Best VPN for Gaming – [Low Latency and Fast Speeds]

Speed is king when it comes to VPNs specifically used for gaming. Gamers generally have little tolerance for lag and ping time, meaning that the best VPN for gaming needs to offer superior performance capabilities.

The VPN services that we will mention in this guide will not only protect the gamer’s privacy but also fix problems with lagging.

In this guide, we’ll cover the purpose of VPNs, the benefits of using a VPN while gaming, and some of the best options available on the market today.

Our list covers the following VPN services:

  • NordVPN
  • CyberGhost
  • Surfshark
  • ExpressVPN
  • IPVanish

Why Do Gamers Need VPN Services?

A gamer playing a game on a PC

Just like everyone else, gamers are online consumers first and gamers second. Everyone needs to protect their privacy and online anonymity. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a very light and powerful online tool for gamers to secure their internet connection.

However, the problem with VPN services is that they are purpose-specific. Even if a gamer signs up for the best VPN service in the world, it can still manage to interfere with their internet connectivity to the extent that it causes extreme lagging in the game.

And if there is one thing that gamers hate, it’s lag. It makes playing video games unbearable.

The use of VPNs among gamers is on the rise. According to one survey, 15% of all gamers would at least use a VPN service for their gaming needs or are already using a VPN for PC gaming.

However, a VPN may not solve all of the gamer’s problems. Some video games may even go as far as blocking the gamer just because they used a VPN service.

a girl gaming

No one can fully advise any gamer on every problem they may face from installing and using a VPN service while gaming. However, we can break down all the major issues and then offer up some real solutions to problems that will keep players in the game while using a VPN service.

This will make sure that players get to keep gaming while VPNs protect their privacy and prevent anyone from stealing their data while they enjoy their last headshot in Fortnite or Call of Duty.

What Is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

Whenever an online consumer and/or gamer switches on a VPN service, the VPN service creates a tunnel. The service then encrypts that tunnel to protect user data.

This tunnel solely exists between the gamer’s computer and a VPN server that the VPN company operates independently.

The gamer’s data then has to travel through the encrypted tunnel. And when it does that, it closes the door for any hackers, internet service providers, network administrators, surveillance agencies or any other kind of third-party that would be monitoring the user’s network. Hence, the VPN service is able to protect the gamer’s privacy and data from being exposed.

In the United States, internet service providers are legally allowed to collect customers’ data and sell that anonymized metadata to advertisers or other third-parties. And yes, gamers are just one type of their overall customer base.

Fortunately, a VPN service provider can prevent your ISP from collecting your data. That way, when the gamer’s data reaches the VPN server which is located in the city/region/country that they selected, it breaks free of any connection to any data that could be traced back to the gamer. After that, their data exits the tunnel and enters the public internet.

Because of this, their data appears to anyone monitoring the network as if it was sourced from that specific VPN server rather than the gamer’s computer.

So anyone trying to monitor their activity and traffic would actually see nothing but an IP address. Only this time, instead of this IP address belonging to the gamer, this IP address would belong to the VPN server that they had connected to beforehand. Ultimately, the gamer’s computer remains hidden and protected.

Hiding the IP address of a given computer is very important. Hackers and spying agencies who are looking to track a specific target gamer have all the opportunity in the world to make use of IP addresses in order to correlate the behaviors and activities of online consumers across the infinite world of the internet.

Note:

There are some VPN services on the market today that offer gamers specific tools to cycle their apparent computer IP address after a specific amount of time has passed. This provides gamers with even more security.

Apart from gamers, political activists and journalists have made use of VPN services for ages now in order to successfully evade various types of government censorship programs designed to curtail the freedom of the internet. Whistleblowers and political dissidents in oppressive regimes also use VPNs to communicate with journalists and other members of the outside world.

All the user has to do is select a VPN server that’s located outside of a region that is governed by a regime that imposes censorship to control the flow of information, and then browse the online world as if they’re living in a place that has none of the restrictions which are present in their original location. With a VPN, citizens can access news and information beyond the firewall or barrier that their government has set up to prevent that information from being seen or heard.

person winning at video games

Taking advantage of the same token, gamers and online consumers can make use of a VPN service to spoof their online location as well. Again, all they have to do is choose a VPN server that’s present outside of their home country. Once they do that, it would appear as if they are traveling through the world of the internet from the location of the VPN server that they’ve connected to.

Such a unique location spoofing feature is indeed very handy for a number of reasons. One of the strongest benefits is that you can use a VPN to access video content that has geo-restrictions placed on it to stop visitors from certain countries watching that content.

For example, the BBC offers users free video content, but not everyone can access it. The content has geo-restrictions that blocks users of certain countries from watching it. Anyone who is not living in the United Kingdom cannot watch some BBC content. However, if a user has access to a VPN service and they live outside the U.K., then all they have to do is connect to a U.K.-based VPN server in order to unlock the content in their location.

