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10 Best Monthly VPNs in 2023 — Great Value & Cheap Plans

Monthly VPN subscriptions are a great way to test the service without commitment, but a lot of them are expensive. If you don’t want to commit to a long-term subscription, there are a few VPNs that offer good month-to-month plans. However, they’re not easy to find with so many on the market.

I tested 50+ monthly VPNs and found the ones that offer the best value. I looked for affordable prices, fast speeds, robust security features, and good streaming capabilities. Furthermore, I ensured each VPN service comes with a trustworthy money-back guarantee and a reliable support team.

Out of all the monthly VPNs I tested, ExpressVPN is my top recommendation. Its fast speeds and reliability make its monthly price great value. In addition, you can try ExpressVPN out risk-free using its monthly subscription since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. In case you don’t like it, claiming a refund is easy.

Try ExpressVPN Now

Short on Time? Here Are the Best Monthly VPNs in February 2023

  1. ExpressVPN — Best month-to-month value with superfast speeds, a vast server network that can unblock tons of streaming content, and robust security. You can try it risk-free since it's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. PrivateVPN — Cheap monthly plans with a beginner-friendly app, but doesn't accept payments from Google Pay.
  3. Private Internet Access — Tons of security features to streamline your VPN connection, but the app can be difficult to master.
  4. NordVPN — A built-in ad and malware blocker at no additional cost, but sometimes slow to connect to specific servers.
  5. Surfshark — NoBorders mode to quickly bypass geo-restrictions for a month, but some servers aren't fast enough for lag-free gaming.

And 5 more great monthly VPNs

Best Monthly VPNs — Full Analysis (Updated in 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — The Fastest, Most Reliable Monthly VPN

  • 3 subscription plans — monthly, 6-months, and yearly
  • Lightning-fast speeds
  • 3,000 servers in 94 countries
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, 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!

With ExpressVPN’s monthly plan, you get superfast speeds and steady, reliable connections. During my tests, I connected to its New York, Washington DC, Santa Monica, and Atlanta servers, all of which gave me speeds above 80 Mbps. I could watch New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell on Netflix in picture-perfect HD without any lag. These speeds are more than fast enough for any online activity, including torrenting, online gaming, and high-quality streaming.

Picture of ExpressVPN's fast speeds measured by speedtestcomExpressVPN’s speeds are fast enough even for UHD content

Its network of 3,000 servers in 94 countries allows you to access tons of popular streaming services easily. Using its Australia, Japan, and UK servers, I could unblock various Netflix libraries. I also accessed HBO Max, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ without hassle. ExpressVPN also works to unblock gaming content that’s only available in certain regions. If you travel somewhere like Iran or Germany, where many games aren’t available or censored, you’ll be able to access your favorite games still by connecting the VPN to your home country.

TrustedServer technology protects your privacy, ensuring your data isn’t stored — Its entire network uses RAM-based servers designed to delete all data after reboot. In addition to this, it adheres to a strict no-logs policy that’s been audited and verified with real cases.

Robust security features will keep you safe from prying eyes. These include 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IP/WebRTC leak protection. I tested the reliability of the switch by quickly changing servers to see whether ExpressVPN would protect my connection. Every time I did this, it cut off my internet, so I knew my connection was secure at all times.

It also has other features like split tunneling and MediaStreamer. Split tunneling lets you choose specific apps to use the VPN connection, which can improve performance — I set up split tunneling so only my uTorrent traffic was using the VPN. Since there wasn’t any unnecessary traffic being encrypted, my download speeds increased. MediaStreamer allows you to easily unblock streaming content on devices that don't support VPN apps like gaming consoles and smart TVs.

ExpressVPN’s monthly subscription is $12.95/month which is a bit on the expensive side compared to other VPNs. But you get unmatched reliability, seriously fast speeds, and powerful security that makes it really good value. You can also choose from over a dozen payment methods, including all major credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin.

All of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, if you’re considering subscribing for longer than a month, you can save some money by signing up for a longer term (a yearly plan is about half the cost at $6.67/month). In any case, you can still try ExpressVPN risk-free. If at any point during the 30-day period you aren’t completely happy with it, then you can claim a full refund.

