Nowadays, virtual private networks are used by anyone who needs an extra layer of security during web-browsing or transferring data over the Internet. But there is a very specific category of users with special requirements for the quality of VPN services. This is the category of gamers. On the one hand, the best VPN for gaming must provide a high level of security and anonymity. Gamers need to access foreign gaming content safely and protect their financial transactions (many games have paid content). On the other hand, gaming VPN software must be as speedy as possible. Severe speed drops and lags will make gaming impossible. That is why it’s so important to find a perfect security/speed ratio when choosing a VPN for gaming.
TOP-5 High-Ranked VPNs for Gaming
Things to Consider When Choosing a Gaming VPN
Even if you have a powerful gaming computer, a mediocre VPN service can degrade its performance significantly. Choosing the best gaming VPN, you need to focus on several key characteristics of the product.
No matter what VPN you utilize, you have to compromise on speed – absolutely any VPN software impact performance negatively. Sometimes, the speed drop is virtually unnoticeable – just about 5%; in other cases, it can reach 30% or more, which is a serious problem for a gamer. Here are some ways to minimize the losses.
- Choose the server that is closest to you. If possible, opt for a server located in your country – your IP will be changed anyway, while the speed loss will be less noticeable than if you connect to an overseas server.
- Choose the right provider. It’s a mistake to think that all VPNs are similar. The VPNs for gaming are those ones that can provide a consistently high speed and a lot of servers to choose from.
The key goals of using VPN for gaming are preserving anonymity, unlocking geo-restricted content, and ensuring stronger protection of personal and financial data. The best VPN for online gaming is the one with a zero-logging policy. If user logs are not collected, they are not traded or transferred to third parties. Also, it’s recommended to choose the providers located in the countries with the minimal governmental interference. Such countries as Panama, Singapore, Hong Kong have loyal legislative systems and don’t violate users’ right to privacy.
This is of primary importance for those gamers who travel a lot. If a VPN for gaming has its servers in 150 locations, chances are at least some of these servers will be close to you wherever you go. If the coverage is limited, you can experience difficulties when moving from one place to another.
Top VPNs for Gaming: Fast, Reliable, and Secure
With several hundred VPN services available, only a few of them meet the requirements of gamers. Needless to say, these services are not free of charge, but most of them offer a trial period for you to test the software under the real conditions. Here is a list of best VPNs for gaming in 2018 that you can rely on without fear.
- Very secure, no logs kept
- Located in Panama
- A decent speed level
- Dedicated IP-addresses available
- Some features are excessive for gaming VPN software
The Panama-based VPN is a top choice for the gamers from America. The list of advantages of this gaming VPN is extensive. It doesn’t collect (and doesn’t keep) any user logs, which makes it a perfect choice from the point of view of security. On the top of this, the provider offers a couple of extra security features – Double VPN and Onion over VPN. However, both of them cause an extra speed reduction, which is a problem if you are using the VPN for games.
Still, even without these extras, NordVPN ensures the highest security level due to the modern encryption used. It has servers in 62 locations and helps to bypass most regional restriction. NordVPN is one of the speediest VPN providers around, which is also important for gamers. A really cool feature is the possibility of renting a permanent dedicated IP-address for accessing certain platforms.
- Excellent speed
- Consistent performance
- A lot of servers in 94 countries
- No user logs are ever kept
- More expensive than most counterparts
- The features set is basic
ExpressVPN is not packed with unique features, but in terms of speed and performance, it outstrips all the other providers. If you are looking for the best VPN for gaming, ExpressVPN is number one to consider. The provider headquartered in the British Virgin Islands guarantees zero-logging. It is known as the speediest VPN around, which makes it an ideal gaming VPN.
Moreover, it is great for streaming content and downloading files via torrents. It has servers in 94 locations – it gives a lot of freedom to travelers. Finally, ExpressVPN is one of the few providers that effectively cope with bypassing most severe regional restrictions, including the Great Firewall of China. With this VPN, 4 games content accessing is real.
- Consistently high speed
- Flexibility and adjustability
- Advanced encryption standards
- Reasonable price
- It is headquartered in the US
- Not ideal for streaming
The strong points of IPVanish include a very good speed relatively similar to ExpressVPN, and good adjustability. That said, it is more affordable than its famous counterpart and uses the same top-notch encryption standards, ensuring the highest level of protection. As of now, it is one of the best gaming VPN providers that won’t slow down the process and will let you enjoy the best gaming experience ever.
However, if you are going to use VPN for streaming, you’ll be slightly disappointed, as IPVanish can’t overcome Netflix blocking. Another problem is that the headquarters of the company are located in the USA, which means that it can be controlled or monitored by NSA (at least, theoretically). The number of servers owned by IPVanish is over 1000; they are located in 60 destinations, which is pretty good though not excellent.
