5 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2024: Fast, Low Ping & No Lag

Deep Shikha
Last Updated by Deep Shikha on December 18, 2023

As a gamer, I know how frustrating it can be to experience lag, high ping, and restrictions to access certain games due to geo-blocks. Fortunately, a good gaming VPN can help you play at fast speeds, reduce lag, and access geo-restricted games.

I tested 40+ VPNs for gaming. Most of them slowed down my internet and made my game lag. Luckily, I found 7 VPNs that offer fast speeds and low ping for lag-free gaming. They also protect you from DoS attacks and keep your connection secure and private.

ExpressVPN is my top pick for gaming. It’s fast, has global servers to access games from anywhere, and offers secure gameplay with advanced security protocols. You can get ExpressVPN risk-free for gaming. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee so if you’re not happy, you can get a full refund. I received mine in just 3 days.

Play online games lag-free with ExpressVPN

Quick Guide: The Best VPNs for Gaming in 2024

  1. ExpressVPN — Lightning-fast speeds for smooth and lag-free gameplay with low ping.
  2. CyberGhost — Gaming-optimized servers offer low latency and ping to ensure uninterrupted gameplay at fast speeds, but long-distance connections can be slow.
  3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Lots of customization options to speed up your connection for gaming, but these settings may compromise your security.
  4. NordVPN — NordLynx protocol connects to the server quickly and boosts speeds for uninterrupted gaming, but the app interface is not very friendly.
  5. Surfshark — NoBorders mode allows gamers to get through internet restrictions even in censored countries, but speeds may sometimes be slow.

The Best VPNs For Gaming (Tested in 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Blazing-Fast Speeds and Low Ping for Smooth Gameplay

Key Features:

  • 3,000+ servers in 105 countries with ultra-fast speeds for gaming
  • Military-grade encryption, kill switch, strong leak protection, and other security features to prevent DDoS attacks and protect your online activity
  • No-logs policy, independently audited by KPMG and Cure53
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Xbox (One and Series S/X), PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Quest, and more
  • 8 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is the best VPN for gaming thanks to its consistently fast speeds, even on distant servers. I ran speed tests on multiple ExpressVPN servers and experienced a minimal drop from my baseline. The average speed was around 94 Mbps, which is only 6% slower than my regular connection and gave me lag-free online gaming.

Screenshot of ExperssVPN's speed test results while connected to UK, US, Australia, and Japan

ExpressVPN’s superfast servers offer high speeds and low ping for uninterrupted gameplay

To see how these speeds affected my gameplay, I connected to a local server and played PUBG MOBILE on my iPhone 14+. Surprisingly, the ping never went above 67ms, and I didn’t face any lag in my 34-minute session. My graphics settings were set to maximum, and I never saw any quality drops.

You can have a secure and reliable gaming session with ExpressVPN, as it actively prevents DDoS attacks and provides the following security features:

  • TrustedServer technology uses RAM-only servers that never store your personal data.
  • Lightway protocol enhances security and boosts speeds.
  • Military-grade encryption protects your gaming activity and makes it virtually impossible for anyone to intercept your data, including personal information and in-game communication.
  • A kill switch ensures that your gaming data and personal information are kept private and secure, even when the VPN connection drops.
  • Data leak protection prevents your IP and DNS data from leaking to keep you safe from prying eyes.
  • Masked IP address to prevent potential DDoS attacks meant to ruin your gameplay.
  • Split tunneling (on Windows, Android, and router apps) allows selective routing of game-related traffic through a VPN, providing privacy and security benefits while minimizing latency and preserving gaming performance.
  • An audited no-logs policy (by KPMG and Cure53) ensures that your personal information and online activity are not being collected, stored, or shared.

Conveniently, ExpressVPN has intuitive apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more. You can use its “Smart Location” feature unless you want to connect to a specific location. This automatically connects you to the server with the fastest speed and lowest ping based on your location.

You can use ExpressVPN’s Smart DNS called MediaStreamer to set it up on gaming devices without support for VPN apps. Just change your device’s DNS settings to the DNS address provided by ExpressVPN. It works well on PS4, PS5, Xbox (360, One, Series X, Series S), Oculus Quest, and Nintendo Switch.

Another option is to set it up on your PC and create a virtual router. You can also configure your router and connect every WiFi-enabled device, including consoles, to a VPN server. It can be tricky, but guides help you through the process — I had it set up in 15 minutes. Live chat reps are fast and helpful if you struggle.

You can also buy a pre-flashed router that allows online game hosting via port forwarding. This means your friends’ PCs, Xboxes, or PlayStations can send traffic through a specific port to your router, allowing all devices on the same connection to play on one server. Also, your router’s outgoing connection will be encrypted for gameplay to protect everyone involved.

