There is a reason why VPN software is increasing in popularity. As our online freedoms and privacy are taken away, more people are searching for ways to surf the web privately and without restrictions. A Virtual Private Network enables users to avoid government agencies’ wrath and hackers trying to steal our identities and ensure we can access content regardless of our physical location.
Good internet security software comes at a price, and the cost is a factor that can result in many people using unreliable VPNs. Luckily, there are some cheaper VPNs on the market that don’t compromise on security and privacy. As well as being cost-effective, we’ve drawn up a list of the best cheap VPNs in terms of security, privacy, ease of use, and server network, amongst other factors.
There is a big debate on the web about whether it’s worth paying for a VPN or using a free one. While we all love a great deal, we highly recommend that you employ the services of a paid provider. There are a couple of reasons why free VPNs aren’t the greatest idea.
With extra risks such as adware in free VPNs, it’s always recommended to purchase your VPN. You can find a great VPN deal if you search for it, and don’t have to break the bank to have first-rate software at your disposal.
With so many different VPN providers offering services and with different price plans, it’s hard to know which is the best value for money. We’ve put together the best cheap VPNs in terms of price and essential features that all VPN software should offer.
Surfshark is known as one of the cheapest VPN providers, but you’ll have to sign up for the two-year plan if you want to enjoy its low prices.
One of the best cheap VPN services is Surfshark. If you purchase the 24-month plan, you’ll pay a little over $2 per month and have access to incredible features. Surfshark is one of the best providers for security with AES-256 bit encryption and private DNS on every server. You’ll also be privy to IP leak protection with this provider, ensuring that you stay anonymous online at all times.
Surfshark has a good no-logging policy, which states that users’ browsing data will never be stored, shared, or sold. Extra security features include a kill switch available on all platforms and IKEv2/IPsec or OpenVPN as the default protocol.
If you want to access foreign streaming service libraries, then you’ll be pleased to know that Surfshark unblocks Netflix in 15 countries. The provider also can access BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video in different territories. Surfshark offers fast speeds, and we experienced a steady and reliable performance from the provider when watching streaming sites while connected to one of the provider’s servers.
If you want to use a VPN in restricted areas such as China and Russia, you can do so with Surfshark. The NoBorders mode enables people to access content even in the most digitally repressed areas. There is also the Camouflage Mode, which hides the fact you’re using a VPN at all from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and any websites you visit.
Surfshark is a great VPN for people who want an easy user experience. If you’re not familiar with VPN software, then Surfshark is a great option for beginners. It works on the most popular platforms has an easy to navigate desktop client and mobile app. You can easily enable and disable extra features in the settings and find the best server for your needs.
Any good VPN product should have great customer service support, and Surfshark does. There is access to 24/7 live chat support and a help center on the provider’s website. Signing up for the two-year plan is the best value for money, and the 30-days money-back guarantee acts as a free trial of sorts, giving you time to get used to the VPN and how it works.
Another cheap VPN service is Private Internet Access (PIA). PIA offers a fantastic 3-year plan and doesn’t skimp on essential privacy and security features.
PIA provides its customers with fantastic VPN services for a fraction of what other providers charge. PIA is one of the best VPNs on the market for server locations, and the provider has thousands upon thousands of IP addresses at its disposal. It’s one of the best cheap VPNs for accessing geo-restricted content. PIA claims it unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer amongst many other streaming services, but we found that our attempts to access foreign Netflix catalogs were thwarted several times.
Not only does PIA work well for users who want more freedom online, but it provides users with extra browsing security. There is military grade-encryption, ensuring that your internet connection is always protected. PIA also comes with inbuilt malware, adware, and tracker blocking to defend your device from extra online threats. It also employs the most secure protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec.
If you are a torrenting fan, then you can use PIA as it supports P2P networking. Speed is consistent, although not the fastest on our list. However, it is good enough for streaming and torrenting, allowing users to download and upload files without slowing down their system or connection.
PIA operates on all of the leading operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. There are also light browser extensions for Chrome, Opera, and Firefox, providing better ease of use for desktop users. 10 device connections are available with PIA, but you can configure the VPN to your router to protect all of the devices on your home network and bypass this limit.
There are extra features with PIA VPN, such as split tunneling. You can choose which apps or websites you want to be encrypted with VPN protection and which go through your regular internet provider. Although this feature is only available for desktop users on Windows, Mac, and Linux, it’s a great addition.
