Using a VPN for gaming can make a surprising amount of difference. There are all kinds of instinctive, knee-jerk responses against one, of course. The perceived risk of lag is the primary one. After all, surely slingshotting your internet connection through somewhere that you are not - in order to trick a game server into thinking that's where you're located - is bound to slow things down, right? Well first of all, not always, no. And secondly, there are a bunch of advantages you can accrue by doing so.
Security is a big one. AS well as faking your location, using a VPN for gaming will encrypt your connection, making you safer from any DDoS attack you might find incoming while playing online. And naturally, with the ability to choose your presumed location, you can also choose your player-pool in games with location-based matchmaking. Local population pretty low? Just try somewhere else.
And while it's true that using a VPN for gaming can increase your ping, the right one can actually improve your connection speed in certain circumstances. And then there's international access to geo-locked content in online stores too. A VPN can help you bypass regional purchasing restrictions - though you'll want to check the terms and conditions of any online store or service you're using, to make sure you're not breaking any rules.
But regardless of your reasons for wanting a gaming VPN, these are the best VPNs for gaming available, taking in the all-important factors of server coverage, speed, security, and price. We'll update this list as and when new options come up, but right now, these are the ones to look into.
The best VPN for gaming
The all-round best VPN for gaming
In terms of speed, IPVanish performs strongly, testing up to five times faster than some other VPNs over short hop connections. It overall download speeds are respectable too. It's impressive in terms of functionality too, its servers able to be neatly sorted by all-important factors such as ping time and gaming suitability. And you won't be stuck for choice. IPVanish has over 1000 servers covering 60 international locations, over a fully self-owned infrastructure. It also performs well on security, offering solid, 256-but AES encryption.
Downsides? It's not the cheapest, nor is there any kind of a free trial. That said, you can get your money back within seven days of you're not satisfied, so you're not 100% committed up-front.
The best gaming VPN for security
The best VPN for gaming in terms of security
With 4400 servers around the world, NordVPN's coverage is great, and its performance matches, with little difference in connection speed apparent between gaming with the VPN active and when using a vanilla connection. With 2048-bit encryption and DDoS protection on selected servers (not to mention a strict 'no logging' policy), Nord also offers one of the most watertight gaming VPN options around. Monthly payment can be fairly costly, but if you sign up for longer you'll get much better deals.
- [$11.95 a month] 1-month
- [$5.75 a month] 1-year - $69.00
- [$3.29 a month] 2-years - $79.00
- [$2.75 a month] 3-years - $99.00
The fastest VPN for gaming
The fastest gaming VPN
With 700 servers worldwide, 200,000 available IP addresses, and a NAT firewall to block unwanted inbound traffic, VyprVPN has a formidable set-up however you want to use your gaming VPN. Where it really excels though, is speed. In a test of download rates, it actually managed to increase speeds by up to 250%. It's worth noting that VyprVPN doesn't offer refunds, but it does have a couple of different payment plans. Basic gives you three connections, while Premium delivers you five. It costs a bit more, but works out cheaper on a per-connection basis, if you're planning on using a few.
- Basic: $9.95 monthly or $3.75 per month billed annually
- Premium: $12.95 monthly or $5.00 per month billed annually
The best VPN for gaming with a low ping
The gaming VPN for a low ping
With 44 servers around the world, Buffered VPN offers decent coverage, if not enough to compete with a few of its rival gaming VPNs on those terms. Where it really brings the goods though, is in latency. With Buffered VPN, tests actually recorded lower pings than with a standard connection. Upload speeds were great too, though downloads less so. That speed of connection comes at a price, meaning that Buffered VPN isn't exactly cheap. It does though, come with a generous refund policy, which will give you your money back if you haven't gone over 10 hours, 100 sessions or 10GB of useage.
- [$7.62 a month] 13-months (1 free month for the first year) - $99.00
- [$9.99 a month] 6-months - $59.94
- [$12.99 a month] 1-month - $12.99
Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.