Our Top Picks

Atlas Logo
Atlas
4.5
  • Just $1.39 per month for a three-year term
  • Independent security audits
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Most Affordable
Visit Atlas
If you’re looking for a low-cost VPN, it’s tough to do better than Atlas. While their service costs $9.99 per month when paid monthly, you can get it for as little as $1.39 per month if you’re willing to commit to a three-year subscription. This plan also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll have plenty of time to make sure Atlas meets your needs. With the lowest available price of any VPN on this list, Atlas is clearly the most affordable provider in 2021.

To match some of the moves other VPNs are making toward transparency, Atlas went through an independent security audit and publicly released the results in May 2021. VerSprite, a leading cybersecurity firm, stated that the test “highlighted just a few medium-to-low risk issues, which proved fruitless to compromise the privacy of the users.”

As mentioned above, Atlas costs $9.99 per month when paid monthly or $1.39 per month when paid every three years. You can also get an annual plan for $29.88, which works out to $2.49 per month. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, and Atlas currently accepts Google Pay and PayPal along with credit cards.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Just $1.39 per month for a three-year term
  • Independent security audits
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Limited online reviews

What Customers Are Saying

While most of the VPNs on this list have received a decent volume of reviews, we weren’t able to find much feedback from either consumers or professional reviewers. If you’re interested in the platform, take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee to make sure it works for you before you commit to a paid subscription.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • 3 Years: $1.39/month
    • 1 Year: $2.49/month
    • 1 Month: $9.99/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    32 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.5
ExpressVPN Logo
ExpressVPN
4.6
  • More than 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Receives regular updates
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Most Locations
Visit ExpressVPN
With more than 3,000 servers in a total of 94 countries, ExpressVPN was an easy pick as the best cheap virtual private network (VPN) when it comes to servers and locations. While some VPNs demonstrate higher speeds than others in testing, it’s difficult to predict how a given server will perform for you. A wider range of servers gives you more options to find a strong connection or access content that’s only available in specific locations.

Furthermore, ExpressVPN regularly comes out with new releases of its apps for iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, Windows, browsers, and other devices and operating systems. Most of these changes cover simple bug fixes and compatibility updates, but some of them also add new features and functionalities. For example, ExpressVPN 10.6.0 for Windows was released on September 1, 2021, and introduced narrator and keyboard navigation to make the app more accessible.

ExpressVPN offers a single subscription with pricing dependent on the length of your commitment. It’s currently available for $12.95 per month, $9.99 per month for six months, or $8.32 per month for a full year. Those prices make it noticeably more expensive than many of the alternatives. Mullvad, for example, offers VPN access for 5 euros per month (roughly $5.90) with no long-term commitment.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • More than 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • Receives regular updates
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Expensive compared to the competition

What Customers Are Saying

Both users and reviewers are impressed by ExpressVPN’s range of servers as well as fast speeds and ability to get around most streaming service blocks. They also appreciate having the opportunity to pay with bitcoin, WebMoney, and other alternatives to more common payment methods like credit cards and PayPal.

Summary

ExpressVPN Logo
ExpressVPN
  • Starting Price
    • One month: $12.95
    • Six months: $9.99
    • 15 months: $6.67
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Not Provided
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    94 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.6
IPVanish Logo
IPVanish
4.5
  • 24/7 customer support through email, phone, and live chat
  • Offers bundles with backups or antivirus software
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Best Customer Support
Visit IPVanish
If you’re having trouble with a VPN, you don’t want to spend any unnecessary time in support queues or waiting for a response from the customer service team. IPVanish offers a thorough frequently asked questions (FAQs) section along with setup guides, troubleshooting help, and more, plus 24/7 one-on-one support through email, phone, and live chat. With such a strong set of support options plus strong reviews from both users and publications, we felt confident in selecting IPVanish as the cheap VPN with the best customer support in 2021.

