Best VPNs for San Francisco in 2023
San Francisco is the tech hub of the USA. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cyber threats. If you use unsecured public Wi-Fi without a VPN, your data could be at risk.
And if you’re traveling out of the city and need to access a restricted account or want to view a live stream of your sports team, chances are you’ll be locked out of the sites you need to access. This is another issue a VPN can fix.
A VPN can also shield your activity from prying eyes, a godsend for privacy, especially since San Francisco is a member of the 5-Eyes Alliance. So which VPN should you choose? Keep scrolling to read all the facts about the best VPNs for San Francisco.
Top 5 best VPNs for San Francisco
- NordVPN – overall best San Francisco VPN
- Surfshark VPN – top VPN for multiple users
- PureVPN – best wallet-friendly VPN
- Express VPN – feature-packed San Fran VPN
- CyberGhost – consistent and reliable San Fran VPN
What makes the best San Francisco VPN?
Countless VPNs are available on the cyber security market, but only some providers work well in San Francisco.
Get to know the following features, and you’ll be able to choose a VPN a lot easier:
- Servers in San Francisco. You’ll always be able to access San Francisco content if you have an IP address in the city.
- Efficient tunneling protocols. Keep an eye out for WireGuard (or equivalent like NordLynx), as it improves the VPNs connection speeds and security.
- Advanced encryption. All top VPNs wrap your data up in AES-256 encryption or better.
- Unblocks streaming sites. Only premium VPNs have the required tech to get past geo-blocks.
- No-logs. A privacy-focused VPN will never log your data.
- Multi-platform support. Get a VPN that works on all your devices so you’re never without protection.
5 Best VPNs for San Francisco - detailed list:
We’ve reviewed many VPNs and have hand-picked the 5 providers we know will get you a reliable San Francisco IP address, grant you online protection, bypass content blocks, and more.
Take a look below and choose the one you prefer:
1. NordVPN – overall best San Francisco VPN
|Servers/countries:||5,900+ servers in 60 countries|
|Unblocks:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more|
|Current deal:||🔥Holiday Deal! Get NordVPN with 69% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
NordVPN is the overall winner when choosing the best VPN for San Francisco. Its server list counts 2000 connections throughout the US, with numerous options in San Francisco.
Privacy and security: NordVPN is as secure as it gets. Based in ultra-private Panama, there is zero chance of your data being stored or leaked, thanks to a strict no-logs policy and RAM-only servers.
Performance: NordVPN’s performance is the gold standard of the VPN market. With its in-house tunneling protocol NordLynx delivers lightning-fast speed and the tightest security. You can also opt for the OpenVPN or IKEv2 protocols.
Extra features: NordVPN has features galore. The kill switch protects you if the VPN loses connection, and DNS leak protection ensures your IP address stays hidden.
Streaming: You can easily unblock streaming sites with NordVPN. Whether it’s a different region of Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, or Hulu, we accessed all these platforms on the first attempt.
Compatible apps: NordVPN works on all your everyday devices. Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even Linux are all covered. On top of that, you can connect a total of 6 different devices at once.
Price: Subscriptions are very affordable at just $2.99 per month. And a 30-day money-back guarantee enables you to try the service for free.
There’s even more info in the full NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN – top VPN for multiple users
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Unblocks:||Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more|
|Current deal:||🔥Cyber Monday! Get 80% OFF Surfshark + 5 months FREE🔥|
Surfshark is also a great option as a San Francisco VPN. Its 600 US servers include connections in San Fran so that vital feature is ticked off.
Privacy and security: RAM-only servers, no logs policy, water-tight encryption – Surfshark takes security very seriously, so your data is in safe hands when you’re using this VPN.
Performance: Surfshark uses the next-gen protocol, WireGuard, to help you achieve blistering speed on all your devices, no matter what you’re doing online.
Extra features: From a kill switch to smart DNS to the CleanWeb safe browsing tool, Surfshark has a full suite of features to enhance your online experience.
Streaming: Surfshark gives hassle-free access to any region of your preferred streaming platform. Bypass geo-restrictions with the help of this VPN, and you can watch shows and content that aren't usually available in San Francisco, whether they’re on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, or pretty much any other streamer.
Compatibility: You won't have to deal with compatibility problems with Surfshark. The VPN has compatible apps for Windows, iOS, Mac, Linux, and Android.