Customer support is decent with PIA, and there is a live chat option on the site. There are also plenty of informative guides on the website, which are easy to understand and extremely helpful. You can test out the VPN risk-free for 30 days thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee, and enjoy the abundance of server locations it offers.
With 24/7 customer support assistance and one of the most secure VPN connections, NordVPN offers one of the best cheap VPN services on the current market.
While NordVPN isn’t considered an extremely cheap VPN, it makes our list as it is one of the best VPNs on the market. With a good number of servers, users have access to IP addresses around the world. NordVPN offers DNS leak protection on all of its VPN servers and first-rate AES-256 encryption to ensure your browsing data is never deciphered.
Security features are aplenty with NordVPN. There is the Double VPN feature, which changes your IP address, giving you extra masked protection. CyberSec offers in-built malware protection, blocking annoying adware, and preventing users from accessing dangerous websites. There is also the kill switch feature, which cuts your internet connection if your VPN server goes down.
NordVPN also offers a host of features to enhance the user experience, which makes the VPN service well worth the money you pay. There is a Dedicated IP option, which allows users to have a personal IP. There is also a split tunneling feature that gives users the option to choose which internet activity is encrypted.
NordVPN is one of the best VPN services for unblocking foreign content such as streaming websites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video. Nord employs obfuscated servers, which hide the VPN from networks and websites.
Users can enjoy seamless ease of use with the NordVPN desktop clients and mobile VPN apps. Nord is compatible with all the major systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. There are also browser extensions, and the VPN can be used with Smart TVs to access streaming sites more easily.
With dedicated P2P servers and Onion over VPN, users can enjoy advanced features that not all other VPN services provide. While there is technically no free trial with Nord, the 30-day money-back guarantee enables users to test out the VPN service for 30 days before canceling it if they wish. The monthly plan is expensive, but the 2-year plan makes Nord a great cheap VPN option.
CyberGhost offers not only a cheap VPN service but also a reliable and effective one.
CyberGhost is a solid choice out of the cheap VPNs on this list. It offers AES-256 bit encryption, DNS leak protection, and has a strong no-logging policy. CyberGhost’s headquarters are based in Romania, a jurisdiction that enjoys great data retention laws. You can trust that your browsing data is safe when you’re connected to one of these VPN servers.
There is additional security offered to users through the NoSpy servers. This network of servers is a bonus and is located in Romania. They are monitored 24/7 by the CyberGhost team, making them extra secure as any security breaches or issues would be quickly noticed and dealt with.
As well as the NoSpy servers, there are dedicated servers for streaming and torrenting, and CyberGhost can connect users to these depending on what they want the VPN for. Dedicated IPs are also available for an additional cost but are a great way to avoid the ‘bad neighbor’ effect. Unique IPs are especially useful if you use a VPN for business purposes.
With a large number of servers, accessing content in foreign countries is no problem with CyberGhost. It unblocks Netflix in several regions and works on other popular services like Hulu. CyberGhost is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as Android and iOS devices. The provider also has apps for Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, and can even be used on gaming consoles. You can use the VPN simultaneously on 7 devices, which means you can enjoy the VPN services on your mobile, computer, and TV.
You may imagine that customer service is sub-standard with cheap VPNs, but support is first-rate with CyberGhost. As mentioned, the CyberGhost team is heavily involved in creating a positive user experience. Besides 24/7 live chat support, there are informative guides online, and users can even get in touch with the team via Instagram.
With a 45-day money-back guarantee, CyberGhost is one of the best cheap VPNs in terms of its refund policy. If you’re not satisfied with the product, you can get a full refund before the end of the 45 days.
ExpressVPN is an all-around solid VPN provider. Although it doesn’t offer as cheap VPN services as others on this list, it provides users with an extremely reliable VPN performance.
Express is a popular VPN provider due to the advanced privacy and security it provides to users. It uses the best-in-class encryption and has private DNS on every server, protecting your internet traffic and DNS queries. ExpressVPN has a rigorous no-logging policy and has a secure server history, with no security breaches having ever occurred.
ExpressVPN runs entirely on volatile RAM. Whenever a server is switched off, the data on it is removed since RAM needs power to store data. This makes Express more secure than other providers that still use hard driver memory on their servers.
Security is first-rate with Express, but what about other services the provider offers? Its number of servers in multiple locations worldwide makes it great for accessing foreign websites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. It supports P2P networking, and it one of the fastest VPNs available right now, thanks to its super secure and speedy Lightway protocol.
