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The best cheap VPN services in Australia
Upping your online security doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
NordVPN and ExpressVPN are, arguably, the two biggest household names when it comes to virtual private network (VPN) services. But while they’re arguably the best in the biz, they’re not the cheapest around. There’s money to be saved by opting for a cheaper VPN.
While you might not get the same fully featured VPN service as the pricier mainstays, cheaper VPNs are still a robust offering that are well worth considering. They’re a great pick for those who want the security and anonymity perks of a VPN while keeping costs down. Plus, they’re a great place to start before going all in on an annual or multi-year VPN subscription, with prices starting at €5 per month and stretching to US$199.99 for a lifetime subscription.
- : Atlas VPN
- : Windscribe VPN
- : PureVPN
- : Private Internet Access VPN
- : VPN Unlimited
The best cheap VPN services in Australia
|Best cheap VPN service overall||AU$107.21 (3 years)||View Plans||46||Unlimited||5GB data per month|
|Best cheap monthly VPN service||US$9/mth||View Plans||112||Unlimited||10GB data per month|
|Best cheap annual VPN service||US$44.95 (1 year)||View Plans||95||10||31-day trial (via refund)|
|Best cheap multi-year VPN service||AU$109 (3 years)||View Plans||146||Unlimited||30-day trial (via refund)|
|Best cheap lifetime VPN service||US$199.99 (lifetime)||View Plans||69||5||7-day trial|
Best cheap VPN service overall
Right off the bat, Atlas VPN doesn’t take out the top spot for being the cheapest in terms of monthly, annual or multi-year pricing. But it is the cheapest across the board. While it’s the fifth most expensive for monthly pricing, it scores a bronze medal for annual and silver for the Atlas VPN three-year subscription. As with other VPNs, buying longer-term subscriptions typically leads to better overall value, assuming you stick around. Atlas VPN also has bragging rights to a viable free version if you want to try before you buy, without artificially slowed speeds but with 5GB of monthly data.
Alternatively, consider PureVPN for similarly competitive overall pricing as well as VPN Unlimited and Private Internet Access.
Best cheap monthly VPN service
Full disclosure: Mullvad VPN has the cheapest monthly pricing of the 17 VPNs I’ve reviewed. But after a recent review update and subsequent score drop, Mullvad isn’t the best pick for this category. Instead, that honour goes to Windscribe. Windscribe is, admittedly, close to double the monthly price of Mullvad, but still the second cheapest. Unlike Mullvad, Windscribe has a viable free version: it starts with 2GB a month but if you’re comfortable adding an email address, that jumps to a very usable 10GB. The premium version of Windscribe has unlimited data and is the best VPN for streaming with popular Australian, UK and US services.
Best cheap annual VPN service
PureVPN has come a long way since I first reviewed it in 2021, evolving from a mid-tier VPN to one that can hold its own against the big names of the biz. In terms of the best annual pricing, PureVPN comfortably beat out the nearest competitor by almost $10. As for features, it’s a VPN that’s easy to use and impresses on the numbers front: 6,500+ servers across 95 locations with up to 10 simultaneous connections. There isn’t a free version, but there is a 31-day money-back guarantee if you’d like to try PureVPN for a month. If you do, you can expect great connection speeds and impressive streaming results for typically geoblocked services.
Alternatively, compare PureVPN with Private Internet Access, Atlas VPN and Surfshark VPN for competitive annual pricing.
Private Internet Access VPN
Best cheap multi-year VPN service
Locking in a long-term VPN subscription is a great way to save money over the course of a year. And if you don’t mind paying more upfront, multi-year subscriptions tend to offer the best value. Of the VPNs we’ve reviewed, Private Internet Access has competitive multi-year pricing (and annual pricing). Private Internet Access offers a generous unlimited simultaneous connections to protect all compatible devices in your home. Plus, there are 28,000+ servers to choose from that cover an impressive 146 global locations. If you do connect to a Private Internet Access server, expect great connection speeds and decent global streaming capabilities.
Alternatively, consider Atlas VPN (which has slightly cheaper multi-year pricing), CyberGhost VPN, PureVPN and Surfshark.
Best cheap lifetime VPN service
If you want to lock in a VPN subscription for a few years at a great price, consider Atlas VPN or Private Internet Access. But for the best value, consider a VPN Unlimited subscription. Why? Because VPN Unlimited offers a reasonably priced lifetime subscription. Typically, lifetime subscriptions tend to be limited-time VPN rarities or are simply never offered. VPN Unlimited offers a lifetime subscription as a permanent fixture. Wait for a VPN Unlimited promotion to grab the VPN Unlimited lifetime subscription at an even better price (it regularly drops to US$99.99). Whatever price you pay for VPN Unlimited, you get a solid VPN with respectable global download speeds and good latency. It’s also a great option for unlocking content from popular US streaming services, including the American Netflix library.
There aren’t really any other VPNs with lifetime subscriptions that we’d recommend. That said, keep an eye out for limited-time promotions that may offer a lifetime VPN subscription for a competitive price (that’s how I got a lifetime subscription to Hotspot Shield VPN).
What to look for in a cheap VPN service
The most obvious thing to look for when shopping for a cheap VPN is price. Note that VPNs are typically charged in US dollars, so factor in currency conversion and associated bank fees. Monthly subscriptions also tend to be the most expensive options if you stick with a VPN.
For better value, consider an annual subscription. We also strongly advise shopping for a VPN during sales, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where you can unlock even better pricing. Many VPNs offer multi-year subscriptions, including options for two or three years. Lifetime subscriptions are a rarity (except for VPN Unlimited) but may occasionally be offered as a limited-time promotion.
Pay attention to VPNs that have free versions so you can get a taste of a service. Even if there is a free alternative, it’s worth paying upfront to access the full version of a VPN, then using a money-back guarantee if it’s not for you. Around 30 days is the norm for money-back guarantees; set a calendar reminder if you don’t want to stick around. Fair warning: cheap VPNs can be good, but more expensive VPNs (like NordVPN and ExpressVPN) tend to offer fully featured services that help to justify the extra cost.
How we choose the best cheap VPN services
We’ve reviewed lots of VPNs over the course last few years. During that time, prices change. Before writing this article, we went and grabbed the latest available pricing for all of the respective VPNs we’ve previously reviewed.
We then converted all of the USD and Euro prices to Australian dollars to paint an accurate picture of expected pricing. Every price was then ranked in terms of monthly fees, annual fees and multi-year fees, the latter of which we converted to yearly pricing to fairly track value across different subscription durations. The results were used to form the list of contenders for each category, with the best overall winner determined by the VPN with the best pricing across durations.
To separate contenders and ensure a range of picks, we used our overall VPN review scores to help determine winners. Within this list of finalists, we also factored in key factors such as the number of simultaneous connections, download speeds and latency, as well as how well VPNs performed in our streaming tests.
Cheap VPN FAQs
At the time of writing, the cheapest overall VPN service in Australia is Atlas VPN. The cheapest monthly VPN subscription goes to Mullvad VPN, cheapest annual belongs to PureVPN, and the cheapest multi-year VPN subscription is with Private Internet Access VPN.
Yes, there are plenty of free (and reliable) VPNs, but they’re usually limited in server options, data and/or speed. For the best free VPNs, start comparisons with PrivadoVPN, Hotspot Shield, Atlas VPN and Windscribe.
The cost of VPNs in Australia varies greatly, depending on whether you pay for a month, a year or a multi-year subscription. Expect to pay under $10 a month for a Mullvad VPN subscription, around $60 for a PureVPN annual subscription, or just under $300 for a lifetime subscription from VPN Unlimited.