Best VPN for Gaming

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It may sound strange, but a VPN is an essential piece of kit for a secure, lag-free and uninterrupted gaming experience.

Nowadays anyone can use a VPN to play their favorite games without lag; plus don’t forget a VPN will also help to protect you from identity tracing or DDoS attacks from rivals, while also bypassing geo-restrictions.

Frankly, there are loads of other reasons to use a VPN for gaming too: improve your ping (yes, really), get cheaper game prices, and multi-hop through game servers, to name a few more. All of these will give you access to better match-ups, better games and even allow you to play games that are blocked in your country.

Here at VPN Hound we’ve hand-tested and picked the best VPNs for gaming, including the market leaders NordVPN and Surfshark, as well as other providers that offer versatile functionality and good value for money. With a gaming VPN, you can get ultimate peace of mind and just focus on the game.

So let’s begin.

How do I choose the best gaming VPN?

Several things should always be taken into account when deciding on the top VPN to use for online gaming. The following advice should help you decide:

  • Only use a VPN service that employs AES-256 encryption, the gold standard in secure data transmission.
  • Verify the VPN is compatible with the operating system(s), browser(s), mobile device(s), and other software you use for gaming.
  • Pick a VPN that allows for fast tunnelling protocols, such as WireGuard, to keep lag to a minimum and FPS stable.
  • Price: VPNs can vary in price, so make sure to choose one that fits your budget. However, keep in mind that cheaper VPNs may not have as many features as more expensive ones.
  • Reputation: Look for a VPN with a good reputation in the gaming community. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from other gamers to ensure you’re getting a quality service.
  • Choose a VPN that won’t slow down your gaming experience by looking for one with high connection speeds.
  • A VPN service with a huge number of servers in different locations might reduce ping and let you access better gaming lobbies.
  • Options like SmartDNS, proxy servers, port forwarding, and split tunnelling are useful extras to think about. With a VPN, you may run your own servers while still maintaining your anonymity and protecting your online gaming session.

1. Nord VPN – Best for gaming

NordVPN is the number one choice for gaming, because it is the fastest and most responsive VPN,  out of all the VPNs we’ve reviewed here. If you’re scepitcal, then remember that it isn’t just us aT VPN Hound that think it’s great – generally, other VPN experts agree too.

⚡️ Great speed test scores👎 No free version
🎮 SOCKS5 proxy and P2P servers👎 Limited port forwarding
🔍 Independently audited no-logs policy👎 Some servers may be overcrowded
💰 30-day money-back guarantee👎 Higher price compared to some competitors
🔗 Mesh connections (Meshnet)

My tests revealed that NordVPN is blazingly fast on both domestic and foreign connections, making it an excellent choice for those who need to game from multiple regions.

Download Speeds & Ping

In my experiments, I found that download speeds were reduced by only ~3% when using NordVPN over quite short distances. I lost about 40% of my download speed even though I was connecting from the UK to Australia, which is usually an extremely slow, laggy connection. 40% may sound a lot, but it really isn’t, when compared to other VPNs. And the speed difference between London and New York were only 18% slower than direct.

โญ VPN Hound User Rating:
๐Ÿ“ No logs policy:No logs
๐Ÿ’ฏ Money-back guarantee:30 days
๐Ÿฟ Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV
๐Ÿ’ต Cheapest price:$3.71/month (2-year plan)
๐Ÿ’ฅ Current deal: Get 75% OFF + 3 Months FREE at NordVPN

Limited Offer: โš ๏ธ Get 75% OFF + 3 Months FREE at NordVPN — today only!

Ping is one of the most crucial metrics for me as a gamer when deciding on a VPN. My tests in New York City have revealed that NordVPN’s connections have consistently low ping times, rarely going above 4 milliseconds. This bodes well for gamers who are concerned about latency because it should have minimal impact on their experience. With that kind of ping, you really shouldn’t be getting any sort of lag or buffering.

NordVPN Pricing

There’s more good news. NordVPN is affordably priced at just $3.29 per month for the 2 year plan.

Protocols & Tunneling

To get the least amount of lag when gaming, NordVPN provides a wide variety of fast tunneling methods suited to gaming which you can read more about here. The NordLynx protocol – similar to WireGuard – is unique among these in that it offers lightning-fast transfer rates without sacrificing safety in any way.

