Best Cheap VPN Services
With online surveillance and hacking becoming an increasingly worrisome issue these days, it is therefore increasingly important for people to protect themselves and their online profiles. Quite often, the use of a VPN will help a long way towards safeguarding the information you have online.
Most people, especially younger people, spend a lot of their time online and have made the Internet an indispensable part of their daily activities. Whether it is online banking and payment processors, or even online retailers that deliver right to your doorstep, our online exposure is not going to decrease anytime soon.
Another trend weighing in is the increasingly price conscious consumer. Indeed, with online price researching becoming increasingly common, consumers are able to truly get the most bang for their buck. Fortunately, VPNs are not something that break the bank, but there is always variation in any product class.
As with any competitive industry, there are quite a number of VPNs out there competing for your business. Some compete for the price conscious shopper, while others have opted to specialize in certain niche markets. In this article, we will be discussing a few of the best cheap VPNs out there.
Are Free VPNs Worth It?
As with most services, the bulk of VPNs out there come with a modest subscription. Even though it does not cost an arm and a leg, some consumers still try to avoid forking out their cash as long as they can help it. This is where the rise of free VPNs comes into play.
Free VPNs are quite popular amongst those who, understandably so, would prefer to save some money, all other things being equal. The thing is, all other things are never equal. One big problem with free VPNs is restrictive data caps that quite often will not even get you through an HD movie streaming, let alone 4K.
On top of that, the slow speeds that are inevitably associated with free VPNs might make it impossible to stream anything on your device without you being able to see the pixilation. Given that the whole purpose of streaming is to enjoy the visual display of whatever you are watching, this restriction seems to defeat the purpose.
But the most purpose defeating feature of all is the reputation of free VPNs to sell your log information to third parties without your consent. Since free VPNs do not make money from subscriptions, they usually make money from posting ads on the side as well as compromise the whole point of getting a VPN in the first place, which is information leakage.
VPNs In General Are Cheap
With that tidbit in mind, how much do legitimate VPNs actually cost? If they cost so much that they looked like another large utility bill, it would not be surprising that many people would shy away from VPN services. Fortunately, for today’s price conscious consumer this is definitely not the case.
Most VPNs have multiple subscription options. There is usually a monthly option, a yearly option, and sometimes a two-year option, with each option offering discounts the longer you subscribe for. When you break it down to a monthly basis, you will be hard pressed to find personal VPN services that comes into double digit territory.
It really is that reasonably priced. Now, there is a noticeable degree of price variation between VPN services, usually based on the quality of the service. But consider what is being offered to you for that subscription, which is the safeguarding of your online persona and personal information.
On top of this, just about all VPN services have periodic promotions that you can take advantage of, as well as free trial periods where you can test them out and see if it is a good fit for you. When it comes to VPN services, there is pretty much no downside.
Recommended Cheap VPNs
Having said that, everyone wants to get the best bang for their buck. So it does literally pay to do a good bit of research into the VPNs on the market before making your final decision. Here is a list of cheap and good VPNs that you might want to take a look at.
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
ExpressVPN is definitely considered top of the line when it comes to quality of service. The main differentiator for ExpressVPN is in its unparalleled fleet of servers around the world. Not only does it have more servers in the main markets, but it also has servers in places like Africa and South America that many other VPNs have thus far neglected.
Officially, ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. This is very important, because foreign governments such as the U.S. government will not be able to subpoena ExpressVPN and force it to compromise customer privacy and anonymity.
ExpressVPN offers servers from 160 locations in 94 countries around the world at a very fair price, which is far ahead of most of the competition. Not only does this mean you have more options when concealing yourself online, but in the event that the server you are using shuts down, alternatives are just a few clicks away.
This expansive network also comes in handy when maintaining streaming bandwidths. For this modest subscription, you will be able to stream videos and movies at high quality with the assurance that nothing short of Y2K is going to come between you and your entertainment.
