As we enter a new year, it’s more important than ever to protect our online privacy. The best way to do this is with a good-quality Virtual Private Network (VPN) that will keep you anonymous, hiding your online activity from your Internet Service Provider, hackers, and any other interested third party. VPNs also give you more freedom when surfing the web.
We all want to save money, which is why it is important to use a VPN that has great features but won’t break the bank. Depending on the provider you go with, you’ll have a range of subscription plans and prices at your fingertips.
To help you choose the best VPN for your needs, we compiled this VPN price comparison based on price and features. From the best cheap VPN services to those which are a little more expensive, our list includes only those VPNs that are worth paying for.
While most VPNs cost from around $3 up to $24, the price of paid VPNs can vary, and there are a few factors that affect the cost. We’re going to break these down to help you understand why there are often discrepancies between different VPN providers’ subscription plans.
The features a VPN provider offers can greatly affect the cost. Cheap VPNs often lack some of the more advanced features that an expensive provider, such as ExpressVPN, has. When you pay a little more, you’ll often have better quality services and extra features that will give you an overall more enjoyable VPN experience. Important things to look out for in a paid VPN include:
The length of a subscription plan can greatly affect the cost of a VPN service. A VPN may offer a yearly plan that costs just over $3 a month, which is a great deal. However, the same provider’s monthly plan may be close to $13. VPN providers will often make their longer subscriptions cheaper, pushing users towards using their services for a longer amount of time.
If your VPN has a strict no-logs policy and doesn’t have advertisements in its product, then that’s great! Free services often sell user data and have ads to help them cover the costs. By using a paid VPN service, you won’t be exposing yourself to the risks of adware or the potential fact that your VPN could be selling your data to third parties.
For some people, the idea of paying around $12 per month for a VPN is extremely expensive. However, as saw above, some VPNs are more expensive because they offer better security and protection standards. Moreover, the VPNs which cost more often give you access to better features or faster speeds than cheap VPNs.
Some VPN providers can charge more, simply due to their reputation. For example, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are two of the most popular VPNs in the industry and have expensive monthly plans. However, users know that they receive great VPN software in return for a higher cost.
A good way to get a lower VPN price is to sign up for a longer subscription plan. The price of VPNs often decreases if you subscribe to a 1 year or 2-year plan.
However, nowadays, it is unlikely that you’ll get a great service for meager costs. VPNs are a hot commodity, and their popularity has increased over the past few years. Since VPNs are more in demand than ever before, providers can increase the cost as they know that users are willing to pay more to get exceptional privacy and security when they use the internet.
If you want to enjoy the best VPN services, then it’s best to use paid VPNs. Although there are many VPNs for free on the market, they aren’t always reliable. Free services can often provide fast speeds and enable users to access foreign websites online, but there are risks and drawbacks to using them. When using a free VPN service, you need to keep the following in mind:
We have VPN reviews for the most popular providers and have devised a price comparison list of the best VPNs for 2021. All of our top picks have been selected due to the incredible features they offer and the good deals that they provide when it comes to price.
Our top choice is one of the best cheap VPNs on the current VPN market. It offers fast speeds and great security features and is exceptional value for money.
While Surfshark’s monthly service is at the more expensive end of VPNs, it tops our list due to its incredibly cheap 24-month plan. With this cheap VPN, users get access to some of the best VPN services, including military-grade AES-256 bit encryption and lightning-fast server speeds.
Surfshark has a large number of servers with over 3200 servers in 65 countries. Thanks to its NoBorders mode, users can enjoy the VPN in jurisdictions where VPN usage is restricted and access censored content from around the world. This British Virgin Islands-based provider can successfully unblock some of the most popular streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime Video and gives users access to a whopping 15 Netflix libraries.
There is private DNS on every server, an automatic kill switch, and a strict no-logging policy, which means that your browsing activity and real IP address is completely secure at all times. If you’re a fan of torrenting, then you’ll be glad to know that Surfshark has some specialized P2P VPN servers in its network.
CleanWeb is another in-built feature from Surfshark that protects your device from malware and blocks you from visiting potentially harmful websites. Users can also take advantage of the MultiHop feature, which sends your connection through many different countries, adding extra security layers.
