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Gaming with a VPN – The Best Options

Last edited: July 23, 2020
Reading time: 10 minutes, 35 seconds
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Summary: the Best VPNs For Gaming

Gaming with a VPN might not seem like the most logical thing to do, but if you use the right VPN, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. A good VPN for gaming has to be fast, secure, and able to unblock geographical restrictions.

The three best VPNs for gaming are:

  1. ExpressVPN
  2. Surfshark
  3. CyberGhost

In our experience, especially ExpressVPN won’t let you down during gaming.

Want to know why these VPNs are perfect for gaming? Check out our full article below to learn more.

Using a VPN while gaming might not seem like the most obvious choice. Most gamers fear that lag is unavoidable with a VPN connection. It’s true that the security measures provided by VPN services can slow down your connection. However, there are VPN providers that won’t affect your internet speed much while still keeping you safe online. If you pick one of these services, the advantages of using a VPN while gaming definitely outweigh the cons. By testing different providers, we managed to find a couple of excellent VPNs that are perfect for gaming.

The Best VPN Providers For Gaming

Best VPN for GamingThese are three of the best VPNs to use while gaming:

  1. ExpressVPN: The best and most reliable gaming VPN.
  2. Surfshark: High speed VPN that’ll allow you to game freely for a low price.
  3. CyberGhost: The most user-friendly VPN for gaming with fast speeds.

Do you want to stay safe and anonymous online, while also playing your favorite games without lag? Try out one of these VPNs. You can find out more information about these stellar VPNs down below.

ExpressVPN: the most reliable and fast gaming VPN

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN providers out there. Their connections are fast and stable and they have thousands of servers in almost a hundred countries all over the world. With enough servers to choose from, you can easily find the fastest one and enjoy its protection while playing an online game.

The VPN will protect you, but that’s not all there is to ExpressVPN. If you want to unblock a specific game that isn’t available in your country, ExpressVPN will help as well. Simply choose a server in a/the country that offers access to the game.

ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than many other VPN services, but in return you get complete and reliable online protection with many options and high speeds so you can keep on gaming without lag. If you’d like to try out ExpressVPN while gaming first, you can use their 30-day money-back guarantee. Want to know more about ExpressVPN? Read our detailed review of ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN
Our pick
Our pick
Deal:
3 months for free with a one-year subscription
9.5
  • Very easy to use VPN
  • Perfect for anonymous browsing, downloading, and streaming (i.e. Netflix)
  • 3000+ servers in 94 countries
Visit ExpressVPN

Surfshark: high speeds for a low price

In our recent tests, Surfshark turned out to be one of the very fastest VPNs on the market. Surfshark is a relatively new provider that quickly joined the top of most of our lists. Their service is very user-friendly and works on many different devices.

Since Surfshark’s speeds are so great, you won’t have to wait long for games to load. Ping results with Surfshark are very good, both with local servers and servers that are further removed from your location. If you want to use a VPN for gaming, Surfshark will provide you with the perfect protection without causing lag.

Surfshark’s biggest advantage is its price. A subscription will cost you just a couple of dollars a month, which is incredibly cheap compared to other providers. This great value for money might just be one of our favorite things of this provider.

Just like ExpressVPN, Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the service out before committing to a subscription. If you’d like to read more about this newcomer, you can read our full Surfshark review right here. Click the button below if you want to go straight to Surfshark’s website.

Surfshark
Deal:
Safe and anonymous internet for only $2.49 a month
8.8
  • Very user-friendly and works with Netflix and torrents
  • 30 days money back guarantee. No questions asked!
  • Cheap with many extra options
Visit Surfshark

CyberGhost: unlimited gaming with user-friendly software

The third best VPN for gaming is CyberGhost. This provider also scored very well in our speed tests. No matter where you are in the world, one of CyberGhost’s thousands of fast servers will help you stay safe online while gaming. Overall, we rated CyberGhost as the second best VPN overall, right after ExpressVPN.

CyberGhost’s speeds aren’t as fast as Surfshark’s or as reliable as ExpressVPN’s, but the difference will hardly be noticeable. This provider will allow you to play all kinds of games from all over the world without causing any troublesome lag. Moreover, it’s quite cheap, too.

The CyberGhost software is incredibly easy to work with, making it one of the most user-friendly providers we’ve come across. While you’re gaming, CyberGhost will dutifully protect you in the background. If you’d like to learn more about this VPN, you can read our detailed CyberGhost review. If you’d rather get started right away, head to their official website by clicking the button below.

CyberGhost
Deal:
Try CyberGhost for $2.75 per month!
9.3
  • Very user-friendly
  • High quality for a low price
  • Torrents and Netflix possible
Visit CyberGhost

What to Look For in a VPN For Gaming

If you want to use a VPN for gaming, there are several factors you might want to take into account. A good VPN for gaming has to work in a specific way, so it won’t negatively affect your gaming experience. Here are some of the considerations you might want to make before choosing a VPN service.

High speed and stability

Speed meterMost gamers will value speed and a stable connection in a VPN. A good connection is essential for online multiplayer games. You might have heard gamers complain or brag about their ping. This has to do with their internet speed.

Ping refers to the latency between the player’s client and the gaming server. The numbers refers to the time in milliseconds it takes for information to travel between the servers. The lower the ping, the better your online game will run.

A higher ping could cause lag, which is very annoying when you’re in the midst of playing a competitive online game. Some games will even disconnect a player if their ping is too high to function properly within the game. For this reason, our three best VPNs for gaming were mainly selected on their high speeds and stable ping.