If you’re into cloud gaming, ExpressVPN can significantly improve your cloud experience by providing fast and stable connections to remote gaming servers. Just connect to a server close to your gaming server, and enjoy seamless play without the need for high-end gaming machines.

ExpressVPN’s short-term plans are expensive, but you can save 49% on a 1-year + 3 months plan and pay just $6.67/month.

You can try ExpressVPN for gaming completely risk-free. It’s even backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. I decided to verify the policy and found that refunds are super easy to request. I received mine in 3 business days after a quick 2-minute chat with a 24/7 live agent.

ExpressVPN works with: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Nvidia Shield, Xiaomi Mi Box, Google Chromecast, Roku, Android TVs, smart TVs, routers, and more.

2024 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan + 3 months free (you can save up to 49%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

2. CyberGhost — Gaming-Optimized Servers for High-Speed and Low-Latency Gaming

Key Features:

  • 11,300+ high-speed servers in 100 countries, with 65+ optimized for gaming in the US and Europe
  • AES 256-bit encryption, an automatic kill switch, and leak protection to secure your gaming activity and protect you from DDoS attacks
  • Strict no-logs policy, verified by Deloitte through an independent audit
  • Works with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Xbox (One, Series S/X), PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and more
  • 7 simultaneous device connections
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost’s 65+ gaming servers offer low latency and high-speed connections for stable, lag-free gameplay. They’re optimized to reduce latency and use dedicated IP addresses to prevent IP bans. I got speeds around 84 Mbps and ping lower than my regular connection on some of these servers. Also, I got into game lobbies noticeably faster.

Screenshot of CyberGhost's gaming servers

CyberGhost’s gaming-optimized servers improve speeds and ping for gaming

One thing I noticed is that CyberGhost’s connection speeds dropped by 27% when you connect to distant servers, even if it’s a gaming server. My ping, which was around 38ms on a nearby server, went up to 218ms on a server farther away. ExpressVPN worked much better with a distant connection and retained faster speeds for gaming overall.

You can rest assured that all of your gaming data and activity is safe with CyberGhost’s security features, which include:

  • Independently audited no-logs policy — an audit by Deloitte verified that CyberGhost doesn’t log or share your data.
  • A kill switch — shuts down your internet connection in the event the VPN connection drops to protect against data leaks.
  • IP/DNS leak protection — prevents DDoS attacks by hiding your IP and DNS information.
  • A built-in ad blocker that protects you from malware on shady gaming sites, but it doesn’t work as well as PIA’s MACE.
  • AES 256-bit encryption scrambles data in a way that makes it virtually impossible for prying eyes to read.
  • ID Guard sends you alerts if your emails or passwords are leaked in data breaches and lets you generate secure passwords to protect your accounts.
  • Split tunneling (Windows and Android) lets you leave other apps unencrypted so you get better performance for gaming.

CyberGhost has user-friendly apps for all major platforms. I checked its Windows and iOS apps and found them easy to navigate. Unfortunately, CyberGhost’s gaming servers are available only on its Windows app under the “For gaming” category. So, I recommend setting it up on your gaming devices through Windows PC by creating a virtual router.

You can also use its Smart DNS to configure it on your gaming devices, such as PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch. Another way is to set CyberGhost up directly on your WiFi router and connect your gaming devices to the router’s network. This might take a while, but it will eliminate the need to set it up individually on each gaming device.

Unfortunately, CyberGhost doesn’t work in China or the UAE. So, if you plan on using it from there or any other country with strict internet rules, you should consider ExpressVPN instead. Also, CyberGhost doesn’t have support for cloud gaming like ExpressVPN. But when I tried it with PlayStation Now, it worked without any issues.

CyberGhost’s monthly plan is expensive, but you’ll get 84% off when you sign up for a 2-year + 4 months plan. You can also try CyberGhost free for online gaming with its generous 45-day money-back guarantee. After 2 weeks of testing, I requested a refund from live support. The agent approved it right away, and I got my money in 4 days.

CyberGhost works with: PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi, Chrome, Firefox, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, smart TVs, routers, and more.

2024 Update! You can subscribe to CyberGhost for as low as $2.03 per month + get an extra 4 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 84%)! This is a limited offer so grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

3. Private Internet Access (PIA) — Level up Your Gaming With Highly Customizable Settings

Key Features:

  • 35,000+ servers in 91 countries, providing fast connections
  • Customizable encryption (128-bit and 256-bit), kill switch, leak protection, and a no-logs policy for data security
  • Works with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Xbox (One and Series S/X), PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and more
  • Allows unlimited simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

PIA lets you customize your VPN connection for an optimal gaming experience with WireGuard and OpenVPN. WireGuard was almost 4% faster than OpenVPN (with 256-bit encryption). However, choosing OpenVPN and reducing my encryption gave me an even bigger speed boost. Plus, it’s secure enough to protect your gaming data and activity.

