How much does a VPN cost?

A cost breakdown of the most popular VPNs and how to get them cheaper.

There are a lot of different virtual private network (VPN) services out there, which can make it tricky to pick the best one. Thankfully, several services, including some of the best ones, lets you try before you buy with VPN free trials. Alternatively, there are great cheap VPN services, too.

How much does a VPN cost?

While a few VPN services have the same price, monthly costs range from around US$9.99 a month up to AU$18.49. Get used to seeing VPNs charged in American dollars, too, as the more popular ones don’t tend to offer convenient currency conversions to help simplify costs. Further compounding cost appraisals is the reality that things tend to be cheaper if you pay for longer, either a year or more, and VPN services tend to regularly have promotional pricing, so it’s worth holding out for that if you want to get better bang for buck.

Below is a table of every VPN service that we’ve reviewed, its monthly cost and a direct link to the respective VPN service so you can read more.

Where applicable, prices are listed for the most basic subscriptions, such as individual users rather than family accounts.

VPN serviceMonthly priceAnnual priceOther priceVPN reviewMore details
Private Internet AccessAU$17.79AU$56AU$98.20
(2 years)
Read reviewView plans
TunnelBearUS$9.99US$59.88$120
(3 years)
Read reviewView plans
Norton Secure-AU$59.99 (per device)-Read reviewView plans
IPVanishUS$9.99US$89.99-Read reviewView plans
WindscribeUS$9$US49-Read reviewView plans
Hotspot ShieldUS$12.99US$95.88-Read reviewView plans
Mullvad€5--Read reviewView plans
ExpressVPNUS$12.95US$99.95US$59.95
(6 months)
Read reviewView plans
CyberGhostAU$18.49AU$66.60$116.40
(2 years)
Read reviewView plans
NordVPNUS$11.95US$59$89
(2 years)
Read reviewView plans
SurfsharkAU$16.91-AU$78.06
(2 years)
Read reviewView plans
PureVPNUS$10.95US$69.95US$79.92Read reviewView plans
VPN UnlimitedUS$9.99$US59.99US$199.99
(lifetime)
Read reviewView plans

Why do I need a VPN?

The short answer is you don’t technically need a VPN, but you really, really should consider using one to help anonymise your online activities. We’ve got an articles dedicated to what a VPN is, how a VPN works, and related articles such as demystifying password managers, which certain VPN services like Hotspot Shield offer as part of bundled pricing.

What about free VPNs?

Free VPNs aren’t the best way to experience the perks of a VPN service. They tend to have restrictions on speeds and servers, which means it’ll likely feel sluggish. That said, TunnelBear and Hotspot Shield from the list above do offer free services if you want to see what a VPN is all about before paying anything.

Which VPNs have trials?

VPN trials are a great way to experience a full suite of features, but bear in mind that some trials are of the money-back variety, meaning you have to put down credit card details and request a refund if you decide to end after the trial period. From the list above, neither TunnelBear nor Mullvad offer any sort of trial.

You get free trials from Windscribe (one day), Hotspot Shield (seven days), CyberGhost (one day), PureVPN (seven days) and VPN Unlimited (seven days). Norton Secure technically has a 14-day trial, but that’s part of a Norton 360 package. Meanwhile, Private Internet Access, IPVanish, ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark all offer 30-day money-back guarantees.