If you need the protection afforded by a Virtual Private Network (VPN) but aren’t sure their sometimes-high tariffs can be afforded by you (see what I did there?), you’ll be glad to learn that there are several VPNs available that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
However, I strongly recommend that you never select a VPN provider on price alone. A cheapo provider that provides poor download speeds, lousy privacy protections and skimpy customer support is no bargain.
In this article, I’ll share with you information about 5 VPN providers that I have found to be an excellent bargain. Not only are these providers reasonably priced, but they also provide fast connections, excellent privacy and security protections, optimal app support and top-notch customer service.
Best Cheap VPN Providers
I tested all of my favorite VPN providers, and my results indicated that the following 5 VPNs are the best cheap VPNs:
- CyberGhost: This low-priced provider offers an easy-to-use app for multiple device platforms and delivers fast, protected connections. Optimal customer support and above-average privacy and security protections.
- NordVPN: Offers good all-around VPN service at a low price. Speedy connections and industry-standard security and privacy features are a welcome sight. Apps for popular platforms and slightly-better-than-average global server coverage are available.
- PrivateVPN: Native app support includes Kodi add-on. This provider’s server count is rather meager, but they’re well-placed in over 60 countries. Fast speeds at a low price add up to a good deal.
- Surfshark: Fast connection speeds belie the low price this provider charges. Unblocks Netflix, provides excellent privacy protections and supports P2P file sharing.
- Private Internet Access: Good workhorse provider. Offers strong security and doesn’t keep any logs. Fast connections, but the provider’s global server coverage comes up short compared to any other provider on this list.
I evaluated and ranked the top 5 cheap VPNs by the following criteria:
- Value for your money
- Fast connection speeds
- Unblocks geo-restricted streaming services
- Allows torrenting
- Extensive global server coverage
- Quality customer support
- Solid security and privacy protections
- Comprehensive multi-platform support
Here’s my list of the top 5 cheap VPNs.
CyberGhost is the top VPN for penny-pinchers thanks to its low price, easy-to-use app lineup and fast connections.
Even though CyberGhost’s global server coverage (3,800+ servers in 60 countries) isn’t up to the numbers of many other providers, it’s comparable to other providers on this list.
CyberGhost provides fast connection speeds that would be the envy of higher-priced providers, delivering reliable connections that should easily be able to handle your online needs.
Those fast connection speeds will come in handy, as CyberGhost opens up access to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. P2P file-sharing users will also appreciate this provider’s speeds.
These connections are protected by military-grade encryption and an automatic kill switch. Your privacy is also well-covered with this provider thanks to its total no-logs policy and acceptance of Bitcoin as a payment option.
Windows, macOS, Android, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV and iOS device users will be able to protect their device thanks to CyberGhost’s comprehensive app support. Protecting your browser sessions is easy, as the provider also offers Chrome and Firefox extensions.
Up to 7 devices can be connected to CyberGhost’s servers simultaneously on a single account. You can also protect all of your connected devices via a single access point by using the service with your router.
Customer support from this provider is top-notch, with 24/7 live support chat, a trouble ticket tracking system and searchable troubleshooting guides.
- Low price (the 2-year and 3-year plans are where the real savings are)
- Best connection speeds on this list
- Easy-to-use apps
- No logs
- Excellent security
- Server coverage is merely average
BEST CHEAP VPN PROVIDER:CyberGhost is the best option for VPN users looking for a low price, but not at the expense of top-notch service. The provider delivers fast and dependable connections and does a great all-around job of protecting your privacy. A 45-day no-risk money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
NordVPN is the second-best value on this list thanks to its fast connections, excellent multi-platform support and extensive privacy protections, all at a low price.
The provider currently has 5,100+ servers, which are stationed in 57 countries. While the server count is well above the industry average, the 57 locations are slightly below the usual country count.
NordVPN provides reliable, high-speed connections, delivering enough speed for any of your favorite online activities. Plus, the provider has no bandwidth limits or data caps, so you’ll never have to worry about keeping track of your VPN use.
Netflix viewers will appreciate that speed when they use it to view unblocked content. Torrenters will also find that the speed comes in handy.
