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Are Lifetime VPNs Worth It? | 5 Best Alternatives in 2023

On paper, buying a lifetime VPN sounds like a great deal because it seems like you only have to make one payment, and you’re set for life. However, the reality is that these lifetime VPNs don’t really last forever. Hence, the company could terminate your lifetime subscription with no warning and refuse to give you a refund. They also pose significant risks to your internet privacy and security, which is an even bigger problem.

That's why my team and I have spent months researching the best alternatives to lifetime VPNs. These are services that offer long-term subscriptions with legitimate money-back guarantees and come packed with features to keep your data safe.

From my findings, I can safely say that opting for a reputable VPN like ExpressVPN is always a better option than getting any lifetime VPN. ExpressVPN comes with robust security, a strict and audited no-logs policy, and fast servers, all of which lifetime VPNs can’t really provide. It’s also backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee that lifetime VPNs usually don’t offer. So, you can test ExpressVPN risk-free and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied.

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Short on Time? Here Are the Best Alternatives to Lifetime VPNs in February 2023

  1. ExpressVPN — Offers robust security features, a no-logs policy, and reliable servers. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
  2. CyberGhost — Comes with specialized servers for streaming, but its monthly plan is a bit expensive that its long-term plans.
  3. Private Internet Access — Offers customizable security features, but that also makes its app a bit difficult to navigate for VPN beginners.
  4. IPVanish — Lets you connect an unlimited number of devices using a single subscription, but it doesn’t allow cryptocurrency payments.
  5. PrivateVPN — Has a simple and intuitive app that is great for beginners, but fewer servers.

Why You Should Avoid Lifetime VPNs

I don’t recommend getting a lifetime VPN because they’re not worth the money, they’re unreliable, and they don’t actually last forever. Lifetime VPNs come with various security and performance issues that can compromise your privacy and service quality.

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1. Not Worth the Money

Lifetime VPNs charge you a larger fee than the other VPNs’ usual monthly fees but don't offer you a better package. What’s worse, they can shut down at any time. All of this means that you've wasted the money on a VPN that's now out of service.

That’s because such businesses are unsustainable from a financial standpoint, especially if the company only offers lifetime subscriptions. There are operating costs, service charges, rentals, utilities, salaries, and much more to consider. When the company can no longer attract new subscribers, the flow of money dries up.

In turn, there won’t be enough resources to update the existing VPN features or replace outdated ones with newer and more secure ones. The server infrastructure then becomes unreliable, and your connection — slow and inconsistent. Taking all that into consideration, you're actually paying for something that is not worth your hard-earned money.

Alternatively, the VPN company can terminate your lifetime subscription without warning and refuse to provide a refund. This was the case with VPN Land, a company that offered a lifetime subscription before it suddenly forced customers to switch over to an annual paid package instead of giving them a refund.

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2. Unreliable Service and Unblocking Abilities

Lifetime VPNs operate on unsustainable business models, and many of them go bankrupt. When that happens, you get unreliable performance and customer service after you've paid for your subscription.

Technology is constantly changing, so not being able to invest in upgrading and updating its features, the VPN service will quickly become outdated and undependable. So, the VPN you bought to access Netflix US or any other site can suddenly stop working due to the inability to keep up with the streaming platforms’ robust VPN-blocking technologies.

When the company starts to struggle financially, it can’t provide good customer support either, so when you make a complaint, you probably won’t receive a reply. In the end, the business has already pocketed your money when you paid for its lifetime subscription and thus has no further reason to keep you happy.

3. Sketchy Security and Privacy

The lack of upgrades means that your internet privacy and security are at risk. Outdated encryption and weak tunneling protocols make it extremely easy for hackers to intercept and monitor your activity. Even if your lifetime VPN had the latest features when you first bought it, it most likely won't be as effective in a few years when technology has moved beyond it. For example, PPTP was once a top-notch protocol, but today it’s one of the least secure ones on the market.

