Best Cheap VPN (2024) for Privacy & Security

Best Cheap VPN

Quick answer: The Best VPN for Cheap in 2024 is PureVPN!

In today’s digitally interconnected world, where privacy concerns and data security are at the forefront of everyone’s mind, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become essential tools for safeguarding online activities. However, with the plethora of options available, choosing the right VPN can be overwhelming, especially when balancing cost with quality.

This comprehensive guide is dedicated to unraveling the mystery of finding the best cheap VPNs that don’t compromise on performance and security. Whether you’re a student on a budget, a remote worker seeking secure access, or simply an avid internet user looking to protect your online footprint, our expert analysis and detailed reviews will help you make an informed decision without breaking the bank.

1. Best Cheap VPN in April 2024

1.1 PureVPN – Cheap VPN With Many Servers

PureVPN Cheap VPN

PureVPN stands out as an excellent budget-friendly VPN option for several reasons:

  1. Compatibility: It supports a wide range of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. This broad compatibility ensures that most users can secure their devices regardless of the operating system.

  2. Extensive Server Network: With over 6,500 servers in more than 95 locations, PureVPN offers a substantial server network. This extensive coverage can help in finding a server close to your location for better speed, and also provides more options to bypass geo-restrictions.

  3. Simultaneous Device Support: It allows up to 10 devices to be connected simultaneously. This is particularly beneficial for households or individuals with multiple devices, offering a single solution for all VPN needs.

  4. Affordable Pricing: PureVPN’s pricing structure is notably budget-friendly, especially for long-term commitments. At $1.69 per month for a two-year plan, it becomes one of the most affordable VPNs in the market. Even its one-month plan at $10.95 is competitively priced.

  5. Capability and Trustworthiness: Despite its low cost, PureVPN is not lacking in functionality. It successfully allows users to access iPlayer outside of the UK and has passed an independent zero-logging audit, ensuring that it doesn’t keep logs of user activities.

However, it’s important to note some of its limitations compared to more expensive options like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and SurfShark. PureVPN has slower speeds, which might not be ideal for continuous use, and it may not unblock certain services like Netflix. Additionally, there’s room for improvement in user experience with its apps and client, and the appearance of its help site could be more professional.

In summary, while PureVPN might not match the performance of some high-end VPN services, its combination of wide compatibility, a large server network, multi-device support, and low pricing makes it a very attractive option for budget-conscious users who need a basic, reliable VPN service.

PureVPN Review

PureVPN

1.2 Atlas VPN – Cheap VPN With Unlimited Connections

AtlasVPN Cheap VPN

AtlasVPN stands out as an excellent choice for a budget-friendly VPN due to several key features and its pricing structure:

Outstanding Features

  1. Access to Major Streaming Services: It allows users to access popular streaming platforms like Netflix US, HULU, Amazon Prime, and iPlayer. This feature is particularly valuable for those who want to bypass geo-restrictions and enjoy a wide range of content.

  2. Kill Switch: The inclusion of a kill switch enhances security. This feature ensures that if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly, your internet connection is cut off, preventing accidental exposure of your real IP address.

  3. Ad and Virus Blocker: It provides added security by blocking ads and viruses, contributing to a safer and smoother browsing experience.

  4. Affordable Subscriptions with a Free Version: The VPN is budget-friendly, with various subscription options. The availability of a free version makes it accessible for users who want to try the service before committing financially.

  5. Unlimited Device Usage: Users can install and use AtlasVPN on an unlimited number of devices, which is a significant advantage for households with multiple devices.

  6. Wide Device Compatibility: It supports major platforms like Android, Windows, macOS, and iOS, ensuring a broad range of users can benefit from its services.

Pricing

  • AtlasVPN’s pricing model is attractive, especially for long-term commitments. For example, a 36-month subscription is only $1.99 per month. This competitive pricing is a strong selling point for users looking for an affordable yet reliable VPN service.

