Before we get into the list of the best gaming VPNs, the question is, do you need a gaming VPN? Will the gaming VPN affect your speeds, and do the benefits of using a gaming VPN beat the lack thereof? These are just some of the questions you need to answer. To save you the time, we’ll simply say that if you value your privacy, then a gaming VPN is a necessity.
The best gaming VPNs secure your internet connection even though they might slow down your connectivity. Some are so bad that they make it impossible to play any games at all, and there are games that won’t launch if you are using a VPN for your gaming. In this article, we will do our best to advise you on determining whether you need VPNs for gaming and how to protect your data and still enjoy your games in peace.
What is a Virtual Private Network?
A gaming VPN tunnels your connection and encrypts it by layering it with security protocols while passing it through different servers run by your gaming VPN provider. As your files travel through the encrypted tunnel, they are cloaked and are inaccessible to other users on the same network. If there are people who would want to spy on you or steal your data, the best gaming VPN makes that incredibly difficult.
In this day and age, when even Congress is in favor of ISPs selling anonymous user data, you can’t be careful enough. As your data makes its way around various VPN servers, it picks up the server’s IP address. When it finally gets to its destination, those snooping on you are thrown off guard as the IP they get is the server’s, not your own. Hackers use IP addresses to get your information.
Corporations track your web movement to collect information and create a persona based on where you have been and what you do online. When you think really hard about it, it is creepy how much information can be collected about you if you don’t use a VPN.
For even higher security, there are VPNs that go as far as cycling your IP address at intervals. By cycling your IP, these best VPN for gaming ensure that even if someone is watching you, they can only track your IP for so long.
There are governments that are big on censorship, and in those countries, a VPN for your gaming is essential. Some of the biggest beneficiaries of VPNs since time immemorial have been journalists and political analysts who seek to protect their identities. As a resident of one of those countries that are pro-censorship, choosing a VPN server in a foreign country allows you to circumvent those restrictions and surf wherever you want.
If not for political or journalistic reasons, other reasons for using a VPN for your gaming might be that you want to keep your location secret.
By using a foreign server, whoever is tracking you is misled to believe that you are in a different location. Additionally, the best VPN allows users to access content that might be restricted in their home country. A good example would be streaming free newsfeeds from places like the UK, which might be restricted to the UK alone.
There is more! Do you know how some internet service providers (ISPs) push you into a slower lane for whichever reason they deem fit? Ideally, using a VPN makes you immune to the practice. It also makes it hard for the ISPs to bill you for certain services.
The gaming VPN space is still a contentious one, and there is no telling whether corporations will be able to still shove you out of the faster lanes. It wouldn’t be surprising if they decided to make all gaming VPN traffic sluggish.
When VPNs first came out, learning how to configure them and make them work was an uphill task. Back then, you had to know how to choose a server and how to connect to it. The hard part of that strategy is trying the complex configurations that help your computer and the server communicate.
Then you have to replicate that process for each server you want to connect to. Today, connecting to the best gaming VPNs is much easier, thanks to the intuitive user interfaces. The amount of technical expertise you need is negligible.
Even the best VPN has weak points
While the best gaming VPNs help to protect you from snoops online, they do not have control over your data once it exits the secure tunnel. If you are connecting to an unsecure website (HTTP rather than HTTPS), you run the risk of interception.
Gaming VPNs are incredibly powerful, and they are great at keeping you anonymous, but they are not comparable with Tor. With a VPN for gaming, spies could still trace you, although with a lot of difficulties, but with Tor, it does not even make sense to try and sniff out the user as it is next to impossible.
Nonetheless, even the best VPNs for gaming are not foolproof. There will always be loopholes. Tracking you can be costly and time-consuming, but if there are people who are badly itching to track you, and they have the time and resources, there is a high chance of success.
A VPN will give them a harder time, and other than spoofing your location, there is the surety that your data is safe and that your personal information is much more secure. The average hacker is not looking for trouble but is rather looking for an easy target. The best VPN for gaming ensures you are not a sitting duck inviting an attack.
Even though VPNs for gaming are great at hiding your location and information, we do not recommend that they take the place of an antivirus. Antiviruses protect you from other forms of attacks, namely, malware and phishing. Additionally, for even greater protection while you are playing online, you should consider investing in a password manager.
Securing your data online is like protecting yourself against a cold, biting winter. The more layers you have, the more security you will enjoy.
How the best VPNs for gaming affect the game
Do I have to pay for a VPN for gaming?
Free gaming VPNs are in plenty, and though everybody loves free loot, is it worthwhile? Depending on the free gaming VPN you choose, you have to fulfill certain requirements or make do with some limitations. For instance, the free version of TunnelBear limits your daily, weekly, or monthly data. However, others like AnchorFree Hotspot Shield require you to use their browser plug-in for free for secure browsing without data limitations.