Similarly, the VPN might not log your data at first, but nothing is stopping it from changing its policies as time goes by. After all, the company can one day be acquired by a competitor or choose to start selling your private information for financial gain.

Warning! Lifetime VPN subscriptions are often sold by third-party resellers and not the actual VPN company. This poses a significant risk to your privacy and security because you can end up falling victim to a scam. It’s recommended that you get a VPN subscription directly from the VPN seller instead.

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4. Lifetime VPNs Don’t Last Forever

Lifetime VPNs usually exist for a couple of years, even though they’re advertised as something you can get for life. The term "lifetime" is simply a marketing ploy used to attract new customers.

It's always a good idea to read the fine print on your contract if you choose to go with a lifetime subscription. That way, you know your rights if the company suddenly decides to discontinue its lifetime plan or its service altogether if it offers only an “unlimited” subscription. If their policy says there’s no money-back guarantee, I highly recommend you don’t waste your money on it. Since lifetime VPNs don’t last for your whole life because of their poor business models, you know that your subscription will be invalid at a certain point.

While some companies have offered both lifetime and monthly subscriptions in the past, these were usually one-time special offers sold alongside other payment plans. But even then, there's a genuine risk that the subscription won't last forever.

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Best Alternatives to Lifetime VPNs

1. ExpressVPN — Overall Best Value for Your Money

  • Best VPN features for a reasonable price
  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
ExpressVPN Offer February 2023: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

Even though ExpressVPN’s pricing plans are slightly higher, starting at $6.67/month, it more than makes up for it in terms of value since it offers the best security features, high reliability, and consistently fast speeds. You can also get 49% off of your long-term subscription as it offers a great deal right now. I also got a couple of months for free when I subscribed. So, you can still get it at a super affordable price and have a way better quality service than a lifetime VPN can provide.

All of ExpressVPN’s plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This gives you much more flexibility than getting a lifetime VPN that won’t actually last forever. That way, you can try it out and get a full refund if you’re not satisfied. To test this, I requested a refund (via its 24/7 live chat) after using the service for 3 weeks. I was pleasantly surprised to see how straightforward the process was. The customer service rep responded quickly and processed my refund immediately with no fuss. I then got my money back within 3 days.

ExpressVPN consistently provides superfast speeds, which let you surf the internet easily with no interruptions. I tested 3 different server locations — Australia and Singapore, which are relatively close to my location, and the US, which is far away. With my base speed of 20 Mbps, I reached 17.08 Mbps on average. That is pretty impressive as it’s only a 15% drop. Most VPNs slow down your speeds by up to 20% even on local servers, so ExpressVPN showed a great result.

Screenshots of speed test results while connected to different ExpressVPN serversWith ExpressVPN’s speeds, you can stream content on different platforms without any buffering

It regularly upgrades its servers and infrastructure, so you can reliably unblock content on your favorite streaming sites. This is something that an exclusively lifetime VPN cannot promise you. I managed to unblock all platforms I tested, including Netflix, Disney+, and APV. I could easily watch episodes of The Office on Netflix while connected to ExpressVPN’s US servers.

ExpressVPN is packed with security features that you can’t find in lifetime VPNs, so you don’t have to worry about your personal data being exposed. For example, it uses AES 256-bit encryption to make all your browsing activity and information unreadable to third parties.

It also comes with split tunneling that lets you select which apps you want to use the VPN connection and which ones to use your local (ISP's) connection. I tested this feature out by setting it to encrypt only BitTorrent traffic while I watched Netflix on my browser using my normal (unencrypted) internet connection, and it worked perfectly.

I also checked its privacy practices on its website and confirmed that ExpressVPN has an audited no-logs policy. This means that a third-party cybersecurity company has proven that the VPN doesn’t record, collect, or sell your data.

