Poor speeds can be an absolute turn-off when it comes to online gaming. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) especially target gamers as they use high bandwidth connections and throttle their internet. While the internet throttling is significant when you play as a single player, it’s even worse during multiplayer gaming.
Therefore, to make your life a whole lot easier and help you play online games without interruptions, I tested 50+ VPNs and came up with an awesome list of best gaming VPNs that I’ve personally tested for Fortnite, PuBG, Blade & Soul, and even Tibia. Among all VPNs, our top recommendation is ExpressVPN, based on its fast-speed servers with low pings and latency for lag-free gaming.
Side-by-Side Comparison of the Best VPNs for Gaming in 2021
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the best VPNs for gaming in 2021:
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands||The British Virgin Islands||Panama||Romania||United States||Sweden||Switzerland||United States|
|Security||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256-bit||AES 256-bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit||AES 256 Bit|
|Servers||3000+ in 94 Countries||3200+ in 65 Countries||5200+ in 60 Countries||7000+ in 90 Countries||35500+ in 78 Countries||150+ in 62 Countries||700+ in 70+ Countries||1900+ in 75 Locations|
|Speed||76.92 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection||75 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection||77.68 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection||74.25 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection||74 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection||72 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection||71.26 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection||80.31 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection|
|Streaming||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More|
|Compatibility||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers|
|Torrenting Support||All Servers||All Servers||Some servers||Some Servers||All Servers||All Servers||All Servers||All Servers|
|Best For||Best Gaming VPN||Best Value VPN for Gaming||Most Secure Gaming VPN||User-friendly Gaming VPN||Stable VPN for Gaming||Reliable VPN for Gaming||Awesome Gaming Functionality||Fastest VPN for Gaming|
|More Info||ExpressVPN Review||Surfshark Review||NordVPN Review||CyberGhost Review||PIA Review||PrivateVPN Review||VyprVPN Review||IPVanish Review|
|Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
The Best VPNs for Gaming – In-Depth Analysis (Updated 2021)
I tested 50+ VPNs on the basis of their speeds, security, encryption protocols, server network, and more and compiled a list of 8 VPNs that work great for gaming. Out of all, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for gaming in 2021:
1. The Best VPN for Gaming – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is tops our list as the best VPN for gaming in the industry. And honestly, I’m not surprised at all. This VPN tops the list of every guide.
Firstly, ExpressVPN offers ultra-fast speeds to users, and you won’t find any interruptions or delays while gaming, which is awesome. Whatever speeds your ISP offers on your connection, you won’t find any change in it at all. During my testing, ExpressVPN delivered a speed of 76.92 Mbps on my 100 Mbps connection, which was fast enough for me to play PuBG with my friends.
This VPN offers a dedicated app for routers, which allowed me to connect to all my gaming consoles that are not VPN compatible directly. It further offered a MediaStreamer feature that let me switch my location to another and stream geo-restricted content on my Xbox and PlayStation.
Except for gaming, you can also use this VPN to unblock and enjoy watching geo-restricted content like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more.
While this VPN only offers 5 simultaneous connections, you can always connect it to a router and enjoy a VPN-enabled connection on all devices. In case of any technical problems, you can always visit this VPN’s 24/7 live chat support that will try and solve your problem within a few minutes.
Gaming with ExpressVPN is absolute bliss as it offers easy configuration for routers with no lags and stutters whatsoever. In addition to its snappy performance, the built-in 256-bit encryption is designed to offer powerful protection. Thus, the ExpressVPN gaming experience is amazing.
You can get this VPN at a price of $6.67/mo on its annual plan along with a 3-month free subscription. This means that you can easily use the VPN for 15 months while paying for just 12. How much cooler can it get?
In case you’re curious about this VPN, you can check out our exclusive review of ExpressVPN.
2. Budget-friendly VPN for Gaming – Surfshark
Surfshark is one budget-friendly VPN for gaming that comes with an impressive even with its price. This cheap VPN actually has its own pros that made me list it in the 2nd position for gaming.
While testing this VPN’s speeds, it gave me super-reliable connection speeds when I connected this VPN to its WireGuard protocol, while the internet was not as stable as ExpressVPN when connected to other protocols.
However, the VPN still gave off an average speed of 75 Mbps on my 100 Mbps connection which was good enough to match of Fortnite with my friends while testing.
This VPN offers 3200+ servers worldwide, but the biggest turn-on of this VPN is its unlimited simultaneous connections to users, allowing me to share my VPN credentials with all my friends so there is no internet throttling on anyone’s end.
