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Best Paid Monthly (Pay as You Go) VPN Plans in 2023

Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Eric Goldstein Eric Goldstein

Short on time? Here’s the best paid monthly VPN:

  • 🥇ExpressVPN — Offers advanced security features, maintains ultra-fast speeds, works with Netflix and 65+ streaming platforms. It also has very intuitive apps and allows up to 5 simultaneous connections. Its monthly plan starts at $6.67 / month and is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

I typically don’t like to purchase long-term subscriptions if I can help it. Although they usually offer the best value, I’m not always comfortable being committed to one product or subscription for multiple years. For example, I may only need the product for a couple of months, and I don’t want to get stuck paying for something I may not use. So, I can completely understand why someone may prefer to pay for a virtual private network (VPN) on a month-to-month basis.

However, not all VPN monthly subscriptions are the same. There are a lot of VPNs that don’t include all of their features in the monthly plans, don’t allow you to access all of their servers, don’t have the fastest speeds, and don’t support streaming or torrenting.

To help you pick the best monthly pay-as-you-go VPN, I spent weeks testing out dozens of the top VPNs in 2023. I found a handful of really good VPNs with monthly plans, excellent security features, fast speeds, and strong streaming & torrenting support.

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Quick summary of the best paid monthly VPNs: 

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Monthly (Pay as You Go) VPN

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Monthly (Pay as You Go) VPN
ExpressVPN offers my favorite monthly plan in 2023 — it includes industry-leading security features, has the fastest speeds on the market, and offers intuitive apps for all major platforms.

It’s also the best VPN for streaming as it can access 65+ streaming platforms, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu. Plus, ExpressVPN ranks as the top VPN for torrenting because it allows P2P traffic on all 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, has blazing-fast download speeds, and works with all of the top torrent clients.

ExpressVPN is ultra secure. In addition to offering industry-standard VPN security features, you get perfect forward secrecy (constantly changes your encryption keys to prevent hackers from accessing past or future keys) and RAM-only servers (ExpressVPN doesn’t store any data on a hard drive, and all data is erased each time the server is turned off and on).

It also comes with:

  • Obfuscation — ExpressVPN’s obfuscated servers make it appear as if you’re not using a VPN, allowing you to bypass firewalls in countries that restrict access to the internet like China and Iran.
  • Split-tunneling — It allows you to exclude apps from the VPN tunnel and is available on Android, Windows, and Macs (most VPNs don’t have split-tunneling for macOS).
  • Threat manager — This feature blocks trackers and prevents you from visiting websites that may contain malware.
  • Verified no-logs policy — ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy has been independently audited and confirmed multiple times.

When it comes to speeds, ExpressVPN is hands down the fastest VPN on the market. Thanks to its proprietary Lightway protocol, I had really fast speeds on local servers in the US, but I noticed little difference in browsing, streaming, torrenting, and even gaming speeds while connected to servers in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Websites always loaded right away, videos started without virtually any delays, and I was able to download small and large files very fast.

I also love how you don’t have to be an advanced user to use ExpressVPN. All of its apps have an intuitive design and simple interface that make it a breeze to navigate and connect to a server.

ExpressVPN’s monthly plan costs $12.95 / month, but the longest-term plan is the best value at $6.67 / month (and it usually includes additional months for free). ExpressVPN allows 5 simultaneous connections, accepts credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and WebMoney, and backs all purchases by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN offers the best monthly (pay as you go) VPN plan on the market — it’s priced at $12.95 / month, has top-notch security features, the fastest speeds, many cool extra features, excellent streaming and torrenting support, and easy-to-use apps. All ExpressVPN purchases come with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

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🥈2. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Fast Speeds and Great for Browsing & Torrenting

🥈2. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Fast Speeds and Great for Browsing & Torrenting

Private Internet Access (PIA) is very fast, very secure, very easy to use, and very good for browsing, streaming, and torrenting. In terms of security, PIA comes with high-end features like perfect forward secrecy, RAM-only servers, and open-source apps. What’s more, court documents have confirmed that the VPN doesn’t store any user data.

