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5 Best PC Gaming VPNs in 2022 (Safe, Fast, & Reliable)

Updated on: January 12, 2022

Best PC gaming VPNs

If online gaming is your jam, you will need to make sure to find the best gaming Virtual Private Network (VPN).

While there are tons of VPNs on the market that will claim to be the best gaming VPNs, many will fail when put to the test.

We tested over 75 VPNs to determine which are the best VPNs for gaming, and we’ll give you an overview of each of our top picks below. The VPN providers that made it onto our list offer great speeds, minimal lag, and can be used on your PC, and multiple platforms.

In addition to helping improve your gaming, these VPNs also offer top online protection, so you can breathe easy knowing that your information and identity are private and secure at all times online.

Spoiler Alert: The best VPN for gaming, based on our research, was ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN delivered great quality with all of the PC games we tested, offering fast download speed, good upload speed, and a decrease in our ping.

Keep on reading for more information on the other 4 VPNs that passed our tests!

In a Hurry? Here Are 5 Best Gaming VPN Services for PC Gaming

Here are the best 5 VPNs for Gaming in 2022:

  1. ExpressVPN — Best gaming VPN with great connection speed and a broad server network.
  2. NordVPN — Will help you avoid bandwidth throttling and DDoS attacks.
  3. Surfshark — Great VPN for gaming online with unlimited simultaneous connections.
  4. CyberGhost — Reliable connection with good speeds and servers optimized for online gaming.
  5. Private Internet Access — Can get past geo-restrictions to access PC games in blocked locations.

Why is a VPN Good for Gaming?

The main reasons that you should use a VPN for gaming are to improve your security, anonymity, and privacy, but here are some other important reasons, too. A virtual private network can:

1. Prevent DDoS attack: This kind of attack is when a user sends multiple requests from a computer that is compromised to force another system offline. Nowadays, anyone can initiate this kind of attack — even your opponent in certain games. A VPN can hide your IP address so that anyone who tries to perform a DDoS attack on you won’t be able to access you and flood you with unwanted data.

2. Protect you when using public Wi-Fi: While you may spend most of your time on your home network, you are bound to be on public wireless networks at some point. These networks are not secure and can pose very real threats to your private information and identity. Some threats are:

☑️ Malware: If you are using public wi-fi that has some vulnerabilities in its software, a hacker will be able to insert malware onto your device. If you use a VPN to encrypt your connection, any information that is accessed by hackers can’t be decrypted.

☑️ MITM Attack: A man-in-the-middle attack is when the attacker puts himself in between the user and the application the user is trying to reach in order to intercept data. This stolen data can then be used to snoop on you and tamper with your information and communication.

☑️ Unsecured Networks: If the public network you are on is not encrypted, anyone will be able to see the data being sent between your device and router.

☑️ Snooping: Hackers are able to eavesdrop on your traffic, keeping tabs on your every move, including sites you visit and accounts you access.

3. Protection from stalking/swatting: In multiplayer games, in particular, there are situations in which a PC gamer may start stalking players. If he is able to get hold of your IP address, he could be able to hack into any of your accounts or even locate you and threaten you in real life. Swatting is when this perpetrator manages to alert authorities or emergency services to a fake event, sending them to your actual location.

4. Play games that are banned: In some regions, games are banned or censored if their content is deemed inappropriate. If this is the case in some countries, you can connect to a VPN server in another country where the game you want to play isn’t banned.

5. Avoid IP bans: If users violate terms and conditions, their IPs may be banned from the game. To get past these bans, users can connect to a VPN server, which will change their IP address to one that isn’t banned.

6. Play games from anywhere: Just like streaming services, many games use geo-restriction techniques to block you from using their services in certain regions. This is especially common for new games that are only released in a few countries. The best VPNs let you connect to servers around the world so you can access games anywhere.

7. Throttling your bandwidth: Internet Service Providers have been known to slow your connection at certain busy times of the day or when they see that you are using a lot of data. Since gaming uses a lot of data, it is a prime target for throttling. Using a VPN company for gaming encrypts your traffic so your ISP cannot see that you are using this large amount of data and will have no reason to throttle your connection.

8. Connect to your router: There are not many VPNs that are compatible with game consoles, but if your VPN is able to be configured with your router, you will be able to connect any device on your wi-fi to your VPN.

9. Decrease ping and lag: If you have longer ping or lag times, your games will suffer, which can be infuriating. A common reason for this delay is too large of a distance from your device to your game’s server. If you use a VPN to connect to a server closer to your gaming server, this will reduce lag and ping.

How to Choose the Best VPN for Gaming 

I performed tests measuring the following important features in order to rank the VPN services listed below:

☑️ Security: If you are not using a VPN service to protect you when gaming, your profile can easily be exposed to online threats. All the VPNs listed below have military-grade encryption, so your online data and your identity are completely secure.

