A great VPN provider doesn’t need to be expensive. Some of the best VPNs can be very affordable, some can be bought through a special deal at a much lower price, although others can be demanding on your wallet, it has to be said. That’s not surprising when you consider that you’re paying for top-notch performance, security and privacy.
However, it’s definitely possible to get a good VPN provider and pay a relatively cheap subscription fee, and those are the services we’re pointing out in this article.
- Check out the best VPN services of 2018
Cheapest VPN providers in 2018
Best all-round VPN
Number of servers: 4836 | Server locations: 62 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 6
Not only do you get a rather affordable VPN with NordVPN (providing you avoid the monthly subscription), you also benefit from a service with excellent security. The provider offers a number of ‘Double VPN’ servers which route your data through not one but two separate VPN servers. There is also an option to send encrypted traffic over the Onion network for an additional layer of security, plus an automatic kill switch, and more.
NordVPN supports all kinds of platforms and devices with easy-to-use clients (or setup guides), and it allows P2P traffic. We found performance was very good too, delivering above-average speeds in our testing, and another plus point is that this provider has a ‘zero logs’ policy.
A definite bonus is the existence of a free 3-day trial to give the service a spin before you subscribe. Aside from the already mentioned (more expensive) monthly subscription, NordVPN is rather affordable, offering three plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The best value option is the 1-year plan, although at the time of writing, there is a 3-year deal which trumps it (which is only available for a limited period). The packages available are:
- [$11.95 a month] 1-month
- [$9.00 a month] 6-months - $54.00
- [$6.99 a month] 1-year - $83.88
- [$2.75 a month] 3-years - $99.00
Number of servers: 1000+ | Server locations: 60+ | IP addresses: 40000+ | Maximum devices supported: 10
If you’re aiming for a relatively cheap VPN with blazing speeds, IPVanish is probably the way to go. Our testing showed that this service delivered great performance levels on a consistent basis, and indeed our download speeds actually improved by a small amount.
IPVanish offers user-friendly apps for all the major platforms and devices, with manual setup instructions for the rest. The Windows client is particularly impressive and crammed with features, although we did stumble across a slight downside in the shape of the odd annoying network issue here and there.
Security-wise, the provider offers a broad range of protocols, while on the privacy side of things, IPVanish doesn’t record any online activity or connection data.
And so we come to the main drawback here, which is that IPVanish is a little pricier than the other budget-friendly rivals highlighted on this page. That said, you’re getting a top quality service, and TechRadar readers benefit from significantly lower prices courtesy of a special offer. All three subscription plans include a 7-day money-back guarantee, with the 1-year plan being the most affordable option. The packages available are:
Most affordable VPN
Number of servers: 450+ | Server locations: 100+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 5
If you want the absolute cheapest subscription price, then check out this Singapore-based provider. Ivacy is not only highly wallet-friendly, but also demonstrated great performance levels during our testing. Even over longer distances, we experienced smooth and consistent speeds with latencies that were better than average.
Security-wise, Ivacy uses multiple protocols and 256-bit encryption. There are also some additional advanced security features such as split tunneling, a kill switch, and Secure DNS.
Another slight fly in the ointment is that while the desktop software is fine, Ivacy’s mobile clients aren’t very good as they’re overly basic.
You have a choice of three subscriptions, and the 1-year plan is by far the most desirable – and indeed one of the cheapest plans you’ll see anywhere (you get an extra free year). Ivacy also offers refunds, but there are restrictions involved: you won’t get a refund if you’ve used Payment Wall or cryptocurrency for payment. The packages available are:
- [$8.95 a month] 1-month
- [$5.00 a month] 6-months - $30.00
- [$4.08 a month] 1-year + 1-year free - $48.95
Best option for unlimited devices
Number of servers: 516 | Server locations: 100 | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited
A generous free plan and the ability to use unlimited devices is what makes Windscribe really stand out. The provider offers clients for Windows and Mac, plus iOS and Android. You also get great browser extensions, which have some added extras like an ad blocker.
As mentioned, the main attraction here is unlimited connections, which means that you can connect as many devices as you like, which is a great feature that you don’t see often. Unfortunately, in our testing, Windscribe’s performance proved to be a little lacklustre, especially over longer distances. While it’s still perfectly usable, you probably won’t be satisfied if you value speed above all else.
Windscribe also has a smart free plan which offers a generous 10GB of monthly data (that’s certainly more than most other VPNs). Of course, there are some restrictions – you are limited to only one device, and there’s no OpenVPN configuration.
The plan selection is scarce, and apart from the free offering, your only other option is the Pro plan that comes with unlimited devices and data. You can choose to pay on a monthly, annual or biennial basis, the latter of which is cheaper. The packages available are:
- Pro: 1 month for $9.00
- Pro: 12 months for $49 ($4.08 per month)
- Pro: 24 months for $89 ($3.70 per month)
Good mix of price and performance
Number of servers: 700+ | Server locations: 34+ | IP addresses: N/A | Maximum devices supported: 2-5
SaferVPN offers lots of quality software clients, and the Windows app is a particular highlight. A simple interface means that even total novices will be up and running right away. There’s also a decent helping of features here, including a quick search and a system of favorites to bookmark your most-used servers.
SaferVPN manages its own network which definitely helps with performance, at least going by our tests in which we found speeds were pretty good even over longer distances – and we had a stable connection throughout.
SaferVPN supports IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP security protocols, but on the downside, this VPN records session data. While none of this is related to your actual online activities, SaferVPN still collects more data than we’d ideally like to see. Also, note that there is no P2P support here, unless you use Netherlands location.
The service boasts a free 24-hour trial with unlimited access to the full service. You can choose from three price plans, with the 2-year plan offering the best value. The packages available are:
- We’ve rounded up the best free VPNs of 2018
How to choose the best wallet-friendly VPN
A cheap VPN provider is no different to any other, really, in terms of what you’re likely to be looking for: tight security and good levels of privacy, with at least solid speeds on the performance front. And as ever, a wide coverage of devices and platforms with a range of user-friendly clients is welcome.
And because all of them require to pay the entire term when you join, we've also added lifetime VPN as well.