To verify the legitimacy of the money-back guarantee, I asked support via its 24/7 live chat feature for a refund after using the service for 27 days. The support representative asked me a couple of questions about the service but didn’t push me to stay. My request was approved in a little under 5 minutes, and I got my money back 2 days later.

Try ExpressVPN’s Monthly Plan

2. PrivateVPN — Intuitive, Simple Apps and Super Affordable Monthly Plans

  • 3 subscription plans — monthly, 6-months, and yearly
  • User-friendly app
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, Linux, routers, and more

You’ll have no problem using PrivateVPN’s apps, thanks to its intuitive user interface. Its Simple Mode makes the entire user interface minimalistic and straightforward, which lets you connect to a fast server in 1 click. There’s also an Advanced Mode that enables additional security, protocol, and tunneling settings you can tweak, but this isn’t necessary.

Although its server network isn’t large (just 200 servers in 63 countries), PrivateVPN is reliable for accessing geo-restricted content. Its Stealth feature makes bypassing VPN blocks a breeze because it hides the fact you're using a VPN. I was surprised that during my tests, its servers consistently unblocked every popular streaming platform I tested it with, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. This Stealth feature is what makes PrivateVPN work in restrictive countries like China.

Screenshot of PrivateVPN successfully unblocking Amazon Prime VideoThe connection remained stable even though I’m 12,000 km away

As for its speeds, PrivateVPN performed well. I was able to watch US Netflix lag-free as my download speed never dropped below 60 Mbps the whole time. Even though my speed dropped by 17% compared to my non-VPN speeds, I didn’t notice any difference in streaming quality. As long as you have a fast base connection, you can watch your favorite shows lag-free.

It is super secure and protects your privacy. Like ExpressVPN, it offers 256-bit AES encryption (the strongest), comes with an automatic kill switch and leak protection, and adheres to a strict no-logs policy. This, combined with its free SOCKS5 proxy and port forwarding options make this a fantastic option for torrenting as well. I tested 15 different servers for IP and DNS leaks, so you can remain private online.

You can get PrivateVPN’s monthly plan for $8.99/month, making it the cheapest month-to-month plan on this list. However, you can lower that price even further if you sign up for a long-term plan. It has the same features as the short-term plan but is cheaper in the long run (only $2/month).

Moreover, you can test PrivateVPN out first with no financial risk because it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This is included with all plans — just make sure that you don’t exceed the 100GB data limit. Otherwise, your refund request will be subject to the standard refund policy and is no longer guaranteed.

After using more than 66 GB of data over a 20-day period, I contacted support through its 24/7 live chat on its website and requested a refund. Before approving my request, the support rep asked me why I wanted to cancel. After providing a bit of feedback, my request was approved, and it only took 3 days to get my money back.

Try PrivateVPN’s Monthly Plan

3. Private Internet Access — Customizable Security at a Fair Monthly Price

  • 3 subscription plans — monthly, 6-months, and yearly
  • Tons of customizable security features
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, Linux, Chrome, routers, 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!

Private Internet Access (PIA) lets you customize your security settings to your liking. By default, PIA comes pre-configured with settings that offer the best combination of speed and security. However, you can switch from AES 128-bit (faster) to AES 256-bit (more secure) encryption to streamline your connection. Each protocol option (WireGuard or OpenVPN) offers its own set of configuration options as well.

screenshot showing Private Internet Access' advanced security settingsChanging these settings helped me improve performance for torrenting, streaming, and gaming

PIA comes with all the standard security features including 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch. However, its kill switch is also customizable — you can set it to “Advanced” if you want non-stop protection. This not only blocks your real data from being leaked in case of a disconnect (like most kill switch features) but even when the VPN is manually turned off. Other unique security features include MACE, a built-in ad and malware blocker, Multi-Hop SOCKS5 connections to double up your protection, and port forwarding, which makes PIA one of the top choices for safe torrenting.

In addition, its entire server network supports P2P and works well for streaming, too. It has 29,650 servers scattered across 84 countries, meaning you can access a wide range of platforms. During my tests, I connected to its New York server and had no problems watching US Netflix lag-free. Similarly, connected to its London servers, I was able to stream BBC iPlayer in Full HD. You’ll have no problems accessing content abroad.

My only gripe with Private Internet Access is that it's based in the US, which is part of the 5 Eyes Alliance. This joint effort between the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK gathers and shares data on its citizens with one another. However, PIA’s privacy policy is solid and instills confidence — it’s been around for more than 10 years and has never shared any user data, even when requested to.

