The Best VPN for Gaming (2023): Our Top Picks, Explained

Best Gaming Vpn

What is the best VPN for gaming? While we are not going to argue about the possible pitfalls that come along with using a VPN, such as a slower internet connection and a higher ping time, there are plenty of other great reasons to use a VPN for online gaming.

One of the most obvious reasons to go for a VPN is for its unrestricted access. Gaming VPN services easily unblock geo-restricted games, you get to access servers that are locked to other regions and play anything freely from anywhere in the world.

Other than that, there’s also the ever-present concern for online security. VPN services increase your protection against DDoS attacks which players use against online opponents in competitive gaming.

Factors to Choose the Best VPN for Gaming

What makes the best VPN for gaming?

So, in today’s guide, we will go through a few important considerations to take note of before deciding on which gaming VPN services to subscribe to.

How to identify the best performing gaming VPN?

Obviously, a VPN needs to deliver lightning-fast speed that will not interrupt your game. It is absolutely pointless to get a VPN service that affects your internet connection significantly during a game. A VPN generally will reduce your internet connection speed by 5 – 20%, meaning the effects on online gaming can range from barely noticeable to barely tolerable.

To know if the VPN will provide some good internet speeds, you’ll first need to look at the VPN service provider’s server proximity. Regardless of distance and location, you should be able to get the same level of security on all servers. If you’re the type that travels frequently, be sure to pick out a VPN with plenty of servers all over different locations, otherwise you may have to suffer a drop in internet performance once you’re out of the country.

The company’s technology and implementation have a big effect on the overall internet speeds of the VPN service. Not all VPNs are created equal since they’re created by different people. Some VPNs for gaming are great for speed and performance while other slower services may offer a simple and easy-to-use user interface.

There’s usually a tradeoff some where and ideally, you should be picking out a VPN with fast connectivity that is both reliable and consistent for your gaming needs.

Which is it important that gaming VPN unblocks Geo-Restricted content?

The best VPN can also help you get early access to new games. Let’s say there is a particular online game that you’ve been eyeing for a long time finally drops a release date – but it’s going to be available in Japan first, hours before any other servers go live. If you hope to stay ahead of others, all you need is to connect to a Japanese IP addresses through a VPN and you’re all set and ready to go.

Why users opt for security in subscribing to gaming VPN?

It’s no secret that the biggest reason people subscribe for a VPN service is to stay hidden and safe from intruders. Therefore, it is absolutely pointless to invest in a protection plan that harms you by leaking user data to other parties. It’ll defeat the purpose of subscribing to a VPN if your information is being passed on to others.

There are two main factors that will affect how secure a VPN company is: encryption method and country of origin. Several VPNs use the older or traditional encryption that is easier to install but is much more susceptible to attacks. Only a handful of VPNs have developed their own proprietary encryption technology. These novel encryption technologies are much harder to break into.

As mentioned earlier, it is also vital to know where your VPN service provide is based at. Different countries have different local laws that would mean differently for your interne privacy. Some local government laws require companies to retain information on their customers and their internet usage, the companies are then also obligated to hand over such information to the authorities as and when requested.

What is the important of Customer Support in gaming VPN?

For a home gamer who does not need all the extra features offered by top VPN providers, you can save a lot of time and effort by choosing a user-friendly VPN that is easy to setup your game serves. In any case, customer support is available on their websites to help you prepare for the worst.

The best VPNs have customer live chat support that runs 24/7 but is difficult to reach by phone outside of their business hours. Some have phone customer service reps that run on shifts to help you out no matter the time. Others have robust tech tutorials videos and guides geared towards users who are more technologically proficient that only just need a leg up in resolving any issues.

Why must we consider the cost of the gaming VPN?

Many gaming VPN services now come with a wide range of pricing plans, now they’ve further complicated decision making by offering subscription period at great discounts. Some have high monthly charges billed monthly, but a much cheaper rate per month if billed annually, while some have lower monthly charges, but their annual bill remains almost the same. The newer VPN providers even offer affordable subscription plans for up to 5 years of service so you can save on a subscription.

The Best Gaming VPN in 2023

With so much to look for, it may feel like a complicated quest to find the best VPN for gaming. Luckily for you, our guide today will bright you through a few top gaming VPN selection in hopes of making things much simpler for you.

Keeping in mind the gaming VPN’s delivery of performance, security, and user experience, let’s take a look now at some of the best gaming VPNs that you can get today.

