Gamers face many privacy issues online. Thus a best free VPN for gaming 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 if you’re waiting to opt for a free VPN, then let us tell you that free VPNs come with many limitations. In addition, most free VPNs don’t offer the required security by gamers which becomes counterproductive.
The best premium VPN like ExpressVPN, on the other hand, offers full functionality with ultimate security, privacy, data protection, a best-in-class gaming experience, and a 30 refund policy.
However, if you’re still ready to choose a free option over the premium ones, just continue reading as we list some of the reliable free gaming VPNs for you.
Why are Free VPNs Risky for Gaming?
Free VPNs are not recommended for gamers. The reason for this is limitations. Most free VPNs offer just a few servers, that can prevent you from connecting to an optimized gaming server. This small server network often gets congested due to traffic overload and makes them unreliable and slow.
In addition, 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 include:
- 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
That is why we recommend gamers use a premium VPN such as ExpressVPN for complete protection against DDoS attacks.
Why You Should Use a VPN for Gaming?
A virtual private network allows you to bypass ISP throttling and encrypts your online activities, making it difficult for your ISP to figure out whether you’re surfing the internet or gaming. Premium VPN services further switch ports, so your ISP cannot throttle your connection.
Another reason is protecting your IP address from other gamers. Why? Because anyone can launch a DDoS or swatting attack on you and prevent you from gaming.
VPNs also allow you to increase speeds on your connection and reduce pings for a smoother experience. If you reside far from a game server, then the pings can be quite annoying. Using a VPN server near the game server, you can reduce pings and enjoy high speeds.
Another added benefit is geo-spoofing your location for accessing geo-restricted games. In case you get blocked from a game, you can connect to a server of another country and start playing again.
7 Best Free Gaming VPNs (Updated April 2022)
Free VPNs come with limitations and are not our top recommendation for gaming. However, we conducted extensive research on 30+ reliable free names in the industry and came up with a list of these 7 gaming VPNs free to use, after testing their speed, user-friendliness, and security:
1. Windscribe – Free 10 GB 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 ten days.
While data-heavy games like Destiny 2 can be enjoyed using Windscribe as well, you’d only be able to do it for around 35 hours. However, here’s a secret: you can get 5GB of data more if you tweet about Windscribe.
It also offers unlimited simultaneous connections so that you can use it on your console and other devices simultaneously.
Windscribe has servers in over 63 countries, but the free version limits access to only 10 locations. These locations include Hong Kong, the Netherlands, the US, France, and the UK – countries with all the major game servers.
While conducting a Windscribe speed test, we experienced slow speeds during peak hours. One might also experience multiple lags while gaming. However, if we omit that, the speeds weren’t too bad.
The service offers decent security features to users. It comes with an AES 256-bit encryption, along with a built-in ad-blocker, no-logs, DNS leak protection, and more.
Windscribe is compatible with various devices, including Windows, iOS, Android, and even routers. So you can configure it on your router and connect your gaming consoles to play geo-restricted games.
Go through our Windscribe review to get more details about this VPN.
- Offers servers in 10 locations
- Comes with 10 GB per month
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Reliable security features
- Compatible with multiple devices, like Android, iOS, Windows, etc
- Subject to frequent lags
- Based in Canada – a member of the five eyes alliance
2. ProtonVPN – Unlimited Data and Bandwidth for Gaming
ProtonVPN is a free gaming VPN with no hidden costs. It is also one of the few VPNs that offer unlimited data and bandwidth, so you don’t have to worry about running out of your daily limit. Another great feature is that ProtonVPN is fully compatible with routers so that you can connect it to your gaming consoles.
However, with its free VPN, you only get access to three server locations: the United States, Japan, and the Netherlands. Due to fewer server choices, we found that speeds were extremely slow during peak hours, and the connection was constantly dropping, which was very bad for the overall gaming experience.
In terms of security, ProtonVPN has excellent features, including DNS leak protection and a kill switch. There is also a built-in adblocker along with AES 256-bit encryption.
ProtonVPN does not keep any user logs; it only collects timestamps of your last log-in. Overall, it is an amazing free VPN, but the only drawback is that it has a tiny server network in its free version.
Go through our ProtonVPN review to get more details about this VPN.
- Comes with no data cap
- Impressive security features, including ad-blocker, kill switch, military-grade encryption, etc
- Based in Switzerland
- Offers only 3 servers
- Speeds are quite inconsistent
3. TunnelBear – 500 MB Free Data Per Month
TunnelBear is a user-friendly VPN that gives you 500 MB of free data per month, around one hour of gaming every 30 days. Of course, it is very little, 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 23 server locations.
TunnelBear also offers an amazing feature called GhostBear that makes your VPN traffic look like normal traffic. As a result, it helps stop ISP throttling. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with routers, so you’ll have to share your connection via PC.
It offers all the security features like a premium VPN, including a kill switch (Vigilant Bear) and DNS/IP leak protection. It also offers desktop and mobile apps for various platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, and browser extensions.
You can try its premium version, but it doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. Go through our TunnelBear review to get more details about this VPN.
- Comes with 23 server locations
- Offers DNS leak protection and a kill switch
- Tweeting about the service results in 1 more GB of data
- Offers 500 MBs of data per month only
- Located in Canada
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 daily. So, you can play games online for one hour or more every day. Another amazing thing is that you don’t have to register or enter any payment details to get the free Hotspot Shield version.
Hotspot Shield uses 256-bit encryption for data security with perfect forward secrecy. Unfortunately, it also offers a kill switch that only works on its desktop version.
