High latency and slow speeds are a real bust for gamers, but you can avoid all that and more using the best gaming VPN! Further on you’ll find a guide on what VPN is the best for heightening your gaming experience and what puts a damp on it! Read on!
If you think that trying to get a hold of a Netflix account is the hardest thing in entertainment life, then you haven’t walked in the shoes of a gamer.
Picture this – you get your hands on the latest game or DLC, set it up on a supported gaming device, get your headset ready and when you’re finally tuned in, your speeds are terrible, you can’t contact other players in real-time, there are issues with the Ping, and so on. There are also times when many gamers around the world cannot access online games or DLC due to regional blocks.
So, if you thought a VPN wouldn’t do you any good, think again! But before moving ahead, here’s a quick look at the best gaming VPN in 2020 that would make the best VPN game client in the long haul:
- Surfshark – best all-rounder VPN for gaming, allowing multiple device connections
- NordVPN – best VPN for a secure gaming experience, high-end security features.
- ExpressVPN – the best VPN for gaming with great speeds, unblocks multiple games worldwide.
- IPVanish – best for unblocking games in the US at high speeds.
- CyberGhost – the best gaming VPN for privacy and fast speeds.
Do I need a VPN for gaming?
There are many underlying factors around why anyone would need a VPN in general. The thing is, before investing in VPN services, you have to keep a clear picture of what you want and are looking for. At the same time, you have to be alerted of the fact that a VPN isn’t the best anti-virus, or the best Adblocker, or even the best malware blocker. A VPN is the all-rounder outcome combining all of these factors.
Now, keeping aside that picture, let’s come to why you need a VPN for gaming:
- Speed! It is one of the major reasons why you’d need a VPN in the first place. Yes, a VPN won’t magically give you blazing fast speeds, but in fact, will help make your local connection speed much faster.
- Then, there’s always the issue with trying to access limited edition games or ones that aren’t available in your region. A VPN helps in unblocking geo-censored games and other kinds of DLC.
- As mentioned that a VPN won’t provide super-fast speeds, but will help balance out the issue. A slower ping automatically means better download quality; solving latency issues.
- Also, how can you forget about the intruders? A VPN protects your device and your data from cyber-attacks. The most common for gamers are DDoS attacks.
The best VPN for Gaming in 2020
Now since we’ve gone through why you’d possibly need a VPN for gaming, below I’ll be discussing in a little detail about why these top 5 VPN choices are the best for the smoothest gaming experience. We start with:
Surfshark is known to be a dark horse in the VPN industry. Some call it one of the most user-friendly VPN apps while others label it best for unlimited device connections. However, even though these two qualities are true, there much more reason to why Surfshark made it on my list.
It has the best privacy policies, with origin in the British Virgin Islands; observing strict no-data logging rules. That’s a good feature to look for especially considering you need your online privacy during intense gaming sessions.
Now coming to the main features that make Surfshark the best VPN for gaming, we have its wide server coverage or around, 1700+ servers in 64 countries. That’s plenty of options to choose from if ever they need to access restricted games or gaming websites from your country arises.
It also comes with 256-bit AES encryption, GPS Spoofing, and an active Kill Switch, which are pretty strong foundations for security features.
Surfshark rendered some pretty decent speed results, which you can find in my Surfshark review; provided that the app comes with unlimited bandwidth.
Now, the sky is the limit where device compatibility for gaming is concerned. Regardless of whether you’re gaming on your phone, PS4, or smart TV, Surfshark is compatible with several major apps and platforms, some of which include Windows, iOS, Android, Firestick, macOS, PS4, Nvidia Shield, Xbox, Routers, and more.
Last but not the least, if ever you need to take a break from gaming, Surfshark also unblocks many international and geo-blocked websites, apps, or services. Some of these platforms include the US Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, ESPN, and more.
You can test it out the quality of the VPN for gaming, by using the Surfshark free trial for Android or iOS or the 30-day refund policy for multiple supported devices.
