The cheapest VPN services if you're on a budget

With VPNs, higher costs don't always equate to the best VPN services. Some expensive VPNs are terrible, and there are some cheap VPN services that are mind-blowingly good! In this guide, we uncover some hidden VPN gems for people on a tight budget.

Find the best cheap VPN for your needs

Use the questionnaire below to find the best cheap VPN for you. Whether you want a VPN for unblocking streaming services, improving your online privacy, or bypassing censorship, we've got you covered. Our VPN experts have handpicked 10 low-cost VPN services for your needs.

What will you use a VPN for? (Answers in the questionnaire aren't logged)

Unblocking and downloading content
Improving online privacy
Bypassing censorship

The cheapest VPN services in 2021

We have listed the five best cheap VPN services below. Scroll down for our full list and an in-depth description of each service.

  1. PrivateVPN - PrivateVPN is a bargain when you consider how much comes packed into this affordable service.
  2. Private Internet Access - PIA is an affordable VPN choice for anyone with privacy and security at the top of their wishlist.
  3. NordVPN - NordVPN is slightly higher on the cost side, but still well worth its asking price.
  4. Surfshark - Surfshark is a great all-around VPN service, offering privacy, security, speed and unblocking without breaking the bank.
  5. CyberGhost VPN - CyberGhost is the perfect cheap VPN if you want an easy to use app on all of your devices at once!

See full list and analysis

Our cheap VPN recommendations allow anybody to get a trustworthy and reliable VPN service without spending over the odds. Best of all, these VPNs provide all the important features to give you data security, privacy, and freedom online without any sacrifices. 

The VPNs picked by our experts in this guide all provide superb value-for-money, but they also offer the same important VPN features as VPNs that are twice their cost, or more! These VPNs provide high-quality data security, strong privacy policies, lightning-fast connection speeds, and outstanding unblocking capabilities – all at an affordable rate.

All you need to do is scroll down to find out about the best cheap VPNs in the world. Before we dive in, however, we would like to remind you that the best way to get a cheap VPN is to subscribe to a VPN for a longer period of time.

VPNs give huge discounts to customers who subscribe for a year or more, and this is the best way to reduce your VPN costs massively.

Try our #1 VPN pick PrivateVPN Today!

The good news is that in 2021, getting a cheap VPN does not mean compromising on quality of service. We test all VPNs using the same rigorous standards, regardless of how much they charge per month. We look for:

As long as a VPN has the features mentioned above, you can be sure that it is safe to use. And it will allow you to enjoy freedom on the internet, as it meant to. All the VPNs recommended in this guide provide these important features at a low cost.

The best cheap VPN in 2021 | In-depth analysis

We recommend the following VPNs if you want a cheap service with premium features.

PrivateVPN is the best cheap VPN In 2021. Here you'll find a VPN with strong privacy & the ability to unblock all major streaming sites. This is why it's our #1 pick.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 12 months FREE: $2.49/mth
      79% OFF
    • 3 months: $6/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
      17% OFF
  • Pros

    • Customer service teams led by developers
    • Access to 16 Netflix libraries
    • Kill-switch and auto-connect features pair perfectly
  • Cons

    • 6 simultaneous connections isn't that generous
    • Smaller network of servers
    • No audit
  • Number of servers

    • 200
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 30 days
  • Use it on this many devices

    • 10

PrivateVPN Demo

PrivateVPN Demo
PrivateVPN Demo


PrivateVPN is an incredibly cheap VPN service that continues to impress us year after year. With PrivateVPN, you're not just getting a full set of privacy tools for an affordable price – you're also getting access to servers in 60 countries around the world. Whilst the VPN doesn't boast the largest or most expansive network of servers, I had no trouble with buffering or stuttering videos when putting it to the test.


Unblock everything


I was shocked to find that PrivateVPN lets you access a whopping 16 different Netflix regions! This is simply mind-blowing when you consider the price of a subscription. Plus, you'll have no trouble accessing other streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime, or dabbling in P2P activity.



It doesn't matter which device (or devices, plural, thanks to five available simultaneous connections) you want to secure, because PrivateVPN has apps for pretty much all of them! These apps install in just a minute or two and come set up with OpenVPN encryption be default. PrivateVPN's AES 256-bit encryption also works hard to keep your data secure whether you're at home, at work, or on the go.


Take your security with you


PrivateVPN's value for money is most apparent when considering its security offering. Users can take their pick of VPN protocols, use port forwarding (which is vital for torrenting), and benefit from a double-whammy of a kill-switch and auto-connect features. The kill-switch will cut your internet and prevent leaks in the event your VPN connection drops, and the auto-connect feature will get you back up and running, and connected to your VPN server again, once the issue has cleared up.


Try before you buy


In addition to stellar apps and ease-of-use, I also found PrivateVPN's customer service team (composed of in-house developers) to be incredibly helpful. They're available 24/7 via live chat, or you reach out by email. You can take an in-depth look at all of PrivateVPN's features without paying a penny, too, as the service offers a 7-day free trial.


Overall, PrivateVPN does everything at a cost that makes it hard to beat – well worth testing using the aforementioned free trial or its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

PIA perfectly combines a lost price with excellent security features. You can enjoy a no-logs service, amazing privacy features & true peace of mind.

