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VPN deals that actually save you money: Protect your data for $1.41 a month

What is the best VPN deal? Surfshark VPN is ZDNET's top choice because of its low cost relative to its strong performance. We compared these VPNs' prices and value to bring you the best current deals.
Written by Jason Stauffer, Staff Writer on

When you're shopping around for the best deal on a VPN service, you'll be bombarded with "limited-time" offers and deals that look like they're expiring in minutes. But there's no need to rush; that countdown timer is just a marketing tool to create an artificial sense of urgency.

While there are limited-time deals, to get the best price on a VPN subscription, in reality, you'll need to opt for the long-term plan. You'll have to pay more upfront, but the average monthly cost will be less.

One thing to keep in mind as you review these deals is that taxes will apply -- and for the cheapest long-term plans, the cost usually increases when you renew. You may be able to find offers for a free trial (usually when subscribing through mobile), but you'll typically only get seven days free. Afterward, you might get stuck in an annual plan, which usually isn't the cheapest option. 

So read the fine print before taking advantage of these offers. In most cases, you'll be better off opting for the longer plan and taking advantage of the money-back guarantee period (typically 30 days or longer) to test out the service.

Also: The 4 best VPN services for torrenting in 2022

Let's take a look at the best VPN deals available right now, many of which are Cyber Monday VPN deals.

Surfshark VPN pricing

  • Monthly: $12.95
  • 1-year: $47.88 ($3.99 per month)
  • 2-year: $53.28 ($2.05 per month, with 2 free months)
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Surfshark VPN isn't the least expensive service, but it is a good compromise between cost and performance. When I tested it, It had top-notch performance, features, and customer service. And it's only a fraction of the cost of many of the best VPNs.

Read the review: Surfshark VPN review

Surfshark also has a number of add-ons included in the Surfshark One package. For an extra $1.49 per month, you can add safe search, antivirus, and data breach alerts to the 2-year plan.

It also has unlimited simultaneous connections and the standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

Black Friday sale: Get 2 months free

KeepSolid VPN pricing

  • Lifetime access 5 devices: $39.99
  • Lifetime access 10 devices: $59.99
  • Money-back guarantee: 15 days with caveats (30 days with a $99.99 direct lifetime purchase)
  • Simultaneous connections: 5 or 10

KeepSolid VPN has a different pricing model than most other VPNs: you can purchase a lifetime subscription with a set amount of devices you can install the VPN on. 

Through StackSocial (formerly ZDNET Academy), new users can pick up a lifetime subscription for five devices for only $39.99, which is a 60% discount compared to the $99.99 price for the same subscription if you purchase directly from the KeepSolid site. For only $20 more, you can add an additional five devices to your lifetime subscription, which would cost an extra $99.99 if it was a direct purchase.

Exclusive offer: Get Keepsolid VPN for up to 70% off

With this offer, you'll need to redeem your code within 30 days of purchase, and unredeemed software can only be refunded for store credit within 15 days of purchase. By taking advantage of the steeply-discounted subscription, you will miss out on the 30-day money-back guarantee, which KeepSolid's customer service told me is only available for purchases made directly through their official website. Essentially, once you've taken advantage of the steeply discounted deal, don't expect to be able to get a refund.

Once your subscription is activated, you can switch which devices you have KeepSolid installed on, but you're limited to removing one device per week from your limit. So you can still use the service with new devices.

PureVPN pricing

  • Monthly: $10.95
  • 1-year: $38.95 ($3.24 per month)
  • 5-Year: $84.95 ($1.41 per month)
  • Money-back guarantee: 31 days
  • Simultaneous connections: 10

If a 30-day refund period is just short of what you need, you're in luck because PureVPN gives you an extra day to try out its service risk-free. It has the standard monthly, and 1-year plans, but the Black Friday sale on 5-year plan is the lowest average monthly cost. You'll pay $84.95 upfront for a five-year subscription, which averages out to only $1.41 a month.

PureVPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections; that's much more flexible than the lifetime subscription option for KeepSolid, which only allows the VPN to be installed on five devices at a time. So this 5-year plan could be a better long-term solution for some people.

CyberGhost VPN pricing

  • Monthly: $12.99
  • 6 months: $41.94 ($6.99 per month)
  • 2-year: $56.94 ($2.03 per month with 4 free months)
  • Money-back guarantee: 45 days
  • Simultaneous connections: 7

CyberGhost has good prices, and its 2-year plan (with 4 free months) has an average cost of only $2.03 per month, which is competitive with even the very cheapest VPNs. 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.