Additional Considerations

  • 4K Streaming on Every Server: This feature indicates strong server performance, essential for users interested in high-quality video streaming.

  • No-Logs Policy and Server Locations: While it has fewer servers compared to competitors, its no-logs policy and strategic server locations are designed to efficiently unblock necessary internet sites.

  • Protocol and Security: AtlasVPN uses IKEv2 protocol instead of OpenVPN. IKEv2 is generally considered secure and suitable for most users. The presence of a kill switch adds an extra layer of security, beneficial for activities like torrenting.

  • US Jurisdiction and Privacy: Being based in the United States may raise concerns due to strict data laws. However, AtlasVPN addresses this by enforcing a strict no-logs policy and providing a data leak tracker to alert users of potential personal information breaches.

  • Server Recommendation Feature: AtlasVPN can recommend the best server based on your location and bandwidth, enhancing the user experience.

  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee and Free Version: The money-back guarantee allows users to try the service risk-free. Additionally, the free version offers a chance to test the VPN without any financial commitment.

Overall, AtlasVPN’s combination of features, pricing, and user-friendly policies make it an attractive option for those seeking a reliable yet affordable VPN solution.

Atlas VPN review

Atlas VPN

1.3 Private Internet Access VPN – Cheap VPN With Good Compatibility

Private Internet Access Cheap VPN

Private Internet Access (PIA) stands out as a highly regarded, cost-effective VPN option for several reasons:

  1. Wide Compatibility: It supports a range of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. This broad compatibility ensures that it can be used on almost any device.

  2. Extensive Server Network: With over 10,000 servers in more than 100 locations, PIA offers a vast network. This large number of servers helps in reducing congestion and improving connection reliability.

  3. Multiple Device Support: PIA allows up to 10 devices to be connected simultaneously, which is beneficial for users with multiple devices or families.

  4. Trial Period: The 30-day free trial provides an opportunity to test the service without financial commitment.

  5. Affordable Pricing: The pricing structure is competitive, with a two-year subscription costing just $2.19 per month, and a six-month plan at $7.50 per month.

  6. Strong Unblocking Capabilities: PIA has shown proficiency in unblocking streaming services like US Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime, making it a good choice for users interested in accessing a variety of content.

  7. Privacy and Security Features: Known for its strong focus on privacy and security, PIA offers advanced features like 256-AES encryption, a reliable kill switch, powerful browser extensions, and a Port Forwarding feature that is particularly beneficial for torrenting.

Despite these strengths, there are some limitations to consider:

  • BBC iPlayer Access: Currently, PIA does not support accessing BBC iPlayer, which may be a drawback for some users.

  • Independent Server Audit: PIA has not undergone an independent server audit, which some users might find concerning regarding transparency and security verification.

  • Speed Concerns: While OpenVPN speeds are good (maxing out at 300Mbps), WireGuard speeds are somewhat slower at around 250Mbps. This is a consideration for users who prioritize high-speed connections.

Overall, Private Internet Access offers a solid balance of features, security, and affordability, making it a competitive option in the VPN market, especially for users looking for a budget-friendly choice.

Private Internet Access Review

Private Internet Access

1.4 Surfshark VPN – Cheap VPN With Unlimited Devices

SurfShark Cheap VPN

SurfShark stands out as an excellent choice for a budget-friendly VPN due to several key features and its pricing structure. Here’s a breakdown:

Outstanding Features

  1. Cross-Platform Compatibility: It supports a wide range of operating systems including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. This makes it versatile for use across different devices.
  2. Extensive Server Network: With over 3,200 servers in more than 100 locations, it offers a broad range of options for users to connect to, enhancing the likelihood of finding a fast and reliable server.
  3. Unlimited Device Support: Unlike many VPNs that limit the number of devices, SurfShark allows unlimited devices to be connected simultaneously, making it ideal for families or individuals with multiple devices.
  4. 30-Day Free Trial: This offers new users a risk-free opportunity to test the service and its features.
  5. Cost-Effective Plans: The annual plan, in particular, is noted for being exceptionally affordable.
  6. Fast Connections: Speed is a critical factor for VPNs, and SurfShark is recognized for offering quick connection speeds.
  7. Privacy and Security: The commitment to a complete no-log audit signifies a strong stance on user privacy and security.

