Using a VPN while gaming might not seem like the most obvious combination. Most gamers fear that lag is unavoidable with a VPN connection. Though it is true that VPN services can slow down your connection because of all the security measures, there are VPN providers that prevent this from happening. Below you can find out what features of a VPN are important if you want to use it while gaming. Moreover, we will list the best VPN providers for gaming.
What to Look for in a VPN for Gaming
The thing that most gamers will value most in a VPN is the speed and stability of the connection. For online multiplayer games a good connection is essential. You will hear gamers complain or brag about their ping. The ping refers to the latency between the player’s client and the gaming server. The numbers refers to the time in milliseconds (ms) it takes for information to travel between the servers. The lower the ping the better your game will run. A higher ping can cause lag which can be very annoying when you are in the midst of playing an online competitive game.
Some games will even disconnect a player if their ping is too high to function properly within the game. For this reason, the VPN providers below are mainly selected on their high speeds and stable ping.
Whenever you access the internet you run the risk of being attacked, whether you are simply browsing the internet or playing an intense multiplayer shooter. A VPN offers protection against these dangers by encrypting all of your data an anonymizing your online activities.
In really intense and competitive online games it sometimes happens that an opposing team will DDoS players from the other team. This means they will send a lot of traffic to the IP address of their opponent. You can protect yourself against this nasty tactic with a VPN.
Some game developers only launch new games in one part of the world, often to test the response and find bugs. If you want to be the first to play new games but you live in a part of the world that does not provide you with early access, a VPN might be the solution.
Moreover, some countries ban certain games because of their violent or sexual nature. Luckily, there is a way around this censorship. If you are in one of these countries but want to be able to play those games you can bypass these restrictions with a VPN.
VPN providers often have servers in a large number of countries. By connecting to a server outside your own country you can bypass any restrictions that your geographical location imposes. You will access the internet as though you were in that country. This means the geographical restrictions of your own country don’t apply to you anymore.
To make sure that the speed of your connection does not suffer too much, you can connect to a server in a country close to your own. The further away the server the slower your connection will be.
Most VPN providers support different protocols for your online security. Some protocols are faster than others. However, often the fastest protocols are the least secure. In most VPN application interfaces it is easy to switch between protocols. What you could do is turn on the fastest protocol everytime you start gaming.
Most VPN providers have a test period or money-back guarantee that allows you to test their services before committing to a subscription. We would advise you to make good use of this test period. Especially when you are planning on using your VPN while gaming. We test VPN providers from the Netherlands but if you are somewhere else in the world, providers might perform very differently. Use the test period to see how the service performs in combination with your favorite game. If you do this you have the best chance of finding a VPN that works for you.
Best VPN Providers for Gaming
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN providers out there. Their connections are fast and stable and they have over 2000 servers in more than 90 different countries. With enough servers to choose from, you can easily find the fastest one and enjoy their protection while playing an online game. They are slightly more expensive than other VPN services but you do get the best package of speed and security in return.
You can try ExpressVPN service with a 30-day money-back-guarantee to see how you like it in combination with your favorite games.
- Super fast and simple VPN
- Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading and streaming (i.a. Netflix)
- 3000+ servers in 94 countries
IPVanish is one of the fastest VPN services and thus perfect for online gaming. They have a good number of servers in over 60 countries to ensure that you can always find a fast server near you.
With their solid protection you won’t become a victim of DDos attacks and you’ll be able to wreck your opponents without any lag.
Try out this service with their 7-day money-back-guarantee to see how it works in combination with your favorite games.
- Super fast VPN
- Torrents possible
- Netflix doesn't always work
Private Internet Access (PIA)
Private Internet Access is a popular VPN provider with great encryption and fast and stable connections. They’ll allow you to enjoy your games without noticing that you are completely protected. Really a great and affordable VPN for gamers.
Before you get a subscription with PIA check if they provide servers near where you are. Compared to the providers above they are available in fewer countries. However, if they are available in your county this does not matter for you.
- Strong focus on privacy and security
- Good price
- Fast and stable servers
The combination of gaming and a VPN might not be the most obvious one but is actually essential. A lot of games nowadays are played online. Everything you do when you are connected to the internet is subject to hacking and other dangers. VPN services are known to slow down your connection which scares off gamers. However, a lot of providers are working towards fast and stable connections and can be used while gaming, without producing lag. We recommend ExpressVPN, IPVanish, and PIA if you want to use your VPN during gaming. It is always best to go for VPN providers with a test period or money-back-guarantee so you can see it they work well for your location and internet connection.