Monday, May 21, 2018

Best cheap VPNs of 2018 — what are your options?

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You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a great virtual private network (VPN). Lots of cheap services do the job just as well as their more expensive counterparts. However, getting a great deal often means paying up front for one, two, or even three years. Compared to a monthly subscription, this can save you more than 80 percent. 

Here are our picks for the best cheap VPNs around.

Best cheap VPN #1: NordVPN

cheap vpn

NordVPN is based in Panama and has over 3,350 servers in 60 countries around the world. The service comes with a lot of security and privacy features including IP and DNS leak protection, obfuscation, zero activity logging, and the best encryption protocols. You can also enable Double VPN that runs everything through two servers for extra protection, although the speed takes a massive hit.

Aside from its Double VPN option, NordVPN has demonstrated impressive speed in our review. Connecting to a server took an average of 10 seconds, and streaming video wasn’t an issue regardless of the server’s location. The service isn’t the best for gaming, though, as it suffers from high latency.

Read next: NordVPN review – one of the best VPNs you can buy

NordVPN offers a bunch of cool features like CyberSec, which lets you avoid ads and protects you from malware, phishing, and other online risks. There’s also a network kill switch available as well as an app kill switch that lets you set certain apps to automatically close if the VPN connection drops.

The monthly subscription is quite high at $11.95. Opting for a two- or three-year plan can get you a good deal. You can check out the pricing below.

  • $11.95 per month (one-month plan)

  • $5.75 per month (one-year plan)

  • $3.29 per month (two-year plan)

  • $2.75 per month (three-year plan)

Cheap VPN #2: Private Internet Access

cheap vpn

Private Internet Access, also known as PIA, has around 3,040 servers in 28 countries and allows for up to five simultaneous connections. It has a zero logging policy, lots of security features, and offers unlimited bandwidth. The service blocks ads, trackers, malware, and features good connections speeds.

PIA is controlled through a tray icon on Windows, which takes getting used to. We recommend it more for experienced VPN users who can easily find their way around everything. In addition to Windows, the service also works on Android, Chrome, iOS, Linux, and macOS.

On the plus side, it is affordable, setting you back only $6.95 per month. You’ll get the best deal if you sign up for the two-year plan, which brings the monthly price down to just $2.91 — see more plans below.

There’s no free trial available, but the company has a seven-day money back policy which comes in handy if you don’t like the service. Payment methods accepted include credit card, Bitcoin, Ripple, PayPal, and gift cards from various retailers including Starbucks, Best Buy, and Walmart.

  • $6.95 per month (one-month plan)

  • $3.33 per month (one-year plan)

  • $2.91 per month (two-year plan)

Best cheap VPN #3: PureVPN

cheap vpn

PureVPN is great for newbies because it takes the guesswork out of server selection. Once you’re up and running, you select one of the modes available: Stream, Internet Freedom, Security/Privacy, File Sharing, and Dedicated IP. Each mode brings up a slightly different dashboard and connects you to the best server available.

Let’s take the Stream mode as an example. There’s a “Purpose” bar available that lists various streaming services including Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Now, and many others. When you select the one you want to use, the VPN will automatically choose the best server for you.

Read next: PureVPN review

Based in Hong Kong, PureVPN allows up to five concurrent connections and has over 750 server locations around the world. It offers a lot of advanced features including antivirus, malware protection, and intruder detection and protection. There’s also an internet kill switch setting, which turns off the internet access if the VPN loses its connection, and a VPN Hotspot which provides a safe and secure connection for multiple devices. Speed is about average — not the fastest around, but not the slowest either.

PureVPN offers 24/7 customer service, but there’s no free trial available. The service offers a seven-day money back guarantee, although it comes with some weird conditions (less than 3GB of data usage or less than 100 sessions). It’s one of the cheapest VPNs you can get at just $1.91 per month on a three-year plan — see more info below.

  • $10.95 per month (one-month plan)

  • $4.95 per month (one-year plan)

  • $1.91 per month (three-year plan)

Best cheap VPN #4: CyberGhost

CyberGhost allows up to five simultaneous connections and gives you access to over 1,300 serves across the globe. The VPN works on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux, and offers unlimited bandwidth and traffic.

The interface of the Windows app is similar to PureVPN’s, with various modes like Browse anonymously, Torrent anonymously, Stream anonymously, and more. The VPN is especially great for torrenting, as the list of servers clearly marks the locations that allow for P2P file sharing. The speeds are great, but not above average. Still, you should be able to stream high-quality videos on sites like Netflix without any lag or buffering issues.

The service offers loads of security features including an automatic kill switch to turn off internet access if the VPN loses connection. There are also a few nice extras available like ad and malware blocking.

A free trial isn’t available, but CyberGhost offers a 30-day money back guarantee. The VPN goes for as little as $2.75 per month if you sign up for a three-year plan, while a monthly subscription will set you back $11.99.

  • $11.99 per month (one-month plan)

  • $4.99 per month (one-year plan)

  • $3.79 per month (two-year plan)

  • $2.75 per month (three-year plan)

Best cheap VPN #5: SaferVPN

cheap vpn

This is not only one the cheapest VPNs, but it is also one of the simplest VPNs out there. It’s also among the fastest VPN services we’ve reviewed so far, requiring only two to five seconds to connect to a server.

The service has all the features an average user needs including Auto Wi-Fi, which keeps your device protected when connected to a public Wi-Fi network, and a kill switch that blocks all internet connectivity if the VPN drops its connection. Its simplistic nature has a few drawbacks, the biggest one being that you can only choose a country to connect to, rather than a specific server.

Editor’s Pick

SaferVPN is based in Israel, offers 700 servers in 34 countries, and allows up to five concurrent connections. There’s a 24-hour free trial available as well as a 30-day money back guarantee. It works on Windows, iOS, macOS, and Android devices. You can also get your hands on a router with SaferVPN pre-installed to avoid installing the software onto all your devices — find the best ones here.

SaferVPN is a steal at just $2.50 per month, although a three-year plan is required to get the deal. There are also two- and one-year plans available as well as a monthly subscription, all of which you can check out below.

  • $10.99 per month (one-month plan)

  • $5.49 per month (one-year plan)

  • $3.29 per month (two-year plan)

  • $2.50 per month (three-year plan)

These are the best cheap VPNs available in our opinion, though there are plenty of others to choose from. Which ones would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments! Looking for an option for gaming? Check out our best VPNs for gaming guide.

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