Pricing

  • 12-Month Plan: $3.99 per month, offering a good balance between cost and commitment.
  • 24-Month Plan: $2.30 per month, one of the most affordable long-term plans in the market.
  • Monthly Plan: $12.95 per month, suitable for those who prefer not to commit long-term.

Additional Benefits

  • Shareability: The ability to use it on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously adds great value, especially as there’s nothing stopping you from sharing your login with friends and family.
  • Security Protocols: It includes multiple security protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard, along with a kill switch for enhanced security.
  • Quick Connect Feature: SurfShark offers a ‘Quick connect’ option for speedy connection to the best available server.
  • Competitive Edge: While cheaper VPNs exist, SurfShark maintains a balance between affordability and quality, often necessitating a longer commitment period from other providers for similar pricing.

Overall Value

SurfShark’s combination of affordable pricing, extensive features, and strong security protocols makes it a top contender in the VPN market, especially for those seeking a high-quality VPN without a hefty price tag. Its ability to connect unlimited devices and fast server connections further enhance its appeal, making it a top choice in VPN services.

Surfshark

1.5 CyberGhost – Cheap VPN With Good Security

CyberGhost Cheap VPN

CyberGhost stands out as a competitively priced VPN option for several reasons:

  1. Wide Compatibility: It supports a range of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux, making it versatile for various users.

  2. Extensive Server Network: With over 8,000 servers in 110 locations, CyberGhost offers one of the most extensive server networks. This vast network provides users with numerous options for connecting to different regions, which is beneficial for bypassing geo-restrictions and ensuring a reliable connection.

  3. Simultaneous Device Support: It allows up to seven devices to be connected simultaneously, which is generous and useful for individuals or families with multiple devices.

  4. Long Free Trial Period: CyberGhost offers a 45-day free trial, which is considerably longer than most competitors. This allows users ample time to test the service thoroughly before committing to a purchase.

  5. Competitive Pricing: The pricing structure is attractive, especially for long-term plans. For instance, a three-year subscription costs just $2.29 per month, which is a great deal considering the features offered.

  6. Strong Performance in Tests: In various examinations, CyberGhost has shown exceptional performance, particularly in speed and reliability.

  7. Robust Broadcasting and Torrenting Capabilities: The service excels in broadcasting VPN and torrenting, with specialized filters to help users find the best servers for these activities, including optimized servers for Netflix.

  8. Enhanced Security Features: It offers robust security with various protocols, automatic HTTPS redirection, and configurable data compression for mobile use.

  9. Improved Connection Speeds: Recent evaluations have shown significant improvements in connection speeds, with CyberGhost achieving up to 850Mbps using WireGuard.

  10. Generous Money-Back Guarantee: The 45-day money-back guarantee is one of the longest in the industry, giving users a risk-free opportunity to try the service.

While it may not be as user-friendly as some other VPNs, and the price reduces significantly only with longer commitments, CyberGhost’s combination of features, performance, and pricing makes it an excellent value-for-money choice, especially for users interested in a comprehensive VPN solution for streaming, torrenting, and general internet security.

CyberGhost review

CyberGhost

1.6 NordVPN – Best Overall Cheap VPN

NordVPN Cheap VPN

NordVPN is a standout choice among budget-friendly VPNs for several compelling reasons:

  1. Cross-Platform Compatibility: NordVPN is compatible with a wide range of operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. This broad compatibility ensures that users can secure their devices regardless of the platform they use.