This is important:

We recommend that users should always check if they are breaking any laws by using a VPN service. Users should also pay attention to the fact that by using a VPN service, they may be breaking the terms of the service contract with the streaming service. Only after they check all this information should the user go ahead and use a VPN service.

Another recent use of VPN services is to prevent network throttling from ISPs. With the repeal of net neutrality in 2018, ISPs are now allowed to throttle customers’ internet traffic if they visit certain websites or online services. But with VPNs, the user can tunnel their data directly past their internet service provider so that the ISP is unable to charge them for specific online services and apps or even push them into a slow lane when they try to access those websites and services.

Fortunately, in the newly deregulated internet space, Virtual Private Networks offer a vehicle to bypass internet throttling from your ISP. While doing that, they will also protect your data from being exposed to the outside world.

Anyone can use a VPN service, regardless of their level of tech knowledge or expertise. The best VPNs are not too expensive, typically ranging from $3 to $10 per month—a small price to pay for protecting your security and privacy online.

Nothing Is Invulnerable. Everything Has a Weak Spot

As we discussed above, a VPN service is indeed a very powerful online tool. But of course, nothing is all-powerful and it is not immune to problems. Readers should understand that when their data exists on any given VPN server, the data no longer can count on the protection of the VPN-provided encryption.

If the user has not taken proper precautions such as only connecting to secure HTTPS websites, then someone with enough knowledge could intercept that data. Even though a VPN service is great at encryption and location-spoofing, it doesn’t offer users the same advanced level of online anonymization tools that something like Tor does.

A group of gamers gaming on smartphones

For the end-user, this means that it becomes easier for a hacker to determine their original IP address. Once a hacker or any other actor knows that, they can know the user’s real location.

This can happen even when the user is utilizing the services of a VPN or Tor. But the chances of that happening when the user has connected to a VPN service or the Tor network is much, much lower when compared to using no protection at all.

Ultimately, as far as cybersecurity is concerned, there is no perfect or magical tool. Nothing can make any user truly and absolutely safe or secure. If hackers and cybercriminals have enough resources, knowledge, and determination to target a specific user, and if that attacker is willing to put in the time and resources required, then there is a high chance that they will find some success.

So what’s the use of a VPN service then? The good news is that a VPN service can make that entire process very hard on the hacker.

VPN services can also protect the user’s personal information and data from mass surveillance programs and cyberattacks that sweep them up.

Cyberattacks are on the rise globally, so it is a good idea to have protection at all times. If you use a VPN service, at least, hackers won’t see you as the proverbial low-hanging (digital) fruit. If they’re seeking targets that can provide them with the maximum amount of leverage for the least amount of resources and time, they will usually try to go after people who are not protecting themselves properly.

We are aware of the fact that some VPN services now make claims that they have the tools necessary to protect users against phishing sites and malware attacks. However, VPN services simply cannot provide the same amount of protection as any given standalone dedicated antivirus application or software.

The other thing is, even if the user signs up for the most powerful VPN service in the world, it would still not be able to act as a useful and efficient password manager. So VPN services don’t really do much to protect the user’s online accounts.

Pro Tip:

As such, you need an antivirus and a VPN to protect your network connection and your online accounts and passwords.

Preparing for online security is like preparing for winter: You should do it in layers.

Will VPNs Impact Lag and Speed?

Here at Security Gladiators, we always want to provide users with both the good and the bad points of any given VPN service. That way, readers have enough information to make a sensible and informed decision.

There is a certain level of trust that a VPN service must establish with the community if it wants to survive in a competitive environment. Judging whether a VPN service is trustworthy or not is far from easy. And it becomes significantly more complicated when you’re looking to use a VPN service for gaming.

person gaming in an internet cafe

Gaming requires a very specific set of internet connection conditions. And if those conditions are not met, it makes for a very poor user experience. This is why gamers and general online consumers might be concerned about signing up for VPN services that would negatively impact their internet connection.

This concern makes sense because of the way VPN services usually work. Routing a user’s internet traffic through a VPN server is bound to add that extra physical distance between where the data is and where it wants to end up.

Also, using a VPN service not only increases the distance the data has to travel but it also increases the number of machines that are involved in the process.

In other words, with a VPN service, there are more machines between the user and whatever the user wants to access on the internet.

This holds true for gaming even more so than any other activity. The process of gaming requires your computer to have heavy-duty capabilities to handle advanced processing. That’s why when we test VPN services, we make sure that we have a good sense of the impact of that VPN service.

To do that, we look at the difference between the performance of a given internet connection with a VPN service and without a VPN service. This difference is key. A good way to further improve one’s results is to perform multiple tests rather than just a single one.

