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Best VPN for Gaming

Rob Mardisalu

Rob Mardisalu

Editor of TheBestVPN.com

We tested 14 different popular VPN providers to see how they perform while gaming.

The first thing that you should have in mind when using a VPN for gaming is how it affects your speed. If your ping skyrockets then everything else that might be good about the VPN becomes rather meaningless. That’s why we tested each provider with two different locations: their suggested location and a connection from Europe to the United States. For our tests, we used two different software apps to measure the connection data.

But numbers are not everything in this review. Our main focus was on the overall connection and experience while gaming. Some providers like ProtonVPN, for example, showed good numbers during the initial connection tests, but if you’re unable to connect to an actual game, then these numbers don’t mean anything.

Frequently Asked Questions – VPN for Gaming
+ How can you use a VPN for gaming?
+ What Are The Benefits of Using a VPN?
+ DDoS attack security
+ Should you use a VPN on a smartphone?

+ Can I bypass an IP ban?

Our VPN for Gaming review process

For testing, we chose the currently popular, free-to-play game Apex Legends. Unfortunately, Apex Legends does not have an in-game latency option, so instead, we used two different software apps to measure the connection times. Speedtest by Ookla and Haste, a software developed for measuring latency while gaming.

We chose 14 different popular VPN providers and used their smart location or the closest server available. And for extra good measure, we also took a look at how the connection from Europe to the USA performed.

14 Best VPNs for Gaming

Before we get into the list, here is our connection stats before connecting to a VPN.

Without a VPN:

Without VPN Haste game recap

Haste Game Recap

Ping: 49.8ms

Jitter: 1.3ms

Packet Loss: 0.0%


Without VPN SpeedtestSpeedtest:

Ping: 6ms
Download: 21.09Mbps
Upload: 2.79Mbps

And here are our Top 14 reviewed VPN providers for gaming.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN review

There is a reason NordVPN is our number one recommended host. They have excelled in everything that we’ve thrown at them, from reliable service to an air-tight logging policy. And the same continues in gaming.

We had a steady connection throughout the testing session. After a couple of games, the connection average came in with an only 5.1ms increase in ping. That change was small enough to go unnoticed by us while playing.

It’s also promising to see that they advertise themselves as the best VPN for gaming. It’s a bold claim and its nice to see that they back it up.

NordVPN Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 54.9ms (+5.1ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 19.64Mbps (-1.45Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 2.12Mbps (-0.67Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): ping 128ms (+78.2ms)
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Locations: 60+ countries, 5200+ servers
  • NordVPN Price: $2.99/mo

NordVPN excelled at every aspect of our tests. They’re fairly low cost and provide top-notch service — definitely a solid gaming VPN.

Visit NordVPN.com


2. Surfshark

surfshark reviewWe had really pleasant results with Surfshark. Throughout the testing, we had no connection errors, nor did we experience any slow loading times.

Surfshark had a very strong connection time. The overall average ping loss was only 5.8ms. As a matter of fact, the loss was so minor that we didn’t notice any difference connected to SurfShark or without a VPN connection — it was a nearly lossless experience.

That’s how it’s supposed to be. Even though SurfShark does not mention anything on their website about being gaming-friendly, they certainly seem to be.

SurfShark Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 55.6ms (+5.8ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 19.84Mbps (-1.25Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 2.00Mbps (-0.79Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): ping 152.7ms (+102.9ms)
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android
  • Locations: 50 countries, 800+ servers
  • SurfShark Price: $1.99/mo

SurfShark had very good results. While connected to their recommended server, we felt no difference in connection speed or overall browsing.

Visit SurfShark.com


3. ExpressVPN

expressvpn reviewExpressVPN has always been one of the best providers out there, with a premium approach to their service. They cost a bit more than many other good providers, but at least you get a premium service for it as well.

With their Smart Location, we had a ping loss of only 9.6ms throughout our session. We did not notice any difference in connection compared to gaming without a VPN.

They also market themselves as the best VPN service for gaming consoles. Their software works on PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and even Nintendo Switch.

Fast and stable connection, great ease of use and reliable service makes them a can’t-go-wrong pick in our eyes.

