VPN services, more formally known as Virtual Private Network services, have become more and more popular in the last few years. These providers offer consumers security, anonymity, and privacy while using the internet, whether through a browser or other internet service applications. By subscribing to a VPN service, and using their clients or apps, a user’s internet traffic is routed to a VPN server, in an encrypted format.
The VPN server decrypts the data, and assigns the user an outbound IP address (different from their true address), before passing the traffic to the intended destination server. Then the procedure is done again in reverse to get the data back to the user. It ensures government and ISP monitors cannot intercept or read your traffic, your true IP address is obscured from destination servers, and lets you spoof your location and get around geographic content restrictions, too.
All of these has to be accounted for financially, however, and while there are some limited free VPN services, most good quality, high-speed, unrestricted services are only available by monthly subscription. Prices can vary quite a bit from provider to provider. So, how good are some of the cheapest VPN providers on the market today?
Top 6 Cheapest VPNs in 2018
Below, we highlight 6 of the best, cheapest VPN providers on the market today. Basic information about the service, as well as the pricing plans, are explained for each provider so that you can compare the quality of their service offerings as a function of price.
NordVPN was founded in 2008, based in Panama. They are considered one of the top providers today regarding quality and value and appear near the top of almost every list of VPN reviews. Nord maintains a massive network of over 5,000 servers in 64 countries around the globe. They also have a clear commitment to user privacy, with one of the best, most straightforward “no logging” policies of any provider. Like most VPNs, they use standard AES-256 bit encryption, and support multiple connection protocols, and allow up to 6 devices per account.
They offer some additional features, including a double-encryption option, kill switch, support Netflix unblocking, torrenting, and streaming. Clients could be found to almost all key operating systems and are quite easy to use. Support is very good as well! And one of the biggest considerations for VPN users, speed, is near the top of the list with NordVPN – around 30 ms additional latency and only about a 20% hit to top download speed.
Surely, with such rave reviews, NordVPN can’t be one of the cheapest VPNs around, can it? Of course, it can! That’s why it makes our list of the cheapest VPNs! NordVPN subscription plans are available monthly for $11.95/month, on a six-month basis for $9.00/month, or on an annual basis for the low price of $6.99/month – that’s less than a quarter a day!
SaferVPN is a mid-range VPN provider, based in Israel and founded in 2013. They maintain 700 servers in 34 countries at present and continue to add more on an ongoing basis. While some anonymous data is logged, it is in no way related to consumer accounts or traceable as such – it’s purely for network performance management. Encryption is standard, along with several connection protocol options.
Their client and app offerings are extensive, covering all major systems. Torrenting function is limited to only a few dedicated servers, but streaming and Netflix unblocking work fairly well. Up to five devices could be connected per subscription account. Regarding speed, latency add is about standard (30 ms or so), and the max download speed hit is only around 30-40%, which makes SaferVPN one of the faster mid-range providers we’ve reviewed.
Pricing for the accounts bears out that it is one of the cheapest VPN service options as a function of quality. Plans are available monthly for $10.99/month, annually for $5.49/month, and biannually for just $3.29/month.
Trust.Zone is a smaller VPN provider, founded in 2014 and based in Seychelles. With only around 125 servers in 81 zones (31 countries) around the world, you might think they’re not worth considering, but you’d be wrong. In addition to standard encryption and a no-logging policy (as well as the very favorable jurisdiction in which they are based), the service offers full peer-to-peer filesharing/torrenting function, streaming, and Netflix unblocking (though the latter is not as reliable as some larger providers).
Up to 3 devices can be connected per subscription account. All of this also comes with very good speed, especially given their small size. The usual 30 ms or so of latency is added, but max download speed hit is only 25 to 30%, placing them on par or just below of some of the top tier providers. The main drawback to Trust.Zone is the small server base and limited customer support options.
Regarding price, they’re quite competitive. You’d expect a smaller provider like this to be among the cheapest VPN service providers around to compete, and with their speed performance, it makes them quite a compelling choice. They often run promotional sales and discounts so that prices can vary somewhat, but typically the subscription options include monthly at $6.99/month, three months at $4.95/month, and annually at $3.33/month.
