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The best VPN deals, starting at $1.17 a month

We've found the best VPN deals and money-back guarantees on the market right now so you can protect your privacy without breaking the bank.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont
Ivacy: As low as $1.17 per month or $50 for lifetime access
Ivacy VPN
Ivacy: As low as $1.17 per month or $50 for lifetime access
View now View at Ivacy
PureVPN: As low as $1.66 per month
PureVPN: As low as $1.66 per month
View now View at PureVPN
Private Internet Access: As low as $2.03 per month
Private Internet Access VPN Web
Private Internet Access: As low as $2.03 per month
View now View at PIA
Surfshark: As low as $2.19 per month
Surfshark VPN Web
Surfshark: As low as $2.19 per month
View now View at Surfshark
CyberGhost VPN: As low as $2.19 per month
Cyberghost VPN Web
CyberGhost VPN: As low as $2.19 per month
View now View at CyberGhost
NordVPN: As low as $3.69 per month
NordVPN: As low as $3.69 per month
View now View at NordVPN
Show more (1 item)

When you're shopping for a decent deal on a VPN service subscription, you'll be bombarded with "limited-time" offers and sales that look like they'll expire in minutes. But there's no need to rush -- countdown timers are prolific in the VPN service industry and are often just marketing tools designed to create an artificial sense of urgency.

You may be able to find offers for a VPN free trial, but you'll typically only get seven days free with limited bandwidth and a restricted number of servers. Or, if you opt for a free VPN, you will often be exchanging your data in return for a free and heavily restricted service. 

Also: The best VPN services of 2024: Tested and reviewed

However, if you catch a VPN provider at the right moment, you'll likely be able to enjoy a cheap service for a year or two -- and then there's nothing stopping you from switching to another cheap deal. To help you decide, ZDNET has found the best VPN deals currently on the market.

Best VPN deals

Ivacy pricing:

  • Monthly: $9.95
  • 2-Year: $1.99/month
  • 5-Year: $1.17/month
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Simultaneous connections: 10

Ivacy is a newer VPN which, thanks to current promotions, is extremely cheap.

Ivacy has over 6,500 servers across over 100 locations, a zero-logs policy, split tunneling, and utilizes the WireGuard protocol. Ivacy is compatible with many devices and operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and Kodi, alongside Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

At the moment, Ivacy has a deal running for five-year plans. You will pay the equivalent of only $1.17 a month (88% off). A two-year subscription is priced at $1.99/month, or if you want to try it out for one month, this will cost you $9.95. 

However, a limited-time deal for a lifetime subscription is probably the best VPN deal we've seen in a while. At StackSocial, you can pay $50 for a lifetime subscription that covers 10 devices.

Customers applaud the firm's support team and pricing, although some users have noticed challenges with the Ivacy app. 

PureVPN pricing:

  • Monthly: $11.95 - $19.95
  • 1-year: Standard: $2.99 | Plus: $4.66 | MAX $4.96 per month
  • 2-Year: Standard: $2.03 | Plus: $2.96 | MAX: $3.46 (four months free)
  • 5-Year: $1.66/month
  • Money-back guarantee: 31 days
  • Simultaneous connections: 10

PureVPN has a promotion on two-year subscriptions starting at $2.03 per month ($54.95 total), which includes four months of free access. Five-year options, however, are even cheaper, as they will only set you back $1.66/month (87% off). New subscribers will also be given a 'mystery box' as an additional incentive.

If a 30-day refund period is just short of what you need, you're in luck -- PureVPN gives you an extra day to try out its service risk-free. Not to mention, this deal has the most free months thrown in out of any of our recommendations. It has standard monthly and one-year plans, but the five-year subscription has the lowest average monthly cost, whereas monthly options are expensive.

PureVPN has cross-platform compatibility, over 6,500+ VPN servers in 78 countries, a kill switch, a modern user interface, and generally positive reviews as a mid-tier VPN service. However, it's worth noting that the firm's privacy policy is confusing and needs an overhaul. 

Private Internet Access pricing

  • Monthly: $11.99
  • 1-Year: $3.33 per month
  • 3-Years: $2.03 per month, three months free
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Private Internet Access balances cost, longevity, and performance. When ZDNET tested Private Internet Access, it had good overall features and reliability. And it's only a fraction of the cost of many of the best VPNs.

PIA is open source and includes access to servers in 91 countries, utilizes WireGuard, split-tunneling, and more. It also offers unlimited simultaneous connections -- once being only 10 connections -- which will suit any household. There is a standard 30-day money-back guarantee. Three months of free access has been thrown in with new subscribers to three-year plans.

Surfshark VPN Web
Screenshot by Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Surfshark pricing

  • Monthly: $15.45 - $17.95
  • 1-year: $41.85 ($2.79 per month) | Surfshark One: $3.19 per month | Surfshark One+: $5.09 per month
  • 2-year: $59.13 ($2.19 per month) | Surfshark One: $2.69 per month | Surfshark One+: $4.29 per month (three months free)
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Surfshark has been considered one of ZDNET's top VPN choices for some time. The VPN has a simple interface, an array of server options (3200+ servers in 100 countries), unlimited connections for all of your devices, and consistently low pricing. 

While the low price promotions are constant -- so you should ignore the marketing timers -- there are still great deals, especially when you're willing to subscribe to a two-year plan. The basic Surfshark Starter package will suit many users at $2.19 per month, a plan that includes a VPN, ad blocker, and cookie blocker. If you're after more, the One and One+ packages offer features such as a private search engine, antivirus protection, and breach alerts. 

