12 Best Cheap Monthly VPN Plans in 2023 — Pay as You Go
A month is a good length of time to see what a VPN can do for you. However, I found that per-month plans tend to be the most expensive option, so I set out to find the best way to get the lowest monthly prices for top-of-the-line VPNs.
To do this, I tested over 50 VPNs on affordability, security, privacy, and overall service quality and ranked the best ones. ExpressVPN topped the list as its monthly plan offers the best value for money. For as low as $6.67/month, you’ll get a lightning-fast VPN with advanced security features and world-class customer support.
Even better, all plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN risk-free. If you decide that it’s not for you, ExpressVPN will give you your money back, no questions asked.
Quick Guide: Best VPNs with Cheap Monthly Deals in April 2023
- ExpressVPN — The best VPN features independently-audited TrustedServer technology, ensuring consistent high performance and 100% data security and privacy. Try ExpressVPN today!
- Private Internet Access (PIA) — Highly configurable to suit every user’s needs, but data privacy may be a concern due to headquarters’ location.
- CyberGhost — Optimized servers make it one of the best VPNs for streaming, but the monthly option only comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
- NordVPN — Great speeds on every server, but the desktop interface isn’t very user-friendly.
- Surfshark — Budget-friendly, but inconsistent unblocking abilities.
- PrivateVPN — Provides access to most streaming sites, but the server network is small.
- IPVanish — unlimited device connections with a single account, but 30-day money-back guarantee doesn’t apply to the monthly plan.
- Ivacy VPN — Comes with a secure downloading feature, but the monthly plan is only backed by a 7-day money-back guarantee.
- Proton VPN — Offers a built-in ad-blocker, traffic router, and secure torrenting feature, but doesn’t offer refunds on monthly plan.
- PureVPN — Has competitively fast speeds at an affordable cost, but has a questionable privacy history.
The Best Cheap Monthly VPN Plans in 2023 (Pay as You Go) – Tested in April 2023
1. ExpressVPN – Audited TrustedServer Technology Guarantees Secure, Lightning-Fast Connections
- Lowest rate of $6.67 per month for a 1-year + 3 months plan (save up to 49%)
- 3000+ high-speed servers in 94+ countries for fast streaming, downloading, and gaming
- AES-256 encryption, kill switch, leak protection, and log4j vulnerability protection secures your data while online, plus TrustedServer Technology and audited no-logs policy ensures you stay anonymous
- Protect up to 5 devices at the same time
- 24/7 customer support via live chat, extensive knowledge base, and detailed video guides available
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN’s extensive global network, lightning-fast speeds, and advanced security makes it the best monthly VPN. All 3000+ servers are secured with TrustedServer Technology, which runs only on random access memory (RAM). While other VPNs write data onto a hard drive (rendering sensitive information vulnerable to hacking and seizure), RAM isn’t capable of storing data, ensuring that user information stays safe and private. The entire setup is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), which is reassuring.
As a frequent traveler, I often find myself having to connect to unsecured WiFi networks in airports, cafes, and hotels, so I need a VPN with advanced security features. ExpressVPN offers AES-256 encryption to keep internet traffic and IP addresses concealed. I wanted to check its ability to keep my IP address hidden, so I ran several IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests on multiple ExpressVPN servers; ExpressVPN successfully protected my IP address every time. I also looked further into the company’s privacy policies and discovered that it’s a zero-logs VPN. In fact, Turkish authorities have previously tried to retrieve user data from ExpressVPN servers and found nothing.
On top of securing my data, multiple tests on various ExpressVPN servers showed consistently fast speeds. My connection speeds never strayed far from my default of 104 Mbps, even while connected to servers far from my location in South America. With an average speed drop of just 12% (the lowest among all the VPNs on this list), I downloaded large files, joined Zoom calls, played ping-sensitive games, and streamed shows in HD without any issues. That said, I wish ExpressVPN had specially curated server lists for various streaming servers (like CyberGhost’s streaming-optimized servers). This would make choosing the right servers for each platform a bit faster. ExpressVPN also unblocks:
|Netflix||Amazon Prime Video||Hulu||Disney+||BBC iPlayer|
Another thing I like about ExpressVPN is the user experience. The app features a clean interface with a big connect button on top of a “recommended” server, which I found handy when I needed to connect as quickly as possible. ExpressVPN’s website also features step-by-step setup guides for installation, which proved useful when I needed to know how to use a VPN on a smart TV. While ExpressVPN doesn’t have phone support, it has 24/7 live chat. When I reached out to support via live chat, I was connected to a helpful agent who quickly understood what I needed and sorted out my request.
Though it’s slightly pricier than other services, ExpressVPN is still the best value monthly VPN considering all its premium features. You can even save up to 49% if you go for ExpressVPN’s 1-year + 3 months plan, which allows you to enjoy top-notch protection and consistently high speeds for just $6.67 per month.
All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN out for yourself risk-free. If you decide it’s not the right fit, you can always get a full refund. I tested how legitimate the money-back guarantee was by requesting a refund (via live chat) on the 28th day of my 1-month subscription plan. The support representative approved my request immediately, no questions asked. The money was back in my account in a week.
ExpressVPN works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromebook, PlayStation, Xbox, Linux, Smart TVs, Chrome, Firefox, and routers.
