5 Best VPNs for Gaming 2019 – Which is the Fastest?

Gamers are exposed to a significant number of threats.  A recommended VPN service has the ability to keep you safe, optimize your speed and enhance your gaming experience. This list of VPNs is ideal for gamers.

With virtual attacks and data collection increasing every day, VPNs are crucial for protecting yourself online.

Both ISP throttling and DDoS can easily ruin your playing experience. DDoS attacks are so widespread that concerned players have released preventative guidelines. This includes always using a VPN.

With many gamers within our ranks, we know how important VPNs can be for a safe, nuisance-free gaming session. As VPN experts, we also realize not every provider offers the performance you’re looking for — so we tested hundreds of VPNs to give you our top 5 picks for gaming.

Quick Guide: Top 5 VPNs for Gaming

  1. NordVPN is our top pick to keep your connection protected while gaming.
  2. ExpressVPN consistently takes the top prize when it comes to speed, so your game will never lag.
  3. CyberGhost makes gaming easy with its user-friendly interface and customized server profiles.
  4. Surfshark is a great choice for those who want to connect a large number of devices to a single VPN.
  5. Private Internet Access (PIA) gives gamers the privacy they need with some of the best prices offered by a premium VPN service.

How to Install a VPN For Gaming

You can see now why a VPN is essential for gaming safely. The next thing you need to know is how to install one on all your devices. Unless you secure all your gaming and internet devices with a VPN, you won’t be 100% secure online. This is where things get a little bit tricky. While installing a VPN on a laptop, computer and smartphone is super easy, many game consoles are not directly compatible with VPN software.

To help you out, we’ll show you three easiest ways to connect your Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and other game consoles to your VPN. Follow these quick steps and you’ll be protected in no time. 

Install VPN on Your Wi-fi Router

By far the simplest method for using a VPN on your game console, this will also automatically protect every device connected to your wi-fi network at once. You can buy a specialized router dedicated to working with VPNs or purchase one built by your VPN provider. While easy to set up, these are expensive options, and not all VPN providers sell their own routers.

Alternatively, you can manually install your VPN onto your router, following instructions online. The steps vary depending on your router brand and VPN provider but step-by-step guides are easy to find with a quick Google search. 

 

Set Up a VPN on MacOS

Before you set up your VPN, make sure to have a Mac and an Ethernet cable. Check if your Mac also has an Ethernet port and a wi-fi adapter and is compatible with your console.

  1. Download and install your preferred VPN.
  2. Plug the Ethernet cable into the back of your Mac and your console.
  3. Go to System Preferences > Sharing. From the left-hand side menu, click Internet Sharing.
  4. From the drop-down menu that says ‘Share Your Connection From,’ select wi-fi.
  5. Tick Ethernet from the ‘to computers using’ list.
  6. Check to the left of Internet Sharing to activate the wi-fi sharing between your Mac and your console. Watch out for the green icon that indicates a successful connection.
  7. Open the VPN software you downloaded onto your Mac and connect to a server from the VPN’s list of available servers.
  8. On your console, find the network settings, choose a LAN cable option, and connect it to your Mac’s network.
  9. You may need to select an option like “Do Not Use a Proxy Server.”
  10. The steps vary slightly with each console, but if all goes well, you will be connected to the web via VPN in no time.

Set Up a VPN on Your PC

Connecting a VPN via PC is nearly the same as setting it up via Mac, only this method uses the Windows equivalent of Mac’s Internet Sharing.

  1. Download and install your chosen VPN service on your PC.
  2. Plug an Ethernet cable at the back of your PC and console.
  3. Open Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center. Click Change Adaptor Settings on the window.
  4. Right click your VPN’s icon and select Properties.
  5. Open the sharing tab and be sure to select ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection.’
  6. Select Home Networking Connection and afterwards, click the ‘home internet connection’ option from the drop-down menu.
  7. On your console, find the network settings, choose a LAN cable option, and connect it to your PC’s network.
  8. You may need to select an option like “Do Not Use a Proxy Server.”
  9. The steps vary slightly with each console, but you should now be online and connected to the web via VPN. Let the games begin!

All that’s left now is picking the best VPN for your gaming needs. Not every VPN is powerful enough for gaming, so we’ve chosen the top 5 absolute best for you.

Should You Try a Free VPN for Gaming?

A free VPN sounds like an appealing choice for a gamer, however, there are a number of reasons why free VPNs just aren’t worth it. For starters, many free VPNs aren’t truly free. Some make you pay by collecting and selling your data or showing you large numbers of ads. Others will slow your connection speed, which makes gaming difficult.

The VPNs that are truly free and secure generally enforce strict bandwidth limits. These ranges from 500MB of data per month to 500 MB per day. You simply won’t have enough data to play your game of choice.

This is why a premium VPN is your best option. The best services have no data limits, hold strict no-log policies, won’t throttle your connection speed, and most importantly, they use high levels of encryption to keep you safe and secure.

The Best VPNs for Gaming

1. NordVPN

  • Global server network — over 5,000 servers for limitless access
  • Advanced security features so you don’t have to worry about DDoS attacks
  • High-speed servers ensure your connection doesn’t take a hit

NordVPN is an excellent choice for the versatile gamer who expects the same flexibility out of their VPN provider. With more than 3,500 servers in 61 countries, you’ll be connecting to any location you desire.

Speed is arguably the first thing you’ll be looking for in a VPN for gaming — and NordVPN doesn’t disappoint. Recent service updates have vastly improved NordVPN’s connection quality, placing it up there with the best. Don’t believe us? Check out these user reviews.

As for your privacy, rest assured you won’t be bothered by script kiddies or salty opponents. NordVPN has built-in anti-DDoS protection, as well as custom servers designed to protect you from such attacks — so you can forget about annoying and unplanned interruptions.

With massive server variety, swift connections, and grade-A security, NordVPN is your perfect partner as you go on the offensive online. And if you decide this isn’t the VPN for you, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can get a full refund, no questions asked.

Compatible gaming devices: 

  • PC, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, smartphones, wi-fi routers.

NordVPN can unblock:

  • Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Sling TV.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes, P2P specialty servers available.

NordVPN works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It’s also compatible with routers.

Start Playing with NordVPN!

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN benefits
  • The fastest VPN on the market — enjoy top-shelf protection with high speeds to match
  • Choose from over 3,000 servers in 90+ locations
  • Split tunneling lets you select which portion of your traffic is protected by the VPN

ExpressVPN definitely lives up to its name — it regularly takes first place in our speed tests. Lower latency can be the difference between a victory and a loss, and when it comes to ping, this provider will make you feel like you aren’t using a VPN at all.

1,500+ servers in 90+ locations, proprietary zero-knowledge DNS servers, and a strict zero-logging policy grant you fast, global, and secure access. If you want to handpick your protected traffic, the split tunneling feature also comes in handy. Split tunneling also means that if you’re worried about lag, you can secure the rest of your traffic and play as normal.

You can also protect up to three devices with a single ExpressVPN subscription.

Find out what real customers think of ExpressVPN. Or try it out for up to 30 days. If you don’t like it, you can get a refund. 

Compatible gaming devices: 

  • PC, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, smartphones, wi-fi routers, Xbox One and 360, PlayStation 3 and 4.

ExpressVPN can unblock:

  • Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes, all servers support P2P activity.

ExpressVPN works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox. It also offers an app for use with certain routers.

Start Playing with ExpressVPN!

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost VPN
  • Huge server roster — 3700+ for optimized performance, wherever you are
  • Handy profiles give you the best settings for different activities
  • Simple, streamlined interface

With over 3700 servers, serious encryption, and zero traffic or connection logs stored, CyberGhost is another provider that takes the “private” in “virtual private network” to heart.

One of the best features of this VPN is its interface — thanks to several dedicated profiles, you can let CyberGhost know what you’re using it for, and it will provide the optimal performance for your needs. 

Aside from perfect privacy, you’ll want a high speeds. While not as fast as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, CyberGhost is quick and won’t noticeably hinder your internet speeds.

All of these features (plus others like IP/DNS leak protection and 5 simultaneous connections) make CyberGhost a great option. What’s more, you get a one-week free trial for iOS and Android on top of the 45-day money-back guarantee, so you can experience this VPN and pay nothing.

If you’re still not sure if CyberGhost is right for you, check out these user reviews.

Compatible gaming devices: 

  • PC, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, smartphones, wi-fi routers.

CyberGhost can unblock:

  • Dedicated streaming profile with servers optimized for: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Hulu, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and others.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes; dedicated profile shows countries and number of users.

CyberGhost works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Linux, and Chrome.

Start Playing with CyberGhost!

4. Surfshark

  • Servers in 50 countries
  • Budget-friendly subscription options
  • User-friendly apps

Surfshark is a reliable choice for gaming, streaming, and browsing.

High-speed servers and unlimited bandwidth minimize buffering and lag. And, with servers in 50 countries, you can play in any region you like. This is useful if you’re traveling and want to play co-op with your friends from back home while you‘re away.

Surfshark has apps for most major platforms. If your device doesn’t offer built-in VPN support, you can install it on a compatible router instead. It also allows unlimited simultaneous connections for those local multi-player game nights.

You can learn more by reading real user reviews, or test it out for yourself with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Compatible gaming devices: 

  • PC, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, smartphones, wi-fi routers.

Surfshark can unblock:

  • Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, and others.

Supports torrenting:

  • Yes, all servers support P2P activity.

Surfshark works on these devices:

  • Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, FireTV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox.

Start Playing with Surfshark!

5. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Private internet access devices
  • Enormous server variety — 3,000 across 44 locations
  • Perfect for the gamer on a budget
  • Simple installation and configuration

Like AirVPN, Private Internet Access is loved by many a gamer for its pro-privacy stance and the high-quality, affordable service.

Specifically, PIA offers over 3,000 servers in 44 locations. Those are impressive numbers for even the most expensive VPNs, making it even more notable that PIA is one of the cheapest providers on the market. Gamers looking for a VPN with a huge server network, proven zero-logging policy, and attractive price tag should definitely check out PIA.

On top of that, PIA is the epitome of a plug-and-play VPN — its client is incredibly simple to use and even beginners won’t spend more than a few seconds configuring the connection to their liking. You can also click here to learn more about how actual PIA users experience the VPN. Even better, Private Internet Access is a good option if you also connect your gaming accounts to PayPal.

That said, some servers are more consistent than others in the speed department, and while the VPN isn’t super slow, there are better alternatives if a blazing-fast connection is what you’re after. Fortunately, you have a 7-day window to get refunded if you feel like you aren’t getting enough out of PIA.

Compatible gaming devices: PC, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, smartphones, wi-fi routers.

Start Playing with PIA!

DING! You Have Leveled Up Your Gaming Experience with a VPN

Whether you’re looking to unblock geo-restricted games, get a better connection to distant servers, or avoid throttling/DDoS attacks, a VPN will be the MVP on your team. Make a better choice with our top five list.

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Do you like torrenting games, too? Safety comes first — so check out the best VPNs for torrenting.

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Want to read more? Check out our rundown of the best VPNs!

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