What is the Ultimate Gaming VPN? We Find Out

Why Gamers Need a VPN

When choosing a Virtual Private Network (VPN), avoiding challenges like lag, overcrowding, DDoS attacks, compromised game accounts, and unreliable game servers should be top priorities to ensure smooth and secure gaming sessions. To enhance gaming, select a VPN server with fast speeds, low latency, and strong security features.

Quick Guide to Choosing a VPN for Gaming

The ideal gaming VPN should be straightforward and dependable, without causing any interruptions during your gaming sessions. It should allow you to access your preferred online services seamlessly even while traveling. It should also ensure a steady and fast connection, while safeguarding your privacy regardless of your online activities.

Say goodbye to lag and hello to seamless gameplay with these four exceptional VPN providers that will stay out of the way of your gaming, while keeping your online life private.

The Four Best VPN Services for Gaming

1. ExpressVPN

Rank: 1 | Servers: 3,000+ | Speed: Download: 89.9 Mbps | Countries: 90+ | Encryption Type: L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN (TCP), OpenVPN (UDP), PPTP, IPsec, and IKEv2, Lightway | Max devices:5 simultaneous, but unlimited installations | 24/7 support: ✅| Free trial: ❌ | Money-back guarantee: ✅ | Apps & Devices: Win~Mac~Android~iOS~Router~LGTV~Samsung TV~Amazon Sticks~Xbox~PlayStation~Nintendo | Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands (BVI)

Unblocks: Netflix US | BBC iPlayer | Amazon Prime Video | Hulu | FuboTV | Showtime | Disney+ | ESPN | HBO Max

Ease of Use:  1  (super easy)

Kill switch:  ✅

No Logs:  ✅

3rd-party audit:  ✅

Torrenting:  ✅

Best & Worst:

  • Best feature for gamers: An extremely reliable VPN with best-in-class features.
  • Worst feature for gamers: Fewer simultaneous connections allowed, when compared to other VPNs.

ExpressVPN is our top VPN for gaming. With over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, it can be installed on your WiFi router, and has a no-log policy. It is also usually the fastest VPN for gaming.

ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol is designed to be efficient. It runs faster, consumes less battery power, and is easier to audit and maintain than ExpressVPN’s previous protocols, offering a hassle-free user experience.

Lightway is faster than OpenVPN protocol, and stands on par with other adaptations of the advanced WireGuard protocol, renowned for its high-performance VPN capabilities.

ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for gamers because it delivers lightning-fast speeds, ensures low ping for seamless gameplay, and enhances your overall connectivity. It’s compatible with gaming devices, including PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, allowing you to enjoy a secure gaming experience across platforms. With powerful features such as DDoS attack protection, IP masking, leak protection, a kill switch, and split tunneling, ExpressVPN keeps you safe from hackers and trackers. Additionally, it helps you bypass ISP throttling to increase your gaming speed. With ExpressVPN, you can also unlock restricted maps and skins, access gaming outside your region, and transform your console into a streaming-video powerhouse.

Money-Back Guarantee

ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out before you buy!

Some VPN Features Explained

DDoS attack protection:

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are malicious attempts to overwhelm a network or system, causing it to become inaccessible. A VPN with DDoS attack protection safeguards gamers by preventing such attacks from disrupting their gaming sessions, ensuring uninterrupted gameplay.

IP masking:

IP masking refers to the ability of a VPN to hide a user’s real IP address and replace it with a different IP address. This feature provides anonymity and privacy, making it difficult for others to track or identify your online activities, including gaming. It adds an extra layer of security and protects against potential threats.

Leak protection:

Leak protection is a crucial feature that ensures your real IP address, DNS requests, and other sensitive information are not accidentally leaked while using a VPN. By preventing leaks, such as DNS leaks or WebRTC leaks, a VPN can maintain your privacy and prevent any potential vulnerabilities from being exploited.

Kill switch:

A kill switch is a fail-safe mechanism in a VPN that automatically disconnects your internet connection if the VPN connection drops. This prevents your online activities from being exposed to your ISP or any other prying eyes.

