The 10 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2024 Compared

The best gaming VPN gives you access to ultra-fast servers with low ping, distance, and load so that your online gaming experience is as smooth as it can be, with minimal disruption. With a potent VPN solution, you’ll also be able to access gaming titles restricted in your region and benefit from discounts on gaming libraries from around the world, irrespective of your physical location.

However, finding a VPN suited to your needs is easier said than done, given the sheer number of options available. That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to the best VPNs for gaming after carefully comparing and reviewing the top options and best VPN solutions on the market. Read on to learn why ExpressVPN, PureVPN, and IvacyVPN clinched the top spots after we compared all the providers across criteria like speed, server count, customer support, and more.

The Best Gaming VPNs for 2024

Here’s a quick round-up of all the VPN providers we’ve picked for gamers, with the main reason they’re on our list:

  1. ExpressVPN – The best VPN for gaming, with the highest number of server locations worldwide. It’s also the easiest to use and offers class-leading security against DDoS attacks.
  2. PureVPN – An affordable and feature-packed VPN for gamers with over 6,500 servers. It comes with static IP addresses, making it excellent for those who want to host gaming servers.
  3. IvacyVPN – The cheapest VPN for gaming ($1/month). It has servers in a staggering 100 countries, and there’s also an option to pay via cryptocurrency for added privacy.
  4. NordVPN – The fastest VPN that’s excellent for secure gaming, thanks to features like its Double VPN. Get unrestricted access everywhere with its unrivaled unblocking capabilities, too.
  5. Surfshark VPN – An ultra-fast gaming VPN that offers unlimited simultaneous connections. Value for money is second to none, and beginners will enjoy its easy-to-use apps.
  6. CyberGhost VPN – One of the few VPNs to offer gaming-optimized servers and the ability to sort them by ping. Besides a whopping 45-day guarantee, its 9,100+ servers are class-leading.
  7. PrivadoVPN – The best free VPN for gaming with access to 12 servers in 10 countries. The paid plans are all super affordable, and they sport near-class-leading speeds (880 Mbps).
  8. IPVanish – A solid all-purpose VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections and great speeds. The ability to filter servers by ping and load serves as the cherry on top.
  9. VyprVPN – One of few to offer a proprietary VPN protocol for VPN obfuscation. Plus, it offers 300,000 IP addresses, protection against DDoS attacks, and servers in gaming-friendly locations.
  10. PrivateVPN – A cost-effective and popular VPN for gaming with support for older protocols. It comes with a nifty Stealth mode and rock-solid protection against all major digital threats.

What Does a VPN Do for Gaming?

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can significantly enhance your gaming experience in various ways. Firstly, it allows you to access gaming servers in different geographic locations, opening up opportunities to play with friends or access exclusive content available only in specific regions.

This can lead to reduced lag and faster connection speeds, as you can choose servers closer to your location, providing a smoother and more enjoyable gaming experience.

Moreover, using a good VPN for gaming can bolster your online privacy and security. It shields your real IP addresses, safeguarding you against potential threats like doxing and swatting that put your personal information at risk and disrupt your gaming sessions.

So beyond all this, why use a VPN for gaming? The best VPNs can help you improve your gaming results, too. For example, for games like Call of Duty Warzone, you can use a VPN to access easy bot lobbies to increase your rank at a breakneck pace.

So, whether you’re looking to level up your gaming performance or enhance your online safety, a VPN for gaming is almost non-negotiable for your online adventures.

The Best VPNs for Online Gaming in 2024 Reviewed

Get ready, as we’ll now dive into the details of the top 10 VPNs for gaming, including their best features, pricing, pros, and cons from our in-depth analysis and testing of each one.

1. ExpressVPN – Best VPN for Online Gaming Overall

ExpressVPN is the best VPN service provider overall, and it’s no surprise that it delivers nothing short of perfection as far as support for gaming is concerned. For starters, it has servers in a staggering 160 individual locations around the globe.

This means that you’ll always be able to find a high-speed and low-ping server nearby, regardless of where you are. ExpressVPN’s extraordinary unblocking capabilities were on display in our full ExpressVPN review, too.

