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How Much Does a VPN Cost? (And How to Save Money)

Have you considered getting a virtual private network (VPN) to browse the web more securely and keep your online activities private? If so, one of the first questions that probably comes to mind is: how much does a VPN cost?

The monthly price for a VPN service typically ranges from as little as $2 up to $15. However, the best way to save money on a VPN subscription is to purchase an annual or multi-year plan to reduce the effective monthly cost.

Let‘s take a detailed look at common VPN pricing, whether cheap VPN services are worthwhile, if free VPNs are secure options, and tips for saving money when subscribing to a VPN service.

Typical Monthly Cost of VPN Services

For most top VPN providers, if you choose to be billed monthly, you‘ll usually pay between $8 and $15 per month. For example:

  • ExpressVPN charges $12.95 per month on a month-to-month subscription.

  • IPVanish costs $10.99 per month for a monthly plan.

  • NordVPN is priced at $11.99 per month for monthly billing.

The most popular VPN services with extensive features and infrastructure generally price monthly plans on the higher end of the range. Less mainstream brands often charge between $5 and $10 per month for monthly subscriptions.

According to a 2021 report from Comparitech, the average monthly VPN cost across 78 leading providers was $10.12. However, the price range varied widely, from as low as $2.10 per month to as high as $18.99 among those surveyed.

The biggest factor affecting the monthly cost is the length of subscription you choose. Let‘s look at how longer plans can significantly reduce the price.

Saving Money with Annual & Multi-Year VPN Plans

Without a doubt, the best way to lower the monthly cost of a VPN subscription is to pay for several months or a year in advance. Annual plans typically reduce your effective monthly cost by 50% or more compared to paying month-to-month. Multi-year plans cut the monthly price even further.

For example:

  • Instead of $12.95 per month, ExpressVPN costs only $8.32 per month when you purchase a 12-month subscription.

  • IPVanish costs just $3.99 per month on a 1-year plan, compared to $10.99 when paying monthly.

  • A 2-year NordVPN subscription brings your monthly cost down to only $3.29, compared to $11.99 month-to-month.

The longer subscription you choose, the more you save. According to Comparitech‘s analysis, the average monthly price on one-year subscriptions was $4.04, compared to $10.12 on monthly plans.

A three-year CyberGhost plan costs only $2.25 per month, compared to $12.99 month-to-month. That‘s over 80% in savings. Most VPN providers offer at least a one-year plan, with subscriptions up to three years.

Can You Get a High-Quality Budget VPN?

Cheap VPN services that cost under $5 per month can still deliver excellent security, speeds, and reliability. However, you need to be careful in your selection – some budget VPNs cut corners and have serious drawbacks.

Watch out for VPNs with:

  • Small server networks causing slow speeds
  • brands with dubious reputations and practices
  • very limited VPN features and tools
  • poor or minimal customer support options

To find a low-cost but high-quality VPN option, look for established names like [Private Internet Access](,contentblock_id=,contentblock_version_id=,offer_id=18820,ad_campaign_id=,impression_unique_id=538,js_enabled={js_enabled}&aff_click_id=&aff_unique1={aff_unique1}&aff_unique2=O0lprNOZ6NQC5ggONFfn&aff_unique3=&aff_unique4=&aff_unique5={aff_unique5}&rendered_slug=/how-much-does-a-vpn-cost&contentblockid=&contentblockversionid=&contentblock_position={contentblock_position}&debug_version=1" data-impression-id="pageview_id=e4BHCP737wNbnfRLPKbq,contentblock_id=,contentblock_version_id=,offer_id=18820,ad_campaign_id=,impression_unique_id=538,js_enabled={js_enabled}" data-company="Private Internet Access" data-id="18820" data-name="Private Internet Access" data-aac-on-click="offerOut" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Private Internet Access or [Surfshark](,contentblock_id=,contentblock_version_id=,offer_id=18643,ad_campaign_id=,impression_unique_id=478,js_enabled={js_enabled}&aff_click_id=&aff_unique1={aff_unique1}&aff_unique2=O0lprNOZ6NQC5ggONFfn&aff_unique3=&aff_unique4=&aff_unique5={aff_unique5}&rendered_slug=/how-much-does-a-vpn-cost&contentblockid=&contentblockversionid=&contentblock_position={contentblock_position}&debug_version=1" data-impression-id="pageview_id=e4BHCP737wNbnfRLPKbq,contentblock_id=,contentblock_version_id=,offer_id=18643,ad_campaign_id=,impression_unique_id=478,js_enabled={js_enabled}" data-company="Surfshark" data-id="18643" data-name="Surfshark" data-aac-on-click="offerOut" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Surfshark. Their annual subscriptions often cost under $5 per month but still provide full-featured VPN protection.

Also check whether the VPN provider submits to independent audits of its privacy practices and infrastructure. This helps give confidence that your traffic and data will remain private.

Are Free VPNs Secure Enough?

In general, it‘s wise to avoid free VPN services. They rarely provide the level of security and privacy that a paid VPN can deliver. Here are some of the risks that come with most free VPNs:

  • Data mining: Free VPNs need to generate revenue somehow, so they may mine and sell your usage data and online activities. According to 2018 research from VPNpro, 85% of free VPNs sold user data.