  • Pricing

    • Christmas Special - 36 months + 3 months FREE: $2.03/mth
      84% OFF
    • 26 months: $2.69/mth
      77% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.33/mth
      72% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Comes with OpenVPN and Wireguard
    • 10 simultaneous connections
    • Great for unblocking Netflix
  • Cons

    • Based in US
    • Potentially too techy for new users
    • Still no audit
  • Number of servers

    • 20,000
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 30 days
  • Use it on this many devices

    • 10

PIA Demo

PIA Demo
PIA Demo


Private Internet Access (PIA) has been around for a while, more than ten years, in fact, and has since developed a reputation for delivering a quality service for a surprisingly low price point. I'm always astounded by how solid PIA is – it's one of the best all-rounders out there, being able to keep your devices safe at home or on holiday, access Netflix US without a hitch, and bypass often oppressive internet restrictions.


Proven privacy


Let's start with the not-so-great news. PIA is based in the United States, and this just isn't ideal when it comes to privacy, seeing as invasive organizations like the CIA and NSA also make their home in the US. Furthermore, the United States is very much a founding member of the 5 Eyes Alliance. The better and more reassuring news is that PIA has proven its no-logs policy in court on numerous occasions. This means you can trust the VPN never to have any records about what you do online while connected to its network. Even if the authorities were to demand PIA hand over its logs, it couldn't, seeing as none exist to begin with.



PIA also uses robust AES 256-bit encryption, and supports the OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols. WireGuard is young and fresh and promising – it's quicker and more lightweight than OpenVPN, which is good news for the battery life of your devices, but it's also not been tested as thoroughly. Whichever protocol you decide to use, you'll also benefit from a kill-switch, ad blocker, and split tunneling feature.


An advanced option


Admittedly, PIA does come with a lot of advanced features that could bamboozle users who are less familiar with VPNs. If you are a beginner, however, then you won't actually have to delve into these menus, as the VPN comes set up with OpenVPN by default. Getting to grips with all those advanced options also doesn't take that long if you're interested – you'll be making good use of the VPN's port forwarding, obfuscation (stealth), and split tunneling features before you know it!


All of those features make PIA a provider that really gives you value for money. Likewise, PIA's server network is practically worth the cost of a subscription itself. Servers are dotted across 78 countries, with a focus in the US, and optimized to be lightning-fast.


Get your money's worth


Let's talk content! Connecting to PIA's speedy servers will grant you access to some of the most popular streaming services on the market. I first used PIA to check out US Netflix! There was no buffering to worry about or pixilated streams, and PIA is also an excellent option for torrenting, as P2P activity is supported.


You can install PIA on all devices in the home; Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, and even VPN routers. If you prefer, you can also pick up PIA Chrome, Firefox and Opera web extensions. PIA gives users a whopping 10 simultaneous connections! This is roughly double the amount you usually get and ideal for folks intending to share their subscription or who simply have a large collection of gadgets and devices. And, as always, don't forget that you can trial PIA for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

NordVPN is an excellent cheap VPN that is great for all-around day to day use. It's affordable, if on the higher side of cheap. With this VPN you can access loads of servers & enjoy great security features.

  • Pricing

    • Christmas Special - 24 months: $3.29/mth
      73% OFF
    • 24 months: $3.71/mth
      68% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.92/mth
      58% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Packed with features
    • Audited no-logs policy
    • Offers OpenVPN and Wireguard protocols
  • Cons

    • Renewing subscription can be pricey
    • Interface is sometimes lacking
    • PayPal payments only accepted via Paddle
  • Number of servers

    • 5,130
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 30 days
  • Use it on this many devices

    • 6

Nord Demo

Nord Demo
Nord Demo


NordVPN is a huge name in the industry and a provider that's internationally well-regarded – and that's doubly impressive when you consider just how affordable a subscription is. The service is also one of the most secure, feature-rich VPNs out there, and users will benefit from DNS leak protection, stealth mode, a kill-switch, double-hop routing, and VPN into Tor.


Industry leading security


As previously mentioned, NordVPN users will get access to an automatic kill-switch (which can be customized to affect the internet as a whole or just specific applications) and a selection of VPN protocols in addition to AES 256-bit encryption. OpenVPN is our top pick when it comes to security, although NordLynx is a promising alternative. Built around the equally promising WireGuard protocol, NordLynx is a feather-light option, consisting of just 4,000 lines of code, and far easier to audit.



And speaking of audits, NordVPN has actually had its zero-logs policy audited by PWC. This is the sort of accountability I love to see from VPNs – and I felt totally secure when using NordVPN at work and on the go. The service is simply superb for engaging in data-intensive tasks or sensitive projects, like online gaming, streaming, or torrenting. DNS leak protection and multi-factor authentication are great security extras, too.


Packed with features


Whilst VPN newbies will be able to download a NordVPN app (available for any platform you can imagine... and then some), run through the installation process, and get connected to a server in a blink, and all without digging into more advanced settings, other users may want to play with the additional NordVPN features. I appreciated that NordVPN comes with its own SmartDNS feature, which makes unblocking streaming services like Netflix from a smart TV a breeze – though it's important to remember that this feature won't encrypt your traffic.


Split tunneling is another handy tool. With it, users can dictate which applications or sites are routed through the VPN server and which use the regular, unencrypted internet. This is particularly handy if you're trying to access local sites (like your banking account) whilst also enjoying geo-restricted content from overseas.


A VPN for everyone


NordVPN is well and truly a service that anyone can use and benefit from. The apps look fantastic and are incredibly easy to navigate through, and users get 6 simultaneous connections to play with, and a selection of more than 5,200 servers in 60 countries to connect to. You're getting a free, borderless internet when you go with NordVPN.


You can pay for the VPN using a card, with Bitcoin, or via Paypal. You have several options for payment plans, including a monthly option, 1-year plan, or 2-year plan. Finally, this VPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it without risking your hard-earned cash!

