat.

Compatibility. Surfshark is available on all major operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS) and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Opera). It also stands out for its ability to cover unlimited devices.

Pricing. Starting at $2.19/month for a 2-year plan, Surfshark is competitively priced. It offers a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee, too.

3. Bitdefender VPN – combined antivirus and VPN security

bitdefender-vpn banner image
Servers/countries:4000+ servers in 53 countries
Servers in Chicago:Yes
Nearby servers:Not specified
Current deal:🔥 Get up to 43% OFF Bitdefender VPN! 🔥

Bitdefender VPN emerges as a unique offering for Chicago users, particularly for those who value an integrated antivirus with their VPN. While it might not rival the feature set of giants like NordVPN, its combined security solution is a standout for users who prioritize both antivirus and VPN functionalities.

Security and privacy. Bitdefender VPN employs AES 256-bit encryption, ensuring military-grade security. It includes a kill switch (blocks internet access if connection to the VPN server is restricted), split tunneling, and customizable auto-connect features. However, it's important to note that Bitdefender logs some user data, which might be a drawback for privacy-focused users.

Geo-restriction bypassing. Because Bitdefender VPN has servers in Chicago, you can easily get a Chicago IP address and bypass any geo-restrictions. That includes gaining access to sports events that are only available for Chicago residents. This VPN efficiently unblocks streaming platforms like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer, too. It also supports torrenting with stable download speeds.

Performance. Using the Catapult Hydra protocol, Bitdefender VPN works with an average download speed that makes it suitable for general browsing, streaming, and downloading, although upload speeds are somewhat limited.

Compatibility. You can use Bitdefender VPN on various operating systems (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS) and browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari (macOS0)), and it also can secure up to 10 devices.

Pricing. Bitdefender VPN's pricing starts at $2.92/month. The inclusion of a system-wide ad blocker and anti-tracker adds to its value, especially when bundled with Bitdefender's antivirus software.

4. ExpressVPN – renowned for fast, reliable server performance

ExpressVPN banner
Servers/countries:3000+ servers in 105 countries
Servers in Chicago:Yes
Nearby servers:Toronto and Atlanta
Current deal:🔥 Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥

ExpressVPN, with its servers in Chicago and strategic locations like Toronto and Atlanta, is celebrated for its fast and reliable server performance.

Security and privacy. Based in the British Virgin Islands, it assures privacy with an audited no-logs policy and employs AES-256-GCM and ChaCha20 encryptions, along with Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols.

Geo-restriction bypassing. Once you connect to the internet using a Chicago IP address – which you can do using ExpressVPN’s servers you will be able to access all content that is available to those living in Chicago. A strong suit of ExpressVPN is its ability to unblock a myriad of streaming services, effectively bypassing geo-restrictions. It excels in accessing platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, setting a benchmark in the streaming category.

Performance. The proprietary Lightway protocol provides average speeds, suitable for browsing, streaming, and gaming. Though not the fastest, ExpressVPN offers consistent performance across all its protocols. ExpressVPN’s feature set includes split tunneling, MediaStreamer, stealth servers, Threat Manager, and Network Lock. These functionalities enhance the VPN experience, offering flexibility and additional security.

Compatibility. ExpressVPN is compatible with a wide range of operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS) and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi). Moreover, the VPN covers up to 8 devices at once.

Pricing. ExpressVPN is on the pricier side, with subscription plans starting at $6.67/month. However, you can use a 7-day trial for mobile devices, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. CyberGhost VPN – streamlined applications and specialized servers for streaming

CyberGhost VPN banner
Servers/countries:11500+ servers in 100 countries
Servers in Chicago:Yes
Nearby servers:Toronto and Atlanta
Current deal:🔥 Get CyberGhost VPN, now 84% + 4 months FREE! 🔥

CyberGhost VPN distinguishes itself with its streamlined applications and an impressive array of specialized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. With 179+ servers in Chicago and additional ones in Toronto and Atlanta, it offers a well-rounded service for users in the area.

Security and privacy. Based in Romania, CyberGhost reinforces its commitment to privacy with an audited no-logs policy and employs AES-256-CBC and ChaCha20 encryption, alongside WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols. In addition, it offers RAM-only and NoSpy servers for enhanced privacy.

Geo-restriction bypassing. With a Chicago IP address provided by CyberGhost, you can catch Chicago Bulls games without restrictions. Even if your state is in the blackout zone. Moreover, with CyberGhost, you can unblock different regional libraries of Netflix and BBC iPlayer, with optimized servers delivering high-quality streaming.

