The Best VPNs for Cheap 2024

See why Surfshark is the best cheap VPN for penny pinchers, why everyone should use NordVPN for streaming and gaming, and why Private Internet Access is great for torrent enthusiasts.
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Best Value Overall

4.9
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On Surfshark's website

Surfshark
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Best for Streaming and Gaming

4.9
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On NordVPN's website

NordVPN
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Best for Torrent Enthusiasts

5.0
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On Private Internet Access's website

Private Internet Access
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We determined that Surfshark, Private Internet Access (PIA), and NordVPN are the best cheap VPN services. Read on to discover why we favored these VPN providers based on their affordable pricing, useful features, and more.

In this article
The best VPNs for cheap
Surfshark: Best overall
NordVPN: Best for streaming and gaming
PIA: Best for torrent enthusiasts
Honorable mentions
Best cheap VPNs FAQs
Bottom line: The best VPNs for cheap
How we tested the best cheap VPNs

The best VPNs for cheap

We ran a series of VPN tests and checked out the features of Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN before determining they were our top three favorite picks. Surfshark was our best choice for the penny pincher on a budget who seeks a high-quality VPN, PIA is best for torrent enthusiasts, and NordVPN was our best pick for streaming and gaming.

Top 3 cheap VPN services compared 2024

Best Overall

Surfshark

NordVPN

Private Internet Access
Starting price Starts at $2.49/mo Starts at $3.39/mo Starts at $2.19/mo
Simultaneous connections Unlimited 6 Unlimited
Features Kill switch, double VPN, smart DNS, AES-256-GCM encryption, ad blocker Kill switch, double VPN, Onion Over VPN support, ad and malware blocker, dedicated IP addresses, obfuscated servers Advanced kill switch, double VPN, dedicated IP addresses, ad and malware blocker, port forwarding
Learn more Get Surfshark
Read Surfshark Review
Get NordVPN
Read NordVPN Review
Get PIA
Read PIA Review

The top picks in this article are all affordable VPNs rather than free ones. If you are considering a free VPN instead, read our article on the top five best free VPNs.

Surfshark: Best overall

4.9
Limited-time offer: 82% off + 4 months free
Learn More
On Surfshark's website

Surfshark
  • VPN technology offering stability and speed
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Works with Netflix and other streaming services
  • Headquarters in Nine Eyes Alliance

Who it’s best for

Surfshark is an affordable, secure VPN service that is reliable and secure with a wide range of features. It is ideal for the budget-conscious person seeking a cheap VPN provider but refusing to compromise on quality.

What we liked

Surfshark is the best VPN for the price because it offers a wide range of server locations to select from, allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, and is capable of unblocking and streaming Netflix libraries around the world without any lag, all without breaking the bank.

In addition, this VPN offers plenty of tools to keep your device secure. Surfshark uses AES-256-GCM encryption. Unlike AES-256, which only provides encryption for confidentiality purposes, AES-256-GCM encrypts and secures your data to remain confidential, but also verifies its authenticity and integrity. For VPN protocols, it uses WireGuard, which is a modern, fast, and secure tunneling profile (and it's faster than OpenVPN), as well as OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec.

Beyond a kill switch, split tunneling, and other common VPN features, Surfshark VPN's subscription plans also comes with the following:

  • Dynamic multi-hop (also known as a double VPN): Lets you connect to the VPN via multiple server locations at once.
  • IP Rotator: Changes your IP address periodically without disconnecting you from the VPN.
  • Smart DNS: Helps you unlock streaming U.S. content by changing the DNS addresses on your device from your local ones to Surfshark’s DNS servers based in the U.S.
  • CleanWeb: Blocks ads/malware and prevents phishing attempts.
  • Surfshark Alert: Notifies you when your personal information is leaked on the web.
  • Surfshark Antivirus: Protects against viruses, malware, and intrusive apps.
  • Surfshark Search: A zero-logs private search engine.

While Surfshark is headquartered in the Netherlands, a Nine and 14 Eyes Alliance country, it successfully passed an independent audit of its no-logs policy, which was conducted by Deloitte on December 2, 2022. As per its no-logs policy, Surfshark only processes minimal user information to maintain its services; it does not collect or store any data regarding your IP address, browsing activities, or internet traffic data.

Additionally, Surfshark accepts cryptocurrency payments, making it a viable choice for anyone seeking extra privacy. They also have responsive customer support that's available 24/7 via live chat or email.