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Surfshark is a great cheap VPN for unblocking content. You'll get access to solid speeds & most major streaming sites. Perfect for streaming on a budget.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $2.49/mth
      80% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.49/mth
      49% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • RAM-only servers
    • Apps for all platforms
  • Cons

    • No free trial for Windows
    • Command-line only for Linux
    • OpenVPN speeds can lag
  • Number of servers

    • 3,200
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 30 days
  • Use it on this many devices

    • Unlimited

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo
Surfshark Demo


Surfshark is a VPN provider that has only been around for a few years now, but in that short time, it has taken the VPN market by storm with blazing-fast speed performance and 500 servers in over 60 countries. Throw in split tunneling so you can choose which apps route through the VPN and which don’t, a full Smart DNS service, and the fact that Surfshark was able to reliably unblock every service we threw at it, and you can see why it continues to impress us.


Clean and secure web surfing


I’m always amazed at the level of service and all the incredible features that Surfshark manages to pack into its VPN offering at such a low price. I found that its CleanWeb technology worked like a charm and effectively blocked all those annoying ads I’m always used to seeing whenever I browse the web. The kill-switch and the multi-hop encryption also did wonders to protect my privacy as I tested the service.



I'm also happy to see that Surfshark is a no-logs provider that doesn't keep tabs on your online activity at all. Being based in the British Virgin Islands also means that the provider is not required to store data, and Surfshark has even invited independent auditors to comb through its browser extensions!


Content galore


Although Surfshark hasn't been in the VPN pool for as long as some of its peers, it more than holds its own when compared to them for unblocking power. Surfshark can access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, amongst others. Plus, people living in places with restrictive internet censorship will even be able to unblock social media sites and news outlets to stay abreast of what's happening in the world.


Surfshark's 3,200+ servers are also incredibly fast. They often rank high in our daily speed tests and are more than quick enough to handle all that streaming, and even gaming and VoIP calls. Plus, all Surfshark servers are RAM-only, which is great for user privacy, and a plus in our books.


Unlimited devices


As is to be expected from today’s top VPN providers, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. What is unusual is that it allows you to connect as many devices as you want to the service at the same time! This is a huge part of why Surfshark is so popular today, and I also like that Surfshark apps are compatible with just about any device you could imagine; Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and even Linux OS.


In addition to the money-back guarantee, Surfshark also offers Android, iOS and Mac users a free 7-day free trial – you'll just need to remember to cancel it before you're due to pay.

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

CyberGhost combines a cheap VPN with ease of use. You get 7 simultaneous connections, so you can install CyberGhost's slick VPN app on all of your devices.

  • Pricing

    • Christmas Special - 36 months + 3 months FREE: $2.15/mth
      82% OFF
    • 24 months + 2 months FREE: $2.25/mth
      82% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.39/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Global server coverage
    • 45-day money-back guarantee
    • Sleek and easy to use apps for all platforms
  • Cons

    • No audit since 2012
    • Very short free trial
    • Browser add-ons lack proxy locations
  • Number of servers

    • 6,987
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 45 days
  • Use it on this many devices

    • 7

CyberGhost Demo

CyberGhost Demo
CyberGhost Demo


CyberGhost is a highly reliable and affordable VPN that's been making waves since 2018. It's an excellent all-rounder that has more than earned a spot in our top five, and packs a wide network of lightning-fast servers that are perfect for Netflix marathons or online gaming sessions. With so much on offer, including 24/7 live chat support and an unprecedented 14-day money-back guarantee on 1-month subscriptions and a 45-day money-back guarantee on 6-month subscriptions or longer, CyberGhost VPN is well worth checking out.


Easy streaming


CyberGhost customers can take their pick of more than 7,000 servers dotted across 91 countries – an impressive network made even more so by the fact that the VPN owns its own data centre, and has dedicated servers for streaming, torrenting, and privacy. If you're an avid TV and film fan, then CyberGhost could be a great pick. The service seamlessly unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+, to name a few.



With CyberGhost, you'll also be getting 7 simultaneous connections, which is more than most providers. And regardless of whether you're using a phone, desktop PC, or laptop, you can count on blazing speeds that aren't impacted by ISP throttling.


Platform variety


CyberGhost remains one of my favorite VPNs, and years ago when I was looking for a provider that could cover all of my devices, it stood out to me – not only does the VPN offer seven simultaneous connections, but its apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and more are a joy to use. I was new to VPNs at the time, and still had no trouble getting the service set up, and even now, I find myself returning to CyberGhost when I need a versatile, reliable VPN for work or personal use.


CyberGhost is also compatible with Smart TVs and (applicable) routers, and you can even install the VPN on your games console. And, if you need help with any aspect of this process, you can reach out to the customer service team via live chat or email. The team is around 24/7, and can field your questions in a number of different languages.


No risk VPN


As you'd expect from an industry leader, CyberGhost's encryption is superbly implemented OpenVPN, which is our recommended protocol. The provider's privacy policy is also watertight; CyberGhost's no-logs policy ensures that your browsing sessions are private, and being based in Romania means there are no native data retention laws to obey.


For those folks looking for extra security at a price that won't break the bank, I'd suggest making good use of the CyberGhost NoSpy servers. The CyberGhost team operate these servers end-to-end, so there's no third-party interference, and the servers boast extended bandwidth, a dedicated uplink, and super premium hardware.

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Ivacy is the cheapest VPN on our list when you opt for a long-term contract. If you are looking for the absolute cheapest VPN that won't disappoint, you've found it.