I also loved connecting this VPN on my router so that I could enjoy its connection on Xbox One and 360, and PlayStation 3 and 4. And using its ample amount of servers, I unblocked many streaming services ranging from Hulu to CraveTV.
Although you don’t get a separate DDoS protection feature with Surfshark, the VPN can easily protect you from frustrated gamers and snoops alike, thanks to powerful encryption and security protocols.
But perhaps the most eye-catching thing about Surfshark is its price. With an 81% Off discount, you can get Surfshark for $2.49/mo. At this price, Surfshark is perhaps one of the top VPN for gaming you can opt for today. To learn more about this service provider and its 30-day money-back guarantee, check out our in-depth review of Surfshark or opt for Surfshark’s free trial to test it yourself.
3. Secure VPN for Gaming – NordVPN
Another cool service you can choose is NordVPN which is the most secure service for gaming. Known as a behemoth in the industry, NordVPN is good at playing games and streaming and privacy, thanks to features like port forwarding.
During my testing, this VPN delivered me super-fast speeds on as many servers among the 5200+ servers I tested of this VPN. This made sure that wherever I am in the world, this VPN would offer me great speeds and service on any internet connection I own.
You previously must’ve heard that this VPN doesn’t deliver the speeds it promises. It was true, but since the rollout of NordVPN’s Nordlynx feature, it really is super-fast and offered a consistent speed of 77.68 Mbps on my 100 Mbps connection, while I was busy playing Blade and Soul.
Another notable feature that NordVPN offers is its double encryption. That said, While a double encryption system might offer impenetrable security, gamers might find the connection speed to be rather slow at times. NordVPN even offers built-in DDoS protection specifically geared towards gamers.
NordVPN offers a stable service on all its apps, so you won’t have to worry about getting stuck anywhere and checking up repeatedly. You would also be able to set this VPN on your gaming consoles and router. However, a drawback of this VPN is that it doesn’t offer a dedicated router app as ExpressVPN does.
I was also able to enjoy multiple streaming services using this VPN. These include Netflix, Amazon Prime, Channel 4, and more. I was also able to bypass BBC iPlayer’s geo-restrictions from my country with this VPN.
Lastly, NordVPN’s subscription plan prices are reasonable and designed to cater to every user’s needs. NordVPN will only cost you $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) and also include a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a more in-depth look at NordVPN, makes sure you check out the NordVPN review.
4. The Fastest VPN for Gaming – IPVanish
IPVanish is one of the fastest VPNs for gaming in the industry. Its black and green interface matches the Razer gaming mouse you own, which is pretty cool.
This VPN service may be based in a country that’s a member of the 5 Eyes – United States, but still impressed me with its service. However, the VPN offered me a fantastic speed of 80.31 Mbps on my 100 Mbps connection when connected to the UK servers, however, the US servers weren’t too great.
It further offers its service on routers too, and with its unlimited multi-logins, I couldn’t help but send over my credentials to all my family and friends who love gaming.
One thing IPVanish does is display quite a lot of information about its servers. And while this can somehow be annoying to you, it’s actually pretty useful in many cases. Also, if you consider ping to be a most important aspect than downloads, then you can make your decision based on this information.
One last thing I tested using this VPN is its ability to unblock geo-restricted streaming services. I mean, if you’re getting a VPN for yourself, why not take full advantage of it, right? This VPN worked quite nicely with Netflix, but it couldn’t unblock BBC iPlayer for me at all.
IPVanish comes built-in with powerful encryption, OpenVPN, and 256-AES for an ultimate gaming experience in terms of performance. With only $3.75/mo , IPVanish is truly a great VPN service for gaming.
For a more in-depth look at IPVanish, makes sure you check out the IPVanish review.
5. User-friendly VPN for Gaming – CyberGhost
Next up on my list, we have CyberGhost which is one user-friendly VPN for gaming. It is one trusted VPN provider that uses bank-grade encryption protocols to secure your gaming devices such as Xbox, PlayStation, or PC. It is an easy-to-use VPN with specifically designed apps for various platforms. Console gamers can buy a pre-configured VPN router rather than protect their online identity.
I tested this VPN for speeds, and the VPN did not give me bad speeds at all. I actually ended up playing a PuBG a few times with my friends with this VPN. CyberGhost is yet another VPN service that offers the latest WireGuard protocol, making my gaming experience super-fast and efficient.
With 7000+ servers alone in 90 countries, CyberGhost towers most small providers. But it’s not all about numbers; speed also matters a lot. Thankfully, CyberGhost offers punchy performance and excellent Ping reduction. There’s hardly any lag, and it rarely ever abruptly disconnects, which is perfect for playing action-packed games.
As far as security and privacy features are concerned, you get powerful encryption, kill switch, and excellent app compatibility across most mainstream platforms. But that’s not all; there are tons of other amazing features that CyberGhost offers for just $2.25/mo, which is covered in our CyberGhost review.
6. Gaming VPN With Balanced Performance – PIA
There are no possibilities that you haven’t heard of private internet access, which is one amazing gaming VPN offering powerful and balanced performance.
This VPN offered good speeds while testing, but the speeds were less than all the VPNs listed above. Since that’s one of the most significant aspects that matters when it comes to a gaming VPN, we had to take this VPN down and list it as the 6th provider.
I played League of Legends using this VPN, and neither did I experience any ISP throttling, nor any delays or lags, which made a considerable VPN to use for gaming.
PIA offers over 35500 servers in 78 countries worldwide to help you unblock any gaming title of your choice. Its US servers worked the best, offering an average speed of 74 Mbps on a 100 Mbps connection to me while gaming.
As for as unblocking is concerned, using its massive server network, it was pretty easy for me to unblock all popular streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, NBC, BBC iPlayer, and more, and let me enjoy its service on up to 10 devices at one time.
7. Reliable VPN for Gaming – PrivateVPN
The 7th VPN on our list is PrivateVPN, which is one of the most reliable VPN providers for gaming. This VPN offers decent speeds and gaming performance, but with fewer amount of servers.
The first thing I did was what I did to all the VPNs above, test this VPN service for speeds. I tested 11 of its US servers and a few of the UK’s and figured that this VPN gave better speeds on the former.
I tried playing Fortnite with all its US servers, and the best speeds I found getting delivered were on its Miami server, which is what I highly recommend to you all. The average speeds ranged between 70-72 Mbps on my base connection of 100 Mbps which was just fine.
The VPN also offered only 200+ servers across the world, which is lower than all the VPN servers that were offered to us on all other VPNs. However, the servers were reliable enough for gaming as well as streaming simultaneously.
I unblocked multiple streaming services using this VPN. These included Netflix US, Netflix CA, YouTube TV, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and more. I actually ended up watching a few episodes of The Tudors while I was streaming Netflix US.
The VPN also offered me 6 multi-logins so I could enjoy its service on most of the devices I owned, including Xbox One and PlayStation. It came at a price of $2.55/mo and comes with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee to users.
For more information about this VPN, read our detailed PrivateVPN review.
8. Great VPN With Gaming Functionality – VyprVPN
Last up, we have VyprVPN which is a great VPN that offers gaming functionality to users. Even though this VPN has more servers than PrivateVPN, its overall service made me list this VPN on the last spot.
I tested this VPN for its speed and performance when it came to gaming. Even with the lowest speeds of all on its US and UK servers, the VPN let me enjoy playing League of Legends without any delays or stuttering.
I got curious and conducted a VyprVPN speed test and it gave off an average speed of 71.26 Mbps on my 100 Mbps connection, which is not bad at all.
I could connect this VPN to 6 simultaneous devices and these included iOS, Android, Fire Stick, Mac, Android, and more. I could even connect this VPN to Xbox, PlayStation, and routers, which was just fine.
VyprVPN also unblocked various streaming services while you’re at it. I unblocked Hulu easily and enjoy a few episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale in my country. It also unblocked NBC, CraveTV, PeacockTV, SlingTV, and more easily using this VPN.
In case you’re looking for a VPN offering stable gaming functionality, this VPN is one fantastic option to do so. This VPN comes at a price of $1.66/mo along with a 30-day refund policy to test out its service without any commitments.
For a more in-depth look at IPVanish, makes sure you check out the VyprVPN review.
Why Do Gamers Need a VPN?
There are many reasons why gamers must use a VPN on their devices. 6 of them are mentioned below:
1. Boosting Internet Speed
Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) intercept and throttle your internet speeds while gaming. This is because gamers use high bandwidth which ISPs prefer throttling. Therefore, using a VPN is the best way to avoid ISP throttling. VPN uses encryption protocols and makes your activity anonymous so ISPs can’t single you out as a gamer to specifically throttle your internet connection.
2. Buying Region-Specific Games
Even if you can purchase several online games, some popular games are geo-restricted and are not available to everyone. Sometimes the game prices are higher according to your country. This is where a VPN can provide help. It can hide your actual geolocation and allow you to buy DLC packs or any region-specific games.
3. Lifting a Ban
There is no secret that some online gamers cheat during online gaming to win free points or upgrade levels and eventually face a ban. Game owners can ban your IP address so you cannot play again. But you can use a VPN to connect to a different IP address and play your favorite games once again.
