Finding a cheap yet robust VPN can seem like an impossible task. There are hundreds of VPNs on the market, all with their strengths and weaknesses, further requiring you to understand the nuances features they offer and server locations.
Thankfully, the users of Reddit are vocal about their VPN experiences and which they would recommend to new users looking to benefit from the benefits VPNs offer. For those unfamiliar with Reddit, it acts as a prominent forum where users can create posts and topics for others to comment on.
These are structured in subreddits like r/VPNTorrents, where users gather to discuss VPNs, functionality, price, and other VPN areas. Interestingly, while you would think these comments would be largely unreliable, users take discussions on these topics seriously and provide their personal experiences to justify their thoughts.
Similarly, these subreddits have bots and mods used to remove fake responses, while users can downvote responses they feel are unhelpful, unreal, or marketing. Company comments are usually quick to be removed for this reason.
As such, Reddit provides a wealth of on-hand experience that can be invaluable when making decisions. We'll be looking at what some users have been saying about the various VPNs on the market and concluding on what Reddit thinks is the current best VPN for its price.
Before we do that, you might be questioning why we wouldn't recommend going with a free VPN if we're more concerned about getting more bang for our buck; well, there's a pretty good reason...
A free VPN sounds like a dream - all the functionality you need for free! But there is a reason why users seldom reference free VPNs on Reddit.
One user words this reasons excellently:
Instead of purchasing the product, you opt into your information and details being used by the company providing the freemium product. Similarly, many of these VPNs use a freemium model designed to upsell you on other services later.
Many Redditors recommend being wary of any service that presents itself as 'completely free' as free means you are the product, and your information is being sold.
Finally, free VPN services limit the total servers and web usage you can have on your plan, often leading to incredibly slow connections where you cannot maintain a secure connection.
With that said, let's look at the VPNs Reddit users recommend and what functionality they offer. While 'cheap' depends on the person, we'll be looking at what functionality each VPN provides, their server locations, and other noticeable points in relation to their packages.
Surfshark immediately sets itself apart with its offerings towards newer users. Surfshark consistently adds deals to its services, often allowing users to access all core functionality for as little as $2.49 a month for two years.
One Reddit user listed their VPN opinions based on what they've used and by categories, to which, Surfshark takes the crown for the cheapest option that maintains quality.
Starting great, Surfshark also offers its users a selection of 3200 servers, which we've noted to be highly reliable and provide consistent speeds across the board. Their servers span over 65 countries, providing significant coverage for most users, including those living outside the common coverage areas.
Surfshark outlines on their servers page that each server runs a private DNS, no-logs policy, and all servers are P2P-friendly. This is an excellent addition for those looking for additional security, privacy, and if torrenting is something you want to do while using a VPN.
On the topic of security, like most VPNs, Surfshark uses industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, making it impenetrable to attacks. They use RAM-only servers to take it a step further, which wipe all data once your VPN is disconnected, adding an extra layer of security on top of an already strong defense.
Due to the reliableness of their servers, it's unlikely that your connection will unexpectedly drop; however, their in-built kill switch will quickly cut your connection, so your privacy is kept. Similarly, Surfshark comes with a camouflage mode to hide your connection and a noborders mode for those looking to bypass heavily restricted regions.
Laws concerning the use of this software vary from country to country. We do not encourage or condone the use of this program if it is in violation of these laws. The regulation about the use of VPN services varies per country; If the Law of your country forbids or limits its usage, don’t download. Any unlawful behaviour of this software is not permitted. You are solely responsible for any use of the service.
As many Reddit users have voiced, Surfshark is an excellent choice when they have their deals applied. Users can also benefit from unlimited connections, meaning full VPN access across all devices.
Windscribe is another commonly mentioned VPN on Reddit for two main reasons - it has a free trial with up to 10GB of data use, and it has a build a plan package that allows you to get access to premium features for as low as $1 a month.
We haven't seen a ‘build a plan’ package used by other VPN providers, so this acts as Windscribe's unique selling point, allowing users to define what they need and only pay for that functionality and data allowance. A process like this makes the service even cheaper as money isn't wasted on unused functionality.
