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Best VPN for Gaming

Charlotte Darrell
Charlotte DarrellUpdated

Unless you use a VPN while you’re gaming, you risk exposing yourself to a ton of potential privacy issues. This includes things such as DDoS attacks, which target individual IP addresses and cut off your internet connection – this could be particularly frustrating if you’re playing an online multiplayer game. On a more general level, using a VPN also means that your ISP and other third parties aren’t able to see what you’re up to online. The VPN market has become a crowded one as of late, so we’ve sourced the best VPNs for gaming to make your decision a little easier.

Our top VPN picks for gaming boast plenty of server choice and the most consistent speeds to ensure that your gaming experience remains silky smooth while your privacy and security stay protected. Our proprietary speed-testing technology means we can provide you with the most accurate VPN speed data across several global locations, so you can’t go wrong with one of our gaming picks.

The 5 Best VPN Services for Gaming
  1. ExpressVPN
  2. IPVanish
  3. PrivateVPN
  4. CyberGhost
  5. SaferVPN
Read on for our detailed analysis of each VPN.
Our pick for Gaming
ExpressVPN

A fantastic all-round VPN. Super fast and secure. 24/7 livechat support.

Best price
$6.67 per month
Special deal
49% off 15-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
94 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
3
Pros
  1. Local download speeds up to 224Mbps
  2. Very low latency on majority of servers
  3. Easy setup on all devices
  4. Connect securely to 94 countries
  5. Logging limited to anonymous usage stats
  6. 24/7 livechat support
Cons
  1. Price could be lower on shorter plans
  2. Three simultaneous connections only
Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is an incredible all-rounder with a top-notch privacy policy and super fast download speeds on both local and distant connections. It’s hard to beat on almost all fronts, so could be a good choice for gamers also looking to protect themselves whilst streaming or even just browsing.

Our top pick VPN boasts local download speeds of up to 224Mbps and very low latencies in most global locations, making it perfect for lag-free gaming.

With fool-proof setup on loads of devices, ExpressVPN is hard to beat in terms of compatibility. The limit of three simultaneous connections may be a problem for some, but it’s unlikely to affect most everyday users.

ExpressVPN also offers solid privacy features and top-class 24/7 live chat customer support. Committing to the 15-month plan costs $6.67 a month and while you can find cheaper VPNs on the market, our top-ranking provider’s level of quality far outweighs the difference in price.


Read our full ExpressVPN review

2
IPVanish

Zero-logs VPN with top-class speeds. Plenty of server locations.

Best price
$6.49 per month
Special deal
46% off with 12-month plan
Money-back guarantee
7 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
61 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
10
Pros
  1. Super fast local download speeds of up to 348Mbps
  2. Consistently low latency
  3. Simple setup on popular devices
  4. 40,000+ shared IP addresses in 61 countries
  5. Genuine zero-logs policy
  6. Reliable 24/7 live chat support
Cons
  1. Clunky desktop app
  2. 7-day refund period could be longer
Bottom Line

IPVanish is a super-fast provider that almost made it to the top spot but falls down when it comes to usability.

With lightning-fast local download speeds and consistently low latencies, this VPN offers a beautifully slick gaming experience. Performance is a lot less reliable connecting internationally, so be sure to check out our speed test results to see if this affects you.

IPVanish is also one of our top picks for privacy, with a strict zero-logs policy as well as a VPN kill switch and protection against DNS leaks. This goes a long way to making up for the fact it’s based in the privacy-unfriendly US.

The clunky desktop app lets IPVanish down but is simple enough to use when you get the hang of it. Customer support is improving with the introduction of 24/7 live chat, and it’s not a bad price at $6.49 per month on the annual plan. Keen gamers also looking to torrent in private should definitely consider IPVanish.


Read our full IPVanish review

3
PrivateVPN

Incredibly fast zero-logs VPN. Great on local and international connections.

Best price
$3.60 per month
Special deal
67% off with 17-month plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
Live chat Support
No. of Server Locations
57 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Pros
  1. Lightening-fast local download speeds of up to 395Mbps
  2. Incredibly low latency in popular locations
  3. Easy setup on popular devices
  4. Generous six device connection limit
  5. Connect securely to 57 countries
  6. Strict zero-logs policy
Cons
  1. Could offer more individual servers
  2. Live chat support is inconsistent
Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is a new provider on the market that’s a great choice for VPN newbies looking to stick to a budget.

