VPN for gaming? While we are not going to argue about the possible pitfalls that come along with using a VPN, such as a slower connection and a higher ping time, there are plenty of other great reasons to use a VPN for online gaming.
One of the most obvious reasons to go for a VPN is for its unrestricted access. A VPN easily unblocks geo-restricted games, you get to access servers that are locked to other regions and play anything freely from anywhere in the world.
Other than that, there’s also the ever-present concern for online security. Using a VPN increases your protection against DDoS attacks which players use against online opponents in competitive gaming.
Factors to Choose a Good VPN for Gaming
So, what makes a VPN suitable for gaming? In today’s guide, we will go through a few important considerations to take note of before deciding on which VPN service to subscribe to.
Obviously, a VPN needs to deliver lightning-fast speed that will not interrupt your game. It is absolutely pointless to get a VPN service that affects your connection significantly during a game. A VPN generally will reduce your connection speed by 5 – 20%, meaning the effects on online gaming can range from barely noticeable to barely tolerable.
To know if the VPN will provide some good speed, you’ll first need to look at the VPN service provider’s server proximity. Regardless of distance and location, you should be able to get the same level of security on all servers. If you’re the type that travels frequently, be sure to pick out a VPN with plenty of servers all over different locations, otherwise you may have to suffer a drop in internet performance once you’re out of the country.
The company’s technology and implementation have a big effect on the overall speed of the VPN service. Not all VPNs are created equal since they’re created by different people. Some VPNs are great for speed and performance while other slower services may offer a simple and easy-to-use user interface.
There’s usually a tradeoff some where and ideally, you should be picking out a VPN with fast connectivity that is both reliable and consistent for your gaming needs.
Unblocking Geo-Restricted Content
VPNs can also help you get early access to new games. Let’s say there is a particular online game that you’ve been eyeing for a long time finally drops a release date – but it’s going to be available in Japan first, hours before any other servers go live. If you hope to stay ahead of others, all you need is to connect to a Japanese IP address through a VPN and you’re all set and ready to go.
It’s no secret that the biggest reason people subscribe for a VPN service is to stay hidden and safe from intruders. Therefore, it is absolutely pointless to invest in a protection plan that harms you by leaking information to other parties. It’ll defeat the purpose of subscribing to a VPN if your information is being passed on to others.
There are two main factors that will affect how secure a VPN company is: encryption method and country of origin. Several VPNs use the older or traditional encryption that is easier to install but is much more susceptible to attacks. Only a handful of VPNs have developed their own proprietary encryption technology. These novel encryption technologies are much harder to break into.
As mentioned earlier, it is also vital to know where your VPN service provide is based at. Different countries have different local laws that would mean differently for your interne privacy. Some local government laws require companies to retain information on their customers and their internet usage, the companies are then also obligated to hand over such information to the authorities as and when requested.
For a home gamer who does not need all the extra features offered by top VPN providers, you can save a lot of time and effort by choosing a user-friendly VPN that is easy to setup. In any case, customer service should always be available to help you prepare for the worst.
Many VPNs have live chat support that runs 24/7 but is difficult to reach by phone outside of their business hours. Some have phone customer service reps that run on shifts to help you out no matter the time. Others have robust tutorial videos and guides geared towards users who are more technologically proficient that only just need a leg up in resolving any issues.
Many VPNs now come with a wide range of pricing, now they’ve further complicated decision making by offering subscription period at great discounts. Some have high monthly charges billed monthly, but a much cheaper rate per month if billed annually, while some have lower monthly charges, but their annual bill remains almost the same. Newer VPN providers even offer affordable subscription plans for up to 5 years of service.
Best Gaming VPN
With so much to look for, it may feel like a complicated quest to find the ideal VPN for online gaming. Luckily for you, our guide today will bright you through a few top VPN selection for gaming in hopes of making things much simpler for you.
Keeping in mind the VPN’s delivery of performance, security, and user experience, let’s take a look now at some of the top gaming VPNs that you can get today.
Best all-round VPN, fast connection with no logs
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Island (BVI) with over 3,000 VPN servers strategically located in 160 different locations to open up access to plenty of content. BVI is considered as one of the safest countries for users’ online privacy.
The country does not have to comply with any kind of data retention laws, meaning the company is legally permitted to keep your online activity from the government.
The company’s strict logging policy clearly outlines that they will never log:
- IP addresses
- Browsing history
- Any website you visit/Torrent you download
- DNS queries
With their large server database, you should be able to find and log into swift server from anywhere in the world. The service even excels in the mobile department by offering intuitive apps, especially for Android and iOS. Naturally, this means you get to enjoy solid speeds and good performance overall.