What we didn’t like

Surfshark had some issues during our most recent round of testing. During our speed tests, Surfshark's download speeds dropped about 41% when connecting to a nearby U.S. server. Our download speeds with U.K. servers were faster, which is out of the ordinary as far as speed tests go. We were also unable to unblock Netflix Canada, but Netflix is always attempting to thwart VPNs, so this could change from one day to the next.

Surfshark specs

Price range $2.49–$19.99/mo
Free plan No, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a seven-day free trial
Number of servers 3,200+ servers in 100 countries
Number of connected devices Unlimited
VPN protocol WireGuard, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get Surfshark
Read Our Surfshark Review

NordVPN: Best for streaming and gaming

4.9
Limited-time offer: Up to 67% off
Learn More
On NordVPN's website

NordVPN
  • High-quality VPN offering safety and speed
  • Loads of servers for multiple connection options
  • Works with popular streaming services, including Netflix
  • Too many confusing plans

Who it’s best for

NordVPN is the best choice for streaming enthusiasts and gamers alike who want a fast, secure, and powerful VPN service that offers all the bells and whistles. NordVPN is packed with an extensive catalog of advanced security features like lightning-fast servers, Onion Over VPN, and more.

What we liked

We loved that NordVPN is an all-in-one VPN solution with the fastest VPN speeds on the market. It has the ability to unblock geo-restricted content on streaming platforms like Netflix*, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more all over the world.

NordVPN uses a unique technology called Meshnet, which lets you directly connect to other devices around the world and link up to a maximum of 60 devices, making it easy to host and join LAN parties — great for gamers. Additionally, it’s compatible with a operating systems and even routers, while offering an impressive number of features to keep your online traffic secure without compromising speed. But wait, there’s more! NordVPN also supports torrenting and P2P networking, which we appreciated.

With its next-generation file encryption features, NordVPN adds extra layers of security to help you keep your data safe. It also has a Threat Protection feature, which is blocks ad, trackers, and malware. And its data breach scanner checks to see if your sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) has been leaked. As you can see, NordVPN is packed with features.

*Netflix actively works to block VPNs, so a VPN that works with Netflix today may not work tomorrow.

What we didn’t like

One drawback we found with NordVPN is that its VPN cost can be more expensive in its upper range compared to other VPN prices. Additionally, NordVPN only offers its split tunneling features like “inverse split tunneling” for Android, Android TV, and Windows, as well as “app-based split tunneling” for Windows 8.1 and up, at this time.

Even though it isn’t the cheapest VPN on this list, we can surely agree that it offers more bang for your buck than Hotspot Shield or TunnelBear.

NordVPN specs

Price range $3.39–$14.99/mo
Free version No, but it offers a 30-day, money-back guarantee
Number of servers 5,000+ servers in 60 countries
Number of connected devices 6
VPN protocol IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, NordLynx (built around WireGuard)
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get NordVPN
Read Our NordVPN Review

PIA: Best for torrent enthusiasts

5.0
Save 82% on a 2-year subscription + 2 months free
Learn More
On Private Internet Access's website

Private Internet Access
  • VPN offering fast internet speeds and strict no-logs policy
  • Unblocks Netflix and other streaming services
  • Antivirus and dedicated IP address cost extra

Who it’s best for

Private Internet Access, also known as PIA, is the best VPN for torrent enthusiasts. If you desire a VPN service that has servers around the world and supports torrenting with fast speeds, strong encryption, and other advanced features will be pleased. Additionally, it's very affordable, coming in at a low cost of $2.19/mo if you select the two-year plan or $11.99/mo if you select the annual plan.

What we liked

We liked that Private Internet Access has servers around the world, is reliable and fast, and has robust features for online privacy and security. It's a fast VPN for torrenting, supports all popular BitTorrent clients, and has its own SOCKS5 proxy server. SOCKS5 is an internet protocol that Tor uses. Since PIA supports SOCKS5, it can send the traffic through the Tor network instead of sending it from your IP address into the open network. It also allows port forwarding (except in the U.S.), which boosts torrenting speeds.

To keep your device safe while torrenting, PIA offers AES-128 and AES-256 encryption; WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPsec protocols; a kill switch; split tunneling; and more. Some of PIA’s top features for privacy and security are as follows:

  • Dedicated IP addresses
  • Smart DNS
  • DNS leak protection
  • Email breach scanner
  • Antivirus protection (premium add-on)

What we didn’t like

While PIA has a plethora of great features to offer, we really didn’t like that it’s headquartered in the U.S. This means that PIA is part of the Five Eyes Alliance. Countries that are part of the Five Eyes Alliance have made agreements to share intelligence with each other. These countries include the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand.

