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Best budget VPNs test results

Updated: May 18, 2022 By Dean Chester

In recent years, the number of available VPN services has grown significantly, and competition is helping reduce the cost of services. In this article, we'll outline 5 VPN providers with excellent price-to-performance ratios that sometimes put their expensive alternatives to shame. After reading this article, you will know which virtual private networks are worth investing in.

Cheap VPN Title

Image source - Shutterstock 

Usually, when looking for a cheap service, we want to figure out if its quality will be sufficient for us. The difficulty of choosing a cheap VPN is that without testing, we cannot determine the quality of the VPN software, its speed, reliability, and security.

Almost all VPN services declare that their product is the best, that they offer the highest discounts, the fastest speed, and the highest level of reliability. But Cooltechzone's more than 5 years of experience in VPN testing suggests that all VPNs are actually different and unique in their own ways.

There are three ways to choose the perfect low-cost VPN:

  1. Read expert reviews;
  2. Consider the experiences of other users;
  3. Take advantage of a cheap free trial VPNs;

The quickest of these is to study the reviews of experts in VPN application testing.

My colleagues and I at Cooltechzone regularly conduct independent audits of both popular and emerging VPNs. We carry out real testing on different devices and compile ratings that allow you to choose the perfect VPN for any task.

Today I bring you a list of cheap VPNs with excellent features.

The Best Cheap VPNs
  1. Surfshark: The cheapest professional-grade VPN ($2.49) for safe web browsing. It lets you do everything, including downloading torrents and watching streaming services.
  2. PureVPN: The best choice if you need access to IP addresses in 78 countries.
  3. Ivacy VPN: Boasts servers in 54 countries and military-grade 256-bit encryption. Very low price.
  4. CyberGhost VPN: One of the cheapest VPNs with an expansive server fleet and fast connection speeds.
  5. ZenMate: Cheap provider that guarantees a 7-day free trial. It also lets you download torrents.

The ratings were compiled based on the results of testing at the end of 2022. Feedback from Reddit users was also taken into account.

What is the best cheap VPN for 2022?

The best low-cost VPN is Surfshark Surfshark (from $2.49 per month). It is followed by PureVPN ($1.99) and Ivacy VPN ($1.19)

The VPNs in our Top 5 list are not sorted by price. There are several reasons for this:

  • Differences in functionality;
  • Varying subscription lengths;
  • Free trial availability; ​

At the same time, all of the listed VPNs cost less than $3 per month, well below the market average.

We could not ignore the functionality offered by Surfshark, despite the fact that it is not the cheapest. Its technical characteristics are so impressive that it has been among the top three tested VPNs for more than two years, competing with such giants as NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

At the same time, if technical specifications are not important to you, our list contains providers with starting prices below $2/month.

In the following sections, I'll walk you through each of the 5 VPNs. You will learn all about their advantages, disadvantages, and useful features.

Cheap VPN services

These five VPNs will ensure maximum savings along with top-notch online security and reliable geo-block circumvention.

1. Surfshark – Perfect quality-to-price ratio

Surfshark pricing

Mac OS
Android TV
Lowest price: $2.49 Torrenting: +
Free trial: 7 days on Android and iOS Encryption standard: AES 256
Speed: High App quality: Premium
Streaming: 10/10 Number of countries: 65

Surfshark is not only the best cheap VPN but also the second-best (after NordVPN) provider in our global Top 10 VPN list.

It's only a few years old yet continually surprises the industry with cutting-edge technology and unparalleled performance.

In my opinion, it is the best VPN service you can get without spending too much.

Pros of Surfshark:

  • More than 3200 servers in 65 countries;
  • High connection speeds with WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2;
  • Uses military-grade 256-bit encryption;
  • Protects web traffic even when the VPN connection fails (kill switch technology);
  • Surfshark’s jurisdiction is a safe one: the Netherlands;
  • Steady Netflix and other streaming services support;
  • Allows torrenting;
  • 15 combinations of Double VPN;
  • Has apps for all devices, including entertainment platforms like Android TV and Amazon Fire TV.

Cons of Surfshark:

  • Pricey 1-month subscription;
  • Software for Windows can stop working if you install several apps of different VPN services.


The price of Surfshark is simply superb, especially if you consider all the features this provider has as well as its technical facilities and app quality.

  • $2.49 per month – an 81% discount when subscribing for 2 years
  • $3.99 per month when subscribing for 12 months
  • $12.95 when subscribing for 1 month

Surfshark also has a 7-day free trial period for mobile apps and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Click to read full Surfshark review

Surfshark Preview
Make use of the main advantages of Surfshark VPN right now!

