Best Gaming VPNs in 2020

Kenny Trinh Updated on September 28, 2020
best gaming vpn

Gamers are optimizing their rigs to get the maximum potential in gaming, while VPN is the least of your priorities since we cannot deny the fact that VPNs have an underlying effect like slower connections and higher ping. Choosing only the best gaming VPNs can overcome these pitfalls and use a VPN while gaming without a problem while staying safe.

 If you think you don’t need a VPN while gaming then you are wrong, DDoS attacks are now being used as a weapon to disrupt other gamers, especially when playing competitive games, and using a VPN can enhance your security against those attacks.

Aside from the protection you get from these gaming VPNs, it also helps you to access geo-restricted games and contents. Unblocking any games and websites in offices and academic institutions that restrict such activities and gives you the freedom to connect to any public Wi-Fi without any worries. So as a gamer, investing in a premium VPN is just worth doing.

Quick recommendation for October 2020

Why Do You Need A VPN For Gaming?

There are a few reasons why you need a VPN for gaming and if you are experiencing at least one of the reasons that I’m about to discuss then you might consider getting a premium VPN.

If you are one of the gamers that have experience with network fluctuations then a gaming VPN is one of the best options, ISP throttling is enforced by your ISP due to the fact that while gaming and using other applications you are sending big chunks of data to the cloud and your ISP throttles your bandwidth so that they can server more customers without increasing their network capacity. Using a VPN will mask your activities and blinding your ISP to what really is happening to your network, giving you the capability to bypass the algorithm that they are enforcing.

The next reasons as to why you need a Virtual Private Network for gaming are very obvious, privacy and security. Anyone that is connected to the internet is vulnerable from attacks especially gamers that are very prone to DDoS attacks and at the risk of being hacked. Using a VPN will give you military-grade security from inherent risks in the online world, it also adds another layer of security from tracking software used by big IT companies and prying eyes.

Will VPN Work For Gaming?

A Virtual Private Network will work for gaming but the end result will be dependent on what type of VPN you are using, if you opt to use a poor VPN service then you may end up slowing your gaming experience or put your identity at risk since most poor service VPNs aren’t really secure. Choosing a premium VPN will give you advantages such as security, anonymity, bypass ISP throttling, and accessing restricted games.

So if you want to engage in VPN while gaming then we recommend getting premium VPNs since they give actual protection while only giving minimal impact on your internet connection or none at all, also a premium VPN can actually improve your gaming experience by enabling you to connect to any servers where the game is being hosted. 

What Other Benefits When Using VPN For Gaming?

A VPN can be a godsend to gamers with its benefits and security, while there are already enough reasons as to what you can benefit from VPN while gaming. These are other benefits that you can take advantage of.

Did you know that a gaming VPN will not only let you bypass network and geo-restrictions it also lets you reduce ping and game latency in some cases, how? A gaming VPN can let you automatically connect to the nearest game server which allows you to take shortcuts that can result in faster data transfer. That is an extra advantage aside from bypassing ISP throttling that most ISP’s impose, also if you want to play games in advance then a VPN can help you with that by connecting to regions where the game is launched earlier.

There are rare cases where a person from the opposing team or your teammates get so angry or gets so emotionally attached to winning and resorts to swatting, this is the case where a disgruntled gamer tracks a fellow gamer’s IP address and hacks into their network, tracks your location, and sometimes hack ones social media accounts. Swatting also involves harassment in forms of fake calling emergency services, fake bomb threats, or other emergency situations and sometimes turn out in deadly situations. You can avoid these by using a gaming VPN.

You can also protect every device in your network by installing the VPN in your router, most premium VPNs can be installed on routers. By doing this you are giving protection to all of your devices including devices that rarely support VPN like Xbox and PlayStations, lucky for you all of the premium VPNs that we recommend are compatible with some routers.

What To Look For In A VPN For Gaming

When choosing a VPN for gaming, you must look for these factors to get the best experience and maximum return of investment for the VPN.

Fast Speed

All premium VPNs can secure your privacy to the teeth but it might slow your connection speed, that’s why when choosing a VPN for gaming you need a VPN that has fast speed. Choose a VPN that is as fast as possible to the speed you get with your ISP, this is the reason we only picked the best VPN in terms of speed.

No Data Caps

Choose a VPN that does not impose data restrictions, especially if you are into multiplayer games. That is because most multiplayer games use more bandwidth and data than other games, while most VPN service providers don’t implement data capping nowadays some implement them especially free VPNs. VPNs that have limited data capacity are prone to ISP throttling so choosing a VPN that has unlimited bandwidth enables you to game freely without any data threshold.

High Compatibility

This is a really obvious factor if you are a gamer since gaming is not limited to PC and laptop, as a gamer you need to choose a VPN that has high compatibility with all of the gaming devices such as PlayStation and Xbox. Your best option is a VPN that works with mobile devices, PCs, and Consoles. 