Hotspot Shield has a particular encryption protocol called Catapult Hydra that offers impressive speeds to users. However, our only concern was that free users could only access a server in the US.
Unfortunately, it is not compatible with routers, so you cant use it on gaming consoles. Another downside of Hotspot Shield is that it monetizes its free version with ads, so you will get pop-ups and ads now and then when using the VPN.
Go through our Hotspot Shield review to get more details about this VPN.
- Comes with 5 multi-logins
- Offers a kill switch and perfect forward secrecy
- Doesn’t require entering any payment details
- Offers a single server location
- 500 MB data/day
- Offers 1 device login
5. Hide.me – 10 GB/mo Free Data with No Speed Restrictions
Hide.me offers 10 GB of 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. In addition, we did not experience any connectivity issues or lags.
However, free users can only access five 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.
Some of the standard security features offered by Hide.me are DNS leak protection, kill switch and 256-bit AES encryption. The free users of this VPN can also use split tunneling that lets you choose apps and websites bypassing the VPN tunnel.
It also comes with 24/7 live chat support and a large FAQ section in case you need assistance. Go through our Hide.me review to get more details about this VPN.
- Offers 10 GB data every month
- Offers split tunneling and a kill switch
- Comes with 5 server locations
- Offers 1 device connection
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 two connection sources to increase speeds. So, for example, you can combine your Wi-Fi and mobile data with playing 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.
Moreover, as the name of this VPN suggests, Speedify prioritizes speeds over everything, thereby offering a fast connection to all gamers. While it offers the ChaCha protocol for all old devices, it’s equipped with AES 256-GSM for the latest ones.
This VPN is also subject to zero logs and ensures user anonymity by masking their IPs. It is P2P-friendly and allows torrenting through its optimized server in Amsterdam. However, due to its 2 GB bandwidth limit, you’re unable to download heavy and large files.
Go through our Speedify review to get more details about this VPN.
- Offers bandwidth of 2 GB per month
- Comes with channel bonding technology for high speeds
- Offers DNS leak protection and a kill switch
- Allows torrenting
- Offers a single device connection.
- Not compatible with routers
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 VPN is partially safe. Even though this VPN provider offers the IPsec protocol with AES 128-bit AES-CBC encryption and the OpenVPN protocol with AES 256-bit encryption, it lacks basic features like an ad-blocker and kill switch.
Nevertheless, both OpenVPN and IPsec are solid options for anyone looking to secure their online privacy.
It also offers the Catapult Hydra protocol used by Hotspot Shield to enhance speed for playing online games with low latency. But, unfortunately, it is not compatible with routers.
Go through our Betternet review to get more details about this VPN.
- Comes with average speeds
- Offers basic security features, like AES 256-bit encryption, OpenVPN, and more
- Equipped with Catapult Hydra for speeds
- Offers IPs in the US only
- Subject to multiple ads
- Offers 500 MB data per day
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. Instead, most free VPNs are subject to data logging and selling user data to third-party advertisers. For example, Hotspot Shield monetizes its free VPN app using ads.
2. Bandwidth Limitations
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.
3. Limited Server Access
Free VPNs limit the number of servers that users can access. 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. So, instead of searching for a free gaming VPN for lower ping, just opt for a premium option.
Most free VPNs do not offer compatibility with routers, as can be seen above. The problem is that gaming consoles don’t have native support for VPN apps, so users configure VPNs on the router. The console is automatically protected when 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.
Free Gaming VPN: FAQs
Which free VPN is best for gaming?
Windscribe is the best free gaming VPN, offering 10 server locations and 10 GB of data per month. With decent speeds, gamers can play Call of Duty, Overwatch, Destiny 2, and PUBG easily with this VPN. It’s also compatible with routers and offers unlimited simultaneous connections.
Is there a 100% free VPN?
Windscribe is a 100% free VPN for gaming. This VPN comes with 10 GB of data, reliable speeds, impressive security features, and 10 server locations that one can use for gaming.
Does a VPN impact speed?
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.
Will a VPN improve my ping?
Yes, a VPN can improve your ping by sending your data packets directly 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.
What is the best free VPN for PUBG?
Windscribe is undoubtedly the best free VPN for PUBG. It offers 10 server locations, all of them located in major countries of the world. It also comes with 10 GB/mo, meaning you can play games like PUBG for about 10 days easily using this VPN.
These are some of the best free VPNs for gaming 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 fast and compatible VPN with routers for it to work with your gaming consoles.
The VPNs mentioned above are a good option for gamers, but they come with many limitations, and most are not compatible with routers. However, for complete security, protection, anonymity, and excellent gaming experience, we recommend the top-tier premium option such as ExpressVPN instead of a free gaming VPN.
ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries that can easily offer you the best-in-class gaming experience while protecting your online identity, privacy, and data with AES-256-Bit encryption.
If you hurry up, you can avail of ExpressVPN’s limited time “12 months + 3 months free” subscription that also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Premium VPNs for Gaming with Money-Back Guarantees
If you choose not to opt for a free gaming VPN, then here are a few premium VPNs offering risk-free money-back guarantees:
|VPN Providers||Price ($)||Special Deals||More Info|
Overall Best VPN
$6.67 Per Month
12 Months + 3 Months Free
Fastest VPN Service
$2.30 Per Month
2 Year Plan
Best for Geo-Unblocking
$3.99 Per Month
2 Year Plan
$3.33 Per Month
Exclusive 2 Year Offer
Best for Private Browsing
$2.23 Per Month
3 Years + 4 Months Free