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The Best Cheap VPNs of 2021

Illustration of a Podium Displaying First, Second and Third Place
Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

Callum oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his advice about VPNs has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio

The best VPN services don’t have to be the most expensive ones. Some of our highest-rated VPNs are also cheap and offer excellent value for money.

You can get a top VPN for as little as $2.49 per month, if you’re okay signing up to a 12-month (or longer) subscription plan.

What’s great is that good cheap VPNs don’t compromise on quality. The services are highly secure, deliver fast speeds, and cost less than $3.71 per month.

The five best ‘cheap’ VPNs in 2021 are:

  1. Surfshark: One of the best VPNs at a very low price – from $2.49/month. Read summary
  2. PrivateVPN: Cheap VPN that unblocks 20+ Netflix libraries – from $1.98/month. Read summary
  3. CyberGhost: A very easy to use budget VPN – from $2.25/month. Read summary
  4. Private Internet Access: Very fast and highly secure VPN – from $2.69/month. Read summary
  5. NordVPN: Extremely fast yet affordable VPN – from $3.71/month. Read summary

Despite the cheap monthly price, the VPNs above perform very well. On top of giving you anonymous internet access on all devices, they offer 24/7 live chat support, and up to 45-day money-back guarantees.

Most of the VPNs below also bypass region-locked content on streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

If these VPNs are still too expensive for you, consider using a safe free VPN instead. Or, sign up to a VPN free trial to test a paid VPN free of charge.

The Best 'Cheap' VPNs for April 2021

1. Surfshark: Best Cheap VPN

The overall best 'cheap' VPN from $2.49/month.

Surfshark app
Surfshark app
(91 user reviews)
Visit Surfshark
  1. Excellent price-quality ratio
  2. Fast connection speeds
  3. Unblocks 15 Netflix libraries
  4. Works well with BBC iPlayer
  5. Privacy-friendly logging policy
  6. Unlimited simultaneous devices
  1. Some restrictions on torrenting
  2. Minor delay connecting to servers
  3. No-logs policy not yet independently verified
  • Best Price

    $2.49/mo over 24 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    85Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    66 countries, 3,200+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Surfshark is the best cheap VPN of 2021 and is excellent value for money at $2.49 per month. This is on a two-year subscription, billed at $59.76 the first two years, and annually thereafter.

It’s a highly-secure VPN service, headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which is an ideal privacy-focused location for a VPN company.

It also operates a zero-logs policy and it encrypts its connections with the AES 256-bit cipher and various secure VPN protocols, including OpenVPN.

Great for security and streaming

Surfhsark also comes with additional security and privacy features.

You have access to MultiHop, which routes traffic through two VPN servers, and the NoBorders mode, to bypass aggressive web censorship in countries like China.

However, one of Surfshark’s standout highlights is its ability to unblock 15 Netflix regions, as well as BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video.

Compatible with most devices

Surfshark VPN works on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Fire OS.

There’s also a Smart DNS tool for easier use on Apple TV and games consoles like Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.

Moreover, you can use Surfshark on an unlimited number of devices.

In summary, there is no better VPN than Surfshark at a cheaper monthly price. You won’t be disappointed with this VPN service, but if you happen to not enjoy using it then don’t forget that it comes with a no-questions-asked 30-day refund policy.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Surfshark VPN review.

2. PrivateVPN: Best for Netflix

The cheapest Netflix VPN from $1.98/month.

Image of PrivateVPN's app on mobile
Image of PrivateVPN's app on mobile
(1,736 user reviews)
Visit PrivateVPN
  1. Very good value for money
  2. Consistently fast speeds
  3. Unblocks 32 Netflix regions & BBC iPlayer
  4. No web usage logs
  5. Torrenting allowed on all servers
  6. Works in China
  1. Small number of VPN servers
  2. Inconsistent live chat availability
  3. No browser extensions
  4. No Smart DNS feature
  • Best Price

    $1.98/mo over 24 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    94Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    62 countries, 150+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

PrivateVPN suits beginners and experienced users alike, and costs only $1.98 per month, in other words $45.36 ever two years.

Unlocks 30+ Netflix regions

Despite its small number of servers, it’s an impressively fast VPN that unblocks 32 Netflix libraries on it’s dedicated streaming servers.

PrivateVPN also works well with BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO and Amazon Prime Video.