ExpressVPN Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 59.4ms (+9.6ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 19.59Mbps (-1.50Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 3.25Mbps (+0.46Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): ping 121.4ms (+71.6ms)
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, iOS, SmartTV
  • Locations: 93 countries, 3000+ servers
  • SurfShark Price: $6.67/mo

ExpressVPN has been one of our top picks for a long time, and with good reason. They have been and continue to provide very reliable and great quality service.

Visit ExpressVPN.com


4. HideMyAss

HideMyAss review

HideMyAss had good results if you can overlook the 10-15 minute account creation process. But besides that, they had a very solid connection.

HideMyAss even managed to speed the connection up by a tiny margin. They brought in a very solid -5.0ms from the original connection. That can happen when the game servers are overloaded, and having a harder time with longer connections. So, if the VPN server region is closer to the games server then you are, they might manage to speed up the connection between your location and the VPN server location.

I couldn’t find anything about gaming specifically on their website but doesn’t seem to matter, since their performance was top-notch. The sign-up process wasn’t the best and the account creation took some time, which brought the overall experience down a bit. But once you’re past that they seem to perform well.

HideMyAss Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 55.6ms (+5.8ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 19.84Mbps (-1.25Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 2.00Mbps (-0.79Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): ping 109ms (+59.2ms)
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android
  • Locations: 190 countries, 930+ servers
  • SurfShark Price: $4.99/mo

HideMyAss performed well in our quick tests. We had no problems connecting to a game and the test results came in solid as well.

Read HideMyAss Review


5. BufferedVPN

BufferedVPN review

With BufferedVPN, we had little-to-no issues. All test results were good and the gaming session as a whole had no noticeable lags.

Straight out of the box, BufferedVPN started really strong with the speed test, having a download speed drop of only 0.75Mbps. And the gaming session average came in with just an 8.9ms ping difference. Another important thing to highlight is that the connection was stable; we didn’t notice anything that would affect the gaming experience negatively.

They also work with gaming consoles. We’re not sure about all of them, but at least they have stated on their site that they work with Xbox and PlayStation.

BufferedVPN Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 40.9ms (-8.9ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 20.34Mbps (-0.75Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 2.59Mbps (-0.20Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): ping 129.7ms (+79.9ms)
  • Devices supported: Windows, Linux, OSX, iOS, Android
  • Locations: 37 servers
  • SurfShark Price: $4.12/mo

BufferedVPN works well with gaming.

Read BufferedVPN Review


6. VyprVPN

VyprVPN review

VyprVPN had some very respectable results. The connection time to a VPN server was a bit long (30+ seconds). But other than that, they had a solid stable performance.

During the gaming session, we did have a moment when we were suddenly “teleporting” around because of the slow connection. And to our luck, it happened just as we started engaging another team, which of course didn’t go our way. It was also picked up by their Windows client, which is nice to see. But overall the average ping was only 10ms slower and besides that one serious lag, we had no troubles.

It’s always nice to see when the providers advertise themselves as gaming-oriented. This usually means that they put more emphasis on making you safer from DDoS attacks and providing a more stable connection.

VyprVPN Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 60.0ms (+10.2ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 18.05Mbps (-3.04Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 2.27Mbps (-0.52Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): ping 164.8ms (+115ms)
  • Devices supported: Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and Apple TV
  • Locations: 700+ servers in 70 countries
  • SurfShark Price: $4.99/mo

VyprVPN connecting to a server might take up to two minutes, but that’s about the only negative we experienced.

Read VyrpVPN Review


7. VPNArea

VPNArea review

VPNArea performed well with their closest server but dropped the ball when we tried the long-distance connection(from EU to the US).

Our session with the recommended server went without any problems. The connection was fast and stable. VPN Area had a ping loss of only 3.1ms.

VPNArea US Connection

But the problems started showing instantly when we connected to the US server. We had connection times of 40+ seconds while trying to connect to their US server. And overall the connection was not very stable. We had to try both tests multiple times in order to get any stats. And gaming itself was near impossible. Out of the three games that we tried we could only finish one of them without the game disconnecting us.

On their server list page, they do state that the servers are optimized for gaming, and that holds true for a close by connection. But if you want to access geo-restricted games, you’re better off with NordVPN or SurfShark.