  • Pricing

    • 60 months: $1.33/mth
      86% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.5/mth
      64% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.95/mth
  • Pros

    • Unblocks 6 Netflix libraries
    • Supports P2P
    • 10 simultaneous connections
  • Cons

    • Mac client lacks features
    • Tracking performed by Ivacy website
    • No audit
  • Number of servers

    • 3,500
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 30 days
  • Use it on this many devices

    • 10

Ivacy Demo

Ivacy Demo
Ivacy Demo


Ivacy is a VPN service that ticks a lot of boxes, and all for a price that's incredibly modest. With Ivacy, you're getting access to fast servers in more than 100 locations, so it's great for bypassing government-imposed restrictions and geo-blocks. In fact, I tested the service to see if it could unblock Netflix US and BBC iPlayer, and found that it worked perfectly!


Overall, this is a low-cost VPN that highly impressed me. Well worth testing risk-free using its 30-day money-back guarantee.


Ideal for beginners


Downloading and installing Ivacy is straight-forward; there's nothing to worry about here if you've never used a VPN before. Across all apps and devices, the VPN settings were easy to access and tweak, meaning you'll be able to use the kill-switch (or other features) with just a few clicks. I particularly like the split tunneling feature, which not all VPN apps have. This allows you to use the VPN for torrenting (or anything else) while keeping other traffic outside of the tunnel if you prefer.



Where privacy is concerned, this provider is highly reliable. It has a no-logs policy, which means it never stores records of what its subscribers do while connected to its server network. It also has military-grade OpenVPN encryption, which comes set up correctly when you download it, so you're immediately secure whether you're at home or using notoriously dangerous public Wi-Fi hotspots.


Privacy for all


I like that Ivacy grants its users up to 10 simultaneous connections. So, with just one subscription, you'll be able to cover all of your family's devices! This is great value for money, and it only gets better when you consider that Ivacy is compatible with all platforms, and even Amazon Kindles and applicable routers.


Movie marathons


Not all VPNs are made equally, and some struggle to unblock Netflix – Ivacy, fortunately, can access the site without a problem. In fact, it can access 6 regional Netflix libraries, including; United States, France, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, Germany and Canada. You'll basically never run out of movies or shows to watch again. Oh, and Ivacy can also unblock Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu!


Unblocking these sites is a piece of cake, too. Simply take your pick of the 3,500 Ivacy servers scattered across 100 locations, and hit connect. They're all incredibly fast, and can even put a stop to throttling, so you're never beholden to your ISP. Ivacy's servers also support P2P activity if that's your thing! Just remember to make use of the kill-switch if you're going to torrent anything.

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

ZenMate is a cheap VPN choice for multiple devices. This service offers unlimited simultaneous connections. That's insane, considering the price!

  • Pricing

    • 18 months: $2.22/mth
      79% OFF
    • 6 months: $5.39/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $10.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Broad server network
    • Unblocks a wide selection of streaming services
    • Kill-switch enabled by default
  • Cons

    • Based in Germany
    • Not packed with features
    • Customer service can be hit and miss
  • Number of servers

    • 4,100
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 30 days

ZenMate Demo

ZenMate Demo
ZenMate Demo


This German service, once best known for its free VPN apps, now focuses on providing a premium VPN service. There are, admittedly, more fully-featured services out there, but few (exceptions above!) provide as much bang for your buck as ZenMate VPN.


With it's paid service you get plenty of added extras! You'll get a Chrome extension, P2P enabled servers, and the ability to unblock an array of streaming services. And we like that ZenMate VPN offers its users a kill switch – they're important features, and we enjoyed knowing that my IP was secure even if the VPN connection faltered.


Unlimited security


ZenMate makes its home in Germany, and reassuringly abides by  a zero-logs policy that ensures that no records are kept about user activity. In addition to having a kill-switch (a feature that's a necessity for any VPN, in my opinion), the ZenMate kill-switch is enabled by default, so you're protected from dropouts the moment you download the client.



Just like our other top picks, ZenMate secures its connections with strong AES 256-bit encryption, and users can decide between the IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and OpenVPN protocols. I'd always suggest opting for OpenVPN if you're looking for more robust and proven security.


Content galore


Where ZenMate really excels is in just how much content it can unblock! The service can access streaming services like Netflix, HBO GO, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime, as well as many others. Plus, if you're a sports fan, ZenMate can unblock all the sites and apps you need to keep up to date with the games or events that matter most.


Watching all this content is intuitive, too, and ZenMate has sleek apps for all platforms, and even some browsers! You'll also be able to secure an unlimited amount of devices at the same time with the service, which is, frankly, phenomenal given how cheap a subscription is. If you run into trouble accessing a site or need help picking a server, reach out to the ZenMate customer service team, available 24/7. We got quicker and more informative answers when reaching out via live chat, so that's something to bear in mind.


Smart servers


ZenMate's network of servers is pretty staggering! There are 3,900 in 79 global locations, and whilst they're not blazing a trail at the top of our speed list, they're still quick enough to handle data-intensive tasks. I like that there are dedicated streaming servers, too. This makes the VPN a great pick for casual users who are looking for a service that'll secure their browsing sessions and grant easy access to in-demand services.


ZenMate does also allow P2P activity. However, it's not allowed on all servers, so you'll need to do a bit of research beforehand to see which location will work best. Torrenters, streamers, and privacy advocates will also appreciate the fact that ZenMate's servers are 100% bare-metal.

