Last Update: September 6th, 2016
Whenever shopping for something, we tend to look for the best possible deal and VPNs are no exception. In this article, I will cover the best cheap VPN services available on the market. As a consumer, it helps to get an understanding of what goes into running a legitimate VPN service. Paying $10 a month can be s steep price for some, especially families trying to make ends meet on minimum wages. However, running a network of servers on a global scale along with all the specialized workforce required is also costly.
More importantly, if you’re wanting to use a VPN to secure and privatize your data, you want to be able to trust and count on your provider. After all, you are placing all of your web data in the hands of a third-party, which could in turn be reselling it to others. I advise first time buyers to beware of new services offering dirt cheap packages or worse, lifetime access for a considerable amount of money. A VPN service that sells you lifetime access for less than $100 is likely to end up causing buyer’s remorse. The ‘you get what you pay for’ rule of thumb applies here, but it’s not to say that affordable VPNs don’t exist.
In my selection of low cost VPN providers, I took strong consideration in selecting reputable companies with a solid track record of providing reliable encryption and service. There are too many unknowns when it comes to new services on the market. Now, keep in mind, this is not a list of the absolute cheapest options. The selection is based on a strict minimum quality criteria that includes no logging, bandwidth speeds capable of video streaming, P2P friendly, and solid security with no peer reported leaks.
Before we cover the top cheapest VPN services, let’s touch base on free VPN options. There are very few providers that offer free service, but the ones that do naturally offer a stripped down version of their paid package. Usually limited on data usage, with slow bandwidth speeds. Additionally, server location is often restricted to one or few locations. Free VPNs rarely even fit the criteria of a service trial, since they are so heavily restricted on performance.
Opting for a cheap, but reliable VPN service goes a long way. Many providers offer their service for less than $5 USD a month on yearly plans. Think of it as the price of a couple coffees per month, is that really too much to pay for a good VPN service. You’ll get global coverage, access to restricted services like Netflix, unlimited usage, and great speeds. All while having piece of mind that your data is properly being encrypted and secured. Finally, you can always get a refund if you’re not fully satisfied, just make sure to check what the policy is in order to meet the deadline. I made sure that all services listed are known for honoring refunds, hopefully ensuring that anyone on a tight budget does not end up feeling like they got ripped off. However, I strongly believe the top listed affordable providers offer a satisfactory service with high value per spent dollar.
Cheap, Affordable VPN – Top Picks:
Price – $3.33 per month (One time charge of 39.95)
In terms of bang for your buck, Private Internet Access has been recommended on major message boards such as Reddit. For many years, PIA has had very little complaints on the security, or service end. Software clients for all platforms allows you to connect over OpenVPN 256-bit encryption, dynamic IP cloaking and NAT firewall protection. Thousands of servers are spread across 24 countries. P2P is supported and no logs are kept.
For just $3.33 per month, 5 devices can connect to a single account, enough to cover a whole family. You can always multiply that number by setting up your VPN server on your Wi-Fi router. PIA’s yearly plan is really hard to beat. Remember, the price of one or two coffees per month in exchange of unrestricted and secure web access! Whenever someone personally asks me for a cheap VPN suggestion, Private Internet Access is the first to come to my mind. A 7-day money-back guarantee allows you to test the service risk free.
Price – $5.75 per month (One time charge of 69.00)
If you can afford a bit more than $5 USD per month, I consider NordVPN to be the best bang for your money. As of 2016, the service costs $5.75 per month on yearly plans. The cost increased from $4 per month but only after having doubled global coverage from 25 to 50 countries, with more than 500 servers to handle a ton of users. NordVPN has great security features, a multitude of specialized servers, and their network speeds have considerably improved. Great for streaming and P2P torrents.
For the $5.75 cost per month on the yearly plan, up to 6 simultaneous devices can be connected to a single account, further accounting for value per dollar spent. Just as satisfying, NordVPN provides a no-fuss 30 day money back guarantee. If you’re not fully satisfied with the service, they will give you your money back, allowing you a full month trial with no risk.
Price – $4.99 per month (One time charge of 59.88)
As of 2016, PureVPN has slightly increased in cost, but the service has also grown and improved. They have increased server coverage to an impressive 141 countries, across 180 cities. They also offer advanced feature such as split tunneling which allows you to adjust how much bandwidth goes to each connection when using multiple devices. P2P is allowed on specific servers.
For $4.99 per month on a yearly plan, up to 5 devices can connect simultaneously. They offer a variety of add-ons but the basic VPN service is sufficient for a budget option. NAT firewall is not included but is mostly useful when using public Wi-Fi connections. If you happen to travel much, you may want to opt for it. If you need a bigger server list with more countries, PureVPN may be a better choice than PIA, and still coming in at just under $5 per month. However, beware that their refund policy is strict. Refunds are offered within 7-days of purchase, but users must have not used more than 3 gigs of data.