In other words, your data can be potentially collected and shared, which is a privacy risk to consider, especially for torrenters.

Private Internet Access (PIA) specs

Price range $2.03–$11.99/mo
Free version No, but it offers a seven-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans
Number of servers Servers in 91 countries worldwide and 50 U.S. states
Number of connected devices Unlimited
VPN protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get PIA
Read Our PIA Review

Honorable mentions

If you're not sold on our cheap VPN picks, there are plenty of other service providers on the market.

  • CyberGhost: CyberGhost is a good VPN for beginners thanks to its user-friendly interface. It has the largest VPN server network on this list, with over 10,000 servers, and it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.

    Get CyberGhost | Read Our CyberGhost VPN Review

  • Atlas VPN: Atlas VPN is a budget-friendly provider from the parent company behind NordVPN. It even offers a free plan with a 5 GB monthly bandwidth limit so you can test out the service as long as you like. 

    Get Atlas VPN | Read Our Atlas VPN Review

  • ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is a great premium VPN for browsing the web securely, streaming, gaming, and torrenting. It has a no-logs policy as well, which is routinely audited by reputable third-party companies. 

    Get ExpressVPN | Read Our ExpressVPN Review

Best cheap VPNs FAQs


+

How much is a VPN typically?

According to Security.org, a VPN costs about $11/mo for a monthly plan, and annual contracts are about $5.12 when broken down monthly.[1]


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What is the best VPN service for the price?

Depending on your needs, it is ultimately up to you to decide what is the best cheap VPN for you.

If you want to connect multiple devices at once or get around geo-restricted or blocked content, Surfshark is the best VPN for the money. NordVPN is the best value VPN if you’re seeking a large network of servers and want to use its Onion Over VPN feature for torrenting. PIA is a strong contender for torrenting.


+

What is the best cheap VPN app?

Surfshark is the best cheap VPN app for a number of reasons. It is very intuitive and user-friendly, offers strong encryption, supports unlimited devices simultaneously, and is packed with more features that give you lots of bang for the buck for a very low price.


+

Is a cheap VPN worth it?

A cheap VPN is worth it if you’re seeking an affordable option that can do at least the bare minimum of protecting your identity and keeping your online traffic and data secure. Keep in mind that there can be some drawbacks to using a cheap VPN, like limited privacy and security features, a lack of servers, slower speeds, unreliable services, and poor customer support.

VPN services that are free or cheap may also make money from other avenues, like collecting your data and selling it to third parties. Be sure to check your VPN service’s privacy policy at all times before choosing it to ensure your privacy remains safe.

Bottom line: The best VPNs for cheap

We think everyone should be able to afford a VPN for encrypting their online activities. Our top VPNs for cheap are Surfshark for the penny-pincher who desires a high-quality VPN, NordVPN for streaming and gaming, and PIA for torrent enthusiasts. With these VPN subscriptions, you can protect your device and your personal data from hackers and other cyberthreats.

3 best cheap VPNs 2024

Starting price Best for Learn more

Surfshark
Starts at $2.49/mo Best overall Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review


NordVPN
Starts at $3.39/mo Best for streaming and gaming Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review


Private Internet Access
Starts at $2.19/mo Best for torrenting enthusiasts Get PIA

Read PIA Review

How we tested the best cheap VPNs

We ran a series of tests on three VPNs: NordVPN, PIA, and Surfshark. These tests helped us determine how fast their VPN speeds were, their ability to stream Netflix, the reliability of their connectivity, the strength of their security, and the performance of their advanced features.

We researched each of their capabilities thoroughly before making a VPN price comparison and weighing their features against each other. After finishing all of our testing and research, we discovered only a few contenders were the best cheap VPNs. ExpressVPN was a close runner-up, while CyberGhost was too disappointing to be considered a contender.

4.9
Limited-time offer: 82% off + 4 months free
Learn More
On Surfshark's website

Surfshark
  • VPN technology offering stability and speed
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Works with Netflix and other streaming services
  • Headquarters in Nine Eyes Alliance
Author Details
Mars is a cybersecurity professional and writer based in California. Currently pursuing a B.S. in Cybersecurity, he serves as an Advisory Board Member for WEBGAP, specializing in browser isolation. With an interest in OSINT, ethical hacking, and threat intelligence, Mars enjoys writing security content and has experience as a Security Researcher, Cybersecurity Analyst (WEBGAP), and Editor-in-chief (Secjuice).

Citations

[1] How much does a VPN cost?