  2. Extensive Server Network: With over 5,400 servers in more than 60 locations worldwide, NordVPN offers a substantial server network. This extensive coverage not only provides users with a variety of server options but also ensures better performance and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions.

  3. Multiple Device Support: NordVPN allows up to 6 devices to be connected simultaneously under a single subscription. This feature is particularly useful for households or individuals with multiple devices.

  4. Double Encryption: NordVPN employs double encryption of data, enhancing the security and privacy of user data. Data is routed through two unique VPN servers, adding an extra layer of protection to user information.

  5. Performance: NordVPN offers excellent performance with above-average speeds in various tests. This ensures that users can enjoy a fast and stable VPN connection for browsing, streaming, and downloading.

  6. Advanced Security Features: NordVPN provides additional security features such as the option to route traffic through the Onion network for added privacy. It also includes an automatic kill switch, which disconnects the internet if the VPN connection drops, preventing data leaks.

  7. Zero Logs Policy: NordVPN maintains a strict “zero logs” policy, meaning it does not collect or store user activity data. This commitment to privacy has been independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, providing reassurance to users concerned about their data privacy.

  8. 30-Day Free Trial: NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, effectively providing users with a risk-free trial period to test the service before committing to a subscription.

While NordVPN offers a range of impressive features, it’s worth noting that some users may find the apps challenging to navigate. However, this drawback is often outweighed by the service’s overall performance and security.

In summary, NordVPN is a top choice for a budget-friendly VPN because it combines affordability with advanced security features, extensive server coverage, fast performance, and a commitment to user privacy. The availability of a 30-day free trial further enhances its appeal, allowing users to experience the service before making a long-term commitment.

NordVPN review

NordVPN

1.7 ExpressVPN – Cheap VPN With Great Speed

ExpressVPN Cheap VPN

ExpressVPN is considered a top-tier VPN service that offers a compelling combination of features and pricing, making it an attractive choice for users looking for a reliable yet cost-effective VPN:

Outstanding Features

  1. Extensive Server Network: With over 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries, ExpressVPN provides users with a wide range of server locations to choose from. This extensive network ensures that users can find a reliable connection no matter where they are located.

  2. Money-Back Guarantee: ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try the service risk-free. This policy demonstrates the provider’s confidence in its performance and reliability.

  3. Multi-Device Support: While the maximum number of devices allowed is five, ExpressVPN ensures that users can protect multiple devices, making it suitable for households and individuals with multiple gadgets.

  4. Excellent Customer Service: ExpressVPN is known for its outstanding customer support. The live chat function provides quick and helpful responses, ensuring that users can get assistance whenever they need it.

  5. Streaming Capabilities: ExpressVPN is known for its ability to unblock all streaming sites, including Netflix from various regions, Hulu outside the US, and iPlayer outside the UK. This feature is valuable for users who want to access content from around the world.

  6. High Data Transfer Rates: ExpressVPN offers excellent data transfer rates, ensuring fast and reliable internet connectivity.

Pricing

  • ExpressVPN offers multiple subscription options, with the 12-month plan being the most cost-effective at $6.67 per month. While it may not be the cheapest VPN on the market, the features and performance it provides justify the slightly higher cost.

Additional Considerations

  • Advanced Functionality: ExpressVPN’s apps are user-friendly but also offer advanced functionality such as a variety of protocols, split tunneling, and a kill switch. These features enhance security and customization options for users.

  • Perfect Forward Secrecy: ExpressVPN employs “Perfect Forward Secrecy,” which regularly generates new encryption keys for added security.

  • Partnership with Backblaze: ExpressVPN’s partnership with Backblaze, a premium cloud backup provider, offers users a year of free backup in addition to the VPN service.

  • Wide Device Compatibility: ExpressVPN provides a wide range of mobile VPN apps, ensuring compatibility with various devices.

