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Can a VPN Reduce Ping? +5 Best Low-Latency VPNs

Updated on: May 3, 2022

If you enjoy playing online games that involve several players, one of the most vital necessities is a stable connection to your network. To maximize your gaming, there should be as short of a delay as possible in the connection between your computer and another computer or server — known as “low ping.”

The lower the ping, the less lag you will experience, and the smoother and more pleasurable your gaming — or any other online experience — will be. So, can you reduce ping with a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?

Your ping refers to the time taken for your data packet to travel from your computer or host to your destination, and then back again. Your ping times are measured in milliseconds and are actually an estimate of the extent of latency (time delay) you will experience online, including any packet loss experienced in the process.

A ping time of under 50ms is quick, 50-150ms is average ping, and anything higher results in latency and lag. Factors like local network issues, bandwidth throttling by your ISP, or issues with the game server can increase ping.

Ping time is particularly relevant when you need to respond quickly to place a bet or make a move in an online game. The best way to improve your ping so you can improve your gaming is to use a VPN.

Read on to find out the best ways to reduce ping and enhance your online experience

In a Hurry? Here Are Low Latency VPNs to Reduce Ping & Avoid Lags

Here are our top VPN recommendations to improve ping:

  1. ExpressVPN — Excellent security and the fastest speeds for online gaming, reducing lag and avoiding ISP throttling.
  2. NordVPN — Great speeds to achieve lower ping when engaging in online gaming.
  3. Surfshark — Competitive cost and unlimited simultaneous connections, so it’s great to use if the whole family is playing games online.
  4. Cyberghost — Strong security and good speeds, which reduce ping time.
  5. UltraVPN — Servers across all continents and no bandwidth limits.

Can VPN Reduce Ping?

When you use a VPN, it sends data in VPN packets through routes that are more direct than is usual when information travels through your connection, thereby reducing ping. This means that the information will flow more freely than it would without the VPN and your gaming will be subject to less ping.

With a gaming VPN, you get instant access when connecting to game servers and content that is otherwise limited to certain regions.

Why, then, when you ask on Google whether a VPN reduces ping do you get many negative responses? This is because many people do not know the tips that follow in this article that will allow you to use a VPN to your advantage.

Pros of Using a Gaming VPN Service

In order for your VPN to lessen your ping speed while gaming, you need to set it up correctly and heed the advice that follows.

These are the biggest benefits of utilizing a VPN to ensure low ping:

Streamline your network connection

A VPN can streamline and improve your connection as many ISPs attempt to economize (and increase their profits) by creating the most reasonably priced connections possible. This tends to result in data traveling slowly along indirect information routes and in the loss of data packets. This can be exacerbated if your ISP throttles your bandwidth.

By connecting to a hidden IP address on one of your VPN’s proxy servers, you can avoid bandwidth throttling. The VPN will choose a more direct route via which your data can travel, resulting in minimal lag and better ping speed, which will enhance your gaming experience.

Evade ISP Throttling of your bandwidth

ISPs regularly reduce or control the flow of traffic on their servers by throttling bandwidth, which results in high ping. By connecting to a VPN server you trick your ISP by disguising your network, thereby preventing it from being able to throttle your bandwidth. Often you will notice an immediate improvement in your speeds once you connect to one of the best VPN services, and you will no longer suffer from a slow Internet connection.

Get access to games that are geo-blocked

Some online games are actually banned in certain geographic areas, sometimes for political reasons. For example, the Origin gaming platform and League of Legends (a popular multiplayer game) are banned in Syria and Iran. By using a VPN provider and accessing the games via one of its encrypted servers, one can gain access to these games.

In addition, sometimes games are available at significantly cheaper prices in certain areas and, by using one of the best VPNs, you can connect to a server that has an IP address in an area where you can get a better deal.

Be protected from a DDoS Attack

DDoS attacks occur if someone floods your server/network with Internet traffic to disrupt the usual flow. This can ruin your experience on an online game, resulting in exceptionally high ping and lag.

Some unscrupulous gamers do this on purpose in order to cheat by gaining a competitive advantage. A VPN will prevent this threat and keep you safe during online gaming.