Screenshot of PIA's Windows app showing OpenVPN selected with AES 128-bit encryption

PIA delivered the best speeds on OpenVPN protocol with a 128-bit encryption level

SOCKS5 and Shadowsocks proxies are available under “Multi-Hop,” providing an additional layer of security while gaming. These proxies mask your IP and help prevent DDoS attacks. Note that this may increase latency and slow down your speeds because your gaming traffic is encrypted twice, so only use it when security is your utmost concern.

Rest assured that your entire gaming session and other online activity is protected with PIA’s strong security features, including:

  • Dedicated IP address — Secure IP address solely for your gaming activities, offering a more stable and secure gaming experience.
  • MACE — Protects you from malicious ads and malware planted on various gaming sites.
  • A no-logs policy recently audited by Deloitte ensures there are no logs of your personal data.
  • IP cloaking masks your IP and prevents DDoS attacks.
  • Leak protection
  • A kill switch disconnects your gaming device from the internet if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
  • Military-grade encryption

Like ExpressVPN, PIA also has a port forwarding feature on its Windows app to allow you to host games. Using this, you can create a direct and secure pathway between your device and the game server. It can help you improve gameplay by reducing latency and improving overall network performance for everyone playing.

PIA’s extensive server network with 35,000+ servers in 91 countries maintains fast speeds and minimal congestion even during peak hours. My average download speed was 67 Mbps, but my ping was more than 150 ms at times, especially with distant connections. This might cause significant lag, so I recommend using nearby servers.

The in-depth interface can be a bit overwhelming for new users because of PIA’s extensive range of customizable settings on the home screen. But, I found the default settings just fine for gaming, so you don’t really need to change them unless you want to further optimize your connection.

You can enjoy cloud gaming on unlimited devices simultaneously with PIA without worrying about ISP throttling. It offers unlimited bandwidth, so your connection won’t be compromised despite the massive amount of data that cloud gaming consumes. You can play freely on NVIDIA GeForce Now, PlayStation Now, Shadow, Amazon Luna, and more.

Starting at $2.03/month, PIA’s long-term plans are affordable. Plus, its 30-day money-back guarantee lets you try PIA totally free for gaming. If you’re unhappy with its performance, you can get a refund. When I requested a refund over live chat, the agent approved my request within minutes. My card was credited with the fee 6 days later.

PIA works with: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, smart TVs, routers, and more.

2024 Update! You can subscribe to PIA for as low as $2.03 per month + get an extra 4 months free with the 2-year plan (save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer, so grab it now before it's gone! See more information on this offer here!

4. NordVPN — NordLynx Protocol Boosts Connection Speeds for Lag-Free Gameplay

Key Features:

  • 6,080+ global servers in 61 countries with good speeds
  • Threat Protection, military-grade encryption, kill switch, leak protection, and a no-logs policy
  • Works with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Xbox (One), PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and more
  • 6 simultaneous device connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol ramps up your connection speeds for gaming by improving overall network performance. I tested some of its servers, and the average speed was 87 Mbps, making it the second-fastest VPN on this list. My ping ranged from 37–78ms on nearby servers but fluctuated significantly (78–214 ms) on farther servers.

Screenshot of NordVPN's Windows app showing NordLynx protocol selected

NordLynx protocol offered faster speeds than other protocols supported by NordVPN

Servers performed very well with multiplayer games. I connected to a server in Australia (Sydney) and got speeds around 87 Mbps, whereas the ping was between 39ms and 78ms. I played a session of CoD: Warzone on my Windows laptop on the same server — I was eliminated in 19 minutes, and I didn’t face any lag during the short session.

With its top-notch security features, NordVPN can provide security and protect you from malicious attempts to ruin your gameplay. Some of these features are:

  • Meshnet is a decentralized network that offers advanced security, low latency, and high-speed connectivity for intense multiplayer gaming.
  • Built-in ads and malware blockers protects your device while you’re gaming.
  • AES 256-bit encryption protects your online gaming activities from eavesdropping and hacking attempts.
  • A no-logs policy (audited by PwC), meaning NordVPN doesn’t store any of your identifying information.
  • A dedicated IP address comes at a small extra fee. But since no one else uses the same IP, you can avoid potential IP bans.
  • A kill switch protects your information from leaking in case the VPN connection drops accidentally.

NordVPN has apps for all major desktop and mobile platforms. I tried its Windows app — it wasn’t as easy to navigate as ExpressVPN. It kept launching and automatically connecting to a VPN server whenever I opened my laptop until I stopped all its background processes in the task manager. I had to search the help pages to turn it off in the app.

