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PureVPN

PureVPN is arguably the fastest VPN for gaming, as it continually comes out on top  when it comes to speeds, consistency, and performance. It is geographically diverse regarding servers, which means that users around the world can enjoy titles from a large selection of countries.

PureVPN had add-on features like a firewall and dedicated IP. It also allows legal  P2P and BitTorrent, which are two of a gamers’ best friends in the constant quest for new titles to enjoy. On the downside, this option can be somewhat tedious to get online, and the ad-blocking features are only available in Chrome.

However, there are plenty of reasons that make PureVPN the best VPN for gaming. It has almost no buffering issues whatsoever, it provides a talk-to-human live chat feature which is the best kind of customer care and service, and it provides strong encryption and privacy measures.

PureVPN is also very convenient if you choose the longer-term payment plans. The monthly price is a standard $10.95, but if you commit  the annual package, the cost per 30 days goes down to $7.95. However, the best deal is the 3-year program: the monthly fee drops all the way to $1.91, an 82% discount! No top VPN choice in the market can match this .

The PureVPN app or client is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, or any internet-powered device. It implements PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, OpenVPN and the revolutionary stealth protocol, and it lets users connect up to five different devices at the same time.

It has IPV6 and DNS leak protection, more than 88,000 IP addresses available, secure wifi a kill switch, and unlimited data transfer, a perfect setup for gamers around the world looking for a speedy, privacy-oriented VPN for playing online.

Being based in Hong Kong (outside of  Chinese control) PureVPN isn’t forced by any legal entity to store or distribute any logging data about its users, guaranteeing 100% privacy. PureVPN offers its users over 750  servers in 140+ countries.

Read PureVPN review »

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for gaming and the top alternative for mobile gaming. It is highly compatible and supportive, allowing users to install the app on Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Linux, and virtually any operating system.

Gamers around the world love ExpressVPN because of its top speeds, high compatibility, and its server distribution: 145+ different locations are covered, including over 90 countries. That means customers can have access to titles from almost 100 nations around the globe with no hassle.

Although ExpressVPN doesn’t have a free trial available, it does offer an excellent refund policy, highlighted by its 30-day money-back guarantee. You provide your payment at the moment of the signup, but if after a month you are dissatisfied with the service, you can ask for your money. In addition, the provider offers a very straightforward installation and setup process.

ExpressVPN implements the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption, the most robust in the market, and it uses all the major protocols in the industry: IKEv2, OpenVPN (both TCP and UDP,) L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and PPTP.

When it comes to speed, few brands can top the rates and consistency of ExpressVPN servers. Gamers love this alternative because of that. Also, it offers quite the catalog of features: split tunneling, a kill switch to protect your privacy in the event of a connection loss, and DNS leak protection.

ExpressVPN also has one of the most reliable customer service networks, with a highly active live chat feature, email communication, and a myriad of tutorials, manuals, and guides about anything you need to know regarding installation, setup, and use.

Read ExpressVPN review »

NordVPN

NordVPN is based in Panama, a free country when it comes to internet communications. Users don’t have to worry about the privacy and security of their data, as NordVPN is not under any obligation to store and distribute activity logs or website traffic from its customers.

With the ability to support up to six different devices at the same time, NordVPN is the gold standard in the industry, including for online gaming. It is also the most secure VPN for playing titles through the internet.

NordVPN has an extensive server network: gamers around the globe can take advantage of  over 3500 total servers in 60+ nations, meaning that titles in that many countries are accessible. With a very straightforward and user-friendly app, NordVPN  is also compatible with Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and every other relevant operating system.

NordVPN is a VPN service that h gamers can use without noticing an adverse effect  in the overall speed and latency levels. It’s perfect for securing your online safety and connecting with  games around the world without losing performance.

It also offers dedicated IP addresses, double VPN functionality, and DDoS protection against malicious players looking to cheat to record a win. It also allows legal P2P activity, perfect for accessing torrenting games sites.

Read NordVPN review »

TunnelBear

While not considered an overall top VPN in a general, TunnelBear more than delivers when it comes to gaming. Although it has somewhat average speeds in comparison with the other four options, it makes up for it with low ping times.

