Best California VPN

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The Golden State is every bit as attractive and appealing as it sounds. The 280 million annual visitors to these sandy shores make California the most visited state in the USA. Combine that with the 40 million residents, and you have a lot of online activity and some seriously overloaded public networks.

Downloading a VPN is the smart way to stay connected and protected in California, no matter what network you connect to, and knowing about the best options out there is essential. Keep reading to find out what they are!

Glorious sunshine and pleasant temperatures all year round draw in mammoth crowds looking to top up their tan or hit the world-famous Californian waves. Days at the beach don’t really count if you can’t instantly upload your best photographs to social media and keep up to date with the latest surf information, so a solid internet connection is essential.

Californian sport is just as iconic as the sun and sea, with bragging rights to the highest number of top-level teams in the country. The LA Lakers, Angels, and Dodgers; the San Francisco Giants and 49ers; the Oakland A’s, San Jose Sharks, and Sacramento Kings are just some of the teams in some of the sports that Californians have to be proud of.

Nothing interferes with such pride more than licensing rights. With any one of the VPNs mentioned below, you need never worry about missing a major game due to a lack of licensed access ever again. Whether in-state or on the move, never compromise on watching these sporting legends do what they do best.

Other big attractions that draw in huge crowds include Yosemite National Park and Hollywood, where any available internet connections are often either limited or weak. The various music festivals held in CA- most notably Coachella offer pop-up WiFi connections, but they are intermittent, overloaded, and unsafe. Downloading a VPN can bypass all these issues and let you focus on enjoying yourself.

1. Benefits of VPNs

Although there are free VPNs available, they come with little to no security or protection, and the connections are often weak. Buying a subscription to a trusted provider allows you to relax in the knowledge that everything is going to run smoothly no matter where you are.

Some of the main benefits include:

  • Seamless connection across all the serviced locations
  • Additional protection from cyber attacks
  • Access to international libraries on Netflix and other major streaming platforms
  • Reliable connection strength and speed
  • User-friendly apps and customer support
  • IP address protection and privacy
  • Encrypted networks to protect against hackers
  • Being able to stream events from certain locations that are inaccessible elsewhere

2. VPNs and IP Addresses

An IP address is effectively your device’s online identity and is what allows you to establish an online connection. Every PC, laptop, and mobile device has one, and when used on a private, secure network, you have nothing to worry about. When you travel, however, the chances are you are going to connect to free WiFi and other unstable networks to get online. Here is where the element of risk arises.

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If someone gets hold of your IP address it can lead to unwanted trouble, so the best course of action is to protect it.

One of the ways a VPN works is to hide your true IP address and replace it with one of their own based on what location’s server you connect to. On a trip to California, the first thing you should do upon arrival after setting up the network is to make sure your IP has been changed to a random local one.

The process takes less than a few minutes as the best VPNs do it for you automatically. Here is a quick step-by-step guide on how to check.

  • Download the VPN of your choice (see below for the best options in California!)
  • Set up the account on your device (most VPNs can do this automatically via the user app)
  • Connect to the nearest server
  • Go on to your downloaded VPN app and search for the IP to see if it has been updated
  • Search “what is my IP address,” and you can see the current allocations

The beauty of a good-quality VPN is that it takes care of everything for you; all you need to do is download, connect, and go! Hiding your IP address without a VPN is possible but far more complicated and open to error. When it comes to cybersecurity in this digital day and age, it’s not worth taking the risk.

3. Best California VPN 2023

There are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming trying to decide on just one. Most paid VPNs offer a similar basic service, but the devil is in the details for deciphering the one that can best suit your needs.

In the state of California, here are the five best options and a brief description of what they bring to the table.

3.1 NordVPN – Best Overall California VPN

nordvpn California VPN

No matter the purpose of your trip, your online habits and preference, or the destination, NordVPN has it all covered. Known worldwide as one of the most reliable and versatile VPN providers, Nord is a titan of industry. Its anonymity-focused encryption software and impressive connection speeds make this VPN our overall champion.

One of the things that set Nord apart from the competition is the superior geo-blocker navigation. Streaming giant Netflix and other platforms like it have strict protocols in place. They match their libraries to the licensed locations and block access elsewhere. Nord has no trouble side-stepping these restrictions, which is ideal for binging your favorite series in the quiet moments during your trip.

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Nord has servers in three prime Californian locations: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. Whether you are on holiday, in town for work, enjoying an extended stay in the sun, or a local looking for additional security, Nord has you covered.

