Best VPN for Gaming
Gaming has certainly come a long way since the days of the Atari 2600. Things have gotten a lot more advanced since those times. Even when compared to the glory days of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, gamers now rely heavily on the internet to keep themselves entertained by the games they currently play. Most video games produced now have some sort of multiplayer options, and having a good connection is key to reducing lag, load times, and user-to-user interaction. VPNs can also provide assistance in this regard, and open the door to creating accounts or playing in regions with servers that would be impossible to do with a normal ISP. Below are ten such VPNs that are best for gamers of all types, no matter if you’re on a smartphone or PC. After you’ve read the reviews, check out the FAQ to get answers to the most commonly asked questions about VPNs and gaming.
How to Choose a VPN for Gaming
Choosing a VPN for gaming is a lot like shopping for any other piece of software for your devices. You’ll first want to be sure that the program in question is reliable and not a scam. The easiest way to do that is to read what others have said about the service. Those reviewed below are guaranteed to give users great gaming experience and less lag during times of intense gameplay. But you should also educate yourself on their logging policies. Some VPNs, most notably those that are free, may log your personal information, although paid services could do the same. However, this isn’t a big problem for VPN software that comes with a price tag, so don’t fret if you do notice some form of logging that’s stipulated in the application’s user agreement.
What You can do with A VPN
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, will allow your computer to communicate with public servers over a completely private connection. It does this through the use of protocols that create a “tunnel” for the signal to remain private throughout the interaction. As a result, your computer’s true IP address will remain hidden from the handshake, and the incoming server is tricked into logging your IP as whatever server you’re using through the VPN in question. If you pick a server that’s from somewhere in the EU, then your computer or mobile device will have a European IP address. If you chose one in East Asia, then you would notice servers and websites displaying the language that correlates to the country you picked. As for gaming, this could be highly beneficial in getting you connected to other gamers residing in a region that’s more popular for the platform being played.
VPN Comparison Table
This comparison chart shows average download speeds, trial periods, and kill switch features included with each VPN application reviewed. If you’re in need for more stats, look at the company’s home page and navigate to the “about us” section.
- PureVPN: Average Speed: 52 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (7 Days)
- VyprVPN: Average Speed: 55 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (30 Days)
- ExpressVPN: Average Speed: 55 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (30 Days)
- Private Tunnel: Average Speed: 48 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (7 Days)
- NordVPN: Average Speed: 56 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (7 Days)
- TunnelBear: Average Speed: 50 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (7 Days)
- VPN Unlimited: Average Speed: 49 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (30 Days)
- Private Internet Access: Average Speed: 52 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (30 Days)
- Windscribe: Average Speed: 50 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (30 Days)
- Ivacy: Average Speed: 53 Mbps; Kill Switch: Yes; Free Trial Offer: Yes (30 Days)
Top 10 Best Gaming VPNs
PureVPN is spoken highly of in many forum communities that have users who are experienced in using many VPN services. That’s because of their download speeds and good communication with customers. For instance, if you have an issue that needs to be resolved quickly, chances are that you’ll reach someone to talk to through their live customer support in mere minutes. And as for download time, your games will never lag or experience skipping or disconnection from the server when you’re using a heavy amount of data. Although the same cannot be said for some smartphone applications, most users will find PureVPN to be a blast when playing most games online.
- Outstanding communication methods that are fast and responsive
- Average speed is accurate on most servers, even those that aren’t signaled as high
- During fast gameplay over servers, the connection speeds should never drop or lag
- Games on smartphones may not perform to the save level as those on PC
- The free trial lasts for only one week
VyprVPN is probably the best gaming VPN in terms of server quality. They will connection you quickly, so you won’t get impatient waiting for things to connect before you begin play. And when you are connected, the protocols provided by them allow server to maintain good signal and load times that won’t frustrate you. But for those who like to switch in between servers quickly, the same cannot be said. Since this isn’t something that the average user will have to do, VyprVPN is recommended for both serous and casual gamers alike.
- Lots of servers from the list to pick, some of which are specialized specifically for gaming
- All the latest protocols are featured in their advanced settings within the application
- Doesn’t take long to find a working server
- Switching in between servers may take several minutes, especially for ISPs that are slow
ExpressVPN is suggested for real gamers. And by real, that means those who spend on average several hours a day in their gaming chair. If you’re a professional gamer that makes income from such activities, then you’ll find yourself right at home with Express. Their servers will never lag or kick you out. protecting your real IP address in the unlikely event that it does. There’s also a great deal of in-app programs that streamline your VPN experience when you’re done gaming, and torrenting over the network is a breeze. This transfers well over smartphone connections too, whereby you can get up to three devices online with just one account. That might not seem like much, but definitely consider Express if you want one of the best current VPNs on the market.
