The best VPN for gaming will get you the speed you need to compete online but it'll do that without compromising your security. Not all VPNs are the same so finding the best for gaming is important as you'll want to keep ping times down for the best possible competitive edge online.
If you're spending a lot of time gaming online then it makes sense to keep your connection and personal details secure. It's also good to have a layer of defense against potential DDoS attacks that some overly competitive gamers will use as a weapon.
Another great feature is the ability to change your apparent location. This means you can play games that might otherwise be geo-restricted by country. It also means for anyone on an open connection like at a university, say, you'll still be able to play otherwise blocked games like Fortnite.
Speed will usually suffer a little as a result of bouncing your signal about through a VPN. However, we found in our testing that in some cases we actually got faster speeds. Yup, if you pick the right VPN for your location, there could really be nothing to lose and lots to gain.
How does a gaming VPN get me access?
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A VPN, or virtual private network, works by bouncing your signal through another server, using an assigned IP address. All that means you appear to be someone else, somewhere else. While that's great for anonymity and security, it also means you can appear to be anywhere you need.
This means you can appear to be outside the network – hence being able to access blocked content like Fornite at university, or a geo-restricted game in another country.
So which is the best VPN for gaming? We've tested them all and narrowed the list down to five that each offers a unique appeal, to help you find the best one for you. Be sure to check out our best VPN deals page to see if the option you are interested in happens to be on sale!
Best all-round VPN for gaming
- Fast connections for quality gaming
- Superb customer support
- Great mobile apps
- Top selection of servers worldwide
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for gaming as, frankly, it's the best VPN for most tasks. This is thanks to a huge number of high-quality and secure servers spread all over the world, more than 3,000 in 160 locations to be more accurate. This means you should have ones near to you for the fastest possible connection speed while gaming and staying anonymous and secure. That will keep your ping rates low while adding the security layer.
The ExpressVPN app options are also plentiful, meaning you can enjoy this on more than one device like your PC gaming rig, your console, and your phone, all at the same time, with up to five simultaneous connections.
Security is enterprise-level encryption graded and so tight that you can forget about the worry of a DDoS attack likely being a problem for you.
If you run into any issues, like even just trying to find the fastest server for what you're playing, there is a super helpful 24/7 live chat customer support that really works. All that means this is a little more expensive than the other options on the list but with a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked, it's well worth a try.
Fast connections: Very | Number of servers: 3,000+ | Server locations: 160 | Maximum devices supported: 5 | Can be used with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox
Best for uninterrupted connections
- Built-in WireGuard support
- Includes SugarSync storage
- Lots of app options
- Limited server locations in comparison
StrongVPN was basically designed with gaming in mind. The WireGuard integration allows for industry-leading speed and performance and helps ensure that your device stays connected for extended periods of time. You can use it with up to 12 devices at the same time, so no need to disconnect one machine to secure another, and it works across Mac, Android, Windows, iOS, Linux, and more.
The company is so sure you should be using it for gaming that it created a whole post about reasons you'll want to use it. With plans starting at just over $3 it's hard to beat this option.
Fast connections: Very | Number of servers: 995+ | Server locations: 30+ | Maximum devices supported: 12 | Can be used with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
Best for affordable high-speed gaming
- Super affordable
- Very fast for gaming
- Unlimited devices
- Fewer servers than some
Surfshark might be one of the younger VPNs but that just means it has more to prove – and it really does that well. Despite being one of the cheapest options out there this offers super-fast speeds on a very secure connection. It also covers the globe with over 80 locations featuring its servers, so getting around geo-restrictions isn't an issue.
Our speed tests found this to be one of the better options to keep your ping times low. But it does this with apps for multiple platforms which are super easy to use and backed by excellent encryption-based security and a clear no-logging policy for your privacy.
Surfshark can be used on an unlimited number of devices using one account and with backing for PlayStation, Xbox, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux this certainly should get lots of cross-device use.
Fast connections: Yes | Number of servers: 1,700+ | Server locations: 100+ | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited | Can be used with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Playstation, Xbox
Best for superb security and restriction evasion
- Great speeds for gaming
- Lots of server location
- Audited privacy
- Mobile app needs work
NordVPN is a superb gaming VPN thanks to its double-layer encryption and clear no-logging policy that's audited, meaning you have total peace of mind for privacy and anonymity. And thanks to a staggering 5,400+ servers spread over 80 locations you can expect fast speeds from this VPN too.
This will definitely help to make sure you don't have any DDoS issues and will make sure all your information is kept secure. Beyond that, you also have great geo-restriction fixes for gaming and streaming alike making this great for Netflix and BBC iPlayer access too.
There's also a useful 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try before you buy.
Fast connections: Very | Number of servers: 5,400+ | Server locations: 80+ | Maximum devices supported: 55+ | Can be used with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
Best for gaming-specific speeds
- Great ping features
- Fast live chat help
- Free cloud storage
- Apps are just ok
IPVanish is one of the best VPN options for gaming as it has dedicated gaming features on top of being fast. And by fast we mean up to five times faster than some of the competition over short hops – very impressive stuff. But what we love is the gaming-specific features like ping ordering. Yup, you can order your servers by ping time.
This means you can either get IPVanish to make sure you're locked into the fastest VPN available when you login, or you can pick servers that are specifically tailored for gaming. That should mean the lowest ping times and minimal lag.
You also get 250GB of free cloud storage, speedy live chat support, and up to 10 devices supported at once for simultaneous use.
Fast connections: Yes | Number of servers: 1,400+ | Server locations: 75 | Maximum devices supported: 10 | Can be used with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
Best for balance
- Decent gaming speeds
- Easy to use
- Free option
- Weak support
Hotspot Shield is a great VPN option for gaming as it strikes the balance nicely between affordability and performance. By performance, we don't just mean its ease of use, which is superb, but also speed.
Thanks to the proprietary Catapult Hydra protocol, Hotspot Shield boasts super speed connections and that applies even over long hop distances. So that makes this a great option if you need geo-restrictions on gaming removed while still wanting those ping times kept to a minimum.
This works on up to five devices at once, has Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux support, and offers one of the best money-back guarantees at a whopping 45 days. There's even a free version to try, although don't expect the same speeds and you're limited to 500MB per day.
Fast connections: Very | Number of servers: 3,200+ | Server locations: 130+ | Maximum devices supported: 5 | Can be used with: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
We test and review VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:
1. Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service).
2. Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroad.
We do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing.
A VPN will not in any way improve gaming, it'll add latency.
Don't get me wrong I use a VPN for some traffic that benefits from a VPN.
Gaming does not benefit from a VPN!
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