Gamers face a lot of privacy issues online, thus a free gaming VPN sounds like a good option for protecting against DDoS attacks and swatting. However, the real challenge is finding a quality free VPN that is perfect for gaming.
There are many affordable VPNs for gaming, but free VPNs come with a lot of limitations as discussed below. Most free VPNs don’t offer the required security by gamers which becomes counterproductive. Similarly, free VPNs also come with data restrictions, and speed, therefore, free VPNs might end up ruining your gaming experience.
Why are free VPNs risky for Gaming?
Free VPNs are not recommended for Gamers as they can be risky to use. Free VPNs don’t offer protection against DoS and DDoS attacks as a premium VPN does. Meaning, other gamers can access your location and other private data. Some other reasons why free VPNs are risky for Gamers includes:
- Free VPNs track the online activity of users and sell it to third-party advertisers.
- Free VPNs don’t offer good encryption.
- Free VPNs offers limited bandwidth and throttle speeds
- Free VPN offers limited servers congested with users.
That is why we recommend gamers use a premium VPN for protection against DoS and DDoS attacks. Therefore, let’s look at some premium VPNs before moving towards free VPN services:
The Best Free VPNs for Gaming (Updated April 2021)
Free VPNs come with limitations, but if you still want to use a free VPN for gaming, then here are the best free VPNs that we have tested for you.
1. Windscribe – Free 10GB per month for gaming
Windscribe is a great option for gamers because it is compatible with routers and offers 10 GB of free data per month. So, you can only play games that are not data-heavy. For example, if you use it with lighter games like Call of Duty and PUBG, it might last you for 10 days. You can get 5GB of data more if you tweet about Windscribe.
It also offers unlimited simultaneous connections so you can use it on your console and other devices at the same time. Windscribe has servers in 60+ locations, but the free version limits access to only 10 locations. Similarly, we also experienced slow speeds during peak hours.
You can learn more about this service in our Windscribe VPN review.
2. ProtonVPN – Unlimited Data and Bandwidth for Gaming
ProtonVPN is totally free VPN for gaming with no hidden costs. It is also one of the few VPNs that offer unlimited data and bandwidth, so you dont have to worry about running out of your daily limit. Another great feature is that ProtonVPN is fully compatible with routers so you can connect it to your gaming consoles.
It even has an ad-blocker and kills switch. However, with its free VPN, you only get access to 3 server locations: Japan, the US, and the Netherlands. Due to fewer server choices, I found that during peak hours speeds were extremely slow, and the connection was dropping constantly which was very bad for the overall gaming experience.
You can learn more about this service in our ProtonVPN review.
3. TunnelBear – 500 MB free data per month with GhostBear
TunnelBear is a user-friendly VPN that gives you 500 MB of free data per month, which is around one hour of gaming every 30 days. It is very less, but you can get 1GB of free data if you tweet about TunnelBear. It is a great choice for PC gamers due to its animated app, as it also supports P2P and gives access to 26 server locations.
TunnelBear also offers an amazing feature called GhostBear that makes your VPN traffic look like normal traffic. It helps stop ISP throttling. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with routers, so you’ll have to share your connection via PC.
You can try its premium version, but it doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. For more information, see this TunnelBear review.
4. Hotspot Shield – 500 MB free data per day for Gaming privately
Hotspot Shield is a paid VPN service that offers a free version to its users with 500 MB of free data on daily basis. So, you can play games online for one hour or more every day. Another amazing thing is that you dont have to register or enter any payment details to get the free Hotspot Shield version.
It also features Catapult Hydra protocol for speed and security. I experienced no lags with Hotspot Shield, however, my only concern was that free users can only access servers in the US. And, it is not compatible with routers so you cant use it on gaming consoles.
You can learn more about this service in our Hotspot Shield review.
5. Hide.me – 10 GB/mo free data with no speed restrictions
Hide.me offers 10 GB free data per month on its free plan which is more than enough for gaming 7 hours securely and privately. What’s best about Hide.me is that it doesn’t restrict speed or security features for its free users. We did not experience any connectivity issues or lags.
However, free users can only access 5 server locations in Canada, the US (East and West), Netherlands, and Singapore. It is also compatible with routers so you can easily set it up on your router and connect it with your gaming console,
You can learn more about this VPN software in our Hide.me review.