Additionally, IPVanish offers bundles that include VPN services along with either backups or antivirus software. This is a great way to secure your internet traffic while also taking extra steps to improve your cybersecurity. They currently provide a total of more than 1,900 servers in 75 locations, but there’s no information about how many countries those locations cover.

Like most other contemporary VPNs, IPVanish has a single subscription with discounts available for annual commitments. You can either pay $10.99 for individual months or $89.99 for a full year, which works out to $7.50 per month. However, the annual plan is available for 50% off the usual price for the first year of your subscription.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support through email, phone, and live chat
  • Offers bundles with backups or antivirus software
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • No independent security audits

What Customers Are Saying

IPVanish users like the service’s fast speeds along with its support for activities that are restricted with some other VPNs. Subscribers can use an IPVanish connection to watch Netflix, create peer-to-peer (P2P) connections, and download files through BitTorrent.

Summary

IPVanish Logo
IPVanish
  • Starting Price
    • One month: $10.99
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30 Days for iOS Only
  • Support
    Live Chat, Email, and Phone
  • Number of Countries Available
    75 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.5
Ivacy Logo
Ivacy
4.4
  • Up to 10 devices per account
  • Bundled with 2 TB of cloud storage when you pay for two years
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Highest Device Limit
Visit Ivacy
Every Ivacy plan comes with up to 10 simultaneous connections, more than enough for the average person to install on all of their devices or even share with family or friends. It’s the cheapest VPN in 2021 for customers who need a higher device limit. Some consumers only need a VPN to protect a handful of devices — for example, you might install it on your desktop, laptop, and smartphone. In that case, you’ll be fine with a platform like ExpressVPN that limits subscribers to five devices. However, other users may be looking for a VPN that offers more with a single subscription.

Ivacy also stands out from the competition when it comes to cloud storage, offering a full 2 TB with each two-year subscription through a partnership with Internxt. At $2.45 per month when paid for two years, this is a surprisingly good deal for a VPN + cloud storage bundle.

Meanwhile, you’ll have to pay $9.95 per month to keep a monthly plan open. That’s discounted to $3.66 per month with the annual option or, again, $2.45 per month for a two-year term with free cloud storage. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to test out the service.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Up to 10 devices per account
  • Bundled with 2 TB of cloud storage when you pay for two years
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Free Lite plan appears to no longer be available

What Customers Are Saying

Ivacy customers report strong uptime and fast loading speeds when using the VPN to access the internet. They also have positive experiences with the built-in kill switch, which prevents your activity from being exposed when the VPN goes down.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • 2 Years: $2.45/month
    • 1 Year: $3.66/month
    • 1 Month: $9.95/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    Free Version Available
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    52 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.4
Mullvad Logo
Mullvad
3.8
  • Accepts cash, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and other alternative payment methods
  • Simple pricing scheme, no contracts
  • Independent audits
Best Payment Options
Visit Mullvad
With Bitcoin and other alternative payment methods becoming more popular, some users are looking for VPNs and other service providers that don’t require a credit card. Mullvad is the perfect option for this audience — unlike many other VPNs, they accept credit and debit cards along with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Giropay, PayPal, Swish, bank wires, and more. You can even mail them cash in an envelope along with your payment token. Mullvad currently accepts cash in the form of USD, EUR, GBP, SEK, DKK, NOK, CHF, CAD, AUD, and NZD. With that in mind, they clearly offer the best payment options of any of the cheapest VPNs in 2021.

Mullvad is unique for its incredibly transparent list of servers, which shows their current status along with other information such as the server’s speed and whether it’s owned or rented by Mullvad. They’ve also committed to annual security audits, with the last one taking place in December 2020. While that audit uncovered vulnerabilities, they have since taken steps to address those issues. It’s worth noting that none of the vulnerabilities included information that could potentially compromise user privacy.