In summary, while ExpressVPN may not be the cheapest VPN option available, it offers a robust set of features, a vast server network, excellent customer support, and reliable performance. These qualities make it a valuable choice for users seeking a premium VPN experience without breaking the bank.

ExpressVPN review

ExpressVPN

1.8 Hotspot Shield – Cheap VPN for Streaming

 

Hotspot Shield Cheap VPN

Hotspot Shield is considered a good cheap VPN for several reasons:

  1. Generous Money-Back Warranty: Hotspot Shield offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try the service risk-free for an extended period. This reflects the provider’s confidence in its offering.

  2. Speed: Hotspot Shield is known for its speed and efficiency. Users often experience fast and reliable connections, making it ideal for streaming and online gaming.

  3. Optimized for Streaming and Gaming: Hotspot Shield has specific modes designed for streaming and gaming. These modes are tailored to various streaming platforms and popular games, ensuring a smooth and lag-free experience for users.

  4. Multi-Platform Support: It is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including Android, Windows, Linux, and iOS. This compatibility ensures that users can utilize Hotspot Shield on their preferred devices.

  5. Unblocking Capabilities: Hotspot Shield can successfully unblock popular streaming services such as HULU, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and iPlayer. This feature is crucial for users who want access to geo-restricted content.

In terms of pricing, Hotspot Shield offers competitive rates:

  • 36-Month Plan: $2.99 per month
  • 12-Month Plan: $7.99 per month
  • One-Month Plan: $12.99 per month

Hotspot Shield’s free membership option, which provides access to a US server, is noteworthy. This option allows users to experience the service before committing to a premium plan.

While Hotspot Shield has some attractive features, there are a few considerations:

  • Proprietary Encryption: Hotspot Shield uses its proprietary encryption system, which might not be preferred by users who prioritize open-source or well-established encryption protocols. However, it is generally considered secure for most users.

  • US-Based Company: Hotspot Shield is headquartered in the United States, which may raise concerns about data privacy due to government surveillance. However, the provider has improved its privacy policies and is now classified as a no-logs service, enhancing user privacy.

  • Security Features: Hotspot Shield offers a range of security features, including a kill switch, WebRTC leak protection, IPv6 support, and 128-bit AES data encryption. While this level of encryption is typically sufficient for most users, those with exceptionally high-security requirements might prefer stronger encryption methods.

In summary, Hotspot Shield offers a compelling combination of speed, streaming optimization, and affordability, making it a solid choice for users seeking a budget-friendly VPN with strong performance and unblocking capabilities.

Hotspot Shield

2. How to select a VPN for Cheap

Selecting a cheap VPN that still offers quality service involves balancing cost with features, security, and reliability. Here are some key steps and considerations to help you choose the best affordable VPN:

1. Identify Your Needs

  • Purpose: Determine what you primarily need the VPN for—streaming, browsing, gaming, or torrenting. Different VPNs excel at different tasks.
  • Device Compatibility: Ensure the VPN supports all your devices with appropriate apps.
  • User Capacity: Consider how many simultaneous connections you need.

2. Research and Compare

  • Reputation: Look for VPNs with positive reviews and strong reputations for privacy and security.
  • Pricing Plans: Compare the long-term subscription costs, as longer plans often offer significant discounts.
  • Free Trials and Money-Back Guarantees: These options let you test the VPN service to see if it meets your needs without committing financially.

3. Evaluate Essential Features

  • Security: Ensure the VPN uses strong encryption (AES-256 is standard) and offers features like a kill switch and DNS leak protection.
  • Privacy Policy: Opt for VPNs with a strict no-logs policy to ensure your data isn’t collected or shared.
  • Server Network: A broad selection of server locations can provide better speeds and access to geo-restricted content.

4. Check for Speed and Performance

  • Speed: Look for VPNs known for minimal speed reduction. Some services offer trial periods or money-back guarantees, allowing you to test the speed.
  • Bandwidth: Confirm there are no bandwidth limitations or throttling that could affect your internet usage.

