Plenty of us invest in security devices to safeguard our homes, but many people don’t realize it’s also important to protect your digital home. The internet is full of sites that collect data, but having sensitive data leaked or, even worse, your identity stolen, can upend your life. Once something happens, it’s not always easy to combat. And as the latest cybercrime statistics show, it’s more critical than ever to protect yourself online.
The good news is that digital security is easier and more affordable than ever, with a number of solid VPN services to choose from. A VPN, or virtual private network, creates an encrypted connection between your device and the internet, which keeps your browsing habits, passwords and more away from prying eyes. And right now, you can get serious discounts on some of our favorite VPN services of 2023.
There are plenty of good reasons to use a VPN. For example, did you know your internet service provider amasses as much data as possible on your digital activity? A 2021 Federal Trade Commission report noted that the leading ISPs have gathered user data on topics as personal as race, sexual orientation and real-time location. They’ve combined it, cross-referenced it and shared it with third-party partners. Yikes.
A VPN can help protect you from such pervasive data-gathering practices. In addition to hiding your internet activity by providing a secure and private “tunnel” to your online destination, a VPN can also let you virtually move your location to a different city or country — a nice bonus if you’re looking to get around local censorship laws or try out different slates of streaming media offerings in different locales.
An important thing to keep in mind is that free VPN services aren’t worth the risk. For the most part, they’re playing that same game of scooping up and selling your data. The good news is there are some great VPN deals available right now, with prices starting at what amounts to less than $2 a month if you prepay for a year or two of service. We’ve tested a bunch of the market leaders and pulled together our recommendations for the best VPN deals. Just keep a few things in mind:
- Some of these offers have countdown clocks saying that the VPN deals are ending “today.” These are usually marketing tactics that have no relationship to the deal’s actual end date.
- We’ll update sale prices when we notice a change, so be sure to check back often.
- The VPN industry has undergone significant change in the past few years, with all three of our top VPN choices announcing major shifts in corporate ownership. In 2021, ExpressVPN announced that it had joined Kape Technologies, a company that already owned several other VPNs and has raised privacy concerns in the past. And in February 2022, NordVPN and Surfshark announced they were merging, though they’ll continue to operate autonomously. We’ve since given ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark fresh reviews in light of these changes, and we continue to actively evaluate other VPN services as well. Our rankings are likewise subject to change as they reflect our latest findings.
- Most of these offers below are for subscriptions of two years or more, which is a long time to tie yourself to a service that could change ownership (see above) or terms of service, or even have a security incident. Though most services have a 30-day free cancellation policy at the start, be sure to check the terms of service before signing up for a long-term commitment.
VPN deals: Tested and recommended
The VPNs in this first group are also among our current top six best VPN picks. We can broadly recommend them — albeit with the noted caveats. That said, the fast-changing ownership landscape in the VPN space may continue to shake things up, but we’ll continue to update this as we uncover more.
Additional VPN deals
We either haven’t fully tested the following VPNs, or have only tested them anecdotally. Thus we can only recommend them for casual use, such as bypassing geographic restrictions while streaming media.