Mullvad’s pricing system is simple — 5 euros per month (approximately $5.90), with no long-term commitments and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You don’t even need to provide an email address or any other personal information. The only caveat to that is that they offer a 10% discount for cryptocurrency payments to incentivize more private payment methods.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Accepts cash, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and other alternative payment methods
  • Simple pricing scheme, no contracts
  • Independent audits

Cons

  • Fewer servers and countries (779 in 38 countries) compared to ExpressVPN and some other competitors

What Customers Are Saying

Mullvad is still only a few years old, but it has quickly developed a reputation in the cybersecurity community. Security-focused reviewers appreciate being able to create an account and open a subscription without providing an email address, credit card, or other sensitive information.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • €5/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    No Free Trial
  • Support
    Email
  • Number of Countries Available
    36 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 3.8
NordVPN Logo
NordVPN
4.6
  • Advanced features like split-tunneling and multihop connections
  • Recent updates added several important features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Best Features
Visit NordVPN
Features like Tor connections, multihop connections, and split-tunneling might not matter to every user, but NordVPN is the top cheapest VPN in 2021 when it comes to these advanced functions. Split-tunneling allows subscribers to put some traffic through the VPN while leaving some unfiltered, while multihop connections make it easy to send your activity through two VPN servers instead of one. On top of these tools, NordVPN also offers 24/7 support, ad and malware blocking, two-factor authentication, and more.

Recent updates to the NordVPN Windows client introduced support for Japanese along with multi-factor authentication, referral benefits, location markers, and split-tunneling. While some of the other VPNs on this list mostly stick to minor releases, NordVPN truly goes above and beyond when it comes to client updates, and the platform has far more features today than it did one year ago.

NordVPN seems relatively expensive when you look at the monthly option, which costs $11.95. On the other hand, longer subscriptions are much more affordable on a per-month basis, with one year available for $4.92 per month and 27 months for $3.30 per month. This is advertised as $3.30 per month for two years “plus three months free,” but the monthly rate of $3.30 accounts for those three additional months. All plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Advanced features like split-tunneling and multihop connections
  • Recent updates added several important features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Victim of high-profile security breach in 2018

What Customers Are Saying

Most customers are happy with their experiences with NordVPN, but some still stay away from the platform due to its notorious 2018 security breach which was revealed in 2019. While the breach didn’t reveal any user credentials, the company didn’t publicly address it for nearly 18 months, which led to a major hit to their reputation in the cybersecurity industry.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • One month: $11.95
    • 2-year plan: $3.49/month
    • 1-year plan: $6.99/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Support
    24/7 Live Chat
  • Number of Countries Available
    59 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.6
Private Internet Access Logo
Private Internet Access
4.1
  • Both consumers and professional reviewers report strong speeds
  • Receives regular updates
  • Just $2.19 per month when paid for three years
Ultimately, there’s no way to predict how a given VPN or server will work for you. Individual performance depends on a variety of factors including your location, the strength of your connection, and what you’re trying to do. For example, one server might have a higher upload speed while others work better for downloads. That being said, we’re confident in naming Private Internet Access the cheapest VPN with the fastest connection speeds in 2021 due to its outstanding reputation across both professional testing and consumer reviews. You can get a full refund within 30 days of subscribing if you encounter any issues with the platform.

Private Internet Access has released a total of six updates in 2021, with most releases covering simple changes like design tweaks, bug fixes, and performance optimizations. With that in mind, you can at least trust their team to keep the VPN compatible with the latest releases of major operating systems like Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.

This VPN has a similar pricing scheme to Ivacy, with monthly plans available for $9.95 per month. That drops to $3.33 per month for annual subscriptions ($39.95 per month) or $2.19 per month when you pay for three years at a time. On top of credit cards and other conventional payment options, you can also open a Private Internet Access subscription with anonymous methods like cryptocurrencies and third-party gift cards.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Both consumers and professional reviewers report strong speeds
  • Receives regular updates
  • Just $2.19 per month when paid for three years

Cons

  • No Tor or multihop connections

What Customers Are Saying

Consistently fast performance stands out to us when reading through reviews of Private Internet Access. While every experience is unique, you should notice little to no change in connection speed after installing the Private Internet Access client.

