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10 Best VPN Providers of 2022

A virtual private network (VPN) provides an extra layer of privacy, enables you to access foreign websites, and can even provide secure connections for transferring sensitive business information. While they are typically used by individuals, VPNs also offer businesses the ability to manage multiple user accounts, block certain types of content and keep your data safe from prying eyes.

With more people traveling and using public Wi-Fi hotspots, they’re increasingly susceptible to security threats. One way to protect your data is to use a virtual private network, or VPN, to veil your data from unscrupulous hackers and prying eyes. These networks encrypt your traffic so no one can see your activity.

Not all VPNs are created equal, and some can be quite costly. That’s why Forbes Advisor has compiled a list of the nine best cheap VPNs. We’ve analyzed the key features you should consider in order to choose the best VPN service for your needs. Here are our top picks in 2022.

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The Best Cheap VPNs of 2022


Best for Plug-and-Play Solutions

CyberGhost

Rating: 4.6

One-Year Plan Price

$51.48

Money-Back Guarantee

45 days

Server locations

Located in 91 countries

Best for Tech-Savvy Users

Private Internet Access

Rating: 4.5

$39.95

Money-Back Guarantee

30 days

Server locations

Located in 84 countries

Best for Beginners

Surfshark

4.4

One-Year Plan Price

$47.88 (renews at $59.76)

Money-Back Guarantee

30 days

Server locations

65 countries

Best for International Travelers

TorGuard

4.2

One-Year Plan Price

$59.99 (or $9.99 per month)

Money-Back Guarantee

7 days

Server locations

More than 3,000

 

Best for Streaming

Hotspot Shield

4.0

One-Year Plan Price

$95.99, plus free option available

Money-Back Guarantee

45 days

Server locations

More than 80 countries

Hotspot Shield

Learn More right arrow

Read Forbes’ Review
Why We Picked It
Pros & Cons

Best for Security

VyprVPN

4.0

One-Year Plan Price

$100

Money-Back Guarantee

30 days

Server locations

More than 70

VyprVPN

Learn More right arrow

On VyprVPN’s Website
Why We Picked It
Pros & Cons

Best for Unlimited Connections

IPVanish

3.7

One-Year Plan Price

$39.99

(renews at $89.99)

Money-Back Guarantee

30 days

Server locations

More than 2,000

IPVanish

Learn More right arrow

On IPVanish’s Website
Why We Picked It
Pros & Cons

Best for Remote Workers

Bitdefender Premium VPN

3.1

One-Year Plan Price

$29.99

(renews at $49.99)

Money-Back Guarantee

30 days

Server locations

More than 4,000

Bitdefender Premium VPN
Why We Picked It
Pros & Cons

Best Free VPN

Windscribe

3.1

One-Year Plan Price

Free; or $69 per year

(for premium plan)

Money-Back Guarantee

3 days

Server locations

More than 63 countries

Windscribe

Our Advisor Ratings

Company Forbes Advisor Rating One-Year Plan Price Money-Back Guarantee Server locations LEARN MORE
cyberghost_logo_512 CyberGhost 4.6
4.5-removebg-preview
$51.48 45 days Located in 91 countries Learn More

On CyberGhost’s Website

private_internet_access_logo_Horizontal Private Internet Access 4.5
4.5-removebg-preview
$39.95 30 days Located in 84 countries Learn More

On Private Internet Access’ Website

Surfshark-1-removebg-preview Surfshark 4.4
4.5-removebg-preview-1
$47.88 (renews at $59.76) 30 days 65 countries Learn More

On Surfshark’s Website

torguard-vpn_w45w TorGuard 4.2
4-removebg-preview-2 (1)
$59.99 (or $9.99 per month) 7 days More than 3,000 Learn More

On TorGuard’s Website

Hotspot Shield Hotspot Shield 4.0
4-removebg-preview-2 (1)
$95.99, plus free option available 45 days More than 80 countries Learn More