#1 ExpressVPN

Best all-round VPN, fast connection with no logs

ExpressVPN Best VPN for Gaming

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Island (BVI) with over 3,000 VPN servers strategically located in 160 different locations to open up access to plenty of content. BVI is considered as one of the safest countries for users’ online privacy due to their privacy policy.

The country does not have to comply with any kind of data retention laws, meaning the company is legally permitted to keep your online activity from the government.

The company’s strict logging policy clearly outlines that they will never log:

  • IP addresses
  • Browsing history
  • Any website you visit/Torrent you download
  • DNS queries

With their large server database, there is an extensive server locations so you should be able to find and log into swift server from anywhere in the world. This VPN service even excels in the mobile department by offering intuitive apps, especially for Android and iOS. Naturally, this means you get to enjoy solid server speeds and good performance overall.

If you’re looking for the best VPN for Android in 2023, ExpressVPN may conquer the top of the list as well. 

ExpressVPN keeps your privacy protected with an AES 256-bit military-grade encryption with their privacy features. This strong encryption technology means you will never be your concerned anymore as it keeps all your online activity across all your devices undercover and undetected from unwanted observers. On top of keeping log-free records, these VPN services even accept anonymous online payment like Bitcoin as subscription payment to ensure all your information is completely incognito.

ExpressVPN consists of privacy features which includes a handy kill switch which ExpressVPN calls as the “Network Lock”. This kill switch help users secure their user data in the unlikely event their VPN gets disconnected suddenly without reason. This impressive feature will stop internet connection to protect your online traffic as long as security is not restored.

On top of that, ExpressVPN even manages all your DNS requests through their own private servers without logging any queries. Their Zero-Knowledge DNS feature ensures that none of your online activities can be traced or linked back to you.

For really paranoid users, ExpressVPN even offers a .onion version of its website to allow users the option to create a completely anonymous account with the VPN provider. You can use a throw-away email address to subscribe for the service so none of your internet activity will ever be traced back to you. That is how safe and reliable ExpressVPN sets out to be.

With all the added benefits, it is no surprise that the price plans for this VPN provider may not be the cheapest on the block. However, the jam-packed features make it very worth your time and money. If you’re still undecided, you can take the VPN service for a test drive with their 30-day full-service free trial. And if you decide that it isn’t the one for you, you can get your money back at the end of the trial.

Reasons to buy:

  • Super fast connection speeds
  • Well-encrypted, kill switch-protected connections
  • Accepts Bitcoin as payment
  • Offers .onion site
  • Keeps no user logs

Reasons to avoid:

  • More expensive
  • No-kill switch protection on mobile devices

#2 VyprVPN

Best for Online Gaming

VyprVPN Best Gaming VPN

VyprVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN service working under an umbrella company called Golden Frog. Switzerland has a privacy friendly law which means the company is not required to maintain customer data and does not need to handover the information to any surveillance alliance. However, the company does have its own data retention law and internet privacy regulations that may affect users’ privacy.

With more than 700 servers in 70+ locations around the globe, VyprVPN is one of the best for gaming purposes. It features blazingly fast speeds and delivers more than twice the normal download rates, making it pure heaven for those who love for a smooth gaming experience.

VyprVPN is one of the top VPN networks with its own servers and infrastructure to offer customers with impressive performance levels. Their features also support a very expansive variety of platform where you can use the service in just about any device available find on the market.

The VPN service provider’s premium plan features OpenVPN and Chameleon protocols that are designed to avoid any deep packet inspection (DPI). The Chameleon feature scrambles your packet metadata with the support of OpenVPN 256-bit protocol to allow users to bypass DPI in countries with aggressive internet censorship like China, Russia, UAE, Turkey, and Syria. This helps to ensure your VPN connection remains undetected, unthrottled, and unblocked.

Additionally, VyprVPN’s app even has a kill-switch function to block off your internet traffic whenever your VPN connection drops. Similarly, their Cloud feature allows users to access cloud servers with an additional layer of security.

If you’re thinking of giving VyprVPN a go, it’ll be a good idea to try out their services first with the 3-day test run to decide if it’s suitable cause you’ll not be able to get a refund once you’ve signed up. On the other hand, VyprVPN has the best all-round choice of subscription plans that is billed annually. The Premium plan may be slightly pricey, but the package comes with all the advanced features that will come in super handy for your gaming needs.

