The Best Cheap VPN of 2023: Protection on a Budget
There are several cheap VPN services you can choose from, both paid and free. I’ve saved you the trouble of doing your own research and compiled the top six in this post. To cut to the chase, though, I would recommend NordVPN as the best cheap VPN.
Have you been tightening up the purse strings recently? Everything, right from my go-to Korean face masks to my gaming subscriptions, feels a tad bit more expensive. But whether you’re on a budget or not, internet security is no joke. It pays to know the best cheap VPN to use (see what I did there?)
NordVPN is the best, reliable budget option with amazing speeds and a great number of server locations to choose from. But if you’d like to choose a free VPN, I’d recommend going with Windscribe.
Here’s my top six recommendations for great, cheap VPNs.
So if you’re ready to pick an excellent cheap VPN provider that’s easy on the pocket and promises amazing security features, keep reading.
What is a reasonable price for a VPN?Prices vary depending on your needs and desired features. However, the longer you’re willing to commit to a plan, the more reasonable the price will become. Signing up for two-year plans or longer is often the best bargain.
Are cheap VPNs secure?Not all cheap VPNs offer the best security or privacy, but the ones covered on this list are reliable, safe options to get you started.
Is a cheap VPN worth it?Yes, if you choose the right one for your needs. Cheap VPNs might not have a whopping number of servers or provide unlimited bandwidth, but as long as they are secure and fit your needs, you’re in for a good deal.
What is a good cheap VPN?Surfshark is the cheapest VPN from this list if you’re willing to commit to a two-year plan. Alternatively, you can also opt for free VPN providers like Windscribe and ProtonVPN.
Cheapest VPN Services at a Glance
|NordVPN||Cheap long term plans,|
Very fast speeds,
|Expensive monthly plan,|
No free plan
|$3.71 per month for two years|
|Surfshark||Cheap long term plans, |
Servers in underrepresented locations
|No free plan||$2.49 per month for two years|
|Windscribe||Amazing free plan,|
Easy to use,
Unlimited simultaneous connections
|Can be slow,|
No split tunneling
Easy to use,
Free trial option
|Can’t access all streaming services,|
No free plan
|$2.17 per month for 2 years (3 months free)|
|Hide.me||Solid free plan,|
Offers kill switch & split tunneling
|Servers concentrated in Europe & North America,|
Only one connection on free plan
|ProtonVPN||Great free plan,|
|Slow speeds on free plan,|
No IKEv2 on desktop
How to Find Cheap VPN Services
It’s no surprise that with a good paid VPN service, you unlock advanced features that you might not get with a cheaper plan or even a free VPN. That being said, it’s not everyone’s top priority to have a VPN jam-packed with all the best features for a strong VPN connection.
The good news is it’s totally possible to find a great cheap VPN and still have a solid service provided to you.
When you’re out virtually shopping for an affordable VPN, there are some factors to consider beyond just the price. Make sure it has the bare minimum: good security, solid privacy features, a no-logs policy and decent speeds.
But it comes down to what you’re personally looking for. Are you in the market for a cheap VPN for Netflix or other streaming sites?
If you’re looking to use it on your mobile device, you may have to hunt for a cheap Android VPN or iPhone-compatible VPN service (though not Blackberry anymore). If it’s compatible across several device types and platforms, that’s a cherry on top of the cake.
Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out for a VPN with a strong money-back guarantee. If you’re keen on minimizing your spending, equipping yourself with this safety net before signing up for a paid subscription will be your best bet.
The 6 Best Cheap VPN Services
Here’s a quick round-up of the top six VPNs — whether you’re in the market for a killer bargain with a low price or hunting for free VPNs, I’ve got your back.
The best value VPN with an affordable two-year plan.
- Almost no impact on browsing speed
- Unblocks every major streaming service
- Strict no-logs policy
- Lacks enough servers in the Southern Hemisphere
- Split tunneling isn’t available on all OSes
- Convoluted customer support
If you don’t mind committing to a long-term plan in exchange for an affordable price and a server network that spans across 60 countries, it can’t get any better than NordVPN. Its longer subscription plan for two years greatly brings down the monthly cost, making it one of the best value offerings among premium VPN providers.