One of the best tools to use for testing is the Ookla speed test. Click here to access that tool.

Values are an important part of the testing process. You should discard the lowest and the highest scores, then average what is left of the data. After that, you can calculate the percentage difference between VPN and non-VPN internet connections. Then repeat that process at least two times:

  1. For the first time, use the Ookla speed test tool on a VPN server that is located in a nearby location. In order to get the best speeds, one has to choose a test server and a VPN server that are located close to each other.
  2. In order to compensate for this first test, the second test should involve the user selecting an Ookla speed test server that is located in a place like Alaska and choosing a VPN server which is located in Australia. The second test’s purpose is to look at the way a VPN performs when the user has connected to a server that is physically far away.

VPN services that can perform at their best even through extremely long distances are the ones that make it to the top of our list of the best VPN services.

A team of gamers playing competitively

One other thing that users need to keep in mind is that such an experiment to determine how fast or slow a given VPN service is nothing more than a snapshot test. It is not the final word on a given VPN service’s strengths or weaknesses. In order to have a comprehensive result on any network performance, one would have to perform a very extensive experiment that might involve traveling across countries and regions to gather up speed test results from different locations, networks and times.

So what does this mean for you, the reader? Essentially, you should take speed test results with a slight grain of salt, understanding that their mileage will vary.

With that said, our research shows that as far as download speed percentage change goes, these are the best VPNs for gaming. This list is in order of which is the best when it comes to NOT affecting download speeds.

  1. TorGuard VPN (the best)
  2. IPVanish
  3. NordVPN
  4. Private Internet Access VPN
  5. CyberGhost VPN
  6. Hide My Ass VPN
  7. Golden Frog
  8. VyprVPN
  9. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
  10. TunnelBear VPN (the worst)

In terms of the best VPN for gaming in order of NOT affecting upload speeds, the list changes:

  1. IPVanish (the best)
  2. TorGuard VPN
  3. NordVPN
  4. Hide My Ass
  5. Private Internet Access
  6. CyberGhost VPN
  7. TunnelBear
  8. VyprVPN
  9. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited (the worst)

When it comes to the best gaming VPNs that do NOT affect latency rates, the list again changes:

  1. TorGuard VPN (the best)
  2. NordVPN
  3. Hide My Ass
  4. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
  5. Private Internet Access
  6. VyprVPN
  7. CyberGhost
  8. IPVanish
  9. TunnelBear (the worst)

Of course, just because a gaming privacy service is not affecting download/upload speed doesn’t mean it is the best service. There are lots of other factors to consider. We’ll cover those in the upcoming sections.

As you can see, the end result changes if we adjust the yardstick of ranking best VPNs for gaming. Generally speaking though, the VPN results are pretty much what anyone would expect.

Our research also shows that when the user has connected to a VPN server that is close by, then most VPN services manage to cause a perceptible increase in latency rates. But these same VPN services don’t affect download and upload speeds that much.

However, over extremely long distances, the situation changes. This is where our research shows that VPN services actually decreased download and upload speed by significant margins.

person gaming on a laptop

Gamers give a lot of weight to latency rates because they don’t want their experience to be interrupted. At the same time, the average user who only wants protection while browsing, shopping or working online couldn’t care less about latency rates.

Even within the gaming community, the demands of a lower latency rate changes. For example, in fighting games, even a margin of a split second can make a huge difference in the outcome of a given match. That isn’t necessarily true for strategy and/or non-competitive multiplayer games.

Above, we have listed the VPN services that we think cater best to gamers with a requirement for low latency rates. Note that our research shows that VPN services such as TorGuard actually reduce latency rates instead of increasing it.

Although, it is entirely possible that TorGuard VPN might have connected to a VPN server that could be very close to a given user’s service. In other words, we don’t think an average online consumer should expect TorGuard to actually decrease the latency rate.

Note:

For all intents and purposes, we think that everyone should expect VPN services to increase their latency rates. As mentioned before, it can be difficult to reliably measure any network’s actual speed in terms of percentages/ratios after the introduction of a VPN service. The best that anyone can do is try and control as many environmental variables as possible.

Even then, our research shows that one should not consider any speed test results as conclusive evidence that a given VPN service is good or bad overall. As we covered above, speed test results should be considered as nothing but a snapshot. And it should only be used to, at the max, compare two services.

With that out of the way, our research shows that TorGuard is the fastest VPN. This means that it would impact a given user’s internet speed the least.

What About the Best Free VPN for Gaming?

The best VPN for gaming will likely cost you money.

Pro Tip:

If you want a gaming VPN that will protect your privacy without sacrificing your gameplay experience, we recommend subscribing to a paid service that will provide you a higher quality of experience than a free VPN could ever offer.