☑️ Speed: In order to play your games with minimal or no lag, you will need to use a gaming VPN with ultra-fast Internet speeds.

☑️ Server Network: A larger server network will mean that you will have a larger pool of servers from which to choose. If you want to travel abroad, your VPN can help you connect to a server back home that will allow you to play with your gaming buddies.

☑️ Compatibility: If you want to make sure you can get any gaming device connected to your VPN, make sure to choose a VPN service provider that works with all your devices and allows you to configure your VPN on your router so you can connect your gaming console to your Wi-Fi.

☑️ Reputation for bypassing restrictions: A strong gaming VPN should be able to consistently conceal your IP address so that all that is revealed to your ISP and your gaming sites is your VPN server’s IP address instead. This will help you access games in blocked locations.

5 Best VPNs for PC Gaming 

If you are looking for the best gaming VPN, here are the top 5 services for which we can happily vouch:

Company Location: British Virgin Islands
Servers: 3000+
Countries: 94
Connections: Up to 5
Speed: Great
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 7 Days for Mobile
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $6.67/month

ExpressVPN is the most robust VPN service, with ultra-fast connection speeds and the broadest range of server locations.

ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers in more than 94 countries, so you will never have trouble finding the best VPN server closest to your location or to your gaming server.

After testing some of ExpressVPN’s servers, I found that I was able to play any games I tested with a very minimal amount of lag; thus proving itself as one of the best VPNs for GTA 5 Online, Call of Duty, and Valorant.

If you are worried about hackers and online threats, this VPN service offers AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, a Kill Switch, a no-logs policy, and split tunneling, so you can choose which traffic you want to send through your VPN tunnel and which via your regular Internet connection.

On top of this, ExpressVPN uses TrustedServer RAM-only servers, so your information isn’t ever written on any hard drive.

If you also plan on using your VPN for streaming, ExpressVPN can unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and many other popular streaming services.

You can connect ExpressVPN to your Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, router, and other devices; and while you are only allowed 5 simultaneous connections on your ExpressVPN account, connecting your VPN to your router allows you unlimited device connections, as anything that is connected to your wi-fi will be connected to your VPN.

Pros:

  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Split tunneling
  • Good download and upload speeds
  • Kill Switch
  • 24/7 live-chat support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • No-logs policy

Cons:

  • More expensive

2. NordVPN

Devices compatible with NordVPN
Company Location: Panama
Servers: 5200+
Countries: 60
Connections: Up to 6
Speed: Great
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $3.71/month

After testing NordVPN, we found it to be one of the best VPNs for gaming, with great speeds and connectivity.

While NordVPN does not come close to as many server locations as ExpressVPN, it does have more VPN servers, boasting over 5,100 in 60 countries around the world.

If you are planning to use your gaming VPN for streaming as well, NordVPN has a great track record at unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites, like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and many others.

Pros:

  • Great speeds
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 25/7 live-chat support
  • Cybersec antivirus software
  • Great security services
  • 6 simultaneous connections

Cons:

  • Some issues with UI

Devices compatible with Surfshark
Company Location: British Virgin Islands
Servers: 3200+
Countries: 65
Connections: Unlimited
Speed: Good
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 7 Days (Mobile Only)
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.49/month

Surfshark is a great option for gaming, with over 3,200 servers in more than 65 countries around the globe.

A benefit of this VPN is that, while it has good speeds and connectivity, it also happens to be one of the most affordable of the bunch.

This VPN offers military-grade encryption, a Kill Switch, CleanWeb ad blocking suite, and a no-logs policy.

If you want to connect to different devices to use your VPN for different purposes, this is the most flexible VPN on our list, offering unlimited simultaneous connectivity so you can use your VPN for gaming, streaming, or any other purpose on as many devices as you want.

Pros:

  • Good speeds
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited connections
  • Good security features
  • 24/7 live-chat support
  • Best value VPN

Cons:

  • Slower speeds

Devices compatible with CyberGhost
Company Location: Romania
Servers: 7200
Countries: 91
Connections: Up to 7
Speed: Good
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 24 Hours
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 45 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.25/month

CyberGhost VPN is not only a super-affordable VPN, but it also has one of the biggest server networks, with over 7,400 servers in more than 90 countries.

In terms of online protection, CyberGhost offers military-grade encryption, IP and DNS leak protection, a Kill Switch, and a strict no-logs policy.

The reason why this VPN service is not ranked in the top 3 is that there were some significant spikes in lag when we performed tests, and some of the servers were slower than others.

Also, while CyberGhost allows split tunneling, you can only opt to send full apps through your tunnels — not websites.

