To save you time and money, I’ve tested over 50 VPNs with prices less than $4/month to find the best cheap VPNs in January 2023. Every ranked VPN on this list is inexpensive, plus they have top-tier security, fast download speeds for lag-free streaming, and reliable global server connections. After extensive testing, I found CyberGhost is the #1 cheap VPN with an impressive range of premium features at a low price. Best of all, you can try out CyberGhost for free with its 45-day money-back guarantee. Try CyberGhost risk-free!

In a Rush? Here Are the Best Cheap VPNs in 2023

The Best Cheap VPNs Under $4/Month (Updated in January 2023)

1. CyberGhost — #1 Cheap VPN — Premium Features and Fast Speeds at a Low Price

Key Features: CyberGhost’s high-level security and consistently fast network make it the best cheap VPN, with plans starting at just $2.19. Its top-tier security and privacy features include the following:

Military-grade encryption: AES-256-bit encryption keeps all data secure and private, away from prying eyes, hackers, and even your ISP. Leak protection: Blocks DNS and IP leaks to ensure your data stays hidden and anonymous. Secure protocols: Includes OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard for robust connections on its global network. Strict zero-log policy: Independently audited and confirmed policy ensures none of your data is logged or stored while you’re connected to CyberGhost’s servers. RAM-based servers: These servers cannot physically write any data to disk, guaranteeing your online activity is anonymous.

I ran multiple tests to ensure my data was secure when I connected to the VPN and CyberGhost passed every leak test, encrypting and protecting my data at all times. I found CyberGhost is a reliably fast VPN when connected to nearby and optimized servers. CyberGhost produced speeds of over 90Mbps when connected to a server 6,800km away. I noticed a more significant slowdown (to just 41Mbps) with servers further away, caused by the increased distance. While this would be a concern for a smaller VPN network, CyberGhost has 9633+ servers worldwide, so connecting to a server close by is easy. Fast speeds combined with CyberGhost’s optimized servers make it a great choice for streaming. My team and I tested streaming services and found we could access our accounts on the following: It’s reassuring to know you can enjoy security and stream Netflix without getting the proxy error message. Better still, CyberGhost’s optimized streaming servers provided HD-quality video without lag or buffering. CyberGhost also offers dedicated torrenting and gaming servers designed for fast and secure connections. I could safely download files of 5GB in just 7 minutes and play online games without lag. I found CyberGhost easy to use, making it ideal if you’re a beginner VPN user. The interface is simple to navigate on all devices. Plus, there are detailed VPN setup instructions for your Samsung Smart TV, game console, and other devices that don’t natively support VPN apps. CyberGhost offers a variety of payment methods, including Bitcoin. It also offers 2 different money-back guarantee periods; for 1-month subscriptions, you have 14 days to claim a refund; 6-month and longer plans have 45 days to test the service. Either way, you can try CyberGhost risk-free to make sure it’s right for you. If you change your mind, getting a refund is easy — I tested the process myself and was thrilled to find CyberGhost has a no-questions-asked refund policy. I contacted customer support through the 24/7 live chat and requested a refund, which was promptly approved. Best of all, I had my money back in less than a week. Try CyberGhost for free!

2. Private Internet Access (PIA) — High-Level Security Rivals More Expensive VPNs

Key Features: Private Internet Access (PIA) provides the same high-level security as a premium-cost VPN. For just $2.19, PIA offers the following security and privacy features:

Customizable encryption: Choose between the standard AES-256-bit and a lower (but still unbreakable) AES-128-bit encryption for a speed boost. Data leak protection: Protects your DNS request data and IP address location from leaking. Kill switch: Blocks access to the internet if your VPN is interrupted, protecting your data from accidental discovery. Multi-hop: Tunnels your data through 2 servers instead of 1, making it even harder to trace your activity. Audited zero-log policy: Strict privacy policy has been independently audited to confirm PIA won’t log or store your data.

