When it comes to making a purchase on just about anything, the most expensive product doesn't always equate to the very best in terms of functionality, appearance, and so on. The same goes for the best VPN, where some of our favorite services are actually some of the most affordable out there.
Surfshark is a great example of that, taking our number 1 spot for the best cheap VPN, but also finding itself in our top 3 for our overarching VPN buying guide. With a fantastic, accessible price point, these VPNs still pack a punch with all the premium features you'd expect to get from more highly priced providers.
All that being said - what is a VPN and what should you expect from the best cheap VPN.
An abbreviation of 'virtual private network', a VPN is the middleman between your device and the network its connected to. It utilises encryption and different protocols to safely get your data from A to B without being intercepted or read. The types of encryption and protocols live within each server you connect to, with a server allowing you to conceal your actual IP address and appear elsewhere, even on the other side of the world.
Servers are available, sometimes in their thousands, across a number of locations around the world on any one VPN provider, meaning a VPN is also the tool for you if you need to bypass any geo-restricted content. Whether you want to access Spotify and your school has blocked it, or you're abroad and want to watch Netflix as if you're back home, hop on a server in the right country and - hey presto!
The best cheap VPN allows you to dip your toes in if you're a newbie and still get the benefit from a full-fat product with a seemingly endless stream of features, that actually gives you the security a VPN is intended to.
From giving a boost to your Internet speed and sharing files via torrenting, to unlocking geo-restricted content, there are plenty of reasons a VPN is one handy tool to have - but it doesn't have to be expensive. That's why we've rounded up the best cheap VPNs for you to give a go.
Get our top 3 best cheap VPN providers
1. Surfshark – incredible value, plus three months free
Surfshark is simply the best cheap VPN on the market today. With performance that trumps many higher-priced services, it's affordable rates allow you to protect your private info and get streaming on any service you fancy. Why would you pay more?
2. CyberGhost – great streaming features for a bargain price
CyberGhost is an excellent provider that really impresses when it comes to price. You'll get access to 6,000+ servers and intuitive server filtering functionality. And, if it's not for you, you'll also have a class-leading 45-day money back guarantee.
3. Private Internet Access - amazing performance with a risk free trial
A long list of fantastic features, Private Internet Access also offers 10 simultaneous connections across a number of devices, each with a fantastic client to make the most of. Customers who go for the 2 Year plan also get Boxcryptor thrown in for free for more secure cloud storage.
The best cheap VPN options in 2021
Surfshark provides everything you need in one polished package for an almost negligible cost.
For that price, you get access to 15 regional Netflix libraries, 24-hour customer support and intuitive apps to use on all your devices. The standout feature, however, is that Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections so you can stay protected on all your devices with a single subscription. Not a lot of VPNs in any price range offer that.
With over 3,200 servers in 65 countries, there shouldn’t be any problem finding a quick connection to stream HD TV, and the no-log policy means you can browse the web safe in the knowledge that no one’s keeping tabs on you. And with a 30-day money back guarantee, you’ll get a refund if Surfshark’s not for you.
With few negatives to speak of, Surfshark is quite simply the best value cheap VPN available today.
With a great value long term contract, CyberGhost offers a little more than your standard VPN. Boasting torrenting support, ad and tracker blocking and automated HTTPS redirection, this VPN really does offer a lot of bang for just a few bucks.
It also allows a better-than-average seven simultaneous connections, and has recently cranked up its amount of servers to over 6,800 in more than 100 countries. Numbers like that put CyberGhost up with the big hitters, but it undercuts them with that well-priced longer contract.
There’s a free trial on offer – which can be tricky to understand the details of – and if it’s not for you, you’ll also get a 45-day refund period to make up your mind.
Quantity doesn't always mean quality, but with over 25,000 servers, you can certainly expect at least one of them to work efficiently and meet all your needs across one of Private Internet Access' (PIA) 77 destinations. That's what this provider is bringing to the table, anyway, alongside a whole boatload of superb features that make this a remarkable bit of kit.
From an exceptional performance from its WireGuard protocol to automatic blocking across ads, trackers and malware, PIA is ensuring security is at the top of its list of priorties. With an easy-to-use interface, too, you can make the most of up to 10 simultaneous connections with compatibility for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and more.
In terms of affordability, PIA offers great value for money, especially when going for its two year plan which offers Boxcryptor. In addition, PIA customers can make the most of a risk free 30-day trial period, all your money back if you're not satisfied.
For those with internet security as a top priority, VyprVPN offers great value alongside top-notch privacy functionality. Supporting multiple protocols – including L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, the proprietary Chamaeleon and more – means that you can choose your level of security depending on your needs.
VyprVPN also offers apps for pretty much every device you own and unblocks Netflix and BBC iPlayer reliably. The choice of protocols also means you can prioritise speed or security, and its confirmed no-logging status means that you can stay truly private online.
With over 1,600 servers across 75 locations, IPVanish is unique in that it owns all its servers and therefore sees more control over setting up and running its service. When it comes to a VPN that knows its field, then, IPVanish is certainly one of the top dogs. In turn, then, you can expect fantastic security and fairly competent speeds, with a whole host of encryption protocols including OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Welcoming a no limit on the devices you can load your VPN onto, IPVanish also offers the option of VPN services, or VPN and storage plans. If you need a hand, you can rely on reliable 24/7 support and get a 30-day money back guarantee on its annual subscription. Better still, you can save 50% on its annual plans if you're a new customer.
Of our top 5 best cheap VPN providers, it's worth highlighting that if you're getting a VPN more or less to stream, IPVanish probably shouldn't be your first choice depending on what you want to watch and where. While the service can successfully unblock Netflix and Disney Plus, it's unable to unblock iPlayer or Prime Video. If you want access to all of these, Surfshark is your best bet.
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