4. Preventing DDoS Attacks
Pro gamers are on the verge of DDoS attacks, especially when they play a gaming tournament with cash prizes. Some gamers try to cheat their way to the top by launching DDoS attacks on other competitive players. To avoid that, use a VPN that offers DDoS protection to help you play online games safely.
5. Enhancing Protection
There are more chances of an IP address leak when you are playing multiplayer games. Sometimes your internet connection is not secure that hackers can intercept and use it to their benefit. By using a VPN, online gamers can quickly encrypt their device data and prevent any leaks.
If you wish, check out our best VPN for steam in the 2021 roundup as well.
6. Play while traveling
While you are traveling to any other country or region, marketplaces may not recognize you since you’ll be logged in from a different IP address and may not process your payments. By connecting to a VPN with the server from the country your profile was created in, you can easily bypass this inconvenience.
A VPN can also help you play streaming services like XCloud and Google Stadia if they are not available in your country. By simply changing your actual IP address, you can get instant access to these services.
How to Configure a VPN For Gaming?
Configuring a VPN for gaming on a laptop, desktop, or smartphone is super easy. Almost all the VPN providers provide official applications that you can directly install on your device. Setting up VPN on gaming consoles is tricky as VPN providers do not offer official applications for those devices.
Don’t worry; we will tell you about the three easiest ways to connect your Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and other game consoles to your VPN.
Configuring VPN on your Router
The easiest method for setting up a VPN on your gaming console is configuring it on your router. Here is an easy guide to set up a VPN on your router.
This method will also allow you to protect every device connected to your router network at once. You can either purchase a specialized router dedicated to working with VPNs or configure your router with VPN settings. While easy to set up, these are expensive options, and not all VPN providers sell their own routers.
Configuring a VPN on Playstation
Follow these steps to set up a VPN on PlayStation using your Windows or Mac:
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN and download its app on your Windows PC (I recommend ExpressVPN).
- Launch the VPN app and connect to a server in the US.
- After this, use a crossover cable to connect to your PS4 or 5 to your PC.
- Visit the Control Panel > Network and Sharing Centre.
- Choose ‘Select Adapter Settings’ from the left pane of the screen.
- From there, click on the VPN icon you’re using and click Properties.
- Visit the sharing tab from there and tick enable. After this, enable ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet connection.’
- From the Home Networking Connection in the drop-down, choose a connect you want to connect to your PlayStation. Click OK.
- Access the XMB menu of your PlayStation 4 or 5 and visit Settings > Network Settings > Set Up Internet Connection.
- Once you’re done, select ‘Use a LAN cable’ and turn the connection method to Easy.
- Press on Do Not Use a Proxy Server when prompted.
- After accepting all settings, choose Test Connection and you’re good to go!
- Subscribe to a VPN you prefer and install its app on your Mac (I highly recommend ExpressVPN).
- Use a crossover cable to connect your Mac to your PS4 or 5.
- After this, from the bottom of your screen, open System Preferences -> Sharing -> Internet Sharing.
- Select Ethernet, Airport, or Wireless from the drop-down menu that says Share Your Connection From.
- Next, select Ethernet from the ‘to computers using’ list.
- Check the box next to Internet Sharing to activate the Wi-Fi sharing between your Mac and your console. Watch out for the green icon that indicates a successful connection.
- Launch the VPN software and connect to a server from the VPN’s list of available servers.
- From the XMB menu of your PlayStation 4 or 5, visit Settings > Network Settings > Setup Internet Connection. Then select ‘Use a LAN cable’ when prompted and turn the connection method to Easy.
- Press on Do Not Use a Proxy Server when prompted.
- After accepting all settings, choose Test Connection and you’re good to go!
Configuring a VPN on Xbox
- Subscribe to a reliable VPN like ExpressVPN.
- Connect your Xbox through an Ethernet cable to your VPN-enabled PC.
- Hover over the Start button and right-click on it.
- Press Settings > Network and Internet > VPN > Change adapter settings.
- Right-click on your VPN icon.
- Click Properties > Sharing tab.
- Tick the box saying Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection.
- You will find the Select a private network connection box and click on it.
- Select your Xbox’s Ethernet connection and click OK.
- Click on the Xbox button on your controller.
- Click the RB button three times.
- Choose Settings > Network tab > Network Settings >Test network connection. After this, your console should connect to the internet.
Configuring a VPN on Nintendo Switch
Sadly, Nintendo Switch doesn’t offer native support to VPN apps. Therefore, you’d require setting up a VPN on your router to use it on your Nintendo Switch. Follow this guide to set up a VPN on your DD-WRT router:
- Launch the DD-WRT control panel and visit Basic Setup.
