Is ExpressVPN the Best VPN of 2023? Full review
Is ExpressVPN the Best VPN of 2023? Full review This is a complete and detailed review of ExpressVPN. Before we
We review VPNs and other products independently. However, if you buy with our links, we may earn a small commission to run tests and services.
In the age of digital connectivity, online privacy has become a growing concern for many individuals. With cyber threats and surveillance on the rise, taking the necessary precautions to protect your personal data and maintain your privacy is essential. We at Hacksguider have picked the most affordable solutions for users seeking to enhance their online security without breaking the bank. We never encourage free VPNs; thus, all the VPNs on the list are cheaper, not completely free.
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become a popular tool to safeguard user data and maintain anonymity online. Unfortunately, many VPN services come with hefty price tags, making them inaccessible to a large number of people. This can be discouraging for those looking to secure their online activities without spending too much money.
Fear not! This article is here to help you find the perfect solution for your budget and needs. We have compiled a list of the best cheap VPNs in 2023 that offer a balance of affordability, performance, and security. With our recommendations, you can browse the internet with peace of mind, knowing that your data is protected without straining your wallet.
Private Internet Access is a reliable and budget-friendly VPN service that offers a comprehensive suite of features without putting a dent in your wallet. With its strong commitment to privacy, extensive server network, and excellent compatibility, PIA VPN is an excellent choice for those seeking a low-cost yet high-quality VPN solution.
PIA VPN boasts a massive server network, with over 17,000 servers spread across 84 countries. This extensive coverage ensures that users have access to high-speed connections and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions on content. Whether you want to stream your favorite show, access restricted websites, or simply maintain your online privacy, PIA VPN’s expansive server network has you covered.
PIA does use virtual servers and thus the numbers may be a bit exaggerated, but after using and testing PIA for so long I can assure all the servers work and thus this is the best server network among all VPNs. PIA VPN ensures that users can always find a server nearby, which leads to faster connection speeds and better performance.
PIA VPN takes user privacy seriously. They have a strict no-logs policy, which means that your online activities are not recorded or stored by the company. Furthermore, PIA VPN uses strong encryption protocols, including industry-standard AES-256 encryption.
PIA is based in the USA and that may be a bit concerning as the US is among the founding members of 14 Eyes, however, PIA has proved again and again that it does not store any data in real-world examples. PIA also has been audited by third parties and is fully secure.
Unlimited Simultaneous Connections
Another notable feature of PIA VPN is its support for unlimited simultaneous connections. This means that you can protect all your devices with a single subscription, making PIA VPN an excellent value for money. PIA previously had a limit of 10 connections, however, this has recently been changed. You can share one connection with all your family and friends and secure everyone at this small price.
Compatible with all the devices
PIA VPN offers compatibility with a wide range of devices and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Additionally, it also supports various routers, allowing you to protect your entire home network with a single VPN connection. The user-friendly apps make it easy to set up and use PIA VPN on all your devices.
PIA VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the service risk-free. If you’re not satisfied with their performance or features, you can request a full refund within this period. As for pricing, PIA VPN offers three subscription plans: a monthly plan, a yearly plan, and a two-year plan. With prices starting as low as $2.19 per month, it’s easy to see why PIA VPN is a popular choice among budget-conscious users.
Read the detailed review of PIA here.
Surfshark is a highly-rated and cost-effective VPN service that offers a wealth of features without compromising performance or security. Known for its user-friendly interface, real-world-tested no-logs policy, and advanced features, Surfshark VPN has quickly become a favorite among budget-conscious users seeking a reliable and feature-rich VPN solution.
Surfshark VPN operates a network of over 3,200 servers in more than 100 countries, which is more than expensive VPNs like ExpressVPN. Having servers in 100 countries gives you much more choice while selecting servers and spoofing your location.
Surfshark is committed to safeguarding user privacy and implements a strict no-logs policy. This means that your online activities are not recorded, stored, or shared by the company. Surfshark also maintains a Warrant Canary, which has 0 requests and gag orders till now.
In terms of protocols, Surfshark VPN offers WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols. Additionally, Surfshark employs industry-standard AES-256 encryption and secure VPN protocols to protect your data from hackers, snoopers, and other potential threats. Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections too, so you don’t have to worry about getting multiple connections for your family.
Surfshark distinguishes itself from other budget VPNs by offering a plethora of features that are typically found in more expensive VPN services. Some of these features include CleanWeb (an ad and malware blocker), split-tunneling, a built-in kill switch, Camouflage mode (obfuscation), IP Rotator, Antivirus, and the list goes on.