Plus, the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, in particular, offer an excellent compromise between speed and security, making them superb picks for MMORPG players. These protocols were developed with the intention of lag-free communication between the VPN and the gaming servers.

By utilizing any of these protocols, NordVPN ensures that your ping remains low while you play too. Quite simply if you want the finest gaming experience possible on your PC, console, or mobile device (and are going to use a VPN to do it), then you should really consider NordVPN above any of the other companies, as they’re leagues ahead.

Locations & Servers

NordVPN boasts an extensive network of over 5,500 servers in 59 countries, which is ideal for gaming. Why? Because this means you can easily connect to a VPN server nearby to your game’s servers, reducing latency and improving overall performance. Additionally, if you’re playing a game that relies on a peer-to-peer connection, NordVPN offers P2P-labeled servers that are nearby to minimize latency.

Unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t offer a port forwarding option, which means you won’t be able to fully optimize your connection – Port forwarding allows you to route your internet traffic through a specific port on your router, which can improve your online gaming experience. It opens up a direct communication channel between your device and the game server, reducing the chances of connection drops or lag issues. This may be a bit of a deal breaker for some gamers.

NordVPN Logo

NordVPN gives you all of the best features without any frustrating limitations. Join Nord now via the FREE TRIAL risk-free with their money-back guarantee!

VPN Hound user rating: 4.9 / 5

  • Fastest speeds around
  • Full streaming + torrenting support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Try NordVPN now ›

Smart DNS explained

NordVPN offers various options for console gamers, such as a Smart DNS service that allows you to re-route your internet traffic directly from your console (you’ll need to find this in the settings to use it). This service unblocks geo-restricted games by redirecting your traffic, although it doesn’t provide full encryption like a VPN does.

Another option for console gamers is to install NordVPN on a router, which fully encrypts your console’s traffic. Meanwhile, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android gamers can use NordVPN’s native apps that come with a range of features, including obfuscation and a kill switch.

Regardless of the platform, NordVPN’s apps support AES-256 encryption and offer a choice of protocols such as WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.

What’s Meshnet?

Connecting to many VPN servers at once is now possible with NordVPN’s innovative Meshnet or ‘mest network’ functionality. By simultaneously connecting to numerous servers, this can strengthen your connection’s safety and boost its throughput too.

To put it simply, it does the same thing as a regular VPN, but within a private network, giving users even more control over their online anonymity and safety. The Mesh network function can be used with a NordVPN account on several devices, although it is currently only accessible through the Windows and macOS desktop programs at the moment.

Apps & Gaming on NordVPN – How Good Is it?

Apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and even router-specific software are all available from NordVPN. These kinds of apps cater specifically to gamers like you, by providing a wide variety of features:

Obfuscation: The NordVPN apps itself features obfuscation technology that aids in evading online censorship such as firewalls, or ISP throttling. This is especially useful for gamers who must play from locations where access is limited or even prohibited.

Similar to the above, the KIll Switch feature in the NordVPN app will prevent your online gaming sessions from revealing your true IP address, in the event that your VPN connection drops. If that happens, the Kill Switch will immediately disconnect you from the internet.

Quick and simple to use, NordVPN’s apps make it simple to connect, switch between servers, and fine-tune other settings for optimal gaming performance. Overall, NordVPN really is the best choice for VPN gaming.

To find out more, read our NordVPN review in full.

2. Surfshark – Great for gamers on a budget

One of the criticisms of our number 1 VPN choice for gaming, NordVPN, is that it’s pricey. But that’s not the case for Surfshark, which is why they’ve been picked as our number 2.


  • Surfshark has a strong no-logs policy
  • Has super-fast speeds and a good ping, with a latency of just ~5ms
  • 24/7 live chat support is available to assist you
  • Surfshark has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free
  • Smart DNS is available for games consoles e.g. PS5


  • Long-distance speeds are slower and could be faster
  • Port forwarding is not supported
  • IPv6 addresses can sometimes leak
  • The kill switch is not enabled by default
🚀 Fast speeds & low ping🐢 Slower long-distance speeds
🎮 Smart DNS for games consoles🚫 No port forwarding
🔒 Zero-logs policy🌐 Sometimes leaks IPv6 addresses
👨‍💻 24/7 live chat support🔫 Kill switch not enabled by default
🔙 30-day money-back period

If you’re looking for the best VPN for gaming, Surfshark is a strong contender and only just missed out on the top spot. It offers a ton of useful services for only $2.30 per month, and its download speeds are on par with the best of the rest too.

โญ VPN Hound User Rating:
๐Ÿ“ No logs policy:No logs
๐Ÿ’ฏ Money-back guarantee:30 days
๐Ÿฟ Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV
๐Ÿ’ต Cheapest price:$2.49/month (24 month plan)
๐Ÿ’ฅ Current deal: Click here for 60% OFF at Surfshark

Limited Offer: โš ๏ธ Click here for 60% OFF at Surfshark — today only!


Surfshark has you more or less covered when it comes to decent gaming latency, with its support for the WireGuard, ShadowSocks, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 tunnelling protocols.

When I tested WireGuard with a few popular gaming platforms like Steam and CoD Warzone, I found that connection & downloads speeds respectively were on average 81% as fast as they were without a VPN. That’s pretty interesting, and nowhere near the usual drop-off.

When connecting to a neighboring server, the latency gains are minimal and not even noticeable to the human eye. VPNs really have come a long way – gone are the days of being kicked because of your VPN lagging the game out.

Other gaming features

Surfshark has some of the easiest apps to use that I’ve ever encountered, and their servers are fast and reliable. There are lots of available servers too: more than 3,200 of them, located in 100+ different countries.

The Whitelister feature, as Surfshark call it, is really just a tunneling function. Regardless of the name, it works well and is available for use on pretty much all popular desktop/mobile devices. Check out also the IP rotator, Location spoofing, and traffic obfuscation tools to conceal your online presence even more. They are included free with all plans.

Surfshark VPN employs AES-256 encryption, the standard in the industry, and does not record user activity. In addition, you can connect an unlimited number of devices at once. Read more about this in our Surfshark review here.

What gaming platforms does Surfshark support?

Surfshark VPN works with a variety of gaming platforms, including Steam, Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch. It also works with online multiplayer games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, and League of Legends.

The best virtual private networks (VPNs) for playing Minecraft generally are considered to be either NordVPN, ExpressVPN, or CyberGhost VPN. The low latency and high speeds provided by these VPNs make them ideal for online gaming.

Locations & Servers

More than 100 countries can be selected when using Surfshark, and in 12 of those countries, users can choose from multiple city locations too (example: United Kingdom > London, or Manchester).

Plus you can change your virtual location to loads of other countries, like the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, France, Germany and so on. Connecting to one of Surfshark’s many P2P servers is highly advised if you’re playing a P2P-based game, though it’s not required.

Surfshark Logo

With a vast network of servers in over 100 countries, Surfshark offers fast connection speeds and the ability to access content from anywhere in the world. Free trial available.

VPN Hound user rating: 4.7 / 5

  • Robust security
  • Full access to Netflix, Hulu and more
  • Affordable plans
  • No-logs policy
Try Surfshark now ›

About Smart DNS

Surfshark offers a Smart DNS service for gaming consoles, which allows you to reroute the traffic of the console itself without the need to install the VPN on a router. This feature is particularly useful for unblocking geo-restricted online games, including regional events or local betas. Additionally, it enables you to spoof your location to unblock US Netflix and HBO Max from your gaming console directly.

What are the drawbacks?

There is a very small chance that your IPv6 address will leak while using Surfshark when gaming (or doing anything online, frankly). IPv6 is an upgraded version of the IP protocol that offers greater address space and more efficient routing than IPv4. However, not all VPN services are IPv6-ready and leaks have occurred in the past; since IPv6 is still very uncommon, this isn’t a pressing issue for most users. If in doubt, you can prevent IPv6 leaks by turning off IPv6 on your device.

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3. ExpressVPN – Pricier, but super-quick

ExpressVPN is a fantastic choice for gamers on all platforms, with dedicated apps for both mobile and PC. The three major gaming consoles (Xbox, PS5, and Switch) support Smart DNS for online play too.