- Gaming-optimized software product
- Very fast and reliable
- Powerful network of the company-owned servers
- Smart extras
- Parent company is under the US jurisdiction
- It does keep and store some user logs
VyprVPN is another example of fast VPN for gaming. This is a powerful service with its own network of over 700 servers in 70 countries of the world. The software is optimized for online gaming – if you choose the right server, the speed reduction will be almost unnoticeable. The company can boast its own DNS-server and a firewall for stronger protection.
However, nothing is perfect in the world, and VyprVPN also has some drawbacks that prevent it from being the best VPN for gaming. Unlike other best gaming VPNs, it keeps some user logs and stores them for about a month. Taking into account the fact that the company belongs to the American Golden Frog group, one can feel a sort of discouraged by its policy. Also, it has problems with unlocking Netflix, so it is definitely not the best option for streaming.
- Speed is high enough for gaming
- The provider keeps no logs
- It is cheaper than most counterparts
- The software is easy to install and use
- Average coverage
- Features set is basic
PrivateVPN is one more service that complies with most requirements to a good VPN for gaming. It is not the fastest VPN product around, but it does its job pretty well, providing a decent and, what is more important, consistent speed. The company is located in Sweden, but it owns both physical and virtual servers in 54 countries. It adheres to a zero-logging policy and guarantees the highest level of security and privacy.
The software is compatible with multiple platforms, lightweight, and easy to use. That said, it is one of the most affordable of gaming VPN providers, and the maximum discount can reach 75% (if you buy an annual plan). No surprise PrivateVPN is loved by gamers in the US and around the world, and rightfully holds a high position in the rating of best VPN gaming products.
- It is lightning-fast
- Great for gaming, torrenting, and streaming
- Top-notch encryption methods are used
- Full-featured product
- It is expensive
- Some user logs are kept
- The coverage is limited
The last but not least in our rating of best gaming VPN providers is BufferedVPN – a Gibraltar-based company. As of today, it is among the speediest VPNs around, which makes it a perfect choice for avid gamers. Also, BufferedVPN is great for both torrenting and streaming, so its scope of application is virtually unlimited. That said, it is one of the priciest VPN services available. The coverage of 44 countries is good but not great. The compliance with the most advanced encryption standards makes BufferedVPN the best VPN for games, but, on the other hand, the provider keeps user logs. All in all, general impressions about the service are controversial, but it is definitely worthy of a closer look at for those looking for a reliable gaming VPN.
Why do You Need VPN for Gaming?
The sphere of application of virtual private networks (VPNs) is extensive. Essentially, any VPN is a secure channel between a user’s computer and any site on the Internet. For the creation of these secure channels, special remote servers are used – they act as mediators between the user and the site of destinations. Gamers can use the VPN technology for several reasons.
- Access to geo-restricted games. Unfortunately, some states have severe censorship systems that block access to most foreign websites, including popular entertainment platforms. A gaming VPN service will help you to bypass the restrictions gently and access the sites where you’ll be able to play your favorite games. The same is about particular games that are unavailable in your country for certain reasons. With the best VPN service for gaming, you can play any games without limitations.
- A possibility to save on buying gaming content. Many popular games are paid or have some paid built-in content. Moreover, some options are rather expensive. However, the price for one and the same product can vary depending on your country of residence. Thanks to a VPN for games, you can pretend being a resident of another country and buy the needed content with hefty discounts.
- An extra layer of security. When playing online, you’ll need to create gaming accounts, insert personal data, and use your credit cards or other payment tools that can potentially reveal some of your banking details. When you use a VPN for games, all the data is reliably encrypted and hidden, so it is almost impossible to track you. Moreover, many services offer a firewall feature integrated with VPN software. The latter will protect you from possible hacker attacks.
At the same time, one needs to keep in mind that even the best VPN for gaming has a negative impact on the performance and speed. Be ready to experience a speed drop of 5-20% after connecting to a virtual private network. If the speed reduction is more than 20%, try to connect to another server or use another VPN service.
Are There Any Free Game VPN Services?
If you scan the VPN market, you’ll find out that there are some absolutely free VPN products available. Unfortunately, none of them can be used for online gaming. The truth is that all free VPNs are severely restricted in terms of their capabilities, features, connection speed, and bandwidth provided. You can use some of them for basic tasks, but they are too weak for gaming. If you need a reliable VPN for video games, opt for a good premium provider. Don’t forget that most of them offer huge discounts if you buy an annual or bi-annual package. Also, all the top-rated providers have a free trial period or generous refunding policy.