PIA’s monthly subscription costs $11.99/month, which is a bit on the expensive side. However, as with all VPNs, you save more money if you sign up for a longer term (prices start at $2.19/month).

All of its plans come with a money-back guarantee, meaning you can try Private Internet Access risk-free for 30 days no matter which subscription you choose. After testing it for 28 days, I contacted its 24/7 support for a refund. Before approving my request, the support rep asked me whether they could do something to improve their service, but I wasn’t pushed to stay. Shortly after, my request was approved, and I got my money back in 4 days.

Try PIA’s Monthly Plan

4. NordVPN — Threat Protection to Prevent Ads, Trackers, and Malware Harming Your Device

  • 3 subscription plans — Standard, Plus, & Complete for monthly, yearly, or 2-years
  • Ad-, tracker and malware blocker that works even if the VPN is switched off
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more

NordVPN's Threat Protection stops ads and trackers. Plus, it prevents you from downloading malware by notifying you if it detects an infected file before it can damage or steal your data. It's also reassuring to know I can visit websites without them collecting information about me — no more targeted ads following me around. I tested this feature while browsing on my Windows PC, and it blocked malicious ads even when I forgot to switch the VPN on. This was evident in the weekly protection summary I received.

A screenshot of NordVPN's Threat Protection blocking malicious attempts even with the VPN offYou can enable Threat Protection by clicking on the shield icon

For additional security, remember to activate the VPN's kill switch. There are two versions available. You can choose the apps that should stop working if your VPN connection drops or disable internet access entirely. I found the first option useful for torrenting. While using the BitTorrent client, my uploading stopped as soon as I disabled the VPN. Like ExpressVPN, it also comes equipped with IP/DNS leak protection and RAM-only servers and follows a no-logs policy.

I found its apps easy to use even with so many advanced security options. The interface is intuitive across all operating systems, so you won't have any issues getting started. A Quick Connect button automatically picks the best server for optimum speeds. You can also create Presets to customize settings. For example, I made one for torrenting and tweaked it for faster downloads while keeping my data private.

Unfortunately, on some Canadian servers, it took a while to connect — more than a minute sometimes. Still, this rarely happened. All I had to do was wait a bit or disconnect and try again.

There are 3 monthly plans available: Standard (starting at $11.99), Plus, and Complete. The more expensive packages include extras, like cloud storage. Although, all options have Threat Protection. I chose the Plus plan because it comes with the Data Breach Scanner. This feature warns you if your password, credit card details, or email addresses have been compromised. However, I still prefer long-term options, as they're the most affordable at $3.49/month.

You can try NordVPN for free using its 30-money-back guarantee. There are various ways to cancel, but it was simplest to log into its website and switch off 'Automatic-renewal' under the 'Subscriptions' tab in the 'Billing' section. I then reached out to support via its 24/7 live chat to ask for a refund. The agent processed my request immediately, and my money was in my PayPal account after 5 days.

Try NordVPN's Monthly Plan

5. Surfshark — NoBorders Mode for an Unrestricted Internet

  • 3 subscription plans — monthly, yearly, and 2-years
  • Easily get around geo-restrictions with obfuscation techniques (NoBorders mode)
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, routers, and more

I really love Surfshark for quickly bypassing geo-restrictions using its NoBorders mode. It's designed explicitly for highly-restrictive networks, like those in China — ideal if you visit the country for a month. This feature provides a list of servers that perform best under such restrictions and automatically connects you to the closest one. I also suggest activating Camouflage mode (obfuscation), which makes your connection appear like regular traffic, for additional anonymity.

A screenshot of Surfshark's app interface showing you how to enable its NoBorders obfuscation featureNoBorders will activate if it detects that your network is restricted in any way

On the other hand, if you prefer a VPN that allows you to use the same IP every time you connect, then Surfshark can also be helpful. I tested its static IP servers for online money transfers to avoid triggering any alarms. If your IP keeps changing, the bank may flag you for suspicious activity and deny you access. I could safely access all my online banking apps, including PayPal, without issues.

It also comes with AES 256-bit encryption and adheres to a no-logs policy. It has a kill switch and split tunneling, and all its servers are 100% diskless, meaning your data gets wiped each time the server is switched off. You can even choose between 4 security protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2, and Shadowsocks) to streamline your connection.