2. PureVPN - Cheap VPN with 78 countries

SaferVPN – Cheap VPN with 5-year subscription

Mac OS
Lowest price: $1.99 Torrenting: + 
Free trial: - Encryption standard: AES 256
Speed: High App quality: Premium
Streaming: Sports Only Number of countries: 78

PureVPN is an affordable and secure VPN service. It uses AES-256 encryption and offers reliable tunneling protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN. It stands out in the industry with quantum-resistant encryption for protection against potential future technologies.

At the same time, it is time-tested and has many positive reviews from new and long-lasting customers.

I also want to note the positive changes in the privacy policy of the service. Up until the end of 2021, the service was based in Hong Kong. This was not good for confidentiality, as the influence of communist China does not guarantee complete privacy. But now PureVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. This makes it a great choice for those who value their privacy.

Pros of PureVPN:

  • Safe jurisdiction;
  • 78 supported countries;
  • High speeds with WireGuard;
  • Uses military-grade 256-bit encryption;
  • Protects online traffic when the VPN connection drops unexpectedly (kill switch technology);
  • Allows torrenting;
  • Affordable 1-year and 2-year subscriptions.

Cons of PureVPN:

  • Unreliable support for Netflix and other popular streaming platforms;
  • Kill switch problems;
  • In 2017, there was a transfer of customers’ personal data.


All subscriptions are available at good prices:

  • $1.99 per month when subscribing for 2 years
  • $3.24 per month when subscribing for 1 year
  • $10.95 when subscribing for 1 month

PureVPN offers a 31 day money-back guarantee.

Click to read the full PureVPN review

3. Ivacy VPN – Very experienced cheap VPN

Ivacy VPN prices and tariffs

Mac OS
Lowest price: $1.19 Torrenting: limited
Free trial: + Encryption standard: AES 256
Speed: High App quality: High
Streaming: 1/5 Number of countries: 54

IvacyVPN was founded in 2007. However, it has never been too popular. Despite that, it’s a reliable and high-quality VPN service available at an exceptionally good price.

To its credit, it’s not only the long-term subscription that is interesting about IvacyVPN. Its prices for 1 month and 1 year also aren’t too bad.

So who can make use of IvacyVPN?

First and foremost, “regular” and torrent users. IvacyVPN has all the basic features necessary for secure browsing with a VPN. Besides, it also offers a kill switch function and torrenting-optimized servers. For the fast torrenting aficionados, IvacyVPN has port forwarding at a $1 monthly surcharge.

As for Netflix, it isn’t the provider’s strongest suit. If what you’re looking for is an inexpensive VPN for streaming, I recommend that you read our review of paid VPN providers with Netflix support.

IvacyVPN is based in Singapore.

Pros of IvacyVPN:

  • Servers in 54 countries;
  • High speeds in most locations;
  • Uses military-grade 256-bit encryption;
  • Has a kill switch;
  • Apps for all devices, including TV platforms;
  • Port forwarding.

Cons of IvacyVPN:

  • No streaming support;
  • Its “TRY FOR FREE” advertisement is misleading;
  • Functionality is too simple for such an experienced provider.


The price of IvacyVPN is mind-blowing if you don't mind subscribing for five years:

  • $1.19/month when signing up for 5 years
  • $3.33 per month when subscribing for 1 year
  • $9.95 when subscribing for 1 month

IvacyVPN offers a 1-day free trial. Besides, they will refund the money within 30 days if canceling the subscription during the first month.

I’d also like to draw your attention to the incredible selection of payment methods:

IvacyVPN’s methods of payment

Click to read the full Ivacy VPN Review

4. CyberGhost – Perfect for streaming and torrenting

CyberGhost VPN pricing

CyberGhost VPN logo
Mac OS
Android TV
Lowest price: $2.29 Torrenting: +
Free trial: 24 hours Encryption standard: AES 256
Speed: High App quality: Premium
Streaming: 10/10 Number of countries: 90

CyberGhost VPN is one of the largest VPN and most convenient services available. It's cheap, effective, and ridiculously easy to use. The vast server network is categorized by use cases for effortless content unblocking or enhanced security.

With a meager investment, you can unlock these ridiculous benefits.

Pros of CyberGhost VPN:

  • More than 5500 servers in 90 countries;
  • High speeds in most locations;
  • Uses military-grade 256-bit encryption;
  • Protects online traffic when the connection to a VPN server fails (kill switch technology);
  • CyberGhost VPN’s jurisdiction is a safe one: Romania;
  • Steady Netflix and other streaming services support (has special servers dedicated to it);
  • Allows torrenting (also has special servers);
  • Has apps for all devices, including TV platforms.

