CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!
Using a VPN is a little bit like flossing: kind of a hassle, but oh-so-necessary -- especially in light of the recent . A VPN offers solid protection.
That's just one reason I regularly share VPN deals -- though I'll admit they're usually from smaller or lesser-known providers, meaning you might not always get the most servers, fastest performance, best support, etc.
Of course, as The Cheapskate, I should champion free-VPN solutions, right? Nope: I'm squarely with ZDNet's David Gerwitz, who recently argued that free VPNs are not a risk worth taking.
Today, then, let's talk about an option that's at the other end of the spectrum: an established, well-regarded VPN with stellar reviews. It's called PureVPN, and here are a few of its bona fides:
- It's on
- It's a PC Mag Editors' Choice recipient.
- It's the #3 pick at The VPN Lab.
PureVPN is notable for a couple things, the big one being performance: It's one of the fastest VPN tools out there, meaning your connection shouldn't slow down at all when routed through its servers. The other big one: You get access to over 550 servers across 141 countries. A lot of other VPNs (usually the super-cheap ones) give you just a couple dozen servers in a handful of countries.
Sound good? It should: That's what you'd expect from a VPN that normally costs $10.95 per month or $78 for two years.
It's about to sound even better: StackSocial is offering a lifetime PureVPN license for $99.99. However, you can get it for $80 by following this simple process. (Update: StackSocial recently lowered the price of PureVPN to $69.99, so no need to follow these two steps!)
Step 1: Buy this $100 StackSocial store credit for $80.
Step 2: Use that credit to cover the entire cost of the PureVPN purchase. Easy-peasy!
Your license includes support for up to five devices on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux. Take note, however, that this subscription term is technically good for five years. After that, you'll need to reach out StackSocial for a renewal. It'll be free, but just make sure you mark your calendar. (Personally, I can't remember what happened five days ago, so five years from now I'd be all, "Huh? Pure what-now?")
I realize that $80 isn't exactly cheap, but you get the benefits of an established provider and a well-reviewed product. Plus, this should be the last time you have to pay for a VPN.
I think the old you-get-what-you-pay-for maxim holds true when it comes to security software. Free is risky; cheap is often insufficient. This is one time when it makes sense to pay for the good stuff -- especially when you can get a deal like this.
Bonus deal: Wouldn't it be great to have a mobile charger that could not only quick-charge your phone and tablet, but also recharge your laptop?
This one can (with a few caveats): For a limited time, get this Ravpower 20,100mAh portable QC 3.0 Type-C charger for $36.99 shipped when you apply promo code CnetPB43 at checkout.
If you have mobile devices that support QC 3.0, you'll seriously dig this: It can deliver up to 85 percent of a full charge in just 35 minutes. And if you have a laptop or Android phone that supports USB-C charging, it'll power that, too. (This is fairly new ground, though, so ask Ravpower if you're unsure about laptop compatibility.)
For everything else, there's a 2.4A "smart" USB port. The user reviews for this are stellar, and it comes with an 18-month warranty -- plus 12 additional months when you register.