Finding the very best DOTA 2 VPN has long been a hot topic. Should you even use one? Could it possibly help, in such a competitive online game, in which fast responses and low latency are so important? The idea of spoofing a connection location in order to access servers beyond your real, geographical location feels counter-intuitive. Why risk your ping like that?
Well for a start there's security. DDoS and DoS attacks are, alas, a part of modern, competitive gaming. But hiding your IP address using a DOTA VPN can certainly help with securing your connection against them. And then, of course, there's access to the wider player pool. If you're in a region with a small selection of players, or find that you keep getting matchmade with players where the language barrier causes problems, you might want to try using a VPN to pick and choose your area of competition. Or maybe you fancy the challenge of taking on a different region's players? It's all possible with a VPN.
A decent DOTA 2 VPN could help you speed up matchmaking, and get you a better experience once you're in. And you needn't assume that speeds will necessarily be a problem either. Many of today's best VPN apps, especially ones we've tested here, are pretty well optimized for gaming, as we'll highlight as we work further down the page.
Do note though, that although always up for discussion in the DOTA 2 community, DOTA 2 VPN use technically goes against Steam's terms of service, so you do run a risk by using one. But with all of that clear, let's look at the list.
The DOTA 2 VPN all-rounder
ExpressVPN might not be the cheapest around, but it certainly is one of the most robust all-round services. It has absolutely no interest in logging your data, delivers solid connection speeds, and gives you the option of 148 different global locations spread across a not-unimpressive 94 countries. As is often the case with VPNs, signing up for longer gets you a cheaper deal in the long-run, but you can also test the service out with a 30-day free trial if you're not sure you want to commit. If you want to stream content from around the world, we also rate Express VPN as the best VPN for Netflix over on our full guide.
The best DOTA 2 VPN
In tests, IPVanish was up to five times faster that some of its rivals over shorter distances, and its download speeds are strong across the board. That alone is a solid point in its favour, as is the fact that IPVanish owns its entire server infrastructure, which covers more than 1000 servers over 60 different countries. Perhaps most importantly, those servers can be sorted by ping time and gaming suitability, giving you all the tools you need to plan your DOTA 2 VPN session properly. Alas, all of this doesn't come cheap, compared to some other VPNs, and there's no free trial - though a seven-day, money-back guarantee is available. Of all the price plans, the full-year sign-up is cheapest, but obviously the level of commitment you're initially happy with is entirely up to you.
The fastest downloading DOTA 2 VPN
When it comes to pure download speeds, stacked on top of pure breadth of geographical locations, VyprVPN is a beast. Offering 700 global servers, offering 200,000 individual IP addresses, VyprVPN also tested with download speeds up to two and a half times faster than connecting without a VPN. That's the kind of bonus you get when you're looking at a tier-1 with its own infrastructure. There are, alas, no refunds with VyprVPN, but you can get a three-day free trial.
The best DOTA 2 VPN for ping
If you're all about pure connection speed above all else, Buffered VPN is very much worth looking at. You might expect a VPN to have a neutral effect on your gaming ping in the absolute best-case scenario, but in tests, Buffered VPN actually managed to reduce it. Don't expect downloads to be as impressive, mind, because they weren't. You'll pay a bit over the average for these speeds, but there is a great refund policy that will give you all your money back as long as you haven't exceeded 10 hours, 100 sessions or 10GB of usage.