Washington District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) is the capital of the United States. Though it’s small, you’ll find visitors from all over the world. A majority of the people in the city at any given time are from someplace else. Whether you live there or are planning to make a pilgrimage to the U.S. capital, it’s essential that you connect to a VPN when using the web. That includes surfing the web, streaming content, or other online activities. Because DC is the nation’s capital, you can easily find high-speed internet there. That makes it easy to use a VPN for privacy protection, streaming content, or both.
Short on time? Here are the best VPNs for Washington DC
- ExpressVPN – our top choice for Washington DC. ExpressVPN will help you get a local IP address in DC to gain access to your favorite content and protect your privacy. Get access to VPN servers in 160 cities around the world. Try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days.
- NordVPN – while NordVPN doesn’t technically have DC on their network, they host over 100 servers in nearby Manassas, Virginia. which is only about 30 miles away.
- Private Internet Access – the third choice on our list is a US-based VPN well known for privacy. They host servers in DC and throughout the United States.
- CyberGhost – once again, CyberGhost will help you get a local IP address in Washington DC. They host 250+ servers in the area to ensure good performance.
- IPVanish – similar to NordVPN, the IPVanish team goes just outside DC with servers 30 miles away in Ashburn. Connect on as many devices as you want.
Washington DC has some of the most successful top-tier franchises in history. These include the Washington Commanders (NFL), Wizards (NBA), Nationals (MLB), Capitals (NHL), and DC United (MLS). Of course, that means the sports draw fans from all over. However, problems occur if you want to watch those teams online while in the city. That is due to the licensing rights of the top-tiered franchises. Even if you have a subscription to one of the specific streaming apps, they require you to be “out-of-market.” That said, you can easily do that. At least as far as the blocking software is concerned. All you have to do is connect to a VPN in a different city. Since you’ll make the software think you are someplace else, you can watch all of your favorite sports from inside the city.
As you know, Washington DC is a popular place to make a statement. Many political movements and events occur in the city, whether for Republicans, Democrats, individual issues, or others. You may not know that hosts can set up mobile WiFi stations with more organized events. That can be a great advantage if you are trying to get your message or point across. However, some like to use that advantage for themselves. No matter what the cause is, we suggest you connect to a VPN. That will add a layer of security to browsing while there. If you are going to the city for an event, you want your voice heard, not your identity stolen.
Being in the US capital has some definite benefits. That includes access to some great options like the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the DC Dragonboat Festival, the Food Festival of the Americas, and many more. While you can run into identity theft issues with festivals as well, we want to speak about downtime. If you are traveling from overseas, you may want to stream content from your favorite streaming service. Licensing rights outside your home country will prevent that from happening, though. The key to resolving this issue is to connect to a VPN in your home region. Whether it is BBC iPlayer from the UK, Stan from Australia, ZDF from Germany, or others, you’ll be able to reaccess them as you would at home.
How to Use a VPN to get a Washington DC IP Address
You can connect to a ExpressVPN server in Washington DC to get a local IP address. Protect your privacy online and unblock restrictions with a VPN. Simply follow our guide:
- Sign up for ExpressVPN (includes a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee)
- You can download the latest version of the ExpressVPN from their website. Mobile users will want to get it from the Apple or Android app store. Either way, the app is free for all ExpressVPN subscribers.
- Next, you can connect to a VPN server in DC to get a local IP address
- If you’d like you can test the location of your IP from inside the app. Go to settings and then Help & Support –> IP Address Checker. This will verify that you have an IP address in Washington, D.C.
- The ExpressVPN support team is available 24/7 via live chat and email to answer any questions you might have.
What is the best VPN for Washington DC?
We focused on the following criteria to determine our list of the best VPNs for the city.
- Providers that will help you get around geo-blocks/sports blackouts
- High encryption levels for better privacy protection in the area
- Fast server speeds while in the city
- Network stability to stop disconnects
- We selected only VPNs that do not keep usage logs
- Mobile apps and support for Amazon Firestick devices
Without further delay, here is a list of the best VPN services for Washington DC:
1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN with Washington DC IP address
Although it’s unnecessary, we love to have providers with servers in the city we’re discussing. That’s because it gives you a close server to use, making it a great option when you want to protect your privacy. You also have the benefit of watching local TV or events that some companies geo-lock to the D.C. area. That is why ExpressVPN is our top choice for VPN providers while in Washington D.C.