You can set up NordVPN on gaming devices without native support using Smart DNS, virtual router, and WiFi router. The easiest way to set it up is via a virtual router. It connects your gaming device to a NordVPN-enabled computer that acts as a router. You can set it up on your WiFi router as well using the easy-to-follow online guides.

The monthly subscription is a bit pricey. But you can save 67% on its 2-year plan, and get it for $3.39/month. Also, all its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. I canceled my subscription via live chat and the agent processed my refund within minutes. I received the full amount in 5 business days.

NordVPN works with: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, smart TVs, routers, and more.

5. Surfshark — NoBorders Allows You to Game Safely Even in Restrictive Regions

Key Features:

  • 3,200+ servers spread 100 countries offering fast speeds
  • Camouflage Mode, NoBorders, CleanWeb, IP Rotation, and plenty of other security features for ultra-secure gaming
  • Works with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Xbox (One and Series S/X), PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and more
  • Connect unlimited devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Surfshark’s NoBorders mode lets you enjoy secure and uninterrupted gaming sessions from anywhere in the world. It uses obfuscation to disguise your VPN traffic as regular traffic, allowing you to bypass firewalls and VPN blocks. It’s perfect for gamers who may be facing geo-restrictions, especially in countries with restricted internet access.

Surfshark VPN interface, showcasing the 'No Borders' mode activated, a top choice for optimized gaming experiences

Surfshark lets you easily play games from any country with NoBorders mode

During tests, I got decent connection speeds for gaming, with an average speed of 73 Mbps. Ping on nearby servers was between 55ms – 93ms. However, my connections to distant servers resulted in massive fluctuations in ping, reaching 363ms on the farthest server. I recommend playing on nearby servers with WireGuard protocol for better speeds.

The CleanWeb feature helps to protect gamers from malicious ads and phishing attempts. It blocks ads and trackers in real-time, providing a safer and smoother gaming experience. In addition, Surfshark has:

  • IP Rotator keeps updating IPs regularly, which makes it nearly impossible for opponents to launch DDoS attacks.
  • AES 256-bit encryption secures your online gaming activity from hackers and snoopers.
  • RAM-only servers protect your privacy by ensuring no data is being stored.
  • No-logs policy (audited by Deloitte) ensures your privacy and anonymity while gaming.
  • A kill switch prevents data leaks in case of unexpected VPN disconnection.

Surfshark’s Windows app has a built-in speed test tool for finding low-latency servers for gaming. You can also use the “Quick-connect” feature to connect to the fastest server based on your location. With SmartDNS and a router app, Surfshark makes it easy to connect gaming devices that don’t support VPNs.

At times, Surfshark can take slightly longer to connect to a server than other VPNs. During my tests, I found that it often took around 20–30 seconds to establish a connection. It can be slightly frustrating for users who are used to faster performance. However, once the connection was made it stayed stable.

Surfshark’s subscriptions start at just $2.29/month. Plus, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, which lets you test Surfshark free with online gaming. Getting a refund is easy. I contacted customer support through live chat, and the representative refunded my money in 4 business days.

Surfshark works with: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, smart TVs, routers, and more.

Warning! Avoid These VPNs For Online Gaming

1. Free VPNs

I recommend avoiding free VPNs as they often have limited servers and bandwidth, resulting in poor connection speeds and increased latency. This leads to frequent lagging and ruined gameplay.

Also, most free VPNs don’t work with popular games as their IPs are easily detected and blocked, and they lack the resources to update them regularly. You may have to keep switching servers to find one that works.

2. BolehVPN

During my testing, I had a terrible experience with BolehVPN. Here are some of the reasons why I would suggest not using it for gaming:

  • Only 65+ servers in 14 countries: This may lead to overcrowding, resulting in poor speeds while gaming.
  • No dedicated gaming servers: There have been claims that BolehVPN has servers dedicated for gaming, but it’s not true.
  • Highly unstable speeds and high ping rates: I tested a few BolehVPN servers and faced huge speed drops (between 62–80%) from my baseline speeds. Also, my ping rate was always above 100ms.
  • Can’t always prevent DDoS attacks: While it may protect against some DDoS attacks, it doesn’t have sufficient infrastructure to handle large volumes of traffic during more extreme attacks.

3. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield’s advertising may tempt you to use it for gaming, but I recommend that you stay away for the following reasons:

  • Slow connection speeds: Despite offering unlimited bandwidth, Hotspot Shield’s connection speeds are significantly slower than the VPNs on this list, making it unsuitable for lag-free gaming.
  • Inconsistent performance: During my tests, I experienced frequent drops in connection speeds on multiple servers.
  • Inability to bypass geo-restrictions: While Hotspot Shield does offer access to servers in multiple countries, you won’t be able to access certain games due to its inability to effectively bypass all geo-restrictions.
  • Privacy concerns: Hotspot Shield has faced criticism in the past over its logging practices, with reports of the VPN logging user data and sharing it with third parties.