ExpressVPN keeps your privacy protected with an AES 256-bit military-grade encryption. This strong encryption technology means you will never be your concerned anymore as it keeps all your online activity across all your devices undercover and undetected from unwanted observers. On top of keeping log-free records, the VPN providers even accepts anonymous online payment like Bitcoin as subscription payment to ensure all your information is completely incognito.
The VPN service’s app features a handy kill switch which ExpressVPN calls as the “Network Lock”. This kill switch help users secure their data in the unlikely event their VPN gets disconnected suddenly without reason. This feature will stop internet connection to protect your online traffic as long as security is not restored.
On top of that, ExpressVPN even manages all your DNS requests through their own private servers without logging any queries. Their Zero-Knowledge DNS feature ensures that none of your online activities can be traced or linked back to you.
For really paranoid users, ExpressVPN even offers a .onion version of its website to allow users the option to create a completely anonymous account with the VPN provider. You can use a throw-away email address to subscribe for the service so none of your internet activity will ever be traced back to you. That is how safe and reliable ExpressVPN sets out to be.
With all the added benefits, it is no surprise that the price plans for this VPN provider may not be the cheapest on the block. However, the jam-packed features make it very worth your time and money. If you’re still undecided, you can take the VPN service for a test drive with their 30-day full-service free trial. And if you decide that it isn’t the one for you, you can get your money back at the end of the trial.
- Super fast connection speeds
- Well-encrypted, kill switch-protected connections
- Accepts Bitcoin as payment
- Offers .onion site
- Keeps no user logs
- More expensive
- No-kill switch protection on mobile devices
Best for Online Gaming
VyprVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN service working under an umbrella company called Golden Frog. Switzerland has a privacy friendly law which means the company is not required to maintain customer data and does not need to handover the information to any surveillance alliance. However, the company does have its own data retention law and internet privacy regulations that may affect users’ privacy.
With more than 700 servers in 70+ locations around the globe, VyprVPN is one of the best for gaming purposes. It features blazingly fast speeds and delivers more than twice the normal download rates, making it pure heaven for those who love for a smooth gaming experience.
VyprVPN is one of the top VPN networks with its own servers and infrastructure to offer customers with impressive performance levels. Their features also support a very expansive variety of platform where you can use the service in just about any device available find on the market.
The VPN service provider’s premium plan features OpenVPN and Chameleon protocols that are designed to avoid any deep packet inspection (DPI). The Chameleon feature scrambles your packet metadata with the support of OpenVPN 256-bit protocol to allow users to bypass DPI in countries with aggressive internet censorship like China, Russia, UAE, Turkey, and Syria. This helps to ensure your VPN connection remains undetected, unthrottled, and unblocked.
Additionally, VyprVPN’s app even has a kill-switch function to block off your internet traffic whenever your VPN connection drops. Similarly, their Cloud feature allows users to access cloud servers with an additional layer of security.
If you’re thinking of giving VyprVPN a go, it’ll be a good idea to try out their services first with the 3-day test run to decide if it’s suitable cause you’ll not be able to get a refund once you’ve signed up. On the other hand, VyprVPN has the best all-round choice of subscription plans that is billed annually. The Premium plan may be slightly pricey, but the package comes with all the advanced features that will come in super handy for your gaming needs.
- Fast streaming and download rates
- Great encryption and privacy
- 24/7 live support
- Premium plan features security protocols to prevent Deep Packet Inspection
- Not suitable for torrenting
Headquartered and operating from the British Virgin Island (BVI), SurfShark is not required to comply to any data retention laws and is also not part of the 5, 9, or 14 eyes countries
SurfShark started out with a humble beginning of 100 servers to now more than 1,000 servers across the globe in just over a year.
The company states that they do not collect data from your connection in their no-logging policy. They strictly do not track incoming and outgoing IP addresses, browser history, bandwidth, session information, connection timestamps, network traffic. The only information SurfShark will keep is your email address and billing information.
Generally, the more attention a VPN receives for their unblocking capability, the stronger websites enforce these geo-blocks upon these individual VPN. This is where SurfShark gets ahead at, they’ve successfully avoided the spotlight and under the radar of such websites making them a great gaming VPN with super-fast connection.
SurfShark is without a doubt one of the most secure VPN available in the industry. The company offers an unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption to keep your online activities safe and secure. The VPN even features a CleanWeb function that ensures you can access the internet with free of ads, trackers, and malware.
Other than that, SurfShark even has a Multihop and Whitelister feature. The Multihop helps you establish a chain of VPNs that takes IP masking to a whole other level. With this VPN, you have the option to connect to two servers in different countries, so you’ll virtually appear in both locations simultaneously.
You can even specify apps or websites that you want excluded from connecting via the VPN through their Whitelister function. This means you get the flexibility of securing certain sensitive apps and websites while other general usage apps can be excluded for higher-speed streaming and browsing.