Price – $4.16 per month (One time charge of 49.95)
Another affordable option with a solid reputation is IronSocket. Their service offers a P2P torrent optimized VPN service + Proxy solution. Great for unblocking Netflix, and similar streaming services on a variety of devices. A smaller, but still very adequate coverage of 37 countries is offered across various regions, and save zones for P2P traffic are specified.
At $4.16 per month on a yearly charge of $49.95, up to 3 devices can connect simultaneously to a single account. Public Wi-Fi protection, and DNS proxy service is also included. Great support and setup guides make every penny of the service a very valuable investment for an individual or family on a budget.
- Standard VPN $1.54 per month (One time charge of 18.48)
- Torrent VPN $3.08 per month (One time charge of 36.96)
- Ultimate VPN $4.84 per month (One time charge of $58.06)
So far, all services listed provide each account the possibility to connect from 3 to 6 devices simultaneously. But what if you only need it for a single device? There is a vacancy of offers that cater to this market with the exception of Invisible browsing VPN. Since 2003, ibVPN has been providing a dependable service that is now made up of 100 servers across 43 countries and 63 cities. Torrents are allowed across 7 safe-zone countries, but where they differ is on their service plan offers. By offering single device accounts for basic VPN needs, users that don’t need more can save quite a bit of money.
You can pick a tailored package specifically for your needs, or opt for the Ultimate VPN offer, which provides all server locations, additional SmartDNS, and up to 3 simultaneous connections for a more traditional approach. As far a cheap VPNs go, ibVPN offers the Standard VPN package for as low as $1.54 USD per month on yearly plans. You can only use the account on one device at a time and access to 90 servers in 41 countries, but does not offer torrent supported server locations. If you plan on using a VPN specifically for torrents, they offer a plan at $3.08 per month, also restricted to one device, but only provides access to torrent friendly servers in 8 different countries.
If you’re on the fence, they not only offer an unrestricted 6 hour trial free of cost, as well as a 15 day money back guarantee, all they ask is that you provide feedback as why you chose to cancel service.
Summary – Cheapest VPN
So far, the top 5 cheapest VPNs listed can give you a great idea of what better choices are available at the moment. They all provide great performance and usage value for the cost, and have been on the market long enough to be considered dependable. To further narrow down the cheapest VPN service of them all, let’s have a look at the final cost per device, in order to determine the true cost of a shared account.
Winner: Private Internet Access
$3.33 per month divided by 5 simultaneous devices = $0.67 cents per device
$5.75 per month divided by 6 simultaneous devices = $0.96 cents per device
$4.99 per month divided by 5 simultaneous devices = $1.00 per device
$4.16 per month divided by 3 simultaneous devices = $1.39 per device
5th: Invisible browsing VPN
As low as $1.54 per device
These are not the only options available. There are some honorable mentions that are arguably just as good or marginally better than some of the listed services. Please feel free to leave additional affordable VPN service suggestions in the comments including the cost of service per month, and I will update the list with the best ones. If none of the options above appeal to you, below are additional low-cost VPN solutions with similar performance, global coverage, and no-log policies with P2P torrent friendly servers.
IPVanish has a solid service that now covers over 60 countries. Their shared IP system counts more than 40,000 IPs across some 500+ servers. They uphold a service promise of having great speeds for heavy bandwidth applications such as streaming or torrents, as well as fast routes for gaming and quick response times. If you’re not satisfied with the service, they back you up with a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Price – $6.49 per month (One time charge of 77.99)
5 Simultaneous Connections = $1.30 per device
A European based service that also pleased me during testing is AirVPN. I recently fired up another month of service for August 2016 and was glad to see solid performance as usual. The privacy-centric service provider offers advanced security and networking features, but is easy enough for any beginner to start using out of the box. You can visualize server performance a load directly from their website, as well as verify connection routes to find the best servers for your needs.
Price – $5.02 per month (One time charge of 60.26)
3 Simultaneous Connections = $1.68 per device
TorGuard offers a good price on their yearly plans and also allow up to 5 devices to be used per account. Beyond consumer plans, they also offer business plans with dedicated IPs and encrypted email packages. On the VPN consumer side, service is focused on torrent users, but offers advertisement and malware protection for a solid overall VPN service. More than 50 countries are covered worldwide.
Price – $5.00 per month (One time charge of 59.99)
5 Simultaneous Connections = $1.00 per device