VPNArea Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 52.9ms(+3.1ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 20.26Mbps (-0.83Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 2.07Mbps (-0.72Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): Ping: 114ms (+64.2ms)
  • Devices supported: Windows 7 or newer, Mac OS (Yosemite or newer), Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad), Linux
  • Locations: 70 countries, 212 servers
  • SurfShark Price: $2.99/mo

VPNArea is good for nearby locations but really drops the ball when it comes to connection anywhere farther away.

Read VPNArea Review


8. TunnelBear

TunnelBear review

The connection with Tunnelbear definitely wasn’t the best experience we have had, and the gaming session test shows why.

We experienced a noticeably slower connection throughout the session. Tunnelbear initially had a steady connection but, unfortunately, their ping was not that great with an additional 101.5ms loading time. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t a big difference between the long-distance connection and recommended connection. Both were similarly slower (but at least very steady).

We couldn’t find anything on their website related to gaming, so it seems that this niche is not one of their priorities (and it shows).

TunnelBear Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 151.3ms (+101.5ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 19.87Mbps (-1.22Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 2.00Mbps (-0.79Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): Ping: 116.4ms (+66.6ms)
  • Devices supported: Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices
  • Locations: 22 countries
  • SurfShark Price: $5.00/mo

TunnelBear is an okay choice for all your gaming related activities. You will experience a slower ping time, but at least they make up for it with being steady. They are pretty good for games that don’t rely so heavily on ping time (like online strategy games and so on).

Read TunnelBear Review


9. SaferVPN

SaferVPN review

SaferVPN was okay with an automatic location but turned out to be unusable with the long-distance EU to US server connection.

They had a good stable connection with the recommended server, with a ping only 9.2ms over the standard connection. Another positive factor was that the connection was very steady, having almost no ups or downs throughout the session.

SaferVPN USA Server

But this is where the bad news starts. We had no luck with the EU to the US connection. We couldn’t even get the speed test to load. And keep in mind Speedtest.net takes about 20-30 seconds, so we couldn’t get a stable connection for even such a short time. After 30 minutes of relentless, unsuccessful gaming attempts, we gave up.

They claim to be unblocking for games, and to some extent, they are good for it with a close server. But to unlock games you probably want to connect to somewhere farther away in the first place. And that seemed to be too much of a challenge for their servers.

SaferVPN Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 59.0ms (+9.2ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 19.85Mbps (-1.24Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 17.61Mbps (+14.82Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): Couldn’t Connect
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android, Windows phone, Gaming Consoles
  • Locations: 34 countries, 700+ servers
  • SurfShark Price: $4.99/mo

They started out well and seemed really good with a short distance connection, but turned up to be completely unusable with farther distances between the servers.

Read SaferVPN Review


10. CyberGhost

Cyberghost review

CyberGhost started out well. Our first testing session with the closest server went without any noticeable differences. But when it came to the long-distance connection, we were unable to even connect to a game.

CyberGhost performed very well throughout the first session. We managed to connect to a game without any issues, and they actually they even managed to lower our average ping by 4.9ms. There was a bit of a jitter in the connection but nothing too serious to notice.

And now to the bad part: Speedtest.net shows a download speed drop of 13.15Mbps. So if you’re thinking about downloading a geo-restricted game, then settle in, because it might take a while. And once you manage to get the game, you’re going to be out luck if you need to connect anywhere that’s not nearby. After trying for over an hour to get into a game, we gave up. We could not establish a steady-enough connection to get into a game. The furthest that we got was champion selection.

They have written a blog post about how their service enhances gaming, and most of the points hold true. But if you’re unable to connect to an actual game, the privacy and protection benefits don’t do much on their own.

CyberGhost Haste Game Recap
  • Gaming Session Recap: ping 44.9ms (-4.9ms)
  • Speedtest Download: 7.94Mbps (-13.15Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 1.78Mbps (-1.01Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): Couldn’t Connect
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android
  • Locations: 60 countries, 3,745 servers
  • SurfShark Price: $2.75/mo

CyberGhost works for gaming if you choose a nearby server, but the long-distance connection is too unstable to even connect to a game.

Read CyberGhos Review


11. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN review

Truthfully, there is not much to say about ProtonVPN. We were only able to do quick connection tests. And they even showed an unsteady connection.

We were unable to connect to a game, even with their recommended server. The only thing tests we managed to run were Haste Check and Speedtest. The performance numbers were good and somehow the upload speed was incredible (we did three different tries and all turned out with similar results). But there was a huge packet loss every few seconds. That made it unable for us to even get one game in. The same story continued with a long-distance connection.

