Being a big fan of computer games you should know that you are subjected to a huge number of threats while playing games online.
Want to improve your security and avoid DDoS attacks?
This rating will be helpful for you then! I will provide you with my top VPN services for gaming.
A good VPN will not only protect you against malefactors but will also allow you to bypass geo-restrictions and unblock games that are not available in your country.
However, what are the features of the best VPN provider for gaming? I have chosen the main criteria:
- Strong Encryption. (For gaming this criterion is especially vital as malicious activity usually permeates into this hobby.);
- Fast speeds. (Decent connection quality is a must for a gaming VPN. So, I have chosen VPNs that are good in this respect.);
- Wide server park. (A huge amount of servers allows getting higher speeds and accessing the needed game from almost every part of the world.);
- Compatibility with platforms. (An advanced VPN for gaming works not only on PC. It is also compatible with wires routers.);
- Handy application. (You cannot but agree that a handy application is able to make Internet connection more convenient and pleasant.).
I have tested several VPNs before writing this rating. Some of the services were better in terms of security, others showed better speed test results. I have chosen the providers that were able to meet all above-mentioned criteria.
Before giving my top 5 VPNs for gaming, I want to notice that there are no free gaming VPNs in my rating. I consider them untrustworthy and recommend you to avoid them in order to keep your private data safe while playing computer games.
I also didn’t pay too much attention to the prices of the providers. Despite this, all of top 5 VPNs for gaming are affordable. Some of them are even really cheap.
What are the best VPNs for gaming? Here are they:
1. NordVPN ($2.99) – #1 out of 41 tested
OpenVPN takes the first position not only in this rating. It is not a surprise! The service boasts favourable jurisdiction. Being headquartered in Panama, the provider is highly trustworthy and robust! It offers its users a 30-day money-back guarantee and up to 6 simultaneous connections.
These are the main reasons why NordVPN is the number one provider for gaming:
- You will undoubtedly stay safe while playing computer games with this service. As all advanced VPNs, the provider offers 256-bit encryption and such robust protocols as IPsec/IKEv2 and OpenVPN. Besides, the service has in-built anti-DDoS protection that makes it the number one VPN for gaming.
- NordVPN is really fast! You will certainly enjoy speedy and secure gaming. You will also be able to bypass ISP throttling with NordVPN. Read speed test results in my NordVPN review.
- The provider has its super-fast servers in more than 60 countries. It means you can choose one of the 5100+ servers to get the desired game at the lowest price!
- No matter what operating system your computer is running, you may get NordVPN on it. Do you prefer games consoles to desktop computers? Set up NordVPN on your router then.
- If you are looking for a handy application on your desktop, NordVPN is your choice for sure! The app for PC is simple and convenient. The Quick connect button offers the best possible server option. However, the main beauty of the application – such extra security features like Custom DNS, Kill Switch, Obfuscated servers and others.
Read full NordVPN review
2. CyberGhost ($2.75) – #2 out of 41 tested
CyberGhost is based in Romania. This jurisdiction is favourable for a VPN service. The VPN does not keep logs and offer in-built DNS and IP leak protection. If you are not satisfied with the service, you can use the 45-day money-back guarantee!
The service takes the second position because it satisfies all the requirements. Have a look:
- The main goal of robust VPN services is to hide your IP and make you invisible to the Internet, thus ensuring your privacy and anonymity. As for CyberGhost, it is highly reliable in terms of security. It uses 256-bit encryption and supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec protocols.
- Unfortunately, all VPN providers reduce Internet speed because of the encryption process. CyberGhost is not an exception. Though, it will not noticeably reduce your Internet speeds.
- The VPN boasts 3600+ servers in 60+ countries. Its wide server park allows unblocking your favourite game from all countries.
- CyberGhost runs on all popular platforms. It is compatible with a router too. It allows 7 multi-logins.
- Just try CyberGhost application on your PC to see how simple and beautifully-designed it is. You may create your own privacy targets and specify a certain profile that will provide you with the performance you need! You may also use the list with the fastest servers for your gaming activities.
3. Surfshark ($1.99) – #3 out of 41 tested
Surfshark is the cheapest VPN from my top. However, it is not the least secure! It offers unlimited simultaneous connections, 30-day money-back guarantee, and 7-day free trial.