With a Surfshark subscription, you get unlimited simultaneous connections on all of your devices. Surfshark VPN is compatible with all of the most popular operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Surfshark has dedicated apps for each system that are extremely easy to use and contain great features like Whitelister, a split tunneling feature, and a quick-connect option.
The best cheap VPNs have impeccable customer service, and Surfshark doesn’t disappoint in this area. It has a 24/7 live chat service on its website and many setup tutorials and FAQs. There are several different payment methods, including cryptocurrencies, if you want absolute anonymity. Surfshark has a 30-day money-back guarantee that acts as a free trial and gives you time to try out the VPN and make sure it is the best one for you.
Second on our price list of VPN services in NordVPN. Although not considered by most a cheap VPN, NordVPN offers a good deal on its 2-year plan.
NordVPN is a major player in the VPN industry, with services that continue to impress us. In terms of security, NordVPN is simply one of the best. Users get AES-256 bit encryption and access to the best security protocols, including OpenVPN and the provider’s very own NordLynx protocol, which offers both speed and security.
In terms of the number of servers, Nord’s is highly impressive. It boats a server network of 5500 servers in 59 countries. There is private DNS on each server, and all servers run on RAM, meaning that your browsing data is swiped when the servers are switched off. NordVPN has a foolproof no-logs policy and offers users the option to pay with cryptocurrency, ensuring that user privacy is respected at all times.
Nord offers a long list of incredible extra features. There is an automatic kill switch available on the most popular operating system apps, Double VPN, which changes your IP twice, and split tunneling to let users decide what data is encrypted. Moreover, there is CyberSec, in-built malware protection, and the option to use a dedicated IP address.
Thanks to its obfuscated servers, NordVPN users can get past the toughest VPN blocks, including those imposed by streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. NordVPN is also one of the only VPNs that can get past the Great Firewall of China, perfect for subscribers who travel in the country often.
Users get 6 simultaneous connections with one subscription, meaning you can use the VPN across the devices supported by Nord, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. User support is first-rate with a live chat and dedicated tutorials on the website. The 30-day money-back guarantee acts as a free trial and allows you to test the VPN services before committing to a longer subscription plan.
ExpressVPN is not a cheap VPN, but it is one of the best. With 160 VPN server locations worldwide, this VPN is great for accessing restricted content whilst enjoying first-rate encryption.
If you want one of the best VPNs on the market, make sure you check out ExpressVPN. Express is undoubtedly the most secure provider on our list, with a clear no-logging policy that checks out. ExpressVPN has never experienced a security breach on one of its servers, indicating the provider’s network encryption strength.
Express users will enjoy fantastic security and privacy features, including AES-256 bit encryption and private DNS on every server. ExpressVPN is 100% DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leakproof, ensuring that real locations and IP addresses are never revealed. A robust Network Lock kill switch is automatically enabled in the VPN app upon download, and that protects your privacy should your VPN connection go down.
ExpressVPN is known for its high speeds, which are in part thanks to its Lightway protocol. This protocol gives you a faster connection and is more secure. ExpressVPN is a great option for streaming or gaming since its fast speeds will ensure you never experience high ping or video buffering.
Moreover, Express is one of the best VPNs for unblocking restricted websites across the globe and even has a Mediastreamer service that you can connect to your Smart TV. While this feature doesn’t give users encryption, it unblocks content on popular services such as Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
Using a VPN is extremely easy with Express, thanks to its simple and clearly laid out apps. Users can find server locations in a list and toggle features on and off in the settings tab. Devices supported by ExpressVPN include all the most popular operating systems, and you can also configure the VPN to your router if you want to bypass the 5 simultaneous connections limit.
Express is a reputable company and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee like most other providers. The refund policy is risk-free, so you don’t have to commit to it if you don’t like the service. Customer support is first-rate, and there is a live chat service and a very extensive support section with guides and FAQs to help users make the most out of the VPN services.
IPVanish manages and operates its own server network, meaning that it is a very secure VPN. It often has great deals, making it one of the best cheap VPN providers.