Tested by Hannah Hart

Tested by Hannah Hart

VPNArea combines affordable prices with a balanced service. You'll get a fast VPN that unblocks everything & provides excellent privacy. Everything you need!

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2.99/mth
    • 12 months: $4.92/mth
    • 1 month: $9.9/mth
  • Pros

    • 8 simultaneous connections
    • Unblocks a lot of content
    • Excellent customer support
  • Cons

    • Mediocre speeds
    • CloudFlare DNS resolvers can impact page load times
    • Relatively low number of servers
  • Number of servers

    • 209
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 30 days
  • Use it on this many devices

    • 8

VPNArea Demo

VPNArea Demo
VPNArea Demo


This Bulgarian VPN is an impressive service and a great all-rounder considering the low cost of a yearly subscription. With VPNArea, you're getting the security of a no-logs policy, OpenVPN encryption, and support for all platforms.


I'd recommend giving this VPN a whirl for yourself, and you can do so with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide to take the plunge and purchase a subscription, you'll only need to hand over a username and email, and even have the option to pay with Bitcoin.


Low cost streaming


When I was putting VPNArea to the test, I immediately attempted to unblock BBC iPlayer, and found that the service worked perfectly! So, that's good news if you're a fan of British television living outside of the UK, or a resident planning a trip abroad. VPNArea also worked seamlessly with Netflix US and Kodi, making it one of the most reliable services I've tested when it comes to unblocking content. And again, that's impressive considering the low price point.


The only slight caveat to all this is that the VPN's speeds aren't eye-wateringly fast. There are quicker providers out there, sure, but I still didn't have any trouble with lag or buffering when I made video calls whilst connected to the VPN. It's a solid choice for data-intensive tasks, with servers scattered across 55 countries!


A privacy-oriented provider


After testing VPNArea's unblocking power, I took a look under the provider's hood to see what security measures it was packing. I was happy to see that it provides a kill-switch and obfuscation (stealth) technology, as well as Double VPN servers that encrypt your traffic twice. Plus, VPNArea comes pre-configured with OpenVPN encryption, meaning that you don't have to tinker with any settings if you don't want to – an ideal scenario for beginners interested in shoring up their security without getting bogged down in technicalities.



I was even more glad to see that VPNArea is a no-logs provider that isn't interested in keeping tabs on user connections. This will be a huge reassurance to anyone looking to safely torrent with VPNArea. Plus, VPNArea protects against IPv6, WebRTC, DNS leaks, and even created the IPLeak.org website.


Outstanding customer support


I really enjoyed VPNArea's customer support team. I reached out to staff via live chat and found them to be amongst the friendliest and well-trained team I've encountered, and I'm more than confident that they could assist with any issues that might crop up.


VPNArea is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS systems, and allows up to 8 simultaneous connections at once. That's a generous offering, and one more reason to seriously consider the service.

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

AtlasVPN is a very cheap VPN, especially if you subscribe for a longer period of time. It's a super-fast service that allowed us to unblock streaming sites in 4K.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $1.39/mth
      86% OFF
    • 12 months: $2.49/mth
      75% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Can access Netflix US
    • Includes a kill-switch
    • Blocks ads and malware
    • Subscriptions are cheap, and a free version is available
  • Cons

    • Based in the US
    • No OpenVPN encryption
    • No Linux support
  • Number of servers

    • 500
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
  • Use it on this many devices

    • Unlimited

AtlasVPN Demo

AtlasVPN Demo
AtlasVPN Demo


AtlasVPN markets itself as a lightning-fast provider, and so obviously I had to put that to the test. I found that it could provide 4K streaming on all the servers I connected to, however, so I'm happy to support the claim! What's more, this VPN comes with a staunch no-logs policy and more than 700 servers in 28 countries. That's fewer than many of its competitors, but in my opinion, these servers are well placed to unblock the sites and services you'll need.


Admittedly, the VPN is not that cheap when you purchase a shorter subscription but signing up for a longer subscription period makes it more competitive. I think this is pretty impressive considering what you get, and I found the software easy to use across platforms, which makes it suitable for beginners.


Security considerations


Right off the bat, it's important to know that AtlasVPN does not provide OpenVPN. More seasoned VPN users, or privacy aficionados, may strike it off their list immediately, but the VPN does server up IKEv2 as a substitute. IKEv2 is a secure protocol that'll provide ample protection for most users, and a kill-switch will also ensure that your connections are safe – a vital consideration for those who'll be torrenting. If the lack of OpenVPN is a deal-breaker for you, or you're looking for a service with more advanced features, you'll likely have to look elsewhere.



Additionally, AtlasVPN is based in the United States, a country infamous for its use of gag orders and warrants that can force VPN providers to fork over their data. AtlasVPN does combat this with a no-logs policy, however. Additionally, the provider's data breach monitor is a nice touch, and alerts users in the event their details were leaked in a breach.


Access to US exclusives


On a far more positive note, AtlasVPN does not struggle to unblock Netflix US! When I tested the service, it worked like a dream. AtlasVPN also boasts servers specifically optimized for streaming, which helps eliminate any pesky buffering issues.


AtlasVPN can also determine which server is the best fit for you, depending on your latency, speed, and distance. Simply hit the connect button to meet your match! Features like this make the service that much more accessible to new users, and I'm always glad to see it.


Try for less


AtlasVPN allows for an unlimited number of simultaneous connections! This means you'll have no trouble protecting all of your devices – and the VPN has apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. You can trial AtlasVPN for yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and claim your cash back at any point within that time. Alternatively, there is a free version of the service available to download.

