If, like a lot of people, you’re working from home due to the coronavirus, a virtual private network is essential for protecting your privacy online. Only problem is, a virtual private network can get pretty expensive. And with the global pandemic pinching more people’s pockets, paying more than a hundred dollars for homebound privacy protection doesn’t readily square with everyone’s priorities.
Never fear: It’s possible to find a cheap VPN service that can still reliably secure your internet connection. In fact, there’s more than one affordable VPN option on the market, for less than half the price of some premium VPN services.
If you’re looking for the best cheap VPN, here are three VPNs with cutthroat prices and strong security reputations.
- Number of servers: 1,000
- Number of server locations: 60
- Country/jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
- Cost: $2 a month or $48 for two years
Honestly, my personal preference for the best cheap VPN is Surfshark. Of the three, it’s the only service provider located in a country outside of US intelligence-sharing agreements, and it’s the fastest VPN you can find for the price. It’s very speedy with no leaks detected, lightweight but feature-rich and cheap without being chintzy. Plus, you can run every device in your house through it.
The upfront price is $10 more than the other two best cheap VPN services are asking. But, you get two years of service instead of one — and for a limited time, you can do even better than that by taking advantage of a deal that gives you three years for just $1.94 per month. It’s definitely worth the upgrade.
While Surfshark’s network is smaller than some, the VPN service makes up for it on features and connection speed. Let’s start off with the biggest win it offers: Unlimited device support. If you want to run your entire home or office on Surfshark’s VPN, you don’t have to worry about how many devices you have on or connected. It also offers antimalware, ad-blocking and tracker-blocking as part of its software.
Surfshark received generally high marks when its Chrome and Firefox extensions were audited for privacy by German security firm Cure 53 (full report) — though that audit was commissioned by Surfshark.
The company has a solid range of VPN app support, running on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, FireTV and routers. Additional devices such as game consoles can be configured for Surfshark via DNS settings. We particularly like the feature that allows you to whitelist certain apps and websites to automatically bypass the VPN. For some business uses, this can be critically important.
Surfshark also offers three special modes designed for those who want to get around restrictions and more carefully hide their online footsteps. Camouflage Mode masks your VPN activity so your ISP doesn’t know you’re using a VPN. Multihop jumps your VPN connection through multiple countries to hide your trail. Finally, NoBorders Mode “allows [you] to successfully use Surfshark in restrictive regions.”
Just be careful. Doing any of these three things could be illegal in your country and could result in severe penalties. During our testing, we saw no DNS or IP address leaks, and had no trouble accessing Netflix.
Private Internet Access
- Number of servers: 3,252
- Number of server locations: 52
- Country/jurisdiction: US
- Cost: $2.85 a month or $40 a year (two months free)
While we haven’t reviewed it recently, VPN provider Private Internet Access likely has the strongest reputation among the three best cheap VPN services on this list. Beloved by a loyal fan base, the VPN company has been around since 2010, swears by its no-logging policy and routinely offers new updates and features.
PIA does not release information on the number of IP addresses available for its VPN service, but at 3,252, its server count is more than any of our other cheap VPN picks. This recommended VPN provides 10 simultaneous connections, a connection kill switch feature (like the other two VPNs in this list) and some good online documentation and security guidance. PIA’s servers are also all friendly to peer-to-peer sharing if you’re into torrenting…….Read More>>