Split Tunneling:

Split tunneling allows you to divide your internet traffic into two separate paths: one through the VPN and the other directly through your regular network. For gamers, this feature is beneficial as it allows gaming traffic to pass through the VPN for security and privacy while keeping other non-gaming traffic outside the VPN. It helps optimize gaming performance by reducing latency and network congestion.

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

2. Surfshark VPN

Rank: 2 | Servers: 3,200 | Speed: 80.08 Mbps | Countries: 100 | Encryption Type: AES-256 GCM, OpenVPN, IKEv2 | Max devices: Unlimited | 24/7 support: ✅| Free trial: ❌| Money-back guarantee: ✅ | Apps & Devices: Win~Mac~Android~iOS~Router~LGTV~Samsung TV~Amazon Sticks~Xbox~ PlayStation | Jurisdiction: Netherlands

Unblocks: Netflix US | BBC iPlayer | Amazon Prime Video | Hulu | Disney+ | Apple TV+ | HBO Max

Ease of Use: 1 (super easy)
Kill switch: ✅
No Logs: ✅
Third-party audit: ✅

Torrenting: ✅

Best and Worst

Best feature for use with gaming: Well-priced, good coverage, and a reliable VPN.

Worst feature for use with gaming:

Surfshark offers unlimited connections, features 3,200 servers across 100 countries, and has a strict no-log policy.

With its impressive features and performance, Surfshark stands out as a top choice for gamers. Let’s dive into what makes Surfshark a fantastic VPN for gamers.

  1. Fast Speeds and Low Latency: Surfshark prioritizes speed, ensuring a seamless gaming experience. Its 3large number of servers are strategically located across 100 countries, giving you the advantage of reduced latency and faster connections.
  2. Unlimited Device Support: With Surfshark, you can protect all your gaming devices without limitations. Whether you’re gaming on your PC, console, or mobile device, Surfshark has you covered with unlimited simultaneous connections.
  3. WireGuard VPN Protocol: Surfshark supports WireGuard VPN protocol, directly integrated into their VPN apps. This protocol delivers lightning-fast speeds, making it ideal for online gaming.
  4. User-Friendly and Affordable: Surfshark has a very user-friendly interface, making it easy for gamers of all levels to set up and use. Additionally, Surfshark offers competitive pricing, so you don’t have to break the bank to have a secure and reliable VPN service.

Surfshark provides a solid VPN service focused on speed. With low latency, an extensive server network, a user-friendly interface, and affordability, it is an excellent choice for enhancing your gaming experience.

Money-Back Guarantee

Surfshark offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you easily try it before you commit.

Read our full Surfshark review.

3. NordVPN

Rank: 3 | Servers: 5,500+ | Speed: 89.9 Mbps | Countries: 60+ | Encryption Type: AES 256-bit, OpenVPN | Max devices: 6 | 24/7 Support: ✅| Free Trial: ❌| Money-Back Guarantee: ✅ | Apps & Devices: Win~MacOS~ Linux~Android~iOS~Router~LGTV~Samsung TV~Amazon Sticks~Xbox | Jurisdiction: Panama |

Unblocks: Netflix US | BBC iPlayer | Amazon Prime Video | Hulu | FuboTV | DAZN | Disney+ | Apple TV+ | HBO Max

Ease of Use: 2.  (average)

Kill switch:  ✅

No Logs:  ✅

Third-party audit:  ✅

Torrenting:  ✅

Best & Worst:

Best Feature for Gaming: A trusted VPN with customizable advanced features, and includes an ad blocker.

Worst Feature for Gaming: Priced higher than its competitors.

NordVPN features more than 5,500 servers across 60 countries, has a no-log policy and works on a WiFi router.

NordVPN prioritizes user privacy by strictly adhering to a no-logs policy. Along with this commitment, they offer fast connection speeds and employ up-to-date security protocols to ensure a secure online experience with high upload speeds and download speeds.