For sports fans of the top-tier Washington teams, ExpressVPN can help you in other ways while in the city. That’s because watching the games or matches online is often not possible. Due to licensing rights, the networks blackout the broadcast on all online sources but TV. The key to solving that issue is to choose a VPN server in another city. That way, you’ll gain “out-of-market” status. Of course, that’s important if you want to watch the local NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, or MLB teams as you are in the city.
While internet speeds can be good in Washington D.C., some areas may not be. That is when you may want to use ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature. Though it won’t encrypt your data traffic, you don’t always need that if you are trying to stream something. Since MediaStreamer is a SmartDNS, you can stream content without any encryption overhead.
Keep in mind that not all encryption overhead causes a big reduction in speed. ExpressVPN feels you should be able to stream and protect yourself at the same time. That’s why they offer the next generation encryption protocols of Lightway, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. All three will give you great performance, but Lightway is the fastest.
On top of having solid encryption options and a no-logs policy, ExpressVPN offers several advanced features. These include a kill switch (to make sure you don’t compromise your data if your connection drops), split-tunneling (so you don’t have to route all traffic through a VPN if you do not want to), and launch on startup to make things easier. Together, those are easy options to activate. However, if you have any issues setting things up, they also have a 24/7 support team, FAQ section on their website, and device-specific setup guides.
Because they offer five simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee with their service, it is hard to go wrong by using ExpressVPN in Washington D.C. Just be sure to sign up for 12 months to take advantage of their special offer. You’ll be able to get 3 months free along with a 49% discount as part of our ExpressVPN deal.
Want to learn more? Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- Works with streaming services including US Netflix
- Split tunneling
- Exceptional Internet speed
- 160 server locations in 94 countries
- Smart location server selector
- Obfuscated servers
- A little pricey
- No dedicated IP option
2. NordVPN – hosts 100+ servers just outside DC in Manassas
Even though NordVPN does not list servers in Washington D.C. per se, it has them in Manassas, Va. That’s approximately 30 miles from the main part of the city. For that reason, many chose to commute between the two cities. Because of that, you’ll get good speeds in the city when you are trying to protect your privacy, stream local events, or use a secure network for work.
Of course, using a close server may not always be a good thing. That is especially true if you are streaming. If you are a fan of any of the local sports teams and want to watch them online, connecting to a server in Manassas means you’ll be “in-market”. Licensing rights cause sports blackouts, meaning you can’t watch the games through specialized apps for them. NordVPN has you covered that way, too.
NordVPN has more than 5200 servers in 59 countries. Since they offer six simultaneous connections and the next-generation encryption protocols of WireGuard (called NordLynx), OpenVPN, and IKEv2, NordVPN will help ensure your privacy while in Washington D.C. IKEv2 is not available on all apps and of the three, WireGuard is the fastest.
If you are security minded, NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy. Additionally, they have several advanced security features. These include Smart DNS, ad-blocking (called CyberSec), and split tunneling options. If you have any issues getting things set up, NordVPN has 24/7 support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. With all that they offer, that makes NordVPN a good choice to use while in Washington D.C.
Want to learn more? Read our full NordVPN review.
- No logging policy
- Specialty servers for P2P and Double VPN
- NordLynx WireGaurd protocol
- Firestick app good for streaming
- Accepts Bitcoin payments
- Multi-hop servers
- Renewal prices are higher
- Linux client lacks a GUI
3. Private Internet Access – US-based VPN with servers in Washington DC
The team at Private Internet Access has the knowledge to make and maintain a great product, and that is what they have done. They are a solid choice for Washington D.C., because they offer servers there. While that will provide you with the best speeds (PIA is popular in the torrenting community) and great privacy (depending on the protocol you choose), server proximity does not always matter.
That is true if you are trying to stream content. From watching a Washington D.C. sports team while in the city to opening up different libraries of content on a streaming service, you want a provider with servers in multiple locations. Luckily, PIA has over 2k servers in 78+ countries. You can also connect to servers in NYC to enjoy the “out-of-market” status so you can watch the DC teams play online while there.