It protects the gamers’  private data with the robust AES 256-bit encryption, and it uses features such as the Vigilant Bear,  TunnelBear’s version of a kill switch, and the GhostBear to make your data less detectable in problematic locations.

It is compatible with macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome, with such simplicity that impresses even the most novice users. Sometimes, simplicity is the key to success, and TunnelBear seems to apply that idea with consistency.

In additions, TunnelBear is very straightforward to install and use and has high levels of navigability: the design is enticing and user-friendly, allowing any type of user privacy, encryption and general anonymity.

Read TunnelBear review »

How to use a VPN for gaming

It is crucial for your gaming experience to choose a VPN that doesn’t cause a slower internet connection. Virtual Private Networks are online encryption tools that give customers privacy and anonymity by hiding their IP addresses and shared traffic. If you want to maintain your competitive advantage, you need to choose a fast VPN.

Why do gamers need VPNs?

If you’re playing titles such as PUBG, Overwatch, Warcraft, Call of Duty, and CS:GO you need to consider using a VPN. Any online activity can leave you exposed if you leave your IP address and traffic unprotected. A VPN will hide your IP and internet footprint.

It’s a common belief that a VPN service provides a poorer gaming experience since it involves traffic encryption and routing to a remote server, a process that, if done by a poor provider, may affect your performance. However, this isn’t true for every VPN option. Depending on which VPN provider you select, you may experience high ping time and a slower connection, but some VPN services can still offer good speeds.

ExpressVPN, PureVPN, NordVPN, Buffered VPN, and TunnelBear are examples of VPNs that are equipped with the right server infrastructure and global resources to maintain or even improve gaming performance, reducing latency times to a minimum.

Ping and Latency

In the gaming world, ping and latency are synonyms. They refer to the response time after your gadget or device sends out a request. For players, the lower the ping time (or latency), the better, because it means that the game responds quickly to commands, enhancing overall performance.

In battle or fighting games, a high latency or ping time will be the difference between life and death in most cases. That is because gamers are often looking to improve their machines, devices, processing power, and internet connection.

Benefits of using a VPN for gaming

One reason why gamers benefit from a VPN is unrestricted access. VPN technology gives users access to games and servers around the world. People who love online games can also benefit from using a VPN because of the general data security that it adds to the experience, making the user less susceptible to hacker attacks and government spying.

On top of all that, a VPN may help users avoid DDoS attacks, which are Distributed Denial of Service. This is a standard weapon that some dirty players use, as it involves making the rival’s machine or network unavailable by taking it down with multiple simultaneous requests that overload the system.

If you enjoy playing games like Battlefield, Fifa 18, PES 2018, Wonderputt, Frog Fractions, Game of Bombs, Die 2 Nite, Samorost, Polycraft, Tanki Online, Superhot, Overwatch, League of Legends, Minecraft etc you should use a VPN for its added safety, privacy, anonymity, and a high chance of lower ping times.

A reliable VPN connection will also be helpful in dealing with unsecured hotspots and public wifi networks, especially when your gamer account links to your credit card or other personal information. You want to avoid leaving that information within a hacker’s reach at all costs.

How to choose a VPN for gaming

One of the major factors you need to consider when deciding upon a VPN service is its global server coverage. Options with more servers are better, allowing you to switch in search of the perfect speed and performance. Also, a client with the ability to connect to various countries is more convenient, since you will gain access to more international titles outside of those available in your nation.

Another crucial factor when deciding on your VPN is connection speed. Numerous services allow you to conduct speed tests, so you should choose a VPN that can maintain or improve the rates for your online gaming sessions. Your best options should to be lightning fast and reduce ping/latency to minimum levels.

Privacy and security should also be near the top of your priorities when selecting a VPN for online gaming. There are hackers all over the internet, your opponents can perform damaging DDoS attacks on your system, and you are vulnerable to more viruses than the average internet user. For those reasons, a VPN can only benefit you in reaching satisfactory levels in your gaming sessions.