Free users gain access to servers located in 10 countries, drastically limiting the availability. However, premium users benefit from servers located in 63 countries and 110 cities, providing significant reach over the free version.
A quick look at their features list shows that they do not keep logs, which is crucial for those who want total anonymity while maintaining the AES 256 bit encryption we've come to expect from the top VPNs.
Windscribe users have a killswitch to protect them from disconnects, which may be needed on some servers as we found a few inconsistent with their connection. Similar can be said about the overall speeds Windscribe offers. We discovered that our connection slowed on numerous servers that were outside of our immediate locations.
As you can see from these Reddit comments, Windscribe is often mentioned when discussing the best value for money you can get with a VPN. Their build a plan option is popular amongst those that are looking to use it for particular purposes.
Their premium versions also come with unlimited connections and P2P server support for some servers. For those looking to keep their options open, Windscribe only offers a three-day money back guarantee, far shorter than other options, which is vital to keep in mind.
NordVPN has long been one of the pioneers when it comes to VPN selection. Despite this, NordVPN's practices, more notably, complaints regarding refunds and other customer service-related issues, have given it a negative perception in the Reddit community.
Despite these issues, their packages keep them competitive with the other cheap VPNs on the market in this list. Users can purchase a one-year plan at $5 a month - more than other VPNs - but they can also benefit from an exclusive new user package for two years at $3.70 while also giving you three months free.
This is a substantial deal if you're looking for a VPN for the next two years, yet, NordVPN is substantially more expensive for 1-month use at $12/month. Users can expect to gain access to over 5200+ servers in 60 countries!
But how does their VPN fair when looking at functionality? NordVPN proudly shows off the 23 benefits of using their VPN on their features page and has a hefty list of expectations while using their service. NordVPN maintains security at the highest level with AES-256 bit encryption, an active kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy.
Double protection enables you to change your IP address twice, giving you an extra layer of security and peace of mind. Be aware, however, that doubling your VPN protection will likely see a significant drop in speed.
Talking about speed - NordVPN has one of the fastest, if not the fastest, selection of servers, even when connecting to servers far from your current location. This is partly due to them only having physical locations and because they're using 10GB servers, giving you access to higher download speeds on average.
A Reddit user voices how NordVPN may not be the cheapest (outside of discounts) but have more functionality and more value for money, which we're inclined to agree with as users also have access to split tunneling support, a dedicated IP, Ad Blocker, and more.
NordVPN offers excellent value for money and an increasingly robust list of features. The deals regularly on offer by NordVPN also make it a great option for those looking to secure a valuable VPN service for the near future.
Mullvad is a lesser-spoken VPN on the market that takes its place on the pedestal as Reddit's most talked-about VPN. This isn't necessarily due to the number of features it has available, but rather its stance on packages and transparency.
Unlike most VPNs that offer a range of packages that generally give you some level of discount based on the length of time you invest, Mullvad operates on a 'fair pricing model.' This model presents a flat monthly rate of €5, no matter how long you invest.
Flat models allow users the flexibility to decide when they renew and how long for. It also places Mullvad as potentially one of the cheapest VPNs on a month-by-month basis. But even with this flat fee, how does it hold up against other VPNs?
Mullvad offers 780 servers to its users that cover a span of 37 countries, quite a small number compared to other VPNs on this list. An interesting point to note is that Mullvad has these servers independently visible on their servers page, including their current status and ownership.
While this fact doesn't add to the functionality, it gives users a whole different level of transparency as they can now see whether the server they use is encountering problems without contacting customer support. These servers are also physical and, according to Mullvad, not shared with other providers, which keeps your data extra secure.
Mullvad VPN uses AES 256 bit encryption and has a built-in killswitch, supports split tunneling, double VPN connections, and tor compatibility for extra security and quality of life features. All servers are also P2P enabled, thus supporting torrenting.
There is a strict no-logs policy in place that ensures none of your data is held on to. Mullvad is also available on most devices, and after our speed tests, we found the connection to be reliable and fast, even given the smaller number of servers.
