9 Best VPNs for Gaming – Let the Lag Free Games Begin in 2018
Modern Day online gaming is more than just a pastime. It’s now being recognized as an industry worth billions of dollars in revenue each year. However, the rise in popularity of gaming has also given rise to a load of problems like geo-restrictions on titles, speed throttling by ISPs, DDoS attacks by pesky gamers and more. Now, gamers can only go past and resolve these issue by using a Best VPN.
Here is our comprehensive guide for the Best VPN for Gaming 2018 intended to drive maximum user satisfaction by allowing them to know the ways in which they can further optimize and improve their gameplay! Read on!
What is a Gaming VPN?
The stereotype of the conventional gamer, who is a loner and is holed up in basement of his/her house, surrounded by a big LCD screens in a dark room, has long been broken.
Yes, Modern day gaming is now more than just a past time activity, as games now come with mind boggling graphics and highly complex gameplay themes, requiring a high amount of tactical practice if you want to get good at it. But, that doesn’t mean that there are very few takers for these games.
If you want to gauge just how really big the gaming industry is, just go over to Google and search for the “Most subscribed YouTube Channel” and the name at the top of every list you come across will be of PewDiePie, the world’s biggest YouTuber. PewDiePie has amassed a whopping 62 million subscribers as of April 2018. And what is PewDiePie’s claim to fame? Game Play Videos! His channel is filled with videos where he is playing a game and topping it off with sarcastic commentary.
His total numbers of subscribers are 18 million more than the next biggest YouTube channel i.e. T-Series, a music content channel. This goes on to show just how much gamers are committed towards what they do. But the unabated passion of gamers has also gone on to create many problems for them.
Many popular gaming titles are now under geo-restrictions put into place by developers of these games. This has happened because each country has its own copyright laws, set of dominant companies, publishing right laws etc. all of which combine to make it difficult for gamers to access many popular games out there from across the world.
Other problems include ISP throttling for gamers which happens because ISPs discern the high data consumption from a certain user due to playing games and proceed to throttle his/her connection in order to prevent him/her from disturbing the network.
A Gaming VPN is now the only way for dedicated gamers to pursue their passion in an unhindered manner as it not just allows them to bypass these stifling restrictions but also protects them against other problems and threats that accrue from indulging in modern online gaming.
Why VPN is important for Online Gaming?
In the modern day gaming world, a VPN has become indispensable and there are some very good reasons to support this argument.
VPNs spoof your location by re-routing your traffic through a server in a different country or place, allowing you to unblock geo-restricted online games quite easily in any part of the world. A VPN also encrypts your data traffic and then passes it through a secure protocol, giving you an extra layer of security. This stops your ISP from identifying your network activity and makes it unable to throttle your connection.
Gamers would also love how VPNs can sometimes go on to reduce ping times to a high extent, enabling better gameplay. Although this scenario is quite unlikely, but it does happen, so its an added plus if you are thinking of acquiring a gaming VPN.
And then there is the opportunity to access Beta versions of games via a VPN. For those of you don’t know, a beta version of your game is your only chance to play a game that still hasn’t released in your country before anyone else does. This can give your skills on that particular game a big head start and allow you to pummel your opponents as they come aboard later.
VPNs are generally used across the world of protecting their privacy and anonymity online, but people have found multiple uses for them.
VPNs nowadays are not just used by media persons, political activists, citizens of authoritative regimes etc. They are equally deployed by users for other immensely beneficial purposes like unblocking streaming websites, protection during torrenting and P2P activities and recently, for enhancing the gaming experience and protecting the average gamer.
What is DDoS Protection in Gaming VPN?
DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service is a very common online attack. What happens in a DDoS attack is that your system experiences a surge in unintended traffic, thereby blocking you from accessing your system or destroying the whole of its data altogether.
Imagine this attack as too many people for e.g. a thousand, trying to go through the door at once forcibly. Either the door will break or you wont be possibly able to go out of that door from where people are coming in.
This is exactly what happens in a DDoS attack and it can bar you from accessing your system. DDoS attacks are becoming increasingly common in the online gaming arena as some silly opponents try to get even with you after losing a round or a level. A DDoS attack can also come from other sources like a hacker controlled botnet network.