Surfshark VPN is also the fastest VPN of 2023.
Surfshark VPN is compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It also supports various routers, enabling you to secure your entire home network with a single VPN connection.
Surfshark offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the service risk-free. If you’re not satisfied with their performance or features, you can request a full refund within this period. Surfshark’s pricing is highly competitive, with subscription plans starting as low as $2.49 per month.
Surfshark VPN offers users an affordable yet comprehensive VPN solution that rivals even the most expensive VPN services in terms of quality and functionality. Surfshark VPN has undoubtedly earned its place among the best cheap VPNs in 2023.
Read the complete Surfshark VPN review here.
CyberGhost VPN is a reputable and cost-conscious VPN service that delivers a remarkable combination of features, security, and performance. With its easy-to-use apps, steadfast dedication to privacy, and specialized servers, CyberGhost VPN has won the heart of Ghosties (CyberGhost users).
CyberGhost VPN operates an impressive network of over 7,400 servers in more than 90 countries, providing users with a wide range of locations for fast and reliable connections. This is what we can expect from the sister company of PIA VPN. While the server network is massive in itself, it also boasts special servers like No-Spy servers which in other words is using two servers one of which is in their headquarters.
CyberGhost is based in Romania and thus you don’t have to worry about the jurisdiction as Romania does not possess any data retention laws. In fact, Romania was the only country to oppose the EU data retention policy. CyberGhost too has gone through third-party audits verifying the VPN.
CyberGhost VPN is committed to protecting user privacy and adheres to a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that the company does not record or store your online activities.
CyberGhost VPN supports a variety of devices and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. The user-friendly apps make it easy to set up.
CyberGhost also offers specially optimized servers specifically designed for tasks like gaming or streaming. These specialized servers ensure smooth and buffer-free streaming experiences, as well as low-latency connections for online gaming. With CyberGhost VPN, you can effortlessly unblock and enjoy your favorite streaming services and games from anywhere in the world.
CyberGhost VPN offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test the service without any financial risk. If you’re not satisfied with their performance or features, you can request a full refund within this period. CyberGhost VPN’s pricing is affordable, with subscription plans starting at just $2.19 per month as it has currently 81% off.
CyberGhost VPN excels as a budget-friendly and feature-rich VPN service that offers a host of features typically found in more expensive options. With its competitive pricing, exceptional performance, and a strong commitment to user privacy, CyberGhost VPN has rightfully claimed its spot among the best cheap VPNs in 2023.
Read the detailed review of CyberGhost here.
Atlas VPN is one of the cheapest VPNs on this list and still offers a solid combination of features, security, and performance. Atlas VPN is a comparatively newer VPN and has become a popular choice for budget-savvy users in search of a high-quality VPN solution without the steep price tag. Atlas VPN is a freemium VPN and its free version has a bandwidth limit of 10 GB per month.
Atlas VPN operates a network of over 750+ servers across more than 40 countries which is not as huge as most of the VPNs on this list. This is because Atlas VPN is a newer VPN and is still growing rapidly. Secondly, at this price, this is a great choice for people who needs a VPN rarely or have specific server needs that Atlas VPN has. There may be fewer servers, but it includes most of the major cities and locations around the globe.
Additionally, Atlas VPN uses advanced AES-256 encryption and secure VPN protocols to keep your data safe from hackers, surveillance, and other potential threats.
Atlas VPN’s privacy is a bit concerning as even after calling themselves a no-logs VPN, they still collect some information to make their VPN connection better. These include CPU and ram load, public ISP information, device info, etc. Now, no matter how much they claim to not use this information in any other way for premium users, collecting information is still not a good sign. For free users, the information collected is way more.
Atlas VPN is also based in the US jurisdiction, which can be alarming for privacy-concerned users. The VPN has been verified once by a third-party audit and there was no concern found in the service.
Simple and Easy-to-Use Interface
One of the standout features of Atlas VPN is its simple and easy-to-use interface. The intuitive design makes it straightforward for users of all experience levels to navigate the app and configure their VPN settings. This user-friendly approach ensures that securing your online privacy with Atlas VPN is a hassle-free experience.
Atlas VPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test the service without risk. If you’re not satisfied with their performance or features, you can request a full refund within this period. Atlas VPN offers competitive pricing, with monthly subscription plans starting at just $1.99.
Explore the Atlas VPN review here.
NordVPN is the most popular VPN on this list. With one of the highest users and ruling the industry for so many years, it’s a surprise the VPN still has cheaper prices. With its user-centric apps, unwavering dedication to privacy, and feature-loaded apps, NordVPN has gained popularity among users seeking a top-notch VPN solution without a hefty price.
