Best VPNs for Gaming

Best VPNs for Gaming 2024: Virtual private networks, or VPNs, are useful for a variety of purposes, chief among them being the privacy of one’s online and streaming activities. Websites and applications cannot see your physical address when you use a VPN.

The server you are connecting to is located at the location that they perceive. Even when you are visiting a city similar to New York City, websites and apps on your virtual private network hosted on a Spanish server will detect that your internet traffic is coming from Spain.

By lowering your latency, or ping, a VPN can also improve your gaming sessions and give you a more responsive online gaming experience.

Gaming VPNs

Your ISP won’t be able to throttle your connection because your IP address will be hidden. There are drawbacks to utilizing a VPN for gaming, such as the potential for terms of service violations and slow connection times.

After years of exhaustive testing, our experts at CNET have sifted through the deluge of marketing fluff to identify the top software choices for your needs.

We primarily took into account PC gaming on Linux, Windows, and MacOS when choosing the best VPNs. Nevertheless, almost all VPN service providers provide iOS and Android apps for mobile gaming.

Even streaming devices and software, such as Apple TV, Android TV, and the Amazon Fire Stick, are available. It is normally not possible for consoles such as the Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch to ship with built-in VPN software. Instead, you will need to utilize a host PC or set up your internet for a whole-home VPN.

Which VPN is currently the best for gaming?

Right now, ExpressVPN is the greatest VPN for gaming because of its great privacy protection, fast servers located all over the world, and exceptional speeds.

Another excellent VPN for gaming is NordVPN, which is also one of the fastest and most private VPNs out there with special features that can improve your gaming experience.

For those on a tight budget, Surfshark is a good substitute because of its lightning-fast WireGuard speeds, user-friendliness, extensive global server choices, and lower cost compared to the majority of competitors.

With its free tier that doesn’t sell your data or saturate your screen with advertisements, Proton VPN is the best free VPN for gaming. Proton also provides an excellent premium package with a vast server network and excellent privacy.

How we evaluate gaming VPNs

Our assessment of the top VPNs for gaming was primarily based on our in-depth investigation and earlier testing of the services mentioned above, even though we conducted a number of practical gaming tests for this ranking.

We are unable to create a testing protocol that would adequately cover every aspect of the huge world of online gaming due to its sheer size.

Tested and investigated the capabilities of VPNs for almost every online activity for years, so we know we can provide a reliable and accurate assessment of gaming VPNs.

We considered the speed, features and usability, platform compatibility, server network, privacy safeguards, and customer service of each supplier.

Things to look for in a gaming VPN

These are the most crucial elements to take into account in a VPN for gaming, based on our years of expertise in the industry and our knowledge of what internet gamers require from a VPN:

Best VPNs for Gaming

Quickness

The most important thing to take into account when selecting a VPN for gaming is speed, as slow or excessive latency can negatively impact your gaming experience. Especially in competitive environments, your VPN must be able to give the speeds required to keep you competitive.

Depending on the network you’re on and the VPN server you’re connecting to, a quick VPN may even be able to assist you reduce your ping. Additionally, if your internet speeds aren’t fast enough for gaming, there are

Confidentiality

Privacy is a key factor for any VPN, no matter what kind of activity it is used for. When gaming, it’s critical to have a VPN that can offer the required privacy safeguards to guarantee that your activity is concealed and that you’re protected from DDoS assaults and other threats from malevolent actors.

Verify that the VPN provider you select has robust encryption standards along with crucial privacy features like kill switch, no-logs policy, and DNS leak protection.

Interaction

Your gaming experience will be much enhanced if your VPN has servers spread throughout several different parts of the globe. This will guarantee that, wherever you are in the world, you have a fast, reliable connection.

Make sure the VPN you use has servers close to both your actual location and the servers of any online games you play, at the absolute least.

Compatibility of devices

Naturally, you want to confirm that the VPN works with the platform or platforms that you are using to play games.

Whether you’re gaming on a PC, Mac, or mobile device, any of the VPNs we’ve mentioned above are good choices because they’re compatible with and perform well on all main platforms.

Because gaming consoles do not support VPN apps natively, if you are a console player, you will need to ensure that your VPN is functioning properly on a router setup.

Assistance manuals and customer service

Having a VPN with a comprehensive help section and skilled customer service is beneficial if you’re experiencing issues with your VPN or have inquiries about how to best utilize your VPN connection for gaming.

Seek for a VPN that offers live chat help around-the-clock and simple setup instructions for a variety of devices, including routers.

Make sure you have the right assistance available when you need it, as useful guides and prompt customer service can guarantee that your gaming experience is not unduly interrupted.

Best VPNs for Gaming

As you may have seen from reading any of our articles on digital safety, we strongly support the usage of VPNs.

Through encryption and rerouting, they provide us with much-needed privacy, and considering the volume of data that websites and internet service providers gather, it doesn’t harm to take further precautions.

Best VPNs for Gaming

However, VPNs aren’t only about privacy and security. They have helpful side effects like preventing ISP throttling and unblocking websites.

