VPNs are awesome online tools. They can help you unblock streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Crackle. They can protect your data even when you use unsecured public WiFi. And they’re an excellent way to stop bandwidth throttling and enjoy a DDoS-free gaming experience.
But they’re not exactly cheap, are they? Some monthly plans can go as high as $10-$13 per month, which amounts to around $120-$156 per year. You’re probably already spending money on dozens of other online services like Netflix, Steam, and Spotify, so can your budget really handle another expense?
Well, it doesn’t have to come to that. In this quick guide, we’ll show you 4 simple ways you can save money when buying a VPN.
1. Pick Long-Term Plans
Buying a yearly subscription probably isn’t always your first instinct. Maybe you won’t like the VPN, so why pay for a full year when you can just get a monthly plan and cancel it whenever you feel like it?
That’s true, but think of it this way – if you know you’re picking a reliable VPN that has a good track record of keeping users happy and respecting their privacy, where’s the risk?
After all, when looking for a VPN, you don’t settle for the first random provider you see in Google’s ads. Instead, you check who the top providers are (VPN review sites are a good source), see what other people have to say about them, and then read through their website copy and Privacy Policies.
With that kind of research, you should be almost 100% sure you found the right VPN. So why pay more with monthly plans when you can get really decent discounts with longer plans?
For example, ExpressVPN’s monthly plan is pretty steep – around $12.95. But if you get the yearly plan, the price drops down to $6.67/month (and you also get three extra months for free with their current promotion). Surfshark also has a pricey monthly subscription ($12.95), but if you get the two-year plan, the price goes down to as little as $2.21/month!
And best of all – most of the top providers offer no-questions asked 30-day refund policies. CyberGhost even has a 45-day money-back guarantee (14-day for the monthly plan). So you have plenty of time to decide if the VPN can meet all your needs or not.
2. Grab VPN Deals
Like any business, VPN providers often run special deals where they offer cool perks – big discounts, the chance to add extra month to your subscription for free, etc.
You can often find these deals on the providers’ blogs, social media pages (especially Facebook and Twitter), and in their newsletters. But an even easier and quicker way to get these deals is to check VPN review sites. They often post whole articles that list what deals the top VPN providers are currently offering.
Speaking of which, Black Friday is just around the corner. If you want some great cheap Black Friday VPN deals, follow that link. It’s an article from ProPrivacy (one of the biggest VPN review sites on the web) that lists some really awesome deals. Many of them are exclusive to ProPrivacy, so be sure to use their links!
3. Use Affiliate Links
VPN review sites aren’t just a good source of seasonal VPN deals. You can often get decent discounts regularly by just checking VPN reviews.
Basically, the site has an affiliate partnership with VPN providers. They agree on a discount which you can only get by clicking on affiliate links on the review site.
If you’re not 100% sure the links are legit, no problem – just reach out to the VPN provider in question through live chat or email. They’ll let you know whether or not it’s the real deal.
4. Keep an Eye on Giveaways & Blogger Accounts
Some providers (not all, though) run regular giveaways where you can win a few months of the service for free (like two or three). CactusVPN does this on their Facebook page pretty often, for example.
Besides that, some VPNs might let you get a free account if you promote their service on your blog. You have to discuss the specifics with them, though. Also, we don’t know many providers that do this. If you do, please let us know in the comments.
Can You Save Money with Lifetime Subscriptions?
You can, but you have to make sure the deal is legit. More often than not, it’s a scam. Getting a lifetime subscription for only $30-$40 sounds too good to be true, after all.
Even if it’s not a scam, something can (and probably will) always go wrong:
- The VPN will stop unblocking your favorite streaming site.
- The provider’s support reps will ignore your tickets.
- Speeds might start decreasing after a while.
- The VPN could go bankrupt and close up shop.
There are exceptions to the rule, however. This is why you have to really do your homework to make sure the deal is legit. For instance, Windscribe ran a limited-time promotion where they sold lifetime accounts for $59.
As they explain in their article, that move made sense because they exposed their product to a lot of people, got a quick cash injection, and established new partnerships with different companies. And the company wasn’t at a loss because Windscribe’s revenue didn’t completely depend on lifetime accounts, but on existing regular accounts.
How Else Can You Save Money When Buying a VPN?
If you know other methods that work, please tell us about them in the comments below. Also, if you’re aware of any current discounts or promotions for specific providers, please let us know about them.