Cons of Using a VPN for Gaming

Although the use of a VPN can definitely improve your connection and the latency of your network, there are some drawbacks to using one, the most significant of which are:

At times, your VPN connection will actually increase your ping

For several reasons, your VPN may not be able to lower ping, like if the physical distance between you and the server to which you are trying to connect is too far, or if the server is overcrowded, which means it cannot provide its maximal potential to each user.

However, by experimenting with various settings, protocols, and servers, you can usually find a way to lower your ping with the best VPNs

You can’t use your VPN for gaming on long-distance VPN server

Only local game servers will help you to lower your ping and reduce latency. Connecting to a very distant VPN server when playing online multiplayer games is very likely to slow your connection and result in higher ping. It is not possible to improve your network connection when you are accessing gaming servers that are very far away from you, no matter how good your VPN may be.

So, can any VPN improve ping? No. Only VPNs with the proper features will be able to help reduce ping. Keep reading to find out which ones will work!

5 Best VPNs to Reduce Ping

After putting over 3 dozen VPNs to the test, here are the top services that helped reduce ping:

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN
Company Location: BVI
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 best VPN to use for your online gaming experience and an ideal tool for reducing latency during online gaming.

It provides reliable and lightning-fast connections from its network of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries in more than 160 locations.

As all its servers are RAM-based, they never record any of your information on the hard drive, and ExpressVPN also has a strict zero-log policy. Other security features include military-grade AES 256-bit key encryption of all your data, a Kill Switch, and Split tunneling.

ExpressVPN, as well as being the best gaming VPN and great at reducing ping time, is also excellent for torrenting and performs brilliantly on all the major content streaming platforms (e.g., Netflix and BBC iPlayer, among others).

It provides excellent 24/7 customer support on chat and offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Outstanding VPN to improve ping
  • Excellent speeds
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Outstanding security features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive VPNs

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

With well over 5,200 servers in 60 countries and the NordLynx protocol to support the speediest network connection, with hardly any lag or ping, NordVPN is a perfect VPN to use when playing video games online or enjoying a gaming experience. NordVPN will lower ping and latency, protect you from dropped connections, and provide you with apps and extensions for all of the major platforms and devices.

In terms of security, it protects your safety extremely effectively with features like a Kill Switch, split tunneling, DDoS protection, CyberSec malware, a 100% no-logs policy, extremely high levels of encryption with double VPN servers, and only RAM-based servers.

Pros:

  • Very fast connection speed
  • Strong security features
  • 6 concurrent connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Strict no-logs policy

Cons:

  • Not as quick as ExpressVPN
  • Some issues around its user interface

Devices compatible with Surfshark
Company Location: BVI
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

In addition to being affordably priced, Surfshark is a prime choice for lowering in-game ping and lag.

This VPN service has over 3,200 servers in 60 countries worldwide, so you have plenty of options from which to choose.

Surfshark offers a wide range of security features including private DNS, a strict no-logs policy, a Wireguard and a Shadowsocks protocol as well as military-grade encryption and a Kill Switch.

It also allows you an unlimited number of simultaneous connections on a wide range of devices so it’s a great VPN to use if any of your family and friends want to join into online gaming.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Good speeds
  • Strong security features
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Live-chat customer support 24/7

Cons:

  • Speeds not as good as ExpressVPN and NordVPN

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 is also a strong option when looking to reduce ping times.

This VPN encrypts your online traffic and offers other strong security features like a Kill Switch and a no-logs policy and many more. It has multiple servers spread across 90 countries, so it can provide you with the IP address you need for online gaming with lower ping, though it tends to be slower than the other VPN services on this list.

It supports up to 7 devices simultaneously and offers unlimited bandwidth and a free trial (one day on desktop, a week on a mobile), as well as a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • Good security & privacy
  • Inexpensive
  • Free trial period
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
  • Over 7,700 servers

Cons:

  • Inconsistent speeds

Devices compatible with UltraVPN

UltraVPN is a reasonably priced VPN with quick download speeds and great privacy and security features, like a no-logs policy, a Kill Switch, and 256-bit encryption.

It has servers across all the continents, in 55 countries, which is great for improving ping, allows for 6 simultaneous connections, and it is compatible with many devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Smart TV.