IPVanish has a decent-sized server network with 1600+ servers in 75 locations and over 40,000 shared IPs. One of the provider’s biggest selling points is that it manages its own network end-to-end, meaning there is no third-party involvement. This is great news for users who want a VPN provider that operates its entire network.
Security and privacy features are excellent with IPVanish. Firstly, there is advanced AES-256 bit encryption and a no-logging policy to ensure user activity on the VPN’s network remains private at all times. IPVanish offers a kill switch to stop internet traffic if your VPN server goes down and secure cloud storage space for users who want to encrypt important files.
There is also a wide array of tunneling protocols to choose from, depending on whether you want a faster or more secure connection. What’s more, IPVanish has an automatic protection feature when you connect to new networks, making it perfect if you often use public wi-fi networks.
If you’re a fan of torrenting, then you can enjoy IPVanish’s P2P optimized servers. The provider also has no data caps, which bodes well for users who want to download large files whilst under VPN encryption. Since IPVanish manages its own servers, speeds on these are good and perfectly sufficient for activities such as streaming.
Geo-blocks are no issue with IPVanish, and the provider can help you access restricted content. The provider works with popular sites such as Netflix and Hulu, but in our tests, we found it didn’t unblock as many Netflix libraries as the cheaper provider Surfshark.
You get unmetered connections with IPVanish and unlimited server switching. Although the company offers its service at a higher price than others on the list, it has frequent subscription deals, which see the price reduced significantly. There is 24/7 support through a live chat, a phone number, email, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
This cheap VPN offers incredible server coverage with its network of over 24,000 servers in 77 countries.
Private Internet Access (PIA) has an incredibly priced 3-year plan, making it one of the best cheap VPNs on our list. It has an astonishing number of servers, offering users thousands of IP options. Not only this, but PIA is super-fast, making it a great VPN for streamers or gamers.
Thanks to PIA’s incredible number of servers, users can access blocked websites in all corners of the world. Whether you want to watch Japanese Netflix or access European YouTube channels, you can easily do with PIA.
PIA is great when it comes to security. Firstly, it uses the industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption, but you can change the encryption level in the app settings if you wish to do so. It has a multiple VPN gateway feature, which tunnels data via different servers, ensuring that no third party can track you. There is also a strict no-logging policy and in-built protection from malware, trackers, and ads.
PIA offers some fantastic protocols, including WireGuard, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPSec, and gives users a choice of which protocol to operate. If you want a VPN to anonymize your torrenting activity, PIA is a good option since it provides P2P server support and has a SOCKS5 proxy for users who want faster download speeds.
Users get 10 simultaneous connections on one subscription plan and can use the VPN across many devices, including Windows and macOS computers and Android and iOS cell phones and tablets. While there is no free trial, PIA has a 30-day money-back guarantee like the other providers on our list.
Hotspot Shield is the fastest VPN on our list. While its paid plans mean it isn’t a cheap VPN, it does offer a free service for users who don’t want to pay.
Hotspot Shield has been lauded as the fastest VPN service on the current market, thanks to the provider’s unique Hydra protocol. Its speeds are indeed fast and continue to impress us. Not only does the Hydra protocol provide users with fast connection speeds, it disguises VPN traffic better, making it look like regular traffic. If you want to watch blocked Netflix and Hulu libraries at blazing-fast speeds, you can do so with Hotspot undetected.
Encryption is solid, and Hotspot employs the military-grade AES-256 bit encryption. This ensures that your data will always be protected even when you’re traveling or using public wi-fi networks. Hotspot has a no-logging policy and doesn’t store any data related to your browsing activity, which means you can surf the web completely anonymously.
Hotspot boasts an impressive number of servers of over 3200 servers in 73 countries. The company uses both virtual and physical servers, which means it can offer its services in insecure territories where the placement of physical servers is not possible.
Hotspot offers a free version of its VPN, which is a great way for users to try out the service. However, this free plan is extremely limited. Users can only have 1 device connection, access to 1 server, speeds are slower, and there is a data cap of 500MB daily. If you want to use a VPN to encrypt all of your data activity, 500MB per day will not cover it.
