Best Monthly VPNs – How to Get Premium VPNs for a Tiny Price
- What’s So Great About a Monthly VPN Plan?
- The Best Monthly VPNs – Full Analysis (Updated July 2021)
- ExpressVPN – The Fastest and Most Versatile VPN
- Private Internet Access – Best for High-Speed Gaming
- PrivateVPN – Great Security Features
- CyberGhost – User-Friendly for VPN Beginners
- IPVanish – Affordable Torrent-Friendly VPN
- ZenMate – Good Monthly VPN for Windows
- ProtonVPN — Fast VPN With a Fairly Large Server Network
- Windscribe – Good Monthly VPN for Bypassing Censorship
- VPNs With More Affordable Annual Plans
- Research Methodology
Choosing a VPN is like embarking on a relationship. You want to make sure it’s working before you commit to anything long term, right? A monthly subscription is a great way to do that. You get all the benefits of a premium VPN with no long-term commitment.
However, not all VPNs offer great value monthly plans.
I checked over 300 VPNs to find the 8 VPNs that provide the best value. I ranked my recommendations on affordability, reliability, features, security, and speed.
Coming out on top, ExpressVPN’s monthly subscription gives you the most for your money.
Let’s find out which other services made the list.
Short on time? Here are the best monthly VPNs
- ExpressVPN — The fastest VPN and the best all-rounder.
- Private Internet Access – Excellent security features and great for gamers.
- PrivateVPN – Simple and affordable with watertight security.
- CyberGhost – User-friendly for VPN beginners with the longest money-back guarantee.
- IPVanish — Entire network is P2P-friendly making it a great choice for torrenting
What’s So Great About a Monthly VPN Plan?
Most premium VPNs have a variety of subscription plans to choose from. Options include monthly, quarterly, yearly, and in some cases you can purchase 2- or 3-year plans.
You can save money by buying the longer subscriptions, but the initial cost increases with the subscription length. If you’re on a tight budget, a monthly plan is often the best choice.
However, there are other reasons to choose a monthly VPN plan such as:
- Testing out a VPN to see if it’s the right choice for you
- Only needing to use a VPN for a short time
- Avoiding a long-term commitment
The Best Monthly VPNs – Full Analysis (Updated July 2021)
I tested and ranked more than 300 services before refining the top options into this 8 best monthly VPNs list.
We regularly retest and update our findings, so you know you’re getting recommendations based on each VPN’s most recent monthly subscription prices.
- Three payment plans
- 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
- Lightning-fast speeds
- Zero-knowledge DNS and TrustedServer technology
- 5 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Sony Crackle, HBO Go, Disney+, Sling TV, Hulu
- Compatible with: macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, routers
ExpressVPN is super-fast and ultra-secure. Its zero-logs policy is backed up by TrustedServer technology. This makes sure that ExpressVPN servers never write information to their hard drives.
Any data from your session is stored in RAM only, which is automatically wiped every time the server is restarted. This physically prevents the VPN from storing any information about you or your usage.
ExpressVPN also uses AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection to lock down your traffic and prevent any of your sensitive or identifying information from being revealed. It has its own private zero-knowledge DNS that ensures your DNS requests are covered by the VPN’s encryption. That means no one can use them to see what you’re doing online or where you’re based.
It isn’t just a VPN for security though. It’s lightning-fast for streaming and gaming and supports torrenting on all its 3,000+ servers. Server locations in 94 countries make short work of geoblocks; I used ExpressVPN to watch Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in several different regions.
You get up to 5 simultaneous connections and the VPN has apps for almost every device and platform. If you don’t want to upgrade to its cheaper annual plan after your first month, you can always use the 30-day money-back guarantee. The helpful 24/7 live chat customer support can tell you how to claim your refund.
With subscriptions ranging from monthly to yearly, with coupons, discounts, and additional time often offered, it’s great value for money. A monthly subscription might a little more expensive than others but you get some seriously powerful security measures for your payment that make it worthwhile.
Want to know more? Explore our ExpressVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- Three payment plans
- Lightning-fast for gamers
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Go, Crunchyroll, CBS All Access, Sony Crackle, Showtime, ESPN
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, routers
If you’re looking for a super-fast VPN to help with lag-free gaming, Private Internet Access is one of the most affordable options.
It offers three payment options—monthly, 6 months, and yearly—and the prices are comparable to many other VPNs. If you want a VPN for gaming, torrenting, or browsing the web, Private Internet Access provides good value for money. However, if you’re looking for a VPN for streaming, it starts to lose its value.
Its large network of 35,550+ servers in 78 countries gives you lightning-fast speeds around the world. During my tests, I found most servers maintained my speedy connection, which is great news for gamers.