With ExpressVPN, you’ll be able to access the best discounts on gaming titles and new releases, as you’ll be able to benefit from game store sales in other countries. The same will also help you bypass geo-restrictions on your favorite movies and TV shows.

ExpressVPN

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
750 Mbps $8.32/month — annual plan with 3 months free No 8 3,000+ 94 countries and 160 locations Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Routers, Chromebooks 30 days

With ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol, you can rest assured that cheaters won’t be able to kick you out of a game – its class-leading AES-256 encryption will protect you against DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks.

What’s more, Lightway (the most lightweight protocol with just 2,000 lines of code) also ensures minimal lag and ISP throttling, where your Internet Service Provider handicaps your internet speeds. Speaking of speeds, ExpressVPN undoubtedly delivers here too.

You’ll get a near-class-leading 750 Mbps connection, which is more than enough for enjoying a seamless online gaming experience. Also, Lightway has been independently audited, proving that it doesn’t log any user data.

This, along with an intuitive kill switch, split tunneling, and an auto-connect feature, makes ExpressVPN the best in the business for privacy. But beyond all this, one of the main reasons ExpressVPN is at the top of our list is its easy-to-use apps for every platform,

This includes routers, so you’ll be able to secure your gaming consoles by connecting your router to the VPN and following it up by connecting your Xbox or PlayStation to your Wi-Fi network.

You’ll also be able to stream content on your gaming consoles thanks to ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer tool. As this is designed for just accessing content on devices that don’t support a VPN connection, it doesn’t encrypt your connection on your console.

With a large on/off button at the center of the interface and a neatly laid out list of servers, ExpressVPN is as plug-and-play as a VPN can get, and we were able to establish a connection with just a single tap in less than a second.

Pros 

  • Most number of individual locations on offer
  • Very easy to use on all types of devices
  • Also, the best VPN for gaming Reddit users say
  • Class-leading protection against DDoS attacks
  • Proprietary VPN protocol for extra security

Cons

  • A little expensive

2. PureVPN – Affordable VPN with 6,500+ Servers

PureVPN is a great alternative to ExpressVPN, thanks to its budget-friendly price. It starts at a mere $3.99/month, which is almost twice as cheap as ExpressVPN. With that said, there’s lots of power under the hood – PureVPN is anything but a compromise.

Its 6,500+ servers in over 78 countries and 89 locations are more than what a lot of VPNs are able to offer, including ExpressVPN. We tested PureVPN with Warzone and were able to find easy lobbies, no matter the time and place.

Besides being one of the best Warzone VPNs, it also supports games like Minecraft, League of Legends, Battlefield V, and more. Plus, unlike ExpressVPN, PureVPN will provide you with a static IP address.

PureVPN

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
640 Mbps $2.29/month — 2-year plan 7-day free trial, suitable for gaming 10 6,500+ 78 countries Consoles (Xbox One, PS5, and more), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 31 days

This gives you more control and consistency in your connections compared to dynamic IP addresses. However, the latter excels at unblocking restricted content and is overall more secure than static IPs – because you’ll be operating a different IP address every time.

Combine this with the excellent port-forwarding feature — that lets you form a direct connection with a remote server from your router, reducing lag and latency along the way — it emerges as the best option for creating and hosting gaming servers.

This remote server could be a gaming server or any other server where you connect with your friends to play online multiplayer games. This undoubtedly sets PureVPN apart from providers like Surfshark and NordVPN, which don’t offer this.

Outside of gaming, our PureVPN review also uncovered that it’s super secure, and its Always-on Audit feature really stood out for us. This means that the platform is available for inspection 24/7, which showcases the provider’s confidence in its airtight security.

Pros 

  • A large fleet of servers on offer
  • The Always-on Audit feature gives extra reliability
  • Support for port forwarding
  • Offers static IP addresses

Cons

  • Limited features on WireGuard

3. IvacyVPN – Cheapest VPN for Gaming with Servers in 100 Countries

IvacyVPN is hands down the cheapest VPN for gaming, with a starting price of $1/month if you subscribe to its 5-year plan. Despite that, it doesn’t short-change you at all, and you’ll have access to 5,700+ servers in 100 countries.

The only other VPN on our list to be present in over 100 countries is Surfshark. It gets better, though, IvacyVPN also comes with a free forever plan that offers unlimited bandwidth and the ability to access geo-restricted gaming titles.