A secure zero-logs VPN

As far as security goes, PrivateVPN is a very safe no-logs VPN. It uses AES-256 encryption, the OpenVPN protocol, an effective VPN kill switch, and robust IPv4, IPv6, and DNS leak protection.

It also operates its own DNS servers, which is added peace of mind especially if you want to torrent with a VPN.

Small server network

The downside to using PrivateVPN is that it has a much smaller server network than its rivals, which could impact performance in the near future as it acquires more customers.

Moreover, live chat support is not available 24/7, unlike many other top VPNs. If you have a problem using PrivateVPN and you can’t find a solution online, you’ll have to email customer support and wait for a response.

For a more in-depth look, read our full PrivateVPN review.

3. CyberGhost: Best for Ease-of-Use

Fast VPN ideal for beginners from $2.25/month.

CyberGhost app
CyberGhost app
(308 user reviews)
Visit CyberGhost
  1. Great value for money
  2. Fast same-country speeds
  3. Works with Netflix & Disney+
  4. Very large server network
  5. User-friendly apps for popular devices
  6. Anonymous dedicated IP addresses
  1. Not good in high-censorship countries
  2. Torrenting doesn’t work in Australia
  3. Slower international speeds
  • Best Price

    $2.25/mo over 3 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    89Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    90 countries, 6,700+ servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is more expensive than Surfshark and PrivateVPN, costing $2.25 per month on a three-year plan. But, it’s still a great budget VPN.

A VPN focused on entertainment

It’s one of the easiest VPNs to use and it currently has one of the best Fire Stick TV app interfaces.

It works very well with US Netflix, Hulu, HBO and other US streaming platforms.

CyberGhost VPN is also very good for torrenting, as long as you’re not based in Australia (it’s Australian servers don’t allow P2P traffic).

Secure VPN with a kill switch

CyberGhost is also a very secure VPN service that doesn’t collect any personally-identifiable web logs.

It protects its VPN connections using AES 256-bit encryption, and it also has a VPN kill switch for unexpected VPN connection drops.

One of the biggest server parks

One of CyberGhost’s strengths is the size of its server park: it counts 6,700+ servers across 90 countries.

This is the second biggest server network after Private Internet Access.

Not recommended for China or Turkey

Sadly, CyberGhost VPN isn’t a good choice for bypassing aggressive web censorship.

If you’re based in, or travelling to, China, Turkey or the UAE, then use Surfshark or PrivateVPN instead.

For a more in-depth look, read our full CyberGhost VPN review.

4. PIA VPN: Best for P2P

Great torrenting VPN from $2.69/month.

Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access
(25 user reviews)
  1. Exceptional VPN speeds
  2. Verified no-logs privacy policy
  3. Streams US Netflix, BBC iPlayer & Disney+
  4. Ideal for anonymous torrenting
  5. User-friendly apps for popular platforms
  6. Largest server network: 10,000 servers
  1. Fire TV Stick app needs improving
  2. Unstable connections within China
  3. Based in the US (FVEY jurisdiction)
  • Best Price

    $2.69/mo over 26 months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    89Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    77 countries, 35,900 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the fastest VPNs you can get. When connecting locally, it records excellent speeds with barely any speed loss.

Verified no-logs policy

It doesn’t skimp when it comes to privacy either. This is a solidly no-logs VPN.

Private Internet Access keeps absolutely no logs at all. If you don’t believe us, PIA’s no-logs policy has been put to the test in multiple court cases.

Advanced high-end security

It also comes with high-end security features: OpenVPN protocol, AES-256 encryption, and a bespoke ad and malware blocker called PIA MACE.

A good streaming option

PIA VPN certainly doesn’t forget that you may just want a VPN to binge-watch Netflix. You can easily stream US Netflix, plus BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO, and many more content platforms.

A huge server network

The server network is the biggest there is at the moment, with over 10,000 servers around the world.

Overall, for the price of $2.69 per month (billed as $69.95 the first two years) Private Internet Access is excellent value for money.

For a more in-depth look, read our full Private Internet Access review.

5. NordVPN: Best for Speed

Extremely fast VPN from $3.71/month.

