There are many cheap VPN services on the market — but most do not make the cut to be recommended due to data leaks, slow speeds, and/or security issues. This guide highlights the best cheap VPN that passed all of of our VPN tests and meet the ranking criteria below.
Everyone likes to save money and the same applies to VPN services. Unfortunately, finding a cheap VPN service that is also high-quality can be challenging. Many of the cheapest VPNs suffer from various problems, including slow speeds, data leaks, and inferior security.
Fortunately, we’ve done all the work for you. We purchased and tested all of the best cheap VPN services that are under $4 per month and narrowed our list down to only the top picks.
Below is our ranking of the best cheap VPN services that are safe, secure, fast, and fully featured. Finding the best cheap VPN all comes down to matching up the service that best fits with your needs.
|Best Cheap VPNs||Monthly Price|
|1. NordVPN (with a 68% off coupon)||$2.99|
|5. Atlas VPN||$2.05|
How we rank the best cheap VPNs in 2022
How do we rank these low-cost VPNs? Here are the criteria:
- Cheap prices (under $4.00/month)
- Strong security with no leaks found (no IP address leaks or DNS leaks)
- Good performance throughout the server network (speed and reliability)
- High-quality VPN apps with all features working correctly
- A trustworthy and well-established VPN provider with a good track record
So now let’s examine the results!
Here are the best cheap VPN services:
NordVPN – Best all-around cheap VPN in 2022
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
|Support||24/7 live chat|
If you are looking for the best cheap VPN, then NordVPN is hard to beat. It outperforms other VPNs in nearly all categories, from privacy and security to speed and streaming. While the team behind NordVPN is global, the business is strategically based in Panama for privacy reasons. Panama does not require logs or data retention, as we see in countries such as the US and UK. (VPNs in the US have been forced to hand over logs, such as the case with IPVanish and also Riseup VPN.)
In terms of privacy and security, NordVPN has you covered. It is a verified no logs VPN service, having passed two independent audits performed by PWC Zurich. NordVPN has 5,200+ servers in 52 countries. All servers run in RAM-disk mode without hard drives. This makes it impossible for any data to ever be stored on a server, further securing your data from third parties.
This cheap VPN also offers an impressive list of privacy and security features:
- Strong encryption: NordVPN uses an AES-256-GCM cipher with an HMAC SHA256 hash authentication, and a DHE-4096 key exchange for Perfect Forward Secrecy.
- CyberSec: The CyberSec feature blocks tracking, malware, and advertising domains to improve privacy and page load speeds.
- Obfuscation: NordVPN apps come with built-in obfuscation features to conceal your VPN traffic as regular HTTPS encryption. Your traffic will be routed through the Obfuscated Servers, even in places where VPNs may be blocked, such as in China.
- Double-VPN servers: NordVPN currently has 31 double-VPN servers, which allow you to encrypt your traffic across two locations before entering the unencrypted internet.
- Leak protection: NordVPN incorporates a VPN kill switch in all their VPN apps to keep your traffic secure and ensure no unencrypted data leaks out of the tunnel.
- Streaming support: NordVPN supports a huge selection of streaming services, including numerous Netflix regions, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Disney Plus, and more.
- Threat Protection: This new feature will protect your devices against ads, trackers, and malicious files (like an antivirus).
NordVPN apps are cheap and user-friendly
NordVPN offers a huge selection of secure VPN apps for all types of devices. Whether you need a low-cost VPN for PC, or a reliable VPN for mobile operating systems, NordVPN has you covered. They offer apps for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, gaming systems, and more. Below is the Windows VPN app we tested from NordVPN:
If you need a good VPN for streaming, NordVPN remains one of our top recommendations. It offers full support for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more. NordVPN even has a dedicated Amazon Firestick VPN app to use with streaming devices. Torrenting is allowed on all servers with excellent speeds.
NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, consistently beating out other top-rated VPNs. NordVPN supports the WireGuard VPN protocol with all of its VPN apps. This offers even faster speeds than legacy VPN protocols along with upgraded security. Below is a recent speed test where we hit over 445 Mbps with a NordVPN server in Seattle.
If you want to test-drive what I consider to be the best cheap VPN, then grab the discount below for the best savings. All NordVPN plans come with a 30 day money-back guarantee as well as access to 24/7 live chat support.