To make sure that the speed of your connection doesn’t suffer too much when you use a server location that’s outside of your own country, simply connect to a server in a country closer to yours. The further away the server, the slower your connection might be.

Online security

Not all VPNs are equally safe. A good VPN will encrypt your online data and send it through a protected tunnel. This means your activities won’t be visible to others, including hackers, your ISP and the government. Your IP address will be hidden, meaning your location is safe and won’t be revealed online.

However, some VPNs don’t provide you with this kind of protection or might abuse the information you trust them with. What if they sold your data to other companies, for example? Or what if they use the information they gathered about you for marketing purposes?

Whether you’re gaming or just browsing, you need a VPN that you can trust with your data. That’s why our top 3 only includes VPN providers that have proven they provide decent online security and will keep your data safe and anonymous.

Unblocking abilities

Some game developers only launch new games in one country or a specific part of the world. This is often the case when they want to test the public response and are still looking for bugs. If you live in a country that isn’t allowed this early access, but you still want to be the first to play new games, a VPN is the solution.

Similarly, some countries ban certain games, for example because of their violent or sexual nature. Luckily, there is a way around this kind of 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.

Unblocking games with a VPN

VPN providers often have servers in a large number of countries. By connecting to a server outside your own country, you’ll bypass any restrictions that your geographical location imposes. You could 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.

However, not all VPNs are able to unblock the same (amount of) content. A VPN with a large server network is likely able to unblock more content than one with just a couple of VPN servers. Aside from that, websites can choose to block access for IP addresses that belong to VPN providers. The VPNs we’ve chosen for our top 3 are able to unblock almost all content and will allow you to play whatever games you wish.

Test period

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 use this test period, especially when you’re looking for a gaming VPN. If you notice that the VPN you’ve chosen isn’t performing as well as you want, don’t hesitate to cancel your subscription and try another one.

We at VPNOverview test VPN providers from our office in the Netherlands. 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. This way you have the best chance of finding a VPN that works for you. All of the VPN providers that we recommended in this article offer you plenty of time to try out their service before really committing to a subscription.

Why Would You Need a VPN For Gaming?

A VPN will give you a better gaming experience, because it allows you to game more freely and more securely. As mentioned before, not all games are available worldwide. A VPN can help you get access to games that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to play in your country.

In terms of safety, a VPN can make a big difference as well. Whether you’re simply browsing or playing an intense multiplayer shooter, on the internet you’re always at risk of being attacked. A VPN offers protection against all sorts of online dangers by encrypting all of your data and anonymizing your online activities.

In really intense and competitive online games, an opposing team might attempt to perform a DDoS attack on you and your team. This means they’ll send a lot of traffic to your server in an attempt to flood it. If they send in enough ‘fake’ traffic to exhaust your bandwidth, you won’t be able to play the game any longer.

Other, similar attacks often used in online gaming are locking users out of their account or wiping databases. You can protect yourself against these nasty tactics with a VPN. In short, if you want to get access to countless games from all over the world and keep yourself safe from online attacks, a VPN is the answer.

How to Set Up a VPN on Your Gaming Device

It’s easy to install a VPN on your gaming device. Whether you use a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or some other device, a VPN will be able to protect you in just a couple of minutes. The easiest way to install a VPN on computer is to download the program from the VPN service’s official website.

Installing VPN Step by Step Desktop

Follow these steps to install a VPN on your laptop or desktop computer:

  1. Go to the official website of your chosen VPN provider and create an account.
  2. Download the VPN software from the official website.
  3. Install the VPN software by following the steps described in the installation wizard.
  4. Log in to the VPN software with the account you’ve created in step 1.
  5. Choose the VPN server you wish to use. If you don’t want to unblock a particular game, choose the server that’s closest to you. This will give you the least lag while gaming.
  6. Turn on the VPN and start gaming as you usually would. You’re now protected by the VPN.

If you’re used to gaming on a device that isn’t a laptop or desktop, you can find out how to install those on the following pages:

Final Thoughts: the Best Gaming VPN

If you want to use a VPN during gaming, we recommend ExpressVPNSurfshark, and CyberGhost. These VPNs offer fast connections, stable servers, plenty of possibilities for unblocking content, and protection against online attacks.

It might not sound like the most obvious choice to use a VPN while you’re gaming, but it’s actually essential. A lot of games nowadays are played online. Everything you do when you’re connected to the internet is subject to hacking and other dangers. Some VPN services might slow down your connection, which is far from ideal while gaming. However, the three VPNs mentioned in this article will help you maintain your online security without producing lag.

The Best VPN For Gaming - Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about VPNs and gaming? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this topic. Simply click a question to see the answer.

The best VPN for gaming is ExpressVPN. This provider is the most reliable and offers high speeds that will barely affect your gaming experience. You won’t experience any lag, while also being able to unlock games from other countries. ExpressVPN has a big server network that will help you get the most out of your subscription.

Unfortunately, most free VPNs won’t be fast enough to use while gaming. Because free VPNs tend to have a lot of users on few servers, they aren’t very fast. This means you’ll experience a high ping and lots of lag while gaming. It’s better to use a cheap VPN instead, like Surfshark.

There are multiple reasons for using a VPN while gaming. The two most important ones are more online security and access to blocked games:

  • A VPN will protect you against DDoS attacks and other online dangers you might encounter while you’re gaming.
  • Some games can’t be played everywhere in the world, either because of censorship or because it’s still in beta. A VPN will allow you to access these games, no matter where you are in the world.
Tech journalist
Tove has been working for VPNoverview since 2017 as a journalist covering cybersecurity and privacy developments. Since 2019 she is VPNoverview.com's cybersecurity news coordinator.

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