Even if you are, some things should be considered non-negotiable, and that includes your online privacy and security. That’s why it’s worth using a proven paid VPN service. Although the idea of a may sound enticing when you are looking for money, we advise against the vast majority of them as they are often less secure (but we recommend trying premium services for free). Fortunately, getting a cornerstone digital privacy tool for desktop and mobile doesn’t have to empty your bank account. We’ve rounded up our recommendations for the best cheap VPN services available that don’t compromise on privacy, or functions. Each of these cheap VPN services offer monthly pricing options, or if you prefer, you can pay in one lump sum for an entire year.
However, there is one thing we advise against: While many VPN providers offer better month-to-dollar value when you purchase a subscription that lasts two years or longer, you should avoid such long-term VPN commitments. Since the VPN market is in a state of flux and VPN services change rapidly, we recommend sticking with the plans that are cheapest based on their one-year or one-month prices and have the best money-back guarantees.
Several cheap VPN services offer a fast connection, strong security and a wide range of privacy features – all for less than half the price of a premium VPN service. You can even connect youror for secure browsing on your . We’ve spent a lot of time testing these cheap VPN providers and have come up with a list of great budget-friendly choices. Check out our list of the best cheap VPN services in 2023.
See this: Top 5 Reasons to Use a VPN
- Latest tests: Zero data leaks, 19% internet speed loss in fall 2022 tests
- Network: 3,200 plus in 99 countries
- Jurisdiction: The Netherlands
- Price: Unlimited connections for $48 for the first year (then $60 annually) or $13 per month. 2-year subscription available.
Surfshark earned CNET’s Editors’ Choice Best Value VPN of 2022. It offers solid privacy and security features, a polished interface, unlimited simultaneous connections, fast speeds, and an impressive global network of VPN servers at a price significantly lower than many of its top competitors . .
For $60 annually—after an introductory $48 for the first year—Surfshark offers ad and malware protection, camouflage mode, split tunneling, and multihop connections along with industry-standard features like DNS leak protection, AES 256-bit encryption, and a kill switch. Surfshark’s apps have been independently audited by cybersecurity experts, and the provider says it keeps no logs of users’ online activity. The company is also working on rolling out what it calls the “Nexus Network,” which promises to further improve users’ privacy with features like Dynamic MultiHop, IP Randomizer, and IP Rotator.
Surfshark is a cost-effective option for people who want extra layers of security and a variety of ways to enhance their online privacy with a VPN. And if Surfshark’s Nexus Network proves as effective as promised, the VPN could be an excellent choice for users with critical privacy needs.
Surfshark also works well for users who just want to unblock geo-restricted content around the world. With servers spanning 99 different countries, the company has a network fast enough to handle data-intensive activities like HD video streaming. Surfshark can help you unblock multiple Netflix libraries and other streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max. We had some trouble accessing Disney Plus, but after some trial and error on a few servers, we were able to access the streaming platform.
You can get a seven-day free trial on Android, iOS and MacOS if you sign up via Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. But if you’ve purchased Surfshark and you’re not satisfied with the service for any reason, the VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our Surfshark VPN review.
- Latest tests: No leaks detected, 17% speed loss in tests in autumn 2022
- Network: 1,859 servers in 67 countries
- Jurisdiction: Switzerland
- Price: $72 for the annual plan or $10 per month
Proton VPN is a VPN product developed by the Swiss company behind the popular secure email service Proton Mail. VPNs have built a reputation for first-class security and maximum transparency. Proton VPN’s apps are completely open source, and the software is also regularly audited to confirm the security of the VPN for users without the time or knowledge to inspect the code.
In addition to security features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection, Proton VPN offers extras like malware protection, Tor over VPN, and a stealth protocol to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. And if you connect to Proton VPN’s Secure Core servers, you’ll be able to route your traffic through secure data centers in Switzerland, Sweden or Iceland before exiting elsewhere. This provides a critical extra layer of security if you are a user with increased privacy needs.
Proton VPN is currently the third fastest VPN we’ve tested, and does a good job of unblocking content from various streaming providers, including Netflix.