Pricing plans are about what you would expect for a VPN of this size – that is, a smaller VPN is usually a cheap VPN. Subscriptions are available monthly for $9.99/month, every six months for $8.99/month, and annually for $5.99/month.
CyberGhost is a mid-size VPN provider that is based in Romania. They operate over 2,700 servers in 60 countries. Like other quality providers, they have a no logging policy that is fairly robust and protective of customer anonymity. The service uses standard AES-256 bit encryption and supports a bunch of different connection protocols. Their software clients and apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, and offer a lot of advanced configurable options for advanced users, while remaining easy-to-use for novices.
Torrenting, streaming, and Netflix unblocking are all supported, and up to 7 devices can be connected per account, which is one of the more generous offerings available. However, their speed is not amazing. The latency addition is around 30 ms, consistent with other providers, but the maximum download speed hit is 45 to 55%, which is pushing into the range where it can start to be noticeable in everyday use.
Still, CyberGhost is one of the larger mid-range providers, while still offering prices comparable to other cheap VPNs on this list. They offer subscription plans monthly for $11.99/month, annually for $4.99/month, and a three-year plan for the low, low price of $2.75/month!
PrivateVPN was founded in 2009, based out of Stockholm, Sweden. They currently have a server base of approximately 100 servers in 57 countries, placing them on the smaller side, but with a decent geographic representation at the same time. Standard encryption is used, and multiple connection protocols are supported. The logging policy claims no logs are retained, consistent with Swedish law, and we’ve found no evidence to the contrary in that regard.
The clients/apps are available for all standard systems, as well as some routers. Torrenting and P2P file sharing are fully allowed, streaming and Netflix are also fully supported, with unblocking working fairly well. Up to six devices could be connected concurrently per subscription account. Speed is not the greatest, however, with around 40 ms added to latency, and a download speed hit of 60 to 70% in some cases, which seems to vary quite a bit by server and location.
At the same time, PrivateVPN is a cheap VPN option to subscribe to, and all of their plans are some of the lowest-priced around. Subscriptions are available monthly for $7.67/month, quarterly for $5.25/month, or annually (with a free 13th month thrown in) for $3.88/month.
How to Choose the Best Cheap VPN
When choosing a VPN, whether expensive or cheap, it’s important to look at the features that are offered first and foremost, and price as a secondary consideration. The best cheap VPN options should stand up as good VPN options on their own, regardless of price. The bonus of being low-cost (compared to the competition) is just the icing on the cake. Users considering a cheap VPN should be sure to look at speed as a primary consideration – if you’re browsing or online services are going to be slowed to a crawl, saving $1 a month isn’t worth it, is it?
At the same time, logging policies, encryption, and related elements are important to consider, too – you wish to be certain that you will get the same level of protection as the most expensive VPNs out there if at all possible. Other features that are part of the service, such as torrenting, streaming, and Netflix must be considered, alongside the number of servers and number of countries, as this plays a role in geo-unblocking and gives a sense of the size/scope of the company, as well as the potential to switch servers if you run into speed issues or connection troubles.
Should I Choose an Expensive or Cheap VPN Provider?
As mentioned above, the price of a VPN service provider should not be the driving factor in the decision-making process. It depends on the features available, and how they related to price, as well as your individual needs. While some VPNs may be higher-priced, they may be essential, and seen as affordable, for some users who need certain features, large bandwidth or high download speeds, etc.
Others may find value in a smaller VPN provider, that may not have the fastest overall speeds, but be perfectly sufficient for the limited, internet-based browsing that they intend to use the service for. So it all depends on your needs, what you prioritize as important, and what the ultimate value is of the VPN service – features for the money – rather than a raw measure of subscription cost.
Based on all of the above information, our top pick for the best and cheapest VPN option is NordVPN, without a doubt. While the monthly subscription fee is not as low as some of the truly cheap and smaller size VPN providers on the list, they offer the top combination of speeds, servers, and features, at a very reasonable, low price.
For our money, we’d much rather have high-speed, reliable service with many locations and lots of features, and pay the extra $1-2 a month, than try to pinch pennies and be frustrated and disappointed. Compared to some top-tier providers, that can charge $9.99-$12.99 even for an annual plan, the $6.99/month price for NordVPN makes it the best cheap VPN option that doesn’t skimp on quality or features.
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