Summary

Private Internet Access Logo
Private Internet Access
  • Starting Price
    • One month: $9.95
    • 2 years plan: $2.69/month
    • 1 year plan: $3.33/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    *30 Days Money Back Guarantee Only
  • Support
    Email
  • Number of Countries Available
    32 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.1
ProtonVPN Logo
ProtonVPN
4.4
  • Excellent free plan
  • Strong Linux application
  • Two paid subscription options
Best Free Plan
Visit ProtonVPN
Getting a reliable VPN for a few dollars a month is great but getting one at no charge is even better. While some free VPNs are unreliable, ProtonVPN is one of the top providers for both free and paid services. Their free plan comes with restrictions like a limited range of servers, a single simultaneous connection, and caps on speed, but it’s still the best way for users to get a VPN without spending any money.

It’s also worth mentioning that ProtonVPN recently released a fully featured application for Linux users, making them one of the more Linux-friendly providers on this list. While ProtonVPN had previously supported Linux with a command-line tool, their new Linux app makes it easier than ever for Linux users to install ProtonVPN.

While the ProtonVPN free tier stands apart from the alternatives, you might be interested in upgrading to one of the paid subscriptions. Basic ($4 per month paid annually) comes with more servers, two connections instead of one, higher speeds, support for torrents, and an adblocker. Plus ($8 per month paid annually) adds access to all ProtonVPN servers along with 10 connections, no limits on speeds, Tor connections, support for streaming services, and more.

These plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, but you should know that that guarantee only applies to unused service — if you cancel after 15 days, for example, you might only get back half of what you paid.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent free plan
  • Strong Linux application
  • Two paid subscription options

Cons

  • Deceptive money-back guarantee

What Customers Are Saying

Users on a budget are happy to have a platform like ProtonVPN that offers unlimited VPN bandwidth at no charge. They also like the more flexible pricing structure while most VPNs only offer a single paid subscription, ProtonVPN offers a basic tier for users with more limited needs.

Summary

ProtonVPN Logo
ProtonVPN
  • Starting Price
    • Free version available
    • $4/month for Basic
    • $8/month for Plus
    • $24/month for Visionary
  • Free Trial/Demo
    7-Days Trial
  • Support
    Email, Ticket
  • Number of Countries Available
    44 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.4
Surfshark Logo
Surfshark
4.1
  • Supports more protocols and ports than the competition
  • Receives regular compatibility updates and bug fixes
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Most Protocols
Visit Surfshark
Different VPNs use a variety of different protocols, with the most popular options including OpenVPN, WireGuard, and internet protocol security (IPSec). While every VPN on this list supports one or even multiple protocols, Surfshark is our choice for the cheapest VPN with the most protocols due to its support of the above protocols plus the transmission control protocol (TCP) and user datagram protocol (UDP) ports. With that in mind, it’s currently the best provider in 2021 for users who want full control over their VPN configuration.

Most of Surfshark’s recent updates cover bug fixes, compatibility updates, and other small changes rather than introducing any major features or functionalities. For example, Surfshark 3.4.0 was released for Mac devices in April 2021, but the main benefit of this release was simply to make the VPN client compatible with the new M1 chip. With that in mind, you can trust Surfshark to keep supporting the latest software and firmware, but we don’t expect any substantial updates in the near future.

Like the other VPNs we’ve covered, Surfshark offers significant discounts in exchange for longer commitments. You can currently get access to the platform for $12.95 per month, $6.49 per month when paid for six months, or $4.98 per month when paid annually. However, Surfshark is currently providing two years for the price of one as an introductory offer for new customers, bringing the cost down to $2.49 per month for the first two years.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Supports more protocols and ports than the competition
  • Receives regular compatibility updates and bug fixes
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • More expensive than most alternatives

What Customers Are Saying

While some users experience better speeds and reliability than others, most Surfshark customers are satisfied with the service. We also found positive feedback for the Linux command line tool as well as the browser extensions, currently available for Chrome and Firefox.