Some of these features are only found on much more expensive VPNs, so PIA’s low-cost service is a great choice for security-conscious users. I was surprised to find PIA has made its source code open and transparent for anyone who wants to look at it. By making the source code openly available, it can be examined for malware, bugs, or any other issues by multiple individuals. This lowers the risk of vulnerabilities, improving overall security. PIA has developed its ad, tracker, and malware blocker called MACE. This blocks annoying pop-ups and invasive software to protect your privacy and device security. I was particularly impressed by how well this feature works — web pages load faster, and I wasn’t bothered by any ads. Plus, PIA actively blocks malicious downloads, making it a top choice if you frequently torrent. PIA is impressive when it comes to speed, ideal for HD-quality streaming and fast torrenting. Local servers were faster than those thousands of km away — my closest server was 106Mbps (a small drop from 115Mbps), while a server in Australia was 85Mbps. Even over this distance, my online activity was lag-free. I could stream, torrent, and play Call of Duty: Warzone with no interruptions. My team and I tested multiple streaming services and found PIA could access the following: Unfortunately, PIA struggles to access some popular services, like BBC iPlayer and Hulu. If you want to access these services, I suggest contacting the 24/7 live chat. An agent can suggest a working server, so you have the best chance of connecting. If you’d like to test the service for yourself, the money-back guarantee means you get to try Private Internet Access for free for 30 days. I tested the refund process and it was easy — I just contacted customer service using the 24/7 live chat and asked to cancel my subscription. The agent asked if I’d like to troubleshoot but I confirmed my cancellation and had the money back in less than a week. Try PIA for free!

3. IPVanish — Protect All Your Devices for 1 Low Price

Key Features: IPVanish offers unlimited device connections, which is unusual for a premium VPN. You can protect all of your devices for as little as $3.99, making it an affordable choice if you have multiple devices. I was concerned multiple devices would significantly slow my connection, but IPVanish surprised me — my speeds averaged 92Mbps, even with 5 simultaneous connections. Additional devices did affect my speeds a little, but only marginally. I could still stream, torrent, and browse without any lag. With these speeds, I could use IPVanish for HD-quality streaming and fast torrenting. My team and I tested multiple streaming services and found IPVanish can access the following: IPVanish is the only cheap VPN to own its entire server network. This reduces the possibility of third-party interference and is extra protection for your data. I looked into IPVanish’s privacy policy and found the service doesn’t store any data while you’re connected to the VPN. However, there’s no independent audit to confirm this. To protect your devices and data, IPVanish has the following security features:

Military-grade encryption: Every connection is secured by AES-256-bit encryption, the same kind used by financial institutions and the US military. Leak protection: Secures DNS, IP, and WebRTC data from leaking and exposing your true location and identity. Kill switch: Cuts your internet connection if the VPN is interrupted, only restoring access once a secure server connection is made. Scramble feature: This obfuscates your VPN traffic to make it look like regular traffic, helping you bypass online restrictions and avoid VPN detection technology.

I had hoped that IPVanish’s Scramble feature would work in China, but unfortunately, my colleagues in the country couldn’t get IPVanish to connect. If you need a VPN for China, I recommend looking at ExpressVPN instead. IPVanish offers multiple subscriptions, with the longest plan being the most cost-effective. Plus, for a small price increase, you can also subscribe to its VPN and storage plan, giving you access to 500GB of cloud storage — ideal for storing sensitive information and documents away from your device. I recommend you try IPVanish for free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you can try out the service and get a full refund if it’s not right for you. IPVanish has the easiest cancellation process, too — just visit the Subscription settings in your account and click “Cancel Now.” I had my money back in less than an hour! Try IPVanish for free!

