Are you in the market for a good VPN (Virtual Private Network) service for gaming? Do you need a gaming VPN in the first place? These are good questions if you’re new to VPNs and not exactly sure what they can do for you. While most gamers would think that gaming with a VPN is a terrible idea (due to increased latency and slower connection speeds), some merits are well worth considering.
In this article, we’ll take a good look at how a VPN can benefit your gaming sessions and what you need to know when choosing one. Only then can you decide if VPNs are well worth your time and money. Let’s go over the following:
What Makes a Good Gaming VPN?
While higher pings and reduced Internet speeds are valid concerns, especially for competitive games like Fortnite, Counter-Strike, and Overwatch, these issues can be easily mitigated by using a good VPN service. Also, there are advantages of using the latter that are not readily apparent to most gamers.
Perhaps the most notable advantage of using a VPN for gaming is access to more content. The ability to connect to multiple VPN servers around the world enables VPN users to unlock geo-blocked content from anywhere in the world. Is a particular game not available in your region? That’s not a problem—use a VPN to connect to a server where that game is readily accessible. It’s as simple as that!
Of course, there’s also the security advantage of using a VPN service. If you’re into competitive gaming, then you may have heard stories about people using underhanded strategies such as DDoS attacks to gain an unfair advantage. An excellent VPN service can protect you from such threats by hiding all of your personal information (including your IP address) from would-be attackers.
Last but not least (and contrary to popular belief), a good VPN service can increase connection speeds and decrease latency for your gaming sessions. This is particularly the case for users who are having issues with their ISPs throttling their connection. If you suspect the latter and it’s hurting your gaming experience, then a VPN might offer a practical and straightforward solution. With a good VPN, ISPs never see the details of your activities online and hence, won’t have a good reason to throttle your connection.
Now that you have a good idea of how VPNs can benefit gaming, you might be wondering— what makes a particular VPN good for gaming? Well, in short, you would want to choose a VPN service that offers all of the advantages mentioned above.
Here’s a checklist of qualities that you would want to look out for when shopping for a VPN for gaming:
- A high number of available VPN servers—the more, the better
- Fast and stable server performance
- DDoS protection
- Dedicated Gaming VPN servers—if possible
Best VPN for Gaming
Are you having trouble finding a VPN that meets the criteria mentioned above? If so, then the following recommendations should help point you in the right direction:
With over 5,600 VPN servers from 60+ server locations around the world, gamers will find no shortage of server options with NordVPN. They also boast excellent server performance coupled with DDoS protection and VPN app support for PCs and gaming consoles (Playstation4 and Xbox One)
Access to NordVPN’s VPN service starts at $11.95 per month or $3.49 per month if you sign-up for a 3-year plan. Their VPN service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is another noteworthy contender for the title of best VPN for gaming and for a good reason. They operate one of the biggest VPN networks on the market, with more than 3000 VPN servers from 160 server locations around the world.
More importantly, ExpressVPN also offers excellent server performance and protection against DDoS attacks. Gamers will appreciate the fact that ExpressVPN is accessible in all popular gaming platforms, including PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Android/iOS.
Access to ExpressVPN’s VPN service is a bit more expensive than most premium VPNs at $12.95 per month. That said, you can get it cheaper at $8.32 per month if you sign-up for a 1-year plan. You can try their VPN service risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN wasn’t kidding when they wielded the title “World’s Fastest VPN for Gaming.” Despite having fewer servers (700+ VPN servers from 70+ server locations), VyperVPN offers the best VPN server performance by far. This is all thanks to their Tier-1 network of 20,000 shared IP addresses and a NAT Firewall to guard against DDoS attacks.
In terms of costs, access to VyprVPN’s VPN network comes with two types of subscription— Basic ($9.95 per month) and Premium ($12.95). As with all the other premium VPN services on this list, you can VyprVPN at a lower cost if you sign-up for an annual plan plus a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Free Gaming VPNs
Do you want to try using a VPN for gaming but don’t want to spend any money? Well, that’s tricky, and you will find that there’s only so much that you can do with free VPN services. As you might imagine, running a VPN server powerful enough to support gaming, doesn’t come cheap.
If you must use a free gaming VPN, then you might want to consider the following options:
- Generous 10GB allowance for free plans
- Slow server speeds
- Router support
- Limited bandwidth 500MB per month
- Decent speeds and lower ping
- Decent server speeds
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Limited server options (only 3 countries)
- Decent server speeds
- Military-grade AES-256 encryption
- Limited bandwidth
Does a VPN Affect Gaming?
Truth be told, the use of a VPN will likely reduce your connection speeds. After all, you are essentially encrypting and routing your connection through a proxy server. That said, the latter shouldn’t be an issue if you’re using a powerful VPN server optimized for gaming. You can expect nothing less out of the premium VPN services mentioned above.
If you want to ensure the best gaming experience when using a VPN, then we would recommend the following:
- Choose a fast VPN service—one that is optimized for gaming
- Use a VPN server that is closest to your actual location
- Switch to a speedier encryption protocol (PPTP)
So there you have it—everything that you must know about using a VPN for gaming! As you may have already realized, the use of a gaming VPN has its merits. Although a slight drop in connection speed is to be expected, much of it can be mitigated by using an excellent VPN service designed to support gaming applications. You can expect no less out of NordVPN or any of the other premium gaming VPN services mentioned above.