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Best VPNs for Online Gaming in 2024

Feeling left out of the international gaming arenas and missing out on geo-blocked content? In this article, I discuss which VPNs are best for online gaming.

At a Glance

Online gaming is arguably one of the most popular online activities today. As of 2021, more than 3.2 billion players competed in video games. The video games market was worth nearly $178.73 billion in 2021. It is expected to be worth $268 billion by 2025.

Downloadable content (DLC) market value increased by 121% between 2010 – 2017, and this trend is predicted to continue to rise. Almost 50% of gamers made microtransactions during 2021.

The Problem

Unfortunately, not all online gaming and its associated DLC is available to online players. Game publishers sometimes either restrict the release of a particular game or DLC to a specific region or release the game or DLC early in certain areas of the globe.

Thankfully, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) has the ability to open access to international gaming arenas and downloadable content via its location-spoofing abilities.

How Can a VPN Help Me Game Online?

A VPN user can log into a server located in a different country, making it appear they are located in that country. This provides access to the games and DLC available in that country.

In addition to providing access to geo-blocked gaming content, a VPN also provides several privacy advantages. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, protecting your online travels from observation by third parties, including your ISP, the government, and hackers.

When you’re searching for a VPN to enhance your online gaming sessions, always consider the following factors: connection speed, global server coverage, multi-platform support, and privacy and security protection.

TRY A TOP GAMING VPN RISK-FREE: The VPNs on this list all offer 30- to 45-day money-back guarantees, providing a risk-free trial of their services. If you find that the VPN you subscribed to is not a good fit for your needs, you can contact the VPN’s customer service department to receive a refund before the money-back guarantee period has elapsed.

Best Gaming VPNs

I tested all of my favorite VPN providers, and the results showed that the following seven VPNs worked best to enhance online gaming sessions.

The best VPNs for gaming:

  1. NordVPN: My #1 pick for gaming. Provides fast connections and excellent privacy and security protections, as well as native app support for the top four device platforms, routers, and more. Risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark: Great budget-priced option. Excels in security, privacy, and multi-platform support, and offers an unlimited concurrent connections allowance. Surfshark’s bargain subscription rates allow gamers to save their money for new games and DLC.
  3. ExpressVPN: Premium gaming VPN. Provides speedy connections that are well protected with military-level encryption. The provider has an extensive server network, well spread out around the globe.
  4. CyberGhost: VPN option for rookie users. The provider’s easy-to-use apps and fast speeds make it a good choice for gamers with little to no experience with VPNs. No bandwidth or data caps here, so binge on your favorite game all you want.
  5. Private Internet Access (PIA): Reliable VPN protection for gaming. PIA provides well-protected connections, while also providing reliable access to games and other content in several countries.
  6. PrivateVPNMighty-mite VPN. PrivateVPN has the smallest number of servers on this list. However, the provider offers access to gaming content in several countries, while providing comprehensive online protection.
  7. Atlas VPN: Protect all of your gaming devices at once. This VPN provider allows its users to simultaneously connect as many devices as they’d like to its server network, so your protected online gaming is limited only by your multi-console gaming skills. Atlas also provides fast, well-protected access to gaming content in multiple countries.

I evaluated and ranked the best VPNs for online gaming by the following criteria:

  • The speed of their connections
  • Their global server coverage
  • Their native app support
  • How well they protect their users’ privacy and security

You can read more about the criteria I used in the testing methodology section later in this article.

Here’s my list of the top seven VPNs for online gaming.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN Mar 2024

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux

Website:  www.NordVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

If this were a round of Mortal Kombat, with NordVPN against privacy threats and content blocks, NordVPN would be the player instructed to “Finish Him!” It’s the best choice for protecting and enhancing your online gaming connections.

NordVPN provides fast connections, delivering plenty of bandwidth for even the fastest-moving online action.

The provider offers nearly 6,000 servers in 59+ countries, with all of your favorite gaming hotspots covered.