  • NordVPN’s exclusive NordLynx feature combines the speed of the WireGuard protocol with their own advanced security measures.
  • With an extensive server network NordVPN can effectively assist gamers in maintaining a secure and uninterrupted connection during gameplay.
  • To cater to the demands of heavy traffic, NordVPN has optimized their servers, making them an excellent choice for gamers seeking both entertainment and online safety.
  • NordVPN has a very user-friendly interface. You can effortlessly connect to your preferred server with just a single click or utilize the Quick Connect option, allowing the application to select the most suitable server for you.
  • With unlimited bandwidth, NordVPN allows you to enjoy gaming without worrying about any limitations or slowdowns.
  • To safeguard your real IP address from being exposed in the event of a targeted attack, NordVPN offers DDoS protection, ensuring your anonymity and security remain intact.

Money-Back Guarantee

NordVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you’re not happy with the purchase, it is easy to get your money back and try something else.

Read our full NordVPN review.

4. CyberGhost VPN

Rank: 4 | Servers: 9,200+ | Speed: 83.4 Mbps | Countries: 90+ | Encryption Type: 256-bit AES, OpenVPN protocol, IKEv2, WireGuard | Max devices: 7 | 24/7 support: ✅| Free trial: ✅| Money-back guarantee: ✅ | Apps & Devices: Win~Mac~Android~iOS~Router~Linux~Samsung TV~Amazon Sticks~Xbox | Jurisdiction: Romania

Unblocks: Netflix US | BBC iPlayer | Amazon Prime Video | Hulu | FuboTV | DAZN | Disney+ | Apple TV+ | HBO Max

Ease of Use: 1.  (easy)

Kill switch:  ✅

No Logs:  ✅

Third-party audit:  ✅

Torrenting:  ✅

Best & Worst:

Best Feature for Gaming: Well-priced and impressive speeds, as well as gaming-optimized servers.

Worst Feature for Gaming: Although you can connect 7 devices simultaneously, you must register each one, so if you want to switch it up, you have to un-register and then go through the process again with another device.

CyberGhost VPN is a great choice for gamers seeking optimal performance. It provides gaming-optimized servers designed for Windows PC users. These servers are configured to deliver low ping and fast speeds, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted gaming experience.
With a network of over 9,000 servers across 91 countries, CyberGhost VPN offers blazing-fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth on all its servers.

There are several choices of plan ranging in cost from $2.29 for the 36-month plan, to $12.99 for the monthly plan.

CyberGhost VPN also works to lower your ping, further enhancing your gaming experience. It offers a fast and stable connection on platforms including, PlayStation Now, xCloud, GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and Switch Cloud Streaming.

Money-Back Guarantee

CyberGhost offers a generous 45-day money-back guarantee so you can try it for a good while and see if you like it.

Read our full CyberGhost review.

Speed Tests

We tested each of the top three VPNs on the list connecting to servers in the USA.

VPN DL (Mbps) UL (Mbps) Ping Idle (ms) Ping DL (ms) Ping UL (ms)
ExpressVPN 89.9 69.9 20 149 71
Surfshark 80.08 71.22 35 208 76
NordVPN 89.9 72.92 27 206 72

Why You’d Want to Use a VPN for Gaming

One of the best reasons to get a VPN for gaming is to avoid DDoS attacks. A distributed denial of service attack is when another player sends multiple requests to your system to force you offline. DDoS attacks are becoming more accessible and popular amongst hardcore gamers. However, if you have a gaming VPN, your system is immune to DDoS attacks as your IP address is hidden.

You’ll also avoid having your bandwidth throttled. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have mechanisms that will slow down your network if they detect a specific type of activity or a certain amount of data being transferred. Gaming is one of these activities. For example, did you know that Call of Duty uses 90MB of data per hour on average? Your ISP throttling your bandwidth could be the reason for your kill-death ratio!

What a VPN Does for Your Game

With a gaming VPN, your ISP won’t be able to tell if you’re gaming or browsing on the net. Therefore, they won’t try to throttle your bandwidth while you play online. You might also find that you’ll see a reduction in lag and ping times, particularly if you connect to a country closer to game servers.