With that said, it is possible to sign up for a VPN for gaming, free of charge. If you’re looking for the best free gaming VPN apps on the market that don’t charge users anything for their service, then there are hybrid VPNs such as TunnelBear. These services offer users both a paid and a free VPN service. TunnelBear offers the same service to everyone. However, it restricts the bandwidth usage on a monthly/daily/weekly basis for free users.

There is also AnchorFree Hotspot Shield. As a VPN service, it goes in the complete opposite direction to the majority of VPNs for games. It allows users to browse the internet securely and with zero data limits. But it requires the user to make use of a web browser plug-in that Hotspot Shield has developed itself.

On the other hand, we would like to inform users that even paying for premium VPN services is not going to break their bank. Consider this: The average price that gamers may have to pay for a monthly premium VPN subscription packages comes to around $10 per month, with some service providers that charge more or less. This is the same monthly price you would pay for a subscription to a popular streaming service like Netflix or Hulu.

VPN services usually offer potential customers lots of discount opportunities. Generally speaking, the longer the subscription period, the greater the discount. We usually like VPN services that offer users multiple subscription plans.

Another indicator of a good VPN service is the number of packages it offers to its potential customers.

Good VPN services tend to offer users packages that allow for up to five simultaneous connections per account, meaning that with just one subscription package, the user has the option of protecting five of their internet-enabled devices. Gamers who are looking for VPN services that support connections for fewer than three to five devices per account should probably expect big discounts from them.

That is the only way to balance out the low number of simultaneous connections. Apart from that, gamers should give proper attention to the terms of service documents. Reading reviews of different VPN services can also help in choosing the best VPN for gaming.

Pro Tip:

We usually recommend that users should stay away from VPN services that have the tendency to limit subscription packages with just one or two simultaneous devices for one account.

The best scenario is to have a single subscription package covering all of your internet-enabled devices, whether it’s a desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet or smart TV. Modern VPN services have dedicated VPN clients for all the major operating systems, including iPhone, Android, Windows and macOS.

The best VPN service would be one that offers gamers a dedicated VPN client for each of their internet-enabled devices. With that said, it’s worth acknowledging that not every internet-enabled device has the ability to run a VPN client. For example, smart home appliances or other IoT (Internet of Things) applications/devices simply don’t run VPNs.

Lots of handheld gaming systems also do not cater to VPN users. Video consoles that connect to TV sets also do not work with many VPNs. However, with some platforms, the settings for the VPN services are buried deep into different menus and submenus. It depends on the type of console or handheld gaming system you use.

Once the user has found the correct menu, the option of configuring a VPN is fairly straightforward to understand.

This is important:

If you want to install a VPN on one of those devices, then we recommend that you follow the instructions that came with the VPN and/or the console/device on how to configure a VPN service manually. Usually, this information is available on a VPN company’s website or on the website of the device manufacturer/developer.

So what to do about all the other devices that are collectively called the Internet of Things? For IoT devices, the gamer has to configure their router to enable VPN protection. This means that all of the internet traffic from all of the devices connected to your home network router can all have VPN protection. Generally speaking, all internet-enabled devices would have automatically connected to the user’s home network.

A lot of companies that offer a VPN for games have noted the trend of users installing VPNs on their router. That’s why they’ve started to offer users instructions on the best way to go about installing VPN apps on routers manually.

However, some of the best VPN service providers on the market today offer users a brand-name Wi-Fi router that comes pre-installed with the company’s VPN software. That way, there’s no need for the user to configure anything on their own.

There are many other things that gamers, as well as online consumers, need to take into account when shopping around for a decent VPN subscription package.

The best of the best VPN services offer users secure and modern VPN protocols in order to protect their connection.

Here at Security Gladiators, the VPN protocol that we prefer is easily the OpenVPN protocol because it is fast, open-source and highly respected among the cybersecurity community. Over the years, OpenVPN has been examined and audited very closely for any potential security flaws. Most top VPN clients offer support for the OpenVPN protocol.

Pro Tip:

When shopping for a VPN service, it’s a good practice to look at the number of servers and the location of those servers that a given VPN company is offering. A large pool of servers across many different locations around the globe means faster performance and a lot more flexibility for the user.

Should I Trust My VPN?

No one can truly answer the question of whether you should trust your VPN service provider. But there are signs to look out for.

Each security product that is currently available on the market is depending on the customer to trust it. This is how the cybersecurity market—and many other markets as well—works. Whether it’s antivirus software, web proxies or VPN services, trust is very important.

This is why Security Gladiators works to ensure that we research enough on a given VPN service’s privacy policy. Without it, no review is complete. Any trustworthy and comprehensive VPN service would clearly mention the type of information it would gather on its users. Most good VPN services also mention why they collect the data that they collect.

This is important:

The best VPN services do not gather information or gather very little information on their customers. It’s a good idea to look into a VPN service’s privacy policy and terms of service in order to confirm whether they are injecting advertisements into their customers’ internet traffic.

This practice is frowned upon in the community, but some VPN services still do it because they depend on revenue for advertising. This is especially true with free VPNs, as they don’t earn revenue from subscriptions. Again, this is one reason why we recommend using a paid VPN service.

While you’re looking into whether or not a VPN collects users’ data, you should also ask if the company stores that information in an ideal country. It’s important to know where the company is based and what kind of data retention laws apply in that country.

For this purpose, resources such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation are very valuable. The EFF has done a good job of monitoring the legal obligations that VPN companies may have to obey in certain countries.

You can refer to the EFF’s guide on data retention here.

Users who are curious about a specific VPN and its privacy obligations should read some reviews on that specific VPN service. Check sites like TrustPilot or the Better Business Bureau, as well as ratings on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

To VPN or Not to VPN?

If you’re a gamer and you’re concerned about whether or not a VPN will have a negative impact on your upload/download and latency rates, we have good news for you: There are many viable options.

Many VPNs offer users a split-tunneling feature. This allows the user to decide which application the VPN service should protect and which should not. So, gamers can control what type of applications should send their data directly through the Virtual Private Network’s tunnel.

Users can essentially decide which data should simply travel to the wider world of the internet as normal data outside the VPN tunnel.

Any application that does not make use of the VPN tunnel will not come under the strain that an application with VPN protection would undergo. Such applications won’t experience any negative impact on their performance and/or speed.

An application that will use the VPN tunnel will have to deal with the VPN impact. This is why many VPN services have started to offer users web browser plug-ins.

The advantage of using these browser plug-ins is that they only route the user’s web browser data through the given VPN tunnel. They also leave the rest of the data without VPN protection, which helps to speed things up.

Some of the VPN services that offer these plug-ins include:

  • TunnelBear
  • Private Internet Access
  • AnchorFree Hotspot Shield
Of course, there is a downside to using other solutions to improve speed: Lack of security.

It’s impossible for a single user to make sure that not a single byte of their personal data goes out into the public web without proper protection. So, the user has to make a decision about what type of information they’re comfortable transmitting without any sort of VPN protection or encryption.

This is not ideal. However, users who are in a position to make that choice are certainly better than consumers who don’t have any choices to begin with.

Pay Proper Attention to Security

No one should need any convincing that speed isn’t everything. Gamers have lots of other issues. There are a few web services that don’t want to deal with VPN users, so they block access to users that connect to the service/website through a VPN IP address.

Netflix, for example, has blocked more VPN users than any other streaming service. The company put this policy in place to ensure that it properly enforced its distribution deals. These deals are the reason why Netflix offers different content selections to different regions.

We’ve found that many mobile games are unlikely to function properly while running a VPN because they often work on the principle of matchmaking, which uses a player’s IP address to pair them with a specific opponent. Some systems also use players’ IP addresses to place them on a specific server because of anti-piracy and anti-cheating policies.

So, the bottom line is: If a user makes use of a VPN service while gaming, then there’s a chance that their video games won’t properly work. Gamers who come across this problem should seriously consider purchasing a personal VPN server or a static IP address from a good VPN service.

Generally, VPN companies offer these services as extras or add-ons to their standard VPN service and/or package. The prices for these features may vary depending on the location of the server and/or the IP address.

Note:

We can’t confirm that both a personal VPN server or a static IP address is 100% compatible with video games and/or US Netflix, so we would suggest that users should first consider subscribing to a short-term VPN package in order to test the waters before diving in head-on. Most VPN companies offer free trials or 30-day money-back guarantees so you can try them out before committing.

Best VPNs for Gaming

Is a VPN Better for Gaming?

Whenever a gamer is on the internet, they leave themselves open to all types of observation techniques and cyberattacks. This is the reason why the market offers VPN services that have the ability to provide users a significant amount of protection from advertisers, spies, hackers and any other third-party with an interest in gaining access to your data. Gamers don’t have to spend a lot of money or strangle their internet connection in order to protect themselves.

Of course, there are many drawbacks as well. For example, inflexible and slow VPN services simply do not work for gaming. There is no doubt about the fact that a VPN is a robust and powerful tool that only requires a small amount of effort to use.

However, VPN safety would only work if the gamer actually uses the service regularly.

This is also why it’s important for gamers to try out a decent number of different VPN vendors before settling on a single one that fits their needs and requirements the best.

So what’s the takeaway here?: All gamers need a VPN. All online consumers also need a VPN service. But for gamers, the gaming VPN services we have covered in this guide are the best options available right now.

