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Best Cheap VPN Services

By Callum Tennent | Updated November 4, 2019

Illustration of a podium

Value for money is one of the most important factors in deciding which VPN someone buys. 

We understand that, and we also happen to think that privacy and internet security shouldn’t break the bank. Privacy is a right, after all. 

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of cheap VPNs that deliver high performance for a low cost. 

If you’re looking for a budget VPN you can trust, read on and find out all you need to know.

The Main Factors We Look for in a Budget VPN

  1. Excellent value for money
  2. No more than $3.50/mo (best price)
  3. Privacy-friendly logging policy
  4. Very secure, with lots of extra features
  5. Fast download & upload speeds
  6. Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more

Wondering why you should trust our reviews?
See How We Review VPNs.

Best 'Budget' VPN Services

1. NordVPN - $3.49/month

Ranked #1 Cheap VPN out of 74 VPNs

  1. Great value for money
  2. Fast VPN
  3. Good server list
  4. No logs service
  5. Based in Panama
  6. Apps for many devices
  1. Less reliable against censorship
  2. Torrenting restrictions
  3. No protocol options with Windows & Android
  4. The most expensive on this list
  • Best Price

    $3.49/mo over 36 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    90Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries, 5,200+ servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

NordVPN is ranked second place in our list of the best overall VPNs.

That’s because it’s a quality all-round VPN service, well worth $3.49 per month that it charges as its best deal.

This is the most expensive option on this list but, for that money, you get a lot quality: a fast service with great global speeds and a diverse, expansive server list.

All this makes streaming movies or TV shows on Netflix or BBC iPlayer quick and easy.

P2P activity is permitted on most servers too, which makes this a good choice for people who need to torrent, but there are still quite a few places it’s not allowed. 

With NordVPN, you’re paying for guaranteed privacy. When it comes to your data, NordVPN is no logs — no buts, no maybes. It was even the first VPN to undergo a third-party audit to confirm it. 

In other words: uncompromised privacy comes cheap with NordVPN. 

More evidence of its commitment to privacy can be found where it’s set up: in the privacy haven that is Panama.

There’s no way that privacy-unfriendly nations or intelligence-sharing networks such as Five-Eyes can touch your sensitive personal information, as Panama has absolutely zero legal obligation.

It’s not quite the premium experience that you get with our overall number one VPN ExpressVPN, but the huge price difference makes NordVPN the best on this list. 

We also feel it’s important to make you aware of a security incident involving NordVPN.

In October 2019 it came to light that a NordVPN server had been breached by a hacker. No user information was taken, no data was logged, and the VPN encrypted tunnel wasn’t compromised.

That said, it exploited a worryingly simple vulnerability, and we were disappointed by NordVPN’s delayed response. NordVPN is still a very good VPN, but it’s something to consider before you buy. You can find out more information in our full NordVPN review.

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

2. CyberGhost - $2.75/month

Ranked #2 Cheap VPN out of 74 VPNs

  1. Fantastic value for money
  2. Very fast same-country speeds
  3. Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more
  4. User-friendly apps for popular devices
  5. Great server network
  1. Not good in high-censorship countries
  2. Torrenting doesn’t work in Australia
  • Best Price

    $2.75/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    87Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    90 countries, 6,200+ servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

CyberGhost is cheaper than NordVPN at $2.75 per month on its three-year commitment, but it’s still right on its heels in terms of quality.

We say that CyberGhost is even better for the purpose of streaming. It’s our #1 choice for BBC iPlayer and our number two for Netflix streaming. 

If you’re just looking for a quick and cheap VPN to give you access to unlimited Netflix content, look no further. 

There are restrictions on P2P activity that we’d like to see gone (it’s not allowed on Australian servers), but this is a minor fault and it remains a fantastic choice for torrenting in spite of that. 

CyberGhost has also put effort into expanding its server list, and now competes as a top choice for diversity and quantity locations around the world – there’s more than 100. 

No personally-identifiable information is collected as part of CyberGhost’s privacy policy, which makes it a good choice for privacy, but it’s not a wholly no-logs service like NordVPN.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost isn’t a good choice for bypassing censorship. So if you’re living in a digitally oppressed nation with tough internet controls, we don’t recommend it. 

