While Chicago, Illinois was incorporated the same year as Atlanta was in 1837, the population of the greater metro area has exploded. Today, it is the third largest in the United States. There are many things that make the city a popular place to visit. From history to sports to major businesses, people come to Chicago from all over the world. It has also become a popular place for conventions. No matter your reasons for traveling to the city, there are some good reasons to use a VPN while there. We’ll explain more in a moment. First, take a look at our list of the best VPNs for Chicago.
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If you are going to be traveling to Chicago soon, you will find plenty to do and see. There are museums, zoos, and even a shoreline for you to enjoy. If those do not appeal to you, there are plenty of other things to do. Sports fans are in for a treat with the Chicago Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks offering nearly year around excitement. If you plan to watch your favorite Chicago team a VPN will help unblock geo and blackout restrictions.
With the size of Chicago, the first reason to use a VPN there is privacy. Free Wifi is great, but it can bring unwanted attention. You never know when someone is waiting for you to connect to a free location so they can steal sensitive data. It is easy to do if you are unprotected.
For those traveling to the city from other places, you may have a need to connect to your home region or others. If you try to do that without using a VPN, you may run into geo-restrictions. Those are limitations enforced so users can’t view content if they are inside or outside of a certain area. An example of that is you might not be able to see your local news online because you are not there. Simply connect to a VPN in your home region, and it will help you get around these blocks.
What is the best VPN for Chicago?
Our list of the best VPNs for Chicago is based on the following criteria:
- Speed tests performed on VPN servers in Chicago
- Network reliability for streaming live sports
- High levels of encryption to protect your online privacy
- Preference given to VPNs who do not keep usage logs
- Support for Kodi, torrent traffic, and popular online games.
- Mobile apps and streaming support for Amazon Firestick users
Without further delay, here is a list of the best VPN services for Chicago:
ExpressVPN brings together fast VPN access with MediaStreamer which acts as a Smart DNS service to unblock access to geo-restricted content. The VPN service will help encrypt your connection and unblock live sporting events. You will even find a list of the latest live entertainment and sporting events on their website. Being in the British Virgin Islands puts ExpressVPN outside the 5 eyes and 14 eyes countries. They maintain a no-log policy that has been verified through high profile legal requests over the years.
ExpressVPN manages a very large VPN network. Beyond the USA, the ExpressVPN network boasts thousands of servers in key locations to help protect their user’s privacy. You can use their network to protect your privacy, unblock censorship, and watch your favorite streaming services from anywhere.
The ExpressVPN app allows you to select a server location down to the city but do not need to choose a specific server. Instead, the client will select the fastest server in your chosen location. You also need to know that some cities are not shown on the recommended tab inside the client. This is true for Chicago. You will want to select the “All” tab, open Americas, and then open United States. At this point, you can select the USA – Chicago server location. As you can see we tested a server in Chicago and the speed was 115.02 Mbps.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of using ExpressVPN is their support for a wide range of devices. ExpressVPN offers custom VPN software for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Connect from your desktop and mobile at the same time with up to 3 simultaneous connections. You can also install the ExpressVPN web extension for Chrome or Firefox. Want to protect your entire home network with a single VPN account? If so you can use the ExpressVPN router app to get all set up. The MediaStreamer feature adds Smart DNS support to devices like game consoles (PS4, Xbox Onw, Nintendo Switch, etc.), media boxes (Apple TV, Roku, Nvidia Shield TV, etc.), and Smart TVs.
ExpressVPN performed very well in our speed tests. They are a great choice for privacy and to unblock geo-restrictions. Customer support is available 24/7 to provide assistance and answer any questions. Enjoy the best VPN for less with confidence as ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money back guarantee.
NordVPN is based in Panama which some users prefer to using a VPN company that’s actually headquartered in the United States. You will find that NordVPN has a strong presence in the US with servers located throughout the country. Members have full access to their network in the USA and beyond for a very good price.
You will find that NordVPN has perhaps the best mix of services for the price if you subscribe to a longer term account. All users have full access to their network and custom software. You can connect using the VPN client for Windows or Mac. They also have an easy to use mobile app for both Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad) devices.
NordVPN hosts a number of servers in Chicago. From the console, clicking on the 3 horizontal dots to the right of the country, you can locate the server area and see the percentages of the servers available. We tested the United States server in Chicago and the download speed was 129.19 Mbps.
