Best cheap VPN services in 2023

cheap vpn
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Being one of the best VPN services doesn't mean you can't also be one of the cheapest. There are plenty of VPN providers out there offering plans at a variety of different price points, and a few even have free VPN plans for you to test out. Normally, when it comes to services and subscriptions the best ones are on the more expensive side, but with VPNs that isn't necessarily the case.

You don't have to go broke each month or pay a huge upfront cost to get a great VPN – some of the best are actually pretty cheap. Read on to see our picks for the best cheap VPN.

Top 3 cheap VPNs

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Surfshark – absolute best cheap VPN (opens in new tab)

Surfshark – absolute best cheap VPN (opens in new tab)
It's not only one of the fastest VPNs (opens in new tab) out there, but currently, also one of the cheapest. At $2.30 per month, you'll get excellent performance, stellar privacy protection and speeds that are the best around.

Private Internet Access – all you need and more (opens in new tab)

Private Internet Access – all you need and more (opens in new tab)
Private Internet Access has consistently moved up in our testing for good reason. At just $2.03/month for 28 months, it's improved speeds and geo-unblocking make it a cheap VPN that's hard to beat! 

NordVPN - well known and well balanced (opens in new tab)

NordVPN - well known and well balanced (opens in new tab)
One of the most well-known names in VPN, NordVPN has everything where it counts. It's a bit pricier at $3.49/month, but you certainly won't be left with buyer's remorse as Nord has everything you need bundled in a tight package.

You'll want to weigh out all your options here, but when it comes to cheap VPNs that are really affordable, we recommend Surfshark VPN for a number of reasons. Speed is as good as it gets, coupled with extensive security smarts and privacy features. 

You'd be surprised just how many cheap VPN services there are. For less than the price of a cup of coffee per month, you can protect yourself online and keep yourself safe from hackers and other threats. To get the best deal on some of these you'll need to sign up for an annual subscription or prepay for a few years at once, but at the prices they are listed for, it's well worth it.

There are countless affordable VPN services, but we've rounded up all the best cheap VPNs in one place to make it easier for you. Here are our favorites, and the best you'll find right now.

The best cheap VPN in 2023

Best VPN Service - Surfshark

(Image credit: Surfshark)

1. Surfshark VPN

By far the best cheap VPN service

Specifications

Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Amazon
Servers: 1,700+
Server Locations: 100+ in 63 countries
Trial Period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Priced from just $2.49/mo
+
Over 1,000 servers available
+
Company based in British Virgin Islands
+
30-day money-back guarantee

Reasons to avoid

-
Priced from just $2.49/mo
-
Over 1,000 servers available
-
Company based in British Virgin Islands
-
30-day money-back guarantee

Bottom line: It's one of the most affordable options out there, but that doesn't mean you are making big sacrifices. There is no limit to the number of devices you can connect at once, and with servers all around the globe, it's easy to keep your account safe and still access everything you want to see.

Surfshark VPN is a British Virgin Islands-based VPN provider that offers AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and Double Hop capability to keep security in its DNA. And it's also the fastest.

Don't let the cute name fool you, Surfshark is ready to compete with all the other providers head to head. With over 1,000 servers spread across 60 different locations, you can use its services for everything you'd normally think of. There are no limits in place as to how many devices you can have connected at the same time for each subscription, and the apps are super easy to use.

Surfshark stripped out the extra fluff in its apps to make them super easy to understand and navigate. The company doesn't keep any user logs or histories.

It's one of the best Android VPNs and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you enough time to try it out and see whether it's the VPN service for you or not.

Pia Devices

(Image credit: Private Internet Access)

2. PIA VPN

One-click easy connections to servers

Specifications

Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube
Servers: 3,300+
Server Locations: 65+ in 45+ countries
Trial Period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use apps
+
No data limits
+
Supports 10 devices at once

Reasons to avoid

-
Based in the U.S.

Bottom line: PIA is a U.S.-based VPN provider that gives you an unlimited amount of data to use each month and up to 10 simultaneous connections.