4. hide.me

hide.me is also one of the below-average VPNs for gaming. Here are my reasons why:

  • Poor connection speeds: Even though I got good speeds at times, they were highly unstable, and my connection dropped frequently.
  • Doesn’t work with many games: This is mainly because various gaming platforms have already detected and blocked hide.me’s IP addresses.
  • No split tunneling feature: This can be problematic for gamers who want to use the VPN for gaming but need other applications or websites to connect directly to the internet to avoid latency issues.
  • Bad value for money: It’s more expensive compared to other VPNs with similar or better features and performance.

Comparison Table: 2024’s Best VPNs for Online Gaming

Total Servers Download Speed & Avg Ping Smart DNS Lowest Price
ExpressVPN 3,000+ servers in 105 countries 94 Mbps (-6%) & 42ms $6.67/month on a 1-year + 3 months plan
CyberGhost 11,300+ servers in 100 countries 84 Mbps (-16%) & 57ms $2.03/month on a 2-year + 4 months plan
PIA 35,000+ servers in 91 countries 67 Mbps (-33%) & 78ms $2.03/month on a 2-year + 4 months plan
NordVPN 6,080+ servers in 61 countries 87 Mbps (-13%) & 56ms $3.39/month on a 2-year plan
Surfshark 3,200+ servers in 100 countries 73 Mbps (-27%) & 67 ms $2.29/month on a 2-year + 2 months plan

How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for Lag-Free Gaming

I tested the leading VPNs against the following criteria to come up with this list of gaming VPNs:

  • Server network — All the VPNs on this list have servers all over the world, ensuring you’ll be able to find a low-latency and uncrowded connection. Also, it gives you access to more opponents and geo-restricted content.
  • High speeds — I tested all the VPNs on this list for their speed retention rates and ping to ensure that they can handle intensive online gaming without any lag.
  • Privacy and security — These VPNs offer top-notch privacy and security features, such as RAM-only servers, obfuscated servers, dedicated IP, NAT Firewall, an audited no-logs policy, AES 256-bit encryption, DNS/IP leak protection, and more. This means you can game without worrying about external threats.
  • Device compatibility — Every VPN on this list is compatible with popular gaming consoles such as Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and more. Plus, they have friendly apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more.
  • Additional features — The VPNs on this list offer features like split tunneling, Meshnet, port forwarding, fast protocols, and SOCKS5 proxy for improved performance and a personalized experience.
  • Smart DNS — Smart DNS makes it easy to set up a VPN connection with your gaming devices, even if they don’t support VPN apps.
  • P2P support — VPNs with P2P support allow gamers to safely share game updates and patches without ISP detection, preventing potential throttling or warnings. All VPNs on this list offer P2P support.
  • Money-back guarantee — All the VPNs on this list offer a generous MBG of at least 30 days, giving you enough time to test their features and performance before committing to a subscription.
  • Works with popular gamesAll these VPNs work with CoD: Warzone, Minecraft, Fortnite, Valorant, League of Legends, Apex Legends, and more.
  • Customer support — Every VPN on this list offers 24/7 customer support through various channels, such as online guides, live chat, and email.

3 Steps to Set Up a Gaming VPN

  1. Download a VPN. During testing, I found that ExpressVPN is compatible with most gaming devices and consoles, including PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and more.
  2. Connect to a server. You can choose any server location, but the ones closest to your location will have minimal latency.
  3. Start the game and play.

Why You Need a VPN for Gaming

1. Avoid Skill-Based Matchmaking

Battle royale games, such as Call of Duty and Fortnite, use skill-based matchmaking algorithms to group players of similar skill levels together in matches.

While this may sound like a fair system, it can often lead to frustrating experiences, especially for experienced players. They may find it difficult to enjoy the game when every match is a close competition.

Using a VPN can help you avoid skill-based matchmaking in games like CoD: Warzone and PUBG. It can help you connect to a country with a smaller player base, where the gaming algorithm will focus more on filling the lobby over matching skills. This way, you’ll end up in a much easier lobby and perform better.

2. Access Region-Locked Games

If you have gaming buddies located in different regions, you can use a VPN to change your virtual location and join them on their local servers. This is especially useful for games that have region-locked content or servers. However, you must always follow the game’s Terms of Service and avoid any activities that may be considered against the rules and regulations.