NordVPN operates an impressive network of over 5,400 servers in more than 60 countries, offering users a broad range of locations for stable and high-speed connections. NordVPN is proud of its server fleet being all bare-metal servers or physical servers. This is great for any VPN, let alone a VPN in this price range.
All the servers of Nord are RAM-only or diskless, meaning they can’t store anything even if they were compromised. NordVPN is also upgrading its servers from 1 GBps to 10 GBps, which is the reason why it is also among the fastest VPN services of 2023.
NordVPN is committed to protecting user privacy and implements a strict no-logs policy, ensuring your online activities are not recorded, stored, or shared. This is assured by the use of their RAM-only servers.
NordVPN has its own in-house designed protocol, NordLynx. It is based on WireGuard and thus is one of the fastest protocols out there. Moreover, NordVPN uses ChaCha-20 and AES-256 encryption and secure VPN protocols to safeguard your data from cyber threats, surveillance, and potential breaches.
NordVPN supports a wide array of devices and operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. NordVPN has also been ranked second in the best VPN overall, making it the best VPN on this list.
NordVPN is based in Panama which is another great news for privacy-concerned readers as Panama is a privacy-friendly jurisdiction and has no data retention laws. NordVPN also merged with Surfshark in 2022, however, they cleared to not use each other’s resources.
NordVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to evaluate the service without financial risk. If you are not satisfied with their performance or features, you can request a full refund within this period. NordVPN offers affordable pricing, with subscription plans beginning at just $3.49 per month.
Explore the complete review of NordVPN here.
Hotspot Shield VPN is a distinguished and budget-friendly VPN service that offers a superb fusion of functionality, security, and speed. Besides being known for its super fast speed, Hotspot Shield is also a gem with low-cost service. HSS as a freemium VPN offers 500 MB per day for free.
Hotspot Shield VPN boasts an expansive network of over 1,800 servers in more than 85 countries, providing users with a diverse range of locations for quick and dependable connections. You will have to select the server manually as the quick connect button always connects to the US server.
Proprietary Hydra Protocol
Hotspot Shield VPN differentiates itself with its proprietary Hydra Protocol, designed to enhance connection speed and stability. The Hydra Protocol optimizes your VPN connection, ensuring lightning-fast performance, even when connecting to distant servers. This feature makes Hotspot Shield VPN an excellent choice for users who prioritize speed and reliability.
Moreover, Hotspot Shield VPN utilizes advanced AES-256 encryption and secure VPN protocols to defend your data against cyber threats, monitoring, and potential intrusions.
Hotspot Shield VPN prioritizes user privacy and enforces a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your online activities remain unrecorded and unshared by the company. However, what may concern some privacy users is its jurisdiction as HSS is based in the US, not a privacy-friendly country.
Unblocks US Netflix and many more platforms
Streaming is another most used task for VPNs and this results in battles between streaming giants and VPNs. Hotspot Shield in our tests unblocked 2 Netflix Libraries: USA and UK. While it also unblocked some others, they were not completely reliable. These two libraries were streaming smoothly without any buffering.
Refund Policy and Price
The VPN service provider offers a 45-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test the service without any financial commitment. If you are not satisfied with their performance or features, you can request a full refund within this period. Hotspot Shield VPN’s pricing is reasonable, with monthly subscription plans commencing at just $2.
PrivateVPN is a notable and cost-effective VPN service that delivers an exceptional blend of functionality, security, and speed. With its user-centric apps, unwavering commitment to privacy, and comprehensive server network, PrivateVPN has gained popularity among users searching for a first-rate VPN solution without a high price tag.
The premium VPN service operates a network of over 200 servers in more than 63 countries, offering users a diverse range of locations for fast and reliable connections. Private VPN offers all the major protocols including WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec. Furthermore, PrivateVPN employs cutting-edge AES-256 encryption and secure VPN protocols to safeguard your data from cyber threats, surveillance, and potential breaches.
PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to evaluate the service without financial risk. If you’re not satisfied with their performance or features, you can request a full refund within this period. PrivateVPN’s pricing is affordable, with monthly subscription plans starting at just $2.00. This price point makes the VPN among the cheap VPN providers.
UltraVPN is a distinguished and budget-conscious VPN service offering outstanding features, security, and performance.
UltraVPN operates a network of over 830+ servers in more than 116 locations, providing users with a diverse range of locations for fast and reliable connections. This server count may be less, but it still covers over 100 countries which are more than enough for regular use.
