Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.
The cheapest VPNs of 2020
VPNs offer Internet users added protection against prying eyes, but are the cheaper VPNs worth it?
We often trend towards the notion that cheaper means less adequate when it comes to what we buy. However, with a global market and hundreds of companies vying for space in the VPN niche, lower costs don’t necessarily mean poorer service. By utilising free trials and comparing features, you can see if lower-priced VPN services can give you what you need at a better rate.
When does it make sense to opt for a cheaper VPN?
The simplest reason to purchase a cheaper VPN is to save money. VPNs on the lower end of the spectrum can be subscribed to for as little as $4 a month. Some VPNs charge double that amount and can have your yearly bill for VPN usage costing a hundred dollars or more. Cheaper VPNs often have limitations such as limited bandwidth. If you are interested in protecting yourself while in public or on the road, rather than using your VPN to torrent files, this can be a good option.
Do VPN prices always equate to quality?
The best VPN is not necessarily the most expensive one. Companies set their subscription rates for all sorts of reasons including paying their own varying costs and balancing profitability against affordability. Additionally, different users have different goals in using a VPN, some of which can be accomplished without paying larger subscription costs. Think of the VPN market in the same way as the automobile market: a solid commuter car might cost $20,000 while an SUV built to carry a family of five on holidays costs $45,000. Both are the right vehicle for the right driver.
Are there any limitations when using a cheap VPN?
When we talk about limitations with VPNs, we are generally referring to three main areas: speed, bandwidth and number of servers.
- Speed is usually the characteristic most people look for when researching VPNs because it defines how quickly they can access information on the Internet. A big aspect of VPN speed is latency, which is the amount of time it takes for a computer to send a signal requesting information and have that signal answered.
- Bandwidth is how much data you can download in a certain time frame like a day or a month. Less expensive VPNs often have set limits per month to keep costs down.
- The physical number of servers a VPN has can make it easier to access the VPN when you’re travelling and can reduce the latency. Smaller-operation VPNs tend to have fewer physical locations.
Will my privacy be protected if I choose a low-cost VPN?
How well low-cost VPNs protect your privacy must be researched on a case-by-case basis. Every VPN website should have details on whether it keeps logs or not, what level of encryption it provides and whether or not it includes adware. The presence of adware or logs means where you go and what you access on the Internet is being tracked by either the VPN or a third party. The fewer levels of encryption present, the more likely it is that hackers will be able to access your data.
Cheap VPNs vs free VPNs
Generally speaking, there is a major difference between paid VPNs and free VPN services. Free VPNs are not charging users a subscription, so to make money they could be engaging in any number of unscrupulous activities, including on-selling your data or serving you annoying adware.
Given that a paid VPN subscription can cost you as little as the price of a coffee each month, it’s usually a no-brainer.