A large Number Of Servers

 A gaming VPN should have a large number of servers all around the world, the more the server the less likely for you to experience slow in speed due to an overloaded server. Also, a large number of servers enable you to access games that are restricted to your country.

Secure and Strong Privacy Protocol

 The main reason as to why you are using a VPN is to be safe so choose a VPN that has strong and reliable security features, a secure VPN uses OpenVPN protocol and has AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data. A VPN service provider that strictly enforces a no-log policy so that you don’t have records of what you do online.

Supports P2P Connection

VPNs that support P2P connection are not just useful for torrenting, it is also a must-have when gaming. P2P connection allows you to participate in multiplayer games online, giving you a faster connection with your gaming buddies.

Low Latency

For gaming, low latency means a low ping rate. Low ping rates mean your game is not delayed that enables you to play at your best, while high ping results in poor gaming performance. In our test we discover that VPNs like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, SurfShark, PIA, and IPVanish have low ping rates, thus making them an excellent gaming VPN.

Gaming Configuration Option

There are VPNs that don’t let you mess with their pre-configurations leaving you powerless over their service, as a gamer you need to choose a VPN that lets you configure your VPN depending on your preference. COnfiguring the protocols enables you to choose between a more secure or faster connection.

Best Gaming VPNs In 2020 (Paid & Free)

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Work on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer | 24/7 support: Yes | Trial period: 30-day money-back-guarantee | Number of servers: 3,000 | Server locations: 160 | Countries: 94 | Maximum devices supported: 5 for single subscription

ExpressPVN tops in our choice as a gaming VPN and that is no surprise since they have super-fast 3,000+ servers that are strategically placed in 94+ countries, using this VPN won’t affect your speed so lagging is not a problem. ExpressVPN delivers an excellent speed that if your connection speed is just regular like 100-250MB then you won’t even notice a change in speed, making this VPN one of the fastest gaming VPN that won’t slow you down while playing.

ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN and AES 256-bit encryption to safeguard your data, it also features an automatic kill switch that protects you from sudden drops in connection as it closes all network transfer in case your VPN stopped working while you are accessing restricted games to avoid being banned. ExpressVPN also tops in terms of privacy features aside from security features since they have a strict no-log policy, keeping you safe from any DDoS attack while still enjoying full anonymity.

The only downside that we find on ExpressVPN is that it only offers five simultaneous connections per plan, but you can use ExpressVPN to your router and protect every device that is connected to it. Aside from that we really recommend ExpressVPN for gaming, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and 24/7 live chat support. 

NordVPN

NordVPN

Work on: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, Comedy Central, BBC | 24/7 support: Yes | Trial period: 30-day money-back-guarantee | Number of servers: 5,400+ | Server locations: Unidentified | Countries: 62 | Maximum devices supported: 6 for single subscription

NordVPN is one of the most famous VPNs around and you are not wrong for thinking that this VPN is great for gaming, with over 5,400 servers located in 62 countries you’ll never run out of fast speed servers to choose from. No matter where you are, NordVPN can guarantee a connection that will work on your line, it also offers the most secured connection via its double encryption protocol.

Be safe from DDoS attacks, game safely all you want, enjoy fast download speeds, and protect your privacy without worries with NordVPN. They instill a strict no-log policy and their VPN is geared with the must-have feature for gaming like an automatic kill switch, lots of gaming configuration, and P2P supported servers for multiplayer games. NordVPN offers military-grade security with its OpenVPN protocol and AES 256-bit encryption, it blocks malware and malicious ads so you can surf, game, and torrent without hassle.

One thing that NordVPN boasts is that their VPN app is so stable that you don’t need to check it every time, if you have more than 6 devices and want to protect all of your devices then you can set up NordVPN in your router to cover devices such as consoles. You can try NordVPN for 30 days and get your money back if you are not satisfied with the service, they have 24/7 live chat support in place.

SurfShark VPN

SurfShark VPN

Work on: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, FireTV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and others | 24/7 support: Yes | Trial period: 30-day money-back-guarantee | Number of servers: 1,700+ | Server locations: Unidentified | Countries: 63+ | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited devices for single subscription

For those who are looking for a cheap VPN that works well on gaming then SurfShark is the best option for you, if you think cheap means sacrificing quality then you are wrong. SurfShark may only have fewer servers than ExpressVPN and NordVPN but the 1,700+ servers are located in 63+ countries around the world so you can always make sure that there are always available servers for any of your games. 

Even Though this VPN is cheap it offers powerful security features like 256-bit encryption, automatic ad-blocking and malware scanning, an automatic kill switch, split tunneling, and WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leak protection. They also don’t keep any logs so you can safely assume that your activities can’t be traced back and keep you safe from DDoS attacks.

