Anchorfree quietly extends subscription period of Hotspot Shield VPN to three years

Image credit: Anchorfree

US-based Anchorfree tweaked its VPN’s offering, Hotspot Shield, and has replaced its two-year plan with a three-year plan, keeping the monthly price down to $2.99 for a total cost of ownership of $107.64 over 36 months.

It joins NordVPN and VPN Unlimited as the big VPN providers that offer longer subscriptions. NordVPN matches Hotspot Shield’s price while VPN Unlimited undercuts it by about 10 per cent. Other vendors like ExpressVPN, Tunnelbear or VyprVPN prefer to keep things simple with a yearly or monthly subscriptions. 

Why offer a longer VPN subscription?

Longer subscriptions mean that you can lock your user for longer. Doing so reduces the user churn but also slashes the average revenue per user (ARPU) for the promotional period. Providers - VPN or not - usually hope that users will not remember switching after the initial period, when the promotion price no longer applies and the monthly subscription shoots up.

However, the cost of acquiring new customers - often paid as referral fees - often outweighs the drop in ARPU, the latter being the lesser of two evils. Hence why this move makes financial sense.

Expect more vendors to follow suit as intense competition is causing the global VPN market to mature as examplified by recent deals.

Anchorfree also revealed that it will increase its worldwide to 73 countries by the end of May 2019, up from 61 countries with 26 new city-level servers in the US alone - check out the best US VPN providers out there right now.

Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.