NordVPN Mobile App Screenshot
NordVPN app
(246 user reviews)
Visit NordVPN
  1. Excellent value for money
  2. Superb VPN speeds
  3. Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & Disney+
  4. Audited no-logs policy
  5. Large server network
  6. Custom apps for many devices
  1. Little protocol options on Windows & Android
  2. Fire TV Stick won't unblock Netflix
  3. Smart DNS works inconsistently
  4. The most expensive on this list
  5. Doesn't work well with Hulu
  • Best Price

    $3.71/mo over 24 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    93Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 5,515 servers

  • Compatible with

    • Windows logoWindows
    • Mac logoMac
    • iOS logoiOS
    • Android logoAndroid
    • Linux logoLinux

The Bottom Line

NordVPN is a quality all-round VPN service worth the $3.71 per month it charges on a two-year subscription plan ($89.00 upfront every two years).

Impressive streaming speeds

It is the most expensive option on this page, however you do get an extremely fast VPN service across a wide server list.

These high speeds make streaming Netflix and BBC iPlayer fast and stable. And you can also torrent on on most of its servers.

Commitment to user privacy

When it comes to your data, NordVPN is 100% no-logs and it was even the first VPN to undergo a third-party audit to confirm it.

The VPN service is also set up in the privacy haven that is Panama. Privacy-unfriendly nations and intelligence-sharing networks can’t access your personal information, since Panama has zero legal obligation to do so.

While it’s not as cheap as the VPN services above, NordVPN is still one of the best affordable VPNs available in 2021.

For a more in-depth look, read our full NordVPN review.

Things to Know About Cheap VPNs

How Much Does a VPN Cost?

A one month VPN subscription approximately costs $10.00, but you can get a better monthly price by signing up to an annual, or longer, subscription plan.

Some VPN services even offer lifetime subscriptions (see relevant section below).

Taking Surfshark as an example, its one-month subscription price is $11.95, but if you subscribe for two-years, the monthly prices comes all the way down to $2.49.

To understand more about VPN pricing and spotting good value for money, see our guide on how much VPNs cost.

Are VPNs Worth the Money?

If you value your privacy and internet security, VPN services are almost certainly worth the money.

Obviously, some VPNs are better value than others, which is why we exist — to provide trustworthy guidance on choosing the best VPN for your needs. We firmly believe that even an expensive VPN is worth the money, so long as it does what it’s meant to do: enhancing your online privacy and security.

It’s extremely important that a VPN works properly considering over 30% of the world’s population uses one, as shown in the graph below:

Chart showing the steady growth in the percentage of global internet users aged 16-64 from 2017-2019

With over 2.4 billion people using a VPN on a regular basis, it’s fundamental that a VPN fulfils its function to hide your real IP address, encrypt your data, and unblock websites.

If you value using the internet privately, securely, and without restrictions, then a VPN is definitely worth the subscription cost.

Remember to think about value for money, too. Some VPNs are very cheap but they are slow and can’t bypass more aggressive geo-restrictions.

Which VPNs Offer a Lifetime Subscription?

The cheapest way to get a VPN, at least in the long run, is a lifetime subscription — one payment and you’re set forever. But, not many VPNs offer this option.

One we’ve reviewed that does is KeepSolid VPN Unlimited, which offers a lifetime subscription for $199.99 paid upfront. You can read our review of VPN Unlimited here.

There are potential drawbacks to choosing a lifetime subscription, though. VPN technology is constantly changing, and the gap between good and bad services is widening. Before spending hundreds of dollars on a lifetime subscription, do your research and understand if the VPN service is well placed to keep up with industry advancements. Just because a VPN is good now, it doesn’t mean it’ll be the case in a few years.

There’s always the option to go for a five-year subscription, which is also long, but not as long as a lifetime. This is offered by the following VPNs:

The three VPN services above are not the best, but they’re not the worst either. Depending on what you need a VPN for, they could be a good option for you.

Are There Any Pay as You Go VPNs?

For those who are put off by long-term contracts, but also want to keep the monthly cost as low as possible, Mullvad VPN could be the right choice. The VPN service is unique because it offers a one flat-rate payment plan of $5.00 per month.

That’s one of the cheapest rolling monthly fees for a good VPN. Moreover, it doesn’t require any long-term commitments.

Mullvad is a simple, cheap and reliable VPN for most purposes, although it doesn’t unblock Netflix. You can read more in our updated Mullvad VPN review.

About the Author

  • Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent

    Callum oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his advice about VPNs has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio