Online gaming is more than just a pastime, but an entire lifestyle. It is now an industry worth billions of dollars with actual tournaments and championships that give away prizes/awards.
However, the rise in popularity of gaming has also led to problems like geo-restrictions on servers for online playing, speed throttling by ISPs, and DDoS attacks by pesky gamers.
So, without further ado, here is a round-up on the 5 best gaming VPNs in 2019:
What is the Best Gaming VPN?
Surfshark is the best choice for gaming in my opinion, as it not only has affordable plans, but also makes sure to check all the right boxes for bypassing ISP throttling, avoiding geo-restrictions, and receiving protection against DDoS attacks.
For its extremely low price of $1.99, you get all the perks of a premium VPN, along with access to features like CleanWeb (ad/tracker/malware blocker) and unlimited multilogins (for VPN access on any device).
Top 5 VPN for Gaming in 2019
VPNs in gaming are a new concept, but is quickly gaining traction in the industry. Below is a list of the 5 best VPN for gaming that should serve all your needs.
#1 Surfshark – A Great Choice for Budget-Friendly Gamers
|Pricing||$1.99/mo. on a 2-year plan|
|Servers||800+ in 50+ countries|
The newcomer and BVI-based provider, Surfshark exists as one of the best options for gaming, due to the factor of affordability, combined with all the incentives of a premium VPN service.
It offers users access to 800+ servers in 50+ countries worldwide, each of which deliver great speeds with minor losses. You can see the performance tests I conducted below:
The average download and upload speeds are good enough for any online gamer. Not to mention, Surfshark offers strong military-grade AES-256-GCM encryption for protection against DDoS attacks.
Best part of all: I even tested the VPN’s performance on iOS and Android devices for gaming and it worked perfectly. Just make sure to change the protocol from IKEv2 to OpenVPN (UDP).
- 800+ servers in 50 countries
- WebRTC/DNS/IP leak protection
- Unlimited Multilogins
- Multiple payment options
- Headquartered in BVI
- No free trial
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2019 review of Surfshark!
#2 NordVPN – A Zero-Restrictions Experience for Gaming
|Pricing||$2.99/mo. on a 3-year plan|
|Servers||5600+ in 60+ countries|
NordVPN keeps nothing off limits for its users, irrespective of whether they are streamers or gamers. It offers six simultaneous, zero logs policy, and 5,600+ servers in 60 countries worldwide for gaming support
I even conducted a performance test on the VPN to get a better idea about the speeds you receive on gaming. As you can see below, the speed loss is minimal, leaving enough for lag-free gaming:
For all the gamers who do not like getting stuck at any point, whether its connection speeds, accessing geo-restricted titles, protection from DDoS attacks and more, NordVPN offers tremendous support.
You even receive amazing protection and performance on your smartphone devices of Android and iOS. I have personally used it for unblocking geo-restricted gaming servers too.
- 5,600 servers in 60 countries.
- Dedicated IPs available
- Strict no logging policy
- Automatic Kill Switch
- DDoS Protection
- No port forwarding
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2019 review of NordVPN!
#3 ExpressVPN – A High-Performance VPN for Online Gamers
|Pricing||$6.67/mo. on a 15-months plan|
|Servers||3,000+ in 160+ locations|
ExpressVPN is undoubtedly, one of the premier VPN services in the market for all purposes, so its no surprize that its performance was simply superb when we conducted its speed tests.
The ping rate is just 78 Ms which is perhaps, the best ping rate a gamer can hope for while using a VPN. The user will experience minimal lag and no more latency issues.
ExpressVPN further offers 3000+ servers to allow gamers to unblock all gaming titles on websites like Steam. The speeds don’t get bogged down when you turn this VPN on for gaming.
It uses military grade AES-256 encryption to secure your data and allows you to bypass speed throttling attempts by your ISP quite easily, even on iOS and Android devices for mobile gaming.
- Great speeds for online gaming
- 3,000+ servers in 140 locations
- Multi-logins on 5 devices
- Netflix and Torrenting Support
- AES-256-GCM Encryption
- Plans are highly priced
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2019 review of ExpressVPN!
#4 PureVPN – A Feature-Packed VPN for Ultimate Gaming
|Pricing||$2.95/mo. on a 2-year plan|
|Servers||2000+ in 140+ countries|
This power packed VPN provider has all the right features that a gamer could wish for; military grade AES-256 encryption, 2,000 servers in a whopping 140 countries, DoubleVPN, kill switch, and Onion over VPN.
PureVPN has been lambasted in the past, particularly for its slow and below par speeds, but this is not an issue anymore. It comes really close to top competitors delivering in terms of performance:
Users seldom experience breakdowns in service, making it perfect for complementing unhindered gameplay. On top of all this, PureVPN is priced at just $2.95/mo. on a 2-year plan.
You even have dedicated IPs available with the provider, which further prove useful for gamers. You can easily buy one to receive care-free unblocking of gaming servers be it on your desktop or mobile.
- 2,000+ servers in 140 countries
- Easy-to-use VPN apps
- Dedicated IPs available
- Multi-logins on 5 devices
- Double VPN and Split Tunneling.
- Keeps some logs
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2019 review of PureVPN!
#5 VyprVPN – Offers Chameleon feature to Beat VPN blocking
|Pricing||$6.67/mo. on a 1-year plan|
|Servers||700+ in 70+ countries|
VyprVPN’s Chameleon feature is specifically designed to beat DPI and DDoS attacks, used by the Great Firewall and VPN blocked sites such as Steam, making it an incredibly safe option for gamers.
Although it is not specifically known in the industry as a Gaming VPN, my testing revealed it can be a good option. A ping rate of 107 Ms is not bad at all. The download and upload speeds were also up to the mark:
VyprVPN also offers a NAT firewall, 700+servers in 70 countries worldwide, a zero logs policy and a wide number of compatible apps to go with incredible service. You can use one subscription on 5 devices simultaneously.