ExpressVPN performed exceptionally well in our gaming testing, with both low ping and great frame rates. This is to be expected frankly, given that ExpressVPN is one of the best ‘premium’ VPNs in existence. The service also allows for P2P traffic, guaranteeing compatibility with even more types of games.


  • Has a dependable kill switch
  • Allows for split tunnelling
  • 5 simultaneous devices/users
  • No-logs kept
  • Add-ons included for free, such as adware detector


  • Pricey (use a coupon!)
  • No obfuscated servers

Ping & Speeds

In our testing, and in comparison to other popular gaming VPNs, ExpressVPN’s ping time was consistently under 3ms.

To achieve such low ping times, the VPN makes use of the Lightway protocol and a global infrastructure of ~3000 servers located in almost 100 different countries. Connecting to a VPN server that’s in close proximity to the game servers is really important if you want the fastest speeds; thankfully it’s easily made possible by ExpressVPN’s huge network!

โญ VPN Hound User Rating:
๐Ÿ“ No logs policy:No logs
๐Ÿ’ฏ Money-back guarantee:30 days
๐Ÿฟ Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV
๐Ÿ’ต Cheapest price:$6.67/month (12 month plan)
๐Ÿ’ฅ Current deal: Sign up Now for 60% OFF at ExpressVPN

Limited Offer: โš ๏ธ Sign up Now for 60% OFF at ExpressVPN — today only!

With its extensive server network, dedicated apps for both mobile and PC gamers, and Smart DNS support for gaming consoles like Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch, ExpressVPN is the best VPN service for gamers of any platform.

Express is able to effectively circumvent online censorship, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and round-the-clock live customer support – what’s not to love? Also, it’s the most reliable virtual private network (VPN) for getting around India’s restriction on PUBG Mobile, plus a whole host of other restrictions. In short, ExpressVPN gets around blocks & bans like nobody’s business.

Avid readers will know that we’re big fans of ExpressVPN here at VPN Hound – read our review in full.

ExpressVPN Logo

ExpressVPN is a super-fast, trustworthy VPN service with a wide range of features and exceptional customer care. Try now with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee!

VPN Hound user rating: 4.8 / 5

  • Ultra-fast VPN speeds
  • Best-in-class streaming
  • 24/7 customer support
Try ExpressVPN now ›

Tunneling & Protocols

ExpressVPN offers three protocols: Lightway, IKEv2, and OpenVPN.

The quickest protocol is Lightway: our testing showed an average speed retention rate of 87%, which is respectable. If you’re connected to a distant server and need to move data around quickly, the IKEv2 protocol is a great option to try instead though – but generally, sticking with Lightway is the best option.

ExpressVPN’s split tunnelling is an innovative feature ideal for gamers; this function lets you select which apps or websites should go over the VPN encrypted connection – and which should not. To achieve the greatest potential performance when online gaming, I suggest you restrict the VPN tunnel to only carry your gaming traffic. ExpressVPN’s mobile app makes split tunnelling simple to set up and flexible enough to use and turn off when needed.


So what are the negatives?

Sadly, this all comes at a price. Whether you are going to use ExpressVPN for gaming or for streaming, it doesn’t matter – the costs are the same.

Summary: Top 3 VPNs for gaming

🌍 Servers5500+3200+3000+
⚡ ProtocolsNordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2OpenVPN, IKEv2Lightway, IKEv2, OpenVPN
🎮 Gaming FeaturesSplit tunneling, Smart DNSSplit tunneling, Camouflage Mode, Smart DNSSplit tunneling, Smart DNS
💰 PriceStarting at $3.29/monthStarting at $2.49/monthStarting at $6.67/month
🔄 Refund Policy30-days30-days30-days
🤝 Simultaneous ConnectionsUp to 6 devicesUnlimited devicesUp to 5 devices

So that rounds out our top 3 VPNs for gaming review, but there’s more below if you’ve not found the one you need yet. Here’s the summary so far:

You’ll likely always find a server located close to your game’s server with NordVPN’s large 5500+ server network spread across 60 countries. Nord’s dependable, quick connections come from its use of the NordLynx, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols respectively. In addition, it has a kill switch, a no-logs policy, split tunnelling, and Smart DNS for consoles. Support is available via email and live chat around the clock, and you may link up to 6 devices to a single account. You can use NordVPN risk-free for 30 days, and it only costs from $3.29 per month to continue with it.