Anyway, although you can get a free best VPN for gaming, generally, paid versions give you better service and bandwidth. On average, monthly VPN subscriptions cost approximately $10 with between 20% to 50% savings if you choose a year- or two-year-long plan.
Another benefit of paid VPNs for gaming is that they allow you to secure multiple devices, with most allowing up to five. Also, as you choose your best gaming VPN, make sure that it supports multiple platforms. You might be surprised that your client only supports Android or Mac alone.
If you want to connect all your devices to a VPN, including appliances, the best option is to use a router, connect that to a VPN, and then connect to the network via a router. However, you’ll need instructions from your best VPN for gaming provider, detailing how you can configure your router to work with their VPN.
Lastly, before paying for your VPN, find out whether the VPN’s security protocol is modern. Some, like OpenVPN, has a huge open source community behind them, which makes OpenVPN more robust and secure through regular examination. Additionally, ensure your best VPN for gaming has more servers strewn in more locations for improved performance.
Are VPNs trustworthy?
If you think about it, the best VPNs are in the business of trust, just like most security. However, different best VPNs have different privacy policies. The best gaming VPNs will include information on their data collection and use policies. For your safety, the less the data they collect, the more secure you are.
The additional steps to determine whether your VPN provider is trustworthy are to know their location and understand their data retention laws, if any.
To reduce latency and boost your speeds, some VPNs for gaming have a split-tunneling feature. What spilt-tunneling does is that it allows you to choose what goes through the secure tunnel and what goes through the internet without encryption. The result is that the data that travels outside the tunnel is not subject to lower speeds.
The problem with this approach is that it opens you up to attacks and data theft than if you run everything through the best VPNs.
But wait, there’s more.
Why is my VPN blocked?
A common concern among gaming VPN users is that certain services do not allow the use of certain VPNs for gaming with their product. A popular service that does not support the use of VPNs for gaming or access to their platform is Netflix. According to them, this is necessary in order to honor distribution deals that make different videos available to different countries.
On that note, it shouldn’t be a surprise that some games don’t support VPNs! The question is, why? From our knowledge, some games use a matchmaking algorithm that pairs you with opponents or teammates on one server. Others block VPNs for gaming as a measure to curb cheating and piracy.
The good news is that you can circumvent this by investing in one of two things. The first would be to buy a static IP address while the other solution could be to get yourself a dedicated server from your gaming VPN provider. However, there is no guarantee that these options will work as we have not tried them out ourselves.
Are there dedicated VPNs?
If you are looking for the best-dedicated gaming VPN, then you would be looking at Outfox, a VPN service from Golden Frog. According to Golden Frog, their VPN, Outfox, is the best VPN for gaming in the market. It doesn’t help that we haven’t had a chance to test the service yet, but if reviews, claims, and their reputation are anything to go by, their service is worth a shot.
What we know is that the service is compatible with some popular titles. They include World of Tanks, StarCraft, Overwatch, DOTA 2, and Fighter V, among others.
The internet is a whole ocean of game and predators. By accessing it, you open yourself to observation or attacks. VPNs allow you to hide your location and data from hackers and advertisers alike, and the price, given the risks without a VPN, is well worth it.
Without further ado, here is our list of the best gaming VPNs.
VyperVPN is, by all accounts, a gaming VPN. Its focus is on speed over security, and it isn’t the cheapest VPN available. However, if you’re in the market for some basic connection security, and you don’t want to compromise on the speed, this is more than likely going to be your best bet among all the best VPNs for gaming mentioned here.
Although the owners of VyperVPN also own Outfox, which they market as a dedicated VPN for gaming, VyperVPN still manages to be among the best VPNs for gaming. With access to more than 700 servers in more than 70 locations, this VPN is robust, and the speeds are incredible.
The other best VPNs, VyperVPN also boasts proprietary technology dubbed Chameleon VPN that helps users circumvent services that block VPNs.
While it’s hard to give concrete numbers, VyperVPN is often noted for its speed (bandwidth and low latency) as compared to many of its competitors. While it might not be quite as fast as a direct connection, it’s also considerably more secure than a direct connection.
VyperVPN does not come cheap. Let’s just get that out of the way now. It offers a handful of pricing tiers depending on a number of max connections (individual devices connected to the VPN). The five-connection tier also unlocks some extra fluff features if you’re into that kind of thing.