It is a relatively new VPN that has already proved itself as a trustworthy and robust. Being located in the British Virgin Islands, it’s a good choice for gaming. But why?
- The provider supports only the most robust protocols and encryption. You may choose between IPsec/IKEv2 and OpenVPN protocols. Your data is encrypted via military-grade 256-bit encryption. The VPN has passed all security tests successfully.
- Due to high speeds and unlimited bandwidth, the service is able to minimize buffering and allows to enjoy gaming to the fullness.
- 800+ servers in 50+ countries allow getting past geo-restriction and co-op with your friends wherever you are. You can use them from any country while travelling in order to cut out awful ping times.
- Install Surfshark on your home router in order to protect as many devices as possible. Or download Surfshark app on your PC.
- The user-friendly Surfshark app is available for all major operating systems. Whitelister, CleanWeb, and MultiHop will make your connection safe and secure. The app is intuitive and easy-to-use. The software allows adjusting settings to your tastes and needs. Quick connect button will help you to find an optimal location.
4. ExpressVPN ($6.67) – #4 out of 41 tested
ExpressVPN is undoubtedly one of the leading providers on the market. It is able to lower the latency and provide you with good ping. The service is highly reliable as it’s based in the British Virgin Islands.
It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, no-logging policy and also such useful features like DNS/PIv6 leak protection, Kill Switch, and Split Tunneling.
The provider is a good choice for safe gaming! But why?
- It supports 256-bit encryption and such protocols as L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN. It will allow keeping your sensitive data safe while gaming.
- The service provides with lightning speeds and low latency. It is one of the fastest VPN for gaming. You will be able to play your favourite games without buffers and lags.
- Together with decent speeds, the service offers more than 3000 servers in 160 locations. If your game requires an IP from a specific country, you will hardly face some problems with it.
- The VPN can be used on your PC or set up on your router. It also offers extensions for Chrome and Firefox. However, gamers should appreciate ExpressVPN compatibility with PlayStation.
- ExpressVPN application, as well as software of other providers from top 5, is intuitive and convenient. The app is immensely helpful. It is able to identify the fastest server for you regardless of your location. Data leakage is activated by default. So, you may not worry about DDoS attacks that are now becoming the scourge of game tournaments.
5. Private Internet Access ($3.49) – #5 out of 41 tested
Here are the main reasons why the service is on my top VPNs for computer games:
- PIA VPN is a good choice for secure multi-player games. It supports 256-bit encryption and such protocols as OpenVPN, PPTP, and IPSec/L2TP. PPTP is good in terms of speeds, whereas OpenVPN is able to cover both security and speed requirements.
- The service provides fast speeds that will allow you to enjoy games without buffering and lags.
- Despite Private Internet Access is one of the cheapest VPNs on the market, it has a wide server park. Its owns 3307+ servers in 32 countries!
- Even being a beginner, you will not spend a lot of time while configuring the VPN on your desktop. The provider is compatible with routers as well.
- The Private Internet Access software is easy to install and use. One can choose between remote ports or change account information in addition settings. The big connection button will automatically connect you to the best available service. Use DNS leak protection together with a disconnect protection function in order to avoid malicious activity while playing.
I have tested more than 40 VPN providers to find out if they are really reliable and worth using. It allowed me to see what providers are better to use for gaming, torrenting, and other purposes.
However, it is not only useful to learn what services enable convenient and safe gaming. It’s vital to know which providers are better to avoid for this activity as well. I sorted out several VPNs that do not meet my requirements and do not fit for gaming.
Here are they:
- ibVPN – Despite there is nothing critical about the VPN service. It offers too slow speed for convenient gaming. While testing the provider, it was found out that the VPN reduces speeds by more than 90%.
- Hotspot Shield VPN is also not the best choice for gaming. It has servers in 25 countries only. The provider was also accused of selling its users’ data to third parties advertising networks. Despite the fact, it was mainly done by the Android app, the VPN is not considered to be trustworthy.
- Browsec also does not work for gaming. The point is it’s not router compatible. It even does not have an application for Windows. You can set up this VPN only as Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension.
In addition to the mentioned-above VPNs, I do not recommend gaming with free VPN services. The first reason for this is, of course, they are not secure. Such providers should make money somehow, that’s why they usually have a lot of ads and can even sell your data!