SurfShark’s user-friendly app sports a new versatile design that makes it extremely easy to navigate. The options and menu are very snappy and conveniently kept in easy-to-find locations for a user-friendly experience.
This VPN provider offers one of the most affordable subscription plans out there. In fact, SurfShark offers three different package plans that come with amazing discounts. If you end up not satisfied with their service, you can take advantage of their extensive 30-day money-back guarantee offer to get a complete refund.
- Unlimited device connection
- Multihop Feature
- Whitelister Feature
- Unbreakable military-grade encryption service
- User-friendly app
- Some issue with kill switch feature
Best balance of performance and affordability
With more than 5,000 servers globally spread among 90 different countries, this Romania based VPN provider offers seamless connection speed with high coverage. CyberGhost is even placed far away from the reach of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance and is not obliged to share its users’ information to anyone.
CyberGhost’s desktop app is supports L2TP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN protocols, making it one of the most secure VPN services in the industry. And as far as encryption goes, CyberGhost delivers military-grade encryption to protect all your critical information.
Another great feature is CyberGhost’s Kill Switch function that ensures you remain anonymous even when your VPN service drops suddenly. What it does is to completely cut off your internet connection once it detects that you’re disconnected from its service. Any way you look at it, it’s a win-win situation to ensure your privacy is secured.
Despite having great features, CyberGhost does come with a downside that is worth talking about. This VPN service provider does not efficiently block out advertisement pop-ups on HTTPS websites. However, CyberGhost’s ad-blocking feature works on major Windows, Mac, and iOS compatible devices, which should be more than sufficient for general users looking to stream online.
All in all, CyberGhost has plenty to offer gamers – from their optimized servers and great speeds to simple setups and user-friendly interface. This VPN service provider offers customers with connection of up to seven devices at top-shelf protection and unlimited accessibility.
Sadly, this VPN does not come with a free trial and the monthly plan can get quite pricey although the longer-term plans are much most cost friendly. Regardless, you can still make full use of their 45-day money-back guarantee in case you decide to go another route.
- Simple and free extension for basic usage
- Affordable subscription plans with streaming speeds
- Permits up to 7 simultaneous connections
- Great for first-time VPN users
- Free extension does not include security features
- Ad-blocking feature needs some improvement
Best for ad and malware-free browsing
NordVPN is one of the largest server networks with over 5,600 different servers spread out across 59 different countries. This VPN provider is headquartered in the data retention-free jurisdiction of Panama on top of employing a strict no-logs policy.
This VPN is making waves as a sleek, high-performance service with its latest encryption technology and intuitive implementation. While it has a deep list of features, the essentials remain easy and convenient to use with minimal management or fiddling around.
The VPN also supports other major security protocols to ensure your online activity always stays protected. With standard VPN encryption, your internet traffic travels through a single VPN server. However, with NordVPN’s Double VPN feature, this VPN routes your traffic through two hops to grant you an extra layer of protection. While it does make your data much more secure, your internet speed could take a hit and suffer a bit.
Other than that, NordVPN has two kinds of Kill Switch: for desktops and mobile devices. Either one will work to disable your entire internet connection when anything goes wrong to ensure your data remains secured even when you’re not connected to the service.
NordVPN’s affordable subscription plans come with some major features including their CyberSec feature which is specifically designed to block out any advertisement and prevent malware. Their lightweight and user-friendly extension is just a few clicks away to make your gaming a more streamlined and safer experience.
NordVPN offers 4 different reasonably priced plans that are packed with many amazing features. Aside from their 7-day trial, the VPN service provider even has a hassle-free full 30-day refund policy in case you decide that it’s not the right fit for you.
- Double-VPN servers
- Fast connection speeds
- No-log policy
- Accepts Bitcoin as payment
- Speeds are sometimes volatile
- Unable to specify individual servers you want to connect to
Up and Coming
This small VPN provider is based in Sweden that is found to be part of the five eyes alliance after some digging. This makes PrivateVPN a whole let less insecure as the Swedish government can demand the VPN service provider to hand over data at any time.
Fortunately, PrivateVPN actually found a major loophole within Sweden’s legal system. How it works is that the company will not collect any personal data or record any logs so even if the government were to seize all the data from the company, they would not have any useful information to work on.
As of now, PrivateVPN only offers slightly above 150 servers spread over 60 countries. Although this amount is a little less compared to what other popular VPN service providers are offering, the average home gamers can still be perfectly content with what PrivateVPN has to offer.
Similar to major VPN providers, PrivateVPN encrypts all your data through their AES-256 encryption feature to keep your privacy secured from third parties. They even support a wide range of VPN protocols like OpenVPN (with TCP/UDP), L2TP, IPsec, PPTP, and IKEv2.
