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The 5 Best VPNs for San Francisco

Best San Francisco VPN

If you frequently use unprotected Wi-Fi networks available in San Francisco public locations, your privacy might be at risk. Moreover, even if you mostly use your home network, you can never know who might be snooping around. Plus, if you want to access foreign sites, you’ll often find that they’re geo-restricted and unavailable.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to address all of these topics, and that’s to use a reliable VPN service for San Francisco. With a VPN, you can easily change your IP address to access any website while still maintaining your privacy and security by keeping your real IP address secret.

That said, choosing the right VPN for all of these tasks can be difficult. That’s why we’ve created this detailed article that covers everything you need to know about picking the right Bay area VPN and other important factors. But, before going any further, here’s a quick table covering our top five SF VPN picks:

Here are the best VPNs for San Francisco:
  1. NordVPN – overall the best San Francisco VPN
  2. Surfshark – top VPN for San Francisco with unlimited connections
  3. AtlasVPN – great VPN with a free version
  4. PrivateVPN – simple to use and great for torrenting
  5. ExpressVPN – a fast and premium SF VPN

A Quick San Francisco VPN Comparison

RankVPN ServiceOur ScoreAvailable ServersSimultaneous
1.NordVPN4.8/55200+6Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Routers
2.Surfshark4.6/53200+UnlimitedAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Routers
3.AtlasVPN4.5/5750+UnlimitedAndroid, iOS, Windows, macOS
4.PrivateVPN4.3/5200+10Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Routers
5.ExpressVPN4.3/53000+5Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Routers

Why Use a VPN for San Francisco

VPN usage has grown significantly over the past few years, as more and more online users are realizing the importance and usefulness of having such a tool by their side. Nevertheless, if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you should use a VPN for San Francisco, we want to highlight some of the most significant reasons why you should consider doing so. Here are the top three arguments for using a VPN for San Francisco:

  • Stay Private Online – The primary reason to use a VPN for San Francisco is to protect your online privacy from hackers and other snoopers. But, these people aren’t the only ones you should be thinking about when using the Internet. Even your ISP and the government could be spying on your activity without you knowing it. With a VPN, you can deny all of them access to your online browsing information.
  • Avoid Geo-blocking – If you want to access websites and services in other countries and regions from SF, a VPN is the most effective way to do so. Moreover, it’s also the best tool to use when traveling abroad, as you can keep in touch with local SF sites by connecting to servers based in San Francisco.
  • Improve Your Internet  – Apart from the two major reasons above, not many users know that a VPN can actually also help improve your Internet connection in some cases. If your ISP is throttling your bandwidth, switching to a VPN server can improve your ping and result in a faster Internet connection with less lag.

5 Best VPNs for San Francisco

1. NordVPN

With over 5,200 servers globally, including servers in San Francisco, NordVPN has one of the most impressive server networks in the industry. But, numbers aside, NordVPN’s servers are all top-quality. They are RAM-based and support the service’s NordLynx protocol. 

Moreover, NordVPN’s servers come with a handful of outstanding features. These include P2P support, a Double VPN feature, and server obfuscation. You can even opt for a dedicated IP address if you want to make sure no other NordVPN is on the same IP address as you.

In addition to being one of the best-performing VPNs in the industry, NordVPN is also one of the safest and most reputable ones. It’s based in privacy-friendly Panama and doesn’t keep any user activity logs. Considering all of these features, NordVPN is our top VPN for SF and also our first choice as the best VPN for the USA.

  • Thousands of lightning-fast servers
  • Unblocks streaming services
  • Fully supports Torrenting and P2P
  • Strict no-logs policy and RAM-disk servers
  • Ad blocker and malware protection features
  • Robust security features and military-grade encryption
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Only 6 simultaneous connections
  • No free trial

2. Surfshark

If you’re searching for a VPN that delivers the perfect balance between sophisticated features and affordable pricing plans, Surfshark is definitely worth considering. At just a couple of bucks per month with one of their longer plans, you’re getting a blazing-fast VPN with tons of advanced features.

It allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices and comes with in-house created features like CleanWeb, Camouflage Mode, and NoBorders Mode. There are also a handful of standard features, like a kill switch and private DNS leak protection.

Surfshark also doesn’t lack in the slightest in terms of server support. It offers over 3,200 servers in 65 countries. This includes servers in San Francisco and nearby San Jose, as well as in a few dozen other US cities. 

  • Very affordable
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Ad-blocking feature
  • Unblocks streaming platforms
  • Allows split-tunneling and has multi-hop VPN feature
  • No-log policy and strong security features
  • GPS spoofing on Android devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No free version
  • Does not allow P2P seeding

3. AtlasVPN

AtlasVPN is undoubtedly one of the most impressive VPNs on the market, as it offers a great all-around service suitable for all of your online needs. Although this VPN doesn’t offer servers in San Francisco, it does have server locations across the US, including in cities close to SF. In total, AtlasVPN delivers a very solid VPN network of over 750 servers worldwide.

But, apart from its server base, this VPN performs excellently on all other fronts. It’s optimized for streaming and allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices per one subscription. Moreover, with data leak protection and military-grade encryption, you can rest assured your data is far from anyone’s reach. And, if you do encounter some problems with AtlasVPN’s service, you can rely on 24/7 customer support.

  • Very affordable plans and it has a free version
  • Fast Speeds
  • Unlimited device support
  • WireGuard protocol and strong security features
  • Torrenting-friendly
  • Unblocks streaming services
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Limited Linux app
  • Based in the US
  • Not so many servers

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a very safe and private service, as its name implies. It uses virtually uncrackable AES 256-bit encryption and offers you a variety of VPN protocols to meet your specific needs. It doesn’t keep any user activity logs and delivers above-average speeds with unlimited bandwidth. From a user experience perspective, it’s also good to know that this VPN is compatible with all major software platforms.

