Gaming using a VPN service is something unusual. After we explained what is VPN, many realized gamers aren’t the primary consumers. Commonly, VPNs keep you anonymous while you browse the Internet, download torrents, or watch British TV or otherwise locked content on Netflix. We’re here to break that preconceived notion. Our goal is to provide a solution for our readers who are fans of video games and value their privacy. Services on our list will keep you anonymous, but while doing so, they will only minimally affect your download and upload speed and latency. Without further ado, enjoy our list of the 14 best VPNs for gaming.
Reasons to use a VPN for gaming?
There are several reasons why you may need to use a VPN while gaming. Here are a few of them –
- To reduce lag and ping while gaming.
- To access restricted games in certain locations.
- To improve privacy and restrict companies from accessing your data.
- To create a secondary account on the same game.
List of the best gaming VPNs
While there are many choices for a gaming VPN, the best will depend on what you need. Be sure to check the features they offer before going for any VPN service. In our opinion, these are the best gaming VPNs –
ExpressVPN is on the top of the list of 10 best VPN services too, and rightly so. Although they might have a lower number of available servers, all of them are configured for maximum performance. To be more precise, ExpressVPN offers more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. None of the servers log or store data, and they are configured with DNS and IP leak protection. That way, while you play video games, no one will be able to track your online activities. And, because their servers can stream Netflix in 4K comfortably, you can be sure your native Internet speed won’t be impacted significantly.
Full disclosure – we’re a bit conflicted about whether NordVPN or ExpressVPN should take the top spot. After a few quick speed tests, we settled for NordVPN in second place, but this might not be final. After all, NordVPN offers 5,500+ servers in 59 countries, has a zero-log policy, supports 4K on all major streaming services through their SmartPlay feature, and even offers a VPN for routers. Any data transferred is encrypted with a 256-bit key, and even comes equipped with a DoubleVPN feature for maximum security. They also have dedicated servers for P2P sharing (torrenting), so online gaming won’t be a problem.
CyberGhost is surprisingly affordable for what it offers – 7,000+ servers in 90 countries. IP and DNS leak protection, zero log policy, 256-bit encryption, and 4K streaming capable servers are its best features. Its dedicated servers are designed to allow for transfers of large amounts of data, which means you can torrent, download, or play multiplayer games without a hint of lag to your heart’s content. Additionally, CyberGhost supports up to 7 simultaneous connections, which can cover an entire household or a LAN party.
We’ll be honest, Surfshark is a premium VPN with the lowest number of servers available. It “only” has 1,700+ in 63 countries. However, it is excellent for gaming. For one, a single monthly subscription covers an unlimited number of devices in your home. Additionally, you can unblock content from Netflix, HBO Max, DAZN, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, and stream it in 4K. While browsing in-between gaming sessions, your privacy is kept safe with their ad and malware-blocking feature called CleanWeb. Additionally, through Whitelister, you can choose to use one or more apps (or games) with a VPN, and leave others to use your real IP address.
In 2016, IPVanish was caught in a lie. They claimed they had a zero-log policy when they didn’t. Luckily, the ownership changed in 2017, things were overhauled, and new promises were made. Today, IPVanish has more than 1,300 servers in 75 locations. The VPN provider is based in the United States, which is one of the worst countries privacy-wise. But, the company owns the entire infrastructure, which ensures no one will be spying on your activities. With that and a 256-bit AES encryption, your data is safe while indulging in video games online.
This provider is based in Sweden. They have a very limited network, with only 150 servers in 60 countries. But their servers are configured for maximum speed. Also, you can choose the closest one for the lowest latency. PrivateVPN supports all major operating systems, up to 6 devices at any one time, and like many, has an automatic kill switch. Its best feature is StealthVPN. It allows the users to bypass the Great Firewall of China, censorship imposed by the government. That’s great news for playing international MMORPG or battle royale games while living or staying there.