The service has most of the major gaming platforms covered, including iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. (There are also apps for Linux, Amazon Fire, and Android TV.)

PlayStation and Xbox gamers can enhance their gaming via NordVPN’s compatibility with a large number of routers. If you enjoy in-browser games, there are browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

This provider allows up to six simultaneous connections using the same login credentials, allowing everyone in your gaming party to protect their connection.

The provider protects your online travels from prying eyes thanks to military-level encryption and kill switch protection. It also has you covered in the privacy department thanks to a strict no-logs policy and a Bitcoin payment option.

Plus, NordVPN’s owned-and-operated server network keeps outside contractors from accessing your personal data. All NordVPN servers are run 100% from RAM, writing no data to a physical hard drive. This ensures that all data is wiped from the provider’s servers whenever they are restarted or powered off.

Pros:

  • Lightning-fast connection speeds
  • Excellent multi-app support
  • Low price
  • Servers in 59+ countries
  • Solid security and privacy protections

Cons:

  • Servers are listed only by country, not by city

BEST VPN FOR ONLINE GAMING:NordVPN is my #1 pick for a VPN to enhance online gaming. The provider offers fast connection speeds and server access to popular gaming hotspots. Extensive multi-platform support and router support mean your favorite gaming platform is covered. 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

Read my full review of NordVPN.

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2. Surfshark

Surfshark

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • FireTV

Website:  www.Surfshark.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark ranks in at #2 in this gaming VPN roundup thanks to its low price, fast connections, strong security and privacy features, and unlimited simultaneous connections allowance.

Surfshark’s connection speeds are quite fast, enabling you to have a no-lag gaming experience.

With 100+ countries covered in 3,200+ servers, you’ll have no problem finding a connection to your favorite gaming locations.

There are native apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS, as well as the Linux and Amazon Fire device platforms (all of which are great gaming platforms). You can protect your Xbox, PlayStation, or Switch gaming sessions with a Surfshark-compatible router (of which there are plenty), and in-browser gaming can be protected with a Chrome, Edge, or Firefox extension.

Surfshark offers a generous unlimited simultaneous connections policy, allowing you to connect as many devices (or friends) to the provider’s servers as you want on one account.

The provider protects your connection with bank-grade encryption, a kill switch, and an ad blocking feature. You can add even more security by using the provider’s “MultiHop” feature, which will route your connection through two VPN servers instead of just one.

As for privacy, Surfshark never saves any logs of your online usage and welcomes Bitcoin as a private payment method. It also runs all of its server operations solely from RAM, so all data is completely wiped when a server is rebooted or shut down.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly price
  • Gaming-worthy connection speeds
  • Unlimited concurrent connections
  • Comprehensive security and privacy

Cons:

  • More advanced options would be nice

BEST FOR BUDGET:Budget-minded gamers will appreciate Surfshark’s low price. Fast connections and good multi-platform support make it a great way to keep your gaming sessions running smoothly, and the unlimited simultaneous connections policy is a nice bonus. 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read my full review of Surfshark.

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3. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • FireTV

Website:  www.ExpressVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN’s extensive global server coverage, fast connections, and excellent multi-platform support make it a great choice for enhancing your online gaming action.

This provider has 3,000+ VPN servers located in 105+ countries. That means the provider has most of the world covered, enhancing your gaming options, no matter where you’re located.

ExpressVPN’s speedy connections are perfect for online gaming, providing plenty of bandwidth, with no data caps of any kind.

Those connections are protected using 256-bit encryption, and the provider’s self-imposed no-logs policy and acceptance of Bitcoin for subscription payments means the provider has your security and privacy covered.

Online gaming is supported on most popular device platforms, and ExpressVPN has you covered there, with native app support for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. There are browser extensions for Brave, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.

ExpressVPN offers eight simultaneous connections on a single account. If you need more, ExpressVPN is compatible with a large number of routers, allowing you to protect all of the connected devices in your home via a single WiFi access point.