However, on trying it in real-time, we were left wanting a lot more, as it was able to churn out speeds of only 35 Mbps, as opposed to IvacyVPN’s paid subscription, which delivered a handsome peak speed of over 630 Mbps.

IvacyVPN

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
630 Mbps $1/month — 5-year plan Free plan limited at 35 Mbps 10 5,700+ 100 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days

While IvacyVPN hasn’t undergone an independent audit yet, its security features are well-rounded. There’s excellent protection against DDoS attacks, ISP throttling, and DNS leaks, and even intuitive blockers for malicious pop-up links, adware, and malware.

IvacyVPN is more than capable of providing you with a seamless gaming experience. Xbox owners will love IvacyVPN for its compatibility with Xbox devices – whether it’s the very new Xbox Series X/S, the slightly old Xbox One, or the very old Xbox 360.

The best part here is that it comes with a dedicated app for Xbox consoles, and while that’s not the case for PlayStation, you can secure that via its excellent router app. Besides that, it’s also easily among the best VPNs for PC gaming.

A slight downside to this very cheap and solid gaming VPN is that a couple of noteworthy security features (dedicated IP and port forwarding) are only available as paid add-ons – $1.99 and $1/month, respectively.

However, this is surely not going to be a deal-breaker, given how affordable IvacyVPN’s original plan is. Speaking of payments, IvacyVPN gives you the option to pay via cryptocurrency (in addition to the traditional methods), elevating the level of security and anonymity that can be achieved for you as a user on the internet.

Pros 

  • The cheapest VPN for gaming
  • An option to pay via cryptocurrency for extra security
  • Class-leading compatibility for Xbox consoles
  • Its servers are present in 100 countries

Cons

  • Port forwarding is only available as a paid add-on

4. NordVPN – Fastest VPN with Class-Leading Unblocking Capabilities

NordVPN is the fastest VPN provider in the industry, with peak speeds of over 950 Mbps on a 1 Gbps line. Its ability to court speed fanatics and hardcore, competitive gamers who want to stay away from even the slightest of lags and latency is unparalleled.

Another reason NordVPN for gaming is an absolute workhorse is its Meshnet feature that allows you to host game servers and bring as many as 60 devices on board, all of which will enjoy a direct connection to the server and, therefore, to all other devices on it.

You’ll be able to play online co-op and local multiplayer games with your friends, even if they’re nowhere near your physical location. The best part is that NordVPN has made its Meshnet feature freely available to its users.

NordVPN

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
950 Mbps $3.99/month — 2-year plan with 3 months free No 6 5,500+ 60 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days

This is especially commendable when you have providers like IvacyVPN charging extra for security features such as port forwarding and dedicated IP addresses – the latter is available with NordVPN, while the former isn’t.

There’s little to complain about and a bunch to be impressed by when it comes to security. NordVPN’s star performers in this respect are the Double VPN and Onion over VPN.

Double VPN, as the name suggests, encrypts your data twice by routing it through two servers instead of one. And Onion over VPN will allow you to securely access the Tor network, even if you don’t have (or don’t want) the Tor browser.

We found the interface quite subjective, though. If you’re all in for a super aesthetically pleasing design, the map-style interface (which, by the way, isn’t the easiest to use on smaller screens such as mobile phones) will be a delight for you.

However, users who like things simple and very plug-and-play, with a big power button to get things underway, will find the likes of ExpressVPN and PureVPN more appealing.

Pros 

  • Class-leading security with Double VPN and Onion over VPN
  • The Meshnet feature makes it a superb VPN for LAN gaming
  • The fastest VPN, with peak speeds of over 950 Mbps
  • Comes with built-in antivirus and anti-tracking tools

Cons

  • The map-like interface isn’t very plug-and-play

5. Surfshark – Super Fast VPN Gaming, Highly Recommended for those on a Budget

Surfshark steals the show with its unlimited simultaneous connections. While other providers limit you to 6, 8, or 10 simultaneous connections, Surfshark separates itself from the pack by allowing you to share your VPN account with unlimited devices.

