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5 Best VPNs for California in 2022 for Streaming and Speed

You’d think finding a VPN for the state that harbors Silicon Valley would be easy. However, it’s surprisingly difficult to find a VPN that offers fast, secure California servers. There are hundreds of options, and only a few offer the security you need to keep you safe while browsing and streaming in California.

You need a service with strong privacy measures and plenty of servers inside and outside California to safely access local and international content. So you never have to miss another Dodgers or Giants game again.

That’s why my colleagues and I tested 90+ VPNs to find the best options for California in terms of speed, security, and privacy.

My top choice is ExpressVPN. It offers a server hub in California, and its Lightway protocol gives you stable, lightning-fast speeds. Plus, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can try ExpressVPN with confidence.

Get the Best VPN for California Now!

Short on time? Here Are the Best VPNs for California in May 2022

  1. ExpressVPN — #1 VPN for securely accessing content in and outside of California due to its lightning-fast global servers and robust security. Try ExpressVPN risk-free as it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. IPVanish — Scramble feature and servers worldwide to bypass geo-restrictions easily.
  3. CyberGhost — P2P optimized servers for fast and anonymous torrenting, but only long-term plans are covered by the extended money-back guarantee.
  4. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Vast US server network to unblock local websites and services abroad, but not all servers are reliable.
  5. PrivateVPN — Fast connections for buffer-free streaming, but small network.

Try ExpressVPN Risk-FREE Today!

The Best VPNs for California— Full Analysis (Updated in 2022)

I tested hundreds of VPNs for speed, server availability, privacy, and security, to find the best VPNs for California.

My team and I were able to find these secure options that can help you access local content. Plus, the VPNs on my list use high-level security features and have global networks that allow you to unlock your international streaming accounts worldwide.

Even better, each one comes with a money-back guarantee so you can try them without risk.

1. ExpressVPN — Fastest Speeds for All Your Online Activities in California

  • Server speed and location: The fastest VPN I tested. 160 servers in 94 countries, including several in California
  • Security capability: Military-grade encryption and TrustedServer technology
  • Data privacy: Zero logs-policy and a kill switch
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and more
ExpressVPN Offer May 2022: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN was the fastest service I tested for California, partly thanks to its proprietary protocol Lightway. The innovative protocol is built for streaming and offers fast, stable connections. I tested several ExpressVPN US servers, and I could stream buffer-free in UHD every time.

I didn’t notice any lag or other latency issues while gaming either. Plus, all of the California servers I tested had 28+ Mbps for a download speed, more than enough for smooth torrenting.

The VPN gave me access to every one of my streaming accounts. It has over 160 servers in 94 countries. I could easily access my Netflix UK and BBC iPlayer accounts during testing — as well as local area content like ABC7.

All the security measures worked well during my tests. My IP address and online activity were never leaked. My devices were protected by 256-bit AES encryption, and I had a choice of security protocols — including OpenVPN and IKEv2 — as well as Lightway.

There’s also a kill switch called Network Lock. It disconnects you from the internet if the VPN fails and helps prevent accidental exposure. However, it never needed to kick in for me.

The strict-no logs policy is also backed up by TrustedServer technology. That means the VPN uses RAM-only servers that are wiped every time they’re restarted. — automatically deleting all of your data. So, ExpressVPN physically can’t store or pass on your sensitive information.

I used the VPN on up to 5 devices simultaneously, and it had native apps for all my gadgets. Installation and setup were easy, but the service offers 24/7 live customer support if you do hit any roadblocks.

This VPN backs its service with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN risk-free. I tested the process myself and got a full refund within 3 days.

Try ExpressVPN Now!

2. IPVanish — Global Network and Scramble Feature to Unblock Content From Anywhere

  • Server speed and location: Fast speeds with 2,000 servers in 75 countries, including 138 in California
  • Security capability: AES 256-bit encryption
  • Data privacy: Leak protection and a no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, and more
IPVanish May 2022 Deal: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 63% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

IPVanish’s Scramble feature helped me unblock content worldwide. It makes your VPN traffic look like regular traffic, so streaming sites' VPN blocks can’t detect you. There are also 2,000 servers in 75 countries — 130+ servers in California alone — you’ll have no problem accessing content locally and globally.

When I tested IPVanish, I could access my Netflix account and a Giants game I was missing while away from California. My speeds were fast enough to stream in HD, and I didn’t experience any buffering.

The VPN offers all the security features you need, like 256-bit AES encryption, leak protection, secure protocols. Plus, a no-logs policy ensures your personally identifiable information won't be shared with third parties. There's a kill switch too, so your data is kept safe from snoops and hackers.

