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How Much Does a VPN Cost?

Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

Callum oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his advice about VPNs has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio

Our Verdict

The average cost of a good VPN service is $3.94 per month on a yearly or multi-year subscription. But, the average VPN price rises to $11.34 on a pay monthly basis.

illustration of a man purchasing a VPN from a computer screen that is designed like a vending machine

The cost of a VPN varies widely based on the VPN service you choose and the length of your subscription plan.

Almost all high-quality VPNs require signing up to at least a 12-month plan for you to access the cheapest monthly price possible.

However, most VPNs offer some form of money-back guarantee or free trial, so you can try a VPN for free before you buy.

As is often the case, the best VPN isn’t necessarily the most expensive one. It depends on what you want to use it for, and what your budget is.

Typically, any VPN that costs under $3.00 per month is cheap, while any VPN priced over $6.00 per month is considered more expensive.

There’s also the option of using free VPNs, but the majority put you at greater risk than not using one at all.

In this article, we’ll compare the price of the best 20 VPNs, as well as the cheapest pay monthly VPNs.

Price Comparison of the Top 20 VPNs

Based on the cheapest price of each of our 20 top-rated VPNs, the average monthly cost of a VPN is $3.94.

However, paying for a month at a time, the average price of a VPN service rises to $11.34.

The table below compares the prices of the top 20 VPN services we’ve tested and reviewed:

As the table above shows, price isn’t always an accurate indicator of quality within the VPN market.

That said, the best VPNs aren’t free. You’ll have to pay a modest monthly fee to protect your privacy, security, and freedom online.

To get the best VPN deal, you’ll need to commit to at least a 12-month contract, payable upfront.

Buying a VPN subscription can therefore represent a meaningful investment, so do your research. Start by reading our VPN reviews of the 70 VPN services we tested and analyzed.

Or, see the best cheap VPNs that strike the right balance between price and quality of service.

Currently, the best cheap VPN we’ve reviewed is Surfshark, which costs $2.30 on a 2-year plan.

Cheapest Pay Monthly VPN Prices Compared

If you don’t want to commit to a long-term subscription, you have the option of paying on a rolling monthly basis.

Below is a table comparing the VPNs with the cheapest month-to-month prices:

Currently, AzireVPN offers the cheapest pay monthly subscription plan ($3.24), followed by Mullvad ($5.70).

EXPERT ADVICE: Some VPNs, such as VPN Unlimited and FastestVPN, offer a lifetime plan. You should avoid these deals, as you have no guarantees the service will be good, or even operate, years from now.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a VPN

There are a number of factors that affect the cost of a VPN. Below is a list of the main ones that can impact the monthly price of your VPN plan:

Length of Subscription Plan

The length of your subscription plan is the single biggest factor affecting the cost of a VPN.

As we’ve shown further up this article, the monthly cost of a VPN often decreases with longer subscription plans.

For instance, here are NordVPN’s different pricing plans:

  • 1-month plan: $11.95/month
  • 12-month plan: $4.92/month (58% discount)
  • 2-year plan: $3.71/month (68% discount)

Out of the top 30 VPNs we’ve reviewed, pay-monthly plans range from $3.24 to $20.00. The average pay monthly price is $11.34.

As for longer-term plans, the monthly price ranges from $2.00 to $10.00. The average yearly/multi-year price of a VPN is $3.96 per month.

Number of Devices Covered

Most VPN services let you use their product on a set number of devices, regardless of your chosen subscription plan.

However, some VPN providers, like TorGuard, change their pricing based on how many devices you want to use the VPN with.

For example, here’s how many devices each TorGuard different Anonymous VPN plan covers:

  • Anonymous VPN: up to 8 devices
  • Anonymous VPN Pro: up to 12 devices
  • Anonymous VPN Premium: up to 30 devices
The TorGuard pricing page

The TorGuard pricing page.

Streaming (Netflix) Support

Most VPNs provide streaming support across their standard plans, however some don’t.

VPN providers like TorGuard and ProtoVPN charge more if you seek streaming support with your VPN subscription.

The ProtonVPN pricing page

The ProtonVPN pricing page.

Number of Servers

Not all VPN services give you access to the same number of servers across all plans.

There are some providers that increase the monthly subscription price based on bigger server ranges.

In ProtonVPN’s case, access to 400+ servers (in 40 countries) costs €4.00 per month. However, access to 1,538 servers costs €8.00 per month.

Sometimes, a more expensive VPN plan can also include access to faster servers (10Gbps or higher), and Multi-hop (DoubleVPN) servers.

Additional Features

Additional features like Dedicated IP and Residential IP typically come at an extra cost.

If you want these services, VPN providers like CyberGhost and Windscribe charge an extra fee on top of your subscription plan.

Moreover, companies like IVPN, only offer additional features like port forwarding and Multi-hop servers with their IVPN Pro plan, not their standard plan.

The IVPN pricing page

The IVPN pricing page.

Can You Use a VPN for Free?

If you’re not ready to commit to a long-term plan, you have three options:

  1. Get a genuine VPN free trial
  2. Take advantage of money-back guarantees
  3. Use a completely free VPN

VPN Free Trials and Money-back Guarantees

VPN free trials let you test a fully featured VPN for a specific amount of time. Typically, this is 5 to 7 days.

The best VPN free trials, such as PrivateVPN, don’t even require submitting payment details up front. Testing these services carries no financial risk.

Other free trials ask for payment details upfront, and if you don’t cancel the trial in time, you will be charged a subscription cost.

The main difference between a true free trial and a money-back guarantee is whether or not you have to make a payment first.

With a money-back guarantee, you have to pay a subscription cost upfront. However, the highest-rated VPNs operate no-questions-asked refund policies.

In other words, money-back guarantees let you trial a VPN virtually free for up to 45 days.

Completely Free VPNs

The Windscribe free iOS app for iPhone and iPad

The Windscribe free iOS app for iPhone and iPad.

You also have the option of using a completely free VPN.

Sadly, most free VPNs don’t safeguard your internet privacy and security. Some free VPNs are even dangerous to use.

That being said, there are selected good free VPNs to choose from. They are restricted by data caps, slow speeds, and limited streaming capabilities, but at least they are safe to use.

Are VPNs Worth the Cost?

Not all VPNs are worth the cost, but we strongly believe a high-quality VPN is worth paying for. And, it won’t break the bank, either.

For a few dollars per month, a VPN changes your IP address to:

  • Hide your web activity from ISPs, snoopers, and hackers.
  • Conceal your P2P file-sharing activity.
  • Encrypt your data transfers on insecure WiFi networks.
  • Access geo-blocked streaming content.
  • Unblock censored web content.

Simply put, a VPN safeguards your privacy, security and internet freedom for as little as $2-3 per month. That’s great value.

Choosing the right VPN based on your budget can be tricky, though. We prepared a VPN buying guide to help you get started.

The VPN features to consider when choosing a VPN are:

  • Security
  • Privacy
  • Streaming capabilities
  • Speed
  • Device compatibility
  • Advanced features
  • Price

About the Author

  • Headshot of Top10VPN.com Site Editor Callum Tennent

    Callum Tennent

    Callum oversees how we test and review VPN services. He's a member of the IAPP, and his advice about VPNs has featured in Forbes and the Internet Society. Read full bio