It’s also has extra features such as:

  • Split-tunneling — Allows you to exclude apps and website IP addresses on Android, Windows, Macs, and Linux.
  • Ad blocker (MACE) — Blocks ads, malicious websites, and trackers.
  • Identity Guard — Helps you check if any of your email addresses have been involved in a data breach.
  • Shadowsocks protocol — This is PIA’s obfuscation tool that allows users in restrictive countries to access a free and open internet.

Although PIA isn’t as fast as ExpressVPN, I was still very impressed with my speeds across all of PIA’s servers in 80+ countries. PIA offers WireGuard, which is one of the fastest protocols available, and I only had minimal delays (if any) while browsing, streaming, and torrenting — even on distant servers in Japan, South Africa, and New Zealand.

PIA is an excellent option for torrenting. It allows torrenting on all servers, works with the top torrent clients, and has port forwarding, which connects you to more peers to get faster speeds. If you’re looking to stream content, PIA works with top streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, and many others.

When it comes to prices, Private Internet Access offers some of the cheapest plans on the market — its monthly plan costs $11.99 / month, whereas the longest and best-value plan is only $2.11 / month. It allows 10 connections, and there’s also an option to purchase add-ons like a dedicated IP address and PIA’s antivirus. It accepts credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and even cryptocurrencies. PIA covers each plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Private Internet Access (PIA) has a reasonably-priced monthly subscription that costs $11.99 / month — as well as cheap longer term plans. It’s also secure, very fast, and excellent for torrenting and streaming. PIA has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its plans, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

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🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — Excellent for Streaming & Gaming

🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — Excellent for Streaming & Gaming

CyberGhost VPN is a really good option for users interested in streaming and playing online video games. It has dedicated streaming servers that are optimized for accessing 50+ streaming apps in 10+ countries, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ (you can stream content on any of CyberGhost’s 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries).

In my speed tests, CyberGhost performed really well. I was able to stream TV shows and movies in HD and 4K quality with only minimal delays (CyberGhost also comes with WireGuard) — but the same videos started right away with ExpressVPN.

There are also dedicated gaming servers in the UK, France, Germany, and US that are solely designed to maximize your download speeds and provide low ping. I tested servers in each of these 4 countries, and they were indeed 10-15% faster than CyberGhost’s normal servers.

CyberGhost is also a good option for sharing files. It has dedicated torrenting servers located in 65+ countries, but I prefer the convenience of ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access because they allow torrenting on all of their servers.

As far as security features are concerned, CyberGhost has all of the industry-standard features, plus several cool extras — you get perfect forward secrecy, RAM-only servers, and ID Guard, which tracks if your email address or passwords end up on the dark web. There’s also split-tunneling (but only on Android), an ad blocker, and Smart Rules, which is a neat tool that allows you to customize your connection preferences, but unfortunately it doesn’t work in restrictive countries.

However, I don’t like how CyberGhost’s monthly plan excludes several important tools, including Privacy Guard (a tracker blocker), Boxcryptor (cloud security), and NoSpy servers (extra secure servers based at CyberGhost’s headquarters) — they only come with the yearly plans.

CyberGhost VPN offers monthly ($12.99 / month) and yearly plans ($2.11 / month) that support up to 7 simultaneous connections. The yearly plans come with a 45-day money-back guarantee, whereas the monthly plan only has a 14-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

CyberGhost VPN offers a good monthly plan that’s priced at $12.99 / month. It includes dedicated streaming, gaming, and torrenting servers, fast speeds, and great security features. You can also get a dedicated IP and CyberGhost’s antivirus and password manager for an additional cost. CyberGhost VPN backs its monthly plans with just a 14-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full CyberGhost VPN review

4. NordVPN — Secure VPN With Multiple Monthly Plans

4. NordVPN — Secure VPN With Multiple Monthly Plans

NordVPN has excellent security features and is one of the only VPNs that offer tiered pricing plans. It comes with a dark web monitor, a top-notch ad and malware blocker, and double VPN, which provides an extra layer of security — plus there’s perfect forward secrecy, and it uses RAM-only servers.

I maintained really fast speeds for all of my online activities with NordVPN across its entire server network. Websites loaded in a flash (even ad-heavy ones), videos started within 2 seconds, and I was impressed with my download speeds. That being said, NordVPN was just a bit slower than ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.