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

HotSpot Shield is a well known cheap VPN service. Youll have access to Hotspot Shield's proprietary encryption that is seriously fast. Ideal for streaming.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • Free: $0/mth
    • 36 months: $2.99/mth
      76% OFF
    • 12 months: $7.99/mth
      38% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Generous 45-day money-back guarantee
    • Remarkably speedy!
    • Streaming and gaming optimization
  • Cons

    • Free version lacks some features
    • Based in the US
    • Payment details required for trial
  • Number of servers

    • 1,800
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Available for

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Money back guarantee length

    • 45 days
  • Use it on this many devices

    • 5

Hotspot Shield Demo

Hotspot Shield Demo
Hotspot Shield Demo


Hotspot Shield is perhaps best known for its free subscription plan, which gives consumers access to a VPN server in just one location: the USA. However, for those who enjoy the free plan but want access to a larger choice of servers, Hotspot Shield also has a premium subscription model at a very affordable price point.


Admittedly, some people might be put off by the proprietary encryption protocol used by Hotspot Shield (and we're a little unsure, too), but the service is generally considered secure for most people’s needs and can provide great speeds for streaming and gaming.


Pole position


First of all, I have to emphasize just how quick Hotspot Shield is! I was truly impressed with the speeds I was getting from the VPN on all the servers I tested across its network and on all the devices I tested it on. For such an affordable VPN, I found the speeds and overall quality of the service to be incredible. In my book, it’s definitely one of the best value-for-money VPNs on the market today.



The Hotspot Shield servers, located in more than 80 countries worldwide, are easy to connect to and support P2P activity. In addition, if you're an avid streamer or game, you'll want to check out the provider's dedicated streaming and gaming modes, optimized for a variety of streaming sites and popular games!


A proprietary protocol 


Hotspot Shield is yet another VPN provider based in the United States. Again, this is far from ideal, considering the NSA presence in the country, and the ever-looming threat of gag orders that could force providers to dish the dirt on their users. However, Hotspot Shield has really improved on its privacy policy, and we can now class the service as a no-logs provider.


Hotspot Shield users will also benefit from a kill-switch, IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection, and 128-bit AES data encryption. Ordinarily, we could declare that this level of encryption was secure enough to keep your browsing sessions safe, but the service's proprietary protocol, Catapult Hydra, has us concerned. We don't know exactly how it works and so we can't pass judgement on whether it's secure – or how its encryption is implemented. Hotspot Shield says that the protocol has been audited, however, though we'd like to see those results for ourselves.


Don't part with a penny


With Hotspot Shield, you'll be able to secure up to 5 devices at any one time. This amount of simultaneous connections is pretty standard within the industry, and whilst I'd like to see an improvement, it's still enough to cover all your most vital devices. You can install Hotspot Shield on your Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or Linux device, and even get it working on Smart TVs and routers. If you prefer, the VPN also has browser extensions – though I'd suggest ditching the Firefox version for the Chrome one. With Chrome, you'll get to play with split tunneling, an ad-block feature, and malware detection!


If you're interested in seeing what Hotspot Shield can do for you, you can make use of a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee, or check out the free 7-day trial. Just bear in mind that you will have to fork over your payment details to do so.

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

What is the fastest cheap VPN?

 Yes. VPNs that cost less will not necessarily suffer from a budget-level performance. To illustrate the speeds you can expect when subscribing to one of the VPNs recommended in this guide, check out the results of our up-to-date speed tests below.

Place Provider Average Speed Max Speed Visit Site
1. 67.48 Mbit/s 86.00 Mbit/s Visit Site
2. 58.74 Mbit/s 80.84 Mbit/s Visit Site
3. 57.09 Mbit/s 75.49 Mbit/s Visit Site
4. 50.86 Mbit/s 69.41 Mbit/s Visit Site
5. 45.71 Mbit/s 66.02 Mbit/s Visit Site
6. 41.19 Mbit/s 55.75 Mbit/s Visit Site
7. 20.33 Mbit/s 52.02 Mbit/s Visit Site
8. 16.37 Mbit/s 30.80 Mbit/s Visit Site

How does a VPN affect your speed?

A VPN will never be able to improve your current internet speeds. In fact, you'll actually experience a fractional loss of speed when connecting to a VPN. This is because a VPN needs to route your traffic further – via the VPN server – and allow time for encrypting your traffic. The speed loss is simply due to the nature of how VPN technology works. The good thing, however, is that high-quality, reliable VPNs offer super-fast servers to minimize this impact and ensure users' speed loss is negligible. The reality is that fast VPNs are a luxury, whereas slow VPNs will probably just drive you mad. 

If you want to know more, take a look at our VPN speed test guide.

How to get the best price for a VPN

As we stated at the top of this guide, hands down, the best way to get the best possible price on a VPN subscription is to commit for a longer period of time (at least a year). The longer you are willing to commit to a service, the cheaper it becomes. In some cases, it is even possible to get over an 80% reduction in the monthly cost of a VPN if you are willing to subscribe for a full year or longer.

Subscription plans are typically offered in monthly, bi-annual, and annual intervals. However, it is becoming more common for services to offer even bigger VPN deals on two-year subscriptions or longer – so keep your eyes peeled for even better bargains!

What is the average cost of a VPN?

The average cost of a VPN service currently sits at about $5 a month, or approximately $60 annually.

But this figure can vary depending on a number of factors like the service you choose to subscribe to and if you require additional features such as a static IP address. However, as we've already noted, the biggest impact on price is the length of time you are willing to commit to the service.