Irrespective of where a DDoS attack originates from, you need to stop it and you cant do that when unprotected. A Gaming VPN can help you neutralize this threat by acting as a buffer between your system and the DDoS attack stream, saving you and your previous data.
How to choose the best VPN for Gaming?
In order to settle on one particular service among the hundreds available out there, you need to consider a few, highly critical and incredibly important factors. Before making a final decision, you need to know what makes a VPN a Best Gaming VPN and here is the list of these very factors you need to weigh in before settling on a certain provider:
No gamer would like his/her connection speed to go down as this would significantly affect the performance of the game. A Best Gaming VPN doesn’t affect your speeds, but for the best part, tries its best to enhance it further by allowing you to bypass speed throttling by your ISP provider.
This is done by encrypting the data and masking it to avoid Deep Packet Inspection and only a powerful provider is capable enough of protecting you from such pesky providers.
Whether it is for unblocking geo-restricted titles or getting the best speeds, the number of servers provided by a VPN provider are critically important for gaming. The best providers generally offer anywhere from 200-3000+ servers.
Not everyone plays a game on the same console or OS. Some like playing games on Windows, other prefer iOS. Therefore you need to opt for a provider that offers dedicated apps for all popular OS to ensure the best compatibility.
Security and Encryption:
The industry standard for encryption is AES-256. Anything below that range is just unacceptable as it can then be broken into by a good enough hacker. Apart from this, the provider needs to provide support for multiple secure protocols like OpenVPN, L2TP, and PPTP
Best VPN Protocol for Gaming
While there are many VPN protocols you can choose from like OpenVPN, L2TP and more, you would need to select one that offers the best performance and doesn’t slow down your speeds.
OpenVPN is the best and most secure protocol in general, but it kills your speed tremendously so we won’t recommend it for gamers. L2TP is the next best protocol but it also suffers from slow speeds.
For gamers, the best protocol is PPTP, which is slightly outdated but guarantees a great performance speed wise ensuring the best gaming experience for enthusiastic gamers out there.
What is the Best VPN for Gaming in 2018?
VPNs in gaming are a new concept but its one that’s fast gaining traction as more and more users recognize the importance and criticality of playing their favorite game titles under the cover of a VPN.
Based on the above discussed most important factors you need to consider like, speed, compatibility options pricing etc before zeroing on a VPN, here is our Best VPN for Gaming list for 2018:
- $12.95$8.32Per Month
- iOS, Mac, Linux, Windows, Android Apps
- “Stealth VPN” Servers for Regressive Countries
- Excellent WebRTC and DNS Leak Protection
- Split Tunneling and Automatic Kill Switch
- 2,000+ Servers in 148 Countries Worldwide
- SmartDNS and Network Lock Features
- 5 Simultaneous Connections
- $10.95$3.29Per Month
70% Off EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT
- 300,000 + IPs & 2000 + Servers
- Dedicated Streaming Servers Available
- Split Tunneling/DNS Leak Protection
- P2P/Torrenting, Port Forwarding, Static IPs
- PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN & IKEv2 protocols
- Ad-Blocking to Stop Extra Bandwidth Usage
- DDoS Protection and Internet Kill Switch
- $12.95$6.67Per Month
- 700+ Servers in 35+ Countries
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- 200,000+ IP Addresses
- PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, Chameleon protocol support
- Supports all major platforms
- Offers NAT Firewall
- 3 Day Trial Version Offered
- $6.95$2.91Per Month
- 3386+ servers in 17 different countries
- OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP protocols
- AES 256 bit encryption provided
- 24/7 live chat feature
- Good customer support
- 7-day money back guarantee
- Zero log policy
- Easy to use VPN client
- $11.95$3.99Per Month
66% Off EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT
- DoubleVPN and CyberSec for Cloaking Identity
- Automatic Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection
- Onion over VPN and SmartDNS Features
- SOCKS5 Proxy for Torrenting Safely
- 4879+ Servers in 62 countries
- Multi-Logins on Six Devices
- Dedicated IP Addresses
PureVPN – Provides servers in 160 countries for Ultimate Gaming Support:
This power packed VPN provider has all the right features that a gamer could wish for in a VPN. With Military-grade, AES-256 encryption and multiple protocol support, 750 servers in a whopping 160 locations, DoubleVPN, KillSwitch, Onion over VPN and a legion of dedicated apps, PureVPN is your top choice VPN for gaming.
The speeds never get bogged down with this provider and it seldom experiences breakdowns in service, making it perfect for complementing unhindered gameplay. On top of all this, PureVPN is priced at just $69.12 for a two-year subscription plan. No other service offers so many features at such a throwaway price other than PureVPN.
- Expansively located server network as a VPN for Gaming.
- AES 256 encryption.
- Double VPN.
- Split Tunnelling.
- Keeps Some Logs.
- No Free Trial available yet.
On the flipside, it does keep some kind of logs, but as long as you are not indulging in anything criminal, you don’t need to worry much about it.
ExpressVPN – Incredible performance support as a Gaming VPN
This name is among the most respectable in the VPN domain. Although its a bit highly priced at $99.95 for a year’s worth of subscription, the performance levels you will get with this provider are enough to justify the price tag.
It offers 2000+ 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 nor does the ping rate get affected. It is a proven zero logs provider allowing for incredible native app support on all popular OS. It uses military grade AES-256 encryption to secure your data and allows you to bypass speed throttling attempts by your ISP quite easily.
- Best All Round provider for Gamers.
- Fast Speeds and Secure Performance.
- Zero logs Policy.
- Unblocks American Game Titles.
- Military Grade Encryption.
- Plans are highly priced and need to come down.
VyprVPN – Offers Chameleon feature to beat VPN blocking
If you are found using a VPN on a website that deploys VPN blocking like Steam, you can be penalized heavily or even lose access to your account, but if you are using VyprVPN, you can rest be assured that you wont ever get caught by any such site.
VyprVPN’s Chameleon feature is specifically designed to beat Deep Packet Inspection, which is what is used in VPN blocking by sites such as Steam, making it an incredibly safe option for gamers.
It also offers a NAT firewall, 700+servers, a zero logs policy and a wide number of compatible apps to go with incredible service. For just $80.00 per year, you can buy a Vypr VPN subscription which will include VyprVPN cloud support as well. Not too bad an offer considering just how much value you are getting in exchange of your money.
- Allows you to bypass ISP speed throttling.
- Specially developed Chameleon Feature for beating VPN blocking by geo-restricted sites.
- 700+ Servers.
- Zero logs Provider.
- The choice in pricing plans is limited.
Private Internet Access- Best VPN for unblocking Geo-restricted gaming content
This VPN has a proven reputation of being one of the best providers in terms of unblocking geo-restricted content. PrivateInternetAccess or PIA’s service is powerful enough to unblock everything from Netflix US to Steam UK, allowing you to secure unhindered access to your most desired gaming titles irrespective of where you are actually situated on the globe.
It offers multiple dedicated apps but they can be complicated to a certain extent for newbies(more discussed in Private Internet Access review). Apart from that, this is a top-drawer VPN, offering DDoS attack protection, multiple protocol support, 3041+ servers in 28 countries and a zero logs policy. This is a must try if you want to play geo-restricted games online anytime. Its currently offering a 2 year subscription plan at $69.95 billed once.
- 3041+ servers as a VPN for Gaming.
- DNS leak Protection.
- Zero Logs provider.
- Multiple VPN Gateways.
- In-built ad and malware blocker.
- Dedicated apps are a bit difficult to navigate for newbies.
NordVPN – Powers a Zero-Restriction based experience for Gamers
For all the gamers who don’t like getting stuck at any point, whether its in terms of their connection speed, accessing geo-restricted titles, protection from DDoS attacks and more, NordVPN is where you find your due.
This VPN provider takes extra care that nothing remains off limits for its users, irrespective of whether they are streamers or gamers. It offers six simultaneous connections to ensure that you have unrestrained access to the free internet on all of your devices.
As for the gaming specific features, it offers an automated kill switch, 3149 servers, a zero logs policy, multiple app support, top grade encryption and more to allow all kinds of users to be on track with what they are currently playing.
It has gone on to slash is prices big time in recent few months and is now offering a special plan that costs $99.00 for a three years’ worth of subscription.
- Offers a free, 3 day trial as a VPN for Gamers.
- 3359 servers in 60 countries.
- Multiple Payment Options supported.
- Zero logs provider.
- Offers multiple dedicated apps.
- Easily navigable tutorials and guides on troubleshooting issues.
- Speeds can go down if you choose some particular servers.