Apart from that, I found the apps I tested easy to use. Installation takes less than 5 minutes from start to finish, and the VPN had native apps for most of my devices. If you do have any issues, IPVanish offers 24/7 customer support, and the Help section of its website has handy setup guides available.

The VPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try IPVanish free for a short time. I tested the refund process and got my money back that same week.

Try IPVanish Now!

3. CyberGhost — Torrenting Optimized Servers for Safe Downloads in California

  • Server speed and location: Excellent speed on all 8,028 servers in 91 countries, including 181 in California
  • Security capability: 256-bit AES encryption and automatic WiFi protection
  • Data privacy: Strict no-logs policy and leak protection
  • Money-back guarantee: 45 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and more
May 2022 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 82% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost is fast and secure for torrenting. It even has optimized servers for P2P traffic, which I found labeled and listed in my app for easy connection. All you have to do is select a torrent-optimized server from the list, and you’re good to go.

My connection was safeguarded by AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection. I never had to worry that my IP address might be exposed when I was torrenting. There’s also a strict no-logs policy, so the VPN won’t record what you do online.

The automatic WiFi protection was especially useful when I was working in cafes around California. It launches the VPN as soon as it detects an unknown network — so it automatically keeps you safe from hackers on public WiFi.

I tested CyberGhost’s Californian servers for torrenting and got decent speed results. My connection was fast enough for rapid downloads and uploads.

If you want even faster speeds, I recommend using the WireGuard protocol. Not many VPNs support WireGuard as it’s a bit less secure than OpenVPN, but it did give me breakneck speeds in comparison.

The network includes 8,028 servers in 91 countries, and there are 150+ servers in California. I was able to stream both my local and international streaming accounts, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer. There are streaming-optimized servers too.

While short-term plans only come with a 14-day money-back guarantee, a long-term subscription offers 45 days! So, you can try out all CyberGhost features risk-free. I requested a refund via the 24/7 live chat and got my money back 5 days later.

Try CyberGhost Risk-Free Now!

4. Private Internet Access — Most Servers in California for Accessing Local Content

  • Server speed and location: Fast speeds with 29,650 servers in 84 countries, including 1,200+ in California
  • Security capability: High-end encryption and malware blocker
  • Data privacy: No-logs policy and leak protection
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix, Disney+, ESPN, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and more
May 2022 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 82% off!

Private Internet Access (PIA) boasts the largest network of servers on this list. It has over 29,650+ servers in 84 countries, including 1,200+ servers in California. While out of state, I could get past local sports blackouts and watch all the games I wanted.

While I couldn’t access my BBC iPlayer account, I could unblock all my US accounts (including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video) when traveling abroad. My speeds were excellent and I streamed in HD throughout my PIA tests.

I found the app is automatically set to 128-bit AES encryption, which will give you faster speeds, but is less secure. However, you can simply switch to the more secure 256-bits when navigating to settings.

OpenVPN is the default protocol though, which I was happy with — it’s the most secure protocol currently available. The service VPN also follows a no-logs policy, so none of your data is ever shared or stored.

In my settings, I also found an ad, tracker, and malware blocker called MACE. It worked quite well at blocking annoying pop-up ads and alerted me when I was about to click on a potentially malicious link while using a cafe hotspot.

My subscription allowed me to connect up to 10 devices. The VPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee too, so you can try PIA for free for a while. When I tested the process, I got my money back within 10 days.

Try PIA Now!

5. PrivateVPN — Consistent Speeds for Buffer-Free Streaming

  • Server speed and location: Fast connections on 200 servers in 63 countries, including California
  • Security capability: Strong encryption and Stealth mode
  • Data privacy: Strict no-logs policy
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Can stream local and global content: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and more

PrivateVPN gave me reliable speeds for streaming in the US. I tested PrivateVPN’s US servers and was able to stream in UHD in most states, including California. I didn’t have to deal with any freezing or buffering while watching Netflix.

The service is also excellent for unlocking US streaming accounts abroad. I accessed my Netflix and Amazon Prime Video US accounts, as well as local content for California like ABC7.

The network of 200 servers in 63 countries is smaller than most, so I noticed some speed dips on servers in more distant locations. However, I was always able to find a fast server eventually.

I found torrenting especially easy. The service recommends its servers in Sweden for torrenting due to the country's strong privacy laws. All servers support unlimited P2P sharing, and I had no bandwidth caps, so I could download and upload as much as I liked.

You're kept safe while you stream, browse, torrent or game — PrivateVPN comes with 256-bit AES encryption with OpenVPN protocol. It also has DNS/IP leak protection, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy. I detected no data leaks during my tests.

