In an era where online privacy is of paramount importance, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become an indispensable tool for users looking to secure their digital footprint. However, premium VPN services often come with a hefty price tag. Fear not, as we’ve curated a list of the best cheap VPNs that provide reliable security without burning a hole in your pocket.
A virtual private network (VPN) can be used to hide your data from hackers and other prying eyes. These networks encrypt your traffic so no one can see your activity.
Not all VPNs are created equal, however, and some can be quite costly. That’s why Forbes Advisor has compiled a list of the best cheap VPNs available today. Read on to find the right option for your needs and budget.
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The Best Cheap VPNs of 2024
- CyberGhost: Best for plug-and-play solutions
- Private Internet Access: Best for tech-savvy users
- Surfshark: Best for beginners
- TorGuard: Best for international travelers
- Hotspot Shield: Best for streaming
- VyprVPN: Best for security
- IPVanish: Best for unlimited connections
- Bitdefender Premium VPN: Best for remote workers
- Windscribe: Best free VPN
Features to Look for in Cheap VPNs
1. Security Protocols
One of the fundamental aspects of any VPN is its security protocols. Even with a lower price tag, a reliable VPN should employ strong encryption methods like AES-256-bit encryption to ensure your data remains secure during transit. Look for VPNs that support protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec for a balance of performance and security.
2. Server Network
While cheap VPNs might not boast the extensive server networks of premium services, it’s essential to choose one with a reasonable number of servers strategically located around the globe. This ensures better performance and the ability to bypass geographical restrictions effectively. A diverse server network also allows you to access content from different regions with ease.
3. No-Logs Policy
Privacy is a top concern when using a VPN. A no-logs policy means the VPN provider doesn’t store any user activity or connection logs, ensuring your online activities remain private. Opt for VPNs that clearly state and adhere to a strict no-logs policy to minimize the risk of your data falling into the wrong hands.
4. Device Compatibility
A good VPN should be compatible with a variety of devices and platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It’s also advantageous if the VPN supports router configurations, enabling you to secure all your devices at once. Look for VPNs that offer easy-to-use apps for different devices and operating systems.
5. Speed and Performance
While cheap VPNs may not provide the same blazing-fast speeds as premium services, they should still offer decent performance. A VPN that significantly slows down your internet connection can be frustrating. Look for user reviews and speed test results to ensure the VPN you choose strikes a balance between affordability and performance.
The Best Cheap VPNs
NordVPN is a well-known name in the VPN industry, and it also offers budget-friendly plans. With a vast server network spanning over 60 countries, NordVPN provides strong security features, including military-grade encryption and a strict no-logs policy. Its user-friendly interface makes it suitable for both beginners and experienced users.
Surfshark stands out for its unlimited device connections, making it an excellent choice for users with multiple devices. Despite its affordable pricing, Surfshark doesn’t compromise on security, offering AES-256-GCM encryption and a no-logs policy. The service also includes a built-in ad blocker and supports P2P file sharing.
CyberGhost offers an affordable VPN solution with a user-friendly interface, making it ideal for VPN novices. It has a sizable server network, strong encryption, and a strict no-logs policy. CyberGhost’s specialized servers for streaming and torrenting contribute to a versatile VPN experience.
Private Internet Access is a budget-friendly VPN known for its commitment to user privacy. With a vast server network, PIA allows users to connect securely from various locations. It supports multiple security protocols, including WireGuard, and has a no-logs policy. PIA is a solid choice for users seeking affordability without compromising on security.
Windscribe offers a free plan with limited features, but its paid plans are among the most affordable in the market. It provides strong encryption, a no-logs policy, and an ad blocker. Windscribe’s unique feature is its “R.O.B.E.R.T.” system, allowing users to customize their ad and malware-blocking preferences.
What is the best VPN?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best VPN for you depends on your needs and budget. However, after a thorough analysis of the best cheap VPNs available, we determined CyberGhost is the best option across many data points. It scored 4.6 out of 5 stars in our review.
Is a cheap VPN worth it?
A cheap VPN is a great option for those on a budget. However, you may experience some speed loss when using a cheap VPN. Additionally, cheap VPNs may not have all the features that more expensive options have. Overall, a cheap VPN is a great option if you’re looking to improve your online security and privacy on a budget.
Choosing a cheap VPN doesn’t mean sacrificing essential features. The VPNs mentioned above strike a balance between affordability and functionality, providing users with robust security, privacy, and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions. Before making a decision, consider your specific needs, such as the number of devices you’ll be connecting or the regions you want to access.
With the right cheap VPN, you can enjoy a secure and private online experience without breaking the bank. Your digital privacy is worth the investment, even if it’s a budget-friendly one.