UPDATE: NordVPN is currently offering a deal on the VPN to get three extra months free. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to bundle extra Nord Security services, such as NordPass and also NordLocker with . Bundling services will be cheaper than buying them separately. Here are the prices with the discount deal:
- User-friendly and reliable apps
- Double-VPN and Tor-over-VPN servers
- No logs (audited twice)
- Strong encryption standards with full support for WireGuard
- Works with Netflix and many other streaming services
- CyberSec feature to block ads, trackers, and malware domains
- 24/7 live chat support
- Dedicated RAM-servers with 10 Gbps bandwidth channels
- Big discounts only available with long-term subscriptions
The NordVPN review also includes more test results and information.
Surfshark – Cheapest VPN with fast speeds
|Based in||The Netherlands|
|Support||24/7 live chat|
Surfshark is the cheapest VPN that also offers amazing performance that is on par with NordVPN. Coming in at only $2.49 per month with the two-year plan, Surfshark has a lot to offer. For starters, you get an unlimited number of connections and custom VPN apps for all major operating systems and devices. We see that Surfshark also supports the WireGuard VPN protocol with very fast speeds. It even beat out ExpressVPN in the Surfshark vs ExpressVPN comparison.
Do you want a cheap VPN to stream your favorite media? Surfshark is a great solution if you need a VPN for Hulu, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and more. Right now Surfshark supports 15+ Netflix regional libraries. You can easily stream Kodi with a VPN as Surfshark offers a broad server network and great speeds. We clocked speeds up to 397 Mbps in our Surfshark review.
For privacy and security features, here’s what Surfshark has to offer:
- CleanWeb feature to block ads, tracking, and malware domains
- Double-VPN servers that encrypt traffic over two hops
- Obfuscated servers to conceal your VPN traffic and get around VPN blocking
- WhiteLister (split tunneling) feature to rout traffic outside the VPN (we also see this feature with ProtonVPN and NordVPN)
Surfshark VPN apps
Like NordVPN, Surfshark also has a large selection of apps for all types of devices. Here is the Surfshark Windows VPN app that we tested:
To get the cheapest price on Surfshark VPN, use the coupon below with the two-year subscription plan. Every Surfshark subscription comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support.
- Unlimited connections
- User-friendly apps for all devices
- CleanWeb feature to block ads, trackers, and malware
- Works great with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services
- 24/7 live chat support
- Full WireGuard support
- Split tunneling feature
- Secure encryption and leak protection features
- Limited VPN router support
- Big discount only with the two-year plan
See our Surfshark review for more info and the latest test results.
VPN.ac – A secure and cheap VPN based in Romania
VPN.ac is another top-rated cheap VPN service, coming in at $3.75 per month with the two-year plan. They offer secure VPN apps and a dedicated bare-metal server network with great speeds. Although it is not as fully featured as NordVPN and CyberGhost, VPN.ac is still a decent option at a reasonable price.
For those on a budget who are looking for a security-focused service, VPN.ac is worth considering. Their entire server network runs only on dedicated bare-metal servers, providing you with excellent speeds and security. They offer 22 double-VPN server configurations as well as secure proxy browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Within the VPN.ac applications, you can select the VPN protocol, port, and encryption cipher you’d like to use.
If you are in a location where VPNs are blocked, VPN.ac offers excellent obfuscation features to get through these restrictions. This makes it one of the best VPNs for China. However, VPN.ac is not the best service to use for unblocking streaming services, as they are generally more focused on privacy and security.
VPN.ac has a 7 day refund window on all subscriptions.
- Dedicated bare-metal servers with self-hosted encrypted DNS
- Excellent speeds with plenty of available bandwidth
- Multi-hop (double VPN) server configurations
- Obfuscation features with many different encryption options
- Secure proxy browser extensions
- WireGuard VPN support
- Does not work well for streaming
- Fewer features than other leading VPNs
- Limited refund window (7 days)
Discounted trial: You can get a discounted one-week trial for only $2 (see the FAQ section in the top menu).
See the VPN.ac review for detailed test results.
Atlas VPN – Great VPN if you’re on a budget, and full of features
|Based in||United States|
|Support||Live chat, email|
Atlas VPN is a relatively new addition to our list of the best cheap VPNs. It officially launched in 2019 and has grown in popularity over the years. In 2021, it was purchased by Nord Security, the parent company behind NordVPN. This gives further financial backing and stability to an up-and-coming budget VPN service.
Despite having one of the cheapest prices you will find, Atlas VPN has a lot to offer. It delivers very strong privacy and security features that you find with other top VPNs. All Atlas VPN apps include a VPN kill switch to secure your traffic. Atlas VPN also offers these extra privacy features:
- MultiHop+ – This will route traffic over multiple VPN servers (two ore more), thereby securing your traffic behind several layers of encryption.
- SafeSwap – This feature will give you “many rotating IP addresses” without having to disconnect from the VPN.