It’s good news if you’re looking to torrent, too. Private Internet Access supports P2P traffic on all servers. You also get a generous 10 simultaneous connections, which is ideal for gaming or torrenting on multiple devices.
If you like streaming you’re in luck! Private Internet Access can unblock popular streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu.
Private Internet Access’ security features are fairly standard; there’s military-grade encryption, disconnect protection, and a strict no-logs policy. You have to remember to select 256-bit AES encryption in your settings, though, otherwise the VPN defaults to 128-bit encryption, which is not as secure.
There’s no 24/7 live chat, only email support that can be slow. If you’re not happy with your subscription after your first month, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Want to know more? Explore our Private Internet Access review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- Three payment plans
- 100+ servers in 63+ countries
- Dedicated streaming profile
- Unlimited P2P file sharing
- Military-grade encryption with 2048-bit DH key
- Connect on 6 devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Vudu, Hulu, HBO Go, BBC iPlayer
- Compatible with: Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, routers
PrivateVPN is one of my most recommended premium VPNs. It may only have a small server list but it makes up for that with speed, quality features, and great customer support.
It has three different subscription options ranging from monthly to yearly and its monthly subscription is the most affordable I could find. So even with fewer servers than most, its variety of features and low prices make it well worth the investment.
You don’t get the speeds and server network you get with ExpressVPN. However, I found PrivateVPN to be more than capable for streaming, torrenting, and browsing.
Despite its relatively small network of just 100+ servers across 63 countries, PrivateVPN was able to unblock pretty much all the major streaming providers I tested – including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and BBC iPlayer.
There’s a dedicated streaming profile with servers labeled according to which sites they unblock that makes streaming super easy. It’s not lightning-fast, but my connection speed was good enough to enjoy buffer-free viewing.
You can torrent in privacy on all of PrivateVPN’s servers – none of your activity or identifying information is stored thanks to the VPN’s strict no-logs policy. It strengthens its AES 256-bit encryption with a 2048-bit DH key that adds an additional layer of security against hackers.
An automatic kill switch cuts internet connection should you become disconnected from the VPN, to stop your device switching back to your ISP without your realizing. DNS/IPv6 leak protection prevents your DNS requests and traffic from being routed outside of the VPN.
You can download the VPN’s simple and easy-to-use apps on up to 6 devices. Live chat isn’t available 24/7 but is very helpful when you can get through. They even provide remote assistance if you’re having problems with installation and setup.
Its 30-day money-back guarantee gives you plenty of time to try it out before committing to a longer plan.
Want to know more? Explore our PrivateVPN review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- Four payment plans
- 7,198+ servers in 91 countries
- Streaming and torrenting-optimized servers
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Built-in ad, tracking, malware blocker
- 14-day money-back guarantee for the monthly plan
- Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Vudu, HBO Go, Sony Crackle, Crunchyroll
- Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, routers
CyberGhost is easy to use, which makes it ideal if you’re new to VPNs. It has plenty of advanced features if you want to use them but it also comes preconfigured on installation. You can just download the app and click to connect if you don’t want to deal with any complicated settings.
CyberGhost doesn’t have the cheapest monthly subscription, but it’s worth considering. Especially if you’re new to VPNs and want a quick and easy way to stream. Its monthly price also drops massively if you commit to one of the three available longer subscriptions so you can pay a lot less after your initial month of testing.
I found CyberGhost easy-to-use. Downloading and installing the apps is fast and simple on all devices and you get 7 simultaneous connections – enough to cover a whole house of gadgets.
The VPN automatically connects you to the best server, but there are also dedicated streaming and torrenting profiles if you want streaming and P2P-optimized servers. Each of CyberGhost’s streaming servers is labeled with the service it can unblock. I was able to access Netflix, HBO Go, and BBC iPlayer. I only had trouble with Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.
Beneath CyberGhost’s clear and simple interface lies military-grade encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection that combine to guarantee your anonymity and privacy at all times. There’s also a built-in ad tracking and malware blocker to put a stop to hackers and annoying popups.
Customer support isn’t the easiest to navigate. There is a live chat, but it doesn’t seem to be available 24/7. I found it easier to use the online guides instead.
I was also disappointed to see that CyberGhost’s monthly subscription only offers a 14-day money-back guarantee, while its longer subscriptions offer a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Want to know more? Explore our CyberGhost review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- Three payment plans
- 1,900+ servers in 75+ countries
- Unlimited P2P support on all servers
- Good speeds
- Connect on up to unlimited devices at the same time
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Vudu, Disney+, HBO Go, Sling TV, Sony Crackle, FOX Go
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, routers
IPVanish is an inexpensive VPN ideal for torrenting. It supports unlimited P2P connections across all of its 1,900+ servers in 75+ countries.
IPVanish offers three payment plans, monthly, 3 months, and yearly. Even though it’s got a fairly small server network its unblocking abilities, features, and speed make it great value for money.