Reasons to buy:

  • Fast streaming and download rates
  • Great encryption and privacy
  • 24/7 live support
  • Premium plan features security protocols to prevent Deep Packet Inspection

Reasons to avoid:

  • Not suitable for torrenting

#3 SurfShark

Cheapest Gaming VPN

SurfShark Best Gaming VPN

Headquartered and operating from the British Virgin Island (BVI), SurfShark is not required to comply to any data retention laws and is also not part of the 5, 9, or 14 eyes countries

SurfShark started out with a humble beginning of 100 servers to now more than 1,000 servers across the globe in just over a year. That is an amazing set of server locations which would allow simutalneous connections to multiple devices.

SurfShark stated that they do not collect data from your connection in their no-logging policy. They strictly do not track incoming and outgoing IP addresses, browser history, bandwidth, session information, connection timestamps, network traffic. The only information SurfShark will keep is your email address and billing information.

Generally, the more attention VPN companies receive for their unblocking capability, the stronger websites enforce these geo-blocks upon these individual VPN. This is where SurfShark gets ahead at, they’ve successfully avoided the spotlight and under the radar of such websites making them the potentially best gaming VPN with super-fast server connection.

SurfShark is without a doubt one of the most secure gaming VPN available in the industry. The company offers an unbreakable AES 256-bit encryption to keep your online activities safe and secure. This gaming VPN even features a CleanWeb function that ensures you can access the internet with free of ads, trackers, and malware.

Other than that, SurfShark even has a Multihop and Whitelister feature. The Multihop helps you establish a chain of VPNs that takes IP masking to a whole other level. With this VPN, you have the option to connect to two servers in different countries, so you’ll virtually appear in both locations simultaneously so simutalneous connections are allowed.

You can even specify apps or websites that you want excluded from connecting via the gaming VPN through their Whitelister function. This means you get the flexibility of securing certain sensitive apps and websites while other general usage apps can be excluded for higher-speed streaming and browsing.

SurfShark’s user-friendly app sports a new versatile design that makes it extremely easy to navigate. The options and menu are very snappy and conveniently kept in easy-to-find locations for a user-friendly experience.

This VPN service provider offers one of the most affordable subscription plans out there. In fact, SurfShark offers three different package plans that come with amazing discounts. If you end up not satisfied with their service, you can take advantage of their extensive 30-day money-back guarantee offer to get a complete refund.

Reasons to buy:

  • Unlimited device connection
  • Multihop Feature
  • Whitelister Feature
  • Unbreakable military-grade encryption service
  • User-friendly app

Reasons to avoid:

  • Some issue with kill switch feature

#4 CyberGhost

Best balance of performance and affordability for gaming VPN

CyberGhost Best Gaming VPN

With more than 5,000 servers globally spread among 90 different countries, this Romania based VPN provider offers seamless connection speed with high coverage. CyberGhost is even placed far away from the reach of the Fourteen Eyes Alliance and is not obliged to share its users’ information to anyone.

CyberGhost’s desktop app is supports L2TP, IKEv2, and OpenVPN protocols, making it one of the most secure VPN services in the industry. And as far as encryption goes, CyberGhost delivers military-grade encryption to protect all your critical information.

Another great feature is CyberGhost’s Kill Switch function that ensures you remain anonymous even when your VPN service drops suddenly. What it does is to completely cut off your internet connection once it detects that you’re disconnected from its service. Any way you look at it, it’s a win-win situation to ensure your privacy is secured.

Despite having great features, CyberGhost does come with a downside that is worth talking about. This VPN service provider does not efficiently block out advertisement pop-ups on HTTPS websites. However, CyberGhost’s ad-blocking feature works on major Windows, Mac, and iOS compatible devices, which should be more than sufficient for general users looking to stream online.

All in all, CyberGhost has plenty to offer gamers – from their optimized servers and great speeds to simple setups and user-friendly interface. This VPN service provider offers customers with connection of up to seven devices at top-shelf protection and unlimited accessibility.

Sadly, this VPN does not come with a free trial and the monthly plan can get quite pricey although the longer-term plans are much most cost friendly. Regardless, you can still make full use of their 45-day money-back guarantee in case you decide to go another route.

If you insist on having free trials, you may want to take a look at our thoughts on PureVPN. While it may not perform as well as CyberGhost does, it would be sufficient for an entry-level gamer nonetheless with free trials. 

