A growing number of people these days are aware of the need to use a VPN when going online. But if they are honest, most still don't want to spend a lot of money on a VPN.
Fortunately, these days you don't have to. All the premium VPNs are available at a very reasonable price, especially if you don't mind signing up for an extended period.
But, of course, some VPNs are cheaper than others and the range of packages available can make it tricky to identify the most inexpensive VPN around.
But don't worry. In this article, we have done the hard work for you. We have researched and tested all the best VPNs to find the most economical available this year.
How to choose the most affordable VPN
You may want to find the most affordable VPN on the market, but you shouldn't sign up for a substandard VPN simply because it charges less. That would defeat the object of using a VPN in the first place.
It is entirely possible to find a high-quality VPN that does everything you would expect but still offers low prices. When seeking out such a VPN, you should look for the following things:
- Low fees – Look at the rates of packages available and work out the monthly cost. Almost all VPNs offer significant discounts if you sign up for longer, so if you are happy to commit for multiple years, it makes sense to do so.
- Money Back Guarantee – You want to be sure your VPN is the right one for you before splashing the cash, so an extended money-back guarantee offers plenty of time to try before you buy.
- Simultaneous connections – Many VPNs allow users to connect several devices at the same time. This can be a great way to get value for money and also ensure all your devices and even those of your family will be protected.
- Availability of apps – Be sure that the VPN you are signing up for offers dedicated apps for all the devices you want to use it on.
- No log policy – Some cheap VPNs make money by selling user data. Ensure your VPN has a dependable no user logs policy to keep your data private and secure.
Top 7 Cheap VPNs
If you're looking for the cheapest VPN service, then the following seven are our recommendations. They're not only low priced, but they're also some of the better services available.
Surfshark is a relatively young VPN, considering that it started offering its services in 2018. But, it reached the top of the industry in record time, and today, it is regarded as one of the best ones.
Surfshark is also the very cheapest provider we could find, and depending on the plan you take, you can end up paying as little as $1.99 per month (£1.59).
In return, you get the best security and privacy features, a guarantee that this VPN will not keep logs of your online activities, protect an unlimited number of devices, and more.
Surfshark doesn't have the largest amount of servers but there are 1700 of them in total, located in 63 countries. And lastly, if you end up disliking any aspect of it, it also has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
#1 Cheapest VPN
30-day money back guarantee
2. CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost VPN is a VPN which has been created with the user in mind and this philosophy even extends to their pricing.
They offer some terrific deals but the best value for money right now is their 3-year package which is available for a total price of just $99 (£75.60). That equates to a mere $2.75 (~£1.70) a month.
For that, you will get access to their beautifully designed and user-friendly apps which are available for most devices. These are ideal for beginners or those who are not confident using a VPN independently yet.
They also have a 45-day day guarantee, which gives you a month and a half to decide if they are the right provider for you. They stand out for secure encryption, dependable privacy policies and decent speeds.
The service now has more VPN servers than most other services at over 6,000 and their 3-year package offers fantastic value for money.
NordVPN is an established and well-known VPN with a terrific all-round reputation. This comes down in no small part to the fact they have managed to continue to improve their service while keeping prices low.
At the moment, you can sign up to NordVPN for two years for just $83.76 (£64.50) or only $3.49 (~£2.69) a month. That is a low price by any standards, but especially if you consider the all-round service NordVPN offers. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee available too.
Their encryption is on a par with the very best and they also offer a vast range of additional security features. NordVPN can unblock most streaming services include the likes of Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer and more.
They have a big server network, fast connection speeds thanks to their recent investment in new servers, and as they are based in Panama, it means their privacy policies, including a no user logs guarantee, are set in stone.
NordVPN has long been one of our top recommended VPNs and for these prices, they are without a doubt one of the best value-for-money VPNs on the market.
4. PrivateInternetAccess (PIA)
PrivateInternetAccess currently have a 2-year subscription deal which offers terrific value. You can get full access to their service for two years for a total price of $69.95 (£56.99).