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2. CyberGhost — Reliable Server Network for Any Internet Activity

  • 9,753 servers, including special ones for streaming
  • User-friendly interface
  • AES 256-bit encryption and a no-logs policy
  • Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
February 2023 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 84% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

CyberGhost offers reliable servers across 91 countries, so you won’t have any issues finding a fast local server wherever you are. It also comes with streaming-optimized servers that are dedicated to unblocking specific platforms like BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video US. I recommend always using these special servers for streaming and the regular ones for browsing. This is something that a lifetime VPN isn’t likely to provide as it may lack the funds needed to continually upgrade its server network. I tested its Amazon Prime US server and streamed 3 episodes of Bosch without any interruptions.

A screenshot of CyberGhost's Windows app displaying the VPN's list of streaming-optimized serversYou can find these special servers in the “For streaming” tab

It also comes with a very intuitive and user-friendly app that you can easily get the hang of, even if you’re a VPN beginner. Selecting a server takes just a couple of seconds. You can either choose one manually or let CyberGhost choose for you with its best server location feature. It automatically detects and connects you to the fastest server based on your location. This saves you the hassle of having to find the best servers by trial and error.

Unlike a lifetime VPN, CyberGhost regularly upgrades its security to keep up with technological developments and thus keeps you safe online. It has a kill switch that automatically cuts off your internet if the VPN connection unexpectedly drops or you’re just switching between servers. This ensures that your IP address and personal data stay private. Much like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost uses AES 256-bit encryption which is widely regarded as the most secure in the world. That way, there is almost zero risk of your data getting hacked or stolen.

CyberGhost’s minor drawback is that its short-term plan is pretty pricey and only comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee. But if you want a good price for the long-term, then you’ll find its yearly subscriptions a great alternative to a lifetime VPN. The subscription for its longest plan starts at just $2.19/month.

Also, its long-term plans are backed by a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free. I tested it by requesting a refund through the 24/7 live chat after using the service for 38 days. I’m pleased to report that the support rep was friendly and helpful. They only asked me a few questions before they approved my request. After that, I got my money back within 4 days.

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3. Private Internet Access — Strong Security Features to Keep You Safe Online

  • 2 kill switches and military-grade encryption
  • MACE feature that blocks ads, trackers, and malware
  • 29,650 servers in 84 countries
  • Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
February 2023 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 83% off!

To strengthen your online security, PIA comes with 2 kill switches that make sure your actual IP remains hidden. While some lifetime VPNs come with a basic kill switch or none at all, PIA provides additional protection with its Advanced Kill Switch. This feature blocks all internet access when you’re not connected to the VPN, which makes it impossible to leak any data. I tested this out, and with the Advanced Kill Switch turned on, my browser would not load until I was connected to the VPN. The basic kill switch works only when your VPN is on, and it does so by cutting your internet connection while you’re switching servers.

Screenshots of PIA's Windows app showcasing the 2 kill switches it offersPIA’s Advanced Kill Switch blocks all internet traffic until the VPN is connected

PIA also makes use of the AES 256-bit encryption to make sure your data isn’t identifiable to third parties. Security experts consider this method to be unbreakable. So, you won’t have to worry about your personal information getting compromised.

In addition, PIA doesn’t track or record your internet activity since it has a no-logs policy. While it has not yet been audited by an independent third party, my research shows that the company’s claims have been tested in court. In 2016, the VPN was ordered to hand over a certain user’s data, but it could not do so as it does not record any user activity.

The main downside is that PIA’s app comes with too many customization options. These include different types of encryption, protocols, and ports, which make it a bit overwhelming to use if you’re a VPN beginner. But it comes pre-configured, so you don’t have to change any settings to make it work.

Prices for a long-term PIA subscription start at $2.19/month, with all plans allowing 10 simultaneous device connections. This gives you great value for money compared to lifetime VPNs, which usually don't offer more than 5 devices per license.

Also, all subscriptions have a money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free for 30 days. You first need to raise a ticket on PIA’s website to request your refund. In my case, I received a response from the customer service team after 2 hours and got my refund within 5 days. However, you can also contact them through the 24/7 live chat for faster replies.