Even if you find a reliable free VPN (what is highly unlikely) it will be limited in features for sure! Today a lot of Premium VPNs offer free versions or free trials. Free versions, as a rule, do not able to provide you with high speeds, server networks can also be reduced. Of course, you may use free trials of a VPN. However, will it be convenient to change a provider every 7 or 3 days? I don’t think so.
What do you need to know about VPNs for gaming?
Of course, the first and foremost reason to get a VPN for gaming is to ensure privacy and anonymity while playing games. With the help of military-grade 256-bit encryption, your private data will be hidden from prying eyes.
However, the beauty of advanced VPN providers – their extra features that make VPNs number one tool for streaming, torrenting, or other Internet activates.
Gaming is not an exemption. Besides safe Internet connection, a good VPN is able to:
- Prevent DDoS attacks. When you are connected to a VPN, your real IP address is changed. It is invisible to other gamers. It means that if someone wants to cheat it will see not your real IP address but an IP of a VPN provider that you use. That’s why you cannot be targeted of a DDoS attack.
- Unblock geo-restriction. If you live in a country where the desired game is not available, a good VPN will undoubtedly solve this problem. Just choose a server in the country where the game is not restricted and enjoy playing.
- Avoid ISP throttling. In order to reduce congestion on the network, many ISPs limit users’ bandwidth thus reducing speeds. Choose an advanced VPN with high speed and a zero logs policy in order to avoid throttling.
- Reduce ping. The best VPN providers for gaming will help you to reduce ping. For this, you need to connect to the server that is close to your country. You will probably want to use PPTP protocol for higher speeds, Though, I recommend you to choose between more robust protocols like OpenVPN or IKEv2.
Can I use Steam with VPN services?
There is hardly a gamer who has not heard about Steam. It’s an immensely useful platform for game lovers. It offers video streaming, social networking services, and digital rights management.
There are two main reasons why some gamers prefer using this platform with a VPN. The first one is a VPN allows unblocking games that are not available in a certain location.
Currency rate may influence the cost of a game a lot. The same game, as a rule, have different prices for different countries. So, saving money is another reason for using a VPN with Steam.
However, it’s not as simple. In Steam Subscriber Agreement, it’s noted:
So, your Steam account will be blocked in case you will use a VPN for:
- Circumventing geo-restrictions;
- Buying games at a lower price.
Some Steam users prefer to pay for games via anonymous payment methods like PayPal or cryptocurrency in order to avoid blocking.
It is up to you to decide worth a VPN using for these purposes or not. However, bear in mind that in case you are caught, you will lose your account and all games. Will it help you to save your money? Do not forget that you may use VPNs with the platform for extra security measures.
I looked through Reddit.com to see if my list of the best VPNs for gaming differs from those that are used by regular Internet users. I was glad to know that free VPN services were mentioned very seldom.
Here is top 3 VPN services for gaming according to Reddit:
I was also surprised that NordVPN is the first provider for gaming among Redditors. Have a look at the comments that I found on Reddit:
Windscribe VPN was also mentioned several times. Though I do not recommend using it for free.
VPNs for gaming: key highlights
There are a lot of reasons why use a VPN with online games. Whether you want to unblock MMORPG that is banned in your country or guard yourself while gaming, the VPN will be immensely helpful for you.
According to my study, the best VPNs for gaming are NordVPN, CyberGhost, Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and Private Internet Access. They meet my criteria and have passed all security tests successfully.
NordVPN and PIA VPN are also one of the leading services for gaming among Reddit users.
To have stable and fast Internet connection while gaming, it’s recommended to avoid services that are mentioned in the section “VPNs that don’t work for gaming”. It is also not recommended to use free VPNs for playing online games. In the last resort, you may try a free trial of a secure VPN provider. However, bear in mind that the period of free trials is usually no more than 7 days.
It is possible to use a VPN with Steam platform. However, there are certain risks you will be banned. In this regard, think twice before doing this.
I hope the article was useful for you and helped to find the best provider for your favourite hobby. Stay away from free VPN providers and be secure online!
Compare 5 VPNs for gaming
The table below will provide you with information about good VPNs for gaming in brief. Here is why they are the best:
|Encryption||Speed||Amount of servers||Compatibility with platforms||User-friendly|
|Private Internet Access|
Do not hesitate to leave comments below in case you have any suggestions or questions! Good luck!