NordVPN is also yet another top-rated VPN app not only for gaming but for multiple purposes. It is a Panama provider that is known worldwide for the most well-hidden privacy features, best security, and strict no-logging policies.
With NordVPN, you’ll be living the gaming dream. This VPN has around 5000+ servers in 59 countries that were carefully picked. You’ll be able to access or unblock unlimited online games and other DLC with absolute ease.
This is because each server is obfuscated; designed to bypass the heaviest geo-blocked content from anywhere in the world. Along with this, you’ll be provided with great speed that will not disappoint you during your live gaming streams. You can go through my detailed NordVPN review for its full performance test results.
NordVPN reaches the top of the mountain where security is concerned. Say goodbye to hackers or cyber-attacks because the app comes with DDoS protection, military 256-bit encryption, a CyberSec feature, DNS leak protection, a Kill Switch, and more. This will leave your gaming experience interruption-free!
If you’re planning on encrypting all your major devices, then go right ahead because NordVPN allows simultaneous connections on up to 6 devices. Some of the devices or apps that NordVPN is compatible with include Windows, macOS, Firestick, Android, iOS, Linux, PS4, Routers, browser extensions, Android TV, and others.
With the best security features, you can also utilize the NordVPN app to unblock or Sideload other apps on supported devices. A few of these other services include Netflix, Hotstar, and Sling TV, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Video, Showtime, and more.
This list for the best gaming VPN isn’t rated from best to worst, so don’t get worked up when you see an amazing provider like ExpressVPN at third. In no particular order, ExpressVPN is by far one of the best providers all around. Let’s start with the fact that this British Virgin Islands VPN believes in no-data logging.
ExpressVPN is known by many for its great unblocking skills. So, getting your hands on the latest games and DLC will be a piece of cake.
It has around 3000+ servers covering a wide platform of 94 countries. This gives you all the opportunity in the world to unblock a huge plethora of games or get news on when the latest games will arrive according to the actual airing time.
Speeds are one of the more important requirements when it comes to online gaming. You cannot afford latency issues during live matches. When I tested ExpressVPN, the speeds were some of the fastest, compared to the other providers.
You’ll find other features and the overall app performance in my ExpressVPN review.
Fast speeds and unblocking potentials are just the peak of what ExpressVPN provides. To access any games or streaming services, you’re going to need the best VPN security protection, and ExpressVPN doesn’t fall short in this department either.
ExpressVPN operates using 256-bit encryption, has Split-Tunneling traffic so that you can send all the protection towards just your gaming platforms, is DNS and IP leak protected, has a Kill switch for multiple device apps, and also has a super-handy feature called MediaStreamer. With these features, you can bypass even the toughest geo-blocks.
You can protect your gaming consoles and other platforms since ExpressVPN allows you to make simultaneous VPN connections on up to 5 devices. Where device compatibility is concerned, you can stream and game on all the major devices since ExpressVPN has huge device support. Some of these platforms include Windows, PlayStation4, Firestick/FireTV, and Android, iOS, macOS, Android TV, browser extensions, and routers.
Apart from gaming, you can utilize ExpressVPN for much more, like unblocking all the latest TV shows and movies on Netflix, Disney Plus, Hotstar, Hulu, ESPN, and or even use the VPN for a secured online banking transaction.
If you find ExpressVPN a little overpriced and still aren’t sure whether you should invest, there’s always the 7-day free trial that you can test the app on, or using its 30-day refund period. Either way, if you’re not satisfied, ExpressVPN offers a full refund within the 30-day mark.
Last on the list we have IPVanish, which is a US-based provider. The best part about having this provider originate from the States is that you’ll automatically have access to the best US content from anywhere in the world.
This provider has access to its personalized servers, namely around 1300+ servers in 75+ countries, with the majority of its coverage in the US. The great thing about it is that since you’re mostly trying to gain access to games in America, the speeds will be faster than ever plus you’ll get to buy some of the games at a cheaper rate.