With very impressive local and global performance and super low latencies (2-4ms) in most locations, PrivateVPN does very well to provide a slick gaming experience. However, it comes in at third place due to the low number of individual servers- just 100 spread over 57 countries. This could mean reduced performance during busier times.

PrivateVPN offers a strict zero-logs policy and a whole host of privacy extras, including a VPN kill switch and first-party DNS servers. The desktop app is great but mobile lacks advanced options.

Customer support is a mixed bag, with inconsistent access to live chat but a very comprehensive set of resources on the website. PrivateVPN is well worth a look as an alternative to some of the more well-established services for gaming, especially at the bargain price of just $3.60 on the 17-month plan.


Read our full PrivateVPN review

4
CyberGhost

Fast zero-logs VPN for those on a budget. Very helpful 24/7 customer support.

Best price
$2.75 per month
Special deal
77% off with 18-month plan
Money-back guarantee
45 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
60 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
7
Pros
  1. Super fast local download speeds of up to 238Mbps
  2. Simple setup on popular devices
  3. Connect securely to 60 countries
  4. Advanced security features, such as split tunneling
  5. Strict zero-logs policy
  6. Quick and friendly 24/7 customer support
Cons
  1. Latency very laggy in some locations
  2. Could offer more IP addresses
Bottom Line

CyberGhost is a budget zero-logs VPN, offering fast performance and extra security features.

CyberGhost offers a good number of individual servers – just over 3,000 in total – but local performance isn’t quite as good as our top picks, and latency can be laggy in some locations. Thankfully the generous 45-day money-back guarantee means you can thoroughly test the VPN out on your preferred servers before you commit.

This truly is a zero-logs VPN, offering high levels of privacy and advanced security features, such as split tunneling and first-party DNS servers. A generous limit of seven simultaneous connections means you can protect your family’s devices as well as your own. If you do run into problems the friendly customer support agents are on hand 24/7.

CyberGhost is a solid option for privacy-conscious gamers looking for a quality VPN that won’t break the bank. The custom apps are simple and sleek, and at the low price of just $2.75 on the 18-month plan, it’s easy to overlook its minor downfalls.


Read our full CyberGhost review

5
SaferVPN

Fast and reliable. Really cheap 3-year plan. 5 simultaneous connections.

Best price
$2.29 per month
Special deal
80% off with 3-year plan
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
Customer Support
24/7 live chat support
No. of Server Locations
34 Countries
Simultaneous Connections
5
Pros
  1. Peak speeds of 236Mbps on local connections
  2. Simple setup on popular devices
  3. Offers five simultaneous connections
  4. Connect securely to 34 countries
  5. Advanced security features, such as DNS leak protection
  6. Minimal logging with no personally-identifiable data
Cons
  1. Very limited server network
  2. Based in privacy-unfriendly USA
  3. Customer service could be improved
Bottom Line

SaferVPN is a another cheap and cheerful choice for gamers, with very fast local connection speeds and simple setup on major platforms.

We experienced zippy uploads and downloads connecting both locally and internationally, and a decent number of individual IP addresses (1000 in total) means you shouldn’t struggle too much for performance. Latency varies from one location to the next, but is overall pretty low and more than good enough for gaming.

Despite being based in the privacy-unfriendly US, SaferVPN’s minimal-logging policy collects no personally-identifiable information, therefore your online activity can’t be traced back to you as an individual. This VPN also boasts some great extra privacy features, such as a kill switch and protection against DNS, IPv6 and WebRTC leaks.

Although you have to commit to three years to take advantage of the whopping 80% discount, at $2.29 per month, this VPN is very well-priced. If you’re willing to overlook the patchy customer support and limited server network, SaferVPN is a great budget-friendly choice for gamers.


Read our full SaferVPN review

How we picked the best VPN for gaming for 2018

Our top picks for gaming have a wide selection of global server locations and fast download speeds to give you the best gaming experience possible, without compromising on privacy or security. The highest-rated providers have super low latency and reliable connections for lag-free gaming.

We continually test the best VPNs for gaming on our site so we can keep our reviews as up-to-date as possible. Using our proprietary speed-testing tool, we update our reviews with the most accurate global speed test results and only recommend providers offering the highest levels of performance. We manually put each app through its paces so that we can let you know just how it is to use them.