Pros:

  • Global server coverage has the major gaming hotspots covered
  • Speedy connections support fast-moving action
  • Top-notch multi-platform support
  • Excellent privacy and security protections

Cons:

  • More expensive than other providers on this list
  • Only eight concurrent connections allowed

STRONG ALL-AROUND:ExpressVPN is an excellent choice if you want a VPN that is well-rounded in its offerings. The provider’s solid security and privacy protections, fast speeds, great multi-platform support, and wide-ranging server coverage are enticing. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of ExpressVPN.

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4. CyberGhost

CyberGhost

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • FireTV

Website:  www.CyberGhost.com

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

My #4 provider in the online gaming arena is CyberGhost, due to it being a valid choice for first-time online gamers and VPN users.

CyberGhost offers 10,000+ servers in 100+ countries, giving you above-average access to international gaming servers and content.

Its connection speeds are more than enough for smooth online gaming. Plus, those connections are protected with 256-bit encryption and a kill switch.

Privacy protection is not a worry thanks to CyberGhost’s self-imposed no-logs policy, and they happily accept Bitcoin, so your payment information is also kept private.

The provider offers good multi-platform support, covering iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, macOS, Android TV, and Fire TV platforms. The provider’s apps are easy to use and provide one-click protection. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are also available.

Up to seven gamers can be connected at once to the provider via the same login. If you’re trying to protect an entire LAN party, you can use the provider’s handy router support to protect every player on your network.

Pros:

  • Connection speeds are good for gaming
  • Easy-to-use apps offer excellent protection
  • No logs and accepts Bitcoin
  • Top-notch security protections

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work in China
  • Doesn’t unblock some streaming sites

BEST FOR FIRST-TIMERS:CyberGhost is the best option for users new to VPNs and new to the online gaming arena. The provider gets users connected to the action quickly and conveniently. A 45-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of CyberGhost.

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5. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • FireTV

Website:  www.privateinternetaccess.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Private Internet Access (PIA) has a large global server network, with 3,300+ servers stationed in 90+ countries.

PIA uses banking-grade encryption, a kill switch option, and IP/DNS leak protection to protect its customers’ connections. The VPN also offers blocking of ads, trackers, malware, and malicious websites.

Its servers save no types of user logs, meaning there will be no evidence saved of your online antics. The provider accepts Bitcoin as a subscription payment, keeping your payment information undercover.

PIA runs all of its servers solely from RAM, writing no data to a physical hard drive or SSD. This ensures that all server data is totally wiped whenever it is restarted or shut off.

The provider’s connection speeds are the second-slowest speeds on this list. That said, PIA-provided connections are fast enough to handle your favorite online games. The provider never puts data caps or bandwidth throttling on customers’ VPN usage.

The provider offers native app support for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux devices. Chrome, Opera, and Firefox browser extensions are available as well. The provider is compatible with select routers.

The provider puts no limit on the number of devices that users can simultaneously connect to its servers.

PIA’s support options include live chat, a trouble ticket system, and a searchable support library.

Pros:

  • Good-sized server network
  • No limit on simultaneous connections
  • Runs all servers only from RAM

Cons:

  • No downloading or streaming servers
  • Issues working properly in restrictive countries

RELIABLE VPN PROTECTION:PIA’s impressive server network delivers access to gaming content in 90+ countries. PIA’s unlimited simultanePIA’s impressive serverous connections policy allows you to protect as many devices as you’d like. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of Private Internet Access.

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6. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • FireTV

Website:  www.PrivateVPN.com

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN’s server count (200+) is the lowest on this list. However, the provider offers reliable access to content in 63+ countries.

The provider also brought up the rear in the connection speed competition, although it provides enough horsepower to handle gaming and your other favorite online activities. PrivateVPN never spoils the fun by imposing data caps or throttling your bandwidth.