Mullvad VPN keeps up with some of the key players in the VPN market, offering similar functionality with added transparency
Torguard is a well-known VPN with a reputation for providing an unparalleled ability to bypass streaming locks with its streaming package, on top of its dedicated support for torrenting (the 'tor' in Torguard).
However, when diving deeper into the pricing structure of Torguard, we were set back by the number of packages on offer and what they meant for a consumer. Torguards 'recommended' package is $12.99/month and includes coverage on 12 devices, a dedicated streaming IP amongst the standard features, which we'll cover below.
As a user notes here -
Torguard is a bit cheaper than NordVPN, but not as good. However, while valid on a month-by-month basis, Nord - as we've mentioned previously - has multiple first-time deals for users that Torguard doesn't seem to offer.
Pricing aside, Torguard uses AES 256-bit encryption, as we've come to expect. Similarly, their service has a built-in DNS and IPv6 leak protection, automatic kill switch, and supports port forwarding. As expected from their name, all servers support P2P sharing, great news for torrent enthusiasts.
Despite being located in the US - which means they are located within the 5/9/14 eyes alliance - Torguard claims a solid and strict no-logs policy, meaning they don't collect any information. If they are called to hand over said information, they wouldn't be able to as nothing is stored.
Looking at servers, users gain access to 3000+ servers in 50+ countries, a decent-sized library of servers that should provide adequate access regardless of your location. Despite this, Torguard was wildly inconsistent in our speed tests, often underperforming compared to other VPNs on this list.
Another Reddit user notes their appreciation of Torguards performance. While we agree on their encryption quality and privacy, we can't say the same about their speed.
ProtonVPN draws upon existing technology from its email service - ProtonMail. These servers are wholly separate, but it's interesting to see where the VPN service originates. Because of this, ProtonVPN offers a package that incorporates their mail service directly into one purchase, which can seem misplaced in the world of VPNs.
Unlike most VPNs in this list, ProtonVPNs packages aren't categorized by length of time but rather by functionality. Users are tied into yearly subscriptions but need to look carefully at what is on offer to make sure they have what they need covered.
Covering this VPN in this list is troublesome as there are considerable limitations to their basic package, which most users will be looking at when considering cheaper VPNs.
Users can get ProtonVPNs basic package for $5/month, and this includes access to 350+ servers in 40+ countries, 2 VPN connections, access to blocked content, high speeds, P2P support, and an inbuilt ad blocker. In comparison, their plus package - the pricier $10/month - gives you access to 1200+ servers in 55 countries, 10 VPN connections, the highest speeds, streaming service support, and other functionality found in the basic package.
One Reddit user voices their advocacy for ProtonVPN, exclaiming how they've always been great for them. We dived into the speeds and found that the free version is greatly limited due to its freemium, gatekeeper model. Even then, we found mixed results using their basic package. When using the basic package, the limiting server count also gives limiting options when searching for the best server.
ProtonVPN uses 256-bit encryption with built-in DNS leak protection support while maintaining a strict no-logs policy. Users can access the VPN on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, with a newly released app for Chrome to add to the roster.
Unfortunately, the basic plan is limited to 2 VPN connections, which harshly limits the number of devices you can keep secure simultaneously.
Reddit users show their support to ProtonVPN due to their ability to bypass restricted streaming content. Still, given the drawbacks of the basic version and the lack of general on-site support, it seems like there are better options.
VeePN immediately sets itself apart by placing its five-year flagship offer at the pillar of its offering. Users can purchase the service for five years at a staggering $1.67/month, possibly equating to one of the best and price-effective offers on this list.
Don't be thrown off by the timer at the top of their page. The $1.67 offer is a consistent offer that hasn't changed in a while.
The catch here is that you make a single payment upfront, regardless of whether you will be using the service in a year. If you don't want a five-year commitment, VeePN's monthly fee totals $10.99. Regardless of your package, users can use the service on ten devices and can add up to 100 extra devices for $0.8 per device, offering great flexibility for businesses or users who use more than ten devices.
VeePN provides users with 2500+ servers in more than 50 locations across the globe, providing good coverage for users to find a fast server close to them. Each connection is encrypted with the industry-standard AES-256 bit, and VeePN provides a killswitch, automatic public Wi-Fi security, and DNS leak protection.