You can use the service on up to 10 devices per license. When you subscribe, you can ask for a refund within the 30-day money-back guarantee window. So you get plenty of time to try PrivateVPN without risk. I asked for a refund, and the money was back in my account after 7 days.

Try PrivateVPN Now!

Quick Guide: How to Set Up a VPN for California

  1. Download a VPN. ExpressVPN is the best for California as it provides excellent security without slowing you down when streaming. Plus, it has lots of local and global servers for bypassing geo-restrictions.
  2. Connect to a server. Choose a location with the content you want to access. For example, a server in California will let you stream a Dodgers game even if you’re outside the country.
  3. Start browsing! You now have safe, fast access to an open internet!

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPN for California

There were several important attributes I looked for while testing the best VPNs for California. Here are some of the most crucial features each VPN had to include to make the list:

  • Servers in California (or nearby) — A VPN with servers in California will offer the fastest speeds. It’ll also give you access to local content like online news or weather sites if you’re outside the state.
  • Global server coverage — If you want to access services like 9Now in Australia or BBC iPlayer in the UK, you’ll need a VPN that offers global servers as well.
  • Military-grade encryption — AES 256-bit encryption is the current industry standard and virtually unbreakable.
  • No-logs policy — A no-logs policy means the VPN won’t store your data, sell personal information, or share browsing habits with third parties.
  • Money-back guarantee —A money-back guarantee can be as good as a free trial, as it offers time to test the service without committing. That way, you don’t get locked into a long-term subscription if the VPN isn’t right for you.

Try ExpressVPN for California Risk-Free Today!

FAQs on Using a VPN in California

Why do I need a VPN for California?

You need a VPN to get safe access to unrestricted content.

The US is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance — a group of countries that monitor and share citizens’ online activity. Cybercrime is also a huge problem in the States, especially if you’re using unsecured public WiFi hotspots around California.

A VPN encrypts your traffic so that you’re protected from snoops and cyberattacks. The best VPNs also come with other security features like leak protection and a kill switch to ensure your actual location and online activity are never exposed.

VPNs can also help you unblock local and international content. When you connect to a VPN server in another location, you get an IP address from that location. So you can connect to a Californian server to watch local sports if you’re abroad or use your VPN to unblock your international accounts from California.

All the VPNs on this list have world-class security features and global server networks that cover California.

What’s the best VPN for California?

ExpressVPN is hands down the best VPN for California. Its Lightway protocol helps ensure fast, stable connections while streaming local and global content.

The VPN also uses military-grade encryption to protect your traffic, keeping you safe from hackers and prying eyes. Plus, the 30-day money-back guarantee means you can try ExpressVPN for yourself risk-free.

Can I use a free VPN in California?

I don’t recommend it. Free services generally restrict your server access, speeds, bandwidth, or data (or all of the above).

Worse yet, some free VPNs come riddled with spyware or sell your browsing habits to third parties for marketing purposes.

It’s better to choose a paid service that gives you unlimited access to all its features, like ExpressVPN. That way, you don’t need to take a risk and potentially expose your data or put your device’s health in jeopardy.

Is a VPN legal in California?

It’s okay to use a VPN in the US, including California. Even in places where internet and VPN use are heavily monitored, restricted, or banned outright (for example, in China and Russia), tourists have never gotten into trouble for using a VPN during a vacation.

Choose a VPN with robust security features and a global network of servers to give you secure access to the websites and services you need.

Which VPN is the fastest?

ExpressVPN was the fastest I tested.

That being said, all of the VPNs for California gave me speeds that were at least fast enough to stream in HD. Most of them will even allow you to game without lag or latency.

How can I get a California IP address?

Choose a VPN with at least one Californian server. Then, connect to a server in California (or in a Californian city), and you’ll immediately get a Californian IP address.

ExpressVPN has many servers in California, so it’s a good choice for guaranteed access to local content.

The Bottom Line

Between government surveillance, cybercrime, sports blackouts, and blocked streaming sites, using the internet in California isn’t exactly safe or free. Fortunately, a VPN can keep you safe online while opening up the internet so you can browse, stream, game, or torrent from anywhere.

My favorite VPN for California is ExpressVPN. It has plenty of servers in the state to give you access to local content and offers lightning-fast speeds for streaming. You can also access your international accounts from anywhere you travel because it can bypass even the toughest geoblocks.

Not only that but there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try ExpressVPN with confidence, knowing that you can get a refund if it’s not right for you.

To summarize, here are the best VPNs for California

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

Kristin is a Multimedia Visual Communications entrepreneur who is experienced with identity access management and online security.

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