They offer a 30-day free trial but just make sure to stop the subscription before 30 days so that you’ll have your money back if you are not satisfied with the service. But if you opt to continue then we recommend getting the 6-months or 1-year subscription to save a few more dollars, a single subscription offers unlimited simultaneous connections that let you protect all of your devices.

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Work on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, Comedy Central, BBC | 24/7 support: Yes | Trial period: 30-day money-back-guarantee | Number of servers: 11,191 | Server locations: 95 | Countries: 74 | Maximum devices supported: 10 for single subscription

Private Internet Access is one of the best and prominent VPN brands that has been long around and trusted by millions of its users, lucky for gamers that PIA has 11,191 servers located in 95 countries around the world making PIA one of the best VPNs for gaming. With that number of servers you can surely play games anywhere you are without getting into network congestion, that is a lot of servers that beat NordVPN and ExpressVPN in terms of server count. If you think that lots of servers get the subscription fee much higher then you are wrong, PIA is one of the cheapest VPN services in the market.

PIA is a very easy to use VPN that has pre-built configuration depending on your VPN needs, with just one click you won’t need to be pro in VPN configuration. For gamers that are looking for a huge server network, proven no-log policy, and attractive price then PIA is the best option, it uses military-grade security with an OpenVPN protocol with AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data.

PIA offers a 30-day money-back guarantee trial period that lets you have your money back if you don’t like the service, a 24/7 live chat support, and 10 simultaneous connections or you can use it in your router to protect your network as a whole.  

IPVanish

IPVanish

Work on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and others | 24/7 support: Yes | Trial period: 30-days money-back-guaranteed | Number of servers: 1,500+ | Server locations: Unidentified | Countries: 75+ | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited devices for single subscription

IPVanish is one of the best VPNs for gaming since it can deliver pretty good connections in the US, pushing 200MB which is plenty enough for any games and should give you fast connection speed without any lags. Even Though this VPN is cheap it offers powerful security and privacy features like AES 256-bit encryption, automatic ad-blocking and malware scanning, an automatic kill switch, split tunneling, and WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leak protection that protects your IP address from sudden connection drop-offs . They also don’t keep any logs so you can safely assume that your activities can’t be traced back.

IPVanish is a great VPN for accessing restricted games, sites and for torrenting so subscribing to their service isn’t limited to gaming and surfing at all, they also have an easy to use user interface that is a must-have for a gaming VPN. 

What makes IPVanish a great pick for this roundup is that they just unveiled their unlimited simultaneous connection offer, you can now use IPVanish on all of your devices with just a single subscription. They have 24/7 live chat support and you can see all the details in their VPN user interface such as download, upload speed, etc. 

Work on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Opera & Chrome | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, HBO, Comedy Central, BBC | 24/7 support: No | Trial period: 1 month | Number of servers: 300 | Server locations: 63 | Countries: Unidentified | Maximum devices supported: Unlimited for both free and paid version

For those who are looking for a free VPN and only play games once in a while then Windscribe is one of the best VPNs that are totally free. For free users, you get 2GB of data allocation per month and you can get up to 10GB per month by tweeting the company, this will give you like 30+ hours of gaming for data-hungry games and for up to 10 days for light games. Windscribe has 63 server locations but as a free user, you only get access to 10 locations but don’t fret as these 10 locations are mostly located at places where major games servers are located.

Even Though Windscribe is a free VPN they offer military-grade encryption and offers built-in ad and malware blocker, making it a great free VPN choice for gaming. It also supports P2P connection and split tunneling which can protect you but it could slow your internet connection if you are playing a game that has a server too far away from those 10 locations. Most free VPN services don’t really give protection so that makes Windscribe a great gaming VPN.

If you wish to try Windscribe, just download the client, and your good to go. It’s very easy to use and it offers unlimited simultaneous connections even for the free version which is very good. 

Work on: Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, Opera, Chrome | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Youtube, Spotify, Kodi | 24/7 support: No | Trial period: 7 days free trial | Number of servers: 632 | Server locations: Unidentified | Countries: 54 | Maximum devices supported: 1 device per free trial

Want a free VPN that has unlimited data allocation and bandwidth? ProtonVPN is one of the best gaming VPN that is free. It lets you use a free VPN without the worry of running out of data and slowing down because of bandwidth limitations. For a free service, ProtonVPN’s security features are quite impressive. A free user is still protected by military-grade encryption, automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection and there’s even a built-in adblocker. Giving you airtight security and free from the annoying ads gaming experience.

The only thing that keeps you away from using ProtonVPN is that even though they have servers that are located in 54 countries you can only access three servers which are in the US, Netherlands, and Japan. This limitation has big drawbacks for gamers since there are games that are hosted far away from those three countries, it could result in slow download speeds and unreliable gaming.

