5 Best Cheap (Yet Reliable) VPNs in 2021 — Less Than $4
Money-Saving Tip: You can sign up for a long-term VPN subscription to get the cheapest price. Don’t worry about being locked in if you change your mind later. Every VPN on this page has a 30 to 45-day money-back guarantee.
There are hundreds of cheap VPNs on the market, but I’m always suspicious of whether they’re actually any good. The last thing I want is to pay for a VPN (even if it’s cheap) and find out that it’s slow, unsafe, or simply doesn’t work.
To save you from wasting your time, I tested and ranked 50+ low-priced VPNs to find the top 5 cheap VPNs for 2021. If you’re short on time and want the test results right away, CyberGhost is the #1 cheap VPN with the best range of premium features at an exceptionally low price.
You don’t have to take my word for it though. CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it yourself without risking any of your hard-earned cash.
Quick Guide: 5 Best Cheap VPNs (All Under $4) in 2021
- CyberGhost — ($2.25/month) Optimized streaming servers for major platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more.
- Private Internet Access (PIA) — ($2.59/month) Open-source code for more transparency, but based in the US (a part of the 5 Eyes intelligence sharing alliances).
- VyprVPN — ($2.50/month) Independent server ownership for increased security, but has slower speeds than any other VPN on the list.
- PrivateVPN — ($3.82/month) 21+ Netflix servers around the world, but a limited server network overall (only 150+ servers).
- HMA — ($2.99/month) IP Shuffle keeps you safe from trackers, but torrenting isn’t supported.
5 Best Affordable VPNs (Updated in May 2021)
- Offers short and long-term plans
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- 6800+ global servers in 90 countries
- No bandwidth caps
- Secure up to 7 devices at once
CyberGhost is a fantastic low-priced VPN for torrenting and streaming. This provider has more servers than most other premium VPNs, so you’re guaranteed a fast and secure connection to the country you want.
You’ll get access to 70+ dedicated P2P servers optimized for downloading torrents. I tested these servers for myself and got speeds of over 72 Mbps on average. Plus I was able to download a 2.6GB movie in under 5 minutes! It’s also easy to unblock content from around the world with CyberGhost’s optimized streaming servers. These servers are designed to connect you to platforms like Netflix US, Eurosport, and ARD (plus many more). When I tested CyberGhost with Netflix, buffering took 5-10 seconds — but I had zero interruptions once my TV show loaded.
Unlike other VPNs on this list, CyberGhost offers a long 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it for over a month completely risk-free. I can confirm that getting a full refund is a hassle-free process as I tested this for myself. All you have to do is contact customer support through live chat and answer a couple of questions.
CyberGhost unblocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, SkyTV, HBO Max, ESPN, ZDF, Sling TV, Eurosport, Fox Sport, and more
CyberGhost works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Linux, Fire Stick, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Raspberry Pi, Kodi, LG Smart TVs, Apple TV, and Android TV
May 2021 Update: CyberGhost has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $2.25 per month for the 3-year plan (you can save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
- Choose from short and long-term plans
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 3,200+ global servers in 46 countries
- Limitless data usage
- Supports 10 device connections at once
If transparency is a priority for you, PIA is a good (and cheap!) choice as it has open sourced all of its client software. Open-source code allows independent verification to confirm there’s no malicious code running on any app or browser extension you use. PIA also offers customizable security features — you can choose from 4 different levels of encryption.
However, I got mixed results when I tested PIA with Netflix. 7 out of 11 times, when connected to a PIA server I couldn’t even load the Netflix homepage. For 2 of my tests, I could load the page, but I could only stream without seeing the Netflix proxy error message once (and I experience more than 15 seconds of buffering).
You can try PIA out with its 30-day money-back guarantee. To request a refund, contact customer support through the live chat.
PIA sometimes unblocks: Netflix and BBC iPlayer
PIA works on: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, Android, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
May 2021 Update! For a limited time only, save 77% on PIA's 2-year plan + get an additional 2 months free! Hurry and check out the deal here!