NordVPN is one of the top VPNs on the market for streaming — it works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and tons of other popular streaming apps. And when it comes to P2P traffic, it supports torrenting in 45+ countries and has SOCKS5 proxy servers, which hide your IP address but don’t use encryption so you get faster download speeds.

NordVPN offers 3 different monthly pricing plans — Standard, Plus, and Complete. The Standard plan costs $11.99 / month and includes all of the essential VPN features. The Plus plan adds a password manager and data breach scanner for $12.99 / month, while the Complete plan adds 1TB of encrypted cloud storage for $14.49 / month.

If you’re looking to buy one of the annual plans, NordVPN offers the same tiered pricing model, with prices starting at $4.99 / month. All monthly and yearly plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee. NordVPN allows up to 6 connections.

Bottom Line:

NordVPN comes with high-end security features and tiered monthly plans that start at $11.99 / month. It includes dark web monitoring and one of the best ad blockers out there, has extremely fast speeds, and provides great streaming and torrenting support. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full NordVPN review

5. Surfshark — Great for Secure Browsing on Multiple Devices

5. Surfshark — Great for Secure Browsing on Multiple Devices

Surfshark is one of the few VPNs that allows an unlimited number of connections — making it an ideal option for people with large households and those who use many different devices.

I always felt secure browsing, torrenting, and gaming with Surfshark — it has RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, a really good ad blocker, double VPN, and IP Rotator, which randomly changes your IP address without changing your server location. However, its no-logs policy hasn’t been independently audited (unlike all of my top 4 picks).

I was happy with Surfshark’s speeds. Using WireGuard, I didn’t notice any difference in my browsing and torrenting speeds on local and nearby servers than I did without being connected to the VPN. But on distant servers in the UK, India, and Australia, websites took up to 10 seconds to load and videos took about 5 seconds to load, which was nowhere as fast as ExpressVPN.

Surfshark is really good for streaming and torrenting. It works with most of the popular streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, but I had no luck with accessing my Disney+ account on multiple attempts. Also, Surfshark allows torrenting on all of its servers and works with the top torrenting clients.

Surfshark offers a monthly subscription for $12.95 / month, and its best-valued plan costs just $2.30 / month. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Surfshark offers unlimited connections and its monthly subscription costs $12.95 / month. It’s fast and really good for torrenting and streaming (but doesn’t work with Disney+). There is a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans.

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Read the full Surfshark review

Bonus. PrivateVPN — Very Intuitive (Good for New Users)

Bonus. PrivateVPN — Very Intuitive (Good for New Users)

PrivateVPN is very easy to use and has really good streaming and torrenting support. I always recommend PrivateVPN to my friends who have never used a VPN because of its intuitive design. It takes just a few minutes to download and mere seconds to navigate all of the apps and connect to a server.

I love that there’s a Simple View mode on the desktop apps that keeps functionality to a bare minimum (like connecting to a server and accessing live chat support) — the Advanced View allows for more customization like choosing your protocol and encryption level.

PrivateVPN is also great for streaming and torrenting. It works with all of the top streaming services (Netflix, Disney+, etc.), and allows P2P traffic on all 200+ servers in 60+ countries.

In my tests, it had excellent speeds on local servers, but there was slowdown on distant servers. While I could browse the web, stream video, and download files without any issues on nearby servers, 4K videos took up to 15 seconds to load on different servers in Europe, and websites took 5-7 seconds to load while connected to a server in Australia — ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access only had slight decreases in speeds on distant servers.

PrivateVPN also lacks some advanced security features and extras that most of the top competitors offer — it doesn’t come with perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers, split-tunneling, or an ad blocker.

PrivateVPN offers monthly ($11.99 / month) and yearly plans ($2.00 / month) that are all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. It allows 10 connections.

Bottom Line:

PrivateVPN is a beginner-friendly VPN with a low-cost monthly price ($11.99 / month). It is a great option for new users, and it offers good browsing, streaming, and torrenting support. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans.