- Has a boatload of great application to try inside of the primary program itself
- Doesn’t differentiate between gaming, streaming, and ordinary servers; all can perform well for games of all kinds
- Games on handheld devices (smartphones) will move fluidly even on poor connections, such as phone data plans
- The average cost per month is a lot higher than many of the other leading brands of VPNs
4. Private Tunnel
Private Tunnel is another great VPN for gamers, in that they will never cap your speed regardless of the amount of bandwidth that you’re using. Their servers are built to withstand heavy loads and speeds too, so put on your favorite PC games and watch how fast game software moves when you’re in play. It takes three devices, but more can be added if you need additional. Because of this, the price rate of the cheapest servers is much lower than the competition and great for VPN beginners. Making an account may take a bit longer than expected, but all features should run smoothly once you’ve downloaded and installed the VPN.
- All plans included with the service (also the cheapest), have unlimited data usage
- More devices can be added to the already existing 3 maximum that are given
- Uses OpenVPN protocol, often touted as the current best for gaming
- No logging to speak of
- Creating an account with the service is a little time consuming and longer than its competitors
NordVPN is based in Panama, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that server connections will take longer that what’s available to those headquartered in more local regions. In fact, this is a plus, since their servers are far away from the prying eyes of North American and Europeans nation states. No matter if you’re playing Call of Duty on a mobile device or Minecraft with your friend throughout the world, the experience should be fluid and free of signal drops. As for logging, it does happen but nothing that would take away your anonymity.
- Has aware-winning servers that are great for games played on virtually any device where the application is featured
- Their location gives Nord the room and privacy that other VPNs headquartered in certain nations simply do not possess
- Troubleshooting with their customer service isn’t an annoying task when issues do come up
- Some generic logging takes place with the company, although this isn’t likely to be an issue in the foreseeable future
TunnelBear is a good alternative to other popular VPN choices and a good tool to use when you’re in need of private servers for gaming. They even have a stealth mode (GhostBear) that will allow you access in places with heavy government censorship of VPN services. You can also connect up to five devices with one account alone. If you want to sign up for their free trial offer, keep in mind that it only lasts for 7 days but could be extended easily if you got in touch with a customer service representative. Recommended for gamers that want to share their application with family or friends.
- Servers can be reached in stealth mode, which further privatizes the experience for users
- A total of five devices (smartphones, laptops, PCs,) can be connected at the same time
- The free trial period can potentially be extended if users require more time to make a purchasing decision
- Talking to customer service representatives must be done via email; no live contact
7. VPN Unlimited
VPN Unlimited is another good gaming VPN that stays true to their name. That means you will get unlimited bandwidth with no roof on how much data you can use per month, unlike free VPNs. It’s also pretty cheap. The lowest priced option will set you back only $2.78 a month. The catch is that it must be purchased with a three-year plan. But if you’re a gamer, this would definitely be the best option and would keep you connected to your favorite playing regions without the need to worry about payment again for a long time. Although some form of logging does occur, don’t let it stop you from trying out VPN Unlimited, especially if you tend to play genres such as first-person shooters or others that necessitate of need for smooth gameplay.
- Their cheapest plan is less than three dollars per month
- Hundreds of server given, to which most never appear to lag when gaming on PC or smartphone
- Getting everything ready to access the server can be done in as little as three minutes (from the start of purchase)
- Logging during the server’s connection (the time) has been known to occur
8. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access keeps things simple once you’re ready to set everything up, from creating an account to connecting to the primary servers. Logging, even at the generic level, will never happen. That means you’re fully protected, even when you’re not playing games. They’re also friendly to talk with over live support, and do a good job of troubleshooting and settling issues fast. Overall, PIA is suggested for gamers that enjoy prompt customers service and decent server speeds. Some of their alternative servers may not work as fast as expected, but this is an exception.
- Speedy setup time should prevent customers from experiencing frustration from the signup process
- True to their word no logging policy
- If preferred, the VPN can be bought without disclosing personal information (through the use of Bitcoin)
- Easy to get money back in case of dissatisfaction
- In some situations, it might be difficult to connect to certain servers, particularly those in low rank
Windscribe is great for people that want a VPN that shows their customer all their service can do during the period of the free trial. It lasts up to 30 days, which is more than enough time to see if the paid service is taken well. And chances are high that you’ll be satisfied with it. No speed drops, good customer communication, and speedy servers are aspects that make it a good application for gaming. There’s also no leaks, both from ISPs and DNS servers, to speak of. Some server may go down from time to time, but you should be okay when you’re in the middle of a game on your PC or smartphone.