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4. IPVanish — Unlimited Simultaneous Connections to Protect All of Your Devices

  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • 2,000 servers in 75 countries
  • No-logs policy
  • Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more
IPVanish February 2023 Deal: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 66% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

IPVanish supports unlimited connections, which is great value for money as you can protect your whole family’s devices at once. I tested this out by connecting 2 Windows PCs, an iPad, an iPhone, and an Android tablet simultaneously. My colleagues streamed YouTube on the PCs and Netflix on the iPad while I browsed Instagram on the iPhone and tablet. The VPN held up rather well, and there were no slowdowns — it felt as if only 1 device was connected.

Like the rest of the VPNs on this list, IPVanish also uses state-of-the-art AES 256-bit encryption to ensure that your activity and personal data are hidden. This form of encryption keeps your data away from prying eyes. To further protect you, IPVanish also offers IP/DNS leak protection, which is designed to protect your real IP from getting exposed. I enabled it and tested it for leaks while connected to one of its servers. My results showed that there were no leaks were detected.

A screenshot of the IP leak test results while connected to one of IPVanish's Australian serversI tested it for leaks on IPLeak.net while connected to an Australian server location

It is easy to use, so you’ll have no issues even if you’re new to VPNs. I only needed to navigate to the app’s “Quick Connect” screen and choose my desired country, city, and server or let IPVanish choose for me. I let the app choose for me, and it connected me to the city closest to me with the fastest server.

One issue I have with IPVanish is the lack of cryptocurrency payment options. However, it makes up for it by accepting payments via a credit card and PayPal, which are 2 of the most frequently used methods. Prices start at $3.33/month for a long-term subscription which comes with a money-back guarantee.

The guarantee lets you try IPVanish for 30 days without any risks. This gives you a huge advantage over a lifetime VPN, as you can get a refund if you’re not happy with the VPN’s performance. When it came to getting a refund, I only had to log into my account on IPVanish’s website and click on the “I wish to cancel my subscription” button. After that, the funds were back in my account within just 7 days.

Try IPVanish Today

5. PrivateVPN — Intuitive and Easy-To-Use App for VPN Beginners

  • User-friendly interface
  • 200 servers in 63 countries
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Can unblock: Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, Apple TV, and more

PrivateVPN’s user-friendly design makes it easy to use, so you’ll find your way around it pretty quickly. On its “Simple View,” you can select a server and connect to it by clicking on the big on/off button. When I opened the server list while testing, I could sort the servers by country or proximity. There’s also an option to save your most used ones to a Favorites tab. The “Advanced View” lets you customize and enable various options, all organized in separate tabs.

Screenshot of PrivateVPN's app showing the simple and advanced viewsChoose “Advanced View” to see PrivateVPN’s range of settings and customization options

As for data security, PrivateVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption to keep your personal information and activities safe. It is currently the most secure encryption key available. Also, after going through its privacy policy, I can say with 100% confidence that the company has a strict no-logs policy. All of this means that you don’t have to worry about your data being exposed, tracked, or recorded.

Unfortunately, this VPN is headquartered in Sweden, a country that is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. The members of this surveillance group can share your data between them if needed. Fortunately, PrivateVPN’s strict no-logs policy means that there is nothing to hand over to the authorities because it doesn’t collect your personal info. The same may not apply to a lifetime VPN which may suddenly change its policies and start collecting your data.

Subscriptions start at $2/month and all plans have the same features. Plus, if you don’t want to use your bank account information, you can pay with Bitcoin.

All of PrivateVPN’s plans come with a money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free for 30 days. I used the live chat to contact its customer support team after testing the service for 12 days. Their response was quick and friendly and my request was processed in under 15 minutes. After that, I got my money back within 7 days.

Try PrivateVPN Today

FAQs on Lifetime VPNs

Are lifetime VPN subscriptions worth it?