NordVPN review


3.2 ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for California

expressvpn California VPN

ExpressVPN more than lives up to its name, with unrivaled connection speeds around the globe. Cybersecurity is also a central focus for Express, using only the most advanced encryption methods and privacy protocols. Dependable, fast connections, and heavy-duty security systems make this a firm favorite amongst those traveling for business purposes who need to work remotely during their trip.

In California, ExpressVPN has five servers in Los Angeles, one in San Francisco, and is the only VPN provider on this list with a server based in Santa Monica. Because of the spread-out server locations, you can expect the defining ExpressVPN speeds wherever you go in the state.

ExpressVPN review


3.3 CyberGhost – Best California VPN for Streaming

cyberghost California VPN

CyberGhost is a massive international name, and for good reason. Over 36,000,000 users love this provider for its reliable connections and excellent streaming options. Compatible with every platform worth its salt and suitable for use on up to seven simultaneous devices, this VPN is an excellent pick for people who enjoy their screen time.

To make things even better, CyberGhost has 136 servers in the Los Angeles area and 45 in and around San Francisco: more California locations than any other provider on this list. This all but guarantees a strong and stable connection throughout your visit.

CyberGhost review


3.4 IPVanish – Best California VPN for Privacy

ipvanish California VPN

Protecting your privacy is one of the primary purposes for installing a VPN on your device. IPVanish takes this particularly seriously. The anti-snooping software is invaluable for people on the go who connect to free WiFi networks all over the city. It allows you all the benefits of an on-the-go connection but removes all the risk.

With roughly 140 servers split between Los Angeles and San Jose, IPVanish is easily amongst the best choices for a visit to the state of California or for someone who lives locally and wants to boost their home cybersecurity. Compatibility with all the major streaming platforms and no limit to how many devices can be connected at one time are also attractive features.

IPVanish review


3.5 Surfshark VPN – Best Budget VPN for California

Surfshark California VPN

All the VPNs on this list are affordable and offer excellent subscription deals, but Surfshark certainly ranks at the top in terms of bang for your buck. They provide a diverse service covering all your needs for a stable and secure internet connection away from home and allows for unlimited device connections.

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Surfshark has servers active in Los Angeles and San Francisco, which provide a stable connection to all the surrounding areas. The military-grade security protocols in place for VPNs users who opt for Surfshark are ideal for somebody who likes to download.


4. Summary

In the busiest state in all of America, privacy and security are essential for all online activity. Where tourists go, criminals gather: the cyber realm is no exception. The level of online traffic in California at any given time is immense, and public networks are simply not protected.

These five VPN providers can change the way you browse at home and on the road no matter where you go. In the Golden State, you can’t find any better protection or connection.

VPN Service

Price: $11.95 $3.71/month
Servers: 5500+ in 59 countries
Simultaneous connections: 6
Jurisdiction: Panama
Payment: PayPal, AmazonPay, Crypto, Google Pay, Klarna
Torrenting: OK
Unblocks US Netflix: Yes
Dedicated IP: $70/yr
TrustPilot Score: 4,7/5
Money-back: 30 days
Extra: Double VPN, Obfuscated servers
Visit NordVPN »

Price: $12.95 $8.32/month
Servers: 3300+ in 94 countries
Simultaneous connections: 5
Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
Payment: PayPal, Crypto, AliPay, Klarna,
Torrenting: OK
Unblocks US Netflix: Yes
Dedicated IP: Not provided
TrustPilot Score: 4,7/5
Money-back: 30 days
Visit ExpressVPN »

Price: $11.99 $2.25/month
Servers: 6600+ in 89 coutrines
Simultaneous connections: 7
Jurisdiction: Romania
Payment: PayPal, Crypto
Torrenting: OK
Unblocks US Netflix: Yes
Dedicated IP: $51/yr
TrustPilot Score: 4,8/5
Money-back: 45 days
Visit CyberGhost »

Price: $11.95 $2.49/month
Servers: 3200+ in 65 coutrines
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
Payment: PayPal, Crypto, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
Torrenting: OK
Unblocks US Netflix: Yes
Dedicated IP: Not provided
TrustPilot Score: 4,3/5
Money-back: 30 days
Visit Surfshark »

Price: $9.60 $3.33/month
Servers: 6500+ in 140 coutrines
Simultaneous connections: 10
Jurisdiction: Hong Kong
Payment: PayPal, Credit Cards
Torrenting: OK
Unblocks US Netflix: Yes
Dedicated IP: $35.88/yr
TrustPilot Score: 4,7/5
Money-back: 31 days
Visit PureVPN »

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