Best Offshore VPN: 5 VPNs Outside The US For Total Anonymity
VPNs are fantastic tools for unblocking content, avoiding censorship, and keeping your valuable information private. And, as far as the latter aspect goes, offshore VPNs allow you to be as anonymous as possible, as they aren’t bound by strict data retention laws or US government surveillance.
But, just because a VPN is based outside of the US doesn’t mean it’s a safe and private choice. Some offshore VPNs take advantage of this lack of regulation to deceive and exploit their customers. This is why it’s essential to pick a trusted and proven offshore VPN that can help you avoid surveillance and ensure the privacy of your data.
In this detailed guide, we’ll go over the best offshore VPNs located outside of the US. We’ll discuss key features, what to look for in an offshore VPN, and how such a service can protect you in practice, all to help you make an informed decision. Read on to learn more!
The Best Offshore VPNs Outside the US – Our Shortlist
- NordVPN – Best offshore VPN outside the USA.
- Surfshark – Affordable offshore VPN with great features.
- PrivateVPN – Simple VPN great for beginner users.
- ExpressVPN – Premium offshore VPN for bypassing ISP throttling.
- CyberGhost – Comprehensive service focused on privacy and anonymity.
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Why Should You Choose an Offshore VPN Outside the US?
The advantages of using an offshore VPN are transparent and can be very beneficial in your daily Internet use. Here are the most significant reasons why you should choose an offshore VPN for maximum protection:
Stay Private From the NSA
If you use a provider based in the US, the NSA can obtain your information even without a warrant, provided that the provider keeps logs. Moreover, according to some sources, the NSA can break into some encryption protocols to monitor your traffic.
By choosing an offshore VPN, you operate outside the reach of US legal jurisdiction, potentially reducing the risk of government intervention, data-sharing agreements, or legal requests for user information. If the VPN is based in a country without any ties with the NSA or other agencies, it will be much more difficult for surveillance agencies to target you through your service.
Torrent in Maximum Safety
If you live in the US, torrenting can be a very dangerous hobby. There are many examples of file-sharing/torrent users being flagged with DMCA requirements and being issued huge fines and even jail time.
Using a US-based VPN service for torrenting is not the best way to go about it. If a regulator asks the VPN to provide information, the service would have no option but to give them everything it has on you.
However, when you use an offshore VPN, the location where the service is based likely won’t have as stringent regulations. What’s more, it’s even more desirable that the VPN isn’t a part of any international surveillance alliance, such as the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, or 14 Eyes Alliance.
Of course, it’s also important to understand the local laws of the location the VPN is based in, as torrenting is still an illegal activity in most countries. If you plan on torrenting regularly, understand that there’s always a degree of risk, whether you’re using an offshore VPN or not.
Avoid Spying and Boost Privacy
Besides the two US-specific reasons for using an offshore VPN, there are several other ways that these tools can be beneficial. Primarily, you can prevent your ISP from spying on you and sharing your information with government agencies or, even worse, selling it to marketers.
Moreover, the service will also keep you safe from online snoopers and protect you from cyberattacks. No one will be able to track your online activities or see any valuable information you might share over your connection.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Using an Offshore VPN?
No, there aren’t any inherent disadvantages to using an offshore VPN service. The majority of trusted VPN providers are based in non-US jurisdictions. Of course, this isn’t to say that just because a service is offshore, it is automatically trustworthy.
Some offshore jurisdictions have less robust privacy laws or government surveillance practices, which could raise concerns about data privacy and security. Additionally, offshore VPN providers might face trust concerns due to being outside of familiar legal frameworks and oversight.
It can be challenging to assess the credibility and trustworthiness of some offshore VPN providers, making thorough research crucial before selecting a provider. So, the best way to ensure your experience is smooth and safe is to stick with verified and proven services. With that in mind, let’s move to the main part of this guide.
The Best Offshore VPN in the USA – Our Detailed List
NordVPN is the gold standard for offshore VPNs. It is based in Panama, a country that isn’t a part of any major international surveillance alliance. What’s more, Panama has very privacy-friendly laws, especially for individual users. In fact, data collection isn’t mandatory in this country, and you need to give your consent for any service to collect your information.