That equates to $2.69 (~£2.19) a month which is less than a beer in most countries.
They recently increased their money back guarantee to 30-days instead of seven, which brings them in line with the rest of the industry.
They also offer a reliable no user-logs guarantee, anonymous payment through Bitcoin and anonymous gift cards, and concurrent connections for up to ten devices.
Their server network covers 48 countries (although some of these are virtual locations) and their encryption is robust and on a par with many more expensive providers too.
Their connections speeds are not the fastest around, but they are still more than sufficient for most users. For the price, there is no getting away from the fact that PrivateInternetAccess offer excellent value for money.
VPN.ac is one of our top recommended VPN providers, so it is perhaps something of a surprise that they feature as high up this list as they do. But the fact is that VPN.ac offers an extremely affordable deal.
Their 2-year subscription costs just $90 (£69) which works out at only $3.75 (~£2.90) a month. For that, you will get one of the fastest VPNs we have ever tested with speeds on servers around the world that beat all the more expensive providers.
VPN.ac also offers powerful encryption. They deploy a 4096-bit RSA key for handshaking as standard and provide specific modes for use in China and also for anyone who wants more robust online security than usual.
Add in a vast range of apps, a decent server network, and up to six concurrent connections, and there is no question VPN.ac offers one of the best value-for-money VPN deals on the market.
TunnelBear is a reasonably young VPN which is already making waves in the VPN market by doing a lot of things right. One thing they are getting very right is their pricing structure. Their two year deal costs just $99.99 (~£78.65) or $4.17 (~£3.31) a month.
There is, unfortunately, no money-back guarantee, but they do offer a data-restricted free package which lets you try them out before you sign up.
Their all-round service is pretty decent too. A bit more user data is retained than we would like, but their encryption is strong, their connection speeds are good, and they allow every subscriber to connect up to five devices at any one time.
They also offer a good range of apps which are both well designed and easy to use. Tunnelbear has a great deal of potential, but a lot going for it already and the prices they charge represent a good value deal.
Lastly, there is VPNCity, a service that provides you with secure encryption, the ability to unlock geo-restricted content and it won't log your activities at the same time.
It will also let you protect up to 12 devices at the same time, which is more than every provider, bar Surfshark.
Depending on the plan, you could get it for as little as $2.99 per month (~£2.38) which is $71.76 for two years.
Of course, each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well. As for its servers, there are 3,167 of them located in 42 different cities and 33 countries around the globe. Connect to any of them in seconds, and bypass censorship, and geo-locations instantly.
Why not use a free VPN?
Many people looking for a low-priced VPN will quickly come across the myriad of free VPN providers on the market and think they have struck gold. After all, why spend money on a service if it is also available for free?
The truth is that you don't get anything for free these days. VPNs cost money to operate and if a provider doesn't charge a fee, it must be making money in other ways.
This is often by collecting and selling user data, which completely goes against why most people use VPNs in the first place. Others will pump ads into both your VPN client and your browser, which most users hate.
Unfortunately, some free VPNs are even riskier. Some will infect your devices with malware; others have close links with the Communist regime in China and who knows what they will do with your data.
If a VPN is free, it will not provide the same level of service as a premium provider. And as you have seen in this article, these premium providers are now so affordable, it is a no brainer.
How to buy a VPN service
Purchasing a VPN subscription is extremely straightforward and quick, and you can be done with it in less than a minute.
All you need to do is follow these steps:
- Choose a VPN that you like most, don't forget, Surfshark is the most cost effective.
- Visit their website and sign up for an account.
- Select your payment plan, and enter your payment details and email (remembering 2 and 3 year deals work out cheapest).
- Download the dedicated app for the device/system you plan to use it on.
- Now install the app, open it and login with your account details.
- Once inside, open up the available list of cities and countries to connect to.