3. Play Safely on Public WiFi

When gaming on public WiFi, your personal data and online activity can be vulnerable to hacking attempts and malware attacks. Additionally, gaming over public WiFi can expose you to DDoS attacks.

A VPN can protect your data and online activity from prying eyes and potential attackers. It encrypts your data and creates a secure tunnel for your online traffic, which makes it virtually impossible for hackers to intercept your information.

4. Bypass IP Bans

Gaming platforms may ban your IP for violating their Terms of Service or codes of conduct. This can include cheating, using exploits, hacking, or engaging in other forms of behavior that give players an unfair advantage or negatively impact the game experience for others. Sometimes, these bans are imposed by mistake for no apparent reason.

If your IP has been banned mistakenly, you can use a VPN to get a new IP and start playing the game again. However, it is important to always follow the rules and regulations set by game developers and publishers. Any attempt to bypass game bans may result in consequences such as account suspension or even legal action.

5. Avoid ISP Throttling

Many ISPs implement throttling, which slows down certain types of internet traffic, including gaming. This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as high network traffic or the ISP wanting to limit bandwidth usage during peak hours.

However, with a VPN, your internet traffic is encrypted, and your ISP won’t be able to see what you’re doing online. This can help you avoid ISP throttling and potentially improve your gaming experience.

6. Prevent DoS and DDoS Attacks

Playing online games can make you a target for Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. This is where an attacker floods your network connection with traffic, making your game laggy or even unplayable.

A VPN can help protect you from these attacks by masking your real IP address and routing your traffic through a remote server. This makes it harder for the attacker to target your actual connection. Some VPNs even have RAM-only servers, obfuscation techniques, NoBorders mode, CleanWeb, MultiHop, and other features that help in preventing DDoS, DoS, and other cyber attacks.

7. Fast Connection Speeds and Low Ping

VPNs can help you avoid network congestion and optimize your routing to the game server. By connecting to a VPN server that’s closer to the game server or has a better connection route, you can improve your gaming experience.

In addition, many VPNs offer features like split tunneling, allowing you to route only gaming traffic through a VPN server, while other apps still use your regular internet.

8. Get Early Access to Games and Discounts

Game publishers often release games first in certain countries or offer discounts exclusively in certain regions. With a VPN, you can connect to a server in the region where the game or discount is available and enjoy early access or discounted prices. This can save you money and allow you to play games before they’re released in your country.

However, make sure that accessing the game or discount in this way doesn’t violate any laws or the Terms of Service of the game publisher.

9. Unblock Games at School and Work

School and work networks often have restricted access to certain websites and online services, including games, to maintain focus and productivity. Using a VPN can help you bypass these network restrictions, allowing you to access and play games that may be blocked on those networks.

This can be useful during breaks or downtime, but always ensure that you are using the VPN responsibly and respecting any rules or policies set by your school or workplace.

Note: While a VPN can sometimes provide early access to games and discounts, it’s not guaranteed as it depends on various factors such as distribution regions and availability.

How To Install a VPN on Gaming Consoles (Xbox & PlayStation)

1. Set Up Smart DNS

Setting up Smart DNS is an easy way to use a VPN on gaming consoles such as Xbox (Series S/X, One, 360), PlayStation (PS4, PS5), Nintendo Switch, and more. Configuring your console’s DNS settings allows you to bypass regional restrictions and enjoy faster and more secure online gaming.

Please note that Smart DNS does not encrypt your internet traffic, so your online activities may not be completely private and secure.

Here’s a step-by-step process to set up Smart DNS on your gaming console:

  1. Get a VPN. ExpressVPN offers the best speeds for gaming and has a Smart DNS service called MediaStreamer.
  2. Activate Smart DNS. Get a Smart DNS IP address by logging into your VPN provider’s website.
  3. Go to Network Settings on your gaming console. Select WiFi or Ethernet, based on how your gaming console is connected.
  4. Choose DNS settings under IP settings and enter the DNS address provided by your VPN provider.
  5. Restart your gaming console and start playing.
Pros Cons
  • Easier to set up than other methods
  • Won’t hide your IP or encrypt your traffic
  • Can’t get through local or NAT firewalls

Note: The steps for setting up a VPN and Smart DNS on your gaming console may vary slightly depending on the specific device and operating system you are using.

2. Create a Virtual VPN Router

By turning your Windows PC or laptop into a virtual router, you can connect your gaming console, smartphone, or any other device to your VPN. This ensures that all your online activities are encrypted and secure.

