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Best VPN for Gaming 2024: Speedy and Secure Private Servers

We break down the best VPN options for gaming to optimize performance and security.
Last Updated on March 15, 2024
Best VPN for Gaming

In the modern world of competitive online gaming, speed and security matter. If you’re finding that your internet service provider isn’t helping you get the maximum safety or performance out of your system, then maybe it’s time to consider investing in one of the best VPNs for gaming, for a much-needed boost to your connection’s stability and security.

We’ve compiled a list of the best VPN options for gamers looking to improve their performance, adding a layer of security and connectivity to your network connection. If you’re looking to improve your security on an especially vulnerable system or simply reduce network throttling, then these top VPNs are your best bets.

Products at a Glance

What is a VPN?

For those unfamiliar with VPNs, the acronym stands for “Virtual Private Network”. A VPN creates a connection between your device and a private digital network, adding a degree of separation between your device and your connection. They provide security and anonymity for internet browsing, and enable users to access network connections for other countries – such as streaming services or regional websites.

In gaming, a VPN can slow your connection down, but allows for both maximum security and minimizes the chance of bandwidth throttling. When paired with a suitable router, you can improve the overall stability of your games without a cost to performance. They are highly popular for multiplayer online games such as Palworld – enabling players to improve their connection speeds for a better experience. As different regions get different benefits with some releases, it can be beneficial to use VPNs to connect to another country’s network – though this can run the risk of a ban or sanction on your account!

How We Picked the Best VPN for Gaming

In terms of finding the best VPNs for gaming, there were a number of core factors that made our picks stand out over others. The best VPNs will provide stability and security without having an adverse effect on your ping, and will enable you to connect to servers worldwide for enhanced play. They should offer a wide range of connection options across different countries, and have guaranteed security and privacy. Many VPNs offer additional security services, such as password management and dark web monitoring for your own security, and these services also played favorably in our rankings.

We’ve chosen five VPNs today that match those criteria, across a range of different price points to ensure gamers of any budget can play safely and securely.

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Product Reviews

  • High-speed connection
  • Password management and ad blocking
  • Five connections per plan

If you want an amalgam of all the best VPN features for gaming, then ExpressVPN is the ideal platform to do so. ExpressVPN offers not just the standard suit of internet safety features, but also several additional benefits that rival many full-fledged antivirus packages.

Alongside a host of network connection options across the world, ExpressVPN offers both password management and ad-blocking in its package. This keeps your online data extra-safe, as you avoid troublesome ads, hostile sites and DDoS attacks. There’s limited drop-off in your connection speed, a rarity in VPN connections, which is an essential bonus for gaming.

However, the majority of ExpressVPN’s numerous packages offer only five connections per subscription – which isn’t many considering the average number of devices a person uses, and considering the cost of the subscription. In spite of that, ExpressVPN remains our best VPN for gaming with unrivaled connection speeds and security!

  • High speeds
  • Affordable subscription
  • Throttle-free gaming
  • Some connection consistency issues

If you want fast connection speeds without spending too much, then NordVPN is the ideal choice. This VPN brand has become a household name, and for good reason: offering similar benefits to the top network security providers at a great price.

With 6,000 servers across 59 countries, NordVPN offers unprecedented levels of choice, with throttle-free network connection for gaming. The NordLynx protocol allows for network speeds of up to 350Mb/s, impressively quick speeds not usually found outside a physical router. Top this security and speed off with a Dark Web monitoring system that detects prevalent data leaks and an optional passkey service, and NordVPN is one of the best investments you can make in your internet security system.

That said, it’s always worth checking that your connection is continuous, as VPN connection can drop out on occasion – particularly on smartphones. These issues are few and far between, however, and NordVPN earns its spot as one of the best VPNs for gaming.

  • Unlimited connections
  • High server choice
  • Affordable subscription
  • Slower speeds

If you need more devices regularly connected to a protected network, then SurfShark is the gaming VPN service to choose. You can connect all of your devices at once should you so choose, with unlimited connectivity and plenty of options worldwide.

