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Best Cheap VPN 2022

Better privacy protection through a virtual private network doesn't have to cost you a fortune.

While there are plenty of pricey virtual private networks, or VPNs, out there, getting a cornerstone digital privacy tool for mobile and desktop doesn't have to damage your wallet. Even though it can be tempting to opt for a free VPN when you're strapped for cash, we advise against them since they're often less safe (we do recommend sampling premium services for free, though). Fortunately, there are plenty of cheap VPN services available that don't compromise on features, privacy or speed. Often, you can choose to pay for these VPN providers monthly or, if you prefer, you can pay in one lump sum for the entire year.

There's one thing we advise against, however. While a lot of services offer better month-to-dollar value when you purchase a subscription that lasts two or even three years, we strongly advise against those kinds of long-term VPN commitments. Because VPNs change quickly and the industry is in a shifting state, we advice sticking with those plans that are cheapest based on their one-year or one-month rates. And which have the best money-back guarantees.  

Several cheap VPN services offer a speedy connection, excellent security and a wide array of features -- all for less than half the cost of a premium VPN service. You can even hook up your phone or tablet for secure browsing on your mobile device. We've spent a lot of time testing as many of these VPN providers as possible and come up with a list of great budget-friendly choices. Check out our list of the best cheap VPN services of 2022.

Watch thisTop 5 Reasons to Use a VPN

Private Internet Access
  • Number of servers: 3,252
  • Number of server locations: 52
  • Country/jurisdiction: US
  • Cost: $40 for a year, billed annually. Month-to-month plans are also available for $11.

While we haven't reviewed it recently, VPN provider Private Internet Access likely has the strongest reputation among the three best cheap paid VPN services on this list. Beloved by a loyal fan base, the VPN company has been around since 2010, swears by its no-logging policy and routinely offers new updates and features.

PIA does not release information on the number of IP addresses available for its VPN service, but at 3,252, its VPN server count is more than any of our other cheap VPN picks. This recommended cheap VPN provides 10 simultaneous connections, a connection kill switch feature (like the other two VPNs in this list) and some good online documentation and security guidance. PIA's servers are also all friendly to peer-to-peer sharing if you're into torrenting.

The desirable WireGuard VPN protocol is currently available on all of PIA's platforms, which range widely and include Windows, Android, Mac, iOS and Linux. This cheap VPN also offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, as well as a new private browser for iOS that wipes your data when you close it. If you're ready to make the leap to VPN routers, PIA has those, too. 

Even though this cheap VPN provider doesn't offer live chat, PIA does promise 24/7 support and accepts a wider range of payment options than most VPN service providers. Along with credit cards and PayPal, you can pay with Bitcoin, Etherium or Amazon payments. In an additional privacy boost, this cheap VPN provider will even accept gift cards from 90 different retailers.

IPVanish

A big win for VPN service provider IPVanish is its fun, configurable interface, which makes it a great VPN for those who are interested in learning how to understand what a VPN does under the hood. Its multiplatform flexibility is also ideal for people focused on finding a Netflix-friendly VPN for streaming. 

A unique feature of IPVanish, one we're intrigued by, is the VPN's support of Kodi, the open-source media streaming app that was once known as XBMC. Any serious media fan has used or built Kodi or XBMC into a media player and the integrated IPVanish Kodi plugin provides access to media worldwide.

At $11 a month or $90 a year ($3.75 per month for the first year), IPVanish is obviously trying to move you towards its yearly affordable VPN program. I'm a little disappointed that this VPN company only allows a seven-day VPN user trial, rather than a full 30 days, but it does offer a full money-back guarantee. 

No IP address, DNS or other potentially user-identifying data leaks were detected during my testing. Even so, we recommend some caution here. In 2019, reviewers at CNET's sister publication ZDNet detected a partial IPVanish DNS leak during testing of the VPN client. Without DNS leak protection, organizations that want to block VPN traffic could do so and it could be harder to hide your VPN use from government authorities. 

Despite this, I still recommend IPVanish as a flexible, configurable cheap VPN subscription choice for users who are new to VPNs. 

Read our IPVanish review.

 

IPVanish

  • Competitive speeds
  • Interface encourages learning
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
$3.99/mo (billed as $47.89 first year)
PureVPN

PureVPN

PureVPN joined the "no log" movement in 2018, which was verified via a third-party audit by Althius IT (albeit one commissioned and paid for by PureVPN). 

We like that PureVPN offers a 31-day refund policy and supports bitcoin payments, to further extend anonymous browsing. We also like that PureVPN has both Kodi and Chromebook solutions available. In addition, PureVPN was the first VPN service we noted to fully implement the GDPR.

For more, check out how to choose the right VPN provider for working from home, red flags to watch out for when choosing a VPN service, and seven Android VPN apps to avoid on your mobile device because of their privacy sins.

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