If you're looking for the very best VPN for gaming, take it from Bonnie Tyler: it's gotta be strong and it's gotta be fast. There's no point in putting down money on a service that's going to slow your connection during a tense Battle Royale.
VPNs (or "virtual private networks") route your data through a secure tunnel and encrypt it—so nobody can take a peek. These handy tools can defend against DDoS attacks, too, and help you access region-locked games that might not be available in your local store.
I've been testing VPNs for about 4 years, now, and use one every day (at work and at home). I've picked out 5 of the best providers (compatible with consoles and PCs), comparing their speed, server count, security tools, and price, to create this shortlist of the best gaming VPNs in 2024.
The best gaming VPNs in 2024
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Let's dig in to the 5 best gaming VPNs on the market today. I'll walk you through everything I liked and disliked about each service, and how they performed in my most recent tests.
The best VPN for gaming online
Of all the VPN services we've tried, ExpressVPN comes out on top. Besides being reliable and secure, it's fast. That makes it well-suited to gaming or HD streaming.
It's also compatible with a wide variety of devices and is very user-friendly. Operated via a straightforward app, swapping between regions is easy. All you need to do is select a region from the dropdown menu and click the central button.
Although ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than some competitors, it boasts 256-bit encryption and doesn't feel too overwhelming. We'd recommend it for those reasons alone, but its versatility when it comes to protecting your data via PC and watching shows outside of your region elevate it to the top spot.
The best gaming VPN with antivirus
Thanks to 4,400 servers spread across the world, NordVPN's coverage is excellent. Its performance is equally impressive - there's little obvious difference between gaming with the VPN active and using a normal connection.
Security is where NordVPN really pulls ahead, though. It boasts 2048-bit encryption and DDoS protection on selected servers (alongside a very strict 'no logging' policy), so it's pretty watertight.
The best cheap gaming VPN
If you're working with a limited budget, or just want to bag a bargain, then Surfshark could be your match made in heaven. It's an awesome low-cost provider that comes stacked with features, and one I frequently recommend to VPN newbies thanks to its user-friendly apps.
During my most recent round of testing, Surfshark hit WireGuard speeds of over 950 Mbps—which is way more than you need to enjoy smooth online gaming and buffer-free HD streaming. In fact, Surfshark has no trouble unblocking content libraries from around the world, whether you're into Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or smaller regional services.
The best of the rest
CyberGhost impresses right off the bat with a massive network of servers. You'll be able to take your pick of over 9,500 in 90 countries, which is incredibly generous, and bypass geo-restrictions that'd otherwise keep you from checking out region-specific games or servers. CyberGhost's dedicated gaming servers are the cherry on top of an already impressive offering.
If you're a console loyalist, CyberGhost has its own Xbox and Playstation VPN workarounds you can use to cover your machine—and Switch users, for once, aren't left in the cold. Plus, with robust encryption, you won't have to worry about a rogue DDoS attack spoiling your session.
Private Internet Access (PIA) has been a mainstay of the VPN industry for a long time, now—and it's not hard to see why. It's absolutely stacked with security features designed to keep snoopers from poking their nose into your browsing sessions. One of my favorite tools is the MACE feature, which gets rid of those annoying ads and pop-ups, too.
You won't find too many VPNs offering a Linux app, so if you're looking for a Steam Deck VPN, PIA might be the best option available. You'll be able to check out all the latest sales from around the world with complete integration.
We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.