April 2023 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
2. Private Internet Access (PIA) – Inexpensive Monthly VPN With Customizable Security Options
- Monthly rates as low as $2.11 on a 2-year + 3 months plan (save up to 82%)
- Huge server network of 35000+ servers in 84+ countries prevents overcrowding, ensuring consistently good speeds
- Built-in ad, malware and tracker blocker adds an extra layer of protection online
- Allows unlimited device connections under one subscription
- Help available via 24/7 live chat, email support, and a comprehensive knowledge base
- 30-day money-back guarantee
At $2.11/month for a 2-year + 3 months plan, PIA is an inexpensive premium VPN option. It’s fast, easy to use, and comes with a nice set of security features (including an ad, malware, and tracker blocker) that are perfect for both newbie and advanced VPN users. It was also able to unblock the following platforms:
|Amazon Prime Video||Disney+||HBO Max|
While the default security options provide the highest levels of protection, PIA’s settings are fully customizable. During testing, I adjusted PIA’s encryption protocols for a quick speed boost, which is useful if you’re not sharing sensitive data. PIA also offers a built-in ad, malware, and tracker blocker called MACE that can be activated directly from the settings menu. Aside from the added layer of security, I liked not being bombarded by ads while watching videos or accessing websites.
With 35000+ servers in over 84 countries, PIA boasts the largest server network among all the VPNs on this list. The number of servers to choose from ensures that users don’t experience slower connections due to server overcrowding. Multiple speed tests showed an average speed drop of 45%. While 45% is far from ExpressVPN’s 12% and is quite a drop from CyberGhost’s 35%, I still got speeds decent enough for high-bandwidth activities. PIA’s low ping rates make it one of the best VPNs for Call of Duty: Warzone and other ping-sensitive games.
I was concerned about PIA’s level of privacy as it’s based in the US, a member of several intelligence-sharing alliances that record online data. I did a bit of research and found that PIA has actively demonstrated its commitment to protecting user privacy. When the Russian government asked PIA for user data, the company decided to pull out its servers in Russia instead.
If you’re looking for a VPN with powerful security features (or are simply tired of being bothered by relentless ads while browsing), PIA is a great option. Monthly plan costs $11.95, but purchasing a 2-year + 3 months plan brings the cost down to about $2.11.
If you’re unsure whether you want to commit long-term, don’t hesitate to try PIA out: it’s risk-free since all plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can claim a refund whenever you want (as long as it’s within the guarantee period). I requested a refund via PIA’s live chat feature, and it was approved after 4 days, no questions asked.
PIA works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, game consoles, Linux, Smart TVs, Chrome, Firefox, and routers.
April 2023 Update! You can subscribe to PIA for as low as 2.11$ per month + get extra 3 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 82%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here!
3. CyberGhost – Optimized Servers Ensure Fast Speeds for Any Activity
- Save up to 84% on a 2-year + 3 months plan for $2.11 a month
- 9736+ servers in 91+ countries, with optimized servers for particular user needs
- Military-grade encryption, kill switch, and a strict no-log policy ensures your data stays private
- Offers 7 simultaneous device connections no matter which plan you choose
- Customer support available via live chat and email
- 45-day money-back guarantee
CyberGhost offers one of the biggest monthly savings among premium VPNs on this list: at $2.11/ month, you can save up to 84% when you sign up for a 2-year + 3 months plan. For this price, you’ll be getting a high-speed VPN with a huge network of 9736 servers perfect for streaming and other high-bandwidth activities.
I could successfully access Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Comedy Central, Disney+, Europe1, and RTL play while connected to CyberGhost’s streaming-optimized servers. The gaming-optimized servers allowed me to play with my friends in a different region, while torrenting servers protected me from trackers and hackers while downloading files. These optimized servers are tested regularly by the CyberGhost team, so they’re guaranteed to work. Cyberghost also unblocks:
|Netflix||Amazon Prime Video||Disney+||BBC iPlayer||HBO Max|
Speed-wise, CyberGhost performed well: I got an average drop of around 39%. While that’s higher than ExpressVPN’s slowdown average, I didn’t experience major interruptions or slowdowns — I could still watch shows and movies in HD without buffering.
CyberGhost takes device security very seriously, providing military-grade encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, and an ad-blocker to protect your data. I ran leak tests and disrupted the VPN connection to check the kill switch — CyberGhost passed all tests to keep my online activity and my true location secure. It also takes data privacy seriously, maintaining a strict zero-logs policy for user data. That said, I’d like to see CyberGhost undertake an independent audit to guarantee this policy is accurate.
CyberGhost’s monthly rates are some of the lowest among the premium VPNs that I tested, especially if you consider all the top-notch features that it comes with. However, its one-month plan is a bit pricier ($12.99) and only comes with a meager 14-day money-back guarantee. If you’re sure that you only need a VPN for one month, you’ll save more by purchasing ExpressVPN or PIA’s one-month plan. To get the most savings from CyberGhost, purchase a 1, 2, or 3-year plan and use the generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
If you’re looking for a good VPN for streaming, torrenting, or gaming, take advantage of CyberGhost’s 45-day money-back guarantee to try it for free. If you decide that it’s not the right fit, just claim a refund within 45 days. After using CyberGhost for 30 days, I claimed a refund via live chat. A customer service representative approved my request within minutes, and I received the money in my account in 7 days.