Now, we’ll cover these more in-depth:

1. NordVPN

nord vpn logo

Simultaneous Connections: Six

Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

About NordVPN

NordVPN our pick for the best VPN for gaming because it offers users a slick VPN client and a huge collection of strong security features. The company also has a massive network of VPN servers which it utilizes to the fullest in order to secure online gaming activities.

An image of the NordVPN homepage

For its part, NordVPN does well to communicate to potential customers that it is serious about both privacy and speed/performance. A lot of service providers say that they have fast servers but real-world performance shows that NordVPN is one of a handful of services that actually delivers on those claims.

NordVPN servers have the best performance under load among the top Virtual Private Network service providers. This is the reason why it is the best service for gaming. All you have to do is run the NordVPN app, connect to a server and then forget about ever having to deal with its settings or anything else for that matter.

NordVPN also distinguishes itself from other services by really thinking about what it takes to be the best service for gaming.

More specifically, it seems to know more about the issues that gamers have to deal with, such as DDoS attacks or potential malware threats. All the while, it also does not shy away from admitting that privacy services offer a great solution to such problems but are not 100% attack-proof.

Of course, NordVPN has more than enough infrastructure to mitigate all the major problems that plague normal internet traffic. NordVPN offers a large number of high-performance servers that are spread across the globe in a way that provides users with a diverse selection of servers to choose from. You can find a NordVPN server everywhere, from North Macedonia to Costa Rica.

Note:

NordVPN is also the best gaming privacy service because of its emphasis on privacy. It has a transparent privacy document on its site and many independent audit firms have analyzed the service for potential problems.

If you want to do more with your service than just gaming, NordVPN can unblock any streaming service as well. With NordVPN you should have no problem unlocking geo-blocked content from Amazon Prime, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

NordVPN is a bit more expensive than it’s competitors. Just make sure you sign up for NordVPN’s long-term subscription plans to get the most bang for your buck. You’ll pay less by paying annually, rather than from month to month.

Pros

  • Offers more than 5,400 servers in nearly 60 countries
  • The global network of VPN servers is diverse
  • Offers unique, specialized servers
  • Allows up to six simultaneous device connections
  • Web browser apps available
  • P2P allowed
  • Ad-blocker available
  • Privacy stance is as strong as that of any other VPN service

Cons

  • More expensive than competitors

VPN Apps

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Apple
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Android
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Windows
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Linux
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macOS
an image of the Chrome icon
Chrome
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Firefox

 

 

 

Our Score: 9.8/10

Click here to read our complete NordVPN review.

Click here to purchase a NordVPN subscription package from the company’s website.

Visit NordVPN

2. CyberGhost VPN

cyberghost vpn

Simultaneous Connections: Seven

Money-Back Guarantee: 45 days

About CyberGhost

CyberGhost gives users a lot to like about it. Because of some recent developments, this VPN service now offers a larger and more diverse network of servers. The locations on offer are varied and the client’s security features work very well. In addition to that, CyberGhost also has a strict policy on maintaining the privacy of its users.

An image of the CyberGhost VPN homepage

As for the app itself, it is very intuitive and user-friendly. With each package, CyberGhost allows users to connect up to seven simultaneous devices. The industry average has gone up in the last couple of years to around five simultaneous connections, so CyberGhost is doing great in this area. This service is ideal for people who want to sign up for a gaming VPN because its main focus is on video streaming and gaming.

The only problem with CyberGhost is that it does not come cheap. If we’re taking the industry-average into account, then CyberGhost is slightly on the higher side. Of course, if you find that CyberGhost VPN fulfills all your gaming needs, then there is little point in not using it.

Overall, CyberGhost VPN is a top-tier VPN service. It also takes a strong stance on protecting user privacy.

With more than 6,000 servers on offer in over 80 locations and the ability to block ads, there are certainly many worse VPNs you can sign up for.

Pros

  • Network of 6,200 servers in 89 locations
  • Strict privacy policy
  • Seven simultaneous connections per account
  • Multihop feature available
  • Split tunneling feature is available

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Definitely not the fastest VPN service in the world

VPN Apps

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Apple
Android App Icon
Android
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macOS
Windows App Icon
Windows
Linus App Icon
Linux
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Amazon Fire TV

 

 

 

Our Score: 9.3/10

Click here to read our full CyberGhost review.

Sign up for CyberGhost here.

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3. Surfshark

An image of the Surfshark logo

Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited

Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days

About SurfShark

If you want affordability but do not want to compromise on speed, then Surfshark is the VPN for you. It offers users fast connections with the help of over 1,700 servers spread across 63 countries. That might sound impressive but with Surfshark, the most impressive feature is that it allows all users to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously with just a single account. The service is compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Linux, Xbox and PlayStation.