- Short and long-term plans available
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 700+ global servers in 60+ countries
- Uncapped bandwidth
- Use on up to 6 devices at the same time
While many VPN providers rent servers from third-parties, VyprVPN owns all its own servers. This means it’s in direct control of the server hardware and software so your personal data remains secure.
VyprVPN’s servers are pretty good at unblocking streaming services, including Netflix, Prime Video, and Hulu. I tested VyprVPN’s access to Netflix US, UK, Germany (and more) and apart from 20+ seconds of initial buffering, I could stream in high quality with no interruptions.
The biggest downside is speed. My average speed was below 20 Mbps (much slower than the other VPNs on this list), but still fast enough for basic browsing and streaming.
With its money-back guarantee, you can try VyprVPN’s independent server network for up to 30 days and check its streaming capabilities for yourself.
VyprVPN unblocks: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Eurosport Player, HBO Max, ESPN+, and more
VyprVPN works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire Stick, and Kodi
- Offers short and long-term subscriptions
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 150+ global servers in 60 countries
- No bandwidth restrictions
- Connect to up to 6 devices at once
PrivateVPN offers unique security features like Stealth VPN and an API proxy that you can use to avoid the Netflix proxy error or go undetected from a restricted network in countries like China. You’ve also got access to over 21 servers for Netflix alone (and over 20 servers for other streaming platforms).
I tested PrivateVPN with some of the most popular Netflix countries (like the US and UK) and all of them streamed in high-quality with under 10 seconds of buffering.
While PrivateVPN’s servers offer consistent speeds, it only has 150 servers (the smallest amount on this list).
You can try PrivateVPN for free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN unblocks: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, DAZN, ESPN, Sky, Sonyliv, Yle, and NBC
PrivateVPN works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Chromebook, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Fire Stick, and Android TV
- Best savings on longer-term plans
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 1,000+ global servers in 190+ countries
- No data limits
- Protect up to 6 devices at once
HMA is a well-price VPN with a lot of unique extras (like a free web proxy and WebRTC test) in case you need them. It also has an IP Shuffle feature which periodically changes your IP address to keep you safe from hackers.
Be sure to turn on the automatic kill switch when using this feature so your data doesn’t leak during IP changes. I ran DNS leak tests to check if the automatic kill switch actually worked — and HMA passed all my tests.
Sadly, HMA doesn’t support torrenting. If downloading torrents is high on your priority list I’d go with CyberGhost instead.
Make sure HMA is right for you (before you commit) with its 30-day money-back guarantee — and test its IP Shuffle feature for yourself!
HMA unblocks: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more
HMA works on: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Android TV, and select routers
May 2021 Update! HMA has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $2.99 per month with the 3-year plan (you can save up to 75%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it’s gone. See more information on this offer here.
Comparison Table: The Best Cheap VPNs in 2021
Although each VPN on this list is cheap, I compared each service according to 5 different factors to help you find the one that offers the best value for money. CyberGhost is the winner as it has the lowest overall cost.
|Lowest monthly cost||Money-back guarantee||Simultaneous device connections||Server number||Average speeds|
|CyberGhost||$2.25||45 days||7||6800+||95 Mbps|
|Private Internet Access (PIA)||$2.59||30 days||10||3200+||144 Mbps|
|VyprVPN||$2.50||30 days||5||700+||40 Mbps|
|PrivateVPN||$3.82||30 days||6||150+||91 Mbps|
|HMA||$2.99||30 days||5||1000+||76 Mbps|
What to Look for When Choosing a VPN
Although you want an affordable VPN, you don’t want to sacrifice any features that will give you a better experience. You should consider the following when you choose a VPN:
- Server speeds — How quickly can you download, stream, and browse? Is there any lag? Is the connection stable?
- Unblocking streaming services — Which services can it unblock and how reliably can it do so? Can it unblock popular streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Prime?
- Security features — Which encryption protocols are used? Are you protected from data leaks? How strong is the no-log policy? Which additional security features (like Tor servers or IP shuffling) are implemented?
- Customer support — How easily can you get help? Are the FAQs and guides available useful?
FAQ: Best Cheap VPNs in 2021
Are free VPNs really dangerous?