The pricing tiers are as follows:
· $5/month billed annually (3 connections)
· $9.95/month billed monthly (3 connections)
· $6.67/month billed annually (5 connections)
· $12.95/month billed monthly (5 connections)
While it may not come cheap, if your sole focus is on speed, VyperVPN is a definite option for the best gaming VPN.
While its name might not invoke feelings of late-night gaming sessions, VPN Unlimited is definitely something to consider when shopping for a gaming VPN. While it isn’t the fastest or on the list of the best VPNs on the market—some reviewers actually place it towards the lower half of the market in terms of its speed—it does have one major factor going for it: its pricing. Like VyperVPN, it does keep some logs of data, which we’ll cover later on.
VPN Unlimited has many servers over several locations around the world. Additionally, this VPN boasts support for numerous platforms. Among the platforms they support are macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, Windows Phone, Chrome Extension, and Firefox Extension. VPN Unlimited also allows you to connect up to five devices on any platform when you subscribe to any of their packages.
Many reviewers have noted that VPN Unlimited ranks among the lower half of the market; its low bandwidth and high latency, not offering much in the way of high-speed gaming. If you’re attempting to play games like DOTA 2, League of Legends, CS:GO, or Overwatch, this might not be a great idea. However, for slower games like Hearthstone, MMORPGs, or casual games, you should find no issue.
Without a doubt, VPN Unlimited’s biggest offering is its pricing. Being the cheapest on this list of the best VPNs for gaming, VPN Unlimited is more than likely to be the most popular offering on this list. In a somewhat unique move, VPN Unlimited also offers a one-time license purchase, allowing you to use this gaming VPN forever.
In addition, if you are not sure you would like to purchase a plan, you can opt for their 7-day free trial. In case that you pay, and you find the service short of satisfactory, their money-back guarantee option is available, given you claim it within seven days of subscription. Could it be your best VPN for gaming choice?
The pricing for VPN Unlimited is as follows:
· $3.33/month billed annually (5 connections)
· $8.99/month billed monthly (5 connections)
· $149.99 single payment lifetime subscription (5 connections)
Whether you’re looking for something to use on a month-to-month basis, you want to take it one year at a time, or you need it forever, VPN Unlimited definitely has you covered.
If you’re in the market for the best VPN for gaming offering complete security, IPVanish is your friend. While it is not the cheapest, nor is it the fastest, it is the most secure gaming VPN on our list and that makes it one of the best VPNs available. It’s more expensive than VPN Unlimited and not quite as fast as VyperVPN (although it is faster than VPN Unlimited), but it is by far the most secure, safest option available for those wholly concerned with their privacy.
Its security is thanks to a strict zero-logs policy that keeps your identity secret when you surf. According to IPVanish, they do not keep tabs on your activity at all, thus protecting users’ civil right to privacy. The service uses the robust 256-bit AES encryption protocol and IKEv2, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec virtual private network protocols.
While not the fastest, IPVanish is also not the slowest. Offering a good middle ground for latency and bandwidth, it will work well for a lot of cases, but it might fall short in a few. Games like CS:GO and Overwatch might not be the best experiences, but other games will fare a lot better. Games that don’t prioritize rapid reflexes and low latency will work just fine.
IPVanish isn’t cheap. It isn’t expensive like other best VPNs either. In fact, it comes in at a very pleasant price point, which will work for many people. Its pricing is fair, straight to the point, and isn’t full of headaches where certain features are behind another paywall.
IPVanish’s pricing is as follows:
· $6.49/month billed annually (5 connections)
· $10/month billed monthly (5 connections)
While it might not be very flexible in its pricing, IPVanish is very direct in how much it wants from you, and this, to us, is a nice bonus.
By far its biggest advantage over many competitors for the best VPNs for gaming, IPVanish touts that it stores no logs whatsoever. It is based in the United States and has over 60 server locations around the world.
IPVanish does not track any of your browsing habits, except for any visits to their own site. This is a huge boon to anyone concerned with data and browsing history, making it the best VPN for gaming for such individuals.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of available gaming VPN services with this article, but hopefully, you’ll find our information helpful. If our research has taught us anything, it’s that choosing a gaming VPN is hard. There is a myriad of (gaming) factors to consider, and currently, no service stands at the top of them all.
VyperVPN stands out on the list as one of the fastest services, but it is lousy insecurity and price. VPN Unlimited offers the best pricing, but it isn’t the greatest for speed and security. IPVanish offers some of the best security, but it’s neither the fastest nor the cheapest option. It’s really not that simple to pick the best VPN for gaming.
In light of the fall of internet privacy, many services have sprung up in retaliation. If you’re concerned about your privacy and want to do what you can to protect it, a VPN is a great start.
We hope that our picks for the best gaming VPNs will help you find something that suits your needs.