Installing ExpressVPN for Gaming

  1. Go to the ExpressVPN website and create an account.
  2. Choose your subscription plan and provide payment information.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to download and install the ExpressVPN app on your computer.
  4. Launch the app and log in with your account credentials.
  5. Connect to a server location that is optimized for gaming.
  6. Launch your game and start playing with ExpressVPN’s protection.

If you want to use ExpressVPN on your gaming console or smart TV, follow these additional steps:

  1. Set up ExpressVPN on your Wi-Fi router or get a router that has ExpressVPN pre-installed.
  2. Connect your gaming console or smart TV to the router.
  3. Launch your game and start playing with ExpressVPN’s protection.

ExpressVPN also has a YouTube channel and many tutorials and guides on their website.

Where Can You Find the Best Gaming VPN?

Protecting your identity and privacy is just as important in gaming as it is when you’re browsing websites. Without a gaming VPN, you leave yourself open to DDoS attacks and ISPs throttling your bandwidth.

A gaming VPN can provide you with the anonymity you need to avoid attacks, data getting logged, and lag interfering with your online gaming experience. If you happen to pick the right server, you might even find that your connection improves.

Don’t sacrifice precious gaming time by searching online for the best gaming VPN. Head over to VPN Testing’s VPN’s ranking table page and find the right one for you and your game.

Wrapping Up

In the fast-paced world of online gaming, lag, overcrowded servers, DDoS attacks, compromised accounts, and unreliable connections can turn an ot gaming session into a frustrating experience. That’s where a Virtual Private Network (VPN) comes in, offering gamers a solution to these challenges and providing a range of benefits to enhance their gaming experience. By using a VPN, gamers can enjoy smoother gameplay, increased security, and access to restricted content, all while keeping their online activities private.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best VPN for gaming?

All the VPNs on this list are excellent for gaming. Our favorite is ExpressVPN because of its consistently low ping and fast speeds, large server network, and their proprietary Lightway protocol.

Does a VPN improve gaming?

A VPN can significantly enhance your gaming experience by providing a stable and uninterrupted connection, while also protecting you from online threats.
Moreover, a VPN allows you to overcome geoblocks and access international gaming servers. By changing your IP address, you can hop through different game servers, find better match-ups, and even unlock video games that are geo-restricted in your region. Some games distributors like Steam or GOG don’t like it when you use a VPN to bypass Geo-restrictions though.

What VPN do most streamers use?

The answer to this depends upon the user’s personal preferences, and individual needs. Surfshark is a great choice for streaming, NordVPN is recommended for compatibility and faster downloads, ExpressVPN excels in security features and device compatibility, and CyberGhost is a good option for uploading and transferring large files.

Should I use a VPN for gaming?

Any of the VPNs on this list can boost your security by encrypting your internet connection and masking your IP address, a VPN shields you from DDoS attacks and other online threats.

The ability to change your IP address through a VPN grants you access to a wider range of servers, improving connectivity. This is particularly valuable when playing games that are not available in your region.

Certain VPNs like ExpressVPN or NordVPN can minimize lag and optimize ping times, resulting in a smoother gaming experience overall.

Free VPNs and proxy services can be a bad idea as they do not usually offer the same functionality or privacy and security benefits of paid VPNs, and can sell your data and leave you vulnerable to malware.

Which VPN is the fastest for gaming?

NordVPN fully supports the WireGuard (NordLynx) VPN protocol, providing high download speeds and cutting-edge security.

ExpressVPN has consistently low ping and fast download speeds, ExpressVPN offers a large server network and a proprietary protocol called Lightway for secure and speedy gaming sessions.

Surfshark supports the WireGuard VPN protocol directly in their VPN apps, delivering blazing-fast speeds for gaming with a  large network of 3,200 servers in 100 countries.

Will a VPN affect my internet speeds?

It could, which is why it’s important to choose carefully. A VPN can also improve your internet speed by bypassing ISP throttling

How much does a VPN for gaming cost?

This varies quite a bit. Depending upon which VPN you choose, the length of the plan, and which features you choose, the VPNs on this list cost between $2.29 and $12.99. While none of the VPNs on this list have free versions, they all offer money-back guarantees, so you can try for yourself and see which one works best for you.