With that in mind, NordVPN doesn’t keep any logs of your online activities. It only uses RAM-based servers. So, even if it wanted to share anything, there isn’t any information stored anywhere.
And, we don’t only have NordVPN’s claims to rely on when it comes to this. NordVPN has been audited several times over the past few years. In 2023, Deloitte, a Big Four firm, verified NordVPN’s no-logs statement, confirming that this service doesn’t keep any information on its users.
NordVPN is also a top choice for those who want an offshore VPN with a dedicated IP address. This is because this service offers dedicated IPs in ten of its server locations around the world. Using a dedicated IP address brings additional privacy protection, as you won’t share the VPN’s IP with any other user.
Despite being the leading offshore VPN service, NordVPN isn’t superior in every regard. It is more expensive than Surfshark and PrivateVPN. It also supports only six simultaneous connections, just one more than ExpressVPN.
- Based in Panama
- Audited several times over the years
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Fast speeds with a massive server network
- Advanced security features and malware protection
- Only six simultaneous connections
- More expensive than some other offshore VPNs on this list
Surfshark is based in the Netherlands, a country with fairly lenient privacy laws. However, while this is still an offshore location for US users, it’s not an ideal pick. This is because the Netherlands is a part of the 14 Eyes Alliance, which includes the US. Until 2021, Surfshark was based in the British Virgin Islands, a location much more favorable for VPN users.
Despite this VPN location switch, Surfshark is still a trusted and reputable service. It has been audited by two firms, Deloitte and Cure53. Like my top pick, Surfshark has a no-logs policy and only uses RAM-based servers.
Additionally, the service includes several features that help make your online experience safer and more convenient. Primarily, this includes features like CleanWeb, Bypasser, NoBorders Mode, and Camouflage Mode.
With unlimited connections, Surfshark is a much better pick than NordVPN for those who want wide coverage across many devices. In this sense, you can even use this affordable offshore VPN for small businesses to protect communication and secure data. With affordability in mind, Surfshark is also a more budget-friendly pick than NordVPN across all comparable plans.
- Audited by Deloitte and Cure53
- Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
- A more affordable service than NordVPN
- Includes advanced security and performance features
- Slower than my top offshore VPN pick
- Based in the Netherlands
PrivateVPN is a Swedish provider that has been around since 2009. Much like Surfshark, this provider is based in a country that’s both part of the EU and a major international alliance, in this case, the 14 Eyes Alliance. Nevertheless, Swedish privacy laws enable PrivateVPN to operate without collecting any logs, so you can stay very private with this offshore VPN.
This offshore provider is particularly convenient for torrents, as it’s the only VPN on my list that offers port forwarding. This, along with strong encryption and a strict no-logs policy, make PrivateVPN one of the best VPNs for torrenting and P2P file sharing.
If you want secure browsing with an offshore VPN but aren’t looking for extensive features, PrivateVPN is a respectable pick. Its user-friendly apps are very easy to navigate, as they provide both a simple view and an advanced view that offers more customizable options. And, with the service’s 99.98% uptime, you can count on stable connections suitable for all online activities.
- The most stable offshore VPN, with a 99.98% uptime
- Very affordable long-term plans
- Simple offshore VPN with unlimited bandwidth
- Well-balanced for all online activities
- Only offshore VPN on this list that isn’t audited
- Based in Sweden
If I ranked services solely based on their jurisdiction and no other factor, ExpressVPN would confidently take the second spot. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a location with privacy laws comparable to those in Panama. There are no mandatory data retention laws in the BVI. Moreover, any foreign government making a request to produce records needs to describe a long list of information that is often difficult to obtain.
ExpressVPN employs TrustedServer technology, which has been independently audited. All VPN servers run on RAM only, and all data is wiped on every reboot. It also doesn’t keep any activity or connection logs, and transparently lists the minimal information it does collect.
Additionally, along with NordVPN, ExpressVPN is arguably the best offshore VPN for streaming HD content. It has zero issues accessing geo-restricted streaming services and unblocking sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer from most parts of the world. It is among the fastest VPNs around and can maintain very stable speeds, even on remote connections.