This means that you can onboard your family members, friends, gaming buddies, and clan members. So, at the cost of just a single subscription (which, at $3.49/month, is super affordable), you’ll be able to game online, and that too, with your whole group.

Surfshark also hits it out of the park when it comes to connection speeds. It’s right on par with NordVPN as the fastest provider out there, thanks to lightning-fast peak speeds of over 950 Mbps when set to use the WireGuard protocol.

Surfshark

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
950 Mbps $3.49/month — 2-year plan 7-day free trial Unlimited 3,200+ 100 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days

This will help you grab the best deals on game sales and early access before anybody else swoops in and claims it. Plus, the good news kept coming when we focused our attention on the locations on offer – with over 3,200 servers in 100 countries.

There’s very little to sniff at in terms of reach. Yes, PureVPN and NordVPN offer a lot more servers, but neither of them is present in as many countries as Surfshark.

While we faced minor kill switch issues on Windows, we were very happy to look past it, thanks to Surfshark’s verified no-logs policy and CleanWeb 2.0 – a potent combination.

It’ll be the guardian of your privacy and keep you away from digital threats of all kinds, including malware, data breaches, and ads/pop-ups, for a seamless streaming, gaming, and browsing experience. We rate Surfshark as one of the best VPNs around and rank it as the best YouTube TV VPN.

Pros 

  • Offers superb value for money
  • Among the very fastest VPN providers on the internet
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections to game with your buddies
  • One of the most beginner-friendly VPNs

Cons

  • Minor kill switch issues

6. CyberGhost – One of Few Providers to Offer Dedicated Servers for Gaming

CyberGhost boasts the highest number of servers on our list, and with 9,100+ servers in over 91 countries, you’ll never face a scenario where you’re unable to connect to a high-speed, low-congestion server near you.

It’s also one of very few VPN providers to offer dedicated servers for gaming. Head over to the “For Gaming” section on the home screen (we tried it first-hand, and it’s very easy to find and navigate), and there you’ll find gaming-optimized servers.

This includes locations like London, New York, Paris, and Frankfurt. What’s more, you’ll also be able to segregate all CyberGhost servers by their load, ping, and distance from your location.

cyberghost

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
630 Mbps $2.19/month — 2-year plan with 2 months free No 7 9,100+ 91 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 45 days

Ping simply means the amount of time it’ll take for your data to travel to the VPN server. Naturally, you’d want a server with low ping and less distance so that you experience minimal lags and latency.

CyberGhost is also a delight for those pinching for pennies, as it’s one of the most affordable VPN solutions. And if that wasn’t reason enough for you to go for it, it also comes with a whopping 45-day money-back guarantee, giving you ample time to try it out risk-free.

A slight downside to the service, as transparently mentioned in our in-depth CyberGhost review, is its 7 simultaneous connections. Alongside NordVPN, it’s one of the lowest on our list.

So, those who want to game with their buddies or simply have the option to share their VPN account with more people will be better off with Surfshark or IPVanish, both of which offer unlimited simultaneous connections.

Pros 

  • An industry-leading 45-day money-back guarantee
  • The highest number of servers for a VPN on our list
  • Best VPN for gaming low ping
  • Dedicated servers optimized for gaming
  • You can sort servers based on ping and load

Cons

  • Only 7 simultaneous connections

7. PrivadoVPN – Best Free of Cost VPN for Gaming

PrivadoVPN is the best free VPN for gaming, courtesy of its free plan that comes with commendable unblocking capabilities on par with premium services. For no charge at all, you’ll be able to access gaming titles restricted in your region.

You’ll also be able to find easy lobbies on online multiplayer games like Call of Duty Warzone and Modern Warfare. Unlike the free version of Proton VPN, which limits you to 3 countries, PrivadoVPN’s free plan boasts 12 server locations in 10 countries.

However, it’s worth noting that your bandwidth will be capped at 10 GB of data per month. Beyond that, your speeds will be reduced to a negligible 1 Mbps, which is why we recommend PrivadoVPN’s paid subscription for avid gamers and regular VPN users.

Privado-VPN

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
880 Mbps $1.99/month — 2-year plan Free-forever plan, ideal for gaming 10 395+ 46 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days

At its peak, PrivadoVPN is only marginally under the 900 Mbps mark, which is on par with what our top providers can churn out. In fact, it’s 250 Mbps faster than ExpressVPN, meaning online gaming will be as smooth as ever.