- Choose a server, click/tap on it, and you will connect.
And that's all there is to it.
At this point, you will be connected to a remote server and have access to anything available in its region. Meanwhile, your connection will be 100% private and protected from curious eyes.
Are there any free VPN trials?
When it comes to VPNCity, you can simply go to its website and click on the green button that says ‘Start My Free Trial.'
You will still have to create an account and add your payment details, but you won't be charged regardless of which plan you choose.
Your free trial will last for seven days, and only then will the VPN charge you. But, if you end up not liking the service, you can always disable automatic subscription and try out something else.
Tunnelbear is a good alternative, as it doesn't just offer a free trial, but an entirely free plan.
However, this is a very restricted plan which only provides you with 500MB of data per month.
If you tweet about the company, you can earn a bit more data, up to 1GB per month, but even that is pretty limiting, and will only last you for a few days if you don't stream or download too much.
When is the best time to get a VPN deal?
Generally speaking, you can get a VPN at any time. Still, if you are looking for exclusive discounts, you can always target holidays and major events that are, fortunately, available throughout the year.
You can expect discounts around:
- Black Friday
- New Year
and plenty of other big and small holidays and periods.
Some services, such as NordVPN, offer discounts all the time. This particular service always has some sort of a special deal lying around, so it might be worth checking out.
Is it safe to use a cheap VPN?
Cheap VPNs should be safe, although it is not a rule, and it all depends on a number of factors.
Things such as their country of origin and reputation are the main thing that you should look at. If a VPN is located in a country that is a member of the 14-Eyes Surveillance Alliance, it is usually best if you skip it.
Other than that, as long as the service is reputable, it should be good enough.
It is also worth noting that some cheap services cannot unblock content such as Netflix, as they were likely blocked by it a long time ago.
But, services like Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and alike are still capable of doing it. Plus, they are all privacy-friendly and offer reliable protection and security.
How can I get the lowest price?
There is a trick to getting a VPN for cheap, which is to commit to the service for a long period.
Let's look at Surfshark as an example.
If you were to only pay for a 1-month subscription, you would have to pay $11.95 for it.
However, if you pay for its 2-year plan, you would have to pay $47.76 at once. Every month, that is only $1.99 per month.
You have to pay for it at once, but then you will be secured for 24 months. Meanwhile, if you kept buying a monthly plan during this period, you would have to pay a lot more – $286.80.
The same is true with most other VPNs.
NordVPN, for example, would let you take a 3-year plan for $3.49 per month. Meanwhile, its monthly plan is $11.95.
If you pay for a 3-year plan, you will be charged $125.64 once every three years. If you pay for a monthly plan every month for 3 years, the amount you would pay in total is $430.2.
What do average VPNs cost?
We also wanted to check out the average cost of a VPN service, and in doing so, we found that the price is slightly above $10 per month.
To make this calculation, we included services such as:
- ExpressVPN ($12.95 per month)
- NordVPN ($11.95 per month)
- FastestVPN ($10 per month)
- CyberGhost ($12.99 per month)
- EarthVPN ($3.99 per month)
- Getflix ($4.95 per month)
- Hide.Me ($14.95 per month)
By adding up the price of these services' monthly plans, we divided the final result with the number of services that we included.
The average price came back at $10.20, which is about what most people expect to pay, or perhaps slightly below what you need to pay for a top, competent VPN.
Again, as we've discovered throughout this guide, signing up for extended periods dramatically reduces the monthly price.
In Summary: #1 Surfshark
It is entirely possible to find a high-quality premium VPN service for rock-bottom prices.
In this article, we have picked out our the seven cheapest VPN deals. All of them offer a terrific all-round service for less, with Surfshark our pick of the bunch at the moment.
We have also offered some advice on what to look for when seeking out a cheap VPN and explained why opting for a free VPN is completely counter-productive.
A good VPN doesn't come for free, but it can come at an amazingly low price. In this article, we have shared the best deals around.