Surfshark offers a fairly small server network of around 200 servers, so it doesn’t actually have servers in San Francisco. That said, it does provide servers in a dozen US cities, some of which are close to SF, so you can still enjoy the same online experience without any limitations. While it lacks more sophisticated features, PrivateVPN is a great VPN for casual online users.

  • Supports P2P traffic and allows port forwarding
  • Unlimited bandwidth and great speeds
  • Unblocks most streaming platforms
  • Zero-logging policy
  • Free Static IP servers
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Not as many servers as other VPN providers
  • No split-tunneling

5. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers a VPN network covering over 160 locations in 94 countries worldwide. More important in the context of this page, it also offers servers in San Francisco. The service applies TrustedServer technology and has private DNS on every server. It also comes with great features like split tunneling and a kill switch.

ExpressVPN is also a top pick if you’re looking for a VPN that has outstanding geo-unblocking capabilities. This VPN service can access and operate in any region, no matter how restrictive it is. It can even work in authoritarian countries like Russia and China, which generally have a very high level of censorship. ExpressVPN is a bit on the pricey side, but its top-quality features make it well worth the subscription price.

  • Works with streaming
  • Supports torrenting
  • No-logs policy
  • TrustedServer technology with RAM-only servers
  • Premium security features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Expensive subscription plans
  • Only 5 simultaneous connections

How to Choose a VPN for San Francisco

There’s no shortage of VPN services to choose from, and even this top-five list can leave you uncertain of which VPN for San Francisco is the best pick for you. So, how do you know what to look for and which VPN to choose? Here are the biggest determinants you have to factor in when picking a VPN for San Francisco:

  • Quality and Quantity of Servers – A top VPN for San Francisco should offer a great selection of servers. Preferably, this should include servers in SF or one of the nearby cities and in many other regions worldwide. This allows you to conveniently pick a nearby server or connect to a server in a specific country when you want to do so.
  • Privacy Features – Most users use VPN services primarily to ensure online privacy. That said, to make sure you obtain online privacy, the VPN for SF of your choice should have strong encryption, features like a kill switch and server obfuscation, and, if possible, a few additional advanced settings.
  • Connection Speeds – Even the most secure and private VPN isn’t of much use if it delivers slow connection speeds. For this reason, if you want an SF VPN mainly for streaming or online gaming, you should focus on its connection speeds, especially on long-distance server connections.
  • Unblocking Power – If you wish to frequently access different regions and foreign sites or travel often and need to access US-based websites, the VPN you pick should have impeccable unblocking capabilities. This will ensure you always get access, no matter where you are or in which region you want to use the VPN service.
  • Device Compatibility and Support Quality – These are arguably two of the most important factors that impact your user experience, apart from the main criteria above. Ensure the VPN offers compatibility for the device you want to use. Additionally, the VPN should ideally offer around-the-clock support. That way, you’re always covered if you encounter an issue with its service.
  • Payment Plans and Money-back – A good SF VPN should offer at least a couple of payment plans, to provide a variety of choices. It should also offer a money-back option if you change your mind after purchasing a subscription. For this reason, all of the VPNs we’ve featured in this article offer excellent value for money and also offer some form of a money-back guarantee.

VPN San Francisco FAQs

Is a VPN needed in San Francisco? 

Yes, a VPN for San Francisco is one of the best and most useful tools you can use when on the Internet. Whether you’re physically in SF or just want an SF IP address to mask your real IP, a VPN is your best pick. Moreover, if you want to stay private online and prevent anyone from snooping, an SF VPN is the way to go.

Is a VPN legal in San Francisco? 

Yes, a VPN is completely legal in San Francisco, as it is in all other US cities. That said, if you plan on connecting to SF servers from other regions, you might want to research the legality of VPN use in your location. This is because VPN usage is not legal in some, more restrictive countries around the world.

How to get a San Francisco IP address?

If you want to get an SF IP address, you need to sign up with a VPN that offers SF servers. Here’s how to get a San Fransisco IP address:

  1. Sign up with a trusted Bay area VPN (We recommend NordVPN)
  2. Download the appropriate app.
  3. Choose a server and connect to an SF server.
  4. You’ve successfully switched your IP address to SF!

Can I use a free VPN for San Francisco?

While there are many free VPNs you can choose from, we strongly advise you to avoid using these services. Free VPN services are generally not as safe nor powerful as premium VPNs. If you truly want to keep your valuable data to yourself, you should only use a paid VPN service.

If you’re looking to use a San Francisco VPN free of charge, the best way to do it is to exercise a money-back option. Each VPN we’ve featured in this article offers one, allowing you to try out their services without having to spend any money.

Can you use a VPN in other states?

Yes, you can use a VPN in any other state in the US. You can use a VPN to get an IP address in states like New Jersey, Hawaii, Atlanta, and many more. Some popular cities to use a VPN are Phoenix, Charlotte, Dallas, and Seattle.


After thoroughly testing all of the top VPN services in the industry, we believe that the five VPNs we’ve included on this list are the best services for San Francisco. Each VPN we’ve shared with you above is great for San Francisco. So, choosing the most suitable San Francisco VPN primarily depends on what tasks you’ll be needing it for.

If you can’t decide which service is the best pick for you, we recommend NordVPN. It’s our top VPN for San Francisco overall. This is because it’s super-fast, has very strong unblocking abilities, and is arguably the safest VPN in the industry.

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