PIA, previously called Private Internet Access, is a US-based VPN provider that helps secure your online identity. Before sending any data outbound from your session, it automatically assigns a brand-new IP address to you to keep you secure. It uses AES 256-bit encryption with a strict no-logging policy.

It offers more than 3,300 servers, which is more than many of the competitors, and spreads them across 50 different locations around the world. There are no data limits when using the service, which means you can keep your devices connected at all times without worrying that you'll use too much data daily.

The apps are super easy to use, and PIA has made them as easy as being able to click just a single button to get instantly connected to a server.

Best VPN Service - NordVPN

(Image credit: NordVPN)

3. NordVPN

Most well-known VPN provider out there

Specifications

Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, iPlayer, Amazon
Servers: 5,300+
Server Locations: 80+ in 59 countries
Trial Period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Nearly 6,000 servers
+
2048-bit encryption
+
Recognized name globally
+
Multiple plan options

Reasons to avoid

-
Security breach in 2018

Bottom line: Back in 2018 one of the NordVPN servers was compromised, but the company has beefed up security measures to ensure it can't happen again. It is one of the best-known VPN brands that exist today and offers a bunch of key features that people love to use.

You get a 30-day money-back guarantee should you find it isn't quite the provider that works best for you or your devices.

It may not be the absolute cheapest option, but the deal that NordVPN is running right now makes it quite a compelling option. Pricing for the service starts at just $3.49 per month for the two-year plan.

NordVPN offers some really compelling features that would make you want to use it. There are more than 5,600 servers available that are spread around over 60 different countries and Nord makes use of 2048-bit encryption, which exceeds what others are doing.

The company also offers a kill switch, apps for all the popular platforms, DNS leak protection, and more. You can use it to easily circumvent geo-restrictions with a built-in feature that makes it easy to connect to the right server location.

You can sign up and pay monthly, but the way to get the best deal is to just go all-in on the two-year plan, which saves you a massive 67%.

Best VPN Service - IPVanish

(Image credit: IPVanish)

4. IPVanish VPN

Cheap for one month or one year

Specifications

Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu
Servers: 1,600+
Server Locations: 75+ in 50 countries
Trial Period: 30 days

Reasons to buy

+
Over 40,000 shared IP addresses
+
Great customer support
+
Now offers unlimited devices to be connected simultaneously

Reasons to avoid

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Server locations don't match what's said
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No iOS kill switch

Bottom line: Real-world testing has proven that IPVanish is a fast and reliable service. The apps are available on a variety of different platforms, and they are all easy to use. As an added bonus, IPVanish includes 250 GB of SugarSync Cloud Storage with all of its plans, giving you a safe place to store your data to access from anywhere.

When it comes to IPVanish, it falls in line feature-wise with many of the other providers, but comes in a little bit cheaper than some of the others. There are more than 1,600 servers spread across 50 different countries, and it offers unlimited simultaneous connections on a single account.

IPVanish recently changed its policy so that it now allows you to connect as many devices simultaneously as needed. There is no longer a limit of 5 devices.

It is a U.S.-based provider, which some people may not like, but IPVanish does not keep logs or any other information on its users. There are apps for all major platforms and it's straightforward to use.

Best VPN Service - Hotspot Shield

(Image credit: Hotspot Shield)

5. Hotspot Shield VPN

Feature-rich free plan available

Specifications

Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
Servers: 3,200+
Server Locations: 130+ in 80+ countries
Trial Period: 45 days

Reasons to buy

+
Great customer support
+
Unlimited bandwidth each month
+
Over 2,500 servers
+
Great free plan available

Reasons to avoid

-
No longer supports OpenVPN protocol

Bottom line: While it's one of our favorite free VPNs as well, Hotspot Shield is also a great contender in the paid space. This is an option you won't want to sleep on.

We had a few complaints when looking at Hotspot Shield as the best free VPN service, but almost every one of them gets solved when you pony up a few dollars each month and pay to use it. It comes in as one of the best cheap VPN providers for a few reasons, from unlimited bandwidth and devices to the 24/7 customer support.