The server count isn’t as impressive as we’d like it to be, and with just 395 servers in 46 countries, it’s going to need some time to catch up with the illustrative offerings of the big hitters. That said, from an affordability standpoint, it’s right up there with the best.

You can get started for less than $2/month. However, although we didn’t find it lacking in security, an independently conducted audit of its servers and no-logs policy will bolster our confidence in the service and impress critics and privacy-focused users like ourselves.

That said, with an unfailing kill switch, split tunneling, and an auto-connect feature, your gaming experience will be as secure as it will be smooth.

Pros 

  • A free plan ideal for gaming
  • Near-class-leading speeds of 880 Mbps
  • Super affordable
  • Access to 12 servers in 10 countries on the free plan

Cons

  • Lacks an independent audit

8. IPVanish – Gaming VPN Lower Ping Option with Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

IPVanish does a lot of things right, especially on the gaming front, and it was a tough decision to put it at number 8 on our list. For starters, recent testing and our full IPVanish review revealed that it’s now among the fastest providers on the market.

It peaked at a super impressive 950 Mbps, which puts it neck-and-neck with NordVPN and Surfshark. At the same time, it’s cheaper than both those VPNs and with a price tag of sub-$3 per month for the 2-year plan, its value-for-money proposition is insane.

It’s certainly worth noting for those on a tight budget. What’s more, like Surfshark, IPVanish, too, comes with unlimited simultaneous connections, allowing you to share your VPN account with all your friends, family, and members of the gaming community.

IPVanish

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
950 Mbps $2.99/month — 2-year plan 7-day free trial Unlimited 2,200+ 50 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days

While it doesn’t have a dedicated “For Gaming” section like CyberGhost, it gives you the option to filter servers based on ping and load – other filters include “country” and “favorites”, so you can zero in on the fastest servers for your gaming.

With all that said, a major reason it’s not top of our list is its number of servers and their spread. While 2,200+ servers in 50 countries are nothing to be sniffed at, it doesn’t quite compete with names like ExpressVPN, PureVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark.

If we had to go around nitpicking, we’d say that IPVanish’s ultra-green interface isn’t as pleasing to the eye as, say, Surfshark’s light blue or ExpressVPN’s beige. That said, there’s no arguing against its ease of use.

Everything, from the server list to your account details to the Quick Connect option, is neatly presented on the left-hand side menu of the IPVanish application.

Pros 

  • One of the fastest providers out there
  • Among the best gaming VPNs for ping
  • Offers unlimited simultaneous connections, just like Surfshark
  • Very easy to use, thanks to a simple interface
  • An option to sort servers based on ping

Cons

  • Less servers and locations are on offer

9. VyprVPN – Offers Proprietary VPN Protocol and Servers in Good Locations

VyprVPN is different from many others in that it offers a proprietary VPN protocol – the Chameleon protocol. It’s built into all VyprVPN apps and will give you far better security and performance than if you were to use it with any other third-party protocol.

The Chameleon protocol stands out for its obfuscation that prevents prying eyes (ISPs, hackers, and governments) from knowing that you’re using a VPN. This means they won’t plague you with VPN blocks that hamper the speed and efficiency of VPN traffic.

That said, while speeds aren’t class-leading, we love the fact that VyprVPN has over 300,000 IP addresses on offer, allowing you to rest assured that your internet activities won’t be traced back to you and that you’ll enjoy total anonymity.

VyprVPN

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
420 Mbps $5/month No 30 700+ 94+ locations Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days

It’s an ever-expanding VPN provider, meaning there will be a lot more servers in the future than its current pack of 700. What’s particularly impressive is that despite its server limitations, it’s able to spread them out nicely in over 70 locations.

This means that a low-ping and ultra-fast server is never far away. Despite being a comparatively small provider, VyprVPN is also up to the mark in terms of security while gaming. Protection against DDoS attacks and bandwidth throttling is top-notch.

Beyond this, there isn’t a false note in its compatibility either – you can run it on pretty much every gaming console and operating system. On another note, the pricing is a mixed bag, to say the least.