This VPN can only unblock the Netflix US library and thus if you want a cheap VPN for streaming purposes, you might want to look into other options as this might not work for you. Other than that, the VPN is a great affordable VPN service.
Another VPN based in the US, surely makes us wonder what are these VPNs doing there. The USA is never considered a privacy-friendly country and I think they are the first one when it comes to violating privacy. Still, like many other VPNs, Ultra VPN also manages from the USA.
UltraVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you the opportunity to test the service without any financial commitment. If you are not satisfied with their performance or features, you can request a full refund within this period. UltraVPN’s pricing is reasonable, with subscription plans starting at just $1.99 per month. The VPN offers the cheapest VPN monthly plans in the whole industry.
UltraVPN distinguishes itself with robust security features, such as an automatic kill switch that prevents data leaks if the VPN connection drops, and DNS leak protection that ensures your browsing activities remain private. These features contribute to UltraVPN’s strong security, ensuring your online privacy is well protected.
Explore the complete Ultra VPN review here.
To compile this list of the best cheap VPNs in 2023, we considered various factors contributing to a VPN’s overall quality, performance, and value. These factors played a significant role in our selection process and helped us identify the top choices for users seeking budget-friendly yet reliable VPN services. Here’s a breakdown of the factors and their importance in percentage:
Price (30%): As this list focuses on cheap VPNs, pricing was a crucial factor in our selection process. We considered both the monthly and long-term subscription costs to ensure that each VPN on our list offers excellent value for money without compromising on essential features or performance.
Performance (25%): A VPN’s performance, including connection speed and stability, is vital for a seamless online experience. We assessed each VPN’s ability to provide fast and reliable connections, ensuring that users can enjoy uninterrupted streaming, gaming, and browsing.
Security and Privacy (20%): The primary purpose of a VPN is to safeguard user privacy and data security. We evaluated each VPN’s encryption standards, VPN protocols, and additional security features such as kill switches and DNS leak protection. A strict no-logs policy was also a prerequisite for inclusion on our list.
Server Network and Locations (10%): A vast and diverse server network allows users to bypass geo-restrictions and access content from around the globe. We considered the number of servers and their locations in our selection process, ensuring that each VPN offers a wide range of options for users.
Compatibility and Ease of Use (10%): A great VPN should be compatible with a variety of devices and operating systems, with user-friendly apps that make setup and usage a breeze. We evaluated each VPN’s compatibility and app usability to ensure that users can easily secure their devices.
Customer Support and Refund Policy (5%): Efficient customer support and a reliable refund policy are essential aspects of a VPN service. We assessed each VPN’s customer support channels, response times, and refund policies, ensuring that users can confidently invest in the service.
Monthly pay VPNs, such as Mullvad VPN, maintain a constant price regardless of the plan duration or subscription length. This pricing model can be appealing to users who require a VPN for a shorter duration, as their monthly plan may be comparatively cheaper than other VPN services that offer discounted long-term plans.
For individuals who only need VPN services occasionally, such as during travel or for a specific project, monthly pay VPNs can be a cost-effective choice. They allow users to enjoy the benefits of a VPN without committing to a long-term plan or paying for services they won’t use consistently.
However, it’s essential to keep in mind that using a VPN is not only about accessing geo-restricted content or bypassing censorship; it’s also about ensuring your online privacy and security. Consistent VPN usage can protect your data from cyber threats, surveillance, and potential intrusions.
Given the importance of online privacy and security in today’s digital world, using a regular premium VPN with an ongoing subscription is generally recommended. Many of the VPNs on our list of the best cheap VPNs offer affordable long-term plans that provide robust security features, excellent performance, and an extensive server network.
If you’re wondering why you should even consider paying for a cheap VPN when you can get a free VPN, then you my friend have a lot to learn yet. While free VPNs may seem like a cost-effective solution, they often come with several drawbacks that can outweigh their benefits:
Lacks Security and Privacy: Free VPNs may not offer the same level of security and privacy features as their paid counterparts. Many free VPNs have weaker encryption standards, lack essential security features like a kill switch, and may even log your online activities.
Data Caps and Bandwidth Limitations: Most free VPNs impose data caps and bandwidth limitations, which can significantly impact your online experience. Streaming, gaming, and downloading large files can quickly become tedious or even impossible with these restrictions. Some VPNs that don’t limit the bandwidth simply limit the servers, where the free servers are always overcrowded.
Slower Connection Speeds: Free VPN services often have limited server networks and overcrowded servers, resulting in slower connection speeds and frequent disconnections. In comparison, the premium VPNs we’ve recommended have extensive server networks, providing fast and reliable connections.
