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Best Monthly VPNs - Best Pay-As-You-Go Provider

Monthly VPN plans are the best way to test a VPN and decide if it’s right for you. 

But most VPNs charge extortionate fees for shorter subscriptions – sometimes 4x what you pay on a one or two-year plan. 

So, we’ve gone beyond standard reviews to uncover the best monthly VPNs that don’t break the bank. They balance flexibility, affordability, and performance for industry-leading experiences.

In a rush? Here are our top five choices:

  1. ExpressVPN - The #1 VPN, offering top-tier security, speeds, stealthy servers, advanced features, and a massive global server network.
  2. TIP

    In our testing we checked that all ExpressVPN plans work for Netflix. The one year plan is the best value: three months free and a 30 day risk-free trial.

  3. NordVPN - Outstanding value, with fast, secure connections on a vast server network and excellent privacy features.
  4. CyberGhost VPN - A user-friendly VPN for monthly subscribers. Simple setup and great value for casual users.
  5. IPVanish - Solid pay-as-you-go VPN. Offers unlimited connections and robust security to protect numerous devices.
  6. PrivateVPN - The cheapest monthly VPN, offering essential protection and privacy (but a small network).

EXPERIENCE EXPRESSVPN WITH A 30-DAY FREE TRIAL

Sign up on this page to enjoy a full-featured 30-day trial from ExpressVPN. Dive into the world of the #1 rated VPN for privacy, and especially if you're keen on trying the best monthly VPN.

Transparent terms—contact the support team within 30 days for a hassle-free refund if you're not satisfied. Click here to start your ExpressVPN trial.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the criteria we used in selecting these VPNs (keep reading for more details):

TEST WINNER ExpressVPN NordVPN CyberGhost VPN IPVanish PrivateVPN
Website ExpressVPN NordVPN CyberGhost VPN IPVanish PrivateVPN
Ranking for monthly vpn 1 2 3 4 5
Performance 10
9
7
7
7
Reliability 9
8
7
7
7
Free trial
Total servers 3000
6200
11625
2000
200
Payment PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
PayPal
Visa/MasterCard
Amex
Cryptocurrency
Unblocks: Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Netflix
iPlayer
Disney+
Amazon Prime
Hulu
Supported platforms Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android
Windows
macOS
iOS
Android

Deep dive: The best monthly VPNs in 2024

Let's explore the best monthly VPNs, and what makes each one unique. 

If you're still curious after these mini-reviews, check out our complete VPN reviews for a deeper dive into every provider.

1. ExpressVPN
Editor's Choice | May 2024

ExpressVPN is the best all-around VPN, offering industry-leading performance on an affordable monthly subscription.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months + 3 months FREE + Backblaze backup: $6.67/mth
      49% OFF
    • 6 months: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros

    • The fastest VPN in the world
    • Industry-best security
    • Independently audited by Cure53, PwC, KPMG, and others
    • 3,000+ servers in over 94 countries
    • Crypto payments and TOR website for added privacy
  • Cons

    • Premium long-term price tag
    • Doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

Priced at USD $12.95 monthly, ExpressVPN delivers incredible performance at the same price as most (inferior) competitors. 


Thanks to its massive server network in 100+ countries, you get lightning-fast connections worldwide. This extensive network ensures you'll never compromise on speed or performance due to distance from a server. 


For even more speed, ExpressVPN uses its innovative Lightway protocol, which maximizes performance while maintaining robust security. It ensures minimal downtime and optimizes your data routes, providing quick and efficient connections. 


ExpressVPN also offers unrivaled security. 


It uses RAM-only servers, meaning your data is never recorded, stored, or shared. 256-bit AES encryption and automatic kill-switches safeguard your online activities. Plus, it’s based in the British Virgin Islands – one of the most notoriously private places on Earth.


ExpressVPN’s one and two-year plans are more expensive than most VPNs. But there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to try it risk-free. You can also use an ExpressVPN coupon to save up to 49%.

NordVPN is a fast and reliable pay-as-you-go VPN. It offers cutting-edge security features to safeguard your data and online activities.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $3.69/mth
      70% OFF
    • 12 months: $4.99/mth
      59% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Strong security protocol
    • User-friendly apps
    • Affordable price
    • Strict zero-logs policy
  • Cons

    • The initial setup could be improved
    • Switching between servers can be slow
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

NordVPN's extensive network of over 6,000 global servers is optimized for reliable performance, providing fast connections for streaming Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other popular platforms and accessing websites worldwide. 


The exclusive NordLynx protocol provides lightning-fast connections, averaging around 55 Mbps. Additionally, NordVPN's SmartDNS feature enables you to stream on devices that don't always support VPNs, like game consoles and some smart TVs.


You can install NordVPN on up to 10 devices at once. Installation is easy, and it’s compatible with every popular phone, computer, game console, smart TV, and router. 


A monthly plan costs $12.99, and the 30-day money-back guarantee lets you try it risk-free. Check out our exclusive NordVPN discount code to save on extended plans.

CyberGhost is the most user-friendly monthly VPN. Enjoy its simple apps and consistently fast connections on every device.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months + 3 months FREE: $2.11/mth
      83% OFF
    • 6 months: $6.99/mth
      42% OFF
    • 1 month: $11.99/mth
  • Pros

    • 9,500+ servers in over 90 countries
    • User-friendly interface
    • Accepts cryptocurrency payments
    • Affordable pricing
  • Cons

    • No apps for Windows 11
    • Lacks some advanced configuration options
    • Ad blockers are not always reliable
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

CyberGhost’s monthly plan costs $12.99 per month.