4. NordVPN — Premium VPN With Cheap Prices on Long-Term Plans

Key Features: NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market — and you can get super cheap prices when you sign up for a long-term subscription. One thing to note, however, is that when it’s time to renew your subscription, prices do increase quite significantly. I did, however, have issues with using NordVPN’s native Fire TV app. Although it worked and unblocked some streaming services, it sometimes had issues unblocking Netflix US and kept crashing. I also found that NordVPN’s user interface for desktop devices was less user-friendly than ExpressVPN and CyberGhost. NordVPN has the following security and privacy features:

AES 256-bit encryptionA kill switch that cuts your internet access if your connection to a VPN server drops suddenlyBuilt-in ad and malware blocker, so you don’t need a third-party ad blockerFully audited no-logs policy (audited by PwC) – NordVPN doesn’t store any personal or identifying data while you’re connected to the VPN

In addition, NordVPN includes Threat Protection that protects you from viruses, infected websites, and trackers – and it works whenever you have the NordVPN app open, even if you’re not connected to a VPN server. With plans that cost as little as $3.49 per month, it’s easy to find a NordVPN subscription plan that suits your needs. You can also stream, torrent, and browse for free for up to 30 days with its money-back guarantee. To ensure that you’ll really get your money back, I tested NordVPN’s money-back guarantee. At first, the support team tried to give me an extended trial period — but they initiated my refund right away after I told them I wasn’t interested in the extension. I got my money back in 6 business days. Get NordVPN today NordVPN works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Chromebook, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire Stick, and Android TV

5. Surfshark — Best Value for Money with Unlimited Device Connections and Fast Speeds

Key Features: Surfshark offers the best value for money out of every premium VPN on the market. You can connect an unlimited number of devices with a single subscription, which means you can use Surfshark on all your devices without getting logged out. I tested Surfshark’s simultaneous connections on 2 PCs, 2 phones, a Fire Stick 4K, and an iPad. My connection remained reliable on all 6 devices. Even while I was actively streaming on all my devices, my average speed was 112 Mbps — fast enough for UHD quality. When I saw the price of this service, I thought it couldn’t possibly have top-grade security features for such a low price, but I was pleasantly surprised. Surfshark has the following security and privacy features:

AES 256-bit encryption on all devices, with ChaCha encryption available for Android usersWireguard VPN protocol enabled by defaultDiskless, RAM-only servers to protect your privacy (no data can be physically extracted from any servers)Kill switch (although this isn’t enabled by default)IP and DNS leak protection

Surfshark offers two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account. This feature requires you to enter an extra code before you can log in to ensure that only you can access your account. While Surfshark does have slightly fewer global servers than rivals such as CyberGhost and PIA, I didn’t experience any issues during my tests. I easily connected fast working servers every time, and I had excellent speeds for streaming Netflix in UHD, downloading torrents, and browsing the internet.

You can try Surfshark for yourself with the 30-day money-back guarantee. It has plans that cost as little as $2.05. Requesting a refund is easy with Surfshark’s live chat feature. Although the support team asked why I wanted to cancel my subscription, I had no problem getting my money back (and it only took 4 days!). Get Surfshark today Surfshark works on: Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Linux, Fire Stick, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Android TV, Kodi, and selected routers

6. PrivateVPN — Cheapest VPN With Security Features that Bypass Geo-Restrictions

Key Features: PrivateVPN is the cheapest option on this list, and it has some unique security features that boost your online mobility. With subscription prices starting at just $2.00, I was surprised to see so many high-quality security and privacy features, including:

Customizable encryption: Choose the standard AES-256 encryption, or get a speed boost with AES-128 encryption. Data leak protection: Protects against IP, DNS, and WebRTC data leaks, securing your activity and anonymity. Automatic kill switch: Secures your data if the VPN connection is interrupted — also provides a Connection Guard feature so you can customize the apps protected by the kill switch. Secure protocols: Offers the OpenVPN with UDP/TCP, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and IKEv2 protocols. Strict privacy policy: The service won’t log or store any data while you’re connected to its servers, keeping your online activity safe.