When compared to NordVPN, Surfshark’s 3200+ servers in 65 countries is obviously less impressive, yet it still offers good global coverage. Split tunnelling, smart DNS for consoles, limitless connections, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch are just some of the features that Surfshark provides. Live chat and email are also available around the clock for customer service. Surfshark has a monthly price of $2.49 and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN is the quickest of the three VPNs, with over 3000 servers in 94 different countries. ExpressVPN provides dependable and quick connections with its Lightway, IKEv2, and OpenVPN protocols. It also includes split tunnelling, console-specific smart DNS, up to five simultaneous connections, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. Live chat and email are also available around the clock for customer service. ExpressVPN is available for a monthly fee of $6.67 and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • When it comes to features like a huge server network, dependable protocols, split tunnelling, and smart DNS for gaming consoles, NordVPN is your best bet.
  • If you’re a gamer and you want unlimited connections, dependable protocols, split tunnelling, and smart DNS for consoles, Surfshark is the most cost-effective solution.
  • With dependable protocols, split tunnelling, and smart DNS for consoles, ExpressVPN is the perfect choice for gamers that value speed and security equally.

4. PureVPN

โญ VPN Hound User Rating:
๐Ÿ“ No logs policy:No logs
๐Ÿ’ฏ Money-back guarantee:31 days
๐Ÿฟ Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV
๐Ÿ’ต Cheapest price:$2.08/month (24 month plan)
๐Ÿ’ฅ Current deal: Click here for 81% OFF at PureVPN

Limited Offer: โš ๏ธ Click here for 81% OFF at PureVPN — today only!

If you’re a gamer who needs access to a wide variety of servers in different locations but don’t want to break the bank, PureVPN is the VPN for you. Similar in many ways to Surfshark, this VPN service, – which has over 6,500 servers in 78 countries and costs as little as $2.08 a month, – is optimized to provide fast connections.

PureVPN employs the secure, fast WireGuard protocol by default. When tested against competitors like Surfshark, this VPN company kept only about 77% of initial connection speeds on average.

The VPN service is great for gamers because it offers a large variety of P2P-compatible servers. The programmes’ streamlined design makes switching between servers and safeguards a breeze.

Port forwarding is supported by PureVPN, making it ideal for hosting game servers. Only Android and Windows users will have access to the split tunnelling feature. Those who want to use a VPN for mobile games can take advantage of this functionality by restricting their VPN usage to a single gaming app, which is pretty neat.

Pros 🎮Cons 🚫
Affordable pricingNo split tunneling on Mac and iOS clients
Huge server network of over 6,500 servers in 78 countriesSpeed retention rates are not as high as some other gaming VPNs
Supports port forwardingThe interface could be more user-friendly :/
Strong encryption with AES 256-bit algorithmSome users have reported connection issues with certain servers
31-day money-back guarantee2017 controversy regarding logging policies

PureVPN uses a 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, the standard for the VPN market, so nothing fancy here – but it’s good that they’re doing it. Why? Because the algorithm is so secure that it is virtually difficult to decipher without its own secret key. The VPN service undergoes regular audits to guarantee it continues to meet or exceed industry requirements for user anonymity.

But all isn’t rosey – in 2017, there was a notable data-logging incident involving the FBI that may put off the more privacy-aware or paranoid folk. Read our PureVPN review for more information.

5. Windscribe – Best FREE VPN For Gaming

Windscribe is a decent free (or freemium) VPN for gaming, due to its strong encryption and P2P support… and of course, it is free. The strong feature-set means you can enjoy online gaming without any interruptions.

With its AES-256 encryption, you can rest assured that your gaming traffic is secure  – and Windscribe offers surprisingly fast speeds despite being a free VPN, making it a great choice for gamers on a budget.

While it’s true that Windscribe’s server network is smaller than some other VPNs, it still offers servers in 11 countries. Unfortunately, Windscribe does not offer a Smart DNS feature, which could be a disadvantage for gamers who need to access geo-restricted gaming content, and that’s why we’ve put it this far down the list.