 

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

3. PrivateVPN - $2.88/month

Ranked #3 Cheap VPN out of 74 VPNs

  1. Great value
  2. Consistently fast speeds
  3. No logs
  4. Torrenting/P2P allowed on all servers
  5. Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more
  1. Small number of VPN servers
  2. Inconsistent live chat availability
  3. No browser extensions
  • Best Price

    $1.89/mo over 2 years

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    86Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 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 comes in at a tempting $2.88 per month — that’s just $43.20 up front for 15 months. 

This is slightly more expensive than CyberGhost, but the two VPNs are ranked evenly in our scores, at a fantastic 9.4 out of 10. 

That’s because, like CyberGhost, PrivateVPN has a lot going for it as an impressive overall VPN.

It’s filled with advanced settings and works very well for streaming. 

PrivateVPN’s extra features include Tor over VPN, SOCKS, AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN protocol, a VPN kill switch, and no DNS or IPv6 leaks. 

All that jargon means is that this is a robust and private VPN, true to its name. 

It beats CyberGhost with a 100% no logs privacy policy, but the downside is a smaller server network that could potentially impact performance. 

It’s also not available for live chat support 24/7, unlike many other top VPNs. If you have a problem with PrivateVPN and can’t find the solution in the online material, you might be left waiting.

It’s a small catch in an otherwise robust, speedy VPN that won’t hurt your bank balance. 

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

4. Surfshark - $1.99/month

Ranked #4 Cheap VPN out of 74 VPNs

  1. Extremely good value for money
  2. Good speeds
  3. Great for streaming
  4. Nice, user-friendly apps
  5. Minimal logging policy
  1. Restrictions on torrenting
  2. Not as fast as competitors
  • Best Price

    $1.99/mo over 24 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    76Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    59 countries

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Surfshark is the cheapest choice on this list. It’s extremely good value for money at $1.99 per month on a two year contract, billed at $47.76 per two years. 

But don’t let its budget pricing make you think it’s subpar. This VPN has some bite.

Firstly, it’s based in the British Virgin Islands, which is a nice and private location for a VPN, safe from government snooping. 

It’s also got a safe and private logging policy, though it does collect some minor information. It’s not personally-identifiable and is used to maintain its effective service, but it’ll put some off. 

Surfhsark comes with plenty of security features, including the MultiHop feature which routes your traffic through two different VPN servers for extra security.

This, however, comes at the cost of slightly slower speeds. 

And this is where Surfshark falls behind in general: it’s not quite as fast as other VPNs on this list.

It’s a great choice for Netflix and BBC iPlayer too, but sometimes not as reliable as its rivals. 

Surfshark is a very strong VPN for bypassing and undermining state censorship, though, thanks to its effective NoBorders mode. 

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

5. Private Internet Access - $3.33/month

Ranked #5 Cheap VPN out of 74 VPNs

  1. Super fast speeds
  2. No logs VPN
  3. Access to streaming sites
  4. User-friendly apps for popular platforms
  5. No torrenting restrictions
  1. Server network is limited
  2. Customer support is limited
  3. Based in the US
  4. Unreliable in China
  • Best Price

    $3.33/mo over 12 Months

    See all plans

  • Top Speedi

    89Mbps same city speed

    Based on a 100Mbps test connection

  • Servers

    32 countries, 3,300+ servers

  • Compatible with

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

The Bottom Line

Private Internet Access is one of the fastest VPNs you can get. 

When connecting locally, it probably is the fastest available, with barely any speed loss.

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

If you don’t believe us, PIA has been verified as such in multiple court cases.

PIA also releases an annual transparency report, which you can read here.

Private Internet Access keeps absolutely no logs at all. Even if you don’t believe us, you can believe the (multiple) court cases and seizures of the servers that verify it.

It also comes with high-end security features: OpenVPN protocol, AES-256 encryption, and a bespoke ad and malware blocker called PIA MACE. You can find out more about that here.

All of which is great. But PIA doesn’t forget that you might just want to put your feet up and binge-watch Netflix: you can do that on a number of servers without hassle. 