Pros:

  • Large server network
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • Good security features
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 7 simultaneous connections
  • Kill Switch

Cons:

  • Can’t access BBC iPlayer

Devices compatible with PIA
Company Location: USA
Servers: 29,000+
Countries: 78
Connections: Up to 10
Speed: Good
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.69/month

PIA is another good gaming VPN, with a huge number of servers in a broad range of countries.

PIA has almost 30,000 servers located in almost 80 countries, and is a great choice if you are looking for — you guessed it — Private Internet Access.

This VPN offers military-grade encryption, a Kill Switch, and a strict no-logs policy.

If you want to unblock streaming services with this gaming VPN, you can use it to access BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and YouTube, among others.

You can connect this VPN to your devices and to your routers, which will let you connect your gaming console to your VPN via your wi-fi.

Pros:

  • Large server network
  • No-logs policy
  • 10 simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Some buffering
  • Slower speeds

Can I Use a Free Virtual Private Network for Playing Games? 

We would highly discourage you from using free VPNs when playing games online.

For starters, free VPN services often put caps on your data, which means that you won’t be able to game for long before your VPN cuts out.

On top of this, free services tend to have annoying ads, a much smaller number of servers from which to choose, and very questionable privacy and security practices.

Our recommendation would be to use a reputable paid VPN client whenever you play games online.

Why VPNs with Split Tunneling Are Great for Gaming  

The top VPN services on the market offer Split Tunneling. But what exactly is this feature?

Split tunneling lets you have control over which apps you want to send through your VPN connection and which ones you want to send through your regular connection. This lets you use your secure, encrypted Internet connection for some games while leaving others out of your encrypted tunnel, which will maintain faster speeds.

You can also use split tunneling for access to geo-restricted Netflix or other streaming sites, accessing your streaming content through your VPN while leaving other sites out of this VPN tunnel.

How to Use a VPN to Reduce Your Ping 

Here’s how to use a VPN to reduce ping:

  1. Download a reputable VPN. ExpressVPN has the fastest connection speed and is the most reliable for online gaming.
  2. Choose a server. For the best speeds, connect to a server that is the shortest distance from your in-game server.
  3. Connect to your VPN server. All you have to do to connect is to press the big circle button in the VPN app.
  4. Test your ping. Do an online test to check out your ping. If it’s high, pick a new server and run a test again.
  5. Enjoy your Game! You are now gaming safely and with a low ping!

FAQs

Is it legal to use a VPN for gaming?
A VPN for gaming is completely legal in countries where VPNs are legal. Thankfully, most countries permit the use of VPNs, but you should still make sure to check the laws in your location.

While using a VPN may be legal, though, it is very possible that it is against your developer’s terms and conditions, particularly if you are using your gaming VPN to access games in a blocked location. If you are mostly using your VPN to help avoid ISP throttling, though, this is perfectly acceptable.

Can I use a VPN for other platforms like Xbox and PS4?
Many VPN services, including the ones I’ve listed above, are compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. While your VPN can’t connect directly to your Xbox or PS4, most VPNs can also be configured on your router, which will let you connect your PS4 or Xbox to your VPN connection as well.
Do VPNs affect Internet connection speeds when gaming?
Typically, connecting to a VPN will slightly reduce your Internet speed, since your traffic is sent through an additional step of encryption. In certain cases, though, using a VPN can improve your Internet speeds, lowering your ping or reducing packet loss.
Do pro gamers use VPNs?
Yes. Pro gamers certainly use VPNs, especially nowadays when there is often a large amount of money at stake to the winner of online tournaments, making these sites a target for hackers and breaches in security.

In many instances, using a VPN during gaming can help maintain or improve a gamer’s speed, which is crucial in professional (or amateur) gaming.

Is a VPN worth it for gaming?
Absolutely. Using a VPN for gaming only costs a small amount of money per month, and it serves a very important purpose. Using a VPN while gaming can:

☑️ Safeguard you from any DDoS attacks
☑️ Reduce ping and lag
☑️ Help you access geo-restricted games
☑️ Keep you safe from any annoying throttling.
☑️ Keep you safe on public wireless networks
☑️ Help you get around an IP ban
☑️ And more

Is ExpressVPN any good for gaming?
Yes. ExpressVPN is a great gaming VPN with plenty of servers in a broad range of countries around the world.

ExpressVPN offers top-notch upload and download speed, and lets you connect your VPN to macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, and routers, in addition to offering browser extensions.

You can also test ExpressVPN for 30 days with a money-back guarantee, which is essentially like getting a 30-day free trial.

Conclusion

If you are looking for the best gaming VPN with good download speeds, upload speeds, and security features, our top recommendation is ExpressVPN.

You can test ExpressVPN using its risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee, and click here to save 49% on your subscription today!

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