My only complaint is that some US servers needed to be faster for smooth gameplay when connecting from my actual location (a couple thousand kilometers away). However, I got a boost in speed and performance using the Quick-connect button. This feature automatically connects you to the fastest server available.

Its monthly plan costs $12.95. Although not the cheapest option, it is still a good value for money because you can connect unlimited devices at once. If you go for a long-term Surfshark subscription, you can save up to 82% and pay only $2.30/month.

Additionally, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee on all subscriptions, even the monthly ones. If you decide it’s not for you, you won’t have any issues getting a refund. I made sure they’d uphold this promise and canceled after 23 days. The agent I spoke to over 24/7 live chat didn’t even ask me any questions, and I had a full refund to my credit card that same week.

Try Surfshark's Monthly Plan

6. CyberGhost — Monthly Plans With Servers Optimized for Streaming, Gaming, and Torrenting

  • 4 subscription plans — monthly, yearly, 2-years, and 3-years
  • 9,753 servers in 91 countries, with optimized ones for streaming, torrening, and gaming
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, Linux, Chrome, routers, and more

CyberGhost offers specialized servers so you can reliably game, stream, and torrent. These servers are regularly maintained by CyberGhost’s staff, meaning you don’t have to worry about stumbling across one that doesn’t work (it can happen with even the best VPNs). I tested its US-based gaming optimized servers first, which instantly allowed me to play Minecraft with my friends in California lag-free.

Screenshot of CyberGhost working with MinecraftCyberGhost's gaming-optimized servers let me play games without lag

Its speeds are fast enough for gaming, but also more than sufficient for lag-free streaming. Connected to a UK server, my download speed averaged 52.3 Mbps which is 2 times more than what's needed for bufferless Ultra HD streaming. I was able to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime in crisp 4K.

You can also stay safe while torrenting at top speeds. Using its Ireland, UK, and France torrenting servers, I downloaded a 700 MB film (Little Lord Fauntleroy) and it took less than 2 minutes on each one. Plus, CyberGhost encrypts your data using AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill-switch, leak protection, an ad-blocker, and multiple tunneling protocols (including OpenVPN and WireGuard). It also doesn’t keep any logs and is based in privacy-friendly Romania, so you can keep your torrenting activity private.

CyberGhost's monthly subscription is $12.99/month, which is a bit more than other VPNs in this list. What’s more disappointing is that the monthly plan comes with a shorter money-back guarantee period than the longer subscriptions (only 14 days).

However, if you choose to sign up for a longer term (plans start from $2.19/month), you can make use of its 45-day refund guarantee, giving you more than a month to use it with no financial risk.

This essentially lets you test CyberGhost for free, and I made sure the refund process was hassle free and trustworthy. After using the service for 35 days, I contacted its support team via the 24/7 live chat feature and asked for a refund. The support agent only asked why I wanted to cancel and processed the refund with no further questions. After about 6 minutes, I received a confirmation email and saw the money back in my account 5 days later.

Try CyberGhost’s Monthly Plan

7. IPVanish — Unlimited Device Connections to Protect Your Entire Household

  • 3 subscription plans – monthly, quarterly, and yearly
  • Unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, DNS/IP leak protection, and a no-logs policy
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, and more

IPVanish offers unlimited device connections and a decent monthly rate. In my testing, I connected my PC, Windows laptop, an Android phone, and my iPad to the same US server. Then, I streamed Netflix on 3 devices at once while playing COD: Mobile on my Android without experiencing any noticeable lag or buffering on any device. So, you can share IPVanish with your whole household without performance issues.

Advanced security features guard your device and data. IPVanish comes with all the standard security features: AES 256-bit encryption, DNS/IP leak protection, and a kill switch. Additionally, its Scramble feature will obfuscate your OpenVPN traffic — this means that not only your traffic is encrypted and kept anonymous, but the fact that you’re even using a VPN is hidden, too. This is a great feature for bypassing firewalls on restrictive networks (like at work or at school) and VPN blocks seen in restrictive countries like China and Russia.