A total of 6 devices can be simultaneously logged into the service on a single login. Those devices can be the Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV or Linux platforms, as NordVPN offers native app support for all of these.
If you’re only interested in protecting your web browsing, you can use the provider’s handy Firefox and Chrome browser extensions. If you want to protect more than 6 devices at once, you can make use of the provider’s extensive router compatibility.
Don’t worry about your privacy while subscribing to NordVPN, as the company keeps no logs of their users’ online interactions and accepts Bitcoin to protect your subscription payment information.
This provider’s customer support is excellent, with around-the-clock live support chat, a trouble ticket submission system and a searchable knowledge base.
- Low price, especially for 2-year and 3-year plans
- Servers in 57 countries around the globe
- Fast connections, with no data caps
- Comprehensive multi-app support
- Can’t specify server location by city or province
GOOD VALUE:NordVPN’s 2nd-place finish is thanks to the provider’s value pricing, fast connections and excellent privacy protections. The provider’s top-notch multi-platform support is just icing on the cake. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
PrivateVPN snagged the 3rd-place value provider spot because of its fast connection speeds, top-notch privacy protections and excellent customer service, all delivered for a small asking price.
While many of the providers in this roundup require agreeing to a 2- or 3-year subscription period to see significant savings, PrivateVPN’s lowest price requires only a 1-year subscription.
This provider’s server count is severely lacking (just 150 servers), but they are well spread out, as they are located in 60 countries. This makes PrivateVPN a good option for unblocking Netflix and other geo-blocked content.
PrivateVPN’s connections are more than fast enough to handle whatever you throw at them. P2P enthusiasts will appreciate those fast connection speeds.
The provider’s native app support is limited when compared to the other VPNs on this list, but they do cover the big 4 platforms – Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. Kodi users can protect their bingeing sessions with the PrivateVPN Kodi add-on.
The provider keeps no logs of any kind related to their users’ online travels. Payment privacy could be better, though, as no anonymous subscription payment option is available from the provider. The provider uses military-grade encryption to coat your internet connection.
Up to 6 concurrent connections are allowed per username. If you need more, the provider is compatible with multiple router makes and models.
Customer support is satisfactory at PrivateVPN, as it offers live support chat (not 24/7), email support and a searchable FAQ library.
- Low prices kick in at the 1-year level
- Easy-to-use apps
- Plenty of speed
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections on a single username
- No Bitcoin payment options
- Limited server numbers
NO LONG-TERM COMMITMENT REQUIRED:PrivateVPN offers super low prices for a 1-year subscription. The provider’s server count is limited, but those servers deliver speedy, well-protected connections. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
Surfshark ranked in at #4 in this roundup thanks to its low-priced 3-year subscription price, fast connections and excellent security and privacy protections.
Fast connections are the name of the game here, as Surfshark’s connection speeds are well up to most users’ online antics – even if you’re streaming Netflix video, which the provider also does a good job of unblocking. (Those speeds will also come in handy when torrenting.)
Surfshark’s server coverage is slightly below the industry average, with 800+ servers located in 50+ countries.
Surfshark’s multi-platform support keeps most popular devices covered, with apps for the macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux and Amazon Fire TV. Chrome and Firefox extensions are available to protect your web browsing sessions.
This provider offers optimal security and privacy protection. Not only does Surfshark provide military-level encryption on its apps, it also keeps no logs of any kind and accepts Bitcoin in return for its services.
Surfshark has no limit to the number of simultaneous connections on a single login, but you can still configure the service to work on many router makes and models if you want to protect all of your devices through a single access point.
Surfshark’s customer support is available around the clock with 24/7 support chat, a “contact us” form and a searchable support library.
- Low, low-priced 3-year subscription
- Apps are great for first-time VPN users
- Unlimited connections on a single username
- Money-back guarantee limited to 7 days
- Global server count is below the industry average
UNLIMITED CONNECTIONS:Surfshark is a great solution for first-time VPN users and those who need many simultaneous connections on one account. This company provides excellent security and privacy protections. I wish the provider offered a longer money-back guarantee than just 7 days.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
Private Internet Access (PIA) is an established, low-cost provider that filled out the 5th and final spot in our roundup thanks to its fast connections and excellent service.
