Best VPNs for Raleigh, North Carolina

RaleighRaleigh is the capital of North Carolina. It is the second largest city in the state, with a population of 464k. However, the metro area houses approximately 1.3 million. There are many things to do in the city and it is effectively home to 3 very well-known colleges. Those are the University of North Carolina (UNC), North Carolina State University (NC State), and Duke University. In fact, you could visit all three and return to your starting point without going 65 miles round trip. If you are going to Raleigh for any one of a number of reasons, you’ll want to connect to a VPN before using public WiFi. We’ll tell you why after you take a look at our best VPNs for Raleigh list.

RankVPN Service
Speed Test
1IPVanish$4.87IPVanish64.00 Mbps8910
2ExpressVPN$6.67ExpressVPN57.79 Mbps1483
3NordVPN$3.99NordVPN57.47 Mbps786

In 1788, the North Carolina Legislature chose an area in the center of the state for the new location of the capital. Of course, they named it Raleigh after Sir Walter Raleigh, the sponsor of the lost colony on Roanoke Island. Interestingly, state legislators chose the exact location of the capital city specifically because it was within 10 miles of Isaac Hunter’s Tavern, a popular watering hole for them. Believe it or not, an homage to the bar is still around today.

There are many things to see and do in the capital city. Of course, you can check out the bar, catch an NHL hockey game since it is the home of the Hurricanes, go see museums, theatres, and more. You also can’t forget about the college sports in the area. You can’t go wrong with the NC State Wolfpack, the Duke Blue Devils, or the UNC Tarheels. No matter what you want to do, you have many options in Raleigh.

These days, many use the internet to enhance their experiences in various locations. If you take advantage of the free WiFi that many businesses offer, you will want to use a VPN. When doing so., you create a secure and encrypted connection to the server of your choice. That will help keep you safe from the lurking cybercrooks. You can bet there are a number of them waiting to steal your private data. A VPN makes it so you do not compromise your sensitive information.

If you have ever been on a school’s or business’s network and been blocked from accessing certain sites, you have encountered the second reason to use a VPN. Often times, schools, businesses, organizations, and even some countries prevent their users from seeing content they deem as “inappropriate”. When you use a VPN and connect to a server in a different location, you can fool the software into thinking you are somewhere else. That way, you can view what you want to, just as if nothing happened.

The reasons we just mentioned are the two best reasons to use a VPN while in Raleigh. That said, you may discover more, later. Whether you want to protect yourself from cybercrooks or just get around network restrictions, VPNs will help you out. There are a few things you need to know about VPNs first. With all of the protocol options available, you will want to use either the IKEv2 or the OpenVPN encryption protocols. Though IKEv2 is the preferred method, not everyone offers it as a primary solution. If you get an option to choose between different versions of OpenVPN, the UDP version is the fastest. However, the TCP version is suited for those with connection issues.

1. Best VPN for Raleigh: IPVanish


For IPVanish, we’ll use servers in Atlanta (since it is the best option for Raleigh). We can tell you from experience the servers there are fast and dependable. You will also find that IPVanish has more server locations in the United States that just about any other VPN service. This makes them one of our go-to VPNs to use on a daily basis in Raleigh.

CountriesLocationsServersUSA Server LocationsSoftwareMonthlyYearlyRefund
63891000Ashburn, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Phoenix, San Jose. Seattle, Washington DCWindows$7.50$58.497 day

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 48 servers in Atlanta and you can choose to connect to any of them. We suggest selecting one that starts with “a” in the server name. For example In most cases, you will find the “a” servers to be the fastest. We tested an IPVanish server in Atlanta, atl-a46, and found the speed to be 64.00 Mbps.

IPVanish Charlotte speed test

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.

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2. Best VPN for Raleigh: ExpressVPN


When you use ExpressVPN’s fast access and the MediaStreamer feature together, they act as a Smart DNS service to unblock access to geo-restricted content. That will help encrypt your connection and unblock live sporting events. You can even find a list of the latest live entertainment and sporting events on their website.

CountriesLocationsServersUSA Server LocationsSoftwareMonthly15 Mo.Refund
67952000Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Hollywood, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa, Virginia, Washington DCWindows$12.95$99.9530 day

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. This is true for Atlanta (since it is the best location). You will want to select the “All” tab, open Americas, and then open United States. At this point, you can select the USA – Atlanta server location. As you can see we tested a server in Atlanta and the speed was 57.79 Mbps.

ExpressVPN charlotte speed test

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.

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3. Best VPN for Raleigh: NordVPN

NordVPNNordVPN 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.

CountriesLocationsServersUSA Server LocationsSoftwareMonthlyYearlyRefund
61804500Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington DCWindows$11.95$6930 day

You will find that NordVPN has perhaps the best mix of services for the price if you subscribe to a longer term for your 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 39 servers in Atlanta. Unfortunately, the NordVPN client does not show the city of the server. However, they have kindly provided us with the server numbers for Atlanta. You will want to connect to one of the following servers: 369-372, 561-568, 665-676, 681-684, 940-955. The easiest way to select a specific server number is to select the “Servers” tab in the app and then sort the results in alphabetical order. You can then scroll down and select any of the server numbers we have listed above. You can see the load time percentage and the distance to each server. We tested a server in Atlanta and the download speed was 57.49 Mbps.

NordVPN charlotte speed test

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 $3.99 a month with a 2-year membership.

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If you would like to see some of the other options in the community, you should take a look at the top 10 VPN services list. That said, we don’t think that will be necessary. We made our decisions based on speed, reliability, price, security, and locations close to the Raleigh area. That way, you will get the best speeds possible. That is very important if you plan on streaming content. All of our options have great networks, so there are not any bad options. When you use our guide, you can find the best option to fit your needs.