Screenshot showing the Scramble feature in IPVanish VPN's connection settings menuThis feature also helps bypass VPN blocks put in place by streaming platforms like Netflix and APV

Speed is consistently fast on local and international servers for smooth browsing, torrenting, and streaming. IPVanish has 2,000 servers spanning 75 countries. I tested Switzerland, Belgian, and US servers and was able to stream shows in HD on all of them (my speed never dropped below 30 Mbps). Plus, it gives you free access to a SOCKS5 proxy for better torrenting speeds.

One pretty big disappointment is that IPVanish doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee on its monthly plan. You have to sign up for at least a year to make use of the refund guarantee.

You can get IPVanish on a month-to-month basis for $10.99/month making it a bit expensive, but still cheaper than other top VPNs like ExpressVPN. Signing up for a yearly plan drops the monthly price to just $3.33/month and allows you to take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee.

The refund process is incredibly easy — you don’t even have to contact customer support. After using the service for 29 days, I simply had to cancel my subscription within the “My Account” menu on its website. I didn’t have to give a reason for canceling and I got my refund in 5 days.

Try IPVanish’s Monthly Plan

8. Proton VPN — Advanced Security to Protect Your Privacy and Devices

  • 3 subscription plans – monthly, yearly, and 2-years
  • Built-in ad blocker, kill switch, and super safe Secure Core network
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, and more

Proton VPN’s Secure Core servers add an extra layer of privacy protection most VPNs don’t offer. These servers are owned and operated by Proton VPN and stored in highly secure data centers. If you connect to a server in a high-risk jurisdiction (like the US or UK), then your traffic will first pass through a Secure Core server — this essentially eliminates the risk of your data being intercepted and traced back to you. It can only be traced back to the Secure Core server.

Both your privacy and device are kept safe with Proton VPN’s NetShield feature. NetShield blocks ads, malware, and tracking software from infecting your device. I was most impressed with the ad blocker. A few VPNs come with a similar feature, but they don’t usually work to block ads. However, NetShield blocked every ad on the Forbes page I used for testing.

Screenshot showing Proton VPN's NetShield feature working to block on-page adsNetShield is easy to activate, you don’t even need to go to a settings menu — just click the little shield icon

Its 1,925 servers (across 67 countries) support speeds of up to 10 Gbps, so Proton VPN is fast. Local connections gave me an average of 50 Mbps, while long distance connections hovered around 30 Mbps. When I tested its unblocking abilities, this was more than enough to stream in Ultra HD on Netflix US, Hulu, Channel 4, and BBC iPlayer. It also has specialized servers for P2P and Tor.

I tested Proton VPN with its Plus plan — you can get it for $10/month with its monthly subscription. It also offers a Basic plan ($5/month), but this doesn’t give you access to Secure Core servers, caps your speeds, and doesn’t have streaming support. If you sign up for the Plus plan for longer, prices are as low as $4.99/month.

While all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can only get a refund for the days you didn’t use the service. Since it doesn’t offer 24/7 live chat support, I had to request my refund using a contact form on its site. However, when I tested the guarantee, they refunded me without hassle. It just took about 10 days to get my money back.

Try Proton VPN’s Monthly Plan

9. ZenMate — Specialized Servers for Fast Torrenting and Easy Streaming

  • 3 subscription plans – monthly, yearly, and 3-years
  • 4,800 servers in 81 countries, including specialized torrenting and streaming servers
  • AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more

Similar to CyberGhost, ZenMate offers specialized servers designed to make torrenting and unblocking streaming sites a breeze. As a test, I compared the speeds downloading the same 1GB video file on the regular Netherlands and UK servers with the torrenting servers in the same locations. I was very surprised that I had speeds 20% faster with the optimized ones (it got to about 45 Mbps and took 8 minutes to download).

In addition, ZenMate has almost 50 streaming optimized servers for easy access to dozens of streaming platforms, including Netflix US, UK, Australia, and France, plus Disney+, Hulu, RTE, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime during my tests (the servers are labeled per service). And with average speeds of 35 Mbps, I could stream in HD with no slowdowns.

A screenshot of ZenMate capable of unblocking and streaming Young Sheldon show on HBO Max in Full HDYou won’t have any lag or buffering watching HBO Max with ZenMate

The downside with ZenMate is that it doesn’t have many security settings — it doesn’t offer the WireGuard protocol or split tunneling. This means that if you want to tweak the VPN’s settings for better security or speeds, there’s not much you can do. However, it comes with all the standard security and privacy features like 256-bit encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, OpenVPN, and a zero-logs policy so it’s still a super safe VPN with decent speeds.

