3 Best (FASTEST) VPNs for Gaming in May 2021
- Quick Guide: Top 3 VPNs for Gaming
- Why Do You Need a VPN for Online Gaming?
- How to Install a VPN For Gaming
- Install a VPN on Your WiFi Router
- Set Up a VPN on Your PC (Windows)
- Set Up a VPN on MacOS
- The Best VPNs for Gaming – Full Analysis (Updated May 2021)
- ExpressVPN – Fastest Speeds for Lag-Free Gaming
- CyberGhost – Simple Apps, Easy to Configure for Gaming
- Private Internet Access – Top Class Security for a Low Price
- How I Tested and Ranked the Best Gaming VPNs
- Should You Try a Free VPN for Gaming?
Are you tired of inconsistent connection speeds ruining your gaming session? How about lag spikes that get you killed when playing intense online multiplayer matches? Trust me, I have been there myself, but before you rage quit, keep reading for a solution.
Whether you’re looking to unblock geo-restricted games, remove an IP Ban from your favorite game server, get a better connection to distant servers, or avoid throttling/DDoS attacks, a good VPN will be the most valuable player on your team.
I have tested dozens of VPNs to find the 3 fastest VPNs for gaming. My top choice is ExpressVPN, which has excellent security features to protect you from attacks, and large server networks so you can unblock any game you want.
Quick Guide: Top 3 VPNs for Gaming
- ExpressVPN Is our top pick thanks to its fast speeds, excellent security features, and large worldwide server network.
- CyberGhost makes gaming easy with its user-friendly interface and customized server profiles.
- Private Internet Access (PIA) gives gamers the privacy they need with some of the best prices offered by a premium VPN service.
Why Do You Need a VPN for Online Gaming?
At first glance, it might seem counterintuitive to use a VPN, because the service encrypts data by sending it via an intermediary server. You might assume that this will slow your connection down, but you’ll discover that the opposite can be true.
VPNs offer several advantages for gamers, making the investment a no-brainer. Here is a summary of why you should use a VPN for gaming:
- Access region-locked game servers: Some game developers split up servers based on region, but VPNs allow you to play games with friends located in other countries. You can choose the region you want to access with a premium VPN that has servers around the world.
- DDoS attack protection: While playing, other gamers could target your IP address using denial-of-service attacks. A good VPN can protect you by moving you between servers.
- Play geoblocked games: Is the game you want to play restricted to specific countries like Japan or South Korea? You can use a VPN with servers in those countries to bypass the block.
- Protection from hackers: VPNs provide IP masking and encryption. These are important when having an open connection while gaming, to avoid hacking attempts.
- Play while traveling: Marketplaces may not process payments if your current IP address doesn’t match up with your profile. You can bypass this inconvenience by selecting a server in the country your profile was created in.
- Play on streaming services: VPNs can help you play on streaming services like XCloud and Google Stadia if they are not available in your country.
- Use Discord: You can use a VPN to access Discord if it’s blocked in your country. All you have to do is choose a server in a country where Discord is available.
- Remove IP bans: Getting blocked from your favorite games because of IP bans can be frustrating. You can bypass the ban by using a VPN to change your IP address.
- Play unreleased games: Some games are released at different dates around the world. You don’t have to wait weeks, months, or years to get your hands on a game – instead, you can use a VPN to access the game as soon as it’s available.
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 gaming devices. This is where things get a little bit tricky. While installing a VPN on a laptop, desktop, or smartphone is super easy, many game consoles are not directly compatible with VPN software.
To help you out, I’ll show you the 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 a VPN on Your WiFi Router
By far the simplest method for using a VPN on your game console, this will also automatically protect every device connected to your WiFi 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 on your router. Click here for an easy guide.
Set Up a VPN on Your PC (Windows)
Before you set up your VPN, make sure to have an Ethernet cable. Check if your PC also has an Ethernet port and a WiFi adapter and is compatible with your console.
- Download and install your chosen VPN service on your PC.
- Plug an Ethernet cable at the back of your PC and console.
- Open Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center. Click Change Adaptor Settings on the window.
- Right click your VPN’s icon and select Properties.
- Open the sharing tab and be sure to select ‘Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection.’
- Select Home Networking Connection and afterwards, click the ‘home internet connection’ option from the drop-down menu.
- On your console, find the network settings, choose a LAN cable option, and connect it to your PC’s network.
- You may need to select an option like “Do Not Use a Proxy Server.”
- The steps vary slightly with each console, but you should now be online and connected to the web via VPN. Let the games begin!
Set Up a VPN on MacOS
Connecting a VPN via Mac is nearly the same as setting it up via PC, only this method uses Mac’s Internet Sharing.
- Download and install your preferred VPN.
- Plug the Ethernet cable into the back of your Mac and your console.
- Go to System Preferences > Sharing. From the left-hand side menu, click Internet Sharing.
- From the drop-down menu that says ‘Share Your Connection From,’ select WiFi.
- Tick Ethernet from the ‘to computers using’ list.
- Check to the left of Internet Sharing to activate the WiFi sharing between your Mac and your console. Watch out for the green icon that indicates a successful connection.
- Open the VPN software you downloaded onto your Mac and connect to a server from the VPN’s list of available servers.
