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Best Overall: NordVPN
"It offers high speeds, low latencies, very little jitter, and no packet loss."
Best for Gaming on PC, Consoles, and Android: KeepSolid VPN
"Doesn’t put draconian limits on the number of devices you can connect."
Best for Ease of Use: Tunnelbear
"Gamers don’t have to trade performance for ease of use."
Best Free Option: Windscribe VPN
"Higher speeds, more servers, more bandwidth, and better platform support than other free VPNs."
Best Budget: Private Internet Access
"An affordable option that offers the level of service gamers need."
Best Low Latency VPN for Online Games: Buffered VPN
"They blow the competition out of the water in terms of latency"
Best for Multiplayer Global Gaming: Express VPN
"In a class of its own in terms of coverage and features."
Best for Streaming: VyprVPN
"Gamers are able to pick and choose to achieve the highest speed, and lowest latency, available."
Courtesy of NordVPN
NordVPN is our best overall VPN, and it also ran away with our pick for the best gaming VPN for most of the same reasons. It offers high speeds, low latencies, very little jitter, and no packet loss. For gamers concerned about DDoS attacks forcing them offline mid-game, NordVPN even includes specific protection against such threats across its nearly 5,000 servers.
During our own in-house testing, we found NordVPN to have one of the higher speeds out of all the VPNs we looked at. It also didn’t even touch our latency when connecting to cross-country game servers, tested out at 1.14ms jitter, and no packet loss. These are the exact kind of numbers you want to see in a gaming VPN.
Other options for those particularly concerned about their security include NordVPN’s Double VPN that sends your traffic through two VPN servers, as well as an option that routes your VPN traffic through the Tor network. Serious gamers may find that these options introduce too much latency, but that’s the tradeoff for security.
With native apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and compatibility with VPN routers, NordVPN makes it easy for gamers to stay secure on every gaming platform.
NordVPN is also an excellent general use VPN if you want to unblock Netflix, use Bittorrent, or just protect your anonymity online.
In October 2019, NordVPN confirmed an expired internal private key was exposed. This allowed hackers unauthorized access to one of its servers in Finland. However, the company assured users that customer data was not exposed and the problem has been corrected. Due to this, we have revised our original star rating to take this circumstance into account, even though it is still a reputable service that many use and recommend.
Courtesy of KeepSolid VPN Unlimited
A lot of VPNs are designed for use with an extremely limited number of devices. If you're a console gamer, dabble in mobile gaming, have a dedicated streaming device, and other devices you also need to protect, then you need a service like KeepSolid’s VPN Unlimited that doesn’t put draconian limits on the number of devices you can connect.
VPN Unlimited’s basic plan allows you to connect up to five Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, Windows Phone, and iOS devices at once. They also have an upgraded version that allows up to 10 devices. If you need to protect even more devices, KeepSolid also has setup guides for VPN routers.
The router option is of particular interest to console gamers who can't use a dedicated VPN app. By enabling the VPN at the router level, it's possible to get all the same benefits on your Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and other consoles.
Gamers on all different platforms enjoy decent connection speeds and latency, and pricing is very good if you commit to a multi-year subscription.
Courtesy of Tunnelbear
If you’re a fairly casual gamer, and all you want is a good VPN that's easy to use and doesn't require any knowledge to get up and running, TunnelBear is the service you’re looking for.
TunnelBear offers attractive native apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS that set up in just a few seconds, and connecting to the nearest server is a matter of simply clicking or tapping the intuitive map-based interface.
Speeds and latency are in line with much of the competition, so gamers don’t have to trade performance for ease of use.
Free accounts get 500MB of data per month on the house, or you can sign up for a monthly plan to unlock unlimited data. If you game regularly or want to use the VPN for any other use, you’ll eat through that free 500MB very quickly.
Tunnelbear has servers in 20 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, and several in Europe, but double-check the list if you're looking for somewhere specific.
Courtesy of Windscribe
There are plenty of free VPN providers, but very few of them are useful to gamers. Windscribe is the most notable exception, as it offers more bandwidth, and higher performance, than the competition. Serious gamers may need to look elsewhere, but Windscribe offers higher speeds, more servers, more bandwidth, and better platform support than other free VPNs.