Although the $5 price tag puts it in the higher echelon of affordable VPNs, it doesn’t levy any renewal hikes, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank at the end of your first term.

Pros 

  • Offers a proprietary VPN protocol with VPN obfuscation
  • Excellent security
  • 300,000 IP addresses for foolproof anonymity
  • No renewal hikes

Cons

  • The starting price is a bit steep compared to other providers
  • A low number of servers

10. PrivateVPN – Well-Rounded VPN with Good Speeds and an Affordable Price Tag

PrivateVPN is more than capable of doing the heavy lifting for you when it comes to games like Warzone and Modern Warfare, wherein you want access to easy bot lobbies. Despite having only 200+ servers, it’s present in the best VPN locations for gaming.

This includes key areas like Singapore and Switzerland. That said, PrivateVPN’s appeal lies in its all-purpose nature. It doesn’t hit it out of the park in any one criteria, but it holds its ground on all of them.

First up is its affordability – it’s super cost-effective, thanks to a price point of $2/month on the 3-year plan. If your memo is decent performance on all fronts for as little as possible, PrivateVPN is well-equipped to do the job for you.

PrivateVPN

Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
480 Mbps $2/month — 36-month plan 7-day free trial 10 200+ 63 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days

A standout, though, is its stealth mode, which will obfuscate your VPN traffic for the best results. What’s more, you’ll also enjoy IPv6 and DNS leak protection and all VPN essentials, including a kill switch, split tunneling, and a no-logs policy.

In our PrivateVPN review, we found all of the above are present and work very well in practice. Along with that, it’s one of very few VPN providers to support the PPTP protocol, which is tailor-made for old devices.

While PPTP isn’t as cut out for gaming as WireGuard or OpenVPN, it’s simple to set up and use, and if you have an old device lying around that you want to protect with a VPN, PrivateVPN is the way to go.

Speaking of ease of use, beginners will enjoy PrivateVPN’s effortless setup and intuitive dashboard, which comes with a quirky yet pleasant all-purple scheme.

Pros 

  • A great all-round VPN with an affordable price tag
  • Stealth mode for VPN obfuscation
  • Support for older protocols, like PPTP and L2TP/IPSec
  • Easy to use and set up

Cons

  • The server count needs cranking up

The Top VPNs for Gaming Compared

Our table here highlights the main differences between the top VPNs for gaming, allowing you to quickly yet effectively zero in on the best one for your needs and preferences:

VPN Provider Average Speeds Starting Price Free Version Simultaneous Devices/Subscription Server Count Server Locations Compatibility Money-Back Guarantee
ExpressVPN 750 Mbps $8.32/month — annual plan with 3 months free No 8 3,000+ 94 countries and 160 locations Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Routers, Chromebooks 30 days
PureVPN 640 Mbps $2.29/month — 2-year plan 7-day free trial, suitable for gaming 10 6,500+ 78 countries Consoles (Xbox One, PS5, and more), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 31 days
IvacyVPN 630 Mbps $1/month — 5-year plan Free-forever plan, but limited speeds at 35Mbps 10 5,700+ 100 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days
NordVPN 950 Mbps $3.99/month — 2-year plan with 3 months free No 6 5,500+ 60 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days
Surfshark 950 Mbps $3.49/month — 2-year plan 7-day free trial Unlimited 3,200+ 100 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days
CyberGhost 630 Mbps $2.19/month — 2-year plan with 2 months free No 7 9,100+ 91 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 45 days
PrivadoVPN 880 Mbps $1.99/month — 2-year plan Free-forever plan, ideal for gaming 10 395+ 46 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days
IPVanish 950 Mbps $2.99/month — 2-year plan 7-day free trial Unlimited 2,200+ 50 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days
VyprVPN 420 Mbps $5/month No 30 700+ 94+ locations Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days
PrivateVPN 480 Mbps $2/month — 36-month plan 7-day free trial 10 200+ 63 countries Consoles (including Xbox Series X/S and PS5), Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, and more 30 days

Important Details to Consider When Comparing VPNs for Games

Selecting the right VPN for gaming involves a strategic balance between speed, security, and accessibility. Here, we’ll explore the critical details we considered during our testing process when comparing all the providers qualifying as the best VPNs for gaming.