Of course, the longer the subscription that you purchase, the bigger discount you will receive. For this reason, we consider anything in the three dollars per month range to be cheap.

Quality Vs cost 

As with anything in life, there is often a tradeoff between quality and cost. A lower cost upfront may seem appealing at first, but the quality of some cheap VPNs is questionable, to say the least. All the VPNs we recommend above have been vetted to provide the same robust service that you would expect from a premium VPN like ExpressVPN .

Finding VPN offers

Many VPNs offer up great VPN deals that often run around major holidays throughout the year. If you want to find the best VPN deal in January, just check the previous link and find a deal that suits you best. Chances are, many of those deals will still be active, allowing you to score an awesome January VPN deal and get a world-class VPN service at a super discount. If, for some reason, a particular VPN deal is no longer active, you can always get in touch with the VPN's customer support staff and see if you can still take advantage of the deal.

What is the cheapest monthly VPN plan?

If you are not willing to commit to a longer-term deal with a VPN, it is still possible to pay for a one month VPN subscription and snag a bargain, just be aware the savings will not be as substantial as the savings illustrated above.

We recommend PrivateVPN as the cheapest monthly VPN

The good news is that our overall best cheap VPN PrivateVPN also happens to be the cheapest monthly VPN.

This is a great deal, considering PrivateVPN offers excellent speeds, an expansive network of servers, and it has proven to be a real demon at unblocking all major streaming services and websites. So, it really is all you need from a VPN tied up into an affordable package.

Get PrivateVPN Monthly

If you would like to compare it against some alternatives, we can also recommend checking out Private Internet Access or Surfshark . Both of these picks are solid, but PrivateVPN remains the standout choice for anyone looking to pay for a service monthly without breaking the bank.

Other cheap short-term subscription options

Free trials

If you need a VPN subscription for even shorter than a month, we would recommend looking for a VPN free trial as a possible short-term solution. We have done the legwork and collected all the best VPN free trials worth testing out for you.

3-Day subscrptions

A few services, notably AirVPN , now offer 3-day subscriptions for just $2.25 per month - ideal if you have already used up all of your free trial VPN accounts.

Try AirVPN for 3-days

The ExpressVPN free hack

Finally, it is possible to get a premium service like ExpressVPN for free for 30-days by taking advantage of the money-back guarantee. This does require for you to pay for the service initially, but this money will be given back to you at the end of the 30-days if you decide to get a refund.

Try ExpressVPN for 30-days

How to get the best VPN deal?

If you want to score an awesome deal on a VPN it's definitely worth it to check out whether a VPN you're considering is running any special offers. By taking advantage of a VPN deal, you can get your hands on a premium VPN service for a lot cheaper than you'd normally be able to! These deals often run alongside major holidays throughout the year.

Are cheap lifetime VPNs worth it?

No, this is another gimmick that might appeal to you if you're looking to keep costs low, which is the proposition of a lifetime VPN subscription (especially with some offering a lifetime service for as low as $30). But, while a lifetime VPN subscription sounds like an awesome deal on paper, the reality is that it isn't sustainable and should be viewed with a healthy dose of suspicion.

VPN companies have a lot of overheads, and in order to sustain their operations and provide adequate service, they require a regular source of income. If users pay for their VPN with a small one-time fee, the VPN company is sure to run out of money sooner rather than later – meaning that the service will either shut down entirely or begin extracting profit from users by selling their data. Either way, for these reasons, a lifetime VPN subscription usually spells disaster. 

Instead of a lifetime VPN subscription, we recommend you stick to a trustworthy, cheap VPN like the ones listed in this article. These VPNs may run tight margins, but they also keep their services running optimally for their users.

Are cheap VPN services safe?

Yes, if you're careful. There are plenty of cheap VPN services out there that have a terrible reputation, but, at the same time, lots of expensive options are just as useless! In the VPN industry, the price of a service is not necessarily always a proper representation of the level of security and the overall quality you're going to get (though admittedly some of the more expensive VPNs are well worth the price). 

What to avoid when picking a VPN on a budget:

  • VPN Logs – Some VPNs keep VPN logs and have bad privacy policies. All the VPNs in this article keep no invasive logs that could put you at risk.
  • Malware & Spyware – Some VPNs have malware or spyware in their VPN apps, particularly free services. We have tested all the services in our list for malware and can confirm that they are free of malware and completely safe to use.
  • Lack of vital features – Often Cheap VPNs are lacking vital features that are needed to keep your data private. All of our picks have the features you need to stay secure and unblock content.
  • Leaks – A VPN with performance issues, such as IP leaks, is a massive concern because it means that VPN isn't protecting you (even though it is connected and you think it is). All the Cheap VPNs in this article have been tested and do not have IP leaks, DNS leaks, or WebRTC problems.

All the VPNs in this article are well-known and trusted brands that have demonstrated their worth, year after year. They all have a proven track record for being both cheap and safe, so regardless of the provider you opt for, you know you'll be receiving a stellar service.

Using a budget VPN in restrictive countries?

The cheap VPNs listed in this article have servers all over the world. This means that they are perfect for people living anywhere! However, if you are using a VPN in countries such as China or the UAE (where censorship is an issue), you will need a VPN with specific features that will help you bypass government censorship. If this situation applies to you, we would recommend sticking with NordVPN , CyberGhost , and PrivateVPN , as these services provide all the privacy features you're going to need to evade such heavy-handed censorship measures.

How do VPNs work

The VPN software encrypts your internet traffic from your device and change your IP address by directing the traffic to a server owned by the VPN service. This allows users to unblock content that isn't available in their region. VPNs also encrypt all traffic going to and from the user's device, via a VPN tunnel, which vastly improves internet security and privacy.