We also couldn’t find anything on their website related to gaming.

ProtonVPN Unable to Connect
  • Gaming Session Recap: Couldn’t Connect
  • Speedtest Download: 19.21Mbps (-1.88Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 24.80Mbps (+22.01Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): Couldn’t Connect
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android
  • Locations: 190 countries, 930+ servers
  • SurfShark Price: $4.99/mo

ProtonVPN is definitely not meant for gaming. We had even problems getting into the home screen in Apex Legends, and that’s with their closest server available.

Read ProtonVPN Review


12. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield review

Unfortunately, we were unable to get past the champion selection screen in the game with HotspotShield. But on the bright side, their speed test was good — even though it doesn’t really help if the game doesn’t work.

We tried multiple times and the closest we got to a game was into the champion selection. We did manage to do a Speedtest, but even then the ping was 62ms slower than normal. And it was even worse with the US server. Speedtest results were below average and this time we were unable to even get to the homepage in the game.

They have many articles in their blog about gaming, but it seems that they are just there to get sales.

HotspotShield Unable to Connect
  • Gaming Session Recap: Couldn’t Connect
  • Speedtest Download: 23.06Mbps (+1.97Mbps)
  • Speedtest Upload: 6.07Mbps (+3.28Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): Couldn’t Connect
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android
  • Locations: 25 countries
  • SurfShark Price: $3.49/mo

We just can’t recommend HotspotShield for gaming. It took us 5 disconnects to finally get into a game, and even then the connection dropped few minutes in.

Read HotspotShield Review


13. PrivateInternetAccess

PrivateInternetAccess Kodi Review

Private Internet Access, or PIA, was hours of frustration. After trying to restart our devices, resetting our connection, and all the other tricks we could think of, we still didn’t manage to even get the Speedtest done. There is not much here to say about them.

They do have articles in their blog about gaming, but these are more informative and not salesy or meant to recommend their service. The same continues in their knowledgebase. They start their only article about gaming with: “To be completely honest, using a VPN connection to play games is ill-advised.”  So they seem to be aware that their service is not made for this purpose.

PIA No Connection
  • Gaming Session Recap: Couldn’t Connect
  • Speedtest Download: Couldn’t Connect
  • Speedtest Upload: Couldn’t Connect
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): Couldn’t Connect
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, and Android
  • Locations: 32 countries, 3307 servers
  • SurfShark Price: $3.49/mo

There’s really not much to make of PIA, even after hours of trying we did not manage to get a connection to the game server.

Read PrivateInternetAccess Review


14. IPVanish

ipvanish review

And at the bottom of the list we have IPVanish. But for a whole new reason. We couldn’t even get to test them out properly. For some reason after signing up with IPVanish we had only one server available to us. And that server was Jackson in the United States.

IPVanish Support

The only thing we managed to do was to test their US server. And even that didn’t perform well enough, having an additional ping of 176.6ms in the quick connection test. We could not manage to get a full game in. The furthest we got was about 2-3 minutes of game time before we got disconnected. Even then the connection was unsteady. We would often get stuck in one place and suddenly teleport 20ft further.

We contacted the support to see if it was something that we managed to mess up, and turns out that it wasn’t. After being on the live chat for about 20 to 25 minutes they somehow managed to get us another 20-30 servers but said they had to escalate the concern. And that was that. I waited for another 24 hours and the same issue consisted. So that was when we decided to throw in the towel and give up.

IPVanish app
  • Gaming Session Recap: Couldn’t Connect
  • EU to US Speedtest Download: 19.79Mbps (-1.30Mbps)
  • EU to US Speedtest Upload: 2.29Mbps (-0.50Mbps)
  • Long Distance Connection Game(EU to US): ping 226.4ms (+176.6ms)
  • Devices supported: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows phone
  • Locations: 75+ countries, 1,300+ servers
  • SurfShark Price: $6.49/mo

Hard to make any conclusion out of this. But as much as we could test, the results were not promising.

Read IPVanish Review


Here is a quick comparison table to get you a better overview on all of the providers statistics.
+ Comparison Table
+ Top 30 Games Price Comparision