Whether you aim to reduce lag, protect yourself against DDoS attacks, or access geo-restricted game content, these factors will help you make an informed choice and optimize your gaming experience.

Server Location 

Choosing a VPN provider with servers strategically located in regions close to the game’s servers you connect to is essential to minimize lag and latency.

This ensures that your data takes the shortest and fastest path, reducing delays and providing a smoother gaming experience. The proximity of your chosen VPN server to the servers of the game you’re playing can significantly impact your gaming experience.

Additionally, having a wide range of server locations – ExpressVPN has 160 of those – allows you to access gaming content worldwide and play video games with friends or opponents in different regions.

Speed

Gamers demand a fast and stable internet connection to ensure smooth and responsive gameplay. A VPN can add overhead to your connection, increasing ping times and latency if not properly optimized.

Therefore, choose a VPN provider with a reputation for high-speed servers and low latency, so you can maintain fast connection speeds and ensure that your gaming experience remains uninterrupted and competitive.

From our testing, we can confidently say that, at the moment, NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN are the fastest providers.

Unlimited Bandwidth and Data

Online gaming can be data-intensive, and running out of bandwidth can lead to a frustrating interruption in gameplay. Whether you’re into competitive online gaming or exploring virtual worlds, get a VPN that won’t throttle your data.

Consider going for a VPN that offers unlimited bandwidth and data, as it ensures you can game to your heart’s content without worrying about hitting data caps or experiencing a slowdown in connection speed.

With unlimited bandwidth, you can enjoy extended gaming sessions, download game updates, and engage in multiplayer battles without restrictions. This is the main reason why we’d advise against a free VPN for gaming.

Security

Gamers need protection against various online threats, including DDoS attacks and potential exposure of personal information. As such, be sure to select a VPN that offer strong encryption methods, such as AES-256-bit and ChaCha encryption.

A strict no-logs policy is equally crucial, as it guarantees that your online activities aren’t recorded or stored. Additionally, some VPNs provide dedicated gaming servers optimized for speed and security, offering an extra layer of protection against cyber threats.

While you’re after a smooth gaming experience, always prioritize a VPN that prioritizes your security so you can focus on winning matches and steer clear of online vulnerabilities at the same time.

Compatibility

Gamers use various platforms, including PCs, consoles, and mobile devices, and it’s essential to ensure that the VPN seamlessly integrates with your gaming devices with dedicated apps and configurations.

For instance, if you’re gaming on a console like Xbox, check if the VPN supports it and offers setup guides specifically designed for this. That said, all VPNs on our list offer dedicated apps for routers, so you can establish a VPN connection on your gaming console.

Overall, compatibility ensures that the VPN doesn’t hinder your gaming experience and allows you to effortlessly protect your gaming sessions across all your devices.

Ease of Use

Gamers often value simplicity and efficiency, so a user-friendly interface and straightforward setup process are paramount. Only choose VPNs that offer intuitive apps and clear instructions for installation and configuration.

A VPN that seamlessly integrates with your gaming platform and requires minimal technical expertise ensures you can quickly connect to servers, protect your online gaming sessions, and focus on what matters most.

What’s more, a user-friendly VPN interface allows you to easily switch servers, enabling you to optimize your connection for specific games without hassle.

Reputation of the Provider

A reputable VPN provider is non-negotiable. We combed through the providers’ history, customer reviews, and independent assessments to gauge their reputation.

All the VPNs on our list score maximum points on reliability and are known for respecting user privacy and maintaining a strict no-logs policy.

Reputable providers also tend to have a transparent and clear privacy policy, giving you confidence that your gaming activities and personal data are well-protected.

Pricing 

VPN providers offer various pricing models, including monthly, yearly, or multi-year plans. It’s essential to weigh the cost against the features and performance the VPN offers.

Some VPNs provide free versions or limited free trials, while others offer premium plans with more advanced features. Consider your budget and the value you receive from the VPN, especially gaming-specific benefits like reduced lag and DDoS protection.

With that said, you’ll find that most of our top picks are super affordable and provide excellent value for gamers looking to protect their online gaming experience without breaking the bank.

What’s the Best Free VPN for Gaming?