An image of the homepage of Surfshark VPN

Surfshark usually ranks high for VPNs that are great and cheap. But it is also a great gaming VPN. With some clever planning and a good business model, Surfshark has successfully managed to offer a great service at a price that people find attractive.

Of course, if a product is cheap, sooner or later it will finally attract customers, or it won’t if it’s not good enough. Surfshark, thankfully, is good enough. Just because it does not ask you for a lot of money does not mean it sacrifices the quality of its service.

Surfshark does not have a comparable number of VPN servers as competitors like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. This is because Surfshark is a different kind of service. It doesn’t rely on the sheer quantity of features to get more subscribers. But even with that, Surfshark still has a decent network of servers in 63 countries.

Surfshark’s biggest strength is its ability to allow users to connect as many devices as they want, which is very useful for gamers or Twitch streamers who are usually gaming on one computer and streaming on another while chatting on their smartphone or tablet.

In terms of speed, Surfshark is pretty good as well. You won’t get the fastest servers in the world, but you won’t get bogged down by them either.

Seasoned gamers should find their experience with Surfshark to be comfortable, to say the least. As far as the apps go, all of them have a user-friendly interface and do not require too much of the user to install them.

Pros

  • Multiple connections per account
  • Decent server speeds
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Smaller server network than competitors

VPN Apps

Windows App Icon
Windows
macOS App Icon
macOS
Linus App Icon
Linux
Android App Icon
Android
Apple App Icon
Apple
Chrome App Icon
Chrome
Firefox App Icon
Firefox
amazon fire tv App Icon
Amazon Fire TV

 

 

 

Our Score: 8.5/10

Read our Surfshark review here.

Sign up for Surfshark here.

Visit Surfshark

4. ExpressVPN

express vpn logo

Simultaneous Connections: Five

Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

About ExpressVPN

In terms of versatility and all-round performance, you will not find a better VPN service than ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN would fit right in whether you want to use it for gaming, streaming or anything else.

With over 3,000 VPN servers in 160 locations, you’ll be able to access any gaming server no matter which region they belong to. Most ExpressVPN servers are extremely fast, which makes them ideal for VPN gaming.

The company allows users to connect up to five simultaneous devices per account. It has dedicated apps for platforms such as iOS, Linux, Mac, Windows, Android, PlayStation and Xbox.

express vpn homepage

There are many benefits that gaming users can get by using a service that has a large server network. The bigger a given server network is, the more you’ll be able to connect to a fast server almost in every corner of the globe. And the closer your VPN server is to the gaming server you want to connect to, you’ll have less speed loss.

All of ExpressVPN’s servers are super fast and this again plays right into what gamers want from any VPN service. ExpressVPN servers offer the reliability and stability that gamers need so they don’t have to worry about disconnecting in the middle of a raid or a match.

The company also surpasses its peers for having a high percentage of fast servers. Some VPN services do offer fast servers but they are very few in number when compared to the total number of servers they offer. ExpressVPN is not one of those VPN services because the majority of its VPN servers are fast.

Gamers usually want good ping rates while they enjoy their games, and this is exactly what ExpressVPN gives them. Such qualities make ExpressVPN a good VPN not just for gamers but for any type of online user.

ExpressVPN is also a very secure service, offering protection from DDoS attacks and other threats. ExpressVPN also provides online tutorials for users who need some assistance in setting up ExpressVPN on devices like Xbox and PlayStation.

The only downside of going with ExpressVPN as your primary VPN service is that it will cost you more money. But if you’re going to go with ExpressVPN, then it’s best to go big and sign up for the yearly package so you can take advantage of the long-term subscriber discounts. The yearly package also nets you three additional months at no extra cost.

If you sign up for ExpressVPN but are not satisfied with the service you received, then you can ask for your money back for up to a period of 30 days from the date of your purchase. ExpressVPN has a good refund policy and you will not be expected to answer any questions before your refund.

Overall, ExpressVPN offers a complete package.

Pros

  • Good mobile applications
  • Fast servers
  • Diverse server network
  • Live chat available
  • Ping rates are low

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

VPN Apps

Apple App Icon
Apple
Android App Icon
Android
macOS App Icon
macOS
Windows App Icon
Windows
Linus App Icon
Linux
amazon fire tv tiny png
Amazon Fire TV

 

 

 

 

Our Score: 8.9/10

Read our full review here.

Subscribe to ExpressVPN here.

Visit ExpressVPN

5. IPVanish

ip vanish vpn

Simultaneous Connections: Ten

Money-Back Guarantee: 30 days

About IPVanish

From an overall perspective, IPVanish is one of the best Virtual Private Network gaming services available on the market today.

It secures the gamer’s web traffic from hackers, cybercriminals, spying agencies or other third parties.