There are over 2,500 servers in more than 70 locations across the world. You can connect up to five devices at the same time, and it's completely ad-free. There is no data logging with Hotspot Shield, and the only major lacking things are OpenVPN support and Bitcoin for payments.

Best VPN Service - Cyberghost

(Image credit: Cyberghost)

6. CyberGhost VPN

Easiest cheap VPN to use to unblock content

Specifications

Compatible with: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
Streaming services unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube
Servers: 6,400+
Server Locations: 110+ in 90 countries
Trial Period: 45 days

Reasons to buy

+
Over 6,200 servers available
+
Based in Romania & Germany
+
Automatic server matching for geo-restricted content unblocking
+
45-day money-back guarantee on 3-year plan

Reasons to avoid

-
Connection speeds are slower than competition

Bottom line: CyberGhost offers all the standard features that you'd expect to see in a VPN, and also offers some of the easiest server matching out of everyone. The company makes it insanely easy to find the best server so that you can unblock Netflix, Hulu, and more.

Romania & Germany-based CyberGhost is one of the top VPN providers out there, with more than 6,200 servers that span over 110 different locations. Compared to much of the competition, this is a huge number.

One of the biggest standout features about CyberGhost is just how easy it makes for unblocking geo-restricted content while you are on the go. There is a one-click server matching option that pairs you with the best server from CyberGhost to allow you access to Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more. Once connected, the app even opens up your browser for you so you can start streaming. It's the most convenient thing, ever.

Thanks to the ease of use, speeds, and reliability it offers, CyberGhost has been able to bring over 10 million users to its service. The pricing is quite competitive, and by signing up for longer-term plans, you can help reduce the per-month cost of the service as well. Will you be the company's next subscriber?


But what's the best overall VPN?

ExpressVPN offers the perfect balance of speed, reliability, customer service, and ease of use. It has features to protect everyone, and whether you are experienced with VPNs or this will be your first, you'll have no problem getting started with it.

ExpressVPN is so sure you'll like the service that it offers a 30-day full money-back guarantee should you want to cancel it.

The service is easy to use, and the mobile apps are super friendly. ExpressVPN offers 24/7 customer support, so should you run into any issues, you can get them resolved pretty easily.

ExpressVPN | 1 year | (opens in new tab)

ExpressVPN | 1 year | $12.95 $6.67/per month + 3 months FREE (opens in new tab)
Our pick for the overall best VPN, ExpressVPN isn't as cheap as the other providers on this list, but makes a strong case for getting what you pay for. With amazing 24/7 support options, 30-day money-back guarantee and performance that won't leave you wanting more, ExpressVPN is well worth a look. 

What should I look for in a cheap VPN?

The whole "you get what you pay for" thing isn't strictly true for VPNs, especially with the services on this list, as one of the cheapest options – Surfshark – is actually one of the best VPN providers out there regardless of price.

When looking at the various best cheap VPN options, there are a few things to consider as well as price to determine the best offering for you. As well as being affordable, you'll want something that offers fast, consistent speeds and has great customer service in case you need it.

You also want to make sure that there are servers in plenty of locations so that you can connect to the ones you need. Otherwise, give them a look, try some of them out, and see which one works out best for you. Most have a money-back guarantee so you can't really go wrong.

When should you upgrade your VPN?

Moving from a free VPN to a cheap VPN is a great option for many people, since paid VPNs tend to offer improved features and the trade-offs of free VPN plans won't suit everyone. You may notice that the plans don't offer enough data for you each month, or that you need the ability to connect more devices at the same time as the plan offers. That's a good indicator that it's time to upgrade to something else.

We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:

1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).

2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.

We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.

Adam Zeis
Editorial Director - High Yield

After getting his start writing about BlackBerry in 2008, Adam is the Editorial Director of High-Yield content at Future. Leading an outstanding team, he oversees many of the articles the publisher produces about subscriptions and services – VPN, TV streaming and antivirus software. From buying guides and how to watch content, to deal news and in-depth reviews. Adam's work can be seen on numerous Future brands including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, TTR, Android Central, iMore and Real Homes.