Using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, for gaming may seem counter-productive at first glance. Anything that can affect ping time, download and upload speeds isn’t typically a good idea and can have a negative impact on overall in-game performance. That said, there are certainly some advantages to using VPNs for gaming as well.
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The first and most obvious positive is the ability to circumvent location restrictions. Using VPNs for gaming allows you to be anywhere in the world and access servers that may otherwise be blocked for you. A VPN provides excellent security and privacy features that let you keep your personal information safe.
Some VPNs also offer protection against DDoS attacks, which has increasingly become a way to ruin the gaming experience of an online opponent. Finally, in some rare cases, a VPN can actually help reduce ping time and increase download and upload speeds.
There are a lot of great VPN service options if you plan to use one of these VPNs for gaming. Let’s take a look!
VyprVPN has over 700 servers available in more than 70 locations around the world, with around 200,000 IP addresses on offer. They are also a tier-1 service that owns and operates their own servers, allowing for faster speeds, lower ping times, and more security.
Users have found speeds to be very impressive with this VPN. In some cases, download and upload speeds and ping times have been even faster than what they would normally see since VyprVPN removes any kind of bandwidth throttling. You get support for all VPN protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, and their own Chameleon protocol, which uses the unmodified 256-bit OpenVPN and scrambles the metadata to avoid DPI, VPN blocking, and throttling.
Easy to use apps are available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. What makes VyprVPN stand out is its support for a slew of other platforms as well, including Linux, Tomato routers (via an app), DD-WRT, OpenWrt, AsusWRT, Blackberry 10, Synology NAS, Android TV, Boxee, the Anonabox, and the Blackphone.
Worth mentioning though, is that VyprVPN does retain some user data for 30 days. These include the user’s source IP address, the VyprVPN IP address used by the user, connection start and stop time, and the total number of bytes used. They claim to keep this information for 30 days to use with billing issues, service performance evaluation, troubleshooting, and more. However, they don’t log user traffic or perform shallow or deep packet inspections.
VyprVPN offers a three-day trial with up to 1 GB of data, so you can see whether it suits your gaming needs. The Basic plan is priced at $9.95/month or $60 annually and gives you unlimited data usage and up to 3 simultaneous connections. There is also the Premium plan that is priced at $12.95/month or $80 annually. This gives you unlimited data, up to 5 connections, and also adds the Chameleon protocol. Both plans make this a perfectly suitable VPN for gaming, among other uses.
IPVanish VPN is another tier-1 service that owns and manages its own infrastructure and servers. With over 950 servers in around 60 countries around the world, IPVanish has a definite leg up on the competition in that regard.
IPVanish is known for offering some of the fastest download and upload speeds, and its usually low latency makes it an ideal VPN for gaming, in theory. That said, I had a different experience during my review. While the speeds were above average, the latency was comparatively quite high. IPVanish unfortunately doesn’t offer a free trial, but you can take advantage of a 7-day money-back guarantee in case your experience is similar to my own.
IPVanish has easy-to-install apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. You can also manually set up a VPN on your existing Wi-Fi router (depending on compatibility), buy a router with IPVanish pre-installed, and find detailed guides to set it up for Linux, on a Chromebook, and on a Windows phone.
You get support for all VPN protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN. One of the highlights of IPVanish is its complete zero-logging policy, so no user data, including session logs, are retained.
IPVanish is available for $10 a month, with discounts offered if you opt for longer subscriptions. The price falls to $8.99 a month for the three month plan ($26.99 billed every three months) and an even cheaper $6.49 a month for a yearly subscription ($77.99 billed annually). It’s not the most expensive VPN around, but it is on the higher side.
Android Authority also has a deal available providing up to 25% off the regular rate. This drops the price to $7.50/month (billed monthly), $6.74/month (billed quarterly), and $4.87/month (billed annually).
ExpressVPN should be the #1 option for gaming as gamers can enjoy unlimited premium bandwidth with servers in 160 locations to help prevent high ping and overall lag. It’ll also provide users with a market-leading router app and apps available on popular gaming console such as Playstation 4 and Xbox.
I’m currently working on a review for ExpressVPN, and I’ve been very impressed by the high speeds and low latency. The apps come with a “Smart Location” button that automatically finds the best server for you, and I got really close to my actual network speed on a few occasions. Of course, your mileage may vary. While ExpressVPN also doesn’t offer a free trial, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t happy with the service.
Intuitive apps are available for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS. You also get support for Linux, BlackBerry, a slew of Wi-Fi routers, and extensions for browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. You get support for all VPN protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN.
ExpressVPN also has a zero logs policy, so it won’t retain any of your personal information, browsing data, session logs, or connection logs. They collect anonymous analytics data though, for diagnostics, speed tests, and crash reports, but you always have the option to opt-out of sending this data.
ExpressVPN is on the more expensive side, priced at $12.95/month and $99.95/annually, which gives you unlimited data usage and up to 3 simultaneous connections. There is a special deal available now that gives you an extra three months when choosing the yearly plan.
Special offer: Right now, ExpressVPN is offering fifteen months of service for just $99.95. Basically, you pay upfront for the annual package, and you get an additional three months for free. This is a limited time offer, so grab it while it’s here.
NordVPN is the premier choice if you are looking for the best security. It also comes with one of the highest numbers of servers at close to 2,400, spread out across 56 countries around the world.
The speeds are really good, but the key features of NordVPN revolve around security. Security features include military-grade encryption, CyberSec that protects you from intrusive ads and malicious content, and Double VPN that encrypts your data twice, so you know that your data is going to be secure. NordVPN also comes with a zero-logging policy.
Dedicated specialty servers are available, like Double VPN servers, P2P servers, Onion over VPN, and obfuscated servers. If you’re using this VPN for gaming, you also get Anti-DDoS servers that come with an advanced stability check system.
You can download user-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You also get support for Linux, a slew of Wi-Fi routers, and extensions for browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. All VPN protocols like PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, and OpenVPN are supported, depending on device compatibility.
The pricing is high, with a monthly rate of $11.95. However, you get to enjoy significant discounts with long term plans, with price points of $69 and $79 for the yearly and 24 month plans, respectively. All plans come with unlimited data usage and up to 6 simultaneous connections. You can make use of a 3-day trial to see if this is the best VPN for you, which you can find here. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VPNs for gaming – Conclusion
There you have it. These are some of the best available VPNs for gaming and other online activities. All of them offer impressive speeds and low ping times. Each comes with easy-to-use apps for Windows and mobile operating systems, which should cover all your gaming needs.