Ads and Selling User Data: To generate revenue, some free VPN providers may display ads or even sell user data to third parties. These practices can compromise your online privacy and security, negating the primary purpose of using a VPN. The cheap VPNs we’ve picked do not engage in such practices and focus on protecting user privacy.
Limited Features and Compatibility: Free VPNs often lack advanced features, such as split tunneling, ad blocking, or the ability to unblock popular streaming services. They may also have limited compatibility with various devices and operating systems. A free VPN user has no idea what a true VPN service is truly capable of in terms of advanced functions.
Lifetime pass VPNs, which offer users access to their services for an indefinite period with a one-time payment, may seem like an attractive and cost-effective option. However, there are several reasons why lifetime VPN deals can be problematic and may not be the best choice for users who prioritize security, privacy, and consistent performance.
Sustainability Concerns: VPN services require constant upkeep, server maintenance, and regular updates to maintain high-quality performance and security. A one-time payment model may not provide the necessary financial resources for the VPN provider to sustain their services and infrastructure in the long run, potentially leading to a decline in service quality or even a shutdown.
Lack of Incentives for Improvement: Lifetime pass VPNs may not have a strong incentive to continuously improve their services, features, and security measures, as they have already received the payment from the user. This lack of ongoing revenue can lead to stagnation and outdated security protocols, putting users at risk.
Potential Privacy Risks: In order to sustain their business, some lifetime VPN providers may resort to questionable practices, such as selling user data or displaying ads, to generate revenue. These practices can compromise user privacy and negate the primary purpose of using a VPN, which is to protect your online privacy and security.
Inconsistent Performance: Lifetime pass VPNs may struggle to maintain consistent performance levels, as they may not have the resources to upgrade their server infrastructure, expand their server network, or adapt to ever-changing cybersecurity threats. This can result in slow connection speeds, unreliable connections, and weaker security measures.
Customer Support Limitations: With limited resources, lifetime VPN providers may not be able to offer comprehensive customer support, leaving users with unresolved issues or inadequate assistance when problems arise.
Utilizing a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is vital for preserving online privacy and security. A VPN encrypts your internet connection and conceals your IP address, ensuring your online activities are shielded from hackers, cybercriminals, and unwanted monitoring. Furthermore, a VPN enables you to access geo-blocked content, circumvent censorship, and safeguard your data on public Wi-Fi networks.
To identify the top inexpensive VPN, consider aspects such as security features, privacy policies, server infrastructure, connection speeds, device compatibility, and customer support. Seek a VPN with a stringent no-logs policy, robust encryption, and cutting-edge security features. Moreover, verify that the VPN delivers consistent performance and can unblock popular streaming services.
Yes, numerous affordable VPNs are effective for streaming geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. Some of the top inexpensive VPNs for streaming include PIA VPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost, and NordVPN. These VPNs provide extensive server networks, rapid connection speeds, and advanced features to ensure a seamless streaming experience.
The majority of inexpensive VPNs support various devices and platforms, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Some VPNs even provide unlimited simultaneous connections, enabling you to secure all your devices with a single subscription. Visit the VPN provider’s website to verify the number of devices allowed and confirm compatibility with your preferred devices.
A monthly VPN subscription might be more appropriate for users who need a VPN for a shorter period, like during travel or for a specific project. Nonetheless, long-term plans typically offer substantial discounts, making them more cost-effective for users who require ongoing VPN protection. Consistently using a VPN is generally recommended for enhanced online privacy and security.
VPNs can vary in price due to factors such as server infrastructure, features, security protocols, and brand reputation. Some VPN providers invest heavily in robust server networks, advanced security features, and user-friendly interfaces, resulting in higher subscription costs. Additionally, well-established VPN brands with a strong reputation for security and privacy may charge a premium for their services. However, many affordable VPNs still offer reliable performance and essential security features, making them suitable for users on a budget.
We selected the cheapest VPNs on our list by evaluating various factors, including security features, privacy policies, server networks, connection speeds, device compatibility, and customer support. We prioritized VPNs that offer strong encryption, strict no-logs policies, and reliable performance at an affordable price. Additionally, we considered the VPNs’ ability to unblock popular streaming services, support multiple devices, and provide user-friendly interfaces.
Investing in a VPN provider is worth the money, even when you’re on a budget, as it offers numerous benefits that outweigh the costs. A reliable VPN enhances your online privacy, secures your data, and protects you from cyber threats like hacking and identity theft. It also enables you to access geo-restricted content, bypass censorship, and maintain your privacy on public Wi-Fi networks. By choosing a budget-friendly VPN from our list, you can enjoy these benefits without compromising on security or performance.
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