On the paid subscription plans, users can enjoy 5 simultaneous connections. Paid users also get access to advanced customer support in the form of the live chat option on the site and can connect the VPN to their router or smart TV and popular systems such as Android and iOS phones and Windows and macOS computers. There is a 45-day money-back guarantee, which gives you sufficient time to test out Hotspot’s services for yourself.
This Romanian-based provider is big on security and privacy. Its 2-year plan comes at a reasonable price that won’t break the bank.
Compared to other VPN prices on this list, CyberGhost is a cheap VPN due to its great value for money 1-year and 2-year plans. For as little as $3.49 per month, you can have access to superb VPN services, including a NoSpy server network operated and managed by the company itself.
CyberGhost has an incredible number of servers offering users access to 6600 servers in 89 countries. It offers shared IP addresses on all of its servers, but users can also purchase a dedicated IP address if they want to use the VPN for business-related purposes or online banking.
With CyberGhost, you can unblock content worldwide, and the provider is great for Netflix lovers. We tested it out and connected to Netflix libraries in Germany, Spain, and the UK. Speed is good with CyberGhost, and although it is no match for Hotspot Shield or ExpressVPN, speeds are fast enough for this cheap VPN.
There is a strict no-logs policy with CyberGhost, and since the provider is based in Romania, it doesn’t adhere to strict data retention laws from the Romanian government. This is great for users who want their privacy to be guaranteed at all times.
CyberGhost employs advanced military-grade encryption and has standard security features in its apps, such as a kill switch. It permits 7 simultaneous connections at once, and users can enjoy the VPN services on all of the most popular devices. CyberGhost even has functioning Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browser extensions. As well as this, you can connect the VPN to your router to give your gaming console VPN protection.
There is a 45-day money-back guarantee, which surpasses the industry standard and gives users the chance to explore the service that CyberGhost offers. In terms of price, security, and privacy, this VPN provider has it all.
ProtonVPN is a Swiss-based provider that offers a free version of its services to users. Its VPN plans are more expensive than others on this list, but it is a reputable and reliable provider.
Proton is big on security. The provider is well known for its industry-breaking encrypted e-mail service and has created an equally secure VPN. The services you get from ProtonVPN depend on the plan you choose, but the Plus plan is the best value for money as you get access to the fastest speeds and all of the VPN’s extra features.
Encryption standards are high with ProtonVPN, and the provider employs AES-256 bit encryption with Perfect Forward Secrecy across all of its plans. It has an automatic kill switch that users can enable in the VPN client or app and offers DNS and IPv6 leak protection.
The provider has a decent sized VPN network with 1080 servers in 54 countries. Users can choose to route their data through ProtonVPN’s Secure Core network, which is located in countries like Switzerland and Iceland. These countries have better privacy laws, so your browsing data is less likely to be exposed to surveillance when routed through these jurisdictions.
In terms of extra features, users can enjoy split tunneling, which means they can tunnel certain traffic through the VPN server and route the rest through their regular network provider. On Proton’s Plus plan, there is support for accessing foreign versions of sites such as Netflix, and good speeds, allowing you to enjoy buffer-free streaming.
It’s worth noting that ProtonVPN offers one of the best unpaid VPN services. Users get unlimited data on the plan and can access many servers, albeit in only three countries. However, the plan is limited because you can only enjoy the services on 1 device at a time. Moreover, the free plan offers limited support for unblocking restricted content, which isn’t great news for Netflix users.
On the Plus plan, you use the VPN on 5 devices simultaneously and can enjoy the easy to use app on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Users can easily get in touch with the team via email if they have any technical or support issues, and responses are fast.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, but this is slightly different from others on this list, as users only get money back for the days they haven’t used. For example, if you use the VPN service for 10 days, you’ll get money back for the 20 days left over.
We’ve listed the best and cheapest VPN services above. However, if you’re looking for a VPN that will be the most cost-effective for you, we recommend going with Surfshark or PIA. Both of these providers offer good security and privacy features but have cheap long-term plans.
However, if the price doesn’t matter to you as much as security does, then it’s a good idea to go for a provider like ExpressVPN or NordVPN. Although they aren’t cheap VPNs, they are the most secure VPNs on the market and are guaranteed to give you an excellent VPN experience.