Do I need a VPN for gaming?

Connecting to the internet without using a VPN is a risk to everyone, gamers included. But do you really need a VPN for gaming alone? In certain situations, we’d say yes:

  • If you are into competitive online gaming and e-sports, using a VPN can protect you against DDoS attacks by masking your true IP address, making it virtually impossible for wannabe hackers to cut off your internet connection and ruin your chances of winning.
  • Connecting to gaming servers far away from your true physical location means higher ping time and increased lag. A VPN hides your online activity from your ISP, so they won’t find any reason to slow down your connection.
  • If you connect to gaming servers located far away from your physical location, ping time will increase and cause lag. Using a VPN allows you to experiment with connecting from different servers, making it possible to reduce latency and improve performance.
  • If you want to encrypt your gaming traffic to ensure your personal data, such as financial details, and save files remain safe and private, then a VPN is a must-have.

In a nutshell, you should use a VPN while gaming if you want protection from DDoS attacks and ISP bandwidth throttling or if you want keep your gaming data and save files secure and private. If none of these apply to you and gaming isn’t the main reason you’re going to be using a VPN, we’d recommend checking out our roundup for the Best Overall VPNs of 2018.

How to use a VPN for gaming

Depending on the device you use, there are several simple ways to use a VPN while gaming. Most VPNs are compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, covering most of your desktop and mobile devices. You can also install most VPNs at router level, which is especially useful if you wish to use them with any games consoles. One major advantage of this is that every internet-connected device in your home will be protected by the VPN, however it does make switching between servers significantly more difficult.

If you want the fastest performance speeds and the smoothest gameplay, be sure to connect to the closest server to your physical location. Most providers will automatically do this for you, but if the one you have chosen doesn’t offer this feature, connecting to a server in the same country will do the job. This will also ensure the lowest possible latency so you don’t experience any lag.

For more information about using a VPN on your router, check out our user-friendly installation guide here. If your VPN isn’t configurable on a router, we also have a handy guide on how to use a VPN with your games console (we used Playstation as an example).

How to choose a VPN for gaming: 6 tips: 6 Tips

  • Does it offer fast speeds and low latency to your location from your preferred servers?

    In order to have a lag-free, smooth gaming experience fast performance speeds and low latency are absolute musts. Our top picks boast low ping times (some of less than 1ms) and quick, consistent local download speeds, making them perfect for gamers. Check out our VPN speed test results for more detailed information on specific locations.

  • Does it work on your preferred devices?

    Generally, VPNs are compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. However, if you want to use a VPN on your favorite games console, your options become more limited. Our top pick, ExpressVPN, stands out with its MediaStreamer DNS service, offering a one-click solution for a wide range of consoles and streaming devices. Alternatively, you should look for a VPN that can be easily configured with your router as this will then protect all internet-connected devices in your household.

  • Check the number of simultaneous connections supported

    If you want to protect your (and your family’s) privacy on multiple devices and consoles, you need to look for a provider that offers a decent number of simultaneous connections, with the best providers offering a very generous connection limit of 10 devices.

  • What is their logging policy?

    Most providers will falsely claim to be completely zero-logs, however in the real world this is very rarely the case. In order to maintain a decent level of server performance across a global network, providers usually need to collect at least some basic customer connection metadata, and this isnt a problem as long as it cant be used to personally identify you. We read through all the privacy policies so you dont have to- simply check out the logging policy section of our reviews for more info. Look for a provider that collects very minimal connection logs, or preferably no logs at all.

  • Are their client apps and software easy to use?

    You could find an excellent VPN with loads of advanced features and brilliant performance, but this is no good if the apps are overly complex or clunky. Look for a VPN that offers a range of easy-to-use custom apps to ensure a smooth experience, and then youre more likely to use it on a regular basis. You can find the low-down on each provider’s software in the Ease of Use section of our reviews, safe in the knowledge that we have thoroughly tested each and every one.

  • Finally, check the price and money-back guarantee

    With the majority of VPN providers, you get better value for money if you sign up for a longer subscription. If you like to try before you buy, look for free trials or ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantees. The majority of our top picks offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to test out the VPN service to your heart’s content, risk free.