Let’s talk about basic plans before we get to lifetime subscriptions: Once you’re ready to join a premium VPN service, you have plenty of subscription options available. Many of the top-tier VPN services reviewed on VPNbase offer free trial periods and 30-day money-back guarantees. Right off the bat, it’s clear that the costs of VPN services are much higher if you opt for a short-term subscription.
Consider the 1-month plan costs and the 1-year plan costs (priced per month) of the following top 10 VPN services:
- NordVPN - $11.95 & $6.99 p/m
- ExpressVPN - $12.95 & $8.32 p/m
- IPVanish - $10.00 & $6.49 p/m
- CyberGhost VPN - $12.99 & $5.99 p/m
- PureVPN - $10.95 & $3.33 p/m
- TunnelBear VPN - $9.99 & $4.99 p/m
- Hotspot Shield VPN - $12.99 & $5.99 p/m
- StrongVPN - $10.00 & $5.83 p/m
- Hide My Ass VPN - $11.99 & $6.99 p/m
- VyprVPN - $9.95 & $5.00 p/m
Why the comparisons, you may be asking? We want to point out just how much of a price difference there is between the 1-month plan and the 1-year plan. Your cost savings will increase even more if you opt for 2-year plans, 3-year plans, and lifetime subscriptions. VPN services want you to remain loyal to their brand. If you commit to a long-term subscription, they will reward you with ultra-low monthly fees (paid upfront for the year ahead). They do for several reasons, notably:
- If you pay for a long-term subscription, they have locked you in for the long-term. They don’t need to worry about marketing to you, or spending money on sales efforts and ad campaigns to target your business.
- If you pay for a long-term subscription, you are providing an ongoing revenue stream to their business. This is like gold to a company.
- If you opt for a long-term subscription you’ll be providing VPN companies with massive capital injections upfront. This can be used by the company for growth and re-investment.
From a VPN company’s perspective, there are plenty of reasons why they would want you to register for a long-term subscription. While the fees for 1-month trials are high, they’re one-off payments and they’re significantly less than the costs of 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year plans. Increased cash flow is their primary reason for providing attractive long-term subscriptions. Believe it or not, there are longer-term VPN subscriptions available too. They’re known as lifetime subscriptions. Are these the best VPN subscription plans? What are the pros and cons of lifetime subscriptions? Let’s take a look.
What is a Lifetime Subscription to a VPN Service?
It’s easy to get confused by all the subscription options available to you. With so many VPN companies popping up all the time, how can you possibly take a chance on a lifetime subscription? What if the company folds? What if you find a better VPN service and want to switch? Before we get to these hot topics, let’s explore the concept of a lifetime subscription model.
VPNbase experts did some snooping around and we found multiple instances of VPN providers offering authentic lifetime subscriptions to their services. VPN Unlimited is one such example that is offering VPN members unlimited service at just $60. Another example is KeepSolid VPN. This company is offering a limited time offer with a lifetime subscription fee of $39. Another fantastic offer is provided by Ivacy VPN for just $40. Yet another example is KeepSolid VPN Unlimited with a lifetime subscription fee of $199.99.
Truth be told, there are now scores of VPN services offering lifetime subscriptions. The rates are much better than short-term plans, and multi-year plans. Should you take them up on these offers?
The Pros of Lifetime VPN Subscriptions
- Dramatic cost savings over traditional short-term and long-term VPN plans.
- A once-off payment secures lifetime access to the VPN service. This includes shared IP addresses on servers all over the world.
- Watertight security with bank-level protection (256-bit SSL) in most cases.
- Unlimited streaming and switching between servers for a lifetime.
- Additional security measures such as NAT Firewall, multiple security protocols, and powerful proprietary features.
The Cons of Lifetime VPN Subscriptions
- Many of the lifetime VPN subscriptions are being sold by third-party vendors and not by the VPN providers themselves. Careful evaluation of these vendors must take place to avoid falling victim to scam artists.
- VPN lifetime subscriptions are offered at cut-rate prices which are unsustainable for the most part. If a VPN company does not sign up large numbers of customers with this business model, it will ultimately lose money and shutter operations. The cost of maintaining servers all over the world and offering unlimited bandwidth is expensive.
- VPN services may close up shop if they’re not profitable at lifetime subscription rates. Worse yet, the company may simply sign up scores of lifetime subscribers and then close up shop only to reopen under a different name. There is nothing to stop unscrupulous providers from perpetuating this circular business activity.
- Lifetime subscription models do nothing to promote a customer-centric model of operations. It’s simply unaffordable to facilitate around-the-clock customer service teams for clients for a low lifetime fee. In short, expect sub-optimal customer support with this business model.
- Some lifetime subscription plans limit your access to all servers, all features, and all shared IP addresses. Be sure to ask customer support what is included and what is excluded from these plans before you sign up.
The naysayers have stacked the decks against lifetime subscription VPN models. However, it’s not fair to summarily lump all VPN services together. Not all of them will offer poor support, and not all of them will shutter operations and reopen under a new name. The best way to evaluate the merits of a lifetime VPN subscription is by doing a little research.
Check out the different pricing models in place with a VPN service. The best ones invariably offer a full suite of plans from a few days to 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and lifetime subscriptions. The greater the spread with these services, the less likely most of the company’s money is coming from the unlimited subscription plan.
A great way to test the waters is to check out the cost of the lifetime plan. If it’s really cheap – avoid the service. If it’s several hundred dollars you can rest assured that most people will not be paying that much and will probably opt for the more expensive short-term plans. Lifetime plans are definitely worth considering but always go with a reputable VPN service provider.