In addition to the large network they offer, they have a simple to use user interface with advanced features. These include split tunneling, dedicated IPs, Antivirus, and even a corporate solution. They have the next generation encryption protocols of IKEv2 and WireGuard to give you the best possible speeds, and you’ll appreciate their strict no-logs policy, 30-day money, and up to 10 simultaneous connections. Those all help to make PIA an excellent VPN to use while in Washington D.C.
Want to learn more? Read our full Private Internet Access review.
- DNS-based ad blocker
- Thousands of servers in 83 countries
- Verified no-logs policy
- Works with BBC iPlayer
- Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously
- Offers dedicated IP addresses
- Does not unblock some streaming services
- Takes skill to install PIA on routers
4. CyberGhost – 250+ VPN servers in the DC area
Cyberghost has a massive number of servers and comes in with more than 6k servers in 88 countries. That includes specific servers in Washington D.C. If you want the best speeds, local servers are key. Though you don’t have to worry about censorship in the US, the close proximity will provide you with the best possible speeds and protect your privacy at the same time. All those servers mean that you have a good chance the server you pick will not be busy.
Speaking of protecting your privacy, Cyberghost uses several next generation encryption protocols to protect up to seven simultaneous connections. These include IKEv2, WireGuard, and OpenVPN. Since WireGuard is the newest, fastest, and available for cross-platform support, we suggest using it primarily.
Other features you can use when using Cyberghost in Washington D.C. include an ad and tracking blocker, forced HTTPS for added security, a kill switch, and more. All of those features will help keep you safe while in the city. Since the company is so security-minded, they offer their users a strict no logs policy. If you buy a month of service at a time, though, their money-back guarantee is 15 days. Otherwise, they have a community-leading 45-money-back guarantee.
Cyberghost believes in keeping you safe, so they have 24/7 customer support as well as convenient set-up guides and an FAQ section. That way, you can make sure everything is set up correctly, no matter if you are in Washington D.C. or any place else.
Want to learn more? Read our full CyberGhost review.
- Automatic kill switch option
- Random port option help get around blocks
- Ability to select location and specific server
- Supports torrenting but no port forwarding
- Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox
- No third-party security audit
- Does not work well in China
5. IPVanish – 78 VPN servers in Ashburn
IPVanish has been around for quite some time, and is popular in the Kodi community. When looking for a provider for Washington D.C., you want to see if the company has servers in the area. While IPVanish does not have servers listed in the same city, They have approximately 106 servers in Ashburn, Va. That’s approximately 30 miles from the city, making it a good candidate to use. That’ll make it easy for you to get great speeds and privacy protection, especially if you visit a place with an open Wi-Fi network.
Though local servers will help you, you may not always one to connect to one near the city. Why? If you are a fan of any of the Washington pro sports teams and want to watch online, you’ll run into a sports blackout. These are restrictions placed on broadcasting because of licensing rights. Even if you have the specific sports app for your favorite, using a local server will make you appear “in-market”. Fortunately, IPVanish has more than 2k servers in 75+ locations. By connecting to the next closest servers (New York) you can still get great speeds, but you’ll appear out of market. Since they have 150 servers in NYC, you should be able to enjoy the Capitals, Nationals, Wizards, and the Washington Football Team while you and they are in the city.
Because speed and security are important, you’ll be glad to see that IPVanish uses next-generation encryption protocols. The ones they offer are WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. If you are not familiar with the first one, WireGuard is new on the scene. However, it is a lot less resource-heavy than the others. Therefore, you have lower encryption overhead, making it faster than others.
In addition to being fast and secure, IPVanish has several advanced features that you can take advantage of while in Washington D.C. Since there is so much competition in the space, Features often set one provider apart from others. You’ll notice they have unlimited simultaneous connections, which is unique to IPVanish. Some of the other features they offer are server obfuscation, port forwarding, DNS leak protection, address cycling and more.
If you have questions about those or have issues setting anything up, you’ll want to take advantage of the FAQ section, the 24/7 customer support, as well as the safety of a 30-day money-back guarantee and a no-logs policy. IPVanish will be glad to get you going while in Washington D.C.
Want to learn more? Read our full IPVanish review.
- They do not use virtual servers
- Own their DNS servers for better privacy
- No IP or DNS leaks
- Kill switch for Windows, Mac and Android
- Supports P2P / torrent users
- Price increases after first term
- Fails to unblock DAZN