- Select the protocol you prefer under the Connection Type dropdown.
- Make sure that the Use DHCP option is enabled to Yes.
- Visit the Gateway (PPTP Server) and enter the server address.
- Enter your username and password in the relevant fields.
- Scroll down to make sure that the DHCP Server is enabled.
- Press Apply Settings > Save.
- Visit the Status menu on the top of the screen to check the connection of your VPN.
- Go to WAN in the menu and click Connect.
- Once connected, go to your Nintendo Switch and connect it to the VPN-enabled internet.
How to Choose the Best VPN for Online Gaming?
You do need to keep some important factors in mind before subscribing to any VPN. Here is the list of different factors that you should consider when choosing the best VPN for online gaming:
- Low Pings
- Compatible with all major platforms, including Routers / Consoles
- Security & Protocols
- DDoS Protection
- Port Forwarding
- Availability Of Servers
- Ease Of Use
How to Unblock Region-restricted Games Through a VPN
Here’s how you can quickly use a virtual private network to play region-restricted games online:
- Subscribe to a VPN service of your choice (ExpressVPN is my top recommendation).
- Install the VPN app on a router or your device.
- Log in to the app using your credentials.
- Connect to servers from countries where the games you want to access are blocked.
- Finally, download and play your favorite games online without restrictions & throttling.
Tips for Reducing Ping
Gamers understand how frustrating slow internet can be, even if there is a slight difference in 4-5ms ping. There are many popular games that Gamers can’t play without a lower ping. This is why you must always look to reduce ping to enjoy online gaming to the fullest.
- Your PC’s antivirus and firewall can create a sudden delay in latency speed as these security features collect packets from any game server. That’s why you must white-list all the online games on your PC to prevent packet loss and lower ping.
- Always use the right graphic card, processor, and RAM to handle the advanced game settings because it reflects the frame rates. To do that, you must carefully optimize the game settings according to your PC configuration.
- Connect your PC with Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi to lower ping as well as latency and packet loss. As most household devices use in-home Wi-Fi, using Ethernet directly can be the best choice for gaming seamlessly.
- Ensure you are not running any background programs such as Twitch or Netflix, which can intercept your bandwidth speed. Also, automatic updates can take a toll on the internet speed and suffocate the framerate while gaming.
- Lower the number of connected devices from the main router because it cannot handle huge traffic and hog your online gaming speed. Even if you cannot disconnect all the devices, try to reduce the numbers as much as possible to reduce ping.
Best VPN for Gaming on Reddit
Although I’ve personally tested out the above-mentioned gaming VPNs, I still wanted to see what the Reddit community had to suggest. Surprisingly, the majority of Reddit users either suggested NordVPN or ExpressVPN for gaming. So let’s take a look at some comments regarding gaming VPNs, according to Reddit.
Here’s one Reddit user suggesting to use NordVPN for playing Global
Another Reddit user suggested connecting to a VPN while launching the VPN and disconnecting once the game is up.
There you go, some reviews about the best VPNs for gaming according to Reddit in 2021. Read more VPN reviews by Reddit users.
FAQs – Best VPN for Gaming
So now that you know why and which gaming VPNs you should use, let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions about gaming VPNs.
Yes, VPNs are actually quite good for gaming. In fact, a VPN can help you achieve better pings (in some cases), fast speeds, protection against DDoS, and also provide you access to geo-restricted games from around the world. I highly recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for gaming as it offers fantastic speeds, unblocking capabilities, and 3000+ servers across the world.
Yes, a VPN can help you reduce pings if you’re experiencing packet loss from your ISP’s endpoint or if your packets are being transferred through multiple hops.
Yes, a VPN will slow down your gaming speeds. However, the actual percentage of speed fluctuations is subjective and depends upon numerous factors. You can get better speeds by connecting to a VPN server that’s closer to your actual geographical location.
No, your ping should not affect your FPS directly, but you can mess around with FPS that can have an impact on your pings. For instance, if you want to mess around, you can drop your FPS below a specific threshold and spike your pings significantly.
To enjoy online gaming to the fullest, you need to use a VPN. Opting for the best gaming VPNs will help you avoid ISP throttling, attain lower pings, avoid DDoS attacks and unblock geo-restricted games from anywhere in the world.
If you’re looking for a VPN for generic use like streaming and overall protection, I suggest you check out our list of best VPNs. However, for me, ExpressVPN worked great and is highly recommended to use for the ultimate gaming experience.
Also, if you are looking for VPNs that will not make a hole in your pockets and allow you the best gaming experience at the same time, then we suggest checking out our list of best free VPNs for gaming.