But other than that, ProtonVPN is a great gaming VPN that is free. You can check ProtonVPN by clicking the link above, just make sure to use a free VPN safely since most of them are not legit.

Work on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Opera & Chrome | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, HBO, Comedy Central, BBC | 24/7 support: No | Trial period: 1 month | Number of servers: 5 | Server locations: 70 | Countries: Unidentified | Maximum devices supported: 1 for the free version

For those who only play games once in a week or very casual and in need of a free VPN that could bypass geo-restrictions, offers military-grade security and unlimited speed without restrictions then Hide.me is simply one of the best free gaming VPN in this list. Protect your identity and play all games, even the restricted ones with this VPN without slowing down your internet connection.

Hide.me offers AES 256-bit encryption and an automatic kill switch that safeguard your identity while playing, what we like about Hide.me is that even if you are using the free version they are not too restrictive and you can use their 70 server location. The only problem with Hide.me is that they only give 2GB data allocation for free users, that’s just 7-hour gameplay at least.

As a free user, you can only access 5 servers and they are decent enough to give a fast gaming speed. To try Hide.me you can download the client on their website, install it then you are good to go.

Work on: Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, macOS, iOS, Opera, Chrome | Streaming sites unblocked: Netflix & Youtube, Spotify | 24/7 support: No | Trial period: unlimited days free trial | Number of servers: 20 | Server locations: Unidentified | Countries: Unknown | Maximum devices supported: 5 devices per free trial

TunnelBear is one of those free VPNs that give very little data allocation per month since they let you experience all of a premium VPN that can offer. As a free user, you can enjoy military-grade security and AES 256-bit encryption, premium features like Ghost Bear Mode that keeps you away from ISP throttling. They have an easy to use application and user-friendly user interface that doesn’t need technical knowledge or whatsoever, perfect for users that are not that techie.

The free version is compatible with Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Giving you free protection for several platforms. While TunnelBear is a legitimate free VPN service provider, it recommends using the UK, US, Canada, Romania, Sweden, and the Netherlands when gaming and if you are located far away from any of those countries then you may experience very slow download speeds that could affect the quality of your game.

But still, TunnelBear is a great free alternative if you just want to casually play games or surf the web safely, to know more about TunnelBear just visit their website and feel free to use the free version. 

Work on: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS | Streaming sites unblocked: Unblocks any site with limited bandwidth | 24/7 support: No | Trial period: 7 days free trial | Number of servers: Unknown | Server locations: Unidentified | Countries: Unknown | Maximum devices supported: 1 device per free trial

Betternet lets you have a premium service but with a 500MB data limit per day,  that is at least one hour of gaming per day. A great gaming VPN if you just play games 30 to 1 hour per day, but the limitation is scary. It only lets you use the US server for free version so you can only play games that are hosted in the US, it supports P2P connection so you can also use this VPN for multiplayer games and torrents.

Although you get military-grade security for free, they are not compatible with routers so you can’t protect every device that you have. But in the meantime, it is a decent free VPN that you can use until you decide to subscribe to premium ones like SurfShark, IPVansih, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN.

Betternet is completely free and you can check them out by clicking on the link above, the VPN itself is very easy to set up and once you are on their page you can download the client right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There A Free VPN For Gaming?

Yes, there are a plethora of free VPNs for gaming but the question is “do they work?” probably most of them don’t and those who work have a catch. Many free VPNs aren’t truly free, by using their service they let you pay by selling your data or bombard you with annoying ads. Others limit your data allocation which makes it hard to game, this is why you need a premium VPN that has no data limits, doesn’t slow you down, and most importantly uses high-level encryption to keep you safe.

Will A VPN Can Increase My Ping While Gaming?

Well, a VPN will most likely increase your ping since it uses more bandwidth and travels to the VPN server before sending it to the game server but that’s not always the case, most premium VPNs stabilize your gaming connection thus giving you unnoticeable change in ping rates. If you’re lucky enough to be very near to one of your VPN servers then it could possibly decrease your ping.

Conclusion

A VPN may help or may not help you in your gaming at all, it all depends on your choice of VPN. Premium VPN has proven itself to give security at the same time better gaming experience and since we’ve listed five premium VPNs for gaming and five free VPNs that you can try it is in your own hands whether you want to jump for premium one’s or try the free first.

Those are the best gaming VPNs both free and paid so if we helped you find your next gaming VPN feel free to share this post and if you have questions then don’t hesitate to give a comment below, we would gladly answer you.

Kenny Trinh
Article by:
Kenny Trinh
Editor @ Netbooknews. While he’s not editing articles on the latest tech trends, he likes to discuss business and entrepreneur tips and tricks which featured Forbes and other places.

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