Performance. Utilizing the WireGuard protocol, CyberGhost delivers reliable speeds with an average speed retention rate of 86%, providing a smooth browsing experience. The VPN's standout feature is its specialized servers optimized for different activities. CyberGhost also offers a reliable kill switch, dedicated IP options, ad blockers, and customizable smart rules for a tailored VPN experience.

Compatibility. Compatible with most popular operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS) and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge), CyberGhost ensures you can use the same account to cover up to 7 devices.

Pricing. Priced from $2.03/month, CyberGhost doesn’t offer a free trial, but there’s a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

How we selected and tested Chicago VPNs

Our selection and testing process for identifying the best VPNs for Chicago was meticulous and multifaceted. To ensure our recommendations meet the diverse needs of users in Chicago, we focused on several key factors while testing 42 VPN providers:

  • Server presence in Chicago. We prioritized VPNs with servers located in or near Chicago to guarantee reliable local content access and better speeds.
  • Security and privacy features. Essential factors included strong encryption standards like AES-256, audited no-logs policies, and additional security features like kill switches and server obfuscation.
  • Performance and speed. Each VPN was rigorously tested for speed and reliability. We assessed their ability to maintain connection speeds, a critical aspect for streaming, gaming, and general browsing.
  • Streaming and torrenting capabilities. We evaluated the VPNs' effectiveness in unblocking popular streaming services and their support for P2P file sharing.
  • Ease of use and compatibility. User-friendly interfaces and compatibility with various devices and operating systems were key considerations.
  • Customer support and pricing. Reliable customer support and value-for-money pricing plans were also crucial in our evaluation.

By adhering to these criteria, we ensured that our list of the best VPNs for Chicago is well-rounded, catering to security, entertainment, and overall user experience.

How to get a Chicago IP address

Obtaining a Chicago IP address is a straightforward process. Follow these simple steps to access local content with an Illinois IP address:

  1. Choose a reliable VPN with servers in or near Chicago – we recommend NordVPN, now 72% OFF
  2. Download the VPN app from the provider's website or app store and install it on your device (note that you can install and use it on multiple devices)
  3. Enable security features like the kill switch for added security
  4. Open the VPN app, navigate to the server list, and look for servers located in Chicago NordVPN servers located in Chicago
  5. Connect to a Chicago server so that your device would have a Chicago IP address NordVPN connected to Chicago server
  6. Enjoy local content – you can now access websites, streaming services, and other content as if you were physically located in Chicago

Remember, using a VPN with servers in Chicago not only gives you an Illinois IP address but also enhances your online privacy and security.

What about a free Chicago VPN?

While the idea of a free VPN for Chicago might be tempting, we strongly discourage using free tools. They often fall short in bypassing geo-restrictions and typically come with significant security concerns, including inadequate encryption and the potential selling of user data to third parties. Additionally, they usually suffer from slow speeds, limited data allowances, and unreliable connections.

Instead, consider opting for a freemium VPN or a reputable paid VPN with a free trial. Freemium VPNs like Atlas VPN provide basic services for free, with the option to upgrade to premium versions for more features.

For a more secure and reliable solution, we recommend our top choice VPNs for Chicago:

  • NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial for Android devices. Subscriptions start at $3.39/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Surfshark provides a 7-day free trial on Android, iOS, and macOS devices. Plans begin at $2.19/month, also including a 30-day money-back guarantee.

These paid VPNs ensure quality service, robust security, and better performance, making them a worthwhile investment over free Chicago VPN options.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when it comes to selecting the best VPN for Chicago, the choice is clear: NordVPN stands out as our top pick. Its blend of security, speed, and a wide range of features tailored for Chicago users makes it an unparalleled solution. From our hands-on experience, NordVPN consistently delivers reliable performance, whether it's for streaming local content, ensuring online privacy, or simply browsing with a Chicago IP address.

The importance of a dependable VPN in today’s digital landscape cannot be overstated, especially in a vibrant city like Chicago. With the right VPN, you not only bypass geo-restrictions but also safeguard your online activities against threats. While free VPN options might be tempting, they often compromise on quality and security.

In conclusion, investing in a reputable VPN like NordVPN is a decision you're unlikely to regret, as it offers a comprehensive solution tailored to the unique needs of Chicago residents and visitors alike.

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