Of course, these premium capabilities do come with some drawbacks, which ultimately relegated this provider to fourth place. ExpressVPN very much focuses on quality over quantity. It only offers five devices per subscription while maintaining some of the priciest plans in the industry. This makes it an unsuitable pick for those who want the best value for their money.
- Based in the British Virgin Islands
- Independently audited TrustedServer technology
- Very capable offshore VPN for accessing blocked websites
- Fast in-house Lightway protocol
- Very expensive, even on long-term plans
- VPN that supports the fewest simultaneous connections (5)
CyberGhost is based in Romania, an excellent location in terms of online privacy. Although Romania is a part of the European Union, it doesn’t follow the universal data retention laws pushed by the EU. Moreover, Romania isn’t a part of any international surveillance organization. With that in mind, Romania is as privacy-friendly a VPN jurisdiction as they come.
On top of this, CyberGhost underwent an independently audited no-logs policy from Deloitte. It uses only RAM-based servers and supports the high-performing WireGuard protocol.
In line with its privacy-oriented features, CyberGhost also offers anonymous payment options through several cryptocurrencies. It also offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, the longest offer out of all providers on this page.
On the negative side, CyberGhost is one of the more expensive VPNs on my list. And, for the features you get in return, it doesn’t provide the best value for money. This is why it takes a solid fifth place, but isn’t quite up to par with the best offshore VPNs like NordVPN and Surfshark.
- Based in Romania
- Audited by Deloitte
- Over 7,000 servers worldwide
- Very transparent about its service and servers
- 45-day money-back guarantee on long-term deals
- Expensive monthly subscription
- 14-day money-back guarantee on monthly plans
Table Comparison of the Top Offshore VPN Providers
The five VPNs above are the best offshore services you can get in 2023, and you won’t go wrong by picking any of them. That said, to make your selection process easier, I’ve drafted a table outlining their key feature. Here’s a direct table comparison of the best offshore VPN providers:
|Supports Anonymous Payments
|British Virgin Islands
Testing Methodology – How We Choose The Best Offshore VPN Outside the US
Choosing the best offshore VPN outside the surveillance jurisdiction of the US is not difficult, but it should revolve around a handful of specific criteria. Hopefully, the testing methodology I used when selecting the top five offshore VPNs will also help you pick the most suitable service for yourself. Here are the key features to look for in an offshore VPN:
- Offshore Location — The VPN shouldn’t only be based outside of the US, but also ideally outside of any country that has close ties with the US or is in a significant surveillance alliance. Locations like Panama and the British Virgin Islands are prime jurisdictions for top-quality VPNs.
- No-Logs Practices — This is an aspect you should never compromise on, even when using an offshore VPN. Knowing that the VPN doesn’t keep any logs brings you peace of mind that none of your private data can fall into the wrong hands.
- Audits — VPNs that have been audited by reputable companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) or any of the other Big Four auditing firms can guarantee transparency and ensure its users that it can keep them private. Most of the top offshore VPNs underwent audits to prove their dedication to user privacy and security.
- Security and Privacy Features — The offshore VPN should be able to keep your private information protected and safe. To do so, it should use strong encryption, reliable protocols, and, preferably, advanced protection features to ensure utmost privacy.
- User-Friendliness — Lastly, the offshore VPN should be easy to use and offer great support for native English speakers. Preferably, it should offer 24/7 live chat service and extensive support for beginner users.
United States vs. Offshore Jurisdiction
Offshore jurisdictions offer stronger protection for user data and privacy, with less strict data retention requirements and lower levels of government surveillance. Users concerned about privacy and anonymity typically find offshore jurisdictions appealing due to the potential advantages they offer in these areas.
On the other hand, the US has a robust legal framework that provides certain protections for users and requires transparency from VPN providers. VPN services based in the US can always be subject to more stringent regulations and oversight, which contributes to a higher level of trust and reputation. This legal framework can also offer users a higher level of legal recourse and accountability in case of any issues with the VPN service.
There are several trusted VPNs with a base in the US. Services like Private Internet Access and Atlas VPN are proven, safe, and have strict no-logs policies. They aren’t inherently worse than their counterparts that are based in offshore locations.