PrivateVPN’s customers’ online travels are kept incognito by the VPN provider’s use of banking-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and more. The provider also offers a “Stealth VPN” feature that hides a customer’s VPN usage by making it appear to be normal browser traffic.

The provider follows a strict no-server logs policy, which ensures that there are no records kept of your online activities. The provider’s acceptance of cryptocurrency as a subscription payment option helps keep your payment info undercover.

PrivateVPN’s app support is a bit limited, as it includes only offerings for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices. Linux devices and select routers can be manually configured to work with the provider. No browser extensions are offered.

Users can simultaneously connect up to 10 devices at once to PrivateVPN’s server network.

PrivateVPN support offerings include agent chat, a support request form, and an FAQ page.

Pros:

  • “Stealth VPN” keeps your VPN usage hidden
  • Never imposes data caps, never throttles your connection
  • Comprehensive security and privacy protection

Cons:

  • Server numbers are lowest on this list
  • App support is rather limited

STEALTHY ONLINE PROTECTION:PrivateVPN’s global server count is the lowest on this list, although the servers are well distributed around the globe. The provider’s “Stealth VPN” feature keeps your VPN usage undercover. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of PrivateVPN.

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7. Atlas VPN

AtlasVPN

Apps Available:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • IOS
  • Android
  • Linux
  • FireTV

Website:  https://atlasvpn.com/

Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Atlas VPN’s global server network includes 1,000+ servers, stationed in nearly 50 countries. While the network’s coverage is far from the best on this list, it reliably provides access to geo-controlled content in the countries it serves.

Atlas VPN’s blazingly-fast connections can easily handle online gaming, 4K video streaming, and more. Never a data cap or bandwidth throttling to deal with here.

The provider’s connections are protected by banking-grade encryption, a kill switch, and IP/DNS leak protection. The provider’s “Safebrowse” feature keeps online dangers and pesky ads away.

There are no user logs saved on Atlas VPN servers, meaning there are no records to be had of your online travels. A cryptocurrency option helps keep your payment privacy undercover.

Atlas app offerings aren’t the best around nor are they the worst, with options for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV devices. Browser extensions and router support are missing in action.

Atlas VPN users can connect an unlimited number of simultaneous connections to its servers.

Live chat is limited to paying customers. However, everyone can access the provider’s contact form, email support, and support library.

Pros:

  • No limit on protected connections
  • Comprehensive online privacy and security
  • Blazingly-fast connection speeds

Cons:

  • Live chat is limited to paying customers only
  • Lacks browser or router support

UNLIMITED PROTECTED CONNECTIONS:Atlas VPN customers can simultaneously protect as many devices as they’d like. That means you can take advantage of the provider’s super-fast and well-protected connections on multiple devices at once. The network provides reliable access to content in close to 50 countries. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available.

Read my full review of Atlas VPN

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Methodology for Assessing VPNs for Online Gaming

Online gamers will want to find a VPN that not only provides fast connections but also reliable access to gaming content only available in other regions. There are also several other factors to consider before making a VPN buying decision.

Below, you’ll find the factors I considered when compiling this list of VPNs for online gaming:

  • Connection speeds: Everything’s better when you have a fast internet connection. This is especially true when it comes to gaming online. The VPNs I’ve included on this list are gaming-ready.
  • Server network: Look for providers that have a server network covering as much of the globe as possible and that offers multiple servers in each country. This ensures that you’ll have access to gaming content in other countries.
  • Value: You can determine a VPN provider’s true value by comparing its asking price to the features it offers. The VPNs on this list all offer excellent value.
  • Ease of use: A VPN should offer intuitive apps for as many popular device platforms as possible. The VPN services on this list offer easy-to-use apps for multiple devices.
  • Security and privacy: VPN protection at a minimum should be made up of banking-level encryption, an automatic kill switch, and DNS/IP leak protection. A strict no-logs policy is also a must. The VPNs on my list offer all of the above and usually more.
  • Streaming: In addition to gaming online, many gamers also enjoy streaming video and music. The VPNs on this list offer reliable access to popular streaming services, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and other streamers.