Summary

Surfshark Logo
Surfshark
  • Starting Price
    • One-month: $11.95
    • 24-month plan: $1.99/month
    • 12-month plan: $5.99/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    30-Day Free Trial
  • Support
    Email
  • Number of Countries Available
    63+ Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.1
VPNArea Logo
VPNArea
4.4
  • Dedicated servers available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Just $3.21 per month when paid every two years
Best Free Trial
Visit VPNArea
Speed tests can give you an idea of which VPNs are more likely to perform well, but the reality is that you won’t know how a VPN works on your connection until you try it. VPNArea offers an extremely generous trial, with seven days available for free and a 30-day money-back guarantee available after you commit to a one-year or two-year subscription. You can also get your money back within 14-days of signing up for a monthly plan, making VPNArea the best cheap VPN when it comes to refunds and free trials.

VPNArea also gives customers the unique option to add a dedicated private VPN to their subscription. With a dedicated server, you won’t have to share resources with any other users. This is available as an add-on for $40 to $88 for a two-year period depending on the type of server you want.

Access to VPNArea is available for $9.90 per month, $4.13 per month when paid annually, or just $3.21 per month when paid once every two years. While it isn’t quite the cheapest VPN we’ve covered, it still comes in well below some of the top competitors. You’ll have to commit to two years to get the lowest price but remember that you’ll be able to cancel for any reason within 30 days.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Dedicated servers available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Just $3.21 per month when paid every two years

Cons

  • No independent security audit

What Customers Are Saying

While VPNArea doesn’t come with as many servers as some of the other providers we’ve looked at, it’s still a popular option due to its low prices and reliable performance. They’re also satisfied with the platform’s support for P2P connections on the majority of servers.

Summary

  • Starting Price
    • 24 Months: $3.21/month
    • 12 Months: $4.14/month
    • 1 Month: $9.90/month
  • Free Trial/Demo
    7-Day Free Trial
  • Support
    Live Chat, Email, and Phone
  • Number of Countries Available
    70 Countries
Ratings
  • User Review Score 4.4

How We Chose the Cheapest VPNs

Whether you’re looking to stream region-locked content, avoid website trackers, or keep your internet activity safe from your internet service provider (ISP), a consumer VPN is the best way to get started. Fortunately, there is a long list of providers that offer reliable VPN services at an affordable cost.

With so many options out there, you may not know where to start looking for your next VPN. That’s why we did the work for you and tracked down some of the top cheapest VPNs currently available. We focused on these four features to help you find the cheap VPN that’s right for you.

Pricing

Needless to say, the first thing we looked for was a reasonable price tag. There’s no reason to overpay for a VPN when there are countless budget options that offer most or all of the same features and speeds.

Of course, that isn’t to say that there aren’t some functions that are worth a little extra money. ProtonVPN, for example, offers a free plan that comes with a small selection of crowded servers and significant restrictions on browsing speed. While that might be enough for some situations, most users will likely be better off spending a few dollars per month on a more robust product.

Device Support

Most VPNs offer desktop access through a website or dedicated application, but support for other devices varies widely from one provider to another. You might be interested in using your VPN on a mobile device running iOS or Android, or even on gaming and streaming devices like Xboxes, Fire Sticks, and Chromecasts.

Along with the range of supported devices, we also looked at each provider’s terms and conditions to find out how many simultaneous connections they offer. ExpressVPN limits subscribers to five connections at a time, while Ivacy doubles that figure with 10 simultaneous connections. That makes it a much more practical option for families and other groups who want to share a single VPN account.

Security

No matter what you need a VPN for, security should be one of your top criteria when selecting a provider. While it can be difficult to determine the security profile for a given VPN, we prioritized a few key factors to help you find a provider you can trust.

VPN security starts with basic tools like 256-bit encryption and two-factor authentication to secure accounts. Some providers offer even more transparency by submitting to third-party audits of their security practices.

While a long list of providers have claimed to provide a no-logs guarantee, some of those claims have been proven wrong in practice. Independent audits by reputable organizations are the best way for consumers to find out what their VPN is doing with their data.