This provider’s connection speeds are competitive with any of the other providers on this list. Sadly, while they’re enough to handle streaming, their track record for access to Netflix and other streaming providers is less than dazzling.
Your privacy is well-protected at PIA, as the provider keeps no logs of any kind. Plus, the provider happily accepts various types of cryptocurrencies as payment for subscription charges.
While the company’s server count of 3,300+ servers is respectable, those servers are shoehorned into 32 countries. You’ll want to make sure they have you covered in a particular country.
Private Internet Access offers native apps for the Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux platforms. Plus, Chrome, Firefox and Opera browser extensions are available.
This provider allows a somewhat-stingy 3 simultaneous connections on the same username. However, PIA can be set up to work with many makes and models of routers, allowing all of your connected devices to be protected through a single login.
This provider cuts a few corners when it comes to customer support, with no customer support chat available. However, the support department does respond quickly to email inquiries and provides a searchable support library.
- Low-priced 2-year subscription
- Excellent privacy protections
- Accepts merchant gift cards as subscription payment
- Server locations are severely lacking
- Unreliable access to Netflix
RELIABLE, ESTABLISHED VPN PROVIDER:Private Internet Access is an established VPN provider that delivers fast connections and top-notch security. However, its global server coverage and customer support both need improvement. More than 7 days to decide whether or not their service is for you would also be nice.
Read our full review of Private Internet Access.
Cheap VPNs to Avoid
While I understand the desire to save a few bucks on your VPN service, I strongly recommend that you never consider any VPN on price alone.
Always thoroughly investigate any provider to ensure the VPN provider is worthy of your trust and does a good job of protecting your privacy. Below are two providers I urge you to avoid.
Hola VPN, which once upon a time boasted nearly 50 million users, had turned those users into a botnet. The Israeli firm used some of their users’ bandwidth to conduct Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
The provider also used the bandwidth to distribute copyrighted materials and sold their free users’ idle bandwidth to paid customers under their Luminati brand.
Hotspot Shield, which offers a free level of service, has been accused by a privacy advocacy group of “unfair and deceptive trade practices” by inserting tracking cookies into its users’ browsing sessions, then selling the tracking info to advertising firms. The company has also been accused of redirecting ecommerce traffic to affiliate sites.
While a decision on the matter has not yet been reached, I’d strongly suggest you stay away from any VPN provider that has been accused of any less-than-respectable business practices.
Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Protecting My Connection?
If you’re looking for a bargain price on a VPN, you might also be tempted to try one of the many “free” VPN services available around the web.
I advise against it. A “free” VPN might end up being your most expensive option.
So-called “free” VPNs have many hidden costs: mainly, to your privacy. You may have heard that “if you’re getting something for free on the internet, then you are the product being sold.” That adage is never truer than when you’re talking about VPN services.
Even a “free” VPN needs to keep the lights on and the servers humming. That means they need to make money some way. Some providers make money by keeping logs of their users’ online activities and selling that information to advertisers and other interested parties.
Plus, some freebie VPNs have been caught injecting unwanted tracking cookies and advertisements into their users’ browsing sessions.
Your time is worth something, right? Well, some free VPN providers will make you wait in a queue before you’re allowed to connect to one of their servers. And, once you’re given the okay to connect, you’ll likely find your server selection is limited to a few select servers.
Last but not least, once you’re connected, you may find your connection speeds are limited. Many free providers restrict their users’ bandwidth and place a data cap on their usage.
The final decision is up to you, but I strongly recommend avoiding free VPN providers. Paying a few bucks a month is a much better deal than what you’ll get from a “free” provider.
VPN users that are looking for champagne VPN service with a beer bottle price will find there are many fine VPN providers that won’t put a huge dent in their checkbook.
CyberGhost is my top choice for best cheap VPN. That said, any of the 5 VPNs I’ve covered here would do an admirable job of protecting your internet connection.