It is generally believed that the price of the product is determined by its quality (or vice versa). When it comes to choosing the best VPN software, many people prefer to pay for a premium product, as they believe that a cheap VPN can’t provide the needed quality of protection.
To some extent, they are right: the majority of free and entry-level services either offer too little bandwidth, or cause severe speed drops, or can’t guarantee the needed security. And still, there are some affordable VPN products, which can compete with the industry’s leaders. Here is a list of the best VPN services that won’t drain your pockets.
The Best Cheap VPNs in 2018
A good cheap VPN service must meet several requirements.
- First and foremost, it must guarantee online safety and security. The best VPN providers keep no user logs and use advanced encryption methods.
- Secondly, it must have good torrenting and streaming capabilities, as file sharing and content streaming are among the primary reasons for using VPN.
- Finally, it must have a lot of servers in multiple locations to choose from.
We’ve reviewed dozens of VPN services to choose the best ones that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
- powerful capabilities
- fast and reliable
- excellent for streaming and torrenting
- no free trial
- a one-month plan is expensive
Though NordVPN is not the cheapest VPN service around, it is relatively inexpensive and very powerful. It offers a range of brilliant features for the ultimate protection and proudly claims a zero-logging policy. It uses OpenVPN security protocol that is considered the industry’s gold standard and strong AES-256 encryption for the maximum privacy protection.
Due to a lot of servers in various corners of the world and consistent speed, it is often considered the best cheap VPN for torrenting and streaming. Currently, NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that can unlock Netflix US. It means you’ll be able to access the world’s largest content library and watch your favorite movies in HD quality without any hassle.
When it comes to price, NordVPN can be a real bargain for active VPN users. Its basic price is $11.95 per month, but if you buy a 2-year plan, the monthly fee is reduced to $3.99, which is pretty good.
Private Internet Access (PIA)
- really affordable
- excellent encryption methods
- keeps no logs
- allows torrenting
- based in the US
- doesn’t unlock Netflix
PIA is a reliable, cheap VPN service that does its job well without making you spend a fortune. It has its own servers in 29 countries of the world and uses strong encryption to provide the maximum level of protection.
Unlike NordVPN, it can’t cope with Netflix unlocking but can be used for accessing torrent sites. The provider keeps no logs, which makes it one of the best cheap VPN services. On the top of this, PIA offers a variety of extra features, such as built-in malware protection and ad-blocking. The monthly price is just $2.91 if you buy a 2-year plan.
- servers in 141 countries of the world
- a lot of useful features
- speedy and powerful
- top-notch encryption
- some logs are kept
- doesn’t unlock Netflix
PureVPN is a great example of an affordable VPN for a hassle-free and secure internet browsing. This Hong Kong-based service covers 141 countries of the world, which is an absolute record in the world of VPNs. Among the strong points of PureVPN, there are advanced encryption methods and the support of multiple security protocols, including OpenVPN.
It is speedy and reliable. The availability of dedicated P2P servers makes it a perfect option for easy file sharing via torrents. It also allows streaming content from multiple platforms (except for Netflix). Needless to say, this is a full-featured product that offers a range of useful extras, such as split tunneling, DDoS protection, a firewall, and some others.
The only small complaint about PureVPN is its unclear logging policy – it does collect some logs but doesn’t share or trade them. The lowest current price for PureVPN is $2.95 per month (you need to buy a 2-year plan).
- speedy and secure
- allows streaming from Netflix
- a budget-friendly option
- torrenting capabilities are limited
- OpenVPN is not a default protocol
SaferVPN is one of the best cheap VPN services in terms of its speed and flexibility. Buying a two-year plan at the price of $3.49 per month, you get full-featured VPN software that is perfectly compatible with most existing platforms. It supports several security protocols, including OpenVPN but the latter is not a default option.
The streaming capabilities of SaferVPN are quite impressive: it copes with unblocking most popular content platforms, including Netflix. That said, it is not the best cheap VPN for torrenting, as it has the only P2P server located in the Netherlands. With 700+ servers in 36 countries of the world, SaferVPN is a decent option for everyone who cares about his or her online privacy.
On top of this, SaferVPN allows five simultaneous connections under one license, which means you can use it on several devices without having to switch from a PC to a smartphone and vice versa. The kill-switch feature protects you from occasional connection failures.
- packed with features
- great for torrenting and streaming
- fast and reliable
- 7 simultaneous connections
- a bit more expensive than others
- some features are excessive
CyberGhost is last but not least in our ranking of affordable VPN providers. Though it is not the cheapest option around, it is definitely one of the most versatile and flexible ones. It is one of the few VPN services that allow establishing of up to seven simultaneous connections! Availability of over 3000 servers around the world makes it suitable for most tasks resolving.
CyberGhost is one of the best VPN services for content streaming and torrenting. It is capable of unlocking Netflix and other popular streaming services while its state-of-the art privacy protection, great speed, and a zero-logging approach make it perfect for using torrents.
Apart from anything else, CyberGhost is literally packed with features; some of them are really useful and innovative. Thus, split tunneling adds convenience, availability of dedicated P2P servers are a godsend for active torrenters, and such features as an ad-blocker, an antimalware tool, etc. are just nice to have.
Currently, you can buy the 18-month plan of CyberGhost at an excellent price of $3.5 per month.
Are These Cheap VPNs Safe?
One always needs to keep in mind that the safety of any VPN doesn’t depend on its price. Basically, there are just two crucial things to consider: the provider’s jurisdiction and its logging policy. If a VPN provider doesn’t collect any user logs, it has nothing to reveal or share to anybody. It means it won’t provide your data to the authorities or anybody else even if it wants to.
Jurisdiction is the second thing that matters. Thus, if the provider is headquartered in one of the countries that are members of the Five Eyes Agreement (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand), there is always a risk of tracking by special services of these countries. VPNs located in neutral or VPN-friendly countries, such as Hong Kong or Romania are more reliable in this respect.
Cheap VPNs Red Flags
Alongside with quite a few trusted cheap VPN services, there are some fake options. When looking for an affordable VPN you can occasionally come across scammers that pretend to be a credible company. To avoid fraud pay attention to details.
- Discounts and low-cost options are great, especially if you can logically explain them. Thus, most providers offer impressive discounts to long-term users. But if the price is too good to be true, this is obviously a red flag. If they are ready to provide you their services at the price of less than a dollar, chances are they will earn their money on something else, for example, on trading your personal information.
- Credible companies have nothing to hide. You’ll find the information regarding their history, their mission, customer reviews, and expert opinions not only on the official site but on independent forums and sites. If you can hardly find anything or all the reviews seem too enthusiastic and unnatural, be cautious with this company.
The Bottom Line
It goes without saying that paid VPN software is speedier, safer, and more reliable than free products. But not all of the premium services are expensive. Some cheap VPN providers even outperform their premium counterparts.
The cheapest VPN software packs are available at the price of $2-3 per month if you buy a 1- or 2-year plan. Our top choice is NordVPN – an affordable but powerful full-featured VPN product.