Here are the steps to create a virtual VPN router on your Windows computer:

  1. Download a VPN. ExpressVPN has a user-friendly Windows app and lightning-fast speeds for smooth gameplay.
  2. Connect to a server. You’ll get the best speeds and lowest ping rates on a server close to your location.
  3. Open “Mobile Hotspot Settings” in Windows.
  4. Under “Share my Internet connection from,” select your WiFi network.
  5. Activate the mobile hotspot to share the WiFi connection.
  6. Connect your gaming console to the mobile hotspot.
  7. Start gaming. You can now play online games with a VPN connection.
Pros Cons
  • Masks your IP and encrypts your traffic
  • Helps you bypass local and NAT firewalls
  • Can access international games
  • Can help you get into international lobbies
  • Moderately difficult to set up
  • Relatively slow connection speeds and high ping

Note: Setting up a virtual VPN connection on a Mac computer can be more complicated than on a Windows computer. If you have an iMac or Macbook, I suggest using Smart DNS instead.

3. Install a VPN on Your WiFi Router

Installing a VPN on your WiFi router is the best way to protect all devices connected to it, including gaming consoles. By encrypting your internet traffic and hiding your IP address, a VPN can prevent ISP throttling and protect against DDoS attacks. Plus, it can provide faster and more stable connections, leading to better gaming performance.

Here’s how you can set up a VPN directly on your router:

  1. Get a VPN. ExpressVPN is compatible with most routers and offers pre-flashed routers that don’t need manual VPN configuration.
  2. Find out your router’s IP. In Windows, open the command prompt and type “ipconfig” and press enter. “Default Gateway” is your router’s IP. If you’re using a Mac, you can find it under System Preferences > Network > Advanced > TCP/IP.
  3. Login to your router by entering your router’s IP into your browser.
  4. Configure your router. ExpressVPN or the other VPN providers on this list have detailed guides on their website.
  5. Start gaming. You can now connect your gaming console to the WiFi to play online games safely.
Pros Cons
  • Assigns you a new IP and encrypts your traffic
  • Helps you get through local and NAT firewalls
  • Helps you access international games
  • Secures unlimited devices at once
  • Lets you enter international lobbies
  • Very difficult to set up
  • Not all routers are compatible
  • Compatible or pre-flashed can be expensive
  • Relatively high ping and slow speeds

How To Install a VPN on PC & Mobile

The easiest way to install a VPN on your computer or mobile device is to download the VPN app from the provider’s website or an app store. Most VPN providers offer dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, making them easy to set up and use.

  1. Download a VPN. ExpressVPN has amazing speeds, and robust security, and works on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more.
  2. Connect to a server. Select the gaming region you want to connect to or connect to any nearby server for minimum speed loss.
  3. Test your ping. Make sure your connection has low ping for a lag-free game. Generally, ping below 100ms is considered good.
  4. Start playing! If your game lags, switching servers might help.

FAQs: VPNs and Gaming

Which is the best VPN for PES, PUBG, Fortnite, and CoD?

All the VPNs in this article are great for online gaming, but my favorite is ExpressVPN. Its lightning-fast speeds, reliable connections, and top-notch security features make it the perfect VPN for gamers.

Plus, ExpressVPN offers a wide range of server locations, so you can always find a fast and stable connection anywhere in the world.

Does a VPN speed up gaming?

Using a VPN may or may not speed up gaming. It depends on multiple factors, including the quality of the VPN, server location, distance to the gaming server, and your internet connection. When you connect to a VPN server, your traffic is encrypted and rerouted through a different path, which may increase latency or slow download speeds.

However, if your ISP throttles your connection, a VPN can improve your gaming performance by providing a faster, more stable connection. Also, a VPN can connect you to a location closer to the gaming servers, which can lower ping and provide a smoother gaming experience.

Can a VPN lower my ping?

In some cases, it can. A VPN can help prevent ISP throttling and improve your connection speeds. Additionally, connecting to a VPN server closer to the game server can reduce your ping.

If you connect to a server that is far away from your location or has high traffic, it could increase your ping. It’s important to choose a VPN provider with a large server network so that you can always find a server close to your location for minimal ping.

What are the best VPN settings to improve gaming speeds?

If you use one of the best VPNs for gaming, you probably won’t need to change your settings to improve your speeds. However, if your existing network has slow download speeds or high latency, you can make a couple of simple changes to your VPN settings to fix the problem:

→ Use the PPTP Protocol — Get Higher Speeds Without Lag

The PPTP protocol is one of the oldest and fastest VPN protocols. It’s not often used with VPN connections because it’s not secure. In fact, the VPNs featured in this article no longer offer PPTP due to its security vulnerabilities.

PrivateVPN offers PPTP, but only uses it for manual VPN configuration on Android and Windows devices — the protocol is not available on its apps. Also, I don’t recommend using PPTP if you’re going to be undertaking any tasks involving private or personal data.