CyberGhost works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Linux, Smart TVs, Chrome, Firefox, and routers.
April 2023 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.11 per month + get extra 3 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
4. NordVPN — Powerful VPN With Excellent Speeds and Strong Security for Android, iPhone, Windows, Mac, and More
- Monthly prices as low as $3.29 on a 2-year plan (Save up to 63%)
- 5456+ global servers in 60 countries
- Military-grade encryption, ad and malware blocker, kill switch, and specialty servers for downloading and extra privacy
- Protect up to 6 devices at once
- 24/7 customer support through live chat, online form, and email
- 30-day money-back guarantee
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market — and you can get super cheap prices when you sign up for a long term subscription. It includes thousands of high-speed servers around the world, powerful security measures, and excellent unblocking abilities.
Many VPNs can significantly slow down your device, so I was surprised when NordVPN offered excellent speeds on every server I tested. Even when I connected to servers in Australia (over 14,000km away!), my speeds were still fast enough to stream in UHD and torrent large files quickly.
There are over 5456 servers in 60 countries, so you’re always guaranteed a fast connection as you don’t have to compete with other users for available servers. The native apps make it easy to find the fastest server too — just click the “Quick connect” button on the top right corner, and the best server will be automatically selected for you. Alternatively, you can choose a specific location on the map interface (click once) or select a country from the server list (click on the country name, and then the “Quick connect” button on the pop-up tab).
I was particularly impressed with the high performance of every server I tested. I easily unblocked Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max on multiple servers in the US, UK, Canada, Spain, Japan, and more.
NordVPN can also unblock the following services:
|Disney+||Amazon Prime Video||BBC iPlayer||HBO Max|
I did, however, have issues with using NordVPN’s native Fire TV app. Although it worked and unblocked some streaming services, it sometimes had issues unblocking Netflix US and kept crashing. I also found that the user interface on desktop was much less user-friendly than ExpressVPN’s interface.
It’s not only streaming that NordVPN does well. If you’re a fan of torrenting, you can choose from thousands of fast P2P servers on the native app. In addition, NordVPN includes Threat Protection that protects you from viruses, infected websites, and trackers – and it works whenever you have the NordVPN app open, even if you’re not connected to a VPN server.
When you use a VPN, you’re entrusting it with access to your private browsing activities — and some of these activities can be highly sensitive. Fortunately, NordVPN takes data protection very seriously.
NordVPN has the following security and privacy features:
- AES 256-bit encryption
- A kill switch that cuts your internet access if your connection to a VPN server drops suddenly.
- Built-in ad and malware blocker, so you don’t need a third-party ad-blocker.
- Fully audited no-logs policy (audited by PwC) – NordVPN doesn’t store any personal or identifying data while you’re connected to the VPN.
As an extra safety precaution, I also ran leak tests to see if my IP address was truly kept private — and NordVPN passed every test. My real location in the UK was never exposed to any websites or apps that I visited. But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can try out NordVPN risk-free by using its 30-day money-back guarantee and see how well it works.
If you’re not completely satisfied, you can get a hassle-free refund by chatting to the customer support team over 24/7 live chat. It has plans starting at $3.29, cheaper than some of its top rivals, so it’s worth giving it a try.
I tested the refund policy myself. After using the service for 3 weeks, I contacted the customer support team over 24/7 live chat. It only took a minute to get my refund approved, and I got a full refund within 5 days.
NordVPN works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Chromebook, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire Stick, and Android TV
5. Surfshark — Budget VPN With Unlimited Device Connections
- Get up to 82 off of a 2-year + 2 months for just $2.30 per month
- 3200+ global servers in 99 countries
- Security features include: military-grade encryption, kill swithc, split tunneling, leak protection, and double VPN
- Connect unlimited devices simultaneously
- Contact customer support 24/7 through live chat, online form, and email
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Surfshark is a budget-friendly VPN with the cheapest monthly price on this list. It offers even better value when you share a subscription between family and friends, as you can connect an unlimited number of devices to a single Surfshark account. There are 15 devices in my household, so it’s a relief to know that I can secure them all without having to pay for multiple VPN plans.
When I first tested Surfshark, I was a little suspicious about its claim to support an unlimited number of devices. What you’ll often find is that speeds significantly slow down when you connect more devices to the VPN.
But I was surprised — Surfshark’s speeds remained fast even when I connected 3 devices at once. My speed dropped by 20%, which is a relatively small decrease and won’t make a huge impact on your overall speed.
This is good news if your household enjoys streaming as you won’t have to worry about significant drops in quality. Even if your speed drops with a lot of simultaneous connections, you should still be able to stream UHD-quality videos.
Surfshark has 3200+ servers in 99 countries, plus you’re able to choose specific city servers in 12 countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, the UK, and the US. In the US, there are 25 city-level servers to choose from.
Surfshark was able to successfully unblock Netflix in 10 different Netflix libraries in Australia, India, Italy, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Mexico, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United States.
I was less successful in unblocking Hulu using Surfshark, however. You can unblock Hulu with Surfshark, but it’s inconsistent. I found the best way was to use the GPS Override feature to change the home location in Hulu to match the proxy location. It’s a complicated process, and there are definitely better VPNs for unblocking Hulu, like ExpressVPN.