In the event you have any questions or doubts regarding your VPN service, you can always turn to their official website for support. They have a few dedicated support section that you can use to get more information:
- Live Chat Support – Unfortunately, this handy option is not enabled 24/7, more often you’ll be able to send a message and the company will respond to you via email.
- Installation Guides – The company has a series of nicely written installation guides that are easy to understand. They even have videos to guide you through a step-by-step process.
- Frequently Asked Questions – PrivateVPN has done a good job of coming up with commonly asked questions and providing additional support that is on-point and concise.
- Support Tickets – You can send an email to the VPN’s tech support and you can expect a reply within a day.
PrivateVPN offers three subscription plans at very attractive prices. It is also worth noting that the provider frequently gives out discounts, especially during certain holidays or celebrations. At times you can even see its annual subscription go as low as $2.00 per month. So, do check out their webpage for any latest promotion.
The company accepts credit card, PayPal, and even anonymous online payment like Bitcoin for that added layer of protection. All of its subscription plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you end up finding their services are not up to expectations.
- Fast connection speeds
- Zero logs
- Strong encryption
- Supports Tor-over-VPN
- Smaller server network
- Lack of global coverage
#7 Hotspot Shield
Best for Speed
In terms of performance, Hotspot Shield’s upload and download speeds are proven to be slightly better than the rest. So, you can expect an instantaneous connection for non-stop gaming session.
The downside of this VPN service is that it does not have that many server locations, but their awesome performance surely makes up for that. The service offers native apps for both Android and iOS that are seamless and simple to use.
Hotspot Shield is a brainchild of a US-based company called AnchorFree. Being part of the Five Eye Country means the company needs to abide by the country’s mandatory data retention rule and have to hand over any data upon request from the authority. For gamers, this shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Despite that, Hotspot is still safe to use as they will not expose your original IP address, DNS, or WebRTC information while you’re connected to their service. However, the company’s logging policy is a little confusing. Hotspot Shield claims that they do not keep logs of your online activity, yet there are a few areas where they mention using customer data for a variety of purposes.
If you’re on the free version, you may expect to see some advertisements as the company teams up with a few third parties. Nonetheless, you need not worry about your privacy as the service provider will only hand out anonymized IP addresses and they will not sell user browsing history to the advertisers.
The paid version lets subscribers connect to five different devices at the same time with just a single account. This means users do not need to pay extra for securing their entire household with only one VPN service.
While Hotspot Shield’s subscription plans may not be the most affordable, they do come with 45-day refund policy for you to get your money back in case you do not fancy their services. You can also make a free Hotspot Shield account to test out their paid services with their 7 days free trial. But you do need to remember to cancel the trial before the time’s up, otherwise, they will automatically start charging you for their monthly service.
- No logging
- Up to five simultaneous connections
- 45-day refund policy
- 7-day free trial
- Part of the Five Eyes country
- Questionable logging policy
- Free version comes with advertisement
ExpressVPN is one service provider that needs no introduction, it is an all-time favorite among many internet users with more than 4,000 servers across 90 different countries.
This VPN service provider delivers a punchy performance along with numerous features like unblocking Netflix, reliable torrenting, tunneling protocols, 30 days refund, Bitcoin Payments, and an extremely powerful encryption system to keep all your online gaming safe and secure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is using VPN legal?
Yes, using a VPN is completely legal. It is definitely in your civil rights to have your personal data protected while on the internet. It is the same concept as using an envelope to protect your letters – some information just needs to be kept private. Similarly, you information online needs to be protected as well to ensure you’re not vulnerable to any malicious cyber-attacks.
Am I anonymous when browsing through a VPN?
A VPN increases your security and privacy, but it does not make you anonymous. You essentially expose yourself and your online activities to the service provider simply by subscribing to their services.
For those who are in a life-threatening situation such as politicians, reporters, journalists, and so on, you may consider Tor browser for anonymity.
Am I considered safe when I use public Wi-Fi hotspots together with a VPN?
In most cases, it is safe to use public Wi-Fi hotspots with a VPN. VPN encrypts the traffic between your device and VPN servers. This way hackers won’t be able to read your data. Even if they somehow are able to intercept your traffic, all they will really see is useless encrypted gibberish.
Will I get banned from PUBG if I use VPN?
While the use of a VPN is not a violation of the PUBG Terms of Service, you should never play while being on a VPN as it might trigger the use of a Third-Party Application Ban. You can use VPN Tricks to get Free Rewards from other regions, but you need to keep in mind to not start any matches while being connected.
As a Master Degree graduate in the Internet Technology field, Stefan is highly dedicated towards improving the overall web security so internet users can browse freely without having to be afraid of technical loopholes. With over 15 years in the internet security industry, you should definitely take his advice seriously.