NordVPN consistently ranks on all my lists for its solid performance, amazing speeds and stellar security. It has all the standard security features like an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection.
NordVPN’s proprietary NordLynx protocol (its customized version of WireGuard) also promises high speeds across its VPN servers. It also has double-hop encryption to route through more than one VPN server. Its security features make it a great VPN for torrenting.
The disadvantage with NordVPN is that its monthly plan is rather expensive, and in all fairness, would knock it off this list otherwise. However, the VPN provider’s long-term plan brings down the price to $3.71 per month. NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee you can try out first to see if this premium provider is up your alley before committing to two years.
Check out NordVPN’s pricing here or read the full NordVPN review.
A relatively new VPN that provides excellent value for money.
- Strong, secure protocols
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Servers in many underrepresented countries
- Auto server select doesn’t always make good choices
- Relatively small server network overall
- Split tunneling not available on all OSes
There’s more to Surfshark than its fun name. The relatively new VPN has over 65 server locations, offering more than enough choice for its users. But one of the biggest pros it offers is the unlimited VPN connections across multiple devices. This means you can connect not just yours but your family’s devices, too, increasing the bang for each buck even more.
Security-wise, it’s got you covered with several available protocols, from OpenVPN, IKEv2 and the fast WireGuard. It also has a kill switch that’ll protect your IP address when the VPN connection suddenly dips.
If you’re an avid streamer, the good news is that Surfshark has excellent speeds and unblocks all the major streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Hulu and more. It even covers server locations in more underrepresented regions, meaning you can access more Netflix libraries and unique content in lesser-known areas.
Overall, this newcomer promises powerful features for a modest monthly price of $2.49 for two years. Surfshark also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee worth checking out.
Check out Surfshark’s pricing here or read the full Surfshark review.
The best no-cost VPN that also offers a cheap build-a-plan option.
- Feature-rich free plan
- Excellent speeds
- Many unique features
- No subscriptions longer than a year
- Poor user interface
- Unhelpful customer support
It can’t get any cheaper than free, can it? And that’s exactly what Windscribe is. Windscribe goes beyond offering just a trial version and offers a totally free plan you can use with unlimited device connections and decent speeds.
You can unlock 10GB of data per month with access to 10 server locations, and when you’ve exhausted that, you also have the option to build a customizable plan for your data usage.
Windscribe is compatible across a number of device types ranging from desktops (Windows, Linux and Mac). It offers browser extensions across all popular browsers and even supports smart TVs, routers, and of course, your mobile devices. This is pretty great, considering you’re getting all this for free.
However, where Windscribe lacks is the monthly data allowance. The 10GB you get access to won’t serve you too well for streaming. You’d have better luck by purchasing unlimited data for $1 a month (which is a good deal in the current market) and access to server locations you can cherry pick at $1 per location per month using the build-a-plan model.
Unlike other VPNs, Windscribe’s money-back guarantee is limited to just three days. But you might as well try out the free plan and consider that a free trial for yourself before deciding on whether you want to pay for more.
Check out Windscribe’s free plan and pricing here or read the full Windscribe review.
A customizable VPN that offers a long-term value.
- Extremely fast speeds
- Affordable long-term plans
- User-friendly interface
- Parent company raises security concerns
- Can’t unblock all streaming platforms
- Overly complicated knowledgebase
CyberGhost is an option you can’t forget if you’re in for a dirt cheap price and don’t mind a long-term subscription. This is CyberGhost’s biggest selling point — the low-cost nature tied together with high security, stellar speeds and performance when using the WireGuard protocol.
To add to this, CyberGhost has advanced features like streaming-optimized servers. The VPN easily unblocks Netflix, getting past geoblocks and unlocking the content you want. That being said, CyberGhost doesn’t access all streaming services consistently. Where OpenVPN performance is considered, it also doesn’t compare to the likes of NordVPN or ExpressVPN.
Apart from streaming, CyberGhost also has VPN automation features, which allow you to set up rules that allow you to connect to specific locations based on your network connection (think: airport lounges or public WiFi networks). This is more convenient if you’re constantly on the move.
