Everyone likes to save money and you’re probably here to find the best cheap VPN. 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 and reduced security. This can come in the form of IP address leaks, DNS leaks, or broken features.
Fortunately, we’ve done all the work for you. We purchased and tested all of the best 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.
The best cheap VPN services for 2021
- NordVPN – Best all-around cheap VPN
- Surfshark – Cheapest VPN with fast speeds
- Trust.Zone – Cheap and simple VPN service
- VPN.ac – Secure VPN that is cheap
- VPNArea – Secure, fast, low-cost VPN
- VyprVPN – Reliable and inexpensive VPN service
- AirVPN – Secure and cheap VPN in Italy
Ranking the best cheap VPN services
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
- Supports secure VPN protocols with strong encryption standards
- A trustworthy and well-established VPN provider with a good track record
- Located in a safe privacy jurisdiction (outside of Five Eyes countries, such as the US and UK) to keep your data secure
So now let’s examine the results!
Here are the best cheap VPN services for 2020:
1. NordVPN – Best all-around cheap VPN
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
If you are looking for the best cheap VPN, then NordVPN is really hard to beat. It outperforms other VPNs in nearly every category, from privacy and security to raw speed and support for streaming services. While the team behind NordVPN is global, the business itself is strategically based in Panama for privacy reasons. Panama does not require logs or data retention, like 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.)
NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, consistently beating out other top-rated VPNs. Last year it incorporated the WireGuard VPN protocol into all NordVPN apps. This offers even faster speeds than legacy VPN protocols along with upgraded security. Below is a NordVPN speed test result with a server in Seattle, clocking in at 445 Mbps!
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’s has 5,200+ servers in 59 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.
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.
- 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.
- CyberSec: The CyberSec feature blocks tracking, malware, and advertising domains to improve privacy and page load speeds.
- 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.
- Huge server network: NordVPN offers over 5,400 servers in 59 countries. Additionally, it does not use any virtual server locations.
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.
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.
- User-friendly and reliable apps for all operating systems and devices
- Double-VPN and Tor-over-VPN servers
- No logs (audited twice)
- Strongest 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
- Split tunneling on desktop and mobile apps
- 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.
2. Surfshark – Cheapest VPN with fast speeds
|Based in||British Virgin Islands|
|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)
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.
3. Trust.Zone VPN – 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.
4. VPN.ac – Secure VPN that is cheap
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 (18)
- Great obfuscation features with many different encryption options
- Secure proxy browser extensions
- Minimal connection logs (no activity, erased daily)
- Does not work well with streaming sites
See the VPN.ac review for detailed test results.
5. VPNArea – Secure, fast, and low-cost VPN
|Support||24/7 Live chat|
Another reliable, cheap VPN service is VPNArea. While it may not get as much attention as other big-name VPN services, VPNArea does well in terms of performance and privacy features. It is a no-logs VPN provider based in Bulgaria, a good privacy jurisdiction.
In terms of streaming services, VPNArea currently supports Netflix and BBC iPlayer, but other services may work as well. VPNArea is a good VPN for torrenting, with dedicated P2P servers in many countries. With your subscription, you’ll get up to six simultaneous connections and accounting sharing is allowed.
VPNArea encrypts traffic with an AES-256 cipher and supports the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. The apps include a kill switch to prevent any VPN leaks. And like Surfshark and NordVPN, VPNArea also has an ad-blocking VPN feature. This is done through VPNArea’s DNS servers. Lastly, you can utilize a dedicated IP address as a feature add-on.
Refund policy: VPNArea offers a 30 day refund policy with one-year and three-year plans, and a 14 day refund window with one-month plans. The cheapest VPN subscription with VPNArea is the three-year plan, coming in at only $2.99 per month.
- No logs
- Good speeds and reliability
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services
- Anonymous payment options
- Strong security features, with self-hosted DNS
- Ad blocking
- Dedicated IP addresses available
- 24/7 live chat support
- Limited number of Netflix streaming servers (but still works well)
- Desktop apps feel a bit clunky
Check out the VPNArea review for more info.
6. VyprVPN – Reliable and inexpensive VPN in Switzerland
|Logs||No logs (audited)|
|Support||Chat and email|
Next up is VyprVPN, an inexpensive VPN service based in Switzerland. VyprVPN is a no-logs VPN provider with simple and reliable applications for all major operating systems and devices. It performed well in testing and offers some great features at a low price.
Like NordVPN, VyprVPN has successfully integrated the WireGuard VPN protocol into the service. We tested it out and were impressed with the speeds, with some locations over 300 Mbps. However, it was still beat in the NordVPN vs VyprVPN comparison in the performance category.
Overall, VyprVPN has a lot going for it. Here are some highlights from the VyprVPN review:
- Obfuscation features: The VyprVPN apps include an obfuscation feature to hide VPN traffic and get through VPN blocks. This is called the Chameleon protocol.
- Self-owned servers: VyprVPN owns all servers in its network and does not rely on any third parties for infrastructure. (However, VyprVPN does utilize virtual server locations.)
- Secure apps: The desktop and mobile VyprVPN apps include built-in leak protection settings (kill switch).
- Good for streaming: VyprVPN works well with streaming Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more. (Currently one of the best VPNs for streaming.)
While VyprVPN is a good cheap VPN service, I have found some drawbacks. There is currently no support for cryptocurrency payments and streaming support is somewhat limited compared to other options. When you signup, VyprVPN also requires you to use a full name, which is a drawback from a privacy standpoint.
Refund policy: All plans come with a 30 day refund window.
- Secure applications with strong encryption
- Excellent speeds with all servers tested
- Full WireGuard support directly in VPN apps
- Chameleon protocol (obfuscation)
- Self-owned server network
- User-friendly apps for many devices
- Audited no-logs policy
- Requires full name for registration
- No cryptocurrency payment options
See my review of VyprVPN for detailed test results and analysis.
7. 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 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.
Free VPNs vs Cheap VPNs
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. Even enterprise software, such as Microsoft Outlook, has been hit with attacks recently.
Low-price VPNs via 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.
What about renewal prices?
Many cheap VPN services 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.
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.
Lastly, at the other end of the spectrum are free VPN services, 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.
Cheap VPN Comparison Table
To finish up this guide, below is a comparison table of the best cheap VPN services. 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.
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. Here are the best cheap VPNs of 2021:
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This guide was last updated on July 22, 2021 with new info and test results.