That’s why IPVanish is on the list for the best gaming VPN. You can have a look at my IPVanish review for a wider scope into its overall performance test results.
Now since server coverage, speed and privacy are out of the way, let’s jump into the IPVanish security front. For a thrilling gaming session, you’re also going to need a secure and encrypted connection. IPVanish doesn’t fall short in security either and operates on 256-bit encryption, has a Kill Switch, is IP and DNS leak protected, uses obfuscated technologies, and a lot more.
You could have a whole gaming marathon with your friends all under one roof since IPVanish now allows unlimited simultaneous device connections. And speaking of devices, IPVanish is also compatible with a wide range of gaming devices, some of which include Windows, Android, iOS, Firestick, Linux, and more.
Other tasks that you can carry out other than gaming, includes accessing some of the most heavily blocked streaming services. IPVanish can help you unblock Hotstar, Netflix, Disney Plus, ESPN, DAZN, Fox News, and a lot more.
So, even if you subscribe to the IPVanish services, there’s a free trial you can use to test the app.
Next on the list for the best gaming VPN, we have CyberGhost. You may have heard about this particular Romanian provider from a couple of other notable sources.
Well, CyberGhost is mainly known for offering the best ghosting features for its users. This means you can surf the web or game for hours on end with full online anonymity. CyberGhost doesn’t log your data which makes it a worthy contender.
With a CyberGhost subscription, you’ll be accessing a huge coverage of 6000+ low-latency servers in 90 countries, which contains many US servers, best for downloading restricted games that aren’t aired or provided in your country.
When put to the test, I connected to a couple of CyberGhost servers, all of which rendered pretty decent download speeds. You can double-check in my CyberGhost review.
Furthermore, I’d like to add that besides great privacy features; CyberGhost also extends its capabilities towards security features. It runs on military-grade 256-bit AES encryption, has an active Kill Switch, and is DDoS protected through its inbuilt NAT Firewall feature. You won’t have to worry about your identity leaking out because the app comes with IP and DNS leak protection.
You can have a whole gaming marathon with multiple players in your home since CyberGhost allows you to make up-to 7 multi-device connections in one go.
Speaking of connections, CyberGhost also supports all the major apps and devices for gaming and more. Some of these platforms include Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Routers, and others.
Besides reliable software for gaming, CyberGhost comes pretty handily in unblocking multiple renowned platforms. Some of these include Amazon Prime, Hulu, ESPN, DAZN, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and a lot more.
You can also put CyberGhost to the test by using its free trial. Other than that, if you want a little more time, and a trial on other devices, CyberGhost also has a 45-day refund policy.
How to choose a gaming VPN
Certain VPN providers come with premium features, but not all of them can offer much surety in performance. Certain users invest in a VPN to unblock streaming services, some get it for privacy reasons, and others simply need it to maintain download speeds.
However, to choose a VPN, you have to know what you want and what you’re looking for. I think, for the majority of gamers, major issues all revolve around “latency”, the number one enemy.
So, keeping all that in mind here’s a few pointers on how I chose the best gaming VPN, making it easier for you to settle for one in the future.
As mentioned before, there are far too many VPNs in the market that it’s difficult to settle for one. The first thing to look for is whether the provider is reliable and trustworthy. A big factor that plays a part in this is the VPNs country of origin. This plays an important role in showing you how great the provider is.
Performance is the second thing to go after, for obvious reasons. Why would you need a VPN if it has only half the performance level as compared to what the provider advertised? All the VPNs I chose for this list have been put through a series of tests in accordance with what was promised. Each provider said to deliver fast speeds and unlimited servers that unblock numerous entertainment and gaming websites. So, when put to the test, they delivered remarkably in performance.