Also included with your reasonable subscription is 24/7 customer support in a variety of forms. There is a very comprehensive troubleshooting guide for those who are independent minded, but there is also a live chat service, which means you are able to communicate with another human being at any hour of the day.
When it comes to pricing, you do get what you pay for in this case. It is true that ExpressVPN is noticeably pricier than most others, but it must be remembered how their services outstrip the competition, as well as the fact that when billed annually the subscription still amounts to just $6.67 every month.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
One of the coolest features of NordVPN is that the service allows six simultaneous connections, which is above the industry standard of five. This is especially good news for those of us who love going online with multiple devices at the same time.
NordVPN is based in Panama, which is important for this discussion as Panama does not have data retention requirements on its legal books. This further enhances the anonymity customers avail with a NordVPN subscription, as your virtual comings and goings will not be at risk of exposure.
One of the selling points of NordVPN is that it has one of the densest networks of servers in the industry, currently boasting a hefty 5,569 servers across 60 different countries around the world. The high density of servers per location enables NordVPN to be basically bulletproof and immune to any rare server shutdowns, as it has plenty of backups for their customer’s convenience.
With the minimum bandwidths offered by NordVPN, streaming will be a breeze. Moreover, having such a massive array of servers in so many locations means that in the rare event that a server goes offline, another is right nearby to take its place. So video streamers can sit back, relax, and enjoy their movies.
NordVPN has setup a very comprehensive and user friendly help page that covers just about everything. Not only do they have an all-encompassing FAQ section, but they also provide troubleshooting services, as well as direct access to billing information.
When it comes to pricing, NordVPN greatly rewards customers who get longer plans. Indeed, the three year plan reduces the monthly cost to just $3.49, which is less than a third of what you would pay for a monthly subscription. Another cool thing about NordVPN is that they accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
- Free trial? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: unlimited
- Ad blocking? Yes
- Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries
- No footprints
- Allows torrenting
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not the cheapest around
One of SurfSharkVPNs distinctive features is that it is able to stream Netflix. Many paid VPNs are unable to get through Netflix’s firewall, much to their customers’ disappointment. SurfSharkVPN is a welcome exception to this unfortunate rule and is keen to promote itself with this.
Like ExpressVPN, SurfSharkVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which is increasingly becoming a must in the industry in order to avoid the infamous Five Eyes intelligence alliance. Whilst an overseas territory of Britain, it is not subject to the treaty and therefore safe for VPNs to set up shop.
With over 800 servers covering 53 different countries, SurfSharkVPN is ahead of the industry standards in providing for as many global netizens as possible. This has enabled SurfSharkVPN to properly cater to their client base and will expand exponentially in the years to come.
SurfSharkVPN has quite a few unique features that other VPNs do not. One of them is its “whitelister”, which affords users the ability to exempt certain sites from being routed through the VPN. This can help greatly in optimizing bandwidth and gearing it towards what we really want, and that is a good HD video stream.
SurfSharkVPN avails its users with a very simple and standard layout with their array of options on the left of the screen in user-friendly fashion. Whether it is questions about the features of the VPN, or even just billing information, SurfSharkVPN is there for its customers. Not only that, but there is even a live chat feature for those who wish to speak to a person.
Although the monthly subscription does wade slightly into double digit territory, SurfSharkVPN is very generous with their loyal customers by offering a two-year plan that comes out at $1,99. This is definitely a service that appeals to the tech loving millennial.
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
Many top tier VPN services have decided to dispense with their free versions. This was on the back of massive reported abuse of the free versions by a variety of parties. However, ProtonVPN has opted to keep a free version of its services available so that users can try it out for as long as they need in order to feel comfortable purchasing a subscription.
Having been founded by the subsidiary of a Swiss company, ProtonVPN prides itself on being at the top of the security game, having chosen to make top notch security the main driver of its efforts, as well as one of its main selling points. They have been willing to take a hit on increasing the number of servers on its network, just so they can assure uncompromising security for its customers.