Read the review: CyberGhost VPN review

The refund period should give you plenty of time to test drive CyberGhost on all of your devices (up to 7 at the same time) and in just about any situation you could need it. I was also able to get an offer for a 3-day trial period when subscribing through mobile, but after the trial, I wouldn't have been able to take advantage of the 2-year plan's discounted pricing.

If you're not interested in CyberGhost VPN's 2-year subscription, then the free trial period could make sense. Otherwise, you'll have a lower monthly cost with one of the longer plans.

Atlas VPN pricing

  • Monthly: $10.99
  • 1-year: $39.42 ($3.29 per month)
  • 2-year: $49.19 ($1.64 per month with 6 free months)
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Atlas VPN's 2-year subscription with 6 free months is a solid Black Friday deal because it only costs an average of $1.64 a month, and it also comes with unlimited simultaneous connections. For less than $2 a month, you'll have protected connections on every device you own.

Also: Best cheap VPNs

It may be more expensive than PureVPN's 5-year plan or KeepSolid's lifetime subscription, but for anyone who needs lots of connections, it could be well worth it just for the convenience.

Students in the US or UK are also eligible for an additional 10% discount on the 2-year plan. You can register for the student discount here.

What is the best VPN deal?

We put Surfshark VPN at the top of our list as the best overall VPN deal because it has the best combination of price and performance. Surfshark has a solid reputation, good customer service, and fast connection speeds in our testing. Although it's not as cheap as other services on this list, it made our best VPNs list and is a steal compared to what you could pay for other top VPN services. 

VPN# of  connections
Monthly PriceCheapest plan
SurfsharkUnlimited$12.96$2.05/mo
AtlasUnlimited$10.99$1.64/mo
KeepSolid5 or 10N/A$39.99 lifetime
PureVPN10$10.95$1.41/mo
CyberGhost7$12.99$2.03/mo




Which is the right VPN deal for you?

What makes one VPN a great deal for you, may translate to someone else's situation. But regardless of what you're looking to get out of a VPN, there's a deal that should work for your personal situation.

Choose this VPN...If you want...
Atlas or SurfsharkUnlimited connections
KeepSolidA lifetime subscription
CyberGhostAn extended money-back period
SurfsharkTop-tier performance and reliability
PureVPNThe lowest monthly cost

How did we choose these VPN deals?

To find the best VPN deals we didn't go through the full review process and test every aspect of each VPN service. We simply looked at what it costs and what you get, with a focus on how many devices you can have connected to the VPN at the same time. You may want the cheapest VPN, but if it has a limit of 5 or 7 connections isn't necessarily a better deal for someone who has 10 devices.

When you're looking for a VPN deal, it's important to to read the advertised price with a grain of salt. The overwhelming majority of VPNs advertise their standard prices as being a huge discount, but if the price is always 83% off, then that's just the regular price. Also, limited-time deals often have the same upfront cost with extra months added onto the subscription length. Those type of 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?

All of the VPN deals we've highlighted basically give you a month to try out the service and get a full refund if you're not satisfied. But you will have to pay upfront and have to 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, but you can sometimes find an offer for a free trial period (typically 7 days) when you sign-up through mobile. I've found free 7-day trial offers for Surfshark VPN this way, and Private Internet Access openly advertises its 7-day free trial period, which is available when subscribing through its mobile apps.

Keep in mind, if you take the free 7-day trial, you may end up paying more in the long run. I've noticed that the longer-term (cheaper) plans sometimes aren't available 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 2- to 5-year commitment. And you'll have to pay the full cost for the entire term upfront in one lump sum.

Even with 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 take a look at the fine print. Once your initial subscription plan expires, your cost is likely to increase. Although it could vary by service, after the lower-priced introductory offer period ends, you'll usually be renewed at the annual rate. A 1-year subscription typically is 30% to 50% more than longer-term plans, so it's something to be aware of when your plan is close to renewal.

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

I'm a firm believer that "free" makes everything taste better -- but not 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, selling your information. And malware is a potential risk with free VPNs.

Also: Best free VPNs for iPhone

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

Are there alternative VPN deals worth considering?

If the offers we've highlighted aren't a good fit for you, there are other VPN deals to consider. Each of the alternate offers listed below has a money-back guarantee period of at least 30 days (Hotspot Shield has a 45-day MGB period!), so you can try out the service for a month and back out if you don't like it.

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