Speeds are a very sensitive topic, and much more complicated to look into. The thing is, a VPN won’t increase your download speeds faster than the speed of your internet connection. So, why would you need a VPN then, right? With a VPN, you might experience slightly slower speeds but still faster than the average requirement. On the other hand, without a VPN, your ISP will keep throttling the speed.
The next thing to look for is good security. Some VPNs come equipped with older versions of encryption while the some old and latest editions VPNs have a newer method of encryption. The kind of encryption that a VPN comes with plays a big part in securing your overall connection. Other security features like a Firewall, Kill Switch etc., are what keeps DDoS attacks and other kinds of malware from infiltrating your gaming devices and sessions.
A sub-part of great performance also depends on the server coverage that the VPN provides. There are many games or DLC that aren’t available in your country, or even if they are, the country/region you live in has heavy censorship blocks. The best gaming VPN helps with wide server coverage, with plenty of international IP addresses for you to choose from.
A 24/7 chat support or at least a competent work staff is what’s very important, especially for first time VPN users. Regardless if you need a VPN for gaming or need one for privacy, it all comes down to the overall performance of the product and the providers. There are many users who’ll have countless of setup or device compatibility questions. A good support chat is what all the 5 VPNs I chose posses.
Now, I understand that certain VPNs are overly priced and of course not all of us can opt for a big price tag. But that’s where you should understand that price isn’t always something to look at first. Some VPNs are top-notch providers and come at affordable rates, while other poorly made VPN software come with higher prices. You have to dig deep into a little research and testing to know what you’re investing into.
Last but not the least, if you’re choosing for a gaming VPN in particular, make sure to choose one based on the devices and apps it supports according to the gaming consoles you use. All the VPNs mentioned on my list have wide compatibility with all the major devices.
How do you use a gaming VPN on a compatible device?
It really depends on what device you’re using for your gaming session. However, I’ll provide you a step by step tutorial on how to use a gaming VPN on the most compatible gaming devices.
Setting up a gaming VPN
- Subscribe to the best gaming VPN.
- Download the app and install it on a supported device.
- Once installed, log in to your account using the same credentials used to sign up for the VPN service.
- Choose the best server depending on whether you need it for privacy or to download international content.
- Hit the connect button and you’re in!
Can I use a free VPN for gaming?
A free VPN isn’t really the best choice for gaming or anything else for that matter. You’re probably going to lose much more than you bargained for with a free VPN, including time wastage. A free VPN doesn’t come with proper encryption or wide server coverage. Hence my recommendation would be to choose an affordable VPN service rather than a free one.
Is it bad to use a VPN for gaming?
Yes, and no, it really depends! Connecting to a VPN for gaming will most probably lower your speeds. However, that does depend on the VPN you go with and also widely on the speeds of your local internet connection without using a VPN.
Another thing people ask about is whether the ping will reduce or increase. A lower ping is always the best option for gaming, and I doubt using a VPN will have much impact on it. So no, it’s not bad to use a VPN for gaming. Plus, with the number of games online, a VPN will allow you to get a hold of it from wherever you are.
What is the best VPN for gaming according to Reddit?
NordVPN was voted as the best for gaming according to the Reddit community.
There are many great providers for gaming and some that aren’t. However, I believe in going through more than one source, a scout for more than just reviews. The main target for me is user experience and the best platform for that is Reddit. After going through a couple of posts, the top pick for gaming VPN is NordVPN. Here’s one of the clips below:
Online gaming is one of the most popular sources of entertainment in the modern world and in fact, it’s now a profession. However, there’s a lot that can go wrong on the internet while trying to access limited edition games or even experience extreme lagging during a session. All this can come to an end with the best gaming VPN that covers much more in performance! So, regardless of you needing a VPN for gaming on your PC or your mobile phones, these 5 VPN providers (Surfshark, NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and CyberGhost) are the best in the market. You can also test them for yourself using their free trial periods.
Additionally, to avail of the best discounts on VPN services, make sure to check out this VPN deals page!