No, they are not. Companies that offer only lifetime VPNs are not financially sustainable. They often lack the funds needed to upgrade and maintain their infrastructure, and this results in a VPN with poor service and limited features.

Besides that, a lifetime VPN company may suddenly amend its logging policies due to a shift in ownership or management direction. Once that happens, you’ll either have to deal with a VPN that records all your data or abandon your lifetime subscription. Either way, you’ll end up on the losing end.

The company can also choose to terminate your lifetime subscription and decide not to refund you. As was the case with VPN Land, users with lifetime subscriptions were forced to switch back to yearly subscriptions instead of getting refunds.

This is why switching to a VPN with long-term, but not lifetime, subscriptions is a better option. These VPNs survive and operate by receiving continued subscriptions from their customers, which gives them a major incentive to keep you happy. They also offer money-back guarantees, ensuring that you won’t have to worry about getting scammed and wasting the money you spent.

Are lifetime VPN scams?

A lot of the lifetime VPNs seem a bit sketchy and scammy because their business models are unsustainable and unreliable. I wouldn’t be confident in buying a lifetime VPN subscription because it sounds too good to be true. There have been instances where the company providing the VPN suddenly terminated its lifetime plans. As a result, subscribers could not get their money back and were forced to switch to annual plans.

Also, you can usually get a lifetime VPN from a third-party reseller instead of the actual company providing the lifetime subscription. This is not very secure because the chances of getting scammed are bigger since you’re not getting it directly from the VPN company.

On which devices can I use lifetime VPNs?

Lifetime VPNs work on mobile and desktop devices. These include PCs running Windows and macOS to Android and iOS smartphones. Some of them are also compatible with streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV Stick or some smart TVs. If they don’t offer native apps for these devices, you’ll need to configure the VPN on your router first. Another solution would be using a Smart DNS feature, but most lifetime VPNs don’t offer one. Hence, I recommend that you get a VPN that offers native apps for most devices as well as a Smart DNS service, like ExpressVPN.

Are there any free lifetime VPNs, and are they safe?

There are free lifetime VPNs available, but they often lack important security and privacy features, thus making them unsafe. Some services usually offer a premium subscription as well in order to access more features or get rid of any restrictions. This is because their free versions are quite limited when it comes to speeds, server network, and security features. All of this makes them unreliable and less enjoyable to use. It's much better to get a premium VPN that comes with a money-back guarantee.

Providing a VPN service for free doesn't make any sense, given the costs of running one. Hence, some free VPNs may monitor and log your personal information and sell it to third parties such as hackers, scammers, and companies to earn extra money. Additionally, some of them come with malware in their installers, which can compromise your security.

You’ll also have to deal with a smaller server network which results in congestion and slow speeds when you’re using the VPN. They also come with strict data caps that limit how much you can use the internet. On top of that, free VPNs usually have a hard time unblocking streaming platforms since they can’t keep up with their VPN-blocking technologies.

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Bottom Line

Lifetime VPNs aren't up to providing good service, reliable data protection, and overall value for money. Given the shaky business models that most lifetime VPN companies have, these operations are not sustainable.

On the other hand, a premium VPN with monthly and yearly subscriptions has access to the financial resources needed to upgrade and improve its infrastructure consistently. In turn, this guarantees that you'll get access to the best possible service every time. And as top-tier VPNs come with money-back guarantees, you can always get a refund if things don't work out.

Hence, this is why I recommend that you check out ExpressVPN. With its state-of-the-art security features, a large selection of servers, and lightning-fast speeds, it is superior to a lifetime VPN. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you try ExpressVPN out risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund within those 30 days.

To summarize, here are the best alternatives to lifetime VPNs…

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Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

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The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

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About the Author

Benjamin is a professional copywriter who strongly advocates for the freedom of information, which is why data security and internet privacy are his specialties. He regularly contributes to sites that focus on cryptocurrency, DeFi, and internet privacy.

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