VPNArea is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and has servers configured for public Wi-Fi networks. That, in combination with their servers that achieve speeds of more than 1 Gbps, ensures a top-notch gaming experience. You can also take your pick of connecting to more than 100 locations across 65 countries. Additionally, the provider allows for up to 6 devices to be connected at the same time, so the entire family can enjoy the protection. Should anything go wrong or you have questions, you have a 24/7 LiveChat team at your service.
8. Proton VPN
Although marketed as security and privacy-centric, Proton VPN isn’t limited to just that. As a service with a prominent presence of over 1800 servers and a history of a decade, the provider finds itself successful in everything a VPN is supposed to do. Proton VPN, equipped with the latest VPN encryption, WireGuard offers not only robust security; but also ultra-fast speed. Hence, the service provider is fast enough to handle most online games. While we understand that Proton VPN might be a tad bit costlier than most options available here, it compensates for that by offering a free version with no data limits or time trails. Thus, avid and even novice games should give Proton VPN a go. It won’t cost them anything for the basic features.
9. Private Internet Access (PIA)
PIA enjoys not only a strong reputation, being one of the few VPN providers that boast of a decade-long history, but also because of its server network. It is the only VPN on this list to sport more than 17000 servers globally. Yes, a majority of these servers may be virtual and hosted in the US, but it sure makes up for a fast connection. And that is precisely what a gamer wants. Moreover, the provider offers a premium service for next to no monthly cost, as the subscriptions can go as low as $2.2 per month. PIA doesn’t shy away from Torrents, either, and offers exclusive servers for P2P sharing. As such, it is one of the strongest contenders for the best gaming VPN.
This VPN service comes equipped with access to over 1,800 servers worldwide. It supports a zero-log policy, has apps for all devices you might need, and has DNS/IP leak protection. In addition to AES-256-bit encryption, these are features we expect. What makes it great for gaming, then? Well, just like some of the VPNs we mentioned, Hide.me supports split tunneling. This allows you to choose which apps or games to route through a VPN, and which should use your real IP address. Useful if you need to log into Gmail, Instagram, or Facebook while playing video games, as they would lock you out otherwise.
VyperVPN, besides support for gaming and unblocking websites, streaming services, and apps, also has a VPN for TV and VPN for the router. Add to that support for all major operating systems and devices such as Blackberry, OpenWRT, Tomato, Synology NAS, and QNAP, and you’ve got a full package. They also allow up to 5 devices to be connected simultaneously on one account and offer very cheap two-year plans. VyprVPN even offers a VyprVPN Cloud service. It keeps your identity safe when accessing a cloud server, useful for downloading backups, game saves, or screenshots/game recordings.
Up until this point, the VPN services were in no way expensive, costing about a cup or two of coffee per month. But neither of them was a free VPN. We thought we’d give you that option too, even though we don’t recommend using it. With Windscribe, you can get 2 GB of data for free per month. If you complete a few additional tasks, you can get around 10 GB of VPN data per month free of charge. Furthermore, Windscribe has an advanced ad, tracker, and malware -blocker built-in, called R.O.B.E.R.T, and hosts servers in 110 cities and 63 countries.
Long gone is the era where VPNs were considered niche. In today’s highly intrusive internet regime, VPNs are hailed as a necessity. And this is not only limited to privacy and security spheres, as VPNs are becoming more and more sought after, even in the gaming industry. As such, we ought to single out such providers who not only cover a great number of countries but also offer astonishingly fast speed. Gladly PureVPN checks both boxes.
The user-friendly and straightforward VPN is known to offer a minimalistic experience but with enough power to handle hardcore gaming across continents. The vendor comes from British Virginia Islands and has a history of 15 years in the market. As such, the VPN has amassed a huge network of 6800+ servers, and that too at a jaw-dropping price of $1.99.
14. Atlas VPN
Although a bit unnoticeable, Atlas VPN is also considered a fair choice as a gaming VPN. It has enough advanced features to give leading vendors a run for their money and a freemium model to ensure enough popularity amongst peers. Furthermore, it is adept at bypassing geo-blocks, which is a crucial feature for gaming VPNs. Also, the premium version isn’t costly at all. The service only charges $1.83 for a month. Hence, gamers with a tight budget can consider Atlas VPN.