- Data Breach Monitor – As the name implies, you can use this tool to safely check if your email address has been flagged in any major data breaches, based on public databases.
- Tracker Blocker – This feature not only blocks trackers, but also advertisements and websites that host malware.
Aside from privacy and security features, Atlas VPN also delivers solid streaming performance for a very low price. Within the VPN app, you can select between Streaming and Privacy Pro servers. You can see this in the screenshot below:
For streaming, Atlas VPN gives you access to all the major services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and even Disney Plus. Using a cheap VPN is a great way to save money with streaming. This will give you more access to content, thereby potentially saving you from having to purchase numerous subscriptions to different services.
Atlas VPN is one of the cheapest VPNs in this guide, coming in at only $2.05 with the monthly plans. All subscription plans come with a full 30 day return window. And you also get access to live chat support if you need help setting up your cheap VPN on all your devices.
- User-friendly VPN apps
- Strong encryption and security (with WireGuard)
- Extra privacy features (Ad Blocker, MultiHop, and SafeSwap)
- Affordable prices (with a free plan)
- Works well for streaming
- Based in the US (Five Eyes)
- No support for Linux or routers
- Small server network
Check out our Atlas VPN review for more info.
Trust.Zone VPN – A basic, low-cost VPN in Seychelles
Another cheap, yet high-performing VPN service to consider is Trust.Zone. Trust.Zone is based in Seychelles and offers a basic VPN with some great features at a very reasonable price. It is a no-logs service with strong encryption and good security.
Here are some highlights from the Trust.Zone review:
- Strong encryption: Data is secured with an AES-256-CBC cipher, SHA256 authentication, and an RSA-2048 handshake.
- Leak protection: Leak protection (kill switch) features are available with the Windows and Android clients.
- Streaming support: You can stream Netflix, Hulu, and other services through Trust.Zone servers (no blocks).
- Dedicated IP: Trust.Zone offers very affordable prices if you need a VPN with a static IP addresses in different countries.
- Double VPN servers: Trust.Zone offers a few double-VPN servers, but not nearly as many as NordVPN or Surfshark.
- WireGuard: Surfshark now supports WireGuard, but setup is cumbersome through third-party apps.
Unfortunately, Trust.Zone does not offer a VPN client for Mac OS. This means that Mac OS VPN users must rely on third-party apps or other solutions.
Overall, Surfshark is the cheapest VPN on our list, coming in at only $2.33 per month. You can get an additional discount if you pay with cryptocurrency. There is also a 10% off coupon code for Restore Privacy readers below.
FREE TRIAL: Trust.Zone is a great option if you want a free trial VPN. You will get 3 GB of bandwidth and/or 3 days, whichever comes first, and you don’t need to provide any payment info.
- Competitive prices
- Great speeds and reliability
- Good leak protection settings
- Free trial (no payment info required)
- P2P torrents allowed
- Dedicated IP addresses available
- Additional 10% discount (see coupon code below)
- Fewer features than competitors
- No custom VPN clients for Mac OS (but still supported)
10% OFF Coupon Code: For an additional 10% off your order, use the coupon code RESTOREPRIVACY10
See my Trust.Zone review for more details.
PrivadoVPN – Secure, fast, affordable VPN in Switzerland
|Support||Live chat; Email|
Another reliable, cheap VPN service is PrivadoVPN. While it may not get as much attention as other big-name VPN services, PrivadoVPN does well in terms of performance and privacy features. It is a no-logs VPN provider based in Switzerland, a good privacy jurisdiction.
In terms of streaming services, PrivadoVPN currently supports Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and other services (but we haven’t tested them all). This cheap VPN is also is a good VPN for torrenting, with no restrictions on torrenting or file-sharing. With a paid subscription to PrivadoVPN, you’ll get unlimited connections — just as we saw with Surfshark VPN above.
PrivadoVPN encrypts traffic with an AES-256 cipher and supports the OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols. The apps include a kill switch to prevent any VPN leaks. And like Surfshark and NordVPN, PrivadoVPN also has an ad-blocking VPN feature that’s called Control Tower.
Refund policy: PrivadoVPN offers a 30 day refund policy and live chat support with all subscription plans. The cheapest VPN subscription is with the one-year plan when you use the exclusive coupon below.
- User-friendly and secure VPN apps
- Fast and consistent speeds
- Works with Netflix and other streaming sites
- Affordable prices (with a free plan)
- Strong encryption and security (with WireGuard)
- No logs and based in Switzerland
- macOS app needs some work
- Smaller server network
- No obfuscation (stealth VPN)
Check out the PrivadoVPN review for more info.