I particularly like PrivateVPN’s Stealth VPN feature, which disguises your VPN connection as regular traffic. This can help you bypass blocks if you visit countries with strict internet regulations like China and Turkey. In fact, PrivateVPN is the only VPN on this list that can reliably connect in China, making it ideal if you’re traveling to the country and need a budget VPN for your trip. PrivateVPN is excellent at accessing your favorite streaming services. My colleagues and I tested the following services and found we could access them easily: Content streamed in HD-quality as local download speeds were fast, never dropping below 78Mbps. However, speeds slowed significantly when connecting to distant servers — I had a drop of almost 70% for servers 15,000km away. As most VPNs experience a slowdown over long-distance server connections, I wasn’t too surprised or disappointed by the speed reduction. The only real downside is PrivateVPN’s small server network, which could mean you can’t always find a nearby server. With just over 200 servers, I experienced congestion and slowdown when connecting at peak traffic times. As PrivateVPN acquires more users, this congestion could get worse unless it expands its network rapidly. You can try PrivateVPN risk-free with its money-back guarantee and get 30 days to see if it’s right for you. If not, you can claim a full refund. I contacted PrivateVPN by email ( with a request to cancel my account and get a refund. I had my money back in less than a week. Try PrivateVPN for free!

7. PureVPN — Quantum-Resistant Encryption Provides Comprehensive Data Protection

Key Features: PureVPN has an impressive level of security for a cheap VPN, with Quantum-Resistant encryption designed to protect you from the latest threats. As quantum computing increases in popularity, PureVPN’s high-level encryption ensures it always delivers the best protection. This gives me reassurance that I can use PureVPN for years to come without worrying about new security attacks. Alongside Quantum-Resistant encryption, PureVPN offers the following security and privacy features:

Automatic kill switch: Available on all apps, the kill switch blocks access to the internet if the VPN connection is interrupted, protecting your data. Secure protocols: Uses OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 for strong security when connected. Zero-log policy: Privacy policy states that your data won’t be logged or stored on PureVPN’s servers. Data leak protection: Protects against DNS and IP leaks to keep your activity and location safe.

I ran multiple tests and was pleased to find PureVPN kept all of my data secure within its encrypted tunnels — I didn’t experience any data leaks. Top-tier encryption often slows VPN connections, so I was pleased to find PureVPN is reliably fast even on long-distance server connections. My speeds were reduced by around 20% on average, which was more than enough to stream, play games, and browse online without interruptions. When my team and I tested different streaming services, we found PureVPN can access the following: I was impressed by PureVPN’s customer service, as the 24/7 live chat can be accessed through the app. I found this convenient, as most VPNs only have customer support available from their help websites. Connecting to an agent through the app made it much easier to get help quickly. The downside to PureVPN is that it’s not the best option for torrenting. Less than half of PureVPN’s 6500+ servers support torrenting, and there are some noticeable gaps in coverage — Africa, Asia, and Oceania have a very small number of nearby P2P connections. You could experience slower downloads in those regions due to latency and user congestion. PureVPN’s plans start at just $1.33, so it’s a good choice for high-level security on a budget. You can try PureVPN for yourself risk-free as the service is backed by a 31-day money-back guarantee. If you change your mind, you can get a full refund, although you’ll likely have to wait several days to get approval from the billing department. Try PureVPN for free!

Quick Comparison Table: The Best Cheap VPNs in 2023

Every VPN on this list is low-cost with high-quality security and solid speeds. To help you make your decision, I’ve compared each VPN so you can easily see which service offers the best value for money and has features suitable for your needs. CyberGhost is the overall winner with the best service at a low price.

How I Tested & Ranked the Best Cheap VPN

These are the criteria I looked at when I ranked the best VPNs in 2023: Get CyberGhost at a low price

Are cheap VPNs safe?