The service packs several powerful features into one platform, and veteran VPN users would appreciate all of them.

ipvanish homepage screenshot

However, the official IPVanish app interface may put off beginner VPN users as it is getting outdated. It is also a bit more pricey than its competitors. But still, it’s a top-tier VPN software platform that works very well for gaming.

Pros

  • Offers more than 1,500 VPN servers around the world
  • Cycles IP addresses automatically
  • BitTorrent is allowed
  • Advanced features such as kill switch

Cons

  • The user interface is somewhat outdated
  • A bit more expensive than competitors

VPN Apps

Apple App Icon
Apple
Android App Icon
Android
macOS App Icon
macOS
Windows App Icon
Windows
amazon fire tv tiny png
Amazon Fire TV

 

 

 

 

Our Score: 9.0/10

Click here to read our IPVanish review.

Click here to purchase an IPVanish package from the company’s website.

Visit IPVanish

Honorable Mention: Golden Frog/Outfox VPN

Golden Frog is a VPN company that has set itself apart by offering a product called Outfox, which is designed to meet the growing needs of online gamers. The Outfox VPN product promises to have full compatibility for several popular video games.

Golden Frog is regularly adding more titles to the list of video games supported by Outfox. Some of the most popular titles include:

  • Counterstrike
  • Destiny 2
  • FIFA
  • Fallout 76
  • Fortnite
  • H1Z1
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Rocket League
  • Street Fighter V
  • World of Tanks

Users should keep in mind that Outfox is not the first and is certainly not going to be the last VPN service that has made claims about how it would provide gamers with the edge in the digital arena of today.

Will a VPN Cause Lag?

A VPN may or may not cause lag. It all depends on which VPN you sign up for and how fast your internet connection is without the service being turned on.

Once you connect to a server, certain procedures take place that can reduce the speed of your internet connection. This usually happens when you are using a Wi-Fi connection or you have a slow internet connection. It could also happen if the VPN you’ve signed up for simply does not have enough fast servers.

Apart from these general factors, there are other reasons why a VPN might end up slowing down your internet connection.

The most important secondary factor is the actual location of the server you’re connected to. The distance between the server and your computer is very important when it comes to knowing what might be causing lag in your connection. Simply put, if you form a connection with a server that is far away from your actual physical location, then you will get lower speed which will cause lag.

If you connect to one that is closer to your actual location, you will get better speeds.

For example, people living in the U.S. should connect to a server that’s based within the country, whether it’s in a different city or state than the user’s original location. The furthest they should go is to connect to a server located in Canada. If they connect to a server that’s located in a country overseas, such as Australia, they will likely experience lag.

Apart from that, it could also depend on the level of encryption level that your VPN uses.

Note:

Stronger encryption techniques often cause your connection to slow down, thereby causing lag in your video game. Lighter encryption methods will not slow down your connection, but they won’t provide the same security and privacy protection as stronger methods.

The best VPN apps—including most of the ones on this list—allow users to change the encryption of their connection.

Gamers might not be too concerned with heavy security measures while gaming, so they can simply switch to a lighter version of the encryption available. And then when they want to stream something or use P2P file-sharing to download something, they can ramp up the encryption level to obscure their internet activity from their internet service provider or other third-parties.

Your VPN may cause lag if you’re using a protocol that’s built for security. For gaming, it is best that you go with protocols that are built for speed, even if they offer lower levels of protection. Again, the VPN you sign up for is very important here as well because it is the job of the service to offer several protocols so that users are able to switch between them as the situation requires.

Generally speaking though, your service should offer PPTP, L2TP, IPsec and OpenVPN.

Among these protocols, OpenVPN offers the most security with reasonable speed. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and fast protocol, then you should go with PPTP. L2TP is for people who are not interested in speed and only want high levels of security.

Another factor that could cause lagging is the server load. If your service doesn’t have a lot of high-quality servers, then it will slow down your connection if there are thousands of other users connecting at the same time as you.

Your internet service provider may also play a role in your game lagging. Your ISP has an incentive to lower your internet speed while gaming because it could put extra strain on their network. As such, they may throttle your internet connection. Only the top VPNs are able to circumvent internet throttling.

Pro Tip:

One suggestion we would want you to take is to sign up for a VPN that offers split tunneling features. It is a relatively new feature and with it, users can decide which part of their internet traffic they want their Virtual Private Network to encrypt and which to leave alone.

So while gaming, you can tell the app to encrypt the traffic that is generated by your gaming application and leave the rest. This can get rid of the lagging problem since it will reduce the load on the server you have connected to.

How Do I Play Games Through a VPN?

Just sign up for a service of your choice, download the app for your operating system and then install the app. Then run the app before you run your gaming application.

Once you run the app, connect to your desired server. Pick any city or country. After your app has formed a connection with your chosen server, run the gaming application and start playing. But don’t do this until you’re connected to a server.

Zohair A. Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.

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