The best VPN deals right now

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When you're shopping for the best deal on a VPN service, 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 -- that countdown timer may just be a marketing tool 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. Plus, you could still get stuck in an annual plan, which usually isn't the cheapest option. Be sure to read the fine print before taking advantage of these offers. In most cases, you'll be better off opting for the longer plan with a money-back guarantee period (typically 30 days or longer) to test the service. 

Also: The best VPNs for streaming

The best VPN deal is for Surfshark, a reliable and easy-to-use VPN with consistently low pricing. For only $1.99 per month, you'll have access to a solid VPN, a reasonable server and country network, additional ad blocking, and four free months added to the length of your contract. 

Let's take a look at the best VPN deals available right now. 

The best VPN deals in January 2024

Surfshark pricing

Monthly: $10.99 - $21.991-year: $41.88 ($3.49 per month) | Surfshark One: $4.09 per month | Surfshark One+: $6.49 per month2-year: $55.72 (billed annually, $1.99 per month) | Surfshark One: $2.69 per month | Surfshark One+: $3.99 per month (four months free)Money-back guarantee: 30 daysSimultaneous connections: Unlimited

Surfshark has been considered one of ZDNET's top VPN choices for some time. The VPN has a simple interface, a reasonable array of servers and countries, unlimited connections for all of your devices, and consistently low pricing. 

While the low price promotions are constant -- and, so, you should ignore the marketing timers -- it's still a great deal, especially when you're willing to subscribe to a two-year plan. The basic Surfshark Starter package will suit many users at $1.99 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. 

Four months have been thrown in for free.

Private Internet Access pricing

Monthly: $11.99Six months: $45 ($7.50 per month)2-Year: $56.94 (billed annually, $2.03 per month, four months free)Money-back guarantee: 30 daysSimultaneous connections: Unlimited

Private Internet Access isn't the least expensive service, but 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. Four months of free access has been thrown in with new subscribers to two-year plans.

PureVPN pricing:

Monthly: $10.95 - $20.451-year: Standard: $3.13 | Plus: $5.82 | MAX $5.09 per month (three months free)2-Year: Standard: $1.97 | Plus: $2.96 | MAX: $3.29 (five months free)
5-Year: $1.66/monthMoney-back guarantee: 31 daysSimultaneous connections: 10

At the time of writing, PureVPN has a promotion on two-year subscriptions starting at $1.97 per month ($53.25 total), which includes five months of free access on premium plans. Five-year options, however, are even cheaper, as they will only set you back $1.66/month (87% off).

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 of any of our recommendations. It has standard monthly and one-year plans, but the two-year subscription has the lowest average monthly cost.

PureVPN has cross-platform compatibility, over 6,500+ VPN servers in 70+ 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. 

NordVPN pricing:

Monthly: $12.99 - $15.991-Year plan: Standard: $4.99 per month | Plus: $5.99 per month  | Ultimate: $7.99 per month2-Year plan: Standard: $3.39 per month | Plus: $4.39 per month  | Ultimate: $6.39 per monthMoney-back guarantee: 30 days Simultaneous connections: Six devices

NordVPN has discounted subscription plans by up to 67%.

NordVPN is a well-respected and feature-rich VPN solution. 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, NordVPN's current back-to-school promotions are worth looking at.

The standard 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

CyberGhost VPN pricing:

Monthly: $12.996 months: $41.94 ($6.99 per month)2-Year: $56.94 ($2.03 per month with four months free)Money-back guarantee: 45 daysSimultaneous connections: 7

CyberGhost has solid prices, and the two-year plan (with two free months) has an average cost of only $2.03 per month, which makes it competitive with the cheapest VPNs on the market. You will also receive four 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 offers over 9600 servers in over 100 countries with free ID guard monitoring and a kill switch. 

The refund period should give you plenty of time to test drive CyberGhost on all of your devices (up to seven at the same time). The free trial period could make sense If you're not interested in CyberGhost VPN's two-year subscription. Otherwise, you'll have a lower monthly cost with one of the longer plans.

Review: CyberGhost VPN

Atlas VPN pricing:

Monthly: $11.991-Year: $39.42 ($3.29 per month)2-Year: $49.21 ($1.64 per month with six free months)Money-back guarantee: 30 days
Simultaneous connections: Unlimited

Atlas VPN's two-year subscription is a solid deal because it only costs an average of $1.64 per month and comes with six months of free access.

Students in the US, UK, Mexico, or Spain are also eligible for additional discounts on the two-year plan. You can register for the student discount here.

For less than $2 a month, you'll have protected connections on every device you own, thanks to unlimited simultaneous connections, whether you want a VPN for your mobile device, PC, or other connected devices.

Atlas VPN markets itself as a VPN solution suitable for torrenting and offers SafeSwap servers, multi-hop functionality, a kill switch, and over 1000 servers in 42 countries.

The best VPN deal is for Surfshark, a reliable and easy-to-use VPN with consistently low pricing. For around $1.99 per month, you'll have access to a solid VPN, a reasonable server and country network, additional ad blocking, and two free months added to the length of your contract.

Although it's not as cheap as other services on this list, if you want a VPN for the long term, the deal is a steal compared to what you could pay for other top VPN services over time. 

VPN

Number of connections

Monthly Price

Cheapest plan

Surfshark

Unlimited

$10.99

$1.99 per month

Private Internet Access

Unlimited

$11.99

$2.03 per month

PureVPN

10

$10.95

$1.66 per month

NordVPN

6

$12.99

$3.99 per month

CyberGhost

7

$12.99

$2.03 per month

Atlas VPN

Unlimited

$11.99

$1.64 per month

What makes a great VPN deal for you depends on your situation. For example, if you have many devices that need protecting during travel, you'll want to focus on the number of connections you can link to one account. However, if a budget is your priority, you may decide to compromise on flexibility and features for the best price.

Choose this VPN...

If you want...

Surfshark

The best VPN deal overall. Surfshark has an easy-to-use interface, a reasonable server and country network, and consistently low pricing for subscribers happy to sign up for longer plans. 

Private Internet Access

A long-term cheap VPN. We used to consider PIA a mid-tier VPN because simultaneous connections were limited, but recently the VPN provider announced support for unlimited devices. 

NordVPN

A premium plan for less. NordVPN is far from the cheapest VPN, but if you want a trustworthy, long-term solution with an array of useful features and an extensive network, it might be worth picking up during a promotion.

CyberGhost

An extended money-back period. CyberGhost isn't as impressive as some others on our list, but the VPN is very user-friendly, and with such a long money-back guarantee, CyberGhost is worth considering. 

PureVPN

Five months of free access or a five-year plan. PureVPN has a range of settings you can tweak to suit your needs, and as an added bonus, longer-term contracts have been extended, bringing the overall monthly cost down. 

Atlas VPN

The lowest monthly cost. Atlas VPN consistently runs coupon code promotions, but even outside of these marketing pushes, Atlas VPN is consistently a cheap option.

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 read the advertised price with a pinch 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.

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.

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. And 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.

"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 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. 

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, so you can try out the service for a month and back out if you don't like it.

ipvanish android

Best alternative for mobile

IPVanish - 77% off, from $2.99/month

IPVanish is a great alternative if you're looking for a VPN with an excellent mobile app.

hotspot

Best alternative for family plans

Hotspot Shield VPN - A free limited version, paid options up to 38% off

Hotspot Shield VPN offers a 45-day money-back guarantee and discounts on family plans.

ExpressVPN desktop mac screenshot

Best alternative for features

ExpressVPN - 49% off, three months free

ExpressVPN is a solid, fast, and secure option that frequently offers discounts on 12-month plans.

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