It depends — some cheap VPNs are safe, and other cheap services carry risks. After thorough testing, I can confirm that the cheap VPNs in this list are all safe, free from vulnerabilities and malware, and will securely encrypt your connections. Some cheap VPNs aren’t able to provide high-quality encryption, security, and privacy features, compromising your security. Cheap VPNs might even use your data as a source of revenue. The price of a VPN isn’t always a good indication of how well it works — a cheap service like CyberGhost has a high level of encryption and security that rivals premium-priced VPNs. I recommend using caution and researching your chosen service before purchasing a cheap VPN. Alternatively, you can test one of the VPNs in this article to see if it’s right for you.

Will a cheap VPN slow down my internet?

Not necessarily — cheap VPNs are capable of reaching very fast speeds. However, even the best cheap VPNs will occasionally cause your speeds to slow down. This may be due to the distance between your device and the server, a high level of traffic, or purely because your connection has to pass through a layer of encryption. Every VPN recommended above is fast enough to stream, torrent, and browse in multiple locations without any issues. Even with the slowest connection, I didn’t notice any lag or interruption. If you’d like to test these speeds for yourself, you can do so risk-free, as they all offer a money-back guarantee.

Do cheap VPNs offer features like dedicated IPs and port forwarding?

It depends — a cheap but quality VPN like CyberGhost offers both dedicated IPs and port forwarding as it’s a more complete premium service, whereas IPVanish doesn’t offer either option. CyberGhost’s port forwarding comes with your subscription, but expect to pay extra for a dedicated IP address. If a dedicated IP isn’t in your budget, some cheap VPNs like PrivateVPN offer static IP addresses. The difference is that all users have access to these IP addresses, and static IPs often get blocked due to heavy traffic. When it comes to port forwarding, it’s worth considering whether or not you really need this feature. While it’s useful for hosting a game or web server, port forwarding opens access to your network from potentially malicious actors. Many VPNs won’t offer this service as it’s too much of a security risk.

Which cheap VPN is best for torrenting safely?

Based on my tests, the best cheap VPN for torrenting is CyberGhost. It has fast download speeds and optimized servers specifically for torrenting — I downloaded a 5GB file in just 7 minutes. Plus, CyberGhost passed every data leak test to keep me secure from hackers and trackers while file-sharing. However, the #1 all-around VPN for torrenting is ExpressVPN. Although it’s more expensive, I think it’s worth the extra cost. Its fast speeds are unrivaled, you can torrent on all its global servers (not just a selection), and its no-logs policy has been independently verified and even proven in a real-world case.

Are there any VPNs that are free?

Yes, there are free VPNs but the majority aren’t safe to use. One of my main criteria when choosing a cheap (but safe) VPN is top-tier security that protects my data and devices. Free VPNs often engage in shady practices, like injecting tracking ads into your browser and logging your data to sell to third parties. Some free VPNs have even been known to infect devices with malware and spyware designed to steal your sensitive data. There are some safe free VPNs available that operate as a limited version of the full service. These “freemium” VPNs impose strict data caps and server restrictions so you can’t use them as much as you want. You won’t be able to stream or torrent easily, and you’ll find your speeds are slow due to heavy server congestion. Instead of risking your security, I recommend using a VPN like CyberGhost — it maintains high-level encryption at a low price, and it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee so you can get a refund if you change your mind. Get CyberGhost now!

You Don’t Have to Choose Between a Quality VPN and a Cheap Price

It’s possible to get a premium VPN without paying a premium price, but it’s important to choose carefully. There are hundreds of cheap or free VPNs that won’t protect your data, leaving you exposed to hackers and trackers. Worse still, there are VPNs specifically designed to log your data and sell it for profit, or even steal your information for fraudulent purposes. Fortunately, every VPN on this list is highly secure, reliable, and affordable. Of all the VPNs I tested, CyberGhost emerged as the best cheap VPN. It has top-tier security, consistently fast speeds, and it works with all the most popular streaming services. It even has a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee so you can try CyberGhost for free for up to 45 days and get a full refund if you change your mind.

Summary: The Best Affordable VPNs in 2023