As much as cheap VPNs seem like a good idea because you know you are saving money, it may have disadvantages. But before you decide, you should read through and understand the pros and cons of using cheap VPNs. You can also find information such as factors that can help you choose the best cheap VPNs and even alternatives.
When people consider using VPNs, it is most likely to access sites, content, or apps with restrictions. These restrictions are either by the government or the apps aren’t available in a certain location yet. Using a VPN is a good option and can be helpful.
But when you’re looking for cheap options, they might not have all the security and top features to make using a VPN enjoyable. So, just before you decide, we will discuss the prices, features, pros, and cons of VPNS at varying price points, helping you choose accordingly.
What is a Cheap VPN in 2023?
While multiple VPNs are on the market with affordable pricing, the word “cheap” is subjective. Generally, when people mention “cheap,” they look for things with fair price points. So, you’d have to decide what cheap means to you. As for price, the cheapest monthly VPN plan could range below $5 or above $12 monthly. Now, that’s your choice to make.
How to Choose the Best Cheap VPN Provider
There is a vast network of VPN providers in 2023 offering multiple services. Like deciding what a cheap VPN is, you must also decide which VPN provider is the best. To choose the best cheap VPN provider, search the internet and make your resolution considering the factors below.
Evaluate Pricing Plans
Search for different VPN providers on your browsing device and keep the tabs open. Then, you must navigate to their pricing plan bar and compare all the subscription fees. You also want to go through the “features” section and see what they offer for the pricing.
This section looks for features like encryption, download speeds, a no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and server location and numbers. Looking closely, you will notice that most VPN providers offer cheaper subscriptions to clients paying for a long-term plan. It would help to consider the pricing plan and features carefully.
If the main aim of using a VPN is to bypass geo-restrictions, then you should ensure that the VPN provider offers this feature. Initially, a good VPN service should be able to unblock geo-restrictions and grant you access to content or websites.
A no-logs policy is a crucial privacy feature as it ensures that none of your data is in the database. So, verify that the cheap VPN provider has this feature. If it does, it might not be a good option.
Assess the Server Network and Geographical Coverage
As said earlier, people having VPNs most likely need them to access sites, apps, services, or servers outside their reach. You want to assess the server network and geographical coverage if this is you.
It would help if you looked for how many servers are available and how many locations they are available in. You should also consider if the servers and their locations are accessible to you. VPN providers with an extensive network of servers mainly provide better connectivity.
Review Security Features and Protocols
Security features and protocols must be the top feature to look out for in a VPN provider. You want to use something other than a VPN that has zero security, divulging all your information to third parties.
A good VPN has strong encryption and also uses security protocols like WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec, or PPTP. You also want to consider additional features like split tunneling, kill switch, ad blocking, geo-blocking bypass, and DNS leak protection. All of these features work to protect your data from prying eyes.
To help clients save money, most VPN providers offer cheaper subscription rates for long-term purchases. That is, a one-year subscription is more affordable than a one-month subscription. Therefore, purchasing the longer-term package is your best option if you intend to use it for an extended period.
Asides from the basic features, some VPN providers also offer additional features, which include split tunneling, malware protection, ad blockers, and multiple device connections.
Examine Connection Speed and Performance
Looking at the features from the navigation bar, VPN providers always promise that they offer ultra-fast speeds. But how can you tell for sure? You can opt for a free trial and examine the connection speed and overall performance.
After the test, you can be sure whether it is fast enough or too slow. Making payments for a slow VPN would be a bad idea. Also, ensure to check if there are any bandwidth limits. Bandwidth limits interrupt network speeds and make the user experience less pleasant.
Take into Account the Interface and Compatibility
The interface is one of the first things a user experiences when they click on a website. How hard is it to navigate? Is it hard to set up? Generally, is the interface user-friendly? These and more are questions you ask.
The fact that the VPN is cheap does not mean the interface should be complex. Also, check which devices are compatible and how many simultaneous connections a VPN provider offers. Going through every part of the website and clicking on navigation bars helps.
Research Customer Support and Reliability
Go online and search reviews from existing users to know the rate at which customer support of the VPN provider responds. If it is slow, it will be hard when you’d need answers to your questions. A reliable VPN provider has excellent customer support and quick response.
A VPN provider offering a money-back guarantee is another feature to look out for. It allows you to use the VPN service for a time frame where you can cancel the subscription within a specified time. Most VPN services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, and on rare occasions, you will find a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Pros and Cons of Using Cheap VPNs
Pros of Cheap VPNs
Are there benefits of cheap VPNs that you should know? Yes, there are advantages to using cheap VPNs, and we will explore them in this section.
- Affordability: This is an obvious benefit of using cheap VPNs. They have reasonable rates and offer a certain amount of functionality.