Best Free VPN for Gaming
Everyone likes a free service provider with all the excellent features, but in reality, such a provider doesn’t exist. Free VPNs are obviously there but most of them are not a viable option for gamers. The biggest reason for this is that Free VPNs cannot power the high-speed connections required for the best gaming experience. Free VPNs have relatively slower speeds than their paid counterparts, so a free service will ruin your gameplay to a very high extent.
Other than that, Free providers don’t have much on offer in terms of server count, with a maximum of 8-10 servers available even with the most generous of providers. This is not suitable for unblocking geo-restricted titles or online gaming options.
Paid VPNs, no matter expensive, are irreplaceable in the arena of gaming and while you can definitely get a Free service provider, you will only be duping yourself in the long run as you will soon find out how stupid an idea that was.
Go for a Paid VPN for gaming to guarantee supreme performance and a fantastic experience.
Best VPN for Steam
After reaching an unprecedented 18.5 million concurrent users using its services in early 2018, Steam has become to gamers what Facebook is to the world. But Steam does have its drawbacks as any dedicated user of the platform would suggest.
It has numerous geo-restrictions on games in different parts of the world and there is even a jarring discrepancy between the prices from region to region.
To bypass these stifling, authoritative restrictions by Steam, you need a stable, secure and reliable VPN. But you need to choose wisely as Steam will proceed to suspend, ban or even block your account if it finds out that your using the service with a VPN.
Only the Best VPNs for steam listed below will guarantee you the best unblocking experience while also remaining shrouded from detection by the service:
- Private Internet Access
Best VPN for Gaming on Android in 2018
With its searing rise in popularity as the most dominant OS for smartphones the world over, Android has become an increasingly insecure place for users due to the persistent threat levels.
These threats can come from anyone. From hackers to botnet attacks, you need to be safe from all imagined and unimagined threats. In gaming, this threat level increases as you are often the subject of ire from opponents who cant seem to win from you in the right way. They can send DDoS attacks, try and find out your location through your IP and then send you unsolicited messages on social media channels or even go for stealing your credit card information as you use it on gaming sites.
If you want to stay secure and be on top of your game on your Android OS, you need to urgently acquire one of the Best VPN for Gaming on Android from the ones listed below:
Best VPN for Gaming on iOS in 2018
Most people share a misconception that the iOS platform is more secure and less prone to malware, threats etc than Android. The iOS platform can be compromised as easily as Android, so you need to be careful and ensure that you have something watching your back.
The Best VPN for Gaming on iOS is your best bet for acquiring the ultimate protection, performance levels and reliability on the platform.
Here’s a list to allow you to view and select anyone from the most compatible VPN providers for the iOS platform:
How to Setup a VPN for Online PC Gaming?
Gaming VPN on Windows
Windows OS provides extensive support to many of the high-intensity games out there and remains a user favorite platform. It is incredibly easy to set up a Gaming VPN on your Windows OS.
- Here’s how you can accomplish that easily:
- Close down your game and all other running applications
- Select a VPN provider that suits you the best and pay for a valid subscription
- Download and Install the native Windows OS app of the provider
- Select a preferred server and click connect
- Check for ping rates and run a speed test. If the results are dismal, change your server to a more closely located place and connect again
- If the speed is good enough and there is minimal latency, then go ahead with your Game!
Gaming VPN on Android
The Android platform is the most popular OS on mobiles and one of the biggest reasons for its popularity is its incredible app ecosystem which also includes some spectacular games. Here’s how you can install a VPN on Android to play all of your favorite games in a optimized manner:
- Once you’ve bought a plan from any of the best Gaming VPN providers, proceed towards your Smartphone and close all running applications. You can also restart it
- Download the dedicated Android app of your provider from the Google Play store and install it
- Choose a server from among the hundreds listed and connect to it
- Now open your game and start competing!
Gaming VPN on iOS
The iOS platform has its own dedicated fan base as its provided incredible support and features for a wide range of user needs, one of which invariably, is gaming.
To install a gaming VPN on any iOS platform, follow these steps:
- Ensure that you have closed down all other applications running on the platform before proceeding further
- Select a VPN provider, pay for a pricing plan and download its dedicated iOS VPN app on your device
- Install this app and open it to enter login credentials (Username and password)
- Check out the server list and select one that you believe will perform the best depending on the distance between you and the VPN server’s location
- Click connect and run your game!