Reasons to buy:

  • Simple and free extension for basic usage
  • Affordable subscription plans with streaming speeds
  • Permits up to 7 simultaneous connections
  • Great for first-time VPN users

Reasons to avoid:

  • Free extension does not include security features
  • Ad-blocking feature needs some improvement

#5 NordVPN

Best for ad and malware-free browsing

NordVPN Best Gaming VPN

NordVPN is one of the largest server networks with over 5,600 different servers spread out across 59 different countries. This VPN provider is headquartered in the data retention-free jurisdiction of Panama on top of employing a strict no-logs policy.

This VPN is making waves as a sleek, high-performance service with its latest encryption technology and intuitive implementation. While it has a deep list of features, the essentials remain easy and convenient to use with minimal management or fiddling around.

The VPN also supports other major security protocols to ensure your online activity always stays protected. With standard VPN encryption, your internet traffic travels through a single VPN server. However, with NordVPN’s Double VPN feature, this VPN routes your traffic through two hops to grant you an extra layer of protection. While it does make your data much more secure, your internet speed could take a hit and suffer a bit.

Other than that, NordVPN has two kinds of Kill Switch: for desktops and mobile devices. Either one will work to disable your entire internet connection when anything goes wrong to ensure your data remains secured even when you’re not connected to the service.

NordVPN’s affordable subscription plans come with some major features including their CyberSec feature which is specifically designed to block out any advertisement and prevent malware. Their lightweight and user-friendly extension is just a few clicks away to make your gaming a more streamlined and safer experience.

Ever wonder where does it stand in terms of affordability amongst its competitors? If so, you’d want to check out our comparison of NordVPN vs Private Internet Access, one of its major cmopetitors. 

NordVPN offers 4 different reasonably priced plans that are packed with many amazing features. Aside from their 7-day trial, the VPN service provider even has a hassle-free full 30-day refund policy in case you decide that it’s not the right fit for you.

Reasons to buy:

  • Double-VPN servers
  • Fast connection speeds
  • No-log policy
  • Accepts Bitcoin as payment

Reasons to avoid:

  • Speeds are sometimes volatile
  • Unable to specify individual servers you want to connect to

#6 PrivateVPN

Up and Coming

PrivateVPN Best Gaming VPN

PrivateVPN is based in Sweden that is found to be part of the five eyes alliance after some digging. This makes PrivateVPN a whole let less insecure as the Swedish government can demand the VPN service provider to hand over user data at any time.

Fortunately, PrivateVPN actually found a major loophole within Sweden’s legal system. How it works is that the company will not collect any personal data or record any logs so even if the government were to seize all the data from the company, they would not have any useful information to work on.

As of now, PrivateVPN only offers slightly above 150 servers spread over 60 countries. Although this amount is a little less compared to what other popular VPN service providers are offering, the average home gamers can still be perfectly content with what PrivateVPN has to offer.

Similar to major VPN providers, PrivateVPN encrypts all your data through their AES-256 encryption feature to keep your privacy secured from third parties. They even support a wide range of VPN protocols like OpenVPN (with TCP/UDP), L2TP, IPsec, PPTP, and IKEv2.

In the event you have any questions or doubts regarding your VPN service, you can always turn to their official website for support. They have a few dedicated support section that you can use to get more information:

  • Live Customer Chat Support – Unfortunately, this handy option is not enabled 24/7, more often you’ll be able to send a message and the company will offer email support responses.
  • Installation Guides – This VPN company has a series of nicely written installation guides that are easy to understand. They even have tech tutorials to guide you through a step-by-step process to improve your overall customer experience.
  • Gaming VPN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – PrivateVPN has done a good job of coming up with commonly asked questions and providing additional customer support that is on-point and concise.
  • Customer Support Tickets – You can send an email to the VPN’s tech support and you can expect a reply within a day.

PrivateVPN offers three subscription plans at very attractive prices that allow exclusive deals to their customers. It is also worth noting that the provider frequently gives out discounts, especially during certain holidays or celebrations. At times you can even see its annual subscription plan can go as low as $2.00 per month. So, do check out their webpage for any latest promotion or even free trial package which allows temporary use of free VPN.

The company accepts various payment methods such as using a credit card, PayPal, and even anonymous online payment like Bitcoin for that added layer of protection. All of its subscription plans come with a 30 day money back guarantee if you end up finding their VPN services are not up to expectations as other gaming VPNs.