Surfshark can reliably access these streaming services:
|Netflix||BBC iPlayer||HBO Max||ESPN+|
|Amazon Prime Video||fuboTV||Eurosport||And More|
Torrenting is possible with specialty P2P servers available. When you launch a torrenting client like qBittorent or PopcornTime, Surfshark will automatically reroute you to the closest P2P server. I tested this feature, and it only took 2 seconds to switch servers.
Surfshark has the following security and privacy features:
- AES 256-bit encryption on all devices, with ChaCha encryption available for Android users.
- Wireguard VPN protocol enabled by default.
- Diskless, RAM-only servers to protect your privacy (no data can be physically extracted from any servers).
- Kill switch (although this isn’t enabled by default)
- IP and DNS leak protection
My biggest frustration with Surfshark was its faulty “Fastest server” feature. I ran a few speed tests and I was able to connect to a faster server 50% of the time. If you want the best possible speeds, I suggest choosing a server from the list yourself. There’s a circle icon that shows you how full each server is — make sure to select a server with fewer users for the best speed.
That being said, there’s no harm if you want to download Surfshark and try it out for yourself. Every plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test every feature before you commit to a subscription. If you like it, Surfshark offers excellent value for money at only $2.30 each month (and it could cost even less if you use a coupon to get a discount). It’s a great choice if you have a larger household as you can protect everyone’s devices at the same time.
Surfshark works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire Stick, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Android TV, Kodi, and selected routers
6. PrivateVPN – Powerful Server Network Provides High-Speed Connections for Reasonable Monthly Rates
- As low as $2.00 a month for a 3-year plan(save up to 85%)
- 200+ High-Quality Networks (HQN) in 63+ countries guarantees the best possible connection quality
- AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, and leak protection protect your internet traffic
- Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously under one plan
- 24/7 live chat, email and online resources available
- 30-day money-back guarantee
When I saw that PrivateVPN only had 200 servers, I was initially skeptical. But with a monthly flat rate starting at $8.99 that drops to $2.00 a month on a 3-year plan, I was pleasantly surprised to find that PrivateVPN offers a ton of value for its price point. It’s powerful enough to give you access to all your favorite streaming platforms without slowing your speeds down.
Testing showed consistently fast speeds across PrivateVPN’s global servers, with an average speed drop of around 35%. The speed stayed pretty close to my default — I enjoyed Spencer on Hulu in 4K while connected to one of PrivateVPN’s US servers. All servers are high-quality networks (HQN), which means it utilizes internet capacity (also known as bandwidth) directly from IP transit providers, ensuring that users get the best quality connections straight from the source. PrivateVPN also unblocks:
|Amazon Prime Video||Disney+||Hulu|
PrivateVPN passed multiple DNS, WebRTC, and IP leak tests. It also utilizes military-grade encryption and offers a killswitch feature to protect your data if your connection fails. These features are pretty standard, though (ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and PIA all have them), and PrivateVPN doesn’t offer malware or ad blockers.
PrivateVPN is one of the lowest-priced monthly options on this list. It’s a bit more limited in terms of features and servers, but I still recommend you try PrivateVPN risk-free for a month to test its impressive speeds and unblocking capabilities for yourself. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can easily cancel your subscription and claim a refund. I claimed a refund via live chat, and after being asked why I was canceling (I just said I changed my mind), my request was confirmed. After 5 days, the money was back in my account.
PrivateVPN works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Smart TVs, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and routers.
7. IPVanish – Enjoy Unlimited Simultaneous Connections for an Affordable Monthly Price
- Low rates of $3.33 per month for a 2-year plan (72% savings)
- Robust, high-speed network of 2000+ fast servers in 75+ countries
- AES-256-bit encryption, kill switch, and leak protection ensures your data stays safe
- Enjoy high-speed connections on an unlimited number of devices
- Phone, 24/7 live chat, and email support options
- 30-day money-back guarantee
IPVanish’s standout feature is its unlimited simultaneous device connections. For as low as $3.33 a month (if you subscribe to a 2-year plan), you can enjoy all of IPVanish’s benefits on all your household devices. This way, every member of your household can enjoy their favorite shows, play online games, torrent files, and browse the web all at the same time.
My connection speeds stayed fast despite my entire household being connected to IPVanish. I ran tests on various servers and got an average speed drop of around 35% — right in line with CyberGhost’s performance. The speeds would have made IPVanish perfect for streaming but sadly, IPVanish doesn’t work that well with most streaming platforms. While it’s one of the best VPNs to access Netflix, it didn’t work with Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, or DAZN. IPVanish also unblocks:
|Netflix||HBO Max||Amazon Prime Video|
IPVanish features a slick, detailed interface that gives you all the information to choose the best servers. The server details include load (how many users are also using the server) and ping (how quickly the server responds to requests from your device).
IPVanish used to offer a 7-day free trial, but it doesn’t anymore. They now offer a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, but only if you purchase a yearly plan. While its flat monthly rate of $10.99 is relatively cheap, I suggest you subscribe to the yearly plan if only for the money-back guarantee.
If you’re looking for a reliable household VPN, IPVanish is worth checking out. While signing up for a one-year plan might sound like too much (especially if you’re only looking for a monthly VPN), you can use IPVanish risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested it out myself by claiming a refund on my account dashboard. To my surprise, they offered me a free 2-month subscription just to get me to stay. After I denied the offer, my refund was finalized and after an hour, the money was back in my account.