Check out more information about my VPN testing methodology.

How to Use a VPN to Protect Your Online Gaming

Online gamers who are looking to enhance their gaming sessions are advised to follow this guidance.

Six simple steps on how to use a VPN for online gaming:

  1. Select and subscribe to a Virtual Private Network. (I recommend NordVPN.)
  2. Download the app(s) for your device(s).
  3. Log into the VPN.
  4. Select a VPN server located near the gaming server to which you’ll be connecting.
  5. Connect to the gaming server.
  6. Fire away!

Everything should rock and roll from here on.

Is a Free VPN a Good Option For Online Gaming?

One-word answer: “NO!”

While I’m not going to say that a free VPN won’t work for online gaming, I will say that you will not be satisfied with your final score if you try it.

“Free” VPNs are well known for placing data caps and bandwidth limitations on their users. Nothing in that sentence bodes well for online gaming.

In addition to the limitations above, you may be forced to sit in line before being allowed to connect to a VPN server. Then, once you’re allowed to connect, you’ll likely be limited to a small selection of servers, which will limit your gaming options.

I once heard that “if you’re getting something for free on the web, then you’re the product being sold.” That adage is never truer than when you’re dealing with a “free” VPN.

VPN providers (even “free” VPNs) need to keep the lights on. Even if they’re not charging you, well – they’re selling something to someone.

That “something” is likely info about your online activities. “Free” providers may sell that info to advertisers and other parties. Plus, they may inject unwanted ads and tracking cookies into your browsing sessions.

While the final judgment call is yours when it comes to using a free VPN for online gaming, I’m willing to bet you’ll find that it’s a losing proposition.

Gaming VPN FAQs

What Is the Best Free VPN for Gaming?

There are no good free VPNs for gaming. Free VPNs are known for throttling bandwidth and imposing data caps, and you don’t want your game to stutter or your connection to be interrupted in the middle of the action. Not only that, but free VPNs make users wait in a queue and sell their private data to advertisers. For the best gaming and security experience, stick to a paid provider.

What Is the Fastest VPN for Gaming?

NordVPN offers the fastest connection speeds on the market today. No matter what your regular connection speeds are, NordVPN won’t slow them down by much, ensuring a smooth gaming experience.

What Is the Best VPN for PC Gaming?

Specifically for PCs, NordVPN is your best bet. It offers native apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux platforms. Those apps provide fast connection speeds and access to servers all over the world, making your gaming experience a fast and global one.

Conclusion

By using a VPN, gamers can both open up access to previously blocked content and gaming arenas, as well as protect their connections against monitoring and online attacks.

We’ve taken a look at six excellent gaming VPNs in this article. However, only one stands head and shoulders above the rest.

NordVPN offers the best way to protect and enhance your online gaming sessions. The provider’s download speeds are more than adequate for online gaming and downloading new games, updates, and in-game content. In addition, the provider offers excellent protection against the perils of online life.

For more information or to purchase a subscription, visit NordVPN’s website.

Roundup - best VPNs for speed

Position Our Score Verdict
1.
4.5/5
Verdict: Our top rated VPN
Get NordVPN »
2.
4.5/5
Verdict: Best budget option
Get Surfshark »
3.
4.0/5
Verdict: Great privacy options
Get ExpressVPN »
4.
4.0/5
Verdict: Highly versatile
Get CyberGhost »
5.
3.0/5
Verdict: Up to 10 devices
Get PrivateVPN »

PRIVACY ALERT: Websites you visit can see these details about you:

The following information is available to any site you visit:

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

This information can be used to target ads and monitor your internet usage.

By using a VPN you can hide these details and protect your privacy.

I recommend NordVPN - the top provider in my testing. It offers outstanding privacy features and there is currently a discounted rate available through this link.

Visit NordVPN

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