→ Use the SOCKS5 Proxy — Reduce Ping When Gaming

You can use the SOCKS5 proxy if your speeds slow down when you connect to a VPN or to quickly change your location. IPVanish offers SOCKS5 proxy servers. While this doesn’t encrypt your connection, it will change your IP address, allowing you to access blocked content.

Although PIA also uses the SOCKS5 proxy, they only use it in multi-hop connections (with the VPN). As a result, it will be SLOWER than a regular VPN connection, not faster.

Note: SOCKS5 doesn’t offer the protection of a standard VPN connection, so don’t use it to send or receive sensitive data.

Which is the best VPN for gaming on Android?

All the VPNs listed here are great for gaming on Android, as they all have user-friendly apps that are easy to set up and connect to a server quickly.

My top pick is ExpressVPN — it was easy to set up, and I connected to a server in just 1 click. In my tests, I didn’t experience any lag or diminished responsiveness, which is crucial for any gaming session.

It also has top-tier security features, including TrustedServer Technology, Lightway protocol, military-grade encryption, DNS leak protection, and an audited no-logs policy. This gave me peace of mind while gaming online and ensured that my personal information was kept secure.

Is it legal to use a VPN for gaming?

It is generally legal to use a VPN for gaming. There may be some exceptions depending on the regulations of your country or the game you are playing.

Some games, like Fortnite and Apex Legends, explicitly forbid the use of VPNs, while others allow it as long as it doesn’t give players an unfair advantage. It’s important to check your local laws and the Terms of Service for the game you are playing to make sure you are not violating any rules.

Can you get banned for using a VPN on Fortnite?

Yes, Fortnite can ban you from playing with a VPN. Using a VPN for playing Fortnite may seem like a good idea to improve gaming performance and secure gameplay, but it’s against the game’s Terms of Service.

Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, prohibits using VPNs, proxies, or other software to manipulate your location or mask your IP address while playing the game. However, the enforcement of these policies is often difficult and inconsistent. It’s always a good idea to review the ToS of any game you play to ensure you’re not violating any rules.

Can you get banned for using a VPN when playing Warzone?

Even though it’s very rare, using a VPN while playing Warzone can get you banned. This is mainly because the game’s developer, Activision, has strict policies regarding cheating and manipulating the game’s system.

Utilizing a VPN for altering your location or concealing your IP address might activate their anti-cheat system, potentially resulting in a suspension. It’s important to note that while using a VPN is not explicitly against their ToS, it’s still a risky move as it can be seen as suspicious behavior.

Can I use a free VPN for gaming?

Yes, you can use a free VPN for gaming, but I don’t recommend it. Instead, getting a low-cost, premium VPN can greatly enhance your gaming experience while ensuring your personal information remains safe. Free VPNs are not a good idea for gaming due to potential limitations in speed, server availability, and security.

I found some decent free VPNs for gaming when I tested leading gaming VPNs on different devices, but I wasn’t 100% satisfied. My battery would either drain too fast or I’d run out of data. In some cases, my game would lag or stop entirely!

Unfortunately, if you’ve found a free VPN with no bandwidth or speed limitations, there’s a high chance that you’re paying in other ways. Many shady VPNs secretly log your data and sell it to third-party advertisers and potentially even hackers.

For the best gaming performance, I suggest you try CyberGhost for free with its money-back guarantee for 45 days. I tested the process myself and requested a refund through the 24/7 live chat. After confirming that I didn’t need the service anymore, my refund was processed in under 5 minutes, and I had my money back within a week.

Get the Best VPN for Gaming With Low Ping

Playing games online can be a lot of fun but comes with risks. With a VPN, you can keep your online gaming session private and secure, prevent DDoS attacks, and avoid ISP throttling. A VPN can even improve your gaming experience by improving ping times.

ExpressVPN is my #1 gaming VPN. ExpressVPN, known for its swift and dependable servers, provides optimal performance for gamers with remarkably low ping times. Moreover, the user-friendly applications simplify the process of connecting to a server, allowing for a seamless start to your gaming experience. You’re protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you can try ExpressVPN for gaming at no risk.

If you’re not completely satisfied, you can claim a refund. I tested this policy by contacting their 24/7 live chat support. An agent approved my refund within 2 minutes, and I had my money back in just 4 days.


Summary — The Best VPNs for Gaming in 2024

Top Ranked Top Choice
ExpressVPN
6.67 / month Save 49%
CyberGhost VPN
2.03 / month Save 84%
Private Internet Access
$2.03 / month Save 83%
NordVPN
3.39 / month Save 74%
Surfshark
2.29 / month Save 79%

We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.

Did you like this article? Rate it!
I hated it I don't really like it It was ok Pretty good! Loved it!
4.20 Voted by 2 users
Title
Comment
Thanks for your feedback