AirVPN – Secure and cheap VPN in Italy
AirVPN is a privacy-focused VPN service based in Italy that is also quite cheap. It has a great reputation within the privacy community and a good track record going back many years. AirVPN offers secure VPN clients for all major devices and operating systems with built-in leak protection features. The server network consists only of dedicated bare-metal servers.
Although AirVPN has a lot to offer, it also has a few drawbacks. Speeds aren’t as good as some of the best VPN services and support can be hit or miss. It’s also not the most user-friendly service, but once you get everything configured it works pretty well.
Overview of AirVPN:
- Fully-featured open source clients: The AirVPN client is open source and available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android. It incorporates strong leak-protection features.
- Strong encryption: Air VPN encrypts traffic with an AES-256-GCM cipher together with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA384 authentication.
- Secure servers: AirVPN runs only dedicated bare-metal servers in secure data centers around the world.
- IPv6 support: IPv6 is supported throughout the server network.
- No logs: AirVPN is a no-logs VPN service.
Here are the pros and cons of this cheap VPN service in Italy:
- Secure applications with strong encryption
- Great reputation and track record
- Some advanced features available
- No logs policy
- VPN apps are not user-friendly
- Speeds are variable
- Support is hit or miss
- Limited refund policy
Refund policy: Refunds are limited to only 3 days and/or 5 GB of data transfer.
The cheapest price you can get with AirVPN is €2.20 (about $2.45) per month with the two-year plan.
Are cheap VPNs safe and secure?
While most cheap VPNs are not secure, there are a few noteworthy outliers that offer secure VPN clients, good encryption, and fast speeds. But this is the challenge: finding the best cheap VPNs when most are mediocre at best, insecure and dangerous at worst.
With more people turning to VPNs for privacy, security, and online freedom, there are numerous shady and unknown VPNs coming on the market. Below are just a few issues that plague some cheap VPN services:
- Traffic leaks – Many cheap VPNs do not offer adequate leak protection. This means the VPN may be leaking your IP address and/or DNS requests, thereby rendering the VPN useless.
- Broken features – Many cheap VPN services advertise features that simply do not work well. Examples of this include faulty kill switches and split tunneling features. (See for example with PureVPN.)
- Data collection – Some cheap and free VPN services collect data, which is sold to third parties for profit. Betternet is one example of this.
- Poor support – Delayed and inadequate customer support is another problem frequently encountered with many low-priced VPN services.
The point here is to use caution when selecting a good VPN for your needs. Granted, there are good cheap VPN services on the market, but you need to be selective.
What is best, a free VPN or Cheap VPN?
Some people looking to save money may be tempted to use free VPN services – despite the known risks. This is generally a bad idea because it raises two important questions:
- What is the business model of the free VPN?
- How is the free VPN covering the costs of app development, support, and server hosting?
The answer to both of these questions is usually as follows: the free VPN is making money by collecting and selling user data to third parties. One recent news story highlighted how free VPN apps are being used to deliver financial malware.
Another interesting study found that 38% of free Android VPN apps contained malware, and over 80% leaked sensitive user data. But it’s not only free apps that are utilized by hackers. There have also been reports about data hacks and the personal information from millions of people being sold on the black market.
Low-price VPNs with discounts and coupons
As mentioned above, some of these VPN services are offering discounts and coupons.
VPN coupons and discounts are a great way to secure a cheap VPN service without breaking the bank. While many VPNs are fairly expensive and do not offer any major discounts or coupons, there are a few that offer some great deals.
For example, our top recommendation, NordVPN, occasionally offers bundled deals and discounts. I keep track of these on the NordVPN coupon page. We also have an ExpressVPN coupon page. However, even with the coupon, ExpressVPN is still more expensive than any other VPN on this list.
There are also many cheap VPNs that offer discounts at various times of the year. For example, we find many people purchasing VPN subscriptions around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We track these deals as well with our guide on the best VPN Black Friday deals.
What about VPN renewal prices, do they stay cheap?
Many cheap VPNs offer consistently low prices where the renewal price is the same as the sale price (no changes). Others, however, may renew for a higher price when the first billing cycle ends.
We’ve also noticed that some VPN services will increase their prices significantly after the renewal term. Some VPNs may even offer a cheap trial period, but then hike the prices much higher than average when the trial is over. We have seen this in the past, for example, with PureVPN and also Avast VPN.
Just be sure to read the specifics of the deal you are signing up for so there aren’t any surprises.
Are cheap VPNs worth it?