Read Forbes’ Review

vypr_1200x630-1 VyprVPN 4.0
4-removebg-preview-2 (1)
$100 30 days More than 70 Learn More

On VyprVPN’s Website

IPVanish IPVanish 3.7
3.5-removebg-preview
$39.99 (renews at $89.99) 30 days More than 2,000 Learn More

On IPVanish’s Website

bitdefender-removebg-preview Bitdefender Premium VPN 3.1
3-removebg-preview
$29.99 (renews at $69.99) 30 days More than 4,000 View More

windscribe Windscribe 3.1
3-removebg-preview
Free; or $69 per year (for premium plan) 3 days More than 63 countries Learn More

Read Forbes’ Review


Methodology

To find the best cheap VPNs, we first looked at 17 different providers across 35 data points to narrow it down to the top five options. Each provider can score up to 55 points based on the following criteria:

  • Price: We looked at the price of each provider’s one-year plan.
  • Free Trial: While rare for VPN services, we noted which provider offers a free trial.
  • Money-Back Guarantee: If the provider offers a money-back guarantee, how long is it?
  • Server Locations: We looked at the number of server locations each provider offers.
  • Number of Devices: How many devices can you use with one subscription?
  • Encryption: What type of encryption does the provider use?
  • No-Logs Policy: Does the provider have a no-logs policy?
  • Kill Switch: A kill switch is a must-have security feature for any VPN. It prevents your traffic from being exposed if your connection drops.
  • Malware Protection: Does the provider offer malware protection?
  • Customer Support: How can you contact support, and what are its hours?

We then weighted each criterion based on how important it is to a cheap VPN. For example, price is more important than customer support because you’re looking for a cheap VPN, not the best customer support. After scoring each provider, we ranked the scores to get our final rankings.


What Makes a Good, Cheap VPN?

When looking for a cheap VPN, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure the provider has a no-logs policy. This means it won’t store or track your data, which is important for privacy.

You’ll also want to make sure the provider has a kill switch. This is a security feature that prevents your traffic from being exposed if your connection drops.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure the provider offers malware protection. This is important because VPNs are a popular target for malware and hackers.


What Does a VPN Do?

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a tool that allows you to change your IP address and encrypt your traffic. This makes it difficult for your ISP or government to track and block your traffic.

VPNs are also a great way to unblock websites and streaming services that are blocked in your country. They can also improve your online security and privacy.


How Does a Cheap VPN Affect Your Speed?

One thing to keep in mind when looking for a cheap VPN is that you may experience some speed loss. This is because the encryption process used by VPNs slows down your traffic. However, the loss is usually minimal and won’t affect most activities, such as browsing the internet or streaming video.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

What is the best VPN?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best VPN for you depends on your needs and budget. However, after a thorough analysis of the best cheap VPNs available, we determined CyberGhost is the best option across many data points. It scored 4.6 out of 5 stars in our review.

Is a cheap VPN worth it?

A cheap VPN is a great option for those on a budget. However, you may experience some speed loss when using a cheap VPN. Additionally, cheap VPNs may not have all the features that more expensive options have. But, overall, a cheap VPN is a great option if you’re looking to improve your online security and privacy on a budget.

Are cheap VPNs secure?

No matter the price of your VPN, there are many with encryption as strict as what the U.S. military uses, which is AES-256 encryption. Go with any of the providers on our list and you’ll have secure encryption.

Can I use a VPN for streaming services?

One of the most popular use cases for VPNs is accessing streaming content in other territories. If a VPN offers service locations in a given country, there’s a good chance that you can access geo-restricted content. However, some streaming services do have anti-VPN measures in place, so your mileage may vary.

Can I host my own VPN?

Technically, you can set up and host your own VPN on your home computer. It’s not the best idea to do so though, because you’ll miss out on the main reasons to use a VPN. Connecting to a third-party VPN can change your location, which lets you access otherwise blocked content, and you won’t be masking your location with a VPN. Plus, a VPN requires a bit of bandwidth, which you likely don’t have with your home internet connection.

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