Cost: With prices as low as just $1.99 per month and unlimited device connection included, Surfshark is one of the top choices for budget-conscious users. And there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee included.
Dive into more details in the full Surfshark VPN 2023 review.
3. PureVPN – best wallet-friendly VPN
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||6,500+ servers in 65 countries|
|Unblocks:||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube|
|Current deal:||🔥Get PureVPN, now 83% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
PureVPN boasts 2000 American servers (with specific connections in San Francisco). That, combined with its super low subscription costs, makes it another worthy choice to consider.
Security and privacy: This VPN makes considerable efforts to keep your data secure. From AES-256 encryption to a no-logs policy, a kill switch to traffic obfuscation, there are many features to enhance your security.
Performance: This VPN has added the lightning-fast WireGuard to its list of supported protocols. However, due to the combination of physical and virtual servers used by PureVPN, some users may still encounter problems even with WireGuard enabled. Choosing which servers to utilize to get the fastest speeds from your location may require fine-tuning.
Features: PureVPN offers split tunneling on its mobile app, so you can specify which apps run through the VPN and which stay on your regular connection.
Streaming: PureVPN unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu, which gives you a lot more content to watch.
Compatibility: PureVPN works well on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux devices.
Cost: One of PureVPN's plus points is its highly affordable price plan. You can join this VPN for as little as $2.08 a month and connect up to 10 devices simultaneously. PureVPN provides a 31-day money-back guarantee too.
Find out more in the complete PureVPN review.
4. Express VPN – feature-packed San Francisco VPN
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,000+ servers in 105 countries|
|Unblocks:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more|
|Current deal:||🔥Cyber Monday! Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥|
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers on the market. As the name suggests, it’s very fast and has enough San Francisco servers to suit your needs.
Privacy and security: ExpressVPN uses AES-256 encryption, an efficient kill switch, and a no-logs policy to keep your digital data as protected as possible.
Performance: The Lightway tunneling protocol is a capable alternative to WireGuard, with an average of 77% speed retention. That makes it perfect for streaming and gaming.
Features: ExpressVPN’s feature suite offers stealth servers, split tunneling, Threat Manager, MediaStreamer, and even a dedicated router applet.
Streaming: This VPN is famed for its unblocking capabilities, and it’s proven to access practically all region-restricted content. You’ll always be able to watch different regions of Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more when you connect to ExpressVPN’s servers.
Compatibility: Not only does ExpressVPN work on the usual devices (Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS), but it’s also one of the best VPNs to use with a router, thanks to its detailed set-up guidance and app.
Price: ExpressVPN is expensive compared to the other recommended providers at $6.67/month, it also caps its simultaneous connections at 5 devices. But there’s still the 30-day money-back guarantee so you can give it a chance stress-free.
Find out more and check out the ExpressVPN review.
5. CyberGhost – consistent and reliable San Francisco VPN
|Servers/countries:||10,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Unblocks:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+|
|Current deal:||🔥Cyber Monday! Get CyberGhost VPN, now 84% + 4 months FREE!🔥|
CyberGhost boasts 1,400+ USA servers with reliable connections in San Francisco and California.
Security and privacy: CyberGhosts delivers the necessary AES-256 encryption required to protect your data. It’s also been independently audited and has a no-logs policy. There are no security concerns with this VPN.
Performance: CyberGhost uses the WireGuard tunneling protocol to ensure your connections stay fast and consistent, with an excellent speed retention rate of 84%.
Features: CyberGhost’s specialized servers are ideal for torrenting, streaming, and gaming. There’s also a kill switch, split tunneling, ad blocker, and dedicated IP address option.
Streaming: This VPN is a trusted choice for streaming. It successfully unblocked sites like Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu during tests. And remember, there are streaming-specific servers to keep the HD quality smooth at all times.
Compatibility: CyberGhost’s Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, and Linux apps are all user-friendly. You won’t have issues getting to grips with it on any device.
Price: CyberGhost is another budget-friendly provider – you can sign up for $2.04/month and connect 7 devices at once. The money-back-guarantee even spans 45 days to give you extra trial time.
Head over to our CyberGhost review for more information.