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Comparison of the Best Paid Monthly (Pay as You Go) VPNs in 2023

VPN Monthly Plan Best-Value Plan Number of devices Works with Netflix Money-back guarantee for monthly plan Money-back guarantee for long-term plans
1.🥇ExpressVPN $12.95 / month $6.67 / month 5 30 days 30 days
2. 🥈Private Internet Access $11.99 / month $2.11 / month 10 30 days 30 days
3. 🥉CyberGhost $12.99 / month $2.11 / month 7 14 days 45 days
4. NordVPN $11.99 / month $4.99 / month 6 30 days 30 days
5. Surfshark $12.95 / month $2.30 / month Unlimited 30 days 30 days
Bonus. PrivateVPN $11.99 / month $2.00 / month 10 30 days 30 days

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How to Choose the Best Paid Monthly (Pay as You Go) VPN Plan in 2023

  • Find an affordable monthly plan. All of the VPNs on this list offer a competitively-priced monthly subscription rate that includes most (if not all) of the features offered in longer-term plans. ExpressVPN is my favorite pick.
  • Look for excellent security features. I only recommend VPNs that include industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy.
  • Choose fast speeds. Since all VPNs reduce your connection speeds because of the added layer of encryption, I only recommend VPNs that are still able to maintain fast speeds across all servers — ExpressVPN is the fastest on this list.
  • Check for streaming and torrenting support. All of the VPNs here work with the top streaming sites and allow torrenting.
  • Look for good value. The VPNs I recommend allow at least 5 simultaneous connections (Surfshark allows unlimited connections), accept multiple payment methods, and come with a money-back guarantee.

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Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • Astrill VPN. Astrill VPN has really good security features, works with most streaming apps, and has 200+ dedicated torrenting servers. But it has the most expensive monthly price on the market.
  • BolehVPN. BolehVPN provides fast speeds and has decent streaming and torrenting support, but it may log your data, and its apps aren’t easy to use.
  • Trend Micro VPN Proxy One Pro. Trend Micro is a good VPN that includes fast speeds, provides good streaming support, and is easy to use, but it doesn’t offer a monthly subscription.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best paid monthly VPN?

ExpressVPN is my top pick for paying as you go with a monthly subscription in 2023. With a monthly plan that costs $12.95 / month, it comes with high-end security features, the fastest speeds in the industry, the best streaming, torrenting, and gaming support, and intuitive apps for virtually every online device.

But the other VPN on this list are great alternatives. Private Internet Access has really fast speeds for browsing and torrenting, and CyberGhost VPN’s offers specialized servers for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.

Is a monthly VPN plan cheaper than a long-term VPN plan?

No — yearly plans typically offer significantly cheaper prices and are an overall better value than the monthly plans. While I understand some people don’t want to get locked into 1-, 2-, or even 3-year subscription plans, these long-term plans are actually cheaper in the long run.

For example, ExpressVPN’s monthly subscription costs $12.95 / month, but you can get the yearly plan for $6.67 / month, which also usually includes 3 additional months for free.

Are free VPNs better than VPN monthly plans?

I typically don’t recommend free VPNs. Most free plans set a limit on how much data you can use each day or month, have slower speeds, lack important security features, and may not allow torrenting and streaming. Even the best free plans in 2023 have at least some of the restrictions noted above.

Instead, I recommend purchasing a low-cost, long-term premium plan from VPNs like ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access.

Can I stream Netflix with a monthly VPN plan?

Yes, but not all monthly VPN plans include streaming support. But rest assured that all the VPNs on this list allow you to stream content with their monthly subscriptions and work with Netflix — and a wide range of other top streaming services.

However, ExpressVPN is the best choice for streaming Netflix and other major platforms. It has ultra-fast speeds for streaming in perfect 4K or HD quality and it’s very easy to use.

Best Paid Monhtly VPN Plans in 2023 — Final Score:

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About the Author
Eric Goldstein
Eric Goldstein
Chief Editor

About the Author

Eric Goldstein is Chief Editor at SafetyDetectives. As an internet security researcher and IT journalist, he has over 2 years of experience writing and editing articles and blog posts about VPNs, antiviruses, password managers, parental controls, and identity protection products and tools. In addition, Eric writes and edits news stories focused on cybersecurity issues for SafetyDetectives. He also spent 20+ years as a sportswriter for multiple media outlets and served in a communications role for a national corporation. When he's not working, he can be found spending time with his family, working out, and watching his favorite sports teams.