VPNs have become popular among gamers because they help access those geo-restricted games and servers. VPNs may also reduce latency or ping, which is especially important when playing Fortnite, League of Legends, or any other game where reaction time often separates winners from losers.
But what kind of gaming VPN should you choose for the best experience?
Well, it should offer a low ping for fast reactions, good speed, plenty of servers near your location, security features to minimize DDoS risks, and hopefully, game console support. Last but not least – consider the price so you don’t have to rely on Humble Bundles.
Without further ado, here are the 5 best VPNs for gaming in 2020.
The 5 Best VPNs for Gaming
- Ping – 41 ms
NordVPN is a great VPN for gaming. In addition to being one of the fastest services, it also offers unparalleled security and privacy. This is especially important for players who want to make sure they’re safe from DDoS attacks and similar issues that gamers face.
Another remarkable feature of NordVPN is its server fleet. Comprised of 5400+ servers in more than 59 countries, it allows great connectivity around the globe. NordVPN also has all the tools to circumvent the Great Firewall of China, making it a perfect choice for gamers inside the country.
The client is neatly designed and easy to use, marking all available connections on a huge world map. And should you experience any issues, NordVPN’s responsive 24/7 support team won’t leave you alone. One of those could be setting up the VPN on your router as there’s no dedicated app for it.
- Huge server list (5400+ servers in 59 countries)
- Cheap – starts at $3.49/month
- The most secure VPN
- Excellent for streaming and torrenting
- Great for China and other restricted countries
- No router app
- Ping – 47 ms
When it comes to global coverage, no other gaming VPN beats CyberGhost. This provider boasts over 5600 servers in more than 90 countries for an unparalleled worldwide spread. The speeds are high, and the ping is low enough to name CyberGhost as one of the best VPNs for gaming.
You should feel safe from DDoS attacks and other gaming woes with this VPN that gives military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch.
CyberGhost has slick apps with many customization options for all major platforms and then some. It also unblocks Netflix and allows P2P and torrenting with ease. A 24/7 live chat customer support agents are helpful and quick to reply.
This VPN has really cheap 2-year and 3-year plans, but the shorter ones fall in line with NordVPN, which has a bit more to offer its users, gamers included.
- A wide fleet of speedy servers
- Great security and privacy
- Very affordable – starts at $2.75/month
- Good for streaming and P2P
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Free trial
- Not ideal for gamers in China
- Ping – 48 ms
Surfshark scores well in our latency tests, making it a best VPN for gaming conteder. Its server fleet of 1000+ in over 60 countries might look modest compared to the competition, but the speeds have been constantly improving. What’s more, there are no device limits, allowing you to use it on all your devices.
Surfshark VPN provides great security features for gaming enthusiasts: bank-grade encryption, protection from all types of leaks, and Camouflage and NoBorder modes to help against tough online censorship measures. All these features make Surfshark a good choice not only for gaming but streaming and torrenting as well.
Unexpectedly, Surfshark doesn’t charge that much for an account with an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. The prices start at $1.99/month only, making it one of the top gaming VPN deals available.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Very cheap – starts at $1.99/month
- Unblocks Netflix from multiple countries
- Allows torrenting on all servers
- Free trial
- SmartDNS configuration for game consoles
- Weak self-help support section
- Ping – 52 ms
With only 100+ servers across 60+ countries, PrivateVPN is still one of the best gaming VPNs there is. Buying the internet capacity directly from IP transit provider, this service bypasses hosting companies and other middle-men to offer good speeds and low ping – just what the gamers need.
From the security standpoint, this VPN uses AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, and a built-in kill switch – more than enough for secure gaming.
PrivateVPN is great for other types of entertainment as well – it allows P2P and unblocks Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and other streaming platforms. It also has apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and supports a bunch of routers. Installing PrivateVPN on one will protect all your devices, including game consoles.
Here comes the best part – PrivateVPN is the cheapest gaming VPN.