โญ VPN Hound User Rating:
๐Ÿ“ No logs policy:No logs
๐Ÿ’ฏ Money-back guarantee:30 days
๐Ÿฟ Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV
๐Ÿ’ต Cheapest price:$2.08/month (24 month plan)
๐Ÿ’ฅ Current deal: Click here for 81% OFF at Windscribe

Limited Offer: โš ๏ธ Click here for 81% OFF at Windscribe — today only!

Although the free edition of Windscribe isn’t as quick as the Premium version (nor other premium gaming VPNs like ExpressVPN), it still fares well in terms of low ping times for online gaming.

In all of the tests we did here at VPN Hound, the average ping time was under 6ms. Unfortunately, the average download speed is just 44 Mbps on a 100 Mbps local connection, which is a loss of over 50%… The speed reduction in the Premium version is, however, much better – hovering around 8%. While downloading may take longer using Windscribe Free, you can’t expect too much given that you’re not paying for it.

Read our guide to the best Free VPNs here.

So all of this begs the question: why would anyone use the Free version of Windscribe? Well, not everyone will want to pay before being able to try out a VPN, so Windscribe are a good way to test the waters. However if you’re massively into gaming then you’ll definitely want to upgrade to the Premium version as the Free one just doesn’t cut it.

Windscribe FreeWindscribe Premium
💰 PriceFree!Starts at $4.08/month
⚡ SpeedSlower speedsFaster speeds
🌍 ServersLimited servers (11)Extensive server network
🔒 EncryptionAES-256 encryptionAES-256 encryption
🎮 P2P supportYesYes
🕵️‍♂️ No-logs policyYesYes
🌐 Smart DNSNoYes
🌎 Countries1163+
📈 PerformanceAverageGreat
🆓 Free versionYesNo
💬 SupportEmail & online resources only24/7 live chat and email support

Free vs paid VPNs: which is better for gaming?

Honestly? Usually paid.

While free VPNs are an option for short-term use, you shouldn’t really rely on them for gaming for any length of time. This is mainly because of the privacy indications: most free VPNs monetize their apps by showing users ads or selling your private data to third parties. In addition, free services may have lower data caps and fewer features than their premium counterparts. Plus, free VPNs typically have ping times that are unsuitable for gaming – though not all of them do.

It’s worth pointing out that that ‘freemium’ VPNs like Windscribe, or others like Atlas VPN & Proton VPN provide free versions in addition to paying subscriptions. These are VPNs that don’t keep logs and provide premium plans with more functionality if you need them, but it’s not mandatory to upgrade.

But, I do strongly advise trying out paid gaming VPNs if you’re serious about getting the most out of your gaming experience. They’re quicker, more secure, and have more features than the competition. The leading VPN companies, including NordVPN and Surfshark, provide risk-free trials of their services followed by 30-day money-back guarantees. ๐Ÿ™‚

What other VPNs did you test?

As part of our ‘top gaming VPN’ review we also look into several other VPN companies and while they have a few drawbacks, they’re also pretty decent.

Proton VPN – With a vast server network, a free version, and gaming-friendly features like VPN Accelerator and split tunneling, Proton VPN is an excellent choice for online gamers. Owned by the same company as Proton Mail -it uses the efficient WireGuard protocol, which is able to maintain speeds at around ~74% of the original. It may not have the largest fleet of servers, but its more than 1,800 servers in 66 countries are more than sufficient. The app’s split tunneling function affords users greater freedom of expression. In sum, Proton VPN is an excellent pick for gamers in need of premium functionality at an affordable price.

โญ VPN Hound User Rating:
๐Ÿ“ No logs policy:No logs
๐Ÿ’ฏ Money-back guarantee:30 days
๐Ÿฟ Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV
๐Ÿ’ต Cheapest price:$4.20/month (From)
๐Ÿ’ฅ Current deal: Click here for 85% OFF at Proton VPN

Limited Offer: โš ๏ธ Click here for 85% OFF at Proton VPN — today only!

PrivateVPN – optimized for bypassing geo-restrictions, making it an excellent choice for gamers looking to access region-locked games. It also offers features such as port forwarding and is optimized for torrenting.