IPVanish works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, game consoles, Linux, Smart TVs, Chrome, and routers.
8. Ivacy VPN — Low-Cost Monthly VPN With a Secure Downloading Feature
- Save up to 90% with a monthly rate of $1.00 (for a 5-year plan)
- Choose from 5700+ server options in 100+ locations
- Built-in secure downloading feature, AES-256-bit encryption, kill switch and leak protection
- Allows 10 simultaneous device connections
- Customer service available via 24/7 live chat and ticket generation
- 30-day money-back guarantee available for 1-year and 2-year plans
Ivacy’s flat monthly rate is affordable at $9.95, but its 5-year-year plan is an even better deal: at $1.00, you can save up to 90% on a considerably fast VPN with a good set of features, including the unique Secure Downloading.
Secure Downloading — Ivacy VPN’s version of a malware scanner and blocker — is an impressive feature from a low-cost VPN. This feature is accessible directly from the default screen. All I had to do was click a toggle, and everything I downloaded was scanned and protected from viruses and malware.
Ivacy servers had an average speed drop of 41%, which allowed for seamless streaming in HD. These speeds are perfect since Ivacy works with most major platforms, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. However, I experienced a significant drop in my upload speed (up to 80% at times) while connected to some servers. This made Zoom calls glitchy and caused noticeable lags when gaming. If you’re planning to use a VPN for gaming, PIA’s upload speeds and ping rates are much better. Ivacy also unblocks:
|Netflix||Amazon Prime Video||BBC iPlayer||Disney+|
|HBO Max||Hulu||Kodi||And More!|
One thing I don’t like about Ivacy is that its 30-day money-back guarantee only applies to the 1-year and 2-year plans. A meager 7-day money-back guarantee covers Ivacy’s monthly plan and only under certain conditions. I only needed Ivacy for a month, but I still purchased the 5-year-year plan — this way, I could request a refund up to 30 days after my purchase.
Overall, Ivacy is a good VPN choice for casual users and you can enjoy all of Ivacy’s features for a month, risk-free. I tested the legitimacy of Ivacy’s 30-day money-back guarantee by requesting a refund via live chat. My request was approved immediately, and the money was back in my PayPal account after 2 days. Keep in mind that if you pay with a credit card, it might take up to 40 days for the refund to appear in your account.
Ivacy VPN works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Fire TV, Android TV, and smart TVs
9. Proton VPN – Privacy-Oriented VPN With Flexible Payment Plans
- Affordable monthly rate of $4.99 a month for a 2-year Plus plan (50% savings)
- Huge network of 1700+ secure servers in 60+ countries
- Wide range of security features including military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, NetShield, Alternate Routing, and Secure Core Network
- Protects up to 10 devices simultaneously (Plus plan)
- Help available via an online support forum and a comprehensive support center
- Free plan available; 30-day money-back guarantee for unused portions of the service
If your main reason for purchasing a monthly VPN is anonymity, Proton VPN’s advanced security features are worth checking out. Its comprehensive Plus Plan starts at a flat monthly rate of $10 and goes for as low as $4.99 if purchased on a 2-year basis. The Plus Plan comes with impressive privacy features and streaming service support.
Thanks to its optional ProtonMail service, Proton VPN is the VPN of choice for journalists and activists to communicate securely; In addition to standard features like military-grade encryption, leak prevention, and a kill switch, Proton VPN includes some unique security benefits. I tested Proton VPN’s built-in ad/tracker/malware blocker called NetShield, a Secure Core feature that routes internet traffic through multiple servers, and a Tor over VPN feature that allowed me to access the internet through the Tor network.
During testing, Proton VPN’s Plus Plan subscription showed an average speed drop of 41%. This is a respectable benchmark for any VPN service and allowed me to use Proton VPN with most major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Now. Proton VPN also unblocks:
|Netflix||Amazon Prime Video||BBC iPlayer|
Proton VPN does offer a Free Plan, but it comes with minimal features. It only allows access to servers in 3 countries, can’t unblock any streaming platforms and offers very slow speeds (I saw a 90% from my baseline on average!). That said, it’s still a good way to try the service before you commit to any paid plans. If you need a reliable VPN for streaming, I recommend purchasing a 2-year + 3 months CyberGhost plan (only $2.11 a month).
I was disappointed to find that unlike the other VPNs on this list, Proton VPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee only reimburses you for the days you haven’t used. However, there are still 2 ways to try Proton VPN out for a month, risk-free: by signing up for the Free Plan or purchasing a flat monthly rate of $5 for the basic plan or $10 for the Plus Plan.
Proton VPN works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromebook, Linux, smart TVs, and routers.
10. PureVPN – Competitively Fast Speeds for Monthly Users on a Budget
- As low as per month $2.29 per month for a 2-year plan (79% savings)
- Choose from 6500+ high-speed servers in 78+ countries
- AES-256 encryption, internet kill switch, and leak protection ensure your connection stays secure
- Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously under one plan
- Live chat support, ticket support, setup guides, and FAQs are available
- 31-day money-back guarantee
At $2.29 a month for a 2-year plan, PureVPN offers fast connection speeds, industry-standard security features, and a huge network of servers at a competitive price point.
