Best VPN for Gaming

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an essential security addition for your phone or laptop to ensure that your private internet data remains secure and anonymous. In today’s world, much of our online activity is monitored and tracked by ISPs (Internet Service Providers), websites, apps, and even hackers. Thus, it makes sense to utilize a VPN to make sure that confidential information such as usernames, passwords, and online banking details remain safe.

The reason for installing a VPN on a games console such as an Xbox or Playstation may not be so clear. There is a common belief that a VPN can be a disadvantage to gamers and that it would cause lagging, low latency, and slow in-game responses. However, using a VPN may actually enhance your game-play experience.

In contrast to this belief, there is a range of benefits that gaming VPNs can offer. It may even serve to lower ping and increase overall connection speeds. A VPN can also provide access to censored or restricted games such as Fortnite, or those that have not yet been released in your geographical region.

VPNs also provide an additional layer of security for your device. When playing online, there is an ever-present risk of threats such as DDoS attacks. While a VPN may not be a completely necessary piece of software for gamers, it is worth ensuring that your expensive gaming equipment is protected.

So, we have compiled a list of the best VPNs for gaming in 2021 to make sure your device remains safe and secure.

10 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2021

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How to Choose the Best VPN for Gaming

While a VPN is not considered to be an essential part of your gaming set up, it is worth considering one for a number of reasons. You may also want to install a VPN on your gaming PC if you use it for other purposes too. A VPN will offer benefits including enhanced security, access to restricted streaming sites, and IP spoofing.

When choosing the best VPN for your gaming device or console, it is necessary to make sure that the service will not affect your system speeds. We have taken into account server connection speeds when reviewing VPNs for this article. There is even a possibility that a good VPN will decrease ping and improve overall speeds. However, some VPNs are much better than others when it comes to the best gaming speeds.

It is also helpful to consider a VPN that offers a high level of security and privacy so as to prevent online threats such as DDoS attacks. Also, if you game on a range of platforms, it will be necessary to choose a provider that offers a service that is compatible with different devices.

There is a range of free versions available, however, it is important to remain cautious when considering such products. Free VPNs are free for a reason and many even sell private user data to third parties for profit. Some providers limit users to a meager data limit, rendering free versions useless for gaming, and others offer only low-quality security features, meaning that your private data and real IP address may be exposed.

It is usually best to consider opting for a paid plan if you want to enjoy the full benefits of a VPN. Only a paid plan will give you access to high-speed server connections, unlimited bandwidth, and access to a host of sophisticated features. Most VPN services also offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee, enabling you to try the service before you commit to a paid subscription plan.

Do I Need a VPN for my Gaming Device or Console?

Many gamers do not believe that the addition of a VPN is necessary to their gaming setup. It is true that VPNs are not essential for gamers, however, there is a range of benefits offered by a VPN that could actually serve to enhance your gameplay experience.

It is often thought that a VPN will reduce your internet speeds and slow down your connections, causing lagging and buffering in-gameplay. Despite that this may be the case when it comes to uploading and downloading files, a VPN can actually help to lower ping, which is great for faster in-game reactions.

Another major benefit of installing a VPN on your gaming device is that it overcomes geo-blocked content. If you want to gain access to games that are only available in certain regions, a VPN can enable you to do so. A VPN works by masking your real IP location and making it appear as if you are located in the same country as the content you are trying to access. This means that you will gain access to a host of restricted games, updates, and add-ons that would not otherwise be available in your region.

A VPN can also prevent packet loss from occurring. This happens when the internet connection fails and results in the PC gamer being kicked out of the game. A VPN serves to send your data through a VPN connection rather than your normal ISP, meaning that there is a reduced risk of packet loss.

While it may not be the main reason for installing a gaming VPN, the software will secure your general privacy. If you want to prevent the government, ISPs, and hackers from viewing your activity, a VPN is a good addition to your gaming device.

What Are the Best VPNs for Gaming?

Below are some of the best VPNs that will enhance your game-play experience.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers an exceptional service for gaming with impressive speeds and one of the best levels of security.

ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN for gaming thanks to its large network of servers and fast connection speeds. This gaming VPN ensures fast download speeds, low latency, and reduced ping, ensuring your gameplay is free from buffering or lag. As a gamer, you will have access to an endless choice of servers, enabling you to connect to one that is in close proximity to your desired gaming server, further reducing latency.

This VPN for gaming offers an excellent range of protocols, which vary depending on whether you desire enhanced speed or security. OpenVPN provides the highest levels of security, whereas PPTP is the better option if you are looking for high-speed server connections.

ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers worldwide, enabling you to access a host of updates, restricted maps, and add-ons that would not typically be available in your region.

The gaming VPN is compatible with all major operating systems, which is great if you game on a range of devices such as your mobile, computer, and gaming console. The service can be installed on your router, enabling use on Playstation and Xbox.

ExpressVPN also ensures protection against online gaming threats such as DDoS attacks. When it comes to user privacy, ExpressVPN has a transparent no-logging policy and does not store customer data, giving you additional peace of mind that your activity is safe and secure.

If you want to use the gaming VPN for streaming purposes too, ExpressVPN is great at unblocking streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Hulu. Not all VPNs can overcome Netflix’s strong firewall, however, ExpressVPN has no issue with bypassing it. With ExpressVPN you can enjoy all of your favorite overseas shows without the need to worry about lag or buffering.