โญ VPN Hound User Rating:
๐Ÿ“ No logs policy:No logs
๐Ÿ’ฏ Money-back guarantee:30 days
๐Ÿฟ Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, YouTube TV
๐Ÿ’ต Cheapest price:$2.00/month (From)
๐Ÿ’ฅ Current deal: Click here for 85% OFF at PrivateVPN

Limited Offer: โš ๏ธ Click here for 85% OFF at PrivateVPN — today only!

Why should I use a VPN for gaming?

Using a virtual private network or VPN for gaming can be beneficial in a number of ways. Jus a few examples:

  1. Helps you to connect to gaming servers more quickly and with less lag by hiding your online activity. It is possible to have quicker connection speeds and lower ping times by connecting to a VPN server that is physically close to the game server.
  2. Keeps your gaming activity private. It can hide your IP address and online activities from your Internet service provider (ISP), the game’s creators, and other players.
  3. Bypassing regional restrictions is necessary for games that are either not available in your country or include content that is. Of course, VPNs allow you to get around geographical limitations put in place by streaming services, websites or even apps.
  4. Be safe from distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks if you’re a competitive player – these are more rife than you think. By hiding your IP address, a VPN can make it more difficult for hackers to identify you and launch an attack.

In addition, some online game marketplaces use region-based price discrimination, which while apparently completely legal(!), means that you might be able to find a cheaper price for games by using a VPN.

Finally, some VPNs also offer handy features which allow you to connect to a LAN remotely; great for gaming with friends who are in different countries, for example. This means you can play your favorite games with your mates regardless of where they are in the world, and it can make for some great online gaming sessions, believe me.

What are the top server locations for VPN gaming?

When deciding where to connect to a VPN server for the greatest gaming experience, it’s important to think about where the game’s dedicated servers are located. The lower the latency, the better the gaming experience. Why? Because in a nutshel, the closer the VPN server is physically located to the game’s dedicated server, the better.

Interestingly, our research shows that some VPN server locations offer superior performance in multiplayer online games including popular games like DOTA, Fortnite, DoA 2, Overwatch 2, Warzone, Apex Legends, CS:GO, Minecraft, Elden Ring, Lost Ark, Genshin Impact Valorant, and even League of Legends.

Players in Netherlands, Luxembourg, France (Paris), and UK (London), for example, will have the best performance when connecting to servers in those cities. It sounds obvious, but many players don’t think to try it.

How does VPN Hound test gaming VPNs?

In order to test for the best VPNs for gaming, we focus on several key factors. These consist of testing for low ping times on local connections, checking download and upload speeds, the availability of Smart DNS for console gaming, a large and diverse server network, support for P2P traffic and port forwarding, a minimal logging policy, no leaks or connection issues, hand-testing and downloading a VPN’s apps for most of the major platforms, as well as checking for router compatibility. By testing ALL these factors, we can ensure that the VPNs we recommend provide the best possible gaming experience.

Here at VPN Hound, you may have noticed that we take VPN research a bit... well, seriously.

All our VPN service tests are conducted as fairly & honestly as possible. Period.

That's quite a bold claim, but we're proud of the things that make us different. Our methodology sets us apart from most other VPN review websites because it's transparent and fair. Over the years we've hand-tested countless VPNs and proxies. Many of them have come and gone, but we're still here. Learn more about our review process.

Does a VPN increase or decrease ping?

High latency and lag can inevitably result from using a VPN with a gaming server located far away from your actual location, but if you choose wisely then it’s entirely plausible that a VPN can reduce your ping/latency too.

When weighing up the best VPN for gaming, it’s crucial to think about things like connection speed, security, and server spread. Reducing ping and improving your gaming experience are both possible with a VPN, somwhat surprisingly, especially one with high bandwidth and servers designed for gaming. For example, ExpressVPN has gained a reputation for its lightning-fast download and upload speeds, as well as its many gaming-optimized servers.

Going one step further, some VPN providers even offer specialized gaming features like dedicated gaming IPs, which can help with stability and reduce ping. Other features like split tunneling and port forwarding can also help optimize your gaming traffic and make sure it’s not competing with other internet traffic.