6. Speedify – Channel bonding for lag-free gaming
Speedify offers 2 GB of free data and it also allows torrenting. It also offers an amazing feature called Channel bonding that combines 2 connection sources to increase speeds. For example, you can combine your Wi-Fi and mobile data to play games without any lags.
Unfortunately, the channel bonding feature takes up more data than the normal connection, so you might end up using all your free data in one sitting. Similarly, it is not compatible with routers, however, you can share your PC connection with your gaming console.
For more information, check out this detailed 2021 Speedify Review!
7. Betternet – Premium Security features for Secure Gaming
Betternet is another premium VPN that offers a completely free version for its users with 500 MB of free data per day. This data will last you around one hour of gaming per day which is not that bad if you compare it with other VPNs on this list.
Betternet offers strong encryption and security features on its free version. Similarly, it also offers the Catapult Hydra protocol that is used by Hotspot Shield to enhance speed for playing online games with low latency. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with routers.
You can learn more about this VPN in our Betternet review.
Is a VPN better for Gaming?
Gamers have to face alot of online privacy issues and when using public Wi-Fi their primary concern is that their IP address is exposed to other gamers. Anyone can use your IP address to launch a Dos or DDoS attack, thus taking control of your home network and restrict access.
Hackers can also use your IP address to track your real location and trigger a swatting attack. A swatting attack is creating a false threat and sending SWAT to the gamer’s house. It is one of the most serious threats faced by gamers and has led to fatalities in the past.
By using a VPN, you can protect yourself against such threats. A VPN encrypts your online traffic thus masking your real IP address by rerouting your traffic from another server location, making it impossible to track your online activities.
Similarly, a VPN also helps in Geo-spoofing your IP address. Therefore, both your IP address and GPS location are masked. Therefore, we recommend using a premium VPN for gaming that is not only compatible with a router but is also secure.
Free VPN for Gaming Limitations and Restrictions
Free VPNs don’t charge users subscription-free as discussed above, so the question is how do free VPNs make money? Well, these free services limit most features and compromise security features.
Free VPNs don’t offer the same security and protection as those offered by premium VPNs. Therefore, with substandard security features, free VPNs cannot protect you from in-game DDoS attacks.
And that’s not it. Most free VPNs log user data and sell it to third-party advertisers. For example, Hotspot Shield monetizes its free VPN app using ads.
Gaming requires 300 MB of data per hour. However, most free VPNs only offer a maximum of 10 GB of data which is very little for gamers who play data-intensive games. Similarly, free VPNs that offer unlimited bandwidth, restrict your speed. Therefore, you cannot play heavy games like Overwatch with a free VPN.
Limited Server Access
Free VPNs limit the number of servers that can be accessed by users. Fewer servers mean these servers are congested with traffic, thus leading to slow connection speeds. With so much traffic on fewer servers, free VPN providers also restrict your speed and bandwidth to prevent servers from crashing.
Premium VPNs on the other hand offer optimized servers for gaming.
Most free VPNs are not compatible with routers as can be seen above. The problem is gaming consoles dont have native support for VPN apps, so users configure VPNs on the router and the console is automatically protected when it is connected to the network.
Unfortunately, router compatibility is only offered by premium VPNs like ExpressVPN, and it is hard to find a VPN that works with routers and offers optimal performance.
VPNs reroute your traffic, so it has to pass over to another server taking a long time to travel, so a slight decrease in speed is natural. However, if you use a fast VPN like ExpressVPN, you will not experience any dramatic impact on your speed.
Yes, a VPN can improve your ping by sending your data packets directly as compared to your normal ISP data packet that takes a longer route. With a VPN, information can flow freely and directly from your PC to the gaming server, thus reducing pings and latency.
These are some of the best free VPNs for gamers with trustworthy privacy policies. As you can see, VPNs are a must for gamers to protect against DoS and DDoS attacks. However, you need a VPN that is fast and compatible with routers for it to work with your gaming consoles.
The VPNs mentioned above are a good option for gamers but they come with a lot of limitations and most are not compatible with routers. The VPNs mentioned above can be configured on your PC to share the connection for your gaming console.
But we recommend users try premium VPNs for an excellent gaming experience.
Top gaming VPNs with money-back guarantees
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