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Can You Save Money with a VPN?

by Olufisayo
Save Money with a VPN

Among the many perks of using a VPN, you’ve probably heard that it can actually help you save money. But how true is that?

We’ll take a look at that claim in this article. If you’re in a hurry, though, here’s the tl;dr – yes, VPNs can help you save money, but not all the time. Still, you will often get some pretty cool discounts.

Why Does Your Geo-Location Influence Prices?

It’s because some online merchants use what is called price discrimination. Basically, they display different prices in each region or country. For example, they might charge users from the US more than visitors from India or Malaysia.

Seems a bit unfair, so what’s going on? Why do some sites do that?

Profit would be the first thing that comes to mind. They know people from more developed countries are willing to pay more for a certain product or service. If they’re the price setter in your region (they have the most market power), they can usually charge as much as they want.

       

But that’s not the only reason. Here’s why else online price discrimination is a pretty common practice:

  • Shipping costs aren’t the same worldwide. If it costs an online retailer more to ship products to your country, they’ll charge more for it.
  • Taxes and import duties are more expensive in some regions and cheaper in others. Online merchants need to adjust their pricing according to that.
  • Legal barriers (like immigration restrictions) can make it harder for merchants to ship to your country. The extra hassle might make them increase their prices for your region.

Can a VPN Help You Save Money? (Quick Test)

We ran used multiple servers from ExpressVPN to test this out with video game prices. Our results show that yes, you can save money while using a VPN.

We first checked out how much Red Dead Redemption 2 costs with a UK IP address on the Microsoft Store. We saw this price tag: £59.99.

Save Money with a VPN

 

       

We then checked out the same page while connected to a Brazilian VPN server, and saw this price: R$249.00. Converted to GBP, that’s around £37.54. So a pretty nice $22.45 discount.

Save Money with a VPN

Besides that, we also tested the price variations for The Last of U: Part II on the PSN Store. While using a British VPN server, we saw this price: £54.99.

When we switched to a Malaysian server, this was the new price: RM239. Converted to GBP, that’s around £44-45. Nearly £10 off, so not bad.

IMPORTANT: Saving money with a VPN is mostly trial and error. Sometimes you get a discount, sometimes you don’t. Also, you should manage your expectations. Don’t expect to save over $500 when buying a plane ticket. We’re not saying it can’t happen, but saving anywhere between $30 and $70 is more realistic.

       

Get a Cheap VPN Right Now!

If you’re looking to save money with a VPN, you probably want to get a discount when buying a VPN too. They’re not very expensive, but monthly plans can end up costing around $12-$13. Long-term plans offer better savings, but you’re still looking at around $5 per month on average (so $60 annually).

Well, Black Friday is right around the corner, meaning VPN providers will slash their long-term subscription costs even more. Some of them might even throw in a few freebies – like adding two or three extra months to the subscription you get free of charge.

If that sounds like just the kind of thing you want, check out these VPN deals from ProPrivacy. They’re one of the biggest VPN review sites on the web, so you can fully trust their VPN recommendations. Plus, some of the deals are exclusive to them, so you might get an even bigger discount!

How Does a VPN Help You Bypass Price Discrimination?

It’s pretty simple – the VPN stops online sites from seeing your IP address. Without it, they can’t tell what country you are from anymore. Here’s how it works:

  1. You use a VPN app to connect to a VPN server. The two then establish an encrypted connection.
  2. When you visit a website, your traffic gets routed through the VPN server. That means the site thinks it’s coming from the VPN, not your device.
  3. Because of that, the website will only see the VPN’s IP address.

Yes, it’s as simple as that. All you need to do is use a VPN server in a country where you know or think the prices are lower.

       

Can You Save Money with a Free VPN?

It’s tempting to use one, we know, but how efficient is it?

Well, we can’t really say. We tested a few of them with the same video games as above, and we weren’t able to get any discounts. Basically, we just got redirected to our country’s web pages. So, we saw the same pricing we would see without a VPN.

Why, though?

It’s probably because the services suffered leaks which revealed our IP address. So even though we were using a Malaysian VPN server while browsing the PSN Store for The Last of Us Part II, we were still redirected to the UK page for that game (our real IP was from the UK).

Unfortunately, that’s a common occurrence when using free VPNs. The providers don’t have a financial incentive to fully optimize the VPN. That results in poorly-configured servers which leak your data.

       

That’s why it’s always better to use a paid VPN instead. If you use the ProPrivacy link we mentioned above, you should be able to save a lot of money.

Have You Ever Gotten Cool Discounts with a VPN?

If you did, please tell us what products/services it worked for, and how much you saved. Also, if you have any tips that might improve people’s chances of saving money with a VPN, please let us know in the comments below.

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