PureVPN and TorGuard are two VPN services that dish out dedicated gaming IPs – though not always for free. As PureVPN provides dedicated IPs from a variety of countries, players can select the one that best suits their requirements. TorGuard, on the other hand, provides dedicated IPs for both home and business use, giving customers more options for their service.

Which protocol is best for gaming?

Clearly, the speed of your VPN connection can vary hugely, depending on the protocol you pick. When it comes to gaming, latency and performance, VPN services often offer a variety of protocols that may be manually modified.

Using multiplayer games like Fortnite, Overwatch, and CS: GO, This Gen Gaming recently conducted over 20 speed tests across multiple VPN providers and protocols. Even while connecting to distant servers, the findings indicated that WireGuard performed the best, with negligible speed drops and no discernible lag in-game.

tl;dr, use WireGuard.

Don’t VPNs impact on speed?

The amount of encryption in use can have a major effect on a VPN’s performance when playing games. Using a VPN encrypts your data and make it unreadable if it is intercepted. There may be a little delay in data delivery and additional processing time is required.

AES-256, the most popular VPN encryption, is often regarded as very secure but can slightly slow down your connection. As this level of encryption can increase latency, it’s possible it’s not necessary for gaming. Hence, in order to lessen the impact on performance while still offering appropriate security, several VPNs offer less secure encryption alternatives like AES-128.

It’s worth noting that there’s a trade-off between security and speed and performance when using lower encryption settings. Gamers should weigh the tradeoffs between security and connection speed while deciding on a VPN.

If you’re looking for a VPN that offers AES-128 encryption, some additional VPN companies to check out are:

  • Private Internet Access (PIA)
  • IPVanish
  • VyprVPN

What about dedicated IPs for gaming?

Dedicated IP addresses are an extra feature offered by some VPNs that can prove to be quite useful for online gaming. When a user has a dedicated IP address, they have been given their own own, private IP address – more information here.

As a dedicated IP address provides a more constant and reliable connection, generally speaking, it can help lower latency and boost performance while gaming. This is due to the fact that the user isnt sharing the IP address with anybody else, which can lead to connection quality swings or drop-outs (depending on what other people are doing with their connections!).

VPN providers like PureVPN, NordVPN, and CyberGhost VPN all supply dedicated IPs if you need them. Here at VPN Hound, we recommend Dedicated IPs for professional gamers in particular. Though be warned, they’re not free and require an additional monthly payment of around $5.00.

How to optimize your VPN settings for gaming performance

  1. Choose the appropriate VPN protocol, with WireGuard being the best option for gaming, as previously discussed. But, you should also try out the different protocols your VPN service offers to determine if one of them is more suitable for your needs.
  2. Closer VPN server’s location (virtual or physical) is to your own location = better. A VPN service’s suggested server list for online gaming is a good resource for users who aren’t sure which server to connect to. For example, you can check out Nord’s tool here.
  3. To decide which apps or websites should utilize the VPN  connetion, and which should use your regular ISP connection, you can employ a feature called split tunneling. You can improve performance and decrease latency by directing only your gaming traffic over it, and see which works best.
  4. Turn on port forwarding to improve your online gaming experience and decrease the amount of time spent waiting for connections. Nevertheless, port forwarding is not supported by all VPNs, so it’s important to double-check with your service provider.
  5. Some VPNs have other functions like ad blocking, virus protection, and more, but you can disable those services if you don’t need them. These additions may improve your browsing experience in general, but they may hinder your ability to play games. So try turning them off.

Frequently Asked Questions for Best Gaming VPNs

A VPN for gaming can help you reduce lag caused by ISP throttling, improve your gaming experience, and even get better deals by connecting to servers in different regions

While you can use a free VPN for gaming, we don't recommend it. Free VPNs often have slow speeds, fewer features, and may collect and sell user data to third parties.

Look for a gaming VPN with low ping, fast download and upload speeds, a large server network, P2P and port forwarding support, a minimal logging policy, no leaks or connection issues, and native apps for major platforms and router compatibility.

How do I choose the best gaming VPN?

Consider factors such as speed, server network, security, and customer support when choosing the best gaming VPN. Look for VPNs that offer free trials or money-back guarantees to try them out before committing to a paid plan.

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