During my speed tests, I barely noticed any difference in my normal connection speed and my speeds while connected to the VPN. That means lightning-fast torrenting for you.
It also means that you get buffer-free streaming. I was able to use IPVanish to access Netflix, Vudu, HBO Go, and Disney+, although I didn’t have much luck with Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.
You don’t need to worry about your privacy or anonymity while torrenting or watching your favorite shows. Your traffic is protected by AES 256-bit military-grade encryption with an automatic kill switch and leak protection that will hide your IP address even if you get some unexpected downtime.
IPVanish also operates a strict no-logs policy – it won’t log or store any information about you at all, including activity data.
All IPVanish plans come with SugarSync. This secure cloud storage allows you to safely backup your computer, tablet, and mobile devices. It even has remote wiping capabilities if a device is ever lost or stolen.
You can download and use the VPN on up to unlimited devices at the same time, ideal if you want to torrent on your desktop and stream or browse elsewhere.
Customer support is excellent; there’s a 24/7 live chat and a huge online support center full of easy-to-follow guides.
Sadly, IPVanish only gives you a 30-day money-back guarantee so you don’t get much time to test it out. Still, its monthly subscription is so affordable you might not want a refund anyway.
Want to know more? Explore our IPVanish review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- Three payment plans
- 3,900+ servers in 78 countries
- Built-in malware and tracking blocker
- P2P-optimized servers
- Use on up to Unlimited devices at the same time
- Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, HBO G0, Disney+, Showtime, ESPN
- Compatible with: Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, routers
ZenMate has lots of great features, it even lets you bookmark your favorite server so it’s easy to find and connect to.
Sadly, many features are only available in its Windows app. So, even with three affordable payment plans, this is a good choice if you use Windows but not the best value for money if you use another operating system or want to run your VPN on multiple platforms.
For example, its Windows app has an automatic kill switch and leak protection that safeguards your sensitive data in the event of a disconnection. You don’t get the same protection on other devices. It also uses military-grade 256-bit AES encryption on its desktop and mobile apps but not on its browser extensions, which are only protected by weaker 128-bit encryption.
Still, if you are a Windows user, you get a lot for your monthly payment. ZenMate has 3,900+ servers in 78 countries, guaranteeing great speeds across its network. It’s not bad at getting around geoblocks and can unlock some big streaming providers, including Netflix.
It has a dedicated torrenting profile where you’ll find its P2P-optimized servers and there’s built-in malware protection guard you against any suspicious files.
ZenMate gives you up to Unlimited simultaneous connections under one license. There’s no live chat feature, but I found its email support response to be very prompt and helpful.
Want to know more? Explore our ZenMate review to see the full results of our research and testing.
- Four subscription plans, including a free option
- 1,250 servers in 54 countries
- Fast speeds
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max
- Compatible with: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Chromebook, AndroidTV, and routers
ProtonVPN offers a total of four subscription plans, to match your every need. It has a free plan, where you can enjoy the benefits of a basic VPN along with decent speed — but free users only get 3 countries to choose from, and torrenting or bypassing geoblocks is not guaranteed.
Starting with its Basic plan, you get access to 1,250 servers in 54 countries, along with P2P support, fast speeds, and 2 simultaneous device connections. During my tests, the speed stood well over 45 Mbps, which is great for both streaming and torrenting.
On its Plus plan, I managed to unblock a handful of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. I didn’t have any problems finding a server to bypass geo-restrictions, but some servers are crowded so the performance is not amazing.
ProtonVPN does a great job of keeping you safe on the internet. It has AES-256 type encryption, which is the strongest system nowadays. Its ad blocker is efficient against pop-up ads and trackers, and the kill switch keeps you protected in case of a VPN error.
The VPN doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever — it doesn’t keep your IP address, location, or web activity. As a plus, it’s located in Switzerland, where the government issued stringent data protection laws. This means that even if ProtonVPN has some data about you, it can’t share it with any authority.
If you want to give it a try before committing to a subscription, you can test it with its 30-day money-back guarantee or the free plan. However, on the free plan, you’d miss out on watching your favorite geoblocked content with super-fast speeds.
Check out ProtonVPN’s review to find out more about it, and decide if it’s the one for you.
- Three payment plans including a build a plan option
- 180+ servers in 60 countries
- Stealth Mode for bypassing censorship
- Built-in ad, malware, tracking, and cryptomining blocker
- Dedicated Windflix servers for Netflix
- Unlimited device connections
- 3-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, Disney, FOX Go
- Compatible with: Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, routers
Windscribe’s strength lies in its impressive Stealth Mode, which obscures your VPN traffic inside a secure tunnel. That means no one can see that you’re using a VPN, enabling you to get around anti-VPN software and unblock restricted content – perfect if you live in a country with strict censorship or a VPN ban.