Three months of access have been thrown in for free on two-year plans.

CyberGhost VPN pricing:

  • Monthly: $12.99
  • 6 months: $41.94 ($6.99 per month)
  • 2-Year: $56.94 ($2.19 per month with two months free)
  • Money-back guarantee: 45 days
  • Simultaneous connections: 7

CyberGhost has solid prices, and the two-year plan (with two free months) has an average cost of only $2.19 per month, which makes it competitive with the cheapest VPNs on the market. You will also receive two months of free access if you sign up for a two-year plan -- a similar promotion currently offered by many of the top VPN providers. The deal has a 'deadline' timer, but we've found that these prices generally don't change often.

What makes CyberGhost VPN a good deal is its money-back guarantee period, which is 45 days. That's over two weeks longer than other top VPN services

The VPN provider supports servers in over 100 countries. Plus, you can opt for a dedicated IP address for $2.50/month.

Review: CyberGhost VPN

NordVPN pricing:

  • Monthly: $12.99 - $15.99
  • 1-Year plan: Basic: $4.59 per month | Plus: $5.49 per month  | Ultimate: $7.49 per month (three months free)
  • 2-Year plan: Basic: $3.69 per month | Plus: $4.69 per month  | Ultimate: $6.69 per month (three months free)
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days 
  • Simultaneous connections: 10

NordVPN is a well-respected and feature-rich VPN solution, and it's discounted subscription plans by up to 71%. It's on the expensive side, but it's also one of our favorite VPNs overall. If you're willing to spend a little more and you want more advanced features, NordVPN's current promotions are worth exploring. One- and two-year plan signups will also provide you with three months of free access.

The standard (Basic) plan includes VPN service, tracking, ad blocking, and malware protection. The Plus plan also provides a password manager and data breach scanner. Lastly, the Ultimate plan adds 1TB of cloud storage and file encryption alongside coverage for identity theft and cyber extortion. 

Review: NordVPN

Alternative VPN deals

View at PrivadoVPNView at IPVanishView at ExpressVPN

How did we choose these VPN deals?

ipvanish android screenshot
ZDNET | Charlie Osborne

We searched for deals from VPN brands we have tested and loved. When selecting which deals to include we evaluated the following factors:

  • Cost: We aimed to find the best deals we could for VPN subscriptions. You'll often find that month-on-month agreements tend to be expensive, and so we showcased one and two-year plans that offer real value for money. 
  • Features: While the cost is a deciding factor, so too must be the features on offer. There's no point in purchasing a VPN if it does not have at least the basic security and features you need to utilize a VPN on a daily basis. We considered country and server availability, mobile and OS compatibility, security controls, and more.
  • Simultaneous connections: How many devices you can connect to the VPN at the same time is important in today's market, especially when we have numerous laptops, PCs, and mobile devices to consider. Typically speaking, VPN developers that only offer one connection at a time for paid subscribers simply aren't providing enough. 
  • Speed and reliability: We only recommend VPNs we have personally tested. VPNs must offer reasonable speeds and reliability in relation to server connections.

When you're looking for a VPN deal, it's important to take the advertised price with a grain of salt. The overwhelming majority of VPNs advertise their standard prices as a huge discount, but if the price is always advertised as 83% off, then that's just the regular price. Also, limited-time deals often have the same upfront cost with extra months added to the subscription length. Those deals will reduce the average monthly cost but not what you pay out-of-pocket when you purchase the service.

Do any VPN services offer a free trial period?

Many of the VPN deals we've highlighted give you a month -- or more -- to test the service and get a full refund if you're not satisfied. But you will have to pay upfront and navigate the provider's refund process if you want to discontinue service during the money-back period.

Very few VPN services advertise a free trial period these days, but you can sometimes find an offer for a free trial period (typically seven days) when you sign up through mobile.

Keep in mind, if you take the free 7-day trial, you may end up paying more in the long run. We've noticed that the long-term (cheaper) plans are sometimes unavailable when taking advantage of the free trial period. So be sure to pay attention to the plan you'll be subscribed to and factor that into your decision.

What price will I pay for my VPN service when it renews?

To lock in the lowest average monthly cost, you'll need to subscribe to the longest plan, which can be anywhere from a two to five-year commitment. You'll have to pay the full cost for the entire term upfront in one lump sum, and there is tax to consider.

Despite the lump-sum cost, the longer subscriptions can be worth it -- you just need to pay attention to the renewal price. When you subscribe to a VPN service, you'll want to look at the fine print. Once your initial subscription plan expires, your cost is likely to increase. 

Although it can vary by service, you'll usually have to renew at the annual rate after the introductory offer ends. A one-year subscription is typically 30% to 50% more than longer-term plans, so it's something to be aware of when your plan approaches renewal time.

Wouldn't a free VPN service be a better deal?

"Free" makes everything taste better -- but this isn't applicable when it comes to VPN services.

A free VPN may sound like a great deal, but it comes with a non-monetary cost. First is performance: free VPNs have fewer features, slower speeds, and aren't likely to have great customer service. But that's not the real reason you should think twice about a gratis VPN.

If you're not paying for a VPN, the company is making money some other way. This could be from ads or worse, like selling your information. Not to mention, malware is a potential risk with free VPNs.

One possible exception to this rule is a reputable VPN service that offers a limited free version to get customers to try out the service. In this case, be sure to do your research and know that your options will be limited -- and your speed will be throttled. 

An example of a free and reputable VPN is ProtonVPN. However, the caveat is that the free service will only give you access to servers in three countries. 

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