CyberGhost’s cheapest plan is $2.15 per month for a two-year plan, with a complimentary addition of three months. As far as money-back guarantees go, CyberGhost is a winner in the department, offering 45 days for longer plans.
Check out CyberGhost’s pricing here or read the full CyberGhost review.
Offers both a solid free plan and an affordable annual plan.
- Performs well in speed tests
- Provides a user-friendly interface
- Unblocks Netflix & BBC iPlayer
- Often fails to explain features
- Can’t unblock all streaming services
- Has a small server network
Normally, Hide.me wouldn’t have made it on this list due to the high prices in comparison to CyberGhost, but its free plan gives Windscribe a run for its…well, free-ness.
Hide.me’s free plan offers 10GB of data each month, one device connection and access to five locations. If you switch over to a paid plan, you can reap the benefit of unlimited data with 10 simultaneous device connections and access to over 75 locations.
What’s great about Hide.me is its user-friendly interface. It’s easy to scroll through the application as the servers are neatly organized by region. Hide.me also has solid security and privacy, to the extent that it’s likely the first VPN to pass an audit by an external security team. One major drawback is the inconsistent access to Netflix U.S. and other streaming platforms.
You can give Hide.me a trial run through the free plan or check out the paid plans by giving the 30-day money-back guarantee a shot.
Check out Hide.me’s pricing here or read the full Hide.me review.
Offers both a free plan and affordable basic monthly plan.
- Excellent free version
- Easy to use
- Secure core servers
- No IKEv2 in desktop app
- No live chat
If you want a VPN that takes its privacy seriously and offers a great free plan, ProtonVPN has the bases covered. On the free plan, you get access to 23 servers across three locations with unlimited data, although with a speed cap. The paid options are also pretty good, and it’s one of the few VPNs to offer a tier-based plan.
With the free plan, you get only one device connection, but you can opt for the expensive Visionary plan if you want to scale up to the max of 10 simultaneous connections. Should you choose to stick to the free plan, you still get access to most streaming services, although the slow streaming speeds can be a bummer.
This is where the disadvantages start. The free plan has access to a limited number of servers, which can lead to speed lags due to overcrowded servers. Plus, the VPN doesn’t offer the IKEv2 protocol on desktop devices, which is one of the best protocols for speed.
No matter the free version, you get your best features with ProtonVPN’s paid plans. However, you can try out the free plan or opt for the 30-day money-back guarantee first.
Check out ProtonVPN’s free plan and pricing here or read full ProtonVPN review.
What’s the Best Cheap Monthly VPN?
Do you have commitment issues that extend to long-term subscriptions with your VPN plans? No judgment, fam. I get it. While it’s true that you can unlock the best value prices for longer-term deals, there are a few VPNs on this list with affordable monthly plans.
ProtonVPN’s cheapest monthly plan starts at $4 per month for the Basic plan, which is as cheap as it gets.
There’s no denying the quality of service you get if you opt for premium providers with more expensive monthly plans. But even those offer better value when you subscribe for a longer period, so at the end of the day, your best bet is to opt for long-term plans if you want the cheapest price.
How to Get Deals on Expensive VPNs?
The best way to unlock more value with expensive VPNs is by opting for long-term plans and by paying annually upfront instead of monthly. The monthly fee falls drastically with long-term plans, boosting your savings and keeping more change jingling in your wallet. You can also keep an eye out for holiday deals.
Take ExpressVPN, for example.
This premium provider is currently running an offer for 15 months that takes 49% off the regular price. Considering all the features you get with ExpressVPN, this deal is pretty hard to ignore. (Read the full ExpressVPN review for more details.)
Premium providers sometimes have value offers around the holidays, like Black Friday and Christmas, so keep an eye out if you want to snag a good bargain for yourself.
Conclusion: The Best Cheap VPN Providers
Whether you’re in the market for a cheap VPN or just looking for a free plan, remember never to compromise on security. After all, that’s what VPNs are for, right?
Over to you — what are your favorite cheap VPN providers? Are there any from this list you prefer or any not covered in this post that you think are worth considering? Let me know in the comments. As always, thank you for reading.
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