They are even used by online gaming communities to get additional security against cyberattacks and to access additional gaming features.

Since we are avid players, we are aware of how difficult it may be to locate a VPN that can maintain the high level of network performance required by online gaming.

We created an experiment just for this study to determine which VPNs offer the smoothest online gaming experience. These VPNs will function for you whether you’re exploring the streets of Los Santos or exploring the dungeons of A zeroth.

Top 5 Best Gaming VPNs

What Every Top Gaming VPN Includes

We’re not very trusting because we come from a generation of gamers who were raised after Big Smoke betrayed them roughly 20 years ago. We have statistics to support our assertion that the five VPNs listed above are the best for gaming.

A more than adequate level of protection and privacy is offered by all five. Except for Private Internet Access, which provides both 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption, they all employ 256-bit AES encryption, which is the industry standard for VPNs. Later on, we will clarify why that is advantageous.

Because of the protection they offer, all of our top choices can be applied to different types of games. For example, if you play competitive games or broadcast, any of them can shield you from DDoS attacks, a prevalent form of cyberattack in online gaming communities.

The best gaming VPNs can successfully conceal your IP address and location since they are safe. This gives you access to a number of options, such switching between gaming servers covertly, playing games that aren’t available in your area, or playing new releases before they come out in your area (if they’re released beforehand elsewhere).

That’s how our top choices are comparable, but what makes them different? We concentrated our testing on two key elements: speed and usability. We evaluated their usefulness by looking at how simple it is to install and utilize them on various gaming platforms, such as smartphones and PCs.

We assessed each platform’s speed while concentrating on one critical gaming metric: latency, or ping. Because latency is your network’s reaction time, smoother gaming is correlated with reduced latency.

How to pick a VPN for Online Gaming

We have personally examined and evaluated our best VPN choices, thus we heartily advise utilizing them. In order to help you make a better decision, we have verified that these VPNs are functional and have included a summary of any potential downsides.

However, we’d be pleased to provide you some advice if you’d prefer to embark on your own side mission to locate the greatest gaming VPN for your configuration.

First and foremost, you should prioritize speed. Whichever VPN you decide on, you probably will have to put up with higher latency and slower internet connections. That is the price paid for all the advantages that VPNs offer for online security, such encryption. Fear not—a fast speed test will reveal which VPNs are.

Your online security shouldn’t be neglected, even if you’re just looking for a VPN to use for gaming. This is especially true if you want to shield yourself from DDoS attacks and other cyberattacks. Verify the degree of encryption, look for WebRTC and DNS leaks, and verify if the VPN was able to alter your IP address.

You ought to have reduced your alternatives to a small few by now. We then advise examining their prices to determine which ones are within your means. We also have a page on the prices of the most well-liked VPNs, which you may use as another checkpoint.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, contrast your VPN experience with each one. Make it unique by asking yourself if it has the characteristics you need for your particular use cases. Is it easy for you to navigate the app?

Are the speeds decent when you play during the typical hours? You’ll be able to select the ideal gaming VPN by doing this.

Using a VPN is a smart idea whenever possible. You’ll be in a better position to stay safe when communicating online if you do this.

Does Every Player Need a VPN?

VPNs are recommended for any online activity. Whenever you use a device that is linked to the internet, even for basic tasks like purchasing online, performing a short internet search, or watching Netflix, you should ideally utilize a VPN.

In this manner, your internet information is shielded from the government, your internet service provider, and marketers who want to access your surfing history to target you with advertisements

We are aware that there are instances where utilizing a VPN can be inconvenient, and playing online games is one of such instances. No matter how good or quick they are, all VPNs will slow down your internet. Furthermore, using a VPN program in the background may strain your device more.

Do Free VPNs for Gaming Exist?

We only selected premium VPNs for a number of very valid reasons, and all of our top choices require a subscription:

VPNs that are free are risky. Some VPNs actually steal your data instead of encrypting it so they can sell it to the highest bidder, which is typically a data-broker website or a marketer.

Though even some of the better free VPNs are not recommended for gaming, there are still some. There are restrictions on how many devices you can connect,

How much data you can use, and how quickly you can connect with the best and safest free VPNs that we’ve tested. For instance, the free Hotspot Shield subscription limits daily data usage to 500 MB.

FAQs

Are VPNs compatible with internet gaming?

While utilizing a VPN may impact the speed of your network, many VPNs are compatible with online gaming without any problems.

Which VPN is ideal for gamers?

The top VPNs for gamers include NordVPN, Surfshark, Private Internet Access, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost, depending on what and how you play.

Can I have a better gaming experience with a VPN?

By adding a “middleman server” to your internet connection, a VPN will not enhance gaming performance; on the contrary, it may cause packet loss and ping to rise.

But, the top VPNs for gamers seldom affect network performance, so as long as your Internet connection is robust, you should be able to enjoy a fluid gaming experience.

Can I play games with a free VPN?

While some free VPNs provide features that are similar to those of paid VPNs, such as speed or data use limits, they also frequently have other restrictions. We advise against using free VPNs when playing games.

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