PureVPN’s speeds never dipped too far below my usual speeds, as repeated testing showed an average speed drop of 30%. However, it often took a couple of tries to find a good server that didn’t frequently disconnect. Once I did, I was pleased to find out that PureVPN works well with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, and many other platforms. The constant disconnection did ruin a couple of Splitgate rounds, though, so if you’re looking for a high-upload, low-ping VPN for gaming, I suggest using PIA instead. PureVPN also unblocks:
|Netflix||Amazon Prime Video||BBC iPlayer|
Security-wise, PureVPN has all the industry features I expect from a premium VPN: military-grade encryption, a network kill switch, and leak protection. I ran leak tests on several PureVPN servers — it managed to conceal my IP address every time.
PureVPN’s monthly flat rate costs $10.95, which is a bit steep for a VPN that you’re only planning to use for a month. Thankfully, it offers a solid 31-day money-back guarantee — try PureVPN out and cancel it if you’re not satisfied. I requested a refund via live chat on the 25th day of my subscription and the process took minutes. The customer representative told me they would pass on my request to the billing team for review and I got my money back after 3 days.
PureVPN works on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Android TV, Kodi, Firestick, Routers, Linux
11. ZenMate – Affordable Monthly VPN Packed With Useful Extra Features
- Offers a Free, Pro, and Ultimate plan; premium rates start at $1.99 a month for a 3-year + 3 months plan (86% savings)
- Reliable network of 4800+ servers in 81+ countries
- 128/256-bit encryption, leak protection, and kill switch keep your online activities private
- unlimited simultaneous device connections (for ZenMate Ultimate)
- Support available via ticket and email
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ZenMate’s most comprehensive offering, ZenMate Ultimate, starts at $1.99 a month if you purchase a 3-year + 3 months plan (flat monthly rate costs $10.99). It comes with useful features such as optimized streaming servers and stealth connection, so it’s worth checking out.
Like CyberGhost, ZenMate also offers a list of optimized servers. I managed to access Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO Max, but the experience wasn’t as smooth as when using other VPNs such as ExpressVPN or CyberGhost. My Netflix shows were often interrupted by buffering, and the quality wasn’t at its best. Repeated testing on ZenMate servers showed an average speed drop of about 81%, explaining the significant slowdown during streaming. ZenMate also unblocks:
|Hulu||Amazon Prime Video||And More!|
I liked the stealth connection feature on ZenMate’s browser extension — it automatically deletes all the browser history and session cookies that I accumulated while I was connected. This added another layer of security by wiping my browser clean after every session.
ZenMate offers a Free Plan, but it’s pretty limited (it has a speed cap of 2 Mbps). Meanwhile, the Pro Plan gives you access to all premium features but is only accessible as a browser extension.
If you’re thinking of testing it, try the ZenMate ultimate plan — at $1.99 a month, you can save up to 86% if you decide to continue past the 1-month mark. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee so even if you cancel, you’ll be refunded. I canceled my subscription by filing an online ticket on the website, and my request was approved, no questions asked. I got my money back after a week.
ZenMate works on: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromebook, Linux, Smart TVs, and routers.
12. VyprVPN – Budget Monthly VPN with a Commitment to Data Privacy
- Monthly rate for as low as $5.00/month on a 1-year plan (50% savings)
- Small but high-quality network of 700+ in 80+ countries
- AES-256-bit encryption, kill switch, and leak protection, plus perfect forward secrecy feature and third-party auditing of security practices
- Generous 30 simultaneous device connections under one plan
- 24/7 live chat, email ticketing system, and detailed FAQ page available
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Third-party audits are a great gauge of a provider’s commitment to privacy, so I was pleased to discover that VyprVPN is an independently-audited VPN available for a great price — just $5.00/month on a 1-year plan.
When evaluating VyprVPN, I considered its history. In 2018, VyprVPN hired Leviathan Security Group to do an independent audit of its privacy and security practices, the report was made available to everyone. The audit showed that VyprVPN does not keep any logs. To further prove its commitment to transparency, VyprVPN even participated in a Center for Democracy & Technology report (along with ExpressVPN and 4 other VPNs) by answering questions about their services.
Repeated testing showed great speeds for nearby servers — I was able to play games, stream videos in HD, and join video calls without any issues. On the other hand, connecting to a server on the other side of the world was completely different. Sometimes my speed would drop 70%, and I couldn’t finish a 15-minute video without buffering. For streaming, VyprVPN could unblock:
|Amazon Prime Video||Hulu||And More!|
If you’re not willing to pay upfront to take advantage of the best deals, VyprVPN’s $15 flat monthly rate might not be the cheapest option. However, purchasing a 1-year plan takes the monthly rate down to $5.00/ month (50% savings). VyprVPN plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can always try it for a month and claim a refund.
If you’re looking for a secure, audited VPN for a reasonable monthly rate, try VyprVPN for 30 days, and claim a refund if you decide that it’s not for you. VyprVPN’s money-back guarantee works: I claimed a refund via the live chat service. The representative asked me why I was canceling (I just said I don’t need a VPN anymore); my request was immediately approved. The money was back in my account in 3 days.