Reasons to buy:

  • Fast connection speeds
  • Zero logs
  • Strong encryption
  • Supports Tor-over-VPN

Reasons to avoid:

  • Smaller server network
  • Lack of global coverage

#7 Hotspot Shield

Best for Speed

Hotspot Shield Best Gaming VPN

In terms of performance, Hotspot Shield’s upload and download speeds are proven to be slightly better than the rest of the gaming VPNs. So, you can expect an instantaneous connection for non-stop gaming session.

The downside of Hotspot Shield is that it does not have that many server locations, but their awesome performance surely makes up for that. This VPN app offers native apps for both Android and iOS that are seamless and simple to use.

Hotspot Shield is a brainchild of a US-based company called AnchorFree. Being part of the Five Eye Country means the company needs to abide by the country’s mandatory data retention rule and have to hand over any data upon request from the authority. For gamers, this shouldn’t be much of an issue.

Despite that, Hotspot is still safe to use as they will not expose your original IP addresses, DNS, or WebRTC information while you’re connected to their service. However, the company’s logging policy is a little confusing. Hotspot Shield claims that they do not keep logs of your online activity, yet there are a few areas where they mention using customer data for a variety of purposes.

If you’re on the free VPN version, you may expect to see some advertisements as the company teams up with a few third parties. Nonetheless, you need not worry about your privacy as the service provider will only hand out anonymized IP addresses and they will not sell user browsing history to the advertisers due to their privacy policy.

The paid version lets subscribers connect to five different devices at the same time with just a single account. This means users do not need to pay extra for securing their entire household with only one VPN service.

While Hotspot Shield’s subscription plans may not be the best exclusive deals, they do come with 45 day money back guarantee in case you do not fancy their services. You can utilize free VPN service by making a free Hotspot Shield account to test out their paid services with their 7 days free trial. But you do need to remember to cancel the trial subscription plan before the time’s up, otherwise, they will automatically start charging you for their monthly service.

Reasons to buy:

  • No logging
  • Up to five simultaneous connections
  • 45-day refund policy
  • 7-day free trial

Reasons to avoid:

  • Part of the Five Eyes country
  • Questionable logging policy
  • Free version comes with advertisement

The Final Verdict – Which is the best gaming VPN?

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN that needs no introduction, it is an all-time favorite among many internet users with more than 4,000 servers across 90 different countries.

ExpressVPN delivers a punchy performance along with numerous features like unblocking Netflix, reliable torrenting, tunneling protocols, 30 day money back gurrantee, Bitcoin Payments, and an extremely powerful encryption system to keep all your online gaming safe and secure.

Best Gaming VPN – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I really need a VPN for gaming?

Yes, as discussed above with many attractive features listed.

However, VPN is not only meant for gaming – it carries many substantial benefits such as spoofing your location and protect your user data and information from potential denial of attacks. So, go and do yourself a favor and subscribe to a VPN service.

Is using VPN legal for gaming?

Yes, using a VPN for is completely legal. It is definitely in your civil rights to have your personal data protected while on the internet. It is the same concept as using an envelope to protect your letters – some information just needs to be kept private. Similarly, you information online needs to be protected as well to ensure you’re not vulnerable to any malicious cyber-attacks.

However, many gaming sites do ban the use of VPN for inappropriate use that goes against their company’s terms and conditions. Hence, exercise it with caution

Am I anonymous when using a VPN while gaming?

No, you are not anonymous when using a VPN while gaming. Though many VPN companies mention complete anonymity on their websites, their privacy policy may just be suggesting otherwise. At the end of the day, there is really no way to determine just how credible these zero-logs claim really is.

VPN increases your security and privacy, but it does not make you anonymous. You essentially expose yourself and your online activities to the service provider simply by subscribing to their services. That said,  having the best VPN for Chrome would still make a big difference in your browsing experience. 

For those who are in a life-threatening situation such as politicians, reporters, journalists, and so on, you may consider using the top VPN for Tor browser for anonymity.

Am I considered safe when I use public Wi-Fi hotspots together with a VPN while gaming?

In most cases, it is safe to use public Wi-Fi hotspots with a VPN while gaming. VPN encrypts the traffic between your device and VPN servers. This way hackers won’t be able to read your data. Even if they somehow are able to intercept your traffic, all they will really see is useless encrypted gibberish.

Will I get banned from PUBG if I use VPN?

While the use of a VPN is not a violation of the PUBG Terms of Service, you should never play while being on a VPN as it might trigger the use of a Third-Party Application Ban. You can use VPN Tricks to get Free Rewards from other regions, but you need to keep in mind to not start any matches while being connected.

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