How we selected and tested these VPNs
VPNs offer several key features that provide you with the best experience, but not all VPNs are as versatile as the best brands. For that reason, we made sure to tick off the following boxes when assembling this list:
- Server selection. Servers in San Francisco are the first feature we looked for. After that, we looked at the fleet in general to see the rest of its global options. All the providers we’ve recommended cover the States, and beyond, with thousands of servers.
- Strong security. A truly secure VPN protects you with AES-256 encryption, kill switch, split tunneling, and audited no-logs policy features.
- Speedy connections. Every VPN we’ve selected keeps your internet connection at a fast speed.
- Extra features. Aside from the necessities, we've chosen VPNs that go the extra mile with additional features like smart DNS, leak protection, traffic obfuscation, and more.
- Cost. Value for money is vital, so we’ve picked providers who offer a top VPN service at a great price.
Why do you need a VPN for San Francisco?
You may think you don’t need a VPN in America, but there are serious reasons to connect to a capable San Francisco VPN. Here’s why:
- Secure your data. Switch on a San Fran VPN, and all online activity will be encrypted. This stops snoops and hackers from getting their hands in your data - a vital layer of protection against cybercrime.
- Access geo-blocked websites. If you want to view blocked sites in San Francisco, a VPN can easily bypass geo-restrictions. Connect to a new server, and you’ll be assigned a new IP address to match the server location.
- Safely use public Wi-Fi. San Francisco has cafes, restaurants, bars, and other spots where you may want to use public Wi-Fi, especially if you’re remote working. However, public Wi-Fi is a minefield of danger as it’s unsecured. Turn on your VPN, and you’ll instantly be protected from lurking scammers or sneaks.
- Perfect privacy. From ad trackers to ISPs, to criminals, and even the government, it may feel like everyone is trying to monitor you online. Hide your true IP address with a VPN, and no one will be able to spy on you.
How to get a San Francisco IP address?
Getting a San Francisco IP address is easy with a VPN. You’ll be happy to know it only takes a few quick steps!
This step-by-step guide shows you exactly what to do.
- Choose a top-quality VPN that has San Francisco servers. NordVPN works best.
- Download the VPN and install it on your device.
- Launch the VPN app.
- Scroll through the servers list and select the US.
- Connect to the San Francisco server.
- You’re ready to enjoy the benefits of your new San Francisco IP address!
Can I use a free VPN in San Francisco?
You may be tempted to use a free VPN for San Francisco, but the risks far outweigh the benefits.
Free VPNs don’t offer much security or privacy, quite the opposite. They’re known to sell user data to advertisers and trackers, and some even have dodgy pop-ads in the apps that could lead to malware infection.
Free VPNs are also very slow, and with very limited server fleets – you’re unlikely to find a connection in San Francisco.
If you’re set on trying a free provider, go with a freemium option, like Atlas VPN.
On the flip side, you could use a premium brand and request a refund within the money-back guarantee window to get a free trial:
- NordVPN – With over 2000 US servers, you can use NordVPN in San Francisco for free for up to a month, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark – the next best San Francisco VPN – there’s no need to worry about a financial commitment due to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
The last word
We’ve gone through the best providers and shown you how to get connected, so let’s cycle back and take a quick look at the headline points before you get underway.
Using a San Francisco VPN improved your security immeasurably. It protects all your sensitive data, blocks hackers and ISPs from spying on you, and encrypts all your traffic.
Connecting to a trusted VPN, like NordVPN, also provides you with an IP address in a location of your choice, which is the only way you can access region-restricted content.
And on top of all that, VPNs work on all your devices and often include extra features to enhance your online experience – all for the cost of a coffee a month!
More VPN guides from Cybernews:
Which VPN has San Francisco server locations?
NordVPN is your best bet for connecting to San Francisco servers. Its fleet includes over 2000 server options in the USA, with plenty in California and San Fran. It can grant you the IP address you need in seconds.
Which VPN has California servers?
NordVPN has the best servers in California. Its server fleet has connections in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. And if you need a server somewhere else in the US, you'll be pleased to know there are over 2000 servers available in the States.
Which VPN lets me choose which city I connect to?
NordVPN has over 5,900 servers worldwide and 2000 in US cities, you’re free to choose the server you want to connect to. Launch the server list and scroll through the selection until you find the city you'd like to connect to – it should only take a few minutes.