The server network here is smaller than the competition, but it’s not bad and $3.33 a month (billed as $39.95 per year) remains excellent value for money. 

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

Popular Questions

What Other VPNs Are Good but Cheap?

Although they may not make the list, there are a few honorable mentions that we rate highly and are also some of the most affordable VPNs around. These include:

We score Ivacy at 8.5 out of 10, which is a really good score, and well worth spending $1.34 per month on. This is available on a five-year subscription—$80.00 every five years, which is an excellent price.

FastestVPN scores a very high 8.3 rating and – get this – it can be purchased for as little as $0.83 per month. This is available if you pay $49.95 every five years, which makes it one of the absolute cheapest VPNs we’ve ever seen.

 

SaferVPN scores 8.2 but remains a solid choice with a decent price and Zenmate, which scores a very good 8.1 in our assessment, can be purchased at $2.05 if you subscribe to a two-year contract. That means you pay $49.20 per year. 

If the ones we’ve chosen on our list of the best don’t suit you for whatever reason, these benchwarmers will do the trick. 

How Much Does a VPN Cost?

A VPN costs whatever the service is charging. 

We know that’s not very helpful, but there really is a huge range of prices out there. 

There are important market trends worth knowing. 

It’s important to note that VPNs almost always offer deals that reward long-term commitment with massively reduced prices. 

A single-month subscription to most VPN services will always be the most expensive cost per month. 

For example, ExpressVPN can be purchased at $12.95 for a single month, or you can pay $99.95 for 15 months, which works out at $6.67 per month. 

This is the basic principle behind most VPN pricing plans.

When it comes to a one-month service, most quality VPNs cost $10 or more per month, including:

If you want to know which VPN has the cheapest one-month subscription, see the next question.

But this applies to those looking at a single month subscription. Many people go for long-term saving with a commitment of a year or more. 

How much do these long-term services cost?

That depends too. They can be as cheap as FastestVPN’s $0.83 per month on a five-year plan ($40.95 every five years), or as expensive as Astrill VPN, which is $10 per month on a 12-month plan ($120.00 upfront).

If you want a loose guideline to follow, we’d say that anything under $3.00 per month is cheap, while anything over $6.00 per month is expensive.

VPN pricing is random, so you need to make sure that you are making an informed decision about its value for money, and that you get a nice balance of quality and cost-saving.

We understand this so our VPN reviews always evaluate whether we a VPN is good value for money. 

Those VPNs included on the above list are the ones we think are the best value for money.

Which VPN Has the Cheapest One-Month Subscription?

Not everyone wants a VPN commitment for multiple years and a large upfront payment

The problem is, VPNs are usually more expensive on short subscriptions. 

But some are more expensive than others.

 

Illustration of money bag with dollar sign and stacks of bank notes

 

We are here to let you know which VPNs offer affordable short-term prices for that one-off trip. 

When it comes to a quality VPN, a one-month subscription under $10 is relatively cheap. These include:

Just bear in mind that these prices are subject to changes by the VPN provider in question.

Are VPNs Worth the Money?

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

Obviously, some VPNs are better value than others, which is why we exist — to offer 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 a good job – the extra security (plus entertainment features) that a VPN provides is so, so important. 

A lot of other people seem to think so too.

According to Global Web Index’s report on VPN Usage Around the World in 2018, 26% of the global population used a VPN during a given month. That’s a quarter of the whole population!

Global Web Index VPN Usage Around the World 2018 Study

Global Web Index VPN Usage Around the World 2018

As you can see, VPNs are used by as much as 44% of the population in Indonesia, 37% of the population in India, and 32% in Malaysia. 

Those numbers are increasing as countries across the globe clamp down on internet freedoms and tell you what you can and can’t do online. 

Whether it’s anti-“fake news” legislation in Russia, Fortnite bans in Nepal, censorship in Turkey, mass surveillance in South Africa, or snooping in the UK, a VPN serves many needs, capable of overriding censorship and giving you back your internet freedom and privacy. 

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.

Sounds great, right?

It can be, 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 in one installment. You can read our review of KeepSolid VPN Unlimited here.

 

KeepSolid VPN Unlimited Logo

 

Now, there are some potential drawbacks with this option. 