A monthly subscription for the Ultimate plan costs $10.99/month, which is pretty average. However, it offers really great value because you can use it on as many devices as you want. ZenMate also has a Pro plan which costs $7.99/month, but it’s only compatible with popular browsers. Of course, if you opt for a long-term Ultimate subscription, then the monthly price drops to to as low as $1.99/month.

All subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, too. So, you don’t have to sign up for a long term to try it out first. I made sure the guarantee was upheld and used 24/7 live chat to ask for my refund. The service agent didn’t ask me any questions before approving my refund and I had my money back in less than a week.

Try ZenMate’s Monthly Plan

10. Hotspot Shield — Unique Protocol to Improve Long-Distance Connection Speeds

  • 2 subscription plans – monthly and yearly
  • Lightning-fast Catapult Hydra protocol
  • AES 256-bit encryption, leak protection, and a no-logs policy
  • Unblocks: Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO Max, and more
  • Compatible with: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire devices, and more

Hotspot Shield’s unique security protocol was built to decrease speed loss over long-distance connections. I tested this out by connecting to a US server from my location in Western Europe — with IKEv2, my speeds were 44 Mbps. However, after I switched to Catapult Hydra, my speeds went up to 53 Mbps. If you want a VPN to access international streaming content, this is a top feature.

To elaborate, I could unblock multiple popular streaming platforms including Netflix (US, Australia, and Japan), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max. Both its regular and its “quick access” streaming-optimized servers worked (it has 1,800 servers in 80 countries total). Even though Catapult Hydra was faster overall, I had speeds more than fast enough to stream in Ultra HD in every case.

These fast speeds are also ideal for torrenting, and Hotspot Shield keeps you safe too. Its entire network supports P2P traffic, so you’re well protected with standard security features like 256-bit encryption and leak protection as well as a no-logs policy. You can also set up split tunneling (Smart VPN) to reduce speed loss and improve device performance.

The unfortunate part is that it’s one of the most expensive month-to-month VPNs in this list, at $12.99/month, and you only get 5 device connections. Even for a longer-term plan, it’s on the expensive side, at $2.99/month. However, with both plans, you also get 3 other apps thrown in for free: a malware blocker, a spam call protection app, and a password manager.

It offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee period, too, so you can try Hotspot Shield out risk-free for more than a month. You can get a full refund if you’re not completely satisfied. I found the refund process really easy. I tested it myself by contacting support via its 24/7 live chat feature. After I gave my feedback about using the VPN, my refund was approved, and I got my money back the following week.

Try Hotspot Shield’s Monthly Plan

Quick Comparison Table: Monthly VPN Features

The table below compares the features of my top-recommended monthly VPN. This includes the lowest monthly price, money guarantee period, number of countries where servers are available, and average download speed.

VPN Lowest monthly price Month-to-month price Money-back Guarantee Period # of server countries Speeds
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month $12.95/month 30 Days 94 Very fast
🥈PrivateVPN $2/month $8.99/month 30 Days 63 Fast
🥉Private Internet Access $2.19/month $11.99/month 30 Days 84 Fast
NordVPN $3.49/month $11.99/month 30 Days 60 Fast
Surfshark $2.30/month $12.95/month 30 Days 100 Fast
CyberGhost $2.19/month $12.99/month 45 Days 91 Fast
IPVanish $3.33/month $10.99/month 30 Days 75 Fast
Proton VPN $4.99/month $10/month 30 Days 67 Very fast
ZenMate $1.99/month $10.99/month 30 Days 81 Average
HotSpot Shield $2.99/month $12.99/month 45 Days 80 Very fast

Try ExpressVPN’s Monthly Plan

Tips on How to Choose the Best Monthly VPN

An excellent monthly VPN should offer a balanced price to performance ratio, an extensive server network, fast speeds, and robust security. In addition, it should protect your privacy by masking your real IP at all times and have reliable customer support. All VPNs on this list have been selected using these criteria:

  • Multiple subscription plans. A good monthly VPN should have several plans to choose from should you decide to commit. All VPNs on this list offer pay-as-you-go monthly subscriptions as well as long-term plans with reduced monthly costs, should you decide to commit for longer.
  • Trustworthy money-back guarantee. This allows you to test a VPN to see if it’s right for you and get a refund if you decide it’s not. Most VPNs will offer at least 30 days, but I included 2 VPNs that offer a generous 45-day refund guarantee. All of them held true to their guarantees and the refund process was simple in every case.
  • Fast speeds. This is essential because it means you’ll be able to perform all your regular online tasks as if you were using your regular internet connection. All the VPNs I tested had speeds fast enough for HD streaming (5 Mbps), but most of them averaged speeds of around 40 Mbps.
  • Large server network. The more servers there are, the lower the chances of experiencing slow speeds due to congestion. In addition, the more server locations there are, the easier it is to find one close to you, which generally gives you better speeds. It also means you can access content from those locations. The VPNs listed here have reliable networks and can access geoblocked sites and services worldwide.
  • Strong security and privacy features. The whole point of a VPN is to keep you safe and secure online. So it should at the very least offer 256-bit military-grade encryption, IP and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch as standard. A no-logs policy is also essential. I tested each VPN to ensure my data was hidden and only selected ones that adhere to no-logs policies.
  • Vast compatibility. You should be able to use your VPN on all of your devices at once under a single subscription. Only VPNs with vast device compatibility were selected, and they all offer at least 5 simultaneous device connections.
  • Reliable customer support. Having a team of qualified experts to help you troubleshoot is a huge asset. 24/7 live chat is preferable, but email and ticketing systems are also acceptable. All the support teams I reached out to during testing were knowledgeable and most can be contacted 24/7.

Try ExpressVPN Today

Quick Guide: How to Get a Monthly VPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Choose a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN since it’s the fastest and most reliable VPN I tested, and even the monthly plan come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Sign up for the monthly subscription. Then, download the VPN onto your device.
  3. Start using your VPN! Connect to a server and start browsing.

FAQs on Monthly VPNs with Best Monthly Plans

How much should I pay for a VPN per month?

It depends on how long you want to commit to the VPN. The VPNs shortlisted here offer month-to-month (or “pay as you go”) VPN subscriptions for between $8 and $13 per month. However, with almost all VPNs, the monthly price is significantly reduced if you sign up for a long-term subscription. For example, you can get a top VPN like ExpressVPN for $12.99/month on a monthly payment plan. However, you pay almost half that if you sign up for a year.

In some (but not all) cases, quality will reflect in the price as well. However, there are many really solid VPNs that offer top-of-the-line security and reliability for cheap prices, which I’ve also shortlisted.

What is the cheapest monthly VPN?

To get the cheapest monthly price for any VPN, you have to sign up for a long-term subscription. So I always recommend doing that if it’s possible. However, if you’re not willing to commit long-term, then PrivateVPN is a pretty affordable choice. Of the VPNs in this list, it offers the cheapest month-to-month payment plans. It’s not as fast, reliable, or easy-on-the-eyes as the (slightly more expensive) ExpressVPN, but it’s still a really good VPN with fast speeds and good streaming performance.

Will my monthly VPN work on my Fire Stick?

Yes! You can usually download your VPN app directly onto your Fire Stick from the Amazon App Store. All of the monthly VPNs shortlisted have native apps for Amazon Fire Stick (except for ZenMate). However, even if your VPN doesn’t have an app in the Amazon App Store, you can usually sideload its APK file and just use the Android version.

Try ExpressVPN’s Monthly Plan

Get a Monthly VPN Subscription Today

Monthly VPN plans can be really expensive. VPNs want you to commit to a longer subscription and make a larger upfront payment. While this saves you money in the long run, there are many reasons why you wouldn’t want to make a year-long commitment.

Of all the monthly VPNs I tested, my favorite is ExpressVPN. While it’s not the cheapest option for a month-to-month subscription, it offers the fastest speeds, unbeatable streaming capabilities, and its security features are hard to beat. It comes with a money-back guarantee, as well. So you can test ExpressVPN out risk-free with its monthly plan — if you’re not happy with it, you can get all your money back within 30 days.

To summarize, the best VPNs with monthly subscription plans are…

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Privacy Alert!

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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

Ernest is a long-life writer and a cybersecurity enthusiast. He enjoys dissecting bespoke tech and is a strong proponent of digital freedom.

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