A vast network of 9,500+ servers in over 90 countries gives you plenty of features for protecting your privacy and accessing content worldwide. Performance varies in countries with heavy censorship and anti-VPN measures, like the UAE or China. But, for everywhere else, it generally delivers good speeds for streaming and other online activities. 


Our favorite feature is CyberGhost’s auto-configuration. 


Once you’ve installed it on your first device and configured your settings (i.e., favorite servers, preferred VPN protocol), these settings are saved for all future installs. This saves a lot of time as you set it up across every device. 


The user-friendly interface is perfect for beginners, and you can protect up to seven devices simultaneously.Try CyberGhost risk-free with its generous 45-day money-back guarantee. Save up to 79% on extended plans with a CyberGhost coupon.

IPVanish is a reliable VPN with easy-to-use apps, fast connections, robust security, and excellent privacy protection, all at an affordable monthly plan.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $3.33/mth
      75% OFF
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
      70% OFF
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros

    • Unlimited device connections
    • Excellent value
    • Lots of US servers
    • Strong encryption and a kill-switch
  • Cons

    • Slow connections
    • Customer service can be unresponsive
    • No browser extensions
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

For $12.99 per month, you get access to IPVanish’s network of over 2,000 servers across 75+ global locations.


While IPVanish works with popular streaming sites such as Netflix, it might struggle with others like Amazon Prime Video. Consider this if streaming is a priority. However, IPVanish excels as a VPN for torrenting and Kodi home theater if that's more your speed.


We rigorously tested its security and privacy features across various devices (Windows, iPhone, Android, etc.). The military-grade encryption, leak protection, and kill-switches performed flawlessly, ensuring a secure online experience.


One potential downside is that IPVanish is based in the U.S.A. If you're highly privacy-conscious, other VPNs on this list might be more appealing due to their locations in privacy-friendly jurisdictions. We recommend ExpressVPN. 


Try IPVanish using its 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it fits your monthly VPN needs. Use our IPVanish coupon to save 20% on your subscription.

PrivateVPN offers the cheapest monthly VPN plan on this list, but it’s less advanced than top competitors, with a tiny server network and other issues.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2/mth
      84% OFF
    • 3 months: $6/mth
      50% OFF
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
      17% OFF
  • Pros

    • Easy setup
    • Install on up to 10 devices
    • Works with US streaming networks
    • Fast connections
  • Cons

    • Slow customer support
    • Smaller server network
    • Less advanced than other VPNs
  • Available on

    • Windows
    • macOS
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Linux
  • Unblocks

    • Netflix
    • iPlayer
    • Amazon Prime
    • Hulu
  • Website

PrivateVPN is the most affordable option on our list – it costs $9.90 per month. 


Despite the budget-friendly price, you get reliable protection and surprisingly fast connections. While its server network is tiny (only 200+ servers in 60+ countries), it's powerful enough to access popular streaming sites and deliver smooth, buffer-free HD content.


PrivateVPN doesn't compromise on security. You get robust 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill-switch – perfect for keeping your online activities private. 


You can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, including smart TVs, some routers, and game consoles. This flexibility makes it ideal for protecting all your devices month-to-month.


Every new PrivateVPN plan includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free. Save up to 83% on long-term plans with our PrivateVPN coupon.

Methodology: how we tested the best monthly VPNs

At ProPrivacy, we understand the importance of reliable information when choosing the best monthly VPN. That's why we regularly speed-test top VPNs using servers on six continents. This proprietary method gives us real-time performance data, ensuring our assessments are independent and accurate. 

Over the last three years, we've conducted over 250,000 tests using this system – the results you see are 100% authentic.

When recommending monthly VPNs, we prioritize:

Refer to our comprehensive testing methodology overview for a more detailed breakdown.

How to set up a VPN

To set up a VPN for enhanced privacy and security, simply follow these steps:

  1. Sign up to your preferred VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Install VPN on your preferred device.
  3. Open the VPN app and configure it to your device.
  4. Restart your device.

Viola! 

You're now ready to enjoy a seamless online experience on your devices.

If you encounter any issues, consider clearing your device's cache and cookies to address temporary glitches. Ensure your device is connected to a server within your preferred location, then reconnect to the VPN. 

Refresh any page or app, and you should have unrestricted access.

Can I use a free VPN?

While free VPNs might seem tempting, they often have significant drawbacks and hidden dangers. Here's why you should be wary about free VPNs:

  1. Limit your server access. They usually restrict you to a handful of overcrowded servers, leading to slow speeds and connection issues.
  2. Too slow. Don't expect smooth streaming or browsing. They often throttle your bandwidth so you’ll upgrade to a faster connection.
  3. Come bundled with ads. These are often intrusive, annoying, and embedded with malicious software. 
  4. May sell your information. Data brokers and advertisers love VPN user data because it’s so private. 
  5. Been caught hosting malware and hackers on their networks. This poses an obvious danger to your safety – online and IRL.

Skip the free VPNs and invest $2/month in a budget-friendly premium VPN. They offer far superior protection and value compared to the risks of using a free VPN. 

Best monthly VPNs FAQs

Conclusion: What’s the best monthly VPN?

PrivateVPN offers the most competitive monthly pricing – but it lacks many advanced features and has a tiny server network. 

For the best mix of performance, speed, and affordability, we recommend ExpressVPN. Its monthly plans cost the same as many inferior competitors. And if you extend to a longer plan, you can get crazy discounts. 

Regardless, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. So, there’s zero risk to trying it out.

Written by: Conor Walsh

Conor is a tech writer with professional paranoia. He's passionate about privacy, and when not writing about it, can be found trying to get far away from his phone and any other technology, enjoying some live music, outdoorsy stuff, or a good (physical) book.

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