And while it’s not the cheapest on this list, Proton VPN is cheaper than IPVanish in the long run if you decide to stick with the provider for more than a year. For $72 per year or $10 per month, Proton VPN offers 10 simultaneous connections and 1,800 plus servers in 67 countries. You can get a full refund within 30 days of purchase if you are not satisfied.
Proton VPN also makes our list of the best cheap VPNs thanks to its impressive free tier. Proton’s free VPN does not include torrenting support or access to the Secure Core servers, but it does not limit speed, data or usage time. Free users are granted one connection at a time and access to around 100 servers in three countries (USA, NL, JP).
Read our ProtonVPN review.
- Latest tests: No leaks, 58% speed loss in tests spring 2022
- Network: 2000 plus servers in 75 locations in 52 countries
- Jurisdiction: United States
- Price: Unlimited connections for $12 per month, $30 quarterly or $48 for a year ($90 annually after the first year)
It’s not the fastest VPN on the planet, but IPVanish is an excellent VPN for casual users that offers plenty of speed for activities like streaming and video conferencing. However, in our tests we experienced problems with the Quick Connect feature, which did not always connect us to the fastest available server. If you’re looking for the fastest server, we recommend connecting manually based on the current server load readings displayed in the Locations section of the IPVanish app.
IPVanish’s introductory annual rate matches Surfshark’s $48 for the first year, but jumps to $90 after that. Unlike most other VPN providers, IPVanish also offers a quarterly subscription plan at $30 every three months. However, the provider’s 30-day money-back guarantee only applies if you buy an annual plan, so you’d be out of luck if you buy a monthly or quarterly subscription and decide the service isn’t right for you. Other providers have milder free trial offers.
IPVanish joins Surfshark as one of the only VPN providers to offer unlimited simultaneous connections, so it’s a good option if you have a large family or many devices you want to secure simultaneously with a single VPN account. The VPN kill switch worked well during our tests, and the newly redesigned apps were a breeze to use. With IPVanish you get access to more than 2,000 servers in over 75 locations, as well as 24/7 support via live chat, email or phone.
Read our IPVanish review.
- Latest tests: No leaks, 23% speed loss in tests spring 2022
- Network: 893 servers in 39 countries
- Jurisdiction: Sweden
- Price: $5 per month
Along with Proton VPN, Mullvad is another open source VPN provider that offers its services at a competitive price. Mullvad’s simple pricing structure is very different from most others. The service costs $5 per month, whether you use it for a month, a year, 10 years or longer. Mullvad doesn’t offer sales or discounts of any kind at any time of the year – just a flat fee of $5 for however many months you want to use it. That comes out to $60 for a year, which matches Surfshark for the cheapest annual price on this list when you don’t take introductory prices into account.
And because Mullvad says it strives to know as little as possible about its customers, it’s completely done away with recurring subscriptions so it can’t hang onto payment data any longer than absolutely necessary. You can even send Mullvad an envelope of cash to pay for the service. Mullvad automatically generates a random 16-digit account number when you sign up, and you can prepay for one, two, three, six or 12 months at a time. The company is so focused on security and privacy that you don’t need to provide any personal data when registering – no email or username required.
DNS leak protection and the kill switch are enabled by default and cannot be disabled. Other security features include split tunneling (but only on Windows, Linux, and Android devices), ad and tracking blocking, and multi-hop connections. Mullvad also offers a Shadowsocks proxy to help users bypass firewalls and avoid internet censorship.
As well as being secure, Mullvad is fast, reducing just 23% of our normal internet speed in our latest tests. However, it is not optimized for streaming geo-restricted content internationally. We were able to access Netflix but not Disney Plus when connected to Mullvad servers during our tests.
However, the apps are polished and user-friendly, so beginners and casual users should have no problem using the service even if it is aimed a bit more towards the techie crowd. Mullvad is a well-established VPN provider that has been around since 2009, well before any other VPN that made this list. It’s an excellent option for budget-conscious VPN users who value extra attention to privacy and value simplicity and simplicity. Read our Mullvad VPN review.
For more, check out, and because of their privacy sins.