VyprVPN works on: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
Comparison Table: The Best Cheap Monthly VPNs in 2023
|Cheapest Monthly Rate||Average Speed Drop||Security features||Simultaneous device connection||Money-back guarantee|
|ExpressVPN||$6.67||12%||AES-256 encryption, kill switch, leak protection, TrustedServer technology, audited no-logs policy, Log4j vulnerability protection||5||30 days|
|PIA||$2.11||45%||AES-256 encryption, kill switch, no-logs policy, and ad, tracker and malware blocker||unlimited||30 days|
|CyberGhost||$2.11||39%||AES-256 encryption, kill switch, no-log policy, yearly transparency reports, and third-party internal safety process audits||7||45 days|
|NordVPN||$3.29||15%||AES-256 bit encryption, kill switch, leak protection, blocker for ads and malware, no-logs policy, based in Panama||6||30 days|
|Surfshark||$2.30||20%||AES-256 bit encryption, kill switch, split tunneling, leak protection, double VPN, no-logs policy, based in the British Virgin Islands||Unlimited||30 days|
|PrivateVPN||$2.00||35%||AES-256 encryption, kill switch, leak protection, no-log policy||10||30 days|
|IPVanish||$3.33||35%||AES-256-bit encryption, kill switch, and leak protection||Unlimited||30 days|
|Ivacy VPN||$1.00||41%||AES-256-bit encryption, kill switch, and leak protection, secure downloading feature||10||30 days|
|Proton VPN||$4.99||41%||AES-256 encryption, DNS leak protection, kill switch, NetShield, Alternate Routing, and Secure Core Network||10||30 days (pro-rated based on usage)|
|PureVPN||$2.29||30%||AES-256 encryption, internet kill switch, and leak protection||10||31 days|
|ZenMate||$1.99||81%||128/256-bit encryption, leak protection, and kill switch||Unlimited||30 days|
|VyprVPN||$5.00||51%||AES-256-bit encryption, kill switch, and leak protection, perfect forward secrecy feature, third-party auditing of security practices||30||30 days|
Testing Criteria: How I Ranked the Cheapest Monthly VPN Plans
I put 50 VPNs under rigorous testing to find the best ones with a cheap monthly payment plan. To ensure the highest quality and affordability, I checked each VPN against the following criteria:
- Cheapest monthly rates with a money-back guarantee — I took both the flat monthly rates and discounted rates into consideration to find the best value for money. I also made sure that every VPN offers a money-back guarantee that will allow you to claim a refund if you change your mind after subscribing.
- Fastest speeds for online activities — Each VPN is capable of streaming HD-quality video, downloading files, and performing your day-to-day activities (checking emails, online shopping, etc.) without interruptions. I also ran multiple speed tests to determine average drops and ping rates for high-bandwidth activities, like gaming and torrenting.
- Range of servers in different countries — I considered the size and quality of every VPN’s server network. I chose the VPNs that guaranteed many connection options and a large global network.
- Advanced security features — Each VPN has military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch to protect your data while you’re connected. I also looked for extra features like ad blockers and malware protection.
- Clear privacy policies — I included only VPNs with a clear no-logs policy. If a VPN goes above and beyond to put their policies through third-party auditing, I also considered that.
- Device compatibility and simultaneous device connections — All the VPNs on this list work seamlessly with popular devices and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. I also chose VPNs that offer generous simultaneous device connections to secure all your household devices.
- Reliable customer service — Each VPN offers various ways to reach out (at least two) and detailed guides for you to refer to if you have any questions.
How to Get the Best Monthly Deals on Premium VPNs
Since VPNs offer a host of important security and privacy features, many providers bank on the fact that you’ll need a VPN for longer than a month. Most premium VPNs offer at least 30-day money-back guarantees (CyberGhost even offers a guarantee for up to 45 days) to show how confident they are that you’ll find their service an important addition to your online life. They also offer huge discounts on longer-term plans to sweeten the deal — sometimes up to 90%.
Monthly plans cost less if you’re 100% sure that you only need a VPN for 1 month (all the VPNs on this list are within the average prices of $8 – $15 per month.) However, it will always be cheaper to use a VPN’s money-back guarantee — test the VPN using the money-back guarantee period, see if it’s something that you find value in, and enjoy the best deals on the VPN that suits your needs.
If you’re looking for even better offers, check out VPN providers’ websites for promotional offers. Lots of VPNs run one-time offers, especially during holidays.
FAQs: Best Cheap Monthly VPN Plans
What is the average monthly price for VPNs?
You can expect to pay between $7 to $13 for a one-month plan, and significantly less if you subscribe to a long-term plan. Make sure you choose a VPN with a legitimate, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee to try it out before committing long-term.
Keep in mind that some VPNs like CyberGhost, IPVanish, and Ivacy don’t have money-back guarantees available on their monthly plans. If you want to purchase a monthly plan risk-free, try ExpressVPN: all of its plans are backed by a legitimate 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy in confidence.
Is it worth paying for a VPN subscription?
Yes. Premium, high-quality VPNs come with benefits that make your online life more secure and private. It’s getting more difficult to protect your privacy online, especially when many third-party entities — including your internet service provider (ISP), website owners, and even your government — stand to gain so much from tracking your every move. A VPN ensures that all your web searches, your location, and the sites you visit are your business and yours alone.
As a frequent traveler, I use a premium VPN to protect my data from hackers and cybercriminals while connected to unsecured networks in cafes, airports, and hotels. A premium VPN also allows me to enjoy shows from streaming subscriptions I’ve already paid for, regardless of where I am. A top-tier VPN will deliver all these benefits without affecting your speeds or user experience.