- The site is known for giving lots of promotional offers through for their trial period
- All around good encryption included with the PC and smartphone application (also OSX)
- Doesn’t leak DNS addresses to ISPs
- Simplistic design of the program; easy for beginners to use
- Servers routinely go down on most occasion (although is shouldn’t be difficult to find a working server)
Ivacy comes in last but is still a great tool, and definitely not the worst out of the bunch. For starters, you can buy this anonymously through using cryptocurrencies, a monetary option that many gamers are familiar with and rely on to make purchases. Downloading anything over their server is fast and were it not for the purchase itself, you wouldn’t even realize a difference in speed over a normal ISP connection. Do consider buying the extended plan if you settle for Ivacy, as the monthly rate is pricier than those featured for a long duration. Regardless, the VPN is recommended for all gamers, especially those that want the app for Android and iOS gaming platforms.
- Multiple options for purchasing the application, including with cryptocurrencies
- Fast download speeds on even the low ranking servers
- The user will remain anonymous, whereby no indirect logging will take place with the company
- Their “cheapest” plan is quite pricey if purchased on a month-to-month basis
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I stick to VPNs that offer Servers that are Specifically made For Gaming?
You don’t have to, but those that do have their own dedicated servers tend to be better in term of fewer lagging events. However, this can occur with any server regardless, so don’t make it the primary focus of your buying decision. If you don’t notice exclusive gaming servers on a VPN that you’re thinking of buying, check to see if they have good connection speeds. The average upload and download speeds in megabytes per second is a good place to start. Then look at their streaming and torrenting policies. Those with such features (or lack of rules) regarding video streaming and file sharing tend to be good for gamers as well.
Is Logging really that big of a Concern?
It can be, especially if for the privacy-conscious. If you just want a VPN for gaming alone and aren’t too worried about logging, then this shouldn’t be a huge issue for you. Still, some red flags would include things like logging the time in which you connect to the server or a connection to other logging activities that are vaguely described in the VPNs user agreement. That’s why it’s important to read their terms of service before you buy. Do this if you’re not familiar with a service that’s in question but it also wouldn’t hurt to check with popular VPNs too. Additionally, check the VPNs host country to see which nation they reside in. If you’re based in a location that has laws which would force them to hand over user data to the government, a stricter no logging policy would be beneficial to customers that use the service.
What About Speed?
Speed is of without a doubt the most important aspect of gaming. If you don’t have a fast connection, you’re likely to experience lags at some point during gameplay. Smartphone gaming app can be the most difficult, but PC games can also lag on some occasions. To avoid this, first ensure that your ISP has a good enough connection to establish decent signals when using the VPN in question. This is where most of the lagging problems originate, to which such a problem wouldn’t be the fault of the VPN. Then check to see the average download speed of their servers. For the best, the mean amount often lingers between 40 to 50 megabytes per second, but some are faster. Depending on your connection, you could even get speeds of up to 60 Mbps or significantly higher.
Do VPNs on smartphones maintain the same level of speed as those on PC?
Not always. If you’re planning on purchasing a VPN for your smartphone alone, having good connection speed with your phone’s data plan is important to avoid any delays or lags during gameplay. If you don’t then you’re time on the game could be reduced to when you have a connection over WiFi. If you do play games at home, then it shouldn’t be a problem so long as there’s an ISP for you to piggyback on with the smartphone. But for anyone that wishes to use a data plan to connect over, check to see if there’s a decent plan that’s at least 20 megabytes per second in speed (for the mobile device).
If a VPN doesn’t offer Live Customer Support, should I Avoid It?
This can be tricky because some VPN applications maintain great servers but spotty customer service. And by spotty, this means long wait times to get a response if something does happen. It’s not likely to be a problem but for anyone that likes fast response times, always go for applications that have some sort of live support. This is often in the form of a chat session over the VPN web page. Additionally, some VPNs have their own forums where you can check to see if there’s a solution without relying on a customer representative.
Summary/Which two are The Best?
VPNs are plenty today, and it seems that the list of paid services that are great for gamers is always growing. The focus for VPNs was mostly limited to streaming and torrenting before, but gamers have certainly become targets for the companies to improve on. This means that you can expect to see more dedicated service for gaming in the future. And if for some reason that your VPN provider doesn’t have such servers, it’s suggested that you contact them and ask. Regardless, the VPNs listed in the reviews are stellar, with PureVPN and VyprVPN leading in terms of connection speed and server quality. But that’s definitely not a put down to the rest, so you’re gaming will remain enjoyable for you no matter which you choose.