Oakland, California is the county seat of Alameda County in the northern part of the state. Though it is part of the San Francisco Bay area, it has its own individual character. It has a population of 412k, serves as the trade center for the bay area, and is the 5th busiest port in the US. Of course, there are several great reasons to visit the area. It is close to Silicon Valley, has good weather, good sports teams, and a whole host of other things. If you are going to be in the Oakland area and plan on using public WiFi, we suggest connecting to a VPN first.
Best VPN for Oakland – Summary
Here’s a quick look at our list of the top 5 VPN services to use while in Oakland.
You will likely have some downtime, no matter why you visit the area. While some will do other things, most will use public WiFi at least once. WiFi is everywhere, especially in a tech capital like the bay area. Most feel that it is a great opportunity access, and the cybercriminals would agree. Though it may help you to save on your data plan or give you a faster speed, it will also leave you vulnerable. When you use a VPN, you can help protect your sensitive information from thieves.
The next reason to use a VPN while in the area is to help you get around geo-restrictions. From travelers to sports fans, everyone experiences geo-restrictions or blackouts from time to time. If you enjoy watching sports and are visiting the city, you already know you will be blocked from seeing the local teams online because of licensing rights. Other places you can find restrictions include colleges, corporations, and even some public WiFi spots. By connecting to a VPN server in a different city, the blocking software will think you are located somewhere else. A good VPN service will help you get around those types of restrictions.
Though there are other purposes for using a VPN, those are two of the biggest reasons. Once you sign up, you are likely to find other uses. From protecting your privacy to getting around geo-restrictions, the service covers you. When you are ready to choose a service, there are a few things you should consider.
What is the best VPN for Oakland?
By focusing on a few criteria, we can determine our list of the best VPNs for Oakland:
- Network stability (size of network) to help avoid service disconnects
- Providers with a no logs policy
- Fast servers that performed well on speed tests in the Oakland area
- Apps for multi-platform mobile devices including Amazon Firestick
- Ability to view sports blacked out and geo-restricted content
- Military grade encryption to secure your privacy
Without further delay, here is a list of the best VPN services for Oakland:
- Exclusive 12-month plan – $4.87 a month ($58.49 total cost)
- 3-month plan – $6.74 a month ($20.24 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $7.50 a month
Oakland has a great economy because of trade and other factors. However, the closest city for IPVanish is San Jose. That is why you want to connect to a server there. When you do, you will find that the connections in the city are fast and should work just fine for your needs. That makes IPVanish one of the best choices to use while in Oakland.
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 the US for our speed tests. You will find multiple server locations in countries all over the region. You can select a specific location or an individual server.
IPVanish hosts 20 servers in San Jose and you can choose to connect to any of them. They have great speeds and perform well. We tested an IPVanish server in San Jose and found the speed to be 130.52 Mbps.
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.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
- Exclusive 12-month plan + 3 mos. free – $6.67 a month ($99.95 total cost)
- 6-month plan – $9.99 a month ($59.95 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $12.95 a month
The combination of ExpressVPN’s fast server access and MediaStreamer act as a Smart DNS service to unblock content that is geo-blocked. Not only will the service help encrypt your connection but it will also unblock live sporting events. There is even a list of the latest live entertainment and sporting events on the ExpressVPN website.
As you can see in the table above, ExpressVPN manages a very large VPN network. Beyond the USA, the ExpressVPN network boasts hundreds 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 teams from anywhere.
The ExpressVPN app allows you to select a server location down to the city but you can not choose a specific server. Instead, the client will select a server in your chosen location. You also need to know that some cities are not shown on the recommended tab inside the client. Of course, this is true for San Francisco. You will want to select the “All” tab, open Americas, and then open the United States. At this point, you can select the USA – San Francisco server location. As you can see we tested a server in San Francisco and the speed was 116.43 Mbps.
While ExpressVPN is sold at a higher price point than the other services in our list, the value is high given the size of their network and service features. You can connect a computer, handheld device, router, and game console (SmartDNS) with a single VPN account for just $6.67 a month with an annual subscription.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
- Exclusive 12-month plan + 6 mos. free – $2.75 a month ($49.50 total cost)
- 6-month plan – $4.99 a month ($29.94 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $11.99 a month
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 others. The Windows client also gives you the option to surf anonymously, protect Wi-Fi, torrent anonymously, unblock basic websites (Google, Facebook Instagram, etc.), and choose a server.
Since we wanted to test a server near Oakland, 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 the United States and click to the right of the star. This will bring up a full list of servers in the USA. The CyberGhost network includes a number of servers in San Francisco. We connected to one of them and tested the performance. As you can see, our download speed was 116.78 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.
Read our full review of CyberGhost VPN.
- Exclusive 24 month plan – $2.50 a month ($59.95 total cost)
- 12-month plan – $3.25 a month ($38.95 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $6.45 a month
Private Internet Access (PIA) gives users a few different options. Unlike in the past, you no longer have to set up a profile for each VPN server. Now, you can connect to any of their server locations in 28 countries. As you can see below, the PIA team has organized their servers by region, country, and city. They listed the server locations in alphabetical order by country. Once you select a location, you can connect easily to locations near Oakland.
There are a lot of torrent users who love Private Internet Access. The service includes a feature that will stop your system from communicating if the connection to their service drops. Meaning if your encrypted VPN access is dropped for any reason it will keep you safe.
PIA’s Windows client is very straightforward. You won’t find much to it as far as usage and set up goes. However, you won’t want to underestimate it. PIA offers different levels of privacy protection depending on your needs. You can control encryption levels and find the right balance between privacy and speed. As you can see, our speed test showed that PIA was running at 128.14 Mbps when connected to a San Jose server.
When it comes to their Windows client the PIA team has included an Internet kill switch. The kill switch will kill your Internet connection anytime the VPN fails. That can really come in handy for those wanting to ensure anonymity in Oakland. Private Internet Access offers VPN from just $2.50 a month.
Read our full review of Private Internet Access.
- 12-month plan – $6.99 a month ($83.88 total cost)
- 6-month plan – $7.99 a month ($47.94 total cost)
- 1-month plan – $11.99 a month
HideMyAss was brought to life in 2005 when Jack Cator, a 16-year-old student in England, decided that he wanted to create a service to help people avoid censorship. Specifically, Jack was unable to access social media sites and online games because they were blocked on the school network. HMA added hundreds of thousands of users the first month and has since grown into one of the largest VPN services in the world with over 350 server locations. Privax, the parent company of HMA Pro VPN, joined the AVG team in 2015.
If your goal is to find the VPN with the most server locations then HideMyAss is your best choice. Just keep in mind that HMA logs user activity which is a concern for some VPN users. HMA hosts many VPN servers all over the US, including a number in San Jose (the closest city to Oakland). To connect to a server there, you will want to go into the “Location Mode” and select “Change Location” to get started. Then click on the “Cities” tab and search for San Jose. From there you can select the San Jose, California, USA server location. We connected to a server there to test and found the speed to be 125.98 Mbps.
In 2016 HMA and a few other leading VPN providers led the way in simplifying their custom client software. The result is a full set of custom apps that make it easy for any user to connect to the HMA network and encrypt your connection. They have software available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can also connect to HMA through your router. HMA offers unlimited VPN access from just $6.99 a month and offers all new users a 30-day risk-free money back guarantee.
Read our full review of HMA.
If you are looking for more options, please feel free to check out our top 10 VPN services list. Our above options will likely satisfy you, though. We chose them based on speed, reliability, price, and security. We also looked for providers with servers located in or near San Francisco. That way, you will 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.