PrivadoVPN is the best free VPN for gaming that Android, iOS, PC, and console owners will all love. Although Proton VPN, too, offers a free version, we found PrivadoVPN to be just that little bit better.

It differentiates itself from Proton VPN by granting its users access to 12 high-speed servers in 10 countries, including gaming-friendly locations like Switzerland and the United States. Proton VPN, on the other hand, only gives you 3 server locations.

Also, PrivadoVPN is faster than Proton VPN – the former boasts peak speeds of over 880 Mbps, whereas Proton VPN is middling, at best, with a maximum speed of around 510 Mbps.

With that said PrivadoVPN’s free plan gives you 10 GB of data to play around with, which, in all fairness, should be enough for occasional gamers. However, regular gamers will find more value in its paid subscription, which comes with unlimited bandwidth.

Not only that, but paid VPN plans are generally a whole lot better than their free counterparts. This is because they come with:

  • More number of servers
  • No data limits
  • No speed throttling
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Assurance that your data will not be sold for profiteering

On the bright side, you won’t have to burn a hole in your pocket for a paid VPN subscription, either. We’ve hand-picked affordable services, with most priced around the $3 mark – IvacyVPN and PrivateVPN ask for just $1 and $2/month, respectively.

How To Use a VPN for Gaming

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up and use a VPN for gaming consoles using ExpressVPN as an example:

Step 1: Set Up Your ExpressVPN Account

First, sign up for an ExpressVPN account if you haven’t already, and choose a subscription plan that suits your needs.

Step-1-Download-VPN

Step 2: Configure the VPN on Your Router

To use a VPN with your gaming console, you’ll want to set up the VPN on your router rather than directly on the console. This way, all the devices connected to your home network, including your gaming console (whether that’s an Xbox or PlayStation), will be protected.

ExpressVPN router app

ExpressVPN provides detailed router setup guides on its website. Follow the instructions specific to your router model to install and configure ExpressVPN.

Step 3: Connect Your Gaming Console

Once the VPN is configured on your router, connect your gaming console to the network as you normally would. The console will automatically use the VPN-protected network.

Step 4: Choose a VPN Server Location

With ExpressVPN, you can choose from over 160 server locations. To optimize your gaming experience, select a server that’s geographically closer to the gaming server you’re playing on.

This will help reduce latency, improve overall performance, and result in a smoother experience.

ExpressVPN

Step 5: Verify the Connection

Check your console’s network settings to ensure it’s connected to the VPN. You can typically find this information in the network settings of your console. Look for the IP address and DNS server information provided by the VPN.

That’s it. You’ve successfully set up a VPN for gaming on your console using ExpressVPN. Now, your gaming sessions will be more secure, faster, and enjoyable, thanks to reduced lag and access to geo-restricted gaming content from around the world.

VPN Guides and Resources

Having discussed in detail the best VPNs for gaming, here are some of our other VPN guides that’ll surely help you find a VPN tailored to your use case:

Conclusion – What is the Best VPN for Gaming in 2024?

We took great care to include all kinds of options in our detailed guide. Whether you’re after a feature-packed VPN provider, an affordable solution, or a flat-out cheap provider that’s decent enough for gaming, you’re not short of options.

However, ExpressVPN is an all-purpose VPN provider with little to no imperfections. It offers the most number of server locations, lightning-fast speeds of over 750 Mbps, and class-leading anonymity and protection against DDoS attacks and ISP throttling.

You’ll also love how simple and plug-and-play its apps are, and friendly 24/7 customer support to help you if you run into any issues is the cherry on top. The best part is that you can try ExpressVPN for gaming risk-free, thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Gaming VPN FAQs

Is ExpressVPN good for gaming?

What’s the best VPN protocol for gaming?

Do you need a VPN router for gaming?

How much do good VPNs for gaming cost?

Are there good free VPNs for gaming?

Is it legal to use a VPN for gaming?

Will a VPN increase my ping?

References

  1. A Taxonomy of DDoS Attack and DDoS Defense Mechanisms (ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communications Review)
  2. What is an IP Address? (GeeksforGeeks.org)
  3. Know the types of cyber threats (Mass.gov)
  4. The Benefits of Playing Video Games (American Psychological Association)
Krishi Chowdhary
Tech Expert

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.