Cons of CyberGhost VPN:

  • Pricey 1-month subscription;
  • Software for Windows can stop working if you install several apps of different VPN services;
  • Some locations are slow.


Potential customers can choose from four different pricing plans:

  • $2.29 per month when subscribing for three years
  • $3.25/month on the two-year plan
  • $4.29 per month with the annual plan
  • $12.99 per month with the monthly subscription

It’s most practical to buy CyberGhost VPN with USD. Also, keep in mind that the current special offer will only last during the first year of your subscription.

CyberGhost VPN has a 24-hour free trial and a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Click to read the full CyberGhost VPN review

5. ZenMate – Cheap VPN for torrenting

ZenMate free trial (7 days)

zenmate vpn


Mac OS
Opera logo
Lowest price: $1.51 Torrenting: +
Free trial: 7 days Encryption standard: AES 256
Speed: High App quality: Premium
Streaming: doesn’t always work Number of countries: 35

ZenMate is a German VPN provider that combines simplicity with good functionality, high speeds, and low prices.

I know something about ZenMate that it doesn’t publicize. However, this thing is, in my opinion, a big advantage of ZenMate: it is built upon CyberGhost VPN’s technical basis. Even their software is almost identical, though ZenMate has fewer settings. The reason for it is that both VPNs share Kape Technologies as their owner.

ZenMate’s functions are quite modest: Netflix access is unstable, despite the provider’s claims to the contrary, and the number of available countries is not that high. However, it’s a great service for torrenting because of its special servers and high speeds.

Pros of ZenMate:

  • 7-day free trial;
  • Uses the technical basis of CyberGhost VPN;
  • High speeds in most locations;
  • Uses military-grade 256-bit encryption;
  • Protects web traffic when the VPN connection drops (kill switch technology);
  • Allows torrenting (and offers special servers for it);
  • Apps for all devices, TV platforms included.

Cons of ZenMate:

  • Servers in 35 countries;
  • Some popular options are missing;
  • The 1-month subscription is expensive;
  • Software for Windows can stop working if you install several apps of different VPN services;
  • Popular locations for streaming aren’t always available;
  • PC and Mac applications wouldn’t connect one day during the tests.


All subscriptions are available at good prices:

  • $1.51 per month when subscribing for 3 years
  • $4.49 per month when subscribing for 1 year
  • $10.99 when subscribing for 1 month

ZenMate offers a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Click to read full ZenMate review

How to Get a Premium VPN for a Low Cost

VPN services with fixed low prices are not the only option if you want to inexpensively sign up for a good VPN.

I want to share my experience of buying premium VPN subscriptions with significant discounts.

I'll use NordVPN as an example.

A public secret is that many companies partner with bloggers and review sites to promote their products. 

VPN services are no exception. In order to further interest users looking for VPNs among expert reviews, VPN companies offer referral links with additional discounts.

For example, NordVPN, which costs around $12 per month, provides a 60% discount to everyone who follows the link from 

The discount is valid for the two-year subscription.

Cooltechzone lets you save money and offers a link to sign up for NordVPN with a 60% discount on the two-year plan.

Are cheap VPNs safe to use?

It’s understandable that people care if they can trust cheap VPNs. There are providers with the lowest price of below $2 and above $8 in the market at the same time. Some people think there must be some secret behind these figures because we know from many other spheres of life that when prices differ radically, the quality of the products will likely differ as well.

With VPN services, it’s not entirely true. In reality, their prices aren’t so different. Most 1-month subscriptions are available for approximately $9-$12.

The lowest prices, on the other hand, are determined simply according to marketing strategies. Just take a look at the terms of these cheap subscriptions: most of the time, they last for 2 or 3 years and sometimes, even for 5!

It’s nothing but marketing. But if the customer plays it smart, such a situation can be beneficial for them.

My professional opinion is that you can hardly judge the quality of a VPN based on its cost.

Furthermore, one shouldn’t fear cheap VPNs. Experience shows that the decrease in prices has been a common trend over the past 2-3 years. Some providers have lowered their prices, while some are yet to do it.

Cheap VPNs for torrenting

It’s quite logical to use a cheap VPN for torrenting. It is a task that requires good speed while maintaining the maximum level of anonymity. However, some VPN services limit P2P traffic when connected to their servers. That is why customers have to spend a lot of time choosing the right provider for an affordable price.

The extra time I put into researching the use of VPNs for torrenting during my tests allows me to be certain that all 5 services on the list are torrent-friendly. Besides, they all offer some of the lowest prices on the market.