For a highly-reasonable subscription price, you gain access to over 3,500 servers to connect to – and no limit on the amount of devices you can use simultaneously. This makes SurfShark not only ideal for gaming, but for overall internet security.

That said, SurfShark is more a jack-of-all-trades platform, as the connection speeds are notably slower than with NordVPN or ExpressVPN. If you need security in a non-competitive gaming sphere, then SurfShark is ideal – allowing you an unlimited number of connections at once!

  • Lots of server choice
  • Optimized selections
  • Speeds can vary wildly

Highly secure and with purpose-built gaming presets, CyberGhost is a great VPN for gaming under heavy loads. With over 6,800 servers in over 90 countries, this service spoils you for choices and promises total web anonymity for safe browsing, gaming and streaming.

With AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logging policy, CyberGhost is the ultimate solution in privacy. The VPN shield your details from third-party attacks, advertisers, governments, and anyone else looking to harvest your data. For gaming, the CyberGhost algorithm helps you optimize your server choice from their vast selection for the best possible speeds.

However, even with this feature there are some issues. Connection speeds can vary wildly from server to server, which can be frustrating in those tight-clutch moments in competitive gaming. The speeds are rarely game-breaking, though, and CyberGhost’s anonymity, connectivity and exclusivity make it a sterling choice for a gaming VPN.

  • High speeds
  • No data limit
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Some data collection

Offering a free gaming VPN from the outset gives Hotspot Shield some bonus points. Investing in the paid model, however, unlocks even greater benefits. Hotspot Shield have been independently named the fastest VPN provider on the market, actually increasing download speeds by up to 26% compared to having no VPN, and this serves as an impressive benchmark for gaming security.

With Hotspot Shield, no limit is placed on your downloading or uploading requirements – enabling you to stream, download or upload data securely as much as you like. A proprietary protocol known as Catapault Hydra helps improve connectivity speeds, for even faster data management.

On the subject of data, however, this is where Hotspot Shield notably falls short. Whilst other VPNs promise total anonymity, this VPN admits to collecting some data from its users such as bandwidth usage and device IDs. For those looking to remain entirely anonymous, this may not be the solution. However, if you prioritize security and safety then Hotspot Shield is still a great VPN for gaming.

How to Use a VPN for Gaming

Using a VPN for gaming is a fairly straightforward process, though different forms of gaming may have different requirements.

If you are a PC gamer, this is generally the easiest means by which to use a VPN for gaming. Simply subscribe and download the relevant client installer, set up the VPN on your device, and you’ll be prompted to connect to a server. Do so, and your network is now secured via VPN. Note that whilst doing so in most competitive Steam games – like Counter-Strike 2 – is not a bannable offense, the gaming platform will likely take action if you use the VPN to purchase content only available in another country.

PC VPNs also often offer a browser extension, that allows for internet browsing without shifting your entire computer onto a VPN server.

If you want to set up a VPN for a console, however, things are a little more complicated – neither VPN providers nor console manufacturers tend to provide VPN support, so the only means to connect is if the VPN is already linked directly to your router. You can do this via your phone or PC, and it allows you to set up a dedicated route for your console to connect to the VPN. This is more difficult to disconnect from, however.

Smartphones are the easiest devices to connect a VPN to, with client apps being a mainstay on the various app stores. Simply download the app, verify your credentials, and choose a server. You may have to approve the connection in your phone’s settings, but this is only done once.


Are VPNs anonymous?

A VPN allows you to obscure your data from your internet service provider and anyone else who may be angling to view it such as local governments or third-party data harvesters. However, some VPN providers do collect data on their users, so be certain to check that your provider guarantees anonymity before buying one.

Can I use a VPN to stream?

Yes: One of the major benefits of a VPN connection is the ability to access foreign streaming services for content that may not be available locally. Certain streaming services regionalize their catalogs, so it can be a clever workaround to purchasing the content.

Our Verdict

For the overall balance of speed, safety and security; ExpressVPN is our best VPN for gaming. Whilst the cap on devices is limiting, it rarely causes issue and allows for secure connections without affecting bandwidth in those precious moments in a game.

Looking to protect your other devices? Check out our guide on the best VPN for streaming devices today!