- On your console, find the network settings, choose a LAN cable option, and connect it to your Mac’s network.
- You may need to select an option like “Do Not Use a Proxy Server.”
- The steps vary slightly with each console, but if all goes well, you will be connected to the web via VPN in no time.
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 3 absolute best for you.
The Best VPNs for Gaming – Full Analysis (Updated May 2021)
I have tested all the major VPNs on the market to find the best options for gamers. In the following section you’ll find the 3 best VPNs for gaming based on connection quality, security, and reliability.
- Top-notch protection with high speeds to match
- 3,000 servers in 90+ locations
- MediaStreamer feature lets you use your VPN connection on any gaming console that connects to WiFi
- All servers support P2P activity
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Works with: Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, Sling TV, DAZN, and BBC iPlayer
- Compatible with: Xbox One and 360, PlayStation 3, 4 and 5Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Linux, WiFi routers, Chrome, and Firefox.
As its name suggests, ExpressVPN offers super-fast connectivity speeds. In fact, during my testing I found it to be one of the fastest VPNs. Its consistently low latency means you can use it to enjoy a smooth gaming experience.
There are 3,000+ servers in over 90 locations. This allows you to access games with region-specific early releases, or ones locked to limited countries. Unblock your favorite games regardless of where you live around the world.
ExpressVPN works on all devices, including consoles, PC, and mobile devices. The service allows you to have 5 simultaneous connections running. It’s ideal if you want to play games while someone else is streaming Netflix.
Try ExpressVPN risk-free and claim a refund within 30 days if you’re not impressed. I tested the refund process and it was one of the smoothest I have experienced.
- 6,800 servers in 90 countries
- A choice of profiles gives you the best settings for different activities
- Simple and streamlined interface
- Supports torrenting with a dedicated profile that shows countries and number of users.
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Up to 7 simultaneous device connections
- Works with: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Comedy Central, Eurosport, ESPN, and others
- Compatible with: Xbox One and 360, Playstation 3, 4, and 5, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, WiFi routers, Linux, and Chrome
CyberGhost is perfect if you need consistent connection quality and security. You can connect up to 7 devices at the same time. I tried this at home and the connection speed for all 7 devices was reliable.
The VPN provides over 6,800 servers in 90 countries. That’s useful for accessing geo-restricted games or getting a better deal if there is a sale in a specific country. The huge number of servers means you always have a backup option.
CyberGhost has dedicated apps for most devices, including gaming consoles, PC, Mac, and smartphones. The strong security features reduce the chances of DDoS attacks ruining your gaming experience.
To see if CyberGhost is the right VPN for you, take advantage of the 45-day money back guarantee. It’s a risk-free way of checking out the features for yourself.
- 35,550+ servers across 77 locations
- Budget-friendly pricing
- Simple installation and configuration
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Up to 10 simultaneous device connections
- Works with: Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Crunchyroll, CBS, Showtime
- Compatible with:Xbox One and 360, Playstation 3, 4, and 5, Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, WiFi routers, Linux, and Chrome
Private Internet Access is a fan favorite among gamers and offers attractive features based on my testing. There are nearly 35,550+ servers across 77 countries, which is the highest in this top 5 list of VPNs for gamers.
Private Internet Access masks your IP address so your ISP can’t monitor your traffic. It greatly reduces the chances of bandwidth throttling – one of the most frustrating ways a gaming session can come to an end.
I tested the connection speeds on my PC and they were competitive with the top gaming VPNs on the market. While playing multiplayer games, I did not experience lags.
If you’re looking for reliable connectivity speed, advanced security, and easy set up process you might want to give this VPN a closer look. Give Private Internet Access a try with the hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
How I Tested and Ranked the Best Gaming VPNs
I tested dozens of VPNs to find the best ones and ranked them based on criteria useful for gamers. Here are the ranking factors I used to find the best VPNs for gaming:
- Speed: VPNs should reduce lag to provide a fast gaming experience
- Large network: Servers across the globe allow you to access more geo-restricted games
- Security: Strong encryption prevents DDoS attacks and ISP bandwidth throttling
- Devices: VPNs should work on multiple devices like PC, mobile, and consoles
- No data cap: Unlimited bandwidth and data transfer means you don’t have to worry about your gaming session being cut short
Should You Try a Free VPN for Gaming?
A free VPN might sound like an appealing choice, but 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 constantly showing you 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 range 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.
Does a VPN affect gaming?
VPNs can affect gaming performance positively and negatively. It depends on how the VPN manages its servers. Ideally, you should choose a VPN with low ping servers for an optimized gaming experience.
What VPN do pro gamers use?
The most popular VPN among pro gamers is ExpressVPN, thanks to its fast connection speeds and huge global network of servers.
Which VPN is good for PUBG?
You can’t go wrong by choosing any of the VPNs on my list to play PUBG. ExpressVPN is the best choice for PUBG. But you can also try CyberGhost because it’s super easy to use or Private Internet Access for its top-class security.
Can VPNs reduce ping?
Yes! VPNs like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, or Private Internet Access (PIA) maintain low ping servers, which are ideal for gaming. They are an effective alternative to ISPs that don’t provide a consistently low ping connection.
To summarise, the best VPNs for gaming are…
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VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.