Which is the cheapest VPN with a monthly subscription?
Ivacy is one of the best VPNs that you can get for cheap: as of April 2023 you can it for $1.00 a month, but only if you’re willing to pay for a 5-year plan upfront. Keep in mind that Ivacy’s speeds can be a bit erratic sometimes —if you’re looking for a VPN to use for streaming, I recommend you pay $2.11 a month for CyberGhost’s 2-year + 3 months plan — you’ll find more value in the optimized servers and faster speeds.
However, if you’re strictly planning to purchase a one-month subscription, I don’t recommend Ivacy or CyberGhost. Both VPNs’ monthly plans are pricier and backed by limited money-back guarantees (14 days for CyberGhost and 7 days for Ivacy). That’s a short time to test either service — if you find something that you like after the money-back period is done, you can’t back out. You’re stuck with it for the rest of the month.
For the absolute best value, try ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN’s speeds are consistently fast, even for high-bandwidth activities like gaming or torrenting, and all of its plans are backed by a solid 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide that it’s not for you, you can claim a refund — no questions asked.
Is it legal to use a VPN?
Yes – in most countries, it is legal to use a VPN provided you’re not using it for illegal activities, like distributing copyrighted content. As long as you follow the local laws in your location, you can legally use the reputable and secure VPNs on this list.
VPN use is heavily monitored and restricted in countries like China and Russia. Some VPN services are blocked in these locations as they won’t comply with government data retention and user identification. However, many visitors to these countries arrive with a non-approved VPN service and don’t face consequences. That doesn’t mean you won’t get caught and have to pay penalties, so knowing the local laws concerning VPNs before using one is worth it.
Can I use a monthly VPN for torrenting?
Yes, you can! Some of the best VPNs with monthly plans, like CyberGhost, even have dedicated torrenting servers. That said, regular servers will still encrypt your internet traffic so you can torrent safely.
Remember that using a VPN does not give you the license to commit illegal acts. Please consider your local laws before downloading copyrighted files without permission.
Which is the best monthly VPN to watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney+, and more?
The best VPN for watching Netflix and other popular streaming services is ExpressVPN. My team and I tested various servers around the world and found that ExpressVPN works well with Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, Disney+, Hulu, and even sports networks such as DAZN and ESPN+.
In my experience, I’ve found that in the rare times when a platform blocks it, ExpressVPN is quick to establish a connection to a working server – you don’t have to go without your favorite streaming platform for long! Their 24/7 customer support staff are also happy to suggest working servers so you can get connected quickly.
What are lifetime subscriptions, and should I purchase one of those instead?
Lifetime VPNs offer unlimited VPN access for a one-time fee. While unlimited VPN access sounds like a great deal, I still recommend purchasing plans from reputable providers. I have two main reasons: most VPNs offering lifetime subscription deals are relatively unknown, and the lifetime subscription profit model isn’t viable.
Running a VPN incurs a lot of running costs. This includes support costs, equipment, and maintenance upkeep, all the way to the cost of creating and running a website — it doesn’t come cheap. It doesn’t make sense for a VPN service to simply ask for a small, one-time fee for unlimited service forever. If you purchase a lifetime plan from these unknown VPNs, the best-case scenario is that you’ll get a slow VPN; the worst case is that your data will be sold to keep the service running.
Most VPNs I recommended offer cheap monthly deals for long-term plans anyway. Don’t risk your online safety for a lifetime VPN subscription of a shady service when you can get a 2-year + 3 months subscription of an award-winning VPN like PIA for as low as $2.11 per month.
Can I get a monthly VPN for free?
Yes, but I don’t think you should. Choosing a premium, reputable VPN ensures that you’re getting what you paid for. If not, it at least ensures that you can hold someone liable. Paid VPNs have a reputation to protect, so they will go to great lengths to ensure customer satisfaction.
On the other hand, decent free VPNs are so rare the phrase “good free VPN” is almost an oxymoron. VPNs that offer “free” services often have many issues, such as strict data or speed limits, few server options, or limited device accessibility. These services are akin to “free taste” booths in the grocery store — the goal is for you to pay for it eventually.
What about those VPNs that seem to offer unlimited plans for free? There’s no such thing as “free” in terms of online security — there have been reports of free VPNs injecting malware on devices and free VPN providers collecting and selling user data. Getting something for free isn’t worth it, especially if your security is on the line.
I recommend getting a top-tier VPN instead — you can use CyberGhost’s 45-day money-back guarantee like a free trial. This way, you can use it for up to 45 days and simply ask for a refund when you’re done.
Enjoy Premium Protection With a Cheap Monthly VPN Plan
Getting a VPN with a monthly plan is a great way to test the service before committing to a longer-term subscription. It’s also an excellent option if you’re on a budget, as it costs much less upfront to subscribe to a monthly plan.
While it’s tempting to opt for a cheaper monthly plan, you may find that lower-priced VPNs don’t provide the comprehensive coverage you want. Instead, I recommend choosing a high-quality VPN with a slightly higher price point like ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN offers top-tier security and privacy, fast speeds for your online activities, and a huge network of servers for global content access. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN on up to 5 devices risk-free — if you don’t feel it’s right for you, you can get a full refund within the 30-day money-back guarantee period.