Best part of all: the provider is free from all WebRTC/DNS/IP leakages, keeping you protected when unblocking gaming servers, whether be it on your gaming laptop or on your smartphone.
- 700+ servers in 70 countries
- Chameleon for DPI attacks
- 30-day refund available
- AES-256-Bit encryption
- Netflix and Torrenting
- No browser extensions
Want to read more before taking a final decision? Re-direct yourself to this full 2019 review of VyprVPN!
How I Tested the Best VPN for Gaming?
To come up with the 5 recommendations listed above, I cross-checked 180+ providers on a number of highly critical and important factors, which include:
No gamer would like their connection speeds to go down significantly, as it would affect the performance of the game. Now, when you connect to a VPN, your speeds generally do reduce.
Of course, if your ISP indulges in bandwidth throttling, then you can see a raise in speeds after VPN connectivity. Nevertheless, the VPNs I listed above have been carefully selected on the basis of minimal speed loss.
Whether it is for unblocking geo-restricted servers during online gaming or getting the best speeds, the number of servers provided by a VPN provider are critically important for gaming.
This is why I have only added those providers in my recommended lists that have a server count of above 700+ with names like Express and Nord even touching the 3,000 and 5,000+ server mark.
Not everyone plays a game on the same console or OS. Some like playing games on desktops like Mac, Windows, and Linux, while others prefer on their smartphones like Android or iOS.
Each VPN listed above does offer amazing cross-platform functionality. You have native apps available for all desktop OS and smartphone devices too to ensure you always stay protected.
Security and Encryption:
The industry standard for encryption is AES-256. Anything below that range is just unacceptable, as you will easily be vulnerable to the prying eyes of cybercriminals, copyright infringement agencies, or the government.
Rest assured, the recommendations on the best gaming VPNs above do meet the industry standards with names like ExpressVPN and Surfshark even going the extra mile offering: the AES-256-GCM cipher.
People Also Ask:
How does a VPN provide DDoS protection?
When you use a VPN, your internet traffic routes through an encrypted pathway to an external server, hiding your IP address. This in turn protects you from being a target to a DDoS attack.
What is the best free VPN for gaming?
I do not recommend using free VPNs for gaming, as they do more harm than good in trying to pay for the costs of managing a service via ad-based revenue models and other risky propositions.
Is a VPN better for gaming?
In addition to protection from DDoS and DPI attacks, VPNs offer a number of benefits to gamers like reduced ping in Dota, Minecraft, LoL, World of Warcraft and other MMO games.
Will a VPN affect gaming?
A VPN can have both: positive and negative impacts on your gaming, depending on the provider you sign up with. However, If your ISP throttles speed, you will notice an improvement, as VPNs keep your identity hidden.
Does a VPN slow down gaming?
The added encryption of VPNs does slow down your speeds, but if you choose a premium service like NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN, you will experience minimal speed loss.
Does a VPN improve ping?
In circumstances your ISP throttles your bandwidth and you use a VPN, you will notice an improvement in the overall speeds and ping. However, this depends on the provider you sign up with too.
What is the best VPN protocol for gaming?
PPTP and L2TP do offer the fastest speeds, but if you want utmost protection then it would be wise to opt for the OpenVPN UDP protocol, as it offers great speeds combined with excellent security.
What is the best VPN for gaming on Reddit?
VPNs for gaming are a popular discussion on the hit user-review website Reddit. Although the options may vary on different posts, most reviews indicate that Nord, Express, and Surfshark are quite reliable.
Can you unblock gaming servers with a VPN?
Most gaming servers ban players by blacklisting the IP, not the username. By changing your IP address and shifting your location, VPNs help unblocking gaming servers, particularly if you use dedicated IPs.
Can you get banned for using VPN on Steam?
Similar to how sites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer impose bans, Steam does not like VPNs that much and goes on to block and ban a user if they are found using one. This is why I advise only signing up with the best!
Does having a gaming router help?
Indeed they do, gaming routers come equipped with more RAM and powerful CPUs. This increase in power and memory allows for the handling of more connections, decreasing of latency, and use advanced QoS features.
What Internet speed do I need for gaming?
For basic online gaming, a 20Mbps connection should do the trick. However, if you have to use a VPN along with it, I recommend going for a high-speed network of 50Mbps maximum.
How do I use a VPN for games?
- Sign up for a VPN service, like Surfshark
- Download and launch the app on the relevant platform
- Select a location based on the gaming server you want to unblock
- Hit the connect button to enjoy reduced latency and a faster connection.
How to lower your ping in online games?
There are a number of steps gamers can take for improving the speeds they receive and lowering the ping for online gaming. Some useful ones also available in detail at WikiHow include:
- Ditch the Wi-Fi and get a cable connection
- Close background websites and programs
- Reduce users connected to the Wi-Fi router
- Use local servers for maximum speeds
- If speeds are still slow, replace your router
What is the best router for gaming?
For the purpose of unblocking gaming servers and protection against DDoS and DPI attacks, the experts at Flash Routers make available some useful VPN routers. Conversely, for gaming, try these options:
- Asus RT-AC86U
- TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
- Netgear Nighthawk XR500
- TP-Link Archer C5400X
- Zyxel Armor Z2 AC2600
- Asus RT-AC5300
- D-link DIR-885L
- Asus RT-AC88U
Wrapping Things Up
This best VPN for gaming guide was an exercise towards explaining the ways through which gamers can receive DDoS protection, indulge in safe online gaming and unblocking of gaming servers.
If you face any issues or need to give better recommendations, feel free to comment below. Also, do share the guide with friends and family members, who are looking for suitable gaming VPNs.