Want to access streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world? If so NordVPN is a great choice. They are one of the only VPN services that can still unblock Netflix. You can sign up for unlimited VPN and SmartDNS service from just $2.99 a month with a 3-year membership.
We had the pleasure to visit Chicago during the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2017 and were quite pleased with the performance of IPVanish from our hotel and around the city. The VPN service has more server locations in the United States than the other companies in our list. This makes them our go-to VPN for Chicago.
Along with a large footprint in the USA, IPVanish hosts servers in every continent other than Antarctica. The network has consistently been the fastest VPN in North America and Europe in our speed tests. You will find multiple server locations in countries like the US and UK. You can select a location or an individual server.
IPVanish hosts 56 servers in Chicago and you can choose to connect to any of them. We suggest selecting one that starts with “a” in the server name. For example chi.a01.ipvanish.com. In most cases, you will find the “a” servers to be the fastest. We tested an IPVanish server in Chicago and found the speed to be 128.12 Mbps on our cable Internet connection that maxes out around the same speed.
When it comes to value IPVanish is hard to beat. They offer unlimited access to their VPN network and custom software for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Firestick and more for $7.50 a month or $58.49 a year. That works out to just $4.87 a month on the annual plan. A 7-day money back guarantee covers all new members.
CyberGhost was founded in 2001 by 7 enthusiastic young team members in Bucharest, Romania. Since that time the company has grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world. The team of 50+ members is focused on protecting users privacy. Robert Knapp, co-founder and CEO, continues to lead the team even after they joined the Crossrider group in 2017. Since that time the CyberGhost network has expanded quite a bit.
CyberGhost offers a nice mix of server locations, strong encryption, and the ability to unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, YouTube Red, and Amazon Prime. Some of the channels even let you unblock geo-restrictions for multiple regions. For example, you can access Amazon Prime video content in the US, Germany, or UK. The Windows client also gives you the option to surf anonymously, protect WiFi, torrent anonymously, unblock basic websites (Google, Facebook Instagram, etc.), and choose a server.
Since we wanted to test a server in Chicago, we opened the Windows client and expanded the interface. From there, you will want to click on the “All Servers” tab if it isn’t already active. Scroll down to United States and click to the right of the star. This will bring up a full list of servers in the country. The CyberGhost network includes a few servers in Chicago. We connected to a server there and we got a speed of 118.79 Mbps.
The CyberGhost VPN client is one of our favorites. It is very easy to use and includes a number of advanced features to help protect your online privacy. They have a development team in Germany that is continually adding features to the client and mobile apps. You can sign up for full access to the CyberGhost network from just $2.75 a month during their current promotion.
The VyprVPN team is based out of Austin, Texas and has a long history of fighting for user’s Internet privacy. They have hosted an annual privacy panel at SXSW for several years and have even spent time in Washington, DC lobbying for privacy reforms. You will find the VPN service to be in line with their values.
You will notice some added features with VyprVPN depending on which account you choose. The VyprVPN Premium plan includes 5 simultaneous connections, VyprVPN Cloud, and Chameleon protocol. The VyprVPN Cloud feature allows you to control your own VPN server in the cloud while the Chameleon protocol helps users in countries like China get around government censorship.
The VyprVPN client does not give you the ability to select a specific server number in Chicago. Instead, you will want to switch the location to Chicago. From there, the client will automatically connect you to the best VPN server in Chicago. You can see the results of speed test below. We were able to achieve a download speed of 57.02 Mbps after connecting to a server in Chicago.
VyprVPN has been kind in offering our visitors a 25% discount. The coupon stacks on top of their normal term discounts. You can enjoy unlimited VPN and VyprVPN Cloud for just $12.95 a month or $60 a year. The annual account works out to just $5.00 a month. New users are covered by a 30-day money back guarantee.
If you are looking for more options, please feel free to check out our top 10 VPN services list. We think you’ll be satisfied with the options we gave you above, though. They were chosen based on speed, reliability, price, and security. We also looked for providers with servers located in Chicago. That way, you can be assured that you get the best speeds. Of course, they all have great networks. Speed is important if you plan on downloading or streaming HD content. The providers we mentioned above are the best options for doing that, no matter which popular services you want to use. Hopefully, our guide will help you make the best decision possible.