There is the option to choose split tunneling with ExpressVPN, and there is the in-built Network Lock, which is enabled on every app. The Network Lock is ExpressVPN’s version of the kill switch, and we like that it is automatically activated so that users don’t have to switch it on themselves in the settings.
Like with the other best cheap VPNs, ExpressVPN has good customer support, including tutorials and live chat support on the provider’s website. Express offers ease of use, and although its dedicated apps aren’t as stylish as, say, Surfshark or NordVPN’s, they are easy to navigate, and setup takes little to no time at all.
Although ExpressVPN is by far not the cheapest of the VPNs on this list, it is incredible value for money considering what you get. It also accepts a wide variety of payment options, including cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Your entire VPN usage can be completely anonymous from start to finish with Express, and you can take advantage of the refund policy for the first 30 days.
IPVanish is one of the best cheap VPN providers. With more than 40,000 IPs options available to users, IPVanish provides you with more internet freedom.
You can connect all of your devices to the IPVanish VPN for as little as $3.49 a month. IPVanish is a great, cheap VPN product since it provides a first-class service for less money. You can secure your wi-fi connection thanks to the military-grade encryption that IPVanish provides.
IPVanish allows users to choose from various protocols, including IKEv2, OpenVPN (TCP/UDP), L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. It offers a range of VPN apps on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices, and you can change your protocol depending on the device you’re using.
If you’re using a VPN to access global content, you can easily do so with IPVanish. It can unblock foreign content and help users to bypass online censorship. If you want to watch Netflix via your TV, you can enjoy IPVanish’s VPN for Fire Stick.
An extra feature that IPVanish offers is cloud storage protection. You can protect your most important files in encrypted folders and share files online more easily for an additional cost. You’ll leave yourself exposed to fewer risks from third parties such as hackers while keeping all of your essential information super secure.
There is 24/7 customer support with IPVanish in the form of set-up guides and FAQs. There is a ticketed emailing system where users can get in touch with customer support representatives. We’d like to see an accessible live chat option on the IPVanish website, as we feel that the lack of this affects the VPN’s overall services.
A free VPN isn’t hard to come by, and along with cheap VPNs, free ones are extremely popular with users. However, there aren’t many reputable free VPNs, which is why we have included our favorite free VPN providers in this list. If money is an issue, then check out one of the options below.
ProtonVPN is one of our all-time favorite VPNs for several reasons. Firstly, it provides users with an exceptional free VPN service. Free ProtonVPN users have access to multiple servers in 3 countries, the USA, the Netherlands, and Japan. What’s more, there is unlimited bandwidth with this free VPN, which means you can use it as frequently as you want to.
Free plan users can also enjoy the strong no-logging policy that ProtonVPN employs. Since the provider is based in Switzerland, it enjoys great data laws, and Proton is dedicated to protecting its users’ data and private information.
If you enjoy the free service, then you can upgrade to one of Proton’s paid plans. The cheapest of these is only $4 per month and gives you access to many servers in 50 locations. You’ll also enjoy faster speeds and be able to carry out activities like streaming.
Although we like the free version, we noticed that the performance wasn’t as good as on the paid plans, as server loads were higher due to the limited options. You can also only use the VPN on 1 device at a time, so you’ll have to choose between your Android, Windows, macOS, or iOS device. Despite these small issues, it is an overall good free service that will definitely be a viable option for some people.
Another VPN that offers a free service is Hotspot Shield. While it isn’t a cheap VPN, with its paid plan costing $7.99 per month, it’s a good option for people who want to dip their toe in the water before signing up for a long-term subscription.
Users can connect to 1 device with the free plan and enjoy connection speeds of just 2 Mbps. Since Hotspot is compatible with all of the major operating systems, this means you can use the VPN either on your Android or Windows. However, you can choose only one of these to protect.
Security is good on the free version, with an in-built kill switch and multiple VPN protocols to choose from. There is a 500MB daily data limit on the free plan and access to only 1 server located in the US. While 500MB worth of data isn’t at all a bad deal, it won’t be enough for people who want to stream or have VPN encryption all day, every day, as you’ll have slower overall performance. A cheap VPN may work out to be better for you in the long run if you’re serious about having VPN protection.
If you decide to sign up for the paid subscription service, you can expect to enjoy unlimited bandwidth across 5 devices at once. You’ll also have access to many servers in 115 locations and be able to connect your VPN to your Smart TV or router.
So, although Hotspot Shield isn’t a cheap VPN service, it doesn’t offer a decent free version that gives users a taste of what they can get on the paid plan.