- Fast servers with low ping
- The cheapest gaming VPN – starting at $3.82/month
- Unblocks Netflix
- Allows torrenting
- Free trial
- Live chat is slow
- No 24/7 customer support
- Ping – 38 ms
ExpressVPN is among the best VPN services for gaming: it provides excellent speeds and low latency, as seen in our test results. With over 3000 servers distributed in more than 90 countries, ExpressVPN is an ideal choice for gamers from various locations, even in China.
ExpressVPN boasts military-grade encryption, has no known DNS or IPv6 leaks, and supports OpenVPN and IKEv2 connection protocols. What’s more, it provides a kill switch that automatically terminates your connection if the VPN fails, keeping your IP from getting exposed.
There are easy to use apps for all major platforms, as well as MediaStreamer (SmartDNS) configs for Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch consoles. ExpressVPN also allows torrenting and will also unblock Netflix along with other streaming services. The only downside? A somewhat steep price.
- Excellent speed and ping
- Great server list (3000+ servers in 90+ countries)
- Provides security and privacy
- Unblocks Netflix
- Allows P2P traffic on all servers
- SmartDNS configuration for Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch
- Quite expensive – starts at $8.32/month
- No “stealth protocol”
Average ping scores of the best gaming VPNs
Since latency is the most important factor for all gamers, we measured the average ping in ms for our best gaming VPNs while connected to a nearby server.
Here are the results:
Things to consider when choosing the best VPN for gaming
After the latency, connection speed comes as the next crucial feature of a gaming VPN. Some providers can offer good speeds with a small server fleet (PrivateVPN), while others choose to win by quantity (CyberGhost). All five VPNs that we recommend are fast enough for playing online and offer more than 50 countries to choose from, but if you find yourself in a remote location that’s not on the server list, then ExpressVPN is your safest bet.
From a security standpoint, a good gaming VPN should protect you from DDoS attacks. All services above can do that, but those looking for maximum security should pick nothing but NordVPN. This service is considered to be the safest VPN in the world.
Some gamers might need a VPN to unblock servers in other countries or play games that are to be released in their location. Such practices might violate the game’s or gaming platform’s Terms of Service, which might lead to bans or even fines. Luckily, a no-logs VPN that has no leaks can hide your real IP address and identity.
There might be times when a gamer server will detect that you’re using a VPN, even if the best one. In such cases, you might try getting a static IP that usually solves the issue. CyberGhost VPN offers one for $5/month.
You might also be interested in protecting your game console, as well. This can be done by installing a VPN on your router, but some services provide SmartDNS protection. Surfshark VPN works with Xbox and PlayStation, while ExpressVPN, our top gaming VPN, also supports Nintendo Switch.
Finally, we advise you to choose a VPN for gaming that has a 24/7 live chat. There’s nothing worse than getting ready to play and seeing a connection error screen. Customer support can often help alleviate such pains, and all VPNs on this list, with the exception of PrivateVPN, offer such help.
Free VPN for gaming
While there a few free VPNs that are actually good, we cannot recommend any of them because of two reasons – limited monthly bandwidth and server selection. While some gamers might be able to live with one, usually, these limitations come together. But if you’re on a really tight budget, these services below are your only hope to be back online.
ProtonVPN is the best free VPN for gaming because it has no bandwidth limit and a no-logs policy. It also has no advertisements that might appear in the middle of a heated battle royale. On the downside, there are only three countries (US, Netherlands, Japan) to choose from, so if you’re situated somewhere far away, most likely, the lag will be too much.
If you’re a less avid online gamer, Windscribe’s free VPN might also be a good idea. This service has 13 countries and gives you the same security features that a premium version has. Sadly, there’s a 10 GB monthly data limit, and the speeds might not be good enough for gaming.
Hopefully, our Top 5 list will help you select the best gaming VPN. It is by no means a definite one as services get updated all the time. Therefore, we’ll come back to this list in the future with new ping tests to give you the best VPN for gaming for 2020. Stay tuned and stay protected!