- Access to home content while abroad: Some cheap VPNs can provide you with access to home material while overseas using their server network.
- Basic security: We doubt that cheap VPNs can guarantee complete security due to their low cost. Some, however, give a basic amount of security.
- Privacy: You can find cheap VPNs with privacy features that hide your IP address and no-log policies.
Cons of Cheap VPNs
Aside from the advantages of being cheap and offering basic security, cheap VPNs have disadvantages you should know about too. These disadvantages include:
- Limited features: Due to their affordability, some cheap VPNs need more funds to build the necessary features for complete protection and seamless use. They cannot create premium services like IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling, or kill switches.
- Poor speed: Where the VPN provider has limited server networks, the network speed will be slow.
- Bandwidth limit: Some cheap VPNs have bandwidth limits that restrict you from surfing the internet as you’d like.
- Unreliable customer support: Most cheap VPN providers need more reliable customer support. Because of low funds, they do not have a large network of customer support representatives, so response might be slow.
- Ads and malware: Since most cheap VPNs make money from advertisements, they will likely have multiple ads on your screen daily.
- Security risks: Using cheap VPNs can lead to your information leaking online because of the lack of resources to provide better security protocols.
- Logs and privacy issues: With premium VPN providers, you get a no-log policy. Meaning whatever you do while using the VPN, it has no record of it. It is different with cheap VPNs. Some keep your data and sell it to third parties for financial gain.
Judging from the pros and cons, using a cheap VPN is not ideal. Investing in a premium VPN is a much better option. ExtremeVPN provides ultimate security and is the best affordable VPN for 2023.
Are Cheap VPNs Secure?
As much as these cheap VPN providers sell the idea of being affordable and also secure, to some extent, they’re not. Although some are secure, the unsecured ones outweigh the secure ones
Usually, VPN providers are responsible for patching and fixing all cybersecurity vulnerabilities. To do this, they must hire the services of a professional to test the cybersecurity and make the service secure as possible.
With little or no financial resources, it is impossible to do this. So, what do they stand to gain? They create a service with mediocre features prone to your information leaking. Using a VPN that cannot offer total security is not secure enough.
Why Get a Cheap VPN When You have an Affordable One like ExtremeVPN?
ExtremeVPN is a relatively affordable VPN provider offering a 12-month subscription at $3.29 monthly. Unlike cheap VPNs, ExtremeVPN, although cost-effective, offers premium features that guarantee your data security and privacy, making it the best VPN for 2023. Some of these features are:
- Recommended server: Unlike cheap VPNs, when you connect to ExtremeVPN, a smart algorithm connects you to the best server for your location.
- Extensive server network and speed: ExtremeVPN has a network of over 6,500 ultra-fast servers in 78+ countries.
- Kill switch: In cases where your internet connection drops, the kill switch protocol on ExtremeVPN, prevents your data from leaking.
- Military-grade protection and encryption: ExtremeVPN has the highest level of security and encryption, the AES 256-bit encryption.
- Port forwarding: With ExtremeVPN, you can establish a secure connection between your device and remote devices without any interruptions by a firewall.
- Split tunneling: The split tunneling feature on ExtremeVPN allows you to access local and foreign content simultaneously by routing between ExtremeVPN and your internet connection.
- Anonymous downloads: It allows you to download and upload P2P files anonymously, securing your data from third-party apps.
- Unblock geo-restrictions: If your aim of using a VPN is to unblock geo-restrictions, ExtremeVPN lets you get around restrictions in seconds.
- Better gaming experience: With the vast number of fast servers that ExtremeVPN offers, you are sure of a better gaming experience free of lagging or high latency issues.
- IPv6 Leak Protection: This feature ensures that there are no DNS or IP leaks.
Alternatives to Cheap VPNs
Instead of using cheap VPN options with little to no security or quality features, there are other alternatives you can try. These alternatives are an even better option in our books and have no limitations. These alternatives are:
- Discounts and promotions: Some premium VPN providers offer monthly, yearly, or holiday discounts on their prices. Watch for these discounts and enjoy the same top-tier service but at a lower price. The trick is to visit their website and check the pricing plans often. For example, ExtremeVPN offers a discount selling a one-year subscription for $3.29 per month.
- Free trials: Free trials allow you to use the service for a period before charging your card. So, you can find a premium VPN service whose features you like and use the free trial option. Before the trial ends, stop them from billing your card if that’s what you want.
- Mid-range VPN providers: There are VPN providers that are relatively low-cost and offer a decent number of good VPN features. They balance the cost and quality of the service and provide several servers with sufficient speed.
- Bundles and packages: To make more sales, some VPN providers occasionally offer bundles and packages with additional features. These bundles come at a very competitive and irresistible price.
- Limited free version: VPN providers offer free versions with essential features and limits. You will have access to features, but not all of them.