ProtonVPN has 474 servers in 36 countries, concentrated mostly in Europe and North America which can serve as a further niche factor in its market appeal. Being outside the Fourteen Eyes Network’s jurisdiction, this is a VPN that is definitely for the more cautious among us.
ProtonVPN carries with it impeccable streaming protection. Not only is it able to use the servers at its disposal to prevent any bandwidth disruptions, but the minimum bandwidth itself comes in at 1 Gbps, with most users able to access 10 Gbps bandwidths. In other words, you are free to stream away.
ProtonVPN has a very simple and comprehensive support section with all the main possibilities nestled neatly on a single page. General information on how the service works, as well as a troubleshooting service, is just a click away from being accessed.
Not as large as many of the VPNs mentioned, ProtonVPN has been able to secure its own niche at fairly reasonable prices. ProtonVPN is unique in that it has different price tiers not based on length of subscription, but quantity and quality of services provided. Put simply, if you want more, ProtonVPN gives you the option of paying more for it. There are a total of four price tiers including the free version.
- IP cloaking? Yes
- Unblock streaming? Yes
- Locations: Over 35 countries
- Devices supported: All major ones.
- Browser extension? Yes, Chrome and Firefox
- Live sports streaming
- Over 2600 servers
- Anonymous IP
- Limited customer support
Even though ZenMate is quite small in its scope compared to others on this list, they nonetheless have a very strict no-logging policy, something that many VPN services of its size have failed to do for want of revenue streams.
ZenMate comes to us from Germany, where a tradition of strict data protection laws make the provider intrinsically security oriented. ZenMate is able to provide its users with unlimited bandwidth, as well as some of the quickest connection speeds around, making it almost unnoticeable when in use.
ZenMate boasts several hundred servers spread over thirty international locations, mostly in Europe and North America. This inadvertently gives them the ability to cater to this niche of markets with very similar characteristics. ZenMate offers the industry standard of five devices for every subscription and is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, just to name a few.
The lightning speeds offered by ZenMate, as well as the wide range of device compatibility, means that it is able to cater to almost anyone who wishes to avail online anonymity, as well as your typical streaming junkie. Users do not need to worry about stream buffering as ZenMate has already got that covered.
ZenMate, due to the minimalist approach taken by its designers, turns out to be a very user-friendly system for people to use. All the relevant options are displayed directly on the main screen without any need to explore each tab individually to see what you need, which is very important for those elderly who tend to be less privy to technology.
ZenMate offers subscriptions that would generally place them in the middle range of the industry. However, ZenMate’s trump card is in the generosity it offers its long term subscribers. The two-year plan they carry drops the monthly cost down to just $2.05, making it one of the most affordable packages anywhere.
How Do I Choose the Right VPN?
For those of you completely new to the VPN space, here are a few pointers on how to choose the VPN that is right for you. The first thing to consider is what exactly you wish to use the VPN for. Depending on your online motivations, different VPNs might carry a comparative advantage.
For example, if you are dealing with very sensitive information, you might want a VPN that does not have that big of a server coverage or bandwidth, but has a security apparatus that is second to none. If you are a streaming junkie like millions of us are, whether or not we care to admit so, you should probably just look for raw bandwidth and firewall-proof capabilities.
Next, you should double check if the VPN you fancy is compatible with your device. This might seem odd, but there are quite a few VPNs out there that are not compatible with all the mainstream operation systems. Whatever the reason it might be for, this is definitely something you want to check through before putting down your credit card information.
Lastly, it never hurts to have a VPN with a user-friendly main page. Even if you are a tech whizz, is it really cool to have computer programs that require an engineering degree to understand?
Find the Best Cheap VPN Services Today
As we move into the future, the twin pincers of increased online harassment and price hunting will continue to flank the 21st century consumer. Luckily for them, having adequate online protection will not add to this worry.
At the end of the day, we are responsible for the actions we take and will bear the consequences, good and bad alike. Fortunately, VPNs empower netizens to stand up against those who wish to hurt them and take matter into their own hands.