Company Location: USA
Servers: 100+
Countries: 90
Connections: Up to 6
Speed: Average
Torrenting: No
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: No
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.99/month
Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Good speed when downloading files
  • Strong security and privacy features
  • 6 simultaneous devices

Cons:

  • Irritating and slow sign-up process
  • Based in USA
  • Smaller server network

Can I Use a Free VPN to Reduce High Ping Times?

It is very tempting to use one of the many free VPNs available, most of which claim that they can improve ping time, unblock geo-restricted content, and enhance the quality of your online traffic, but can a free VPN improve ping?

Actually, this is pretty unlikely.

We would advise against using a free VPN as these tend to have fewer servers and limited resources, so they often do not give you the service you need. Each VPN server tends to be overcrowded, especially those in locations that are in high demand, which results in a poor Internet connection, high ping, slow streaming, buffering, and poor video quality.

Even more worrying is the fact that, because they do not charge for their services, they tend to make their money by selling their users’ data logs to third parties, surveillance agencies, and social platforms. This compromises your security and privacy online and can result in malware, viruses, or unwanted ads.

How to Lower Your Ping Using a VPN

We hope we have convinced you that there are far more advantages to using a VPN to reduce ping time when gaming than there are disadvantages.

Nevertheless, it is important for you to use the correct VPN, and use the VPN correctly, if you are to garner all the benefits and ensure low ping. Follow these pointers to ensure that you benefit from the VPN you choose:

☑️ Ensure that you choose a suitable server location — If you connect to a VPN server that is near to your actual location, the time taken for the signal to travel and connect is reduced and you will experience lower ping and minimal lag. When your top priority is low ping and lag, always choose the VPN services’ geographically closest server.

☑️ Use an optimized VPN — You can customize any one VPN service out of the ones listed above, allowing you to favor the performance characteristic you require. For example, to improve the speed of your gaming VPN, you can switch to a faster and lighter VPN protocol.

☑️ Choose a VPN with low latency — ensure that when you choose one of the VPN services, it is one that has an extensive network of speedy servers, like ExpressVPN. This will ensure low latency and you will not suffer from speed drops or clogged connections. If you choose one of the VPNs listed above, you can be assured of having a low-ping VPN service with low latency.

FAQs

Can a VPN help reduce ping?
Yes, subscribing to one of the best VPNs will definitely reduce ping, especially in competitive games like Valorant, PUBG, Counter-Strike, etc. A good VPN offers your data a safe tunnel when connecting to a gaming server. As a result, your online traffic will not be slowed by congestion on the network, allowing it to fetch data from the gaming server more quickly. This will reduce ping time and allow you to respond really quickly when gaming.
What ping is considered good for gaming?
High ping puts you at risk of delays and latency, and any ping over 60 ms is considered to be high ping. Therefore, you need to make sure that your ping time is less than 60 ms; Ping in this range is considered optimal for gaming.
Which VPN has the lowest latency?
Although all 5 of our recommended VPN providers will provide you with enhanced latency and low ping, our top choice would be ExpressVPN. Wherever you may be, ExpressVPN will ensure that you have stable and low-latency connections.
Which server should I choose for the lowest ping?
This choice depends on where you are located and the game server to which you connect. Generally, the best way to avoid high ping and ensure low ping is by connecting to the server that is located the closest to your actual geographical position or to your gaming server. This immediately reduces the time that it takes to make the VPN connection, and reduces ping.
Does using a VPN increase ping?
Using a free VPN can definitely increase ping as they often have too few servers, so they get cluttered and over-used. Their bandwidths can also get used up quickly.

There is also a risk that using one of the premium VPNs could slightly increase ping in some situations (see above); but, overall, it will reduce it if you use the ones we suggested.

Conclusion

We hope that we have provided you with all the information you need for you to understand that to avoid high ping, the best strategy is to subscribe to a premium VPN and to connect to a VPN server near you.

You will also find that your VPN also offers you a whole range of other benefits, including securing your online privacy, protection from hacking, the ability to unblock geo-restricted content, and many others.

Whether you are using a mobile device, desktop, or gaming console, your VPN will ensure your online enjoyment, so log on and enjoy the fun!

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