Using a free VPN isn’t always dangerous. However, I advise against using them since they:
- Have limited speeds and bandwidth, meaning long loading times and buffering when streaming
- Can have difficulty unblocking popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO
- Track and sell user activity and data, which makes you more vulnerable to identity theft
- Sell free users’ bandwidth to premium users
- Insert ads (and trackers) into web pages based on your user data
You don’t have to pay a lot for premium protection. Each VPN on my list is high-quality and affordable. CyberGhost reliably unblocks streaming services (like Netflix) and offers unlimited bandwidth, high speeds, and advanced security features.
Even better, every VPN on this list offers a money-back guarantee so you can try the service risk-free before committing to a plan. I tested this myself by requesting a refund through CyberGhost’s customer live chat — my refund was approved in minutes and I had my money back in less than a week!
Are cheap VPNs safe?
How safe a VPN is depends on 2 main factors:
- Jurisdiction (Where is the VPN company located?)
- Logging (Is any user activity stored by the VPN company?)
Various countries have formed intelligence-sharing alliances, known as the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes. Using a VPN that’s based in one of these countries is risky as the Eyes intelligence agencies are known to apply pressure to companies to get the information they want.
The VPNs from my list that are located in a 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, 14 Eyes country include:
- PrivateVPN — Based in Sweden
- Private Internet Access (PIA) — Based in the US
- HMA — Based in the UK
Of the VPNs on my list, only 1 has had issues with logs in the past:
- HMA — Handed logs to US authorities in a hacking case. HMA publicly states that VPNs are not to be used for illegal activity (such as torrenting copyrighted material) and that it will cooperate with law enforcement if served with a court order.
Will a cheap VPN slow down my internet?
Cheap VPNs are capable of reaching extremely fast speeds, as you can see in the table below. I tested 4 locations to see how my VPN picks compare. I’m based in Central Europe and my speed without a VPN is around 250 Mbps. Your own speeds will vary based on where you are.
|CyberGhost||49 Mbps||61 Mbps||97 Mbps||175 Mbps|
|Private Internet Access (PIA)||184 Mbps||133 Mbps||147 Mbps||114 Mbps|
|VyprVPN||18 Mbps||16 Mbps||113 Mbps||14 Mbps|
|PrivateVPN||66 Mbps||49 Mbps||161 Mbps||91 Mbps|
|HMA||62 Mbps||96 Mbps||88 Mbps||60 Mbps|
During my tests, every VPN (apart from VyprVPN) reached speeds fast enough to stream, download, and browse quickly and without interruption.
Want to test these speeds for yourself? Each VPN on this list offers a money-back guarantee so you can connect to the most important servers for you and see how fast they get.
Can I use a cheap VPN in China?
Yes, but not all of them will work. Only PrivateVPN can help you bypass online censorship in China. Remember that VPNs offer different server locations. If you’re trying to connect to a specific country, make sure the VPN you choose has servers there.
Is a yearly subscription really better than a monthly subscription?
All of my VPN recommendations are more affordable on a yearly rather than monthly basis.
For example, I did the math and you’ll save more than double the cost when you sign up to CyberGhost’s annual plan rather than buying its monthly plan separately. If you only need a VPN for a short period of time, a 1-month subscription may be worth it, but for the long-term annual plans offer much bigger savings. Before you make a decision on the length of the plan, I recommend trying the VPN for yourself with its money-back guarantee.
Is it safe to torrent with a cheap VPN?
Yes, it’s safe to torrent with every low-price VPN on this list (except for HMA). HMA has been known to contact users and inform them of DMCA takedown requests made by copyright holders. This means you get one warning before your account is permanently disabled. It won’t give your information to the copyright holder, but it’s still not a VPN I’d recommend for torrenting.
You Don’t Have to Choose Between a Quality VPN and a Cheap Price
All the VPNs on this list offer premium VPN features at extremely low prices. Of the VPNs I tested, CyberGhost is my top choice as it offers the best value for money. With reliably high speeds, thousands of secure servers, and access to multiple popular streaming services, it’s a VPN that covers all your needs. Try it for yourself with its 45-day money-back guarantee.