...

What is a VPN Used For and How Does a VPN Work? ProPrivacy Explains ✅
What is a VPN Used For and How Does a VPN Work? ProPrivacy Explains ✅

Free Vs Cheap VPNs

Although there are free VPN services on the market; the vast majority of them are extremely risky to use. The free VPNs that we recommend are all quality providers, but they usually have download limits and connection speed restrictions. As a result, you will never get the kind of performance from a free VPN as you do from a cheap VPN. Alternatively, if you are unsure whether to sign up for a long-term contract, we recommend that you check out a VPN's free trial to determine if it's worth signing up to.

CyberGhost VPN Discount Coupon
85% Off Today Get 3 months for free, and a 45-day money-back guarantee

Why do I need a VPN?

When you visit websites, they automatically detect your home IP address. This unique address can be used to track you – so that online services know when you return. On top of that, unless you use a VPN, your ISP can track your web history (and metadata) and pass that info to the government for surveillance purposes.

Nobody likes being tracked, regardless of what they do online, and a VPN is the ideal solution to protect against online tracking. With a VPN, you'll gain solid digital privacy for yourself and your family. What's more, VPN encryption also protects you from other online threats like hacking. 

What are the most important benefits?

ExpressVPN Discount Coupon
Get 3 extra months for free when signing up for 1-year An overall saving of 49%

What else can I use a VPN for?

In addition to protecting your data and digital privacy and giving you access to more online content, such as unblocking YouTube videos unavailable in your region, government-censored news and websites, and geo-blocked sports streams, a VPN can also be used in a number of other ways!

Cheap VPNs for safer torrenting

If you often download TV shows and movies, or even software via BitTorrent; you really should use a VPN. Piracy is a crime and without a VPN you will be caught out easily.

With a VPN, you can avoid copyright violation notices for torrenting. All the cheap VPNs in this article permit P2P downloading; which means they are all valid options if you want a VPN for torrenting

To learn more about torrenting and VPNs, check out some of our other articles:

Gaming online with a cheap VPN

A VPN is a great partner for any online gamer. It allows you to broaden your horizons and play against the best from around the globe by connecting to VPN servers in different countries. What's more, it can help you save additional money when purchasing games online, by giving you access to Steam and other online storefronts in other countries.

With speed being crucial to a good online gaming experience, you will want to ensure that your VPN is up to the task and won't slow you down. We would recommend studying the speed test table that we covered earlier in this guide to understand the speeds you can expect from your chosen service.

To learn more about this, take a look at our best VPNs for gaming guide, or our best VPNs for steam guide to learn how to snag a bargain online.

FAQs

The questions below are popular questions about cheap VPNs that we get asked here or have seen people asking on Reddit and in other places. If you have any other questions, drop us a message below!

Conclusion

Now that you have all the information you need to make a cost-effective buying decision, let's review our top cheap VPN picks:

  1. PrivateVPN - PrivateVPN is a bargain when you consider how much comes packed into this affordable service.
  2. Private Internet Access - PIA is an affordable VPN choice for anyone with privacy and security at the top of their wishlist.
  3. NordVPN - NordVPN is slightly higher on the cost side, but still well worth its asking price.
  4. Surfshark - Surfshark is a great all-around VPN service, offering privacy, security, speed and unblocking without breaking the bank.
  5. CyberGhost VPN - CyberGhost is the perfect cheap VPN if you want an easy to use app on all of your devices at once!

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

13 Comments

Matt
on October 22, 2021
Reply
Good article. Interestingly, Ivacy, at least as of the time of this comment, also includes 2TB of encrypted cloud based storage in the 2-year and 5-year plans (compared to, for instance, $1.99/mo for only 100GB of Google Drive [with no encryption available], which means I can drop that service for the next few years and save that money)
DeadTake
on June 28, 2020
Reply
You have the prices wrong. PrivateVPN for one month is $7.12, Cyberghost stands at £11.99 per month You have only listed their package deals that cost you around £50 or more for a years connection.
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/ray-walshjpeg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-ima-7df05c2bafe5e85cb7cb582cd8351a9bpng-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Ray Walsh replied to DeadTake
on July 9, 2020
Reply
Yes, most people need a VPN for a prolonged period of time. I don't know many people that only want a VPN for a single month of their life. If you want a cheap VPN then you will need to commit for a longer period of time, this is true. However, the prices will work out at the cost per month that we have quoted as long as you do pay in one instalment (which is definitely worth it if you intend to use your VPN every day)
ben carson
on January 28, 2020
Reply
you have all the same pricing as any other affiliate. why click your links?
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to ben carson
on January 29, 2020
Reply
Hi ben. Because we provide highly detailed impartial reviews and a wealth of other privacy (and related resources for which we charge nothing) content that no other site on the internet does. If you want our staff to pay their rent and carry on producing this kind of content then it is helpful if you support us by clicking on our affiliate links.
Jan
on February 27, 2018
Reply
Trust.zone actually works and speed is good, zero problems. Did a test with user name/password without using any VPN app on my phone. Geoblocked pages worked in February 2018. Also tried pureVPN as they cost only $1.15/month now. But their IP in their 2GB free version is certainly all geoblocked for the nations I tested (UK, SE). Germany was not available for free with pureVPN, but assume it would anyway fail. Trust.Zone seems to work everywhere I tested it.
Eve Barnett replied to Jan
on November 10, 2021
Reply
Oh really? I didn't knew but for me Pure worked fine
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