Windscribe supports Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, as well as VPN routers, so you can even use it for console gaming. The free version does slash the number of available servers down to ten countries from more than 50, but you get what you pay for.
Speeds are actually really good, tested at 206 Mbps on our 1 Gbps connection, and it has one of the most generous data caps we've seen from a free VPN. When you sign up and provide an email address, you receive 10GB of free data each month. That isn’t enough to download games or stream high definition video on the side, but it's likely to be enough for most light gamers. If that sounds like you, Windscribe is well worth checking out.
Courtesy of Private Internet Access
If you're gaming on a budget, but the limitations imposed by free VPNs just don’t cut it, Private Internet Access provides a low-cost alternative. It isn’t free, but it is an affordable option that offers the level of service gamers need.
Private Internet Access has one of the lowest annual costs of any comparable VPN, and even the monthly option is reasonable. The low price doesn't translate to a lack of server choice either since you can choose from more than 3,500 servers in over 30 countries.
Native apps are available for Windows, macOS, Linus, iOS, and Android, and it’s also compatible with VPN routers. The app is bare-bones, and you generally won't need to touch the configuration options if you don't want to.
Ping and download speeds are on par with the competition when connecting to nearby servers. As with any VPN, you'll need to do some testing if you're planning to regularly use servers on the other side of the world, but those servers are there if you need them.
Courtesy of Buffered VPN
Speed is important for a gaming VPN, but latency is the real game killer. Buffered VPN is a middle of the road provider in a lot of aspects, but they blow the competition out of the water in terms of latency.
Download speeds through Buffered VPN servers are typically somewhere in the middle of the pack, and tested out at 126 Mbps on our 1 Gbps connection. But latency is the really big news here.
When connected to a cross-country game server without a VPN, we measured a ping of 87ms. Then we connected to Buffered VPN and tested again, and our average ping actually dropped to 84ms. Imagine connecting to a VPN and watching your latency actually go down.
Buffered VPN prices are on the higher end, even if you commit to a multi-year subscription, but you’re paying for the kind of low latency connection that can spell the in-game difference between life and death.
Your experience will vary based on factors like your internet service provider and distance to Buffered VPN’s servers, but the company is generous with its refund policy if things don’t work out. As long as you don’t break their terms of service, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Courtesy of ExpressVPN
The general rule is that when you’re able to connect to a nearby VPN server, you’re more likely to enjoy the kind of fast speeds and low latency that give you the edge in multiplayer online gaming. With more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN provides the highest chance that you’ll be able to find a nearby server.
Even better, the ExpressVPN app allows you to run a speed test across its entire server network. The results of this test show you, in plain terms, which servers provide the fastest connections to you personally.
Speed and latency are consistently good when connecting to nearby servers, and gamers enjoy excellent security due to ExpressVPN’s strict no-logging policy.
The catch is that ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive VPN services, but it's really in a class of its own in terms of coverage and features.
ExpressVPN supports Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and also features wide support for VPN routers, so gamers on all platforms can take advantage of this service.
Courtesy of VyprVPN
In a world where the quality of your connection often marks the difference between topping the leaderboard and an embarrassing loss, low latency and fast speeds are absolutely vital. VyprVPN looks like it should tick all those boxes, but it’s actually better at unblocking geofenced content. That’s why VyprVPN is our pick for casual gamers who like unwind with Netflix when the game is over.
VyprVPN runs their own hardware in data centers around the world, and it looks like a fantastic gaming service on paper. Our own testing found it to be significantly slower than the competition, with decent speed, latency, and jitter numbers that are fine for most gaming, but make it hard to recommend as the best gaming VPN when other services posted objectively better numbers.
The great thing about VyprVPN is that it performs well enough for most gaming, and it’s also great for other uses, like unblocking geofenced content. Maybe you’d rather load up UK Netlix than play a game tonight, and VyprVPN can help with that. In our testing, it did a great job at loading up premium streaming sites on a variety of servers around the world.
Native apps are available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. For console gamers, the service is also compatible with VPN routers.
Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular VPNs for gaming on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different VPNs overall, screened options from 30 different brands and manufacturers, read over 0 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the VPNs themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.