Despite that it may not be the best gaming VPN when it comes to affordability, ExpressVPN does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This allows you to try the service and cancel the subscription if you are not completely satisfied.

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a well-known provider that is one of the best in terms of high connection speeds and low ping.

NordVPN is the fastest provider for gaming sessions thanks to its super-fast servers. This means that you do not have to worry about lagging or buffering during game-play. NordVPN’s proprietary NordLynx VPN protocol ensures reliable fast internet connection speeds. The service will also ensure you are protected against DDoS attacks, as its servers are well-equipped to deal with them.

This is arguably the best VPN for gaming when it comes to server connections. The provider offers impressive speeds thanks to an extensive range of over 5,500 servers, ensuring the best game-play experience.

The provider also has a great no-logs policy, meaning that it does not store or misuse user data, ensuring completely private internet access. Its security policy is also independently audited annually, offering additional peace of mind. NordVPN is located in Panama, a country that enjoys relaxed data privacy laws. Thus, you can rest assured that your private data and activity remain safe with this provider.

The provider is also great at unblocking geo-restrictions, thanks to its impressive network of servers across 60 countries. This means that with NordVPN you can access new releases before they are available in your region, and if you travel, you can continue to play your favorite online tournaments from home.

NordVPN is compatible with a range of devices including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. You can also choose to connect the service to your router, which will provide protection for all of your devices.

If you are a fan of P2P sharing as well as gaming, Nord will enable you to do so safely. The provider has a large array of servers that are specially designed for P2P support. These servers have fast speeds which means that uploading or downloading files will not affect your overall connection speed.

NordVPN also offers the option to add-on a dedicated static IP location. This is a useful feature as it ensures a smooth internet experience. Shared IP addresses do provide an additional layer of privacy, however, you have no control over the activity of other users. Thus, this can lead to servers becoming blocked or blacklisted by websites due to the “bad neighbor effect.” However, a dedicated IP location will ensure that this does not happen. If you want to use your gaming VPN for online banking too, a static IP address may be useful.

While it may not be the cheapest of all providers, NordVPN is one of the best, and its 2-year plan works out at just $3.70 per month which is relatively cheap considering the excellent gaming experience it provides.

3. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark offers an excellent Virtual Private Network at one of the best prices of any gaming VPN providers on the market.

Surfshark provides one of the most affordable services thanks to its low-priced long-term plans. Surfshark also offers protection for an unlimited number of devices, making it even more cost-effective.

The provider offers a great privacy policy and utilizes advanced protocols for completely private internet access when gaming. Surfshark offers access to over 3,200 servers in 65 different countries. It also utilizes AES-256 encryption to ensure your PC gamer data remains secure and protected.

It also provides a killswitch that ensures your unencrypted data is secure, even in the event that your VPN connection fails. The kill switch works to cease the transfer of data so that your real IP location or unencrypted data does not become exposed.

If you want to ensure low ping on your regular connection, Surfshark is a great addition to your gaming rig. The app also serves to reduce latency, and offers impressive general speeds, ensuring you do not have to worry about lagging or buffering in-game.

Surfshark’s server coverage also makes it great for gamers who love to stream overseas content on streaming sites such as Netflix every day too. Its overseas servers enable access to a host of foreign movies and television shows.

There is also the option to activate split tunneling, enabling you to encrypt your activity, while running your normal tasks through your IP servers. This may not be absolutely necessary but it is a nice addition.

The app also comes with the option of a live chat in case you run into any issues while using the service. There is also an assuring 30-day refund guarantee, enabling you to test the Surfshark risk-free, before committing to buy.

4. Hotspot Shield VPN

Hotspot Shield offers an excellent gaming VPN with the option of an impressive free VPN plan.

Hotspot Shield ensures high-speed connections, even on long-distance servers, thanks to its use of the Catapult Hydra protocol. This gaming VPN service also offers complete protection against DDoS.

The service also offers the best gaming VPN for no cost. Its free version offers an impressive range of security features. It does limit users to just 500MB of data each day, however, this is more than most other free VPNs offer.

Hotspot Shield’s long-term plans are great value, especially considering its impressive upload and download speeds, and first-rate security features. The provider also offers a 45-day refund guarantee for additional peace of mind.

5. IPVanish VPN

IPVanish is a great, easy to use gaming VPN to make sure that your connections are secure and protected.

IPVanish is one of the best gaming VPN services thanks to its reliable internet connection and fast speeds. It is a great choice if you are looking for a gaming VPN that will not affect your in-game reactions.

The provider manages its own network servers ensuring reliably fast speeds, which make the product great for gaming as well as streaming and torrenting. IPVanish offers access to a decent range of servers in more than 70 countries, giving you endless choices when it comes to finding a suitable server.

If any issues arise while using the product, IPVanish provides 24/7 live chat support.

Author Cliff Durward

Hi, I'm Cliff. You can find me in Cleveland, Ohio with my wife and kids. I love cybersecurity! I've been writing about it for a decade now and have always loved the space. My favorite articles to write are how-to guides that...
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PrivacySharks » Best VPN of 2021 – Rated by our Experts » Best VPN for Gaming
Last updated: April 27, 2021