With two payment options and the ability to build your own plan, Windscribe should be able to rank much higher on this list. But it’s short money-back guarantee, inconsistent server speeds, and lack of live chat push it to the bottom of the list. Low prices are great, but not if you lose out on funcionality.
You’re also protected by military-grade encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS/IPv6 leak protection so no one can ever detect your true IP address or location or monitor what you’re doing online. A built-in ad, malware, tracking, and cryptomining blocker adds a further layer of protection.
The VPN is great for streaming and torrenting, too. P2P traffic is allowed on all but a few of its 180+ servers in 60 countries. It has dedicated Windflix servers for unblocking Netflix and I was able to stream Hulu, HBO Go, and Disney+ as well.
Another bonus? Windscribe lets you connect on an Unlimited number of devices at the same time.
My only complaint is that Windscribe’s speeds can be inconsistent across servers. It sometimes takes a while to find one that’s fast enough to stream or torrent. You also only get a 3-day money-back guarantee, which isn’t as generous as other monthly VPNs.
There is a live chat feature but it’s not available 24/7. However, the online FAQ section is very helpful.
Want to know more? Explore our Windscribe review to see the full results of our research and testing.
VPNs With More Affordable Annual Plans
There are plenty of other great VPNs on the market that don’t offer the most attractive monthly plans and therefore didn’t make my list. Here are some good VPNs that are only really worthwhile on a longer subscription.
IPVanish’s monthly plan is quite pricey considering the VPN lacks some features like malware protection and only gives you a 7-day money-back guarantee.
Its 3-month and 12-months plans are much more affordable though. Lightning-fast speeds and unlimited P2P connections make it worth checking out if you like torrenting and want a longer subscription. You can find out more with our in-depth IPVanish review.
VyprVPN is a brilliant VPN with high-end security and great speeds. Sadly its monthly subscription is up there with some of the most expensive on the market.
Its prices drop by around 80% if you opt for a longer subscription though so don’t rule it out if you think you’ll continue using your VPN after the first month. Check out our VyprVPN review for more.
SaferVPN is another service with an expensive monthly subscription but a much more affordable annual plan.
If you’re willing to commit to a 36-month subscription, you can even get SaferVPN for over 80% less than if you pay monthly. It’s a decent all-rounder VPN with great speeds for streaming but it’s not ideal for a short-term contract. Find out what else it has to offer to long-term users in our complete SaferVPN review.
I tested more than 300 VPNs over several weeks to see which services give you the best compromise between features and cost.
Each VPN on my list has been put through rigorous testing to make sure I provide only the best and most up-to-date recommendations.
I looked for:
- A monthly contract that gives you a good balance between affordability and functionality
- A large network that provides you with consistent speeds and reliability wherever you are in the world
- Streaming and torrent support including optimized servers so you can use your VPN for a range of activities
- Security features that stand up to independent testing
- A trustworthy money-back guarantee so you know you can claim a refund if you’re not happy at the end of your first month
- Friendly, clear, and helpful customer support with good availability so you can get assistance whenever you need it
How much is a VPN per month?
Every VPN is different and prices vary depending on the size of the service and what it offers.
The VPNs on my list range from around $7 to around $13 per month. Higher price tags normally come with bigger networks, better features, and more advanced security.
What is the cheapest monthly VPN?
The most affordable monthly VPN on my list is PrivateVPN. It has the lowest monthly price point while retaining the standards I expect from a premium VPN.
There may be even cheaper VPNs out there but it’s important to remember that cheapest doesn’t mean best. Very cheap VPNs very often can’t afford the same resources offered by premium services. They have smaller networks, slower speeds, and poorer security measures.
Considering that difference often comes down to a few cents or dollars, I’d always go for a premium service for reliability and peace of mind.
Are VPNs legal?
The law around VPNs depends on your country.
VPNs are legal in most countries. However, there are a few governments that have banned VPNs or declared them illegal. In other countries, VPN usage is a gray area.
Check out our guide to the legality of VPNs to get the latest on VPN laws in your country.
The Bottom Line
A monthly VPN subscription is a great way to test out a service before you commit to a longer payment plan.
While it’s tempting to go for a cheap monthly VPN, I recommend opting for the service that gives you the best value rather than the lowest price point. In this case, that VPN is ExpressVPN. You get the fastest speeds, perfect streaming, excellent security, and lots more.
If you’re happy with a VPN that is much more simple yet still effective, PrivateVPN also has one of the most affordable monthly subscriptions.
Don’t forget to check out our latest VPN coupon codes and deals to get your monthly VPN for even less.
Think you might opt for a longer subscription instead? Here are our 8 best VPNs overall.
To summarize, the best monthly VPNs are…
Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!
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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.