5. Customer Support

  • Support Availability: Ensure there’s reliable customer support, preferably with 24/7 availability, through live chat or email.

6. User Reviews and Recommendations

  • Authentic Feedback: Search for user reviews and testimonials on forums, social media, and review sites to gauge the VPN’s performance and reliability from actual users.

7. Beware of Free VPNs

  • While the allure of free VPN services is strong, they often have limitations such as data caps, slower speeds, and fewer servers. Moreover, some may compromise your privacy by logging and selling your data.

8. Look for Promotions

  • Discounts and Deals: Keep an eye out for discounts, special offers, or coupon codes, especially during holidays or promotional periods like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or back-to-school sales.

9. Read the Fine Print

  • Subscription Terms: Pay attention to the subscription details to avoid unexpected costs. Some VPNs offer low initial prices that increase upon renewal.
  • Refund Policy: Check the refund policy to ensure you can get your money back if you’re not satisfied with the service.

Cheap VPN FAQ

1. What Makes a VPN “Cheap”?

Answer: A cheap VPN is one that offers a competitive price point while still providing essential VPN services, such as secure encryption, a sufficient number of server locations, and reliable customer support. Pricing can vary, but cheap VPNs often offer long-term subscription plans at a lower cost per month.

2. Can I Trust a Cheap VPN?

Answer: Yes, you can trust a cheap VPN, but it’s important to do your research. Not all low-cost VPNs compromise on quality or security. Look for reviews, verify the company’s logging policy, encryption standards, and check for any history of security breaches.

3. What Features Should I Look for in a Cheap VPN?

Answer: Even with a cheap VPN, look for:

  • Strong Encryption: AES-256-bit encryption is standard.
  • No-Logs Policy: Ensures your browsing history is not stored.
  • Server Network: A decent number of server locations for better speed and access.
  • Device Compatibility: Supports major operating systems and multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Customer Support: Accessible and helpful support in case of issues.

4. Will a Cheap VPN Slow Down My Internet?

Answer: Any VPN can potentially slow down your internet due to the encryption process and the distance to the server you’re connecting to. However, reputable cheap VPNs invest in high-speed servers to minimize speed loss.

5. How Do I Choose the Best Cheap VPN?

Answer: Compare the features and prices of different VPNs. Look for reviews and user feedback, especially regarding reliability, speed, and customer service. Consider your specific needs, like streaming or torrenting, and ensure the VPN supports these activities.

6. Can I Use a Free VPN Instead of a Cheap One?

Answer: While free VPNs can be tempting, they often have limitations such as data caps, slower speeds, and fewer servers. Additionally, some free VPNs may compromise your privacy by logging and selling your data. A cheap VPN is a safer and more reliable option for protecting your online activities.

7. Are There Any Hidden Costs with Cheap VPNs?

Answer: Always read the fine print. Some cheap VPNs may have additional costs for extra features or higher speeds. Others might offer low prices for the first subscription term, with prices increasing upon renewal.

8. How Can I Get the Best Deal on a VPN?

Answer: Look for promotions, discount codes, and long-term subscription plans, which significantly reduce the monthly cost. Subscribing during sales periods, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, can also offer substantial savings.

9. What Payment Methods Do Cheap VPNs Accept?

Answer: Most VPNs accept major credit cards, PayPal, and sometimes cryptocurrency. Some may also support other payment methods like gift cards or third-party payment processors.

10. Is Customer Support Limited with Cheap VPNs?

Answer: Not necessarily. Many cheap VPNs still offer excellent customer support through live chat, email, and help centers. However, the response time and availability might vary compared to more expensive services.

11. Can I Get a Refund If I’m Not Satisfied?

Answer: Most reputable VPN services offer a money-back guarantee period, typically ranging from 7 to 30 days, during which you can request a full refund if you’re not satisfied with the service.

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