If you find a reputable and secure service, then a cheap VPN is worth it. However, you need to first invest the time in researching the best cheap VPNs because there are many that cut corners with poor encryption and lackluster performance.
The key question here is value: what you get for your money.
Some VPNs are on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, such as with ExpressVPN at $6.67 per month. And despite being less money, NordVPN still beat ExpressVPN in nearly every category of the NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison. So paying more money does not necessarily mean better VPN performance — there are many factors to consider.
Lastly, at the other end of the spectrum are free VPN mobile apps, which are generally not worth the risk.
Cheap VPNs take the middle ground and offer good value for your money. In other words, you can still get a pretty good VPN without spending too much money, provided that you select a good provider.
Are there any 100% free VPNs?
Unfortunately, the answer is not really. As we already covered above, free VPNs have costs to operate the service, and somebody needs to pay these costs. If the VPN happens to not cost any money, then the chances are very high that you are actually paying for the service with your private data.
There are some freemium VPNs, which offer a limited or restricted free VPN option, along with premium paid plans. We already discussed this above with TrustZone VPN offering a free 3 day trial. There is also Atlas VPN, which offers 10 GB of free data per month (see our Atlas VPN review for details).
What is the fastest cheap VPN?
The fastest cheap VPN we have tested so far in 2022 is NordVPN.
With NordVPN, we hit download speeds of 445 Mbps using a nearby NordVPN server that supports the WireGuard VPN protocol. In fact, all of the NordVPN servers we tested were fast. Here is an overview of speed test results from the NordVPN review:
|Server Location||Download Speed|
|Los Angeles||304 Mbps|
|New York||280 Mbps|
|London, UK||296 Mbps|
If you are looking for the fastest cheap VPN, then NordVPN would be the top pick. You will want to be using a VPN that supports the WireGuard VPN protocol, which consistently outperforms OpenVPN across different server locations and also on different operating systems. Fortunately, many of the cheap VPNs we recommend in this guide offer full support for the WireGuard VPN protocol.
Why are the long-term VPN subscriptions the cheapest?
There’s one thing you will probably notice when browsing the websites of these cheap VPNs. When looking at pricing tables, you can see that the prices of long-term plans are a lot cheaper than paying for the service on a month-to-month basis. In other words, the overall cost over time is cheaper, despite the higher up-front cost. Let’s look at an example with a Surfshark VPN pricing table below:
On a monthly basis, you will save a lot more money by signing up for a long-term (24-month) subscription. Meanwhile, if you kept paying the recurring fees for a 1-month subscription every month, you will end up paying more than three times the price over the course of two years. Most subscription services utilize this same pricing model where you save more when you sign up for a longer subscription.
This is why it’s good to go with a longer plan, but keep in mind the 30-day refund window. The longer plan will give you the best savings for your VPN, and the refund window will give you time to test everything out. It’s the best of both worlds.
Other tips for VPN shoppers on a budget and looking to save money
It seems like prices for everything are going up right now, but one great exception to this rule is with VPNs. In fact, some news outlets are reporting that inflation numbers are currently at 30-year highs. Consequently, people are looking to save money everywhere they can.
For those on a budget, we would recommend going with a VPN that has a full 30 day refund window. This gives you plenty of time to test out the service risk-free. After all, there is no sense in buying more than one VPN because the first one you purchased did not meet your needs.
Another tip is to take advantage of free trial VPNs. This will allow you to test out the VPN with either a completely free trial window, or a risk-free trial that allows you to get a full refund. One example of the former is with Trust.Zone, which offers a 3 day free trial for all new users.
Our third tip is to consider bundling services. In many cases, this is cheaper than purchasing service separately. For example, with NordVPN, you can add on both NordPass and also NordLocker to your VPN subscription. This will be much cheaper than purchasing all three services separately.
This is not always the case, however. As we noted in the ProtonVPN review, this service charges an absurd rate ($24 per month) for the “Visionary” plan, which is just the VPN and secure email service bundled together. So the moral of the story is to do your homework before committing to a bundled plan. In most cases, bundling services is cheaper, but that is not always the case.
Comparing the top cheap VPNs for people on a budget
To finish up this guide, we’d recommend getting one of the cheap VPNs we have covered in this guide. Of course, there are other cheap and inexpensive VPNs out there, but the ones below meet our standards, have been thoroughly tested, and offer excellent value for your money. If you are on a budget, then these are the VPNs to consider.
At the end of the day, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to achieve more privacy and security online.
A cheap VPN service will get the job done, with money to spare. And if you want to check out some other deals, see our VPN coupons guide for additional ways to save.
This guide on the best cheap VPNs was last updated on December 2, 2022 with new information and test results.