How to Setup VPN on your Router for Online Gaming?
Gaming routers are different from those used by average users as they differ in performance and are optimized for powering a better experience for gamers. Our recommended router for gaming is XR500 Nighthawk pro gaming router.
Here’s how you can install a VPN on it:
- Either on your desktop or mobile OS, open a browser. Do this only from a device that is connected to the router’s network
- Visit www.routerlogin.net.
- Enter the user credentials you use on your router
- Most probably the username is Admin, while the password is the same which you used the first time when you activated your router
- Go to settings
- Scroll down and select “Advanced settings” and then proceed to “VPN client”
- Click on “Enable VPN client” to kick start the activation
- Now a drop down menu appears from which you need to select your VPN provider
- Now choose the preferred protocol, server location you wish to connect to
- Enter your user credentials i.e. VPN username and password
- Click on “Connect” and your router is now functioning under a VPN cover.
Best VPN for Gaming Reddit
Apart from the Gaming VPNs, Reddit now has a new, more appealing interface, so don’t forget to check it out. It has now become more streamlined and has worked well to increase readability. Coming back to the topic, although there is not much in terms of direct recommendations for the Best VPN for gaming on the platform, there are some indirect inferences for which service you should go for.
For Gamers, speed matters and one user commented that NordVPN offers some of the best speed connections in the domain, which fits perfectly well with our recommendation for the best gaming VPN above. Don’t forget to try it out with the amazing free 3 day trial.
Best VPN for Gaming FAQ
Can you get banned for using VPN on Steam?
Just like it happens on streaming sites like Netflix US, Steam doesn’t like VPNs that much and goes on to block and ban a user if he/she is found using one. And for this very purpose, we recommend that you only use those VPN services that are incredibly capable at what they do and are not easy giveaways. Our list of steam VPNs above can do this job marvelously.
Does VPN affect Ping?
Yes and No! Ping times are critical towards any game’s performance and adding a VPN to your gaming connection can do both, increase or decrease your ping times. A good VPN will actually improve it while a bad provider will make your current lag even worse, so choose wisely!
How to test your Gaming VPN?
To test your gaming VPN, check your ping rates on ping-test.net. A lower ping rate means that your internet connection is working great. So check the ping rate before turning on your VPN and then check it after turning your VPN on. There will definitely be a discrepancy between these two results. If this discrepancy is minute/barely noticeable or if the ping rates a go down considerably after turning on your Gaming VPN then the connection is working great.
Its best that you do at least 3-4 trial runs of ping tests before starting your game in order to be extra secure.
How to setup OpenVPN for gaming?
If you are fan of the OpenVPN protocol and want to configure it manually on your Mac OS system for use with a gaming VPN, here’s how you can get it done easily:
- Subscribe to a Best VPN provider for gaming and download the configuration files for OpenVPN. This can be best found by asking the 24/7 live chat support available at all top providers.
- Here you need to download Tunnelblick VPN client as without this you can’t configure OpenVPN.
- Now we can proceed towards installing Tunnelblick. Click on the icon for Tunnelblick to start the process and then click on “Open” in the first prompt > Click on Launch in the second prompt.
- The VPN client will now ask whether you have configuration files or proceed further. As we already have downloaded the files, click on “I have configuration files”, then on “OK”.
- Open the Configuration files by unzipping them. Either select all of them or anyone you want depending on the server you want to connect to and then open them with Tunnelblick by right-clicking on the file and opting for “Open with”> Tunnelblick.
- Now on the Tunnelblick client app, on the top left, click on the Tunnelblick Icon > select a server > Connect
- Enter user credentials and you are connected.
- For adding/deleting or changing servers, drag and drop the .ovpn file from the configuration files folder on to the client and click on connect, while for deleting, click on “-“ icon after clicking on the server file.
At BestVPN.co, we strive to produce content that creates and adds value into the lives of all kinds of users. Our Best VPN for Gaming guide above is an exercise in continuation of that effort and in the future, we’ll keep discovering newer and better ways of protecting and enhancing the experience of our valued users.
If you have any queries or recommendations about our VPN reviews, please do interact with us by commenting in the thread below. We love our users and would be more than glad to listen you out! Let the games begin!