You should ask: is this VPN likely to exist for the duration of your lifetime? 

Technology constantly changes and you can’t be sure that your VPN will keep up with the latest and greatest protections – there’s no guarantee that it will be a good choice in 10 or 20 years.

We won’t say there isn’t a degree of risk with this, but there’s also much to gain. Even if VPNUnlimited doesn’t exactly last forever, having many, many years without having to worry about your internet privacy or security again is a tempting offer and we can’t blame you for taking it. 

If the risk puts you off, you could always go for a five-year subscription, which is also long, but not quite as long as a lifetime. This is offered by the likes of:

Are There Any Pay as You Go VPN Subscriptions?

For those who are put off by the long-term commitments that most VPNs entice you to buy, but also don’t want to spend as much as what a monthly service will cost, have a solution: Mullvad VPN.

Mullvad is unique because it comes with one flat-rate payment plan — $5.80 per month.

 

Mullvad VPN Logo

That’s one of the cheapest rolling monthly fees for a good VPN service. 

More than that, it requires absolutely no commitment other than a continual topping-up. 

If not, just let the subscription expire at the end of the month. Mullvad is a simple, cheap and pleasing option. You can read our review of Mullvad here.

Which Free VPN Is Best?

Rather than cheap, why not go the whole way and get a free VPN?

That’s what people wonder, and free VPNs are certainly everywhere and very easy to download.

But then people ask, are free VPNs safe?

The answer is mostly no. We do recommend getting a paid VPN, but there are exceptions.

To keep you safe, we put together a list of the best free VPNs available — all of which are secure and decent all-round performers.

Can You Get a Cheap VPN for Fire TV Stick?

Yes, you can. 

Many VPNs come with custom apps for the very purpose of Fire TV Stick. 

But, as always, some are more affordable than others.

But which ones?

Illustration of a TV running Fire TV

Although NordVPN is our number one on this list, we can’t recommend it as the best cheap VPN for Fire TV Stick. 

That’s for the simple reason that its Fire TV Stick app doesn’t work to unblock streaming sites, nor does using it on your router. 

Instead, for this purpose, we recommend PrivateVPN

It’s as cheap as $2.88 per month ($43.20 every 15 months) but comes with a dedicated Fire TV Stick app. 

It has servers optimized for streaming, permits torrening, and unblocks Netflix and Kodi. It’s also a no logs VPN.

No doubt: PrivateVPN is the best cheap VPN for Kodi.

Surfshark is a strong contender too, if you want to choose the very cheapest option on this list that’s also good for Fire TV Stick. It comes with a custom app and has a nice, user-friendly approach.

We have a list of the best VPNs for Fire TV Stick here.

Which Cheap VPNs Work in China?

China has the most aggressive and sophisticated internet censorship regime in the world.

The Chinese governments Great Firewall hunts down and removes any VPN that doesn’t conform to its standard of censorship. 

As a result, many VPNs simply don’t work in China, even very good ones. 

Take from this list, for example, Private Internet Access. It’s a top VPN, but has patchy access and is too unreliable for us to recommend as a VPN for China.

 

Illustration Depicting a VPN Circumventing the Great Firewall of China

But don’t think that you need to splash tonnes of cash to grant yourself access to the free web again.

PrivateVPN has a stealth VPN protocol that still beats the censors. It’s a cheap VPN that works in China, and we think $2.88 a month is absolutely worth it for your internet freedom.

If you want to know which VPNs we recommend overall, head to our guide for the best VPN for China

Which Is the Best Cheap VPN for Netflix?

If you’re paying for a Netflix subscription, we get it that you don’t want to give more dollar to unleash its potential.

In that case, NordVPN, CyberGhost, PrivateVPN, and Surfshark are all viable options for unblocking Netflix that are also cheap VPNs. 

CyberGhost, in particular, is a great VPN for unblocking Netflix. It’s ranked our second best VPN for Netflix. You can read our review of Cyberghost here.

You can read our list of the best VPNs for Netflix here.

 

About the Author


  • Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent

    Callum is our site editor and a member of the IAPP and the EC-Council's Knowledge Review Committee. He oversees all our VPN testing, reviews, guides and advice. Read full bio