On the topic of speed, we were able to achieve consistently high speeds, even when connecting to servers far from our initial location.
One Reddit user shares our sentiment on speed. Many of the comments we found noting and recommending VeePN were directed towards the fast speeds.
Like most VPNs that have your security and anonymity in mind, VeePN keeps a strict no-logs policy while based in Panama. VeePN seems like a good solution for users looking to overcome restricted content consistently while looking to snag a deal with their five-year offer.
Private Internet Access is another VPN that offers a great deal if you're prepared to commit to one service. Users can purchase PIA for three years at a heavily discounted $2.19/month. If you're looking for a month-by-month basis, you can expect to pay $9.95 per month for their complete service.
PIA is also one of the few VPNs that employ open-source transparency, effectively saying "we have nothing to hide," which is an added plus in our book for security. PIA comes with the standard AES 256-bit encryption and has advanced encryption settings available to service users - something not commonly seen with VPNs. This effectively allows users to configure their own encryption to suit their immediate needs.
No doubt, this will be appealing to users that have a very niche or focused use. To complement this, PIA offers a built-in kill switch, split tunneling, port forwarding, full P2P support, and a strict no-log policy to top it all off.
Users can also leverage their firewall, mask their IP and benefit from IPv6 and DNS leak protection. An all-round solid service from PIA's security. Looking towards speed, we found speeds quickly became hit or miss. Locations closer to us connected and maintained a stable connection without issue. Speeds were adequate too.
Yet, when we steered slightly outside our immediate location, speeds became rocky, with inconsistent browsing speeds often causing buffering. With 35550+ servers in 78 countries, it's unlikely this will be a significant issue in practical use, but something to keep in mind. This sheer volume of servers also provides substantial opportunities to find a server that offers a fast speed with little to no download/upload drop off.
PIA is one of the more mentioned VPNs on Reddit, with users continuously recommending it to others looking to move away from their current provider. Users are even sharing relevant codes to gain even bigger deals.
As this user lists, we can see PIA is in the middle ground for cost availability compared to other services.
Like our notes about VeePN, PIA is an excellent option if you're looking for a decent deal and accept that means sticking with the service for three years. Outside of that deal, PIA offers a great service at a competitive monthly cost, but not necessarily the cheapest.
$1.67/month (5 year-plan)
$2.49/month (2 year-plan)
Private Internet Access
$2.19/month (3 year-plan)
$3.70 (2 year-plan)
€5/month (flat rate)
When looking at each VPN solely on price, numerous variables determine whether we can recommend one over another. Price shouldn't always be a distinguishing factor when making purchasing decisions. A cheap service isn't always best, especially when your online safety and security are on the line.
So, let's break it down and share our recommendations based on different criteria.
Unfortunately for the other VPN providers on this list, there simply is no competing with Windscribes ‘Build a Plan’ option. The ability to gain a secure VPN service for as little as $1 a month is a considerable competitive advantage.
Users will need to research precisely what functionality and limitations come with the plan they create. Still, we're sure there will be configurations that satisfy the general VPN user after looking at them ourselves.
NordVPN has some great deals if you're looking to invest in a VPN for a few years, even rivaling some of the cheaper options on the list. Nord has made it to the recommended section due to its service's sheer functionality and polish.
They provide everything you need as a general user, including lightning-fast speeds and great server coverage.
Cheap doesn't always equate to price over time; instead, it could refer to how cost-effective something is on a month-by-month basis. NordVPN, for example, offers a cheap package for those looking to commit to 2 years. However, their monthly package is somewhat expensive in comparison to other options.
Mullvad, on the other hand, offers a singular flat fee, regardless of when you pay, meaning there is no inherent benefit to paying a year in advance. This level of flexibility means that a Mullvad user can purchase two months at under half the price of 2 months of NordVPN, making Mullvad arguably the most cost-effective solution when flexibility is a primary concern.
That concludes our list of Reddit's thoughts on the Cheapest VPNs. Do you think we missed anything on this list? Let us know below. If you're looking for the best VPNs without necessarily worrying about the price, check out our top VPNs of 2021 here.