Read more about VPN for torrenting.

Cheap VPNs for routers

Great news for anyone who’s looking for an affordable VPN to use on a router: all 5 services mentioned here offer either settings or apps for routers.

Choose a VPN service that suits you best, visit the official website of that VPN service, and subscribe to it.

All 5 VPNs provide detailed manuals on how to set up a router of any model. Even if it’s your first time setting a VPN up on a router, you won’t have any difficulties.

Read more about VPN for routers.


To sum it up, I have introduced 5 reliable and budget-friendly VPN services to you. All information is current as of early 2022.

This review is fixed and updated with the most recent info on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading! I hope that this article will help you to find the cheapest VPN. And remember: internet privacy is affordable and easy. Good luck!

You may also find these reviews useful:

Best VPN services for Kodi
10 currently best VPN providers for Windows
Best VPN apps for Android

Senior Researcher
Dean Chester
Cybersecurity and online privacy expert and researcher. He's been published on OpenVPN, EC-Council Blog, DevSecOps, AT-T Business, SAP Community, etc. Dean has been testing VPNs for 8 years.

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10 comments for CHEAP VPN SERVICES [May 2022]

pioneer-boots's picture
Fair price

For me the best cheap VPN is Mullvad because it has a set price no matter how long you subscribe for!

Mr. White's picture

While searching for the cheapest VPN to use on your site, I’ve found a good service for torrenting. Thanks a lot for your work!

Sleeve&Co's picture
VPN for gaming

Hi, thanks for this article, mate!
I have a question tho: I recently got into online gaming big time and was thinking if I can benefit from using a VPN in some way. Here is what I think: maybe if I can connect to a better server I’ll be able to improve response time/lower ping etc? But I know VPN kinda make your internet a bit slower so I’m not really sure how feasible it would be so I would like to hear your professional opinion on this.
Another thing, I’m a bit short on money sometimes so naturally I don’t want to pay too much for a VPN if I can avoid it. So it would be nice if I could find a service that isn’t too costly but works well with gaming.
Anyway, what do you think about it? Thanks in advance!'s picture

Great writeup, one of the very very few articles i was able to find when searching for "cheapest vpn" and the like, that actually had real information. 99% of the search results you will find all list the EXACT same companies, with the same info, and pretty much same rankings. All of which are CLEARLY bought and paid advertisements from the companies they are listing, you know their names: ExpressVPN, NordVPN, etc, etc. Even the more respectable sites act as their advertisers. It took quite a bit of research (as well as changing my search engine to DuckDuckGo) to finally find a legitimate article (this article), which was the only one i found btw.

With that being said, i just wanted to point out that most of the pricing listed is now out of date. Sadly, most of the companies have increased their prices to about the same as the market leaders, maybe just a little under. Not all of them, but most. Just click their links to see what their prices are at now. Author if you are out there, it would be great if you could quickly update the prices for future readers.

Anyways, thanks again author for a great article and for providing one of if not the ONLY resource anywhere online for researching the lowest priced monthly vpns!

Guy Fawkes's picture

Hi Dean! I really need the best cheap VPN for torrenting! I do not know what are the best VPN prices, but the prices in your review are too high for me. Where can I find really cheap and high-quality VPN for unblocking streaming services and downloading torrent files? Looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Dean Chester's picture
In 2020, most services offer

In 2020, most services offer the lowest prices in history. Free VPNs won’t cut it with your tasks. The providers in this article really are the cheapest in the market.

WelcomeToTheClub's picture
Great job!

Thanks for this VPN cost comparison buddy!

somewhat_of_a_scientist's picture
VPN prices

VPN costs can get slightly insane at times. I mean, more than 10 euros/month for the same service you can get for 3 or 4 if you buy a long-term subscription? I just fail to see the reason for it except for marketing. A lot of things may change in a year, let alone in three. And I don’t know if I’ll still be willing to use that VPN in that time. So I always want to get the shortest subscription possible. But I also don’t want to pay twice as much as I would’ve for a long plan. So I wait for discounts and coupons. That’s inconvenient but I’m not buying a service that may radically change in a couple of years for such a long term.

Dean Chester's picture
My experience from the few

My experience from the few past years shows that strong players have stayed strong and weak ones have remained weak. New good services have appeared and what people think of them largely depends on the trends of their development. There isn’t a single VPN in this review that puts you at any excess risk.

Compromised's picture

Solid review and well researched. I would suggest that you keep the content updated as event in the world change, such as NordVPN being compromised.