That said, the main reason why most VPN users, especially from the US, prefer offshore VPNs, is that the US is known for heavily engaging in surveillance practices. Offshore VPNs don’t fall under the country’s jurisdiction, so they aren’t obliged to give any data to US authorities when asked. And, seeing that most VPN users employ these tools for privacy protection, offshore VPNs are generally a better choice than services based in the US.
Offshore VPN vs. Proxy – Which One is Better?
An offshore VPN is the better pick in most situations. If you want maximum privacy and security, an offshore VPN is a much more capable tool than a proxy. It will help you be as anonymous as possible when online and unlock every corner of the Internet.
In comparison, a proxy can be a better tool in a few scenarios. If you need maximum speeds, a proxy is a more optimal choice, as it doesn’t encrypt your connections. Additionally, proxy servers are generally simpler and more straightforward to use.
How to Set Up an Offshore VPN
Setting up an offshore VPN across major devices and platforms is pretty straightforward. The steps can vary slightly depending on the platform you’re using but generally require minimum input on your part.
Here’s how to set up an offshore VPN on your device:
- Sign up with an offshore VPN of your choice and download the app (I recommend using NordVPN).
- Install the app and log in.
- Select a VPN server and connect to it.
- Wait a few seconds for the connection to establish, then enjoy browsing the Internet with your offshore VPN!
Best Offshore VPNs – Summing It Up
Whether you highly value your online privacy or think you have nothing to hide, the significance of offshore VPNs can’t be disregarded. Offshore VPNs in privacy-friendly locations can shield you from government agencies and regulators trying to impede your online experience.
That said, as there are many offshore VPNs available nowadays, opting for a reputable offshore service is paramount for data privacy and protection. The five VPNs I’ve featured on this page all adhere to the highest standards of privacy and operate in jurisdictions with favorable online privacy laws.
Still, one service stands out as the best offshore VPN in 2023. Based in Panama, with several audits, and strong features, NordVPN is the best offshore VPN you can use for total anonymity.
Offshore VPN FAQs
What is an offshore VPN?
An offshore VPN is a virtual private network service that operates in countries outside the jurisdiction of the US or the countries in the Five Eyes Alliance. By hosting servers in offshore locations, these VPNs aim to provide enhanced privacy and security.
What is the most untraceable offshore VPN?
NordVPN is the most untraceable offshore VPN you can use. This service offers features such as a strict no-logs policy, strong encryption protocols, an automatic kill switch, and supports anonymous payment methods. Plus, it’s based in privacy-friendly Panama.
Is using an Offshore VPN Service outside the USA illegal?
Using an offshore VPN service outside the USA is generally not illegal. VPN usage itself is legal in most countries, including the USA. However, keep in mind that the legality of certain activities conducted through a VPN remains subject to local laws.
Is it safe to use VPN based outside the USA?
Using a VPN based outside the USA can be safe, but it depends on the specific service and its reputation. Thoroughly researching and selecting a trustworthy VPN provider is essential for ensuring a safe and secure VPN experience, regardless of its location.
Do offshore VPNs keep logs of user activity?
The logging practices of offshore VPNs vary. There are many trusted VPNs that maintain a strict no-logging policy. On the other hand, some services log user data to a certain degree. To avoid VPNs that log data, stick only to trusted and proven providers.
Will an offshore VPN affect my Internet speed?
The distance between your location and the VPN server, the server load, and the quality of the VPN provider’s infrastructure, are the biggest factors impacting your speed. Whether the VPN is an offshore or onshore provider doesn’t make any difference.
What is the best offshore VPN for Netflix and other streaming services?
Premium offshore VPN providers like NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN are all very capable VPNs for accessing Netflix and other streaming platforms. These providers use quality servers and advanced technology, which enable them to easily unblock sites.
Are there any free offshore VPNs?
Most free offshore VPNs are untrustworthy and best to avoid. However, one free offshore VPN I can recommend is Proton VPN. It’s based in Switzerland and has a no-logs policy. The free plan has no data or speed restrictions. However, it has a one-device limit.
Cybersecurity and VPN researcher