  • Weak privacy: Free VPN services frequently lack basic security measures like a strict no-logs policy, kill switch, or leak protection. A study by Top10VPN found 92% of free VPN apps had privacy leaks.

  • Limited features: You‘ll often only get access to a small handful of servers, slow speeds, one device, minimal support, and restricted data use.

  • Shady practices: Some free VPN providers use ads, malware, and unethical schemes to profit from users. Simon Migliano, Head of Research at Top10VPN cautioned that "free VPNs are dangerous."

A small number of established VPN providers like [ProtonVPN](,contentblock_id=,contentblock_version_id=,offer_id=17417,ad_campaign_id=,impression_unique_id=411,js_enabled={js_enabled}&aff_click_id=&aff_unique1={aff_unique1}&aff_unique2=O0lprNOZ6NQC5ggONFfn&aff_unique3=&aff_unique4=&aff_unique5={aff_unique5}&rendered_slug=/how-much-does-a-vpn-cost&contentblockid=&contentblockversionid=&contentblock_position={contentblock_position}&debug_version=1" data-impression-id="pageview_id=e4BHCP737wNbnfRLPKbq,contentblock_id=,contentblock_version_id=,offer_id=17417,ad_campaign_id=,impression_unique_id=411,js_enabled={js_enabled}" data-company="Proton" data-id="17417" data-name="Proton VPN" data-aac-on-click="offerOut" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ProtonVPN and [Windscribe](,contentblock_id=,contentblock_version_id=,offer_id=17421,ad_campaign_id=,impression_unique_id=192,js_enabled={js_enabled}&aff_click_id=&aff_unique1={aff_unique1}&aff_unique2=O0lprNOZ6NQC5ggONFfn&aff_unique3=&aff_unique4=&aff_unique5={aff_unique5}&rendered_slug=/how-much-does-a-vpn-cost&contentblockid=&contentblockversionid=&contentblock_position={contentblock_position}&debug_version=1" data-impression-id="pageview_id=e4BHCP737wNbnfRLPKbq,contentblock_id=,contentblock_version_id=,offer_id=17421,ad_campaign_id=,impression_unique_id=192,js_enabled={js_enabled}" data-company="Windscribe" data-id="17421" data-name="Windscribe" data-aac-on-click="offerOut" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Windscribe do offer free plans with strict no logging policies, but these have restricted features.

Overall, paying a low monthly fee for a trustworthy premium VPN is worth it for robust privacy. Many paid VPNs also have free trial periods so you can test them risk-free.

Tips to Save Money on a VPN Subscription

If you want to keep costs down when subscribing to a VPN, try these money-saving strategies:

  • Choose at least a 1-year plan – Prepaying annually saves 50-75% on the monthly price.

  • Consider a longer 2-3 year plan – Multi-year subscriptions provide the cheapest monthly rates.

  • Look for limited-time sales and deals – Holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday can have big VPN discounts.

  • Use coupon codes and cash-back – Check for first-purchase coupons and cash-back to save extra.

  • Split costs with friends or family – Multi-device plans allow securely sharing a VPN account.

  • Take advantage of free trial periods – Test VPNs risk-free for a week or month before paying.

  • Check for discounted bundles – Some VPNs offer deals on plans combined with password managers or cloud storage.

  • Ask about student pricing – Students can sometimes get an additional break on standard pricing.

With the right strategy, you can get a top-tier VPN with complete online privacy for just a few dollars per month.

What to Look for in VPN Pricing & Plans

As you compare pricing between VPN providers and plans, keep an eye out for these important features:

  • No-logs policy – Does not record browsing data or connection logs.

  • Kill switch – Severs internet access if the VPN connection drops.

  • Number of servers – More servers means faster speeds and expanded IP address options.

  • Unlimited devices – Connect as many devices as you want simultaneously.

  • Next-gen encryption – At least AES 256-bit and other advanced encryption protocols.

  • Speed and reliability – Fast enough speeds for HD streaming and downloads with minimal interruptions in service.

  • Ease of use – User-friendly apps for all major platforms and routers.

  • Customer support – 24/7 live chat and quick email response times from knowledgeable agents.

  • Money-back guarantee – Generous and hassle-free refund period.

  • Router support – Apps and configurations to protect all devices on your home or office WiFi network.

  • No artificial restrictions – No limits on server switching, bandwidth usage, or account sharing within reason.

The top VPNs provide all these key features while keeping costs reasonable. An expensive plan doesn‘t guarantee better security or performance than a well-priced competitor.

Bottom Line

The monthly cost for a VPN typically ranges from $5 up to $15 for popular providers. However, you shouldn‘t pay expensive rates long-term. An annual or multi-year subscription often reduces the monthly cost by 50% or more.

To browse the web securely, use public WiFi safely, and maintain your privacy, a VPN is an affordable utility for just a few dollars per month. Compare features between providers and look for deals to keep your VPN budget-friendly.

For top recommendations, check out recent reviews:


Streamr Go

StreamrGo is always about privacy, specifically protecting your privacy online by increasing security and better standard privacy practices.