A VPN for gaming likely isn't at the top of anyone's must-buy accessories. Subscribing to a service that lets you spoof an online location - by tricking the server at the other end that you're in a different geographical area than you actually are - seems like a whole lot of hassle when you can just plug in your ethernet and go. But there are definite advantages to be had.
First up, using a VPN for gaming will encrypt your connection and disguise your location, which can have definite security bonuses. With your details locked down like that, you can be much safer from any potential DDoS attack risks enountered when playing competitively online. And while a VPN can slow down your connection, the right one is actually capable of speeding it up in certain circumstances. And of course, there's also the matter of international access, both to wider player-bases and game content itself.
With a gaming VPN, you can enable in-game matchmaking against opponents in regions usually inaccessible - great if you live in an area with a small player population - and you can also access region-locked content from online stores and services that might not usually serve certain products to your area. It's worth noting though, that VPN use for these purposes is outside the terms of service for certain games and platforms, so it's worth looking out for that.
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, and 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.