Best Protocols for Online or PC Gaming

  • PPTP – The Peer to Peer Tunneling Protocol is highly insecure and significantly slower than its competitors, thus making it inconvenient for online gaming.
  • L2TP/IPSec – The Layer to Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) works best with the Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) measure. It is highly secure but requires more overhead for the 256-bit encryption.
  • SSTP – The Secure Sockets Tunneling Protocol routes through the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol, which uses TCP port 443. That makes it very good at bypassing firewalls and proxy servers. As a result, it is far less likely that you will get blocked trying to access or play a game. However, it is almost entirely married to Windows devices.
  • IKEv2 – This means Internet Key Exchange, version 2. The IKEv2 protocol is fast, stable, and secure, and it may be the best protocol for online gaming. It prioritizes low latency levels, a dream scenario for players around the world.
  • Cisco Anyconnect – While it is useful overall, at least more than the PPTP, it is not very user-friendly when it comes to the configuration for gaming.
  • OpenVPN – The OpenVPN is known as the most secure and efficient protocol for all purposes. However, you should know that OpenVPN TCP requires a lot of overhead, which reduces overall speed and makes it not entirely suitable for gaming. The OpenVPN UDP protocol may be better for gamers as it targets low latency.

How To Set-Up Your Gaming VPN

To show you how easy it is to get started with a VPN, we’ll use ExpressVPN as our example.

Set Up a VPN on iOS

  1. Sign up for an ExpressVPN subscription on its website
  2. Download and install the ExpressVPN app for iOS. It works for iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
  3. Connect to the server and country of your selection.
  4. Done! Now you can enjoy VPN encryption on your iOS devices.

Set Up a VPN on Android

  1. Register for an ExpressVPN subscription on its website.
  2. Download and install the ExpressVPN app for Android on your smartphone or tablet.
  3. Establish a connection with the server and country of your choice.
  4. Done! Now you can enjoy VPN encryption on your Android devices.

Set Up a VPN on Windows

  1. Go to the ExpressVPN website and subscribe.
  2. Download and install the ExpressVPN VPN app for Windows on your device.
  3. Connect to the server and country that you desire.
  4. Done! Now you can enjoy VPN encryption on your Windows devices.

What About Free VPNs?

By now, you know that VPNs are online services that offer you privacy, security, and the ability to work with international sites, no matter where you are. The most reliable options require you to pay for a service package: monthly, bi-annual, yearly, or every two or three years.

Some sites and services do offer VPN encryption for free. That may sound enticing, sure, but the reality is that free VPNs represent dangerous security hazards and will not fulfill your expectations.

For starters, to maintain a VPN service with servers and exciting features, it requires a massive investment. How do free VPNs afford it if they don’t charge you a dime? By subjecting you to annoying, dangerous ads that could infect your system and by collecting logs of your shared data and selling them around the Internet.

The worst part of all, at least for online gamers, is that free VPN services are substantially slower than paid alternatives. So, if you are looking for a VPN to play online, choose one from a reputable brand. They are not overly expensive, and they don’t come with any bandwidth limitations whatsoever!

FAQs: VPN for Gaming

Is it safe to use a VPN for gaming?

Yes, primarily if you use a paid service. VPNs will create a virtual tunnel in which your information, IP address, and shared data will travel securely, away from prying eyes, DDoS attacks, hackers, and other external agents.

Can a VPN for gamers improve multiplayer session speeds?

It is not common, but yes: a VPN can improve multiplayer session speeds for gamers. Better yet, some of the best clients in the world can reduce ping/latency and strengthen upload speed rates.

What is the fastest VPN for gaming?

NordVPN and ExpressVPN provide fast and stable VPN services that make them very suitable for gaming. With them, there will be virtually no buffering. Buffered VPN may be the better choice because if its low latency levels.

What is the most critical factor of speed for gaming VPNs?

The ping time, which equals the response time after you send a command or press a button, is arguably the most crucial aspect of a VPN service for gaming. We want to reduce latency and ping time, so if you find a VPN that does that, stick with it.

How can I test my gaming VPN?

Some VPN options let you test speed and latency, and some services and websites do, too. You need to conduct tests of your internet speed connection and ping time without the VPN connection and with it, and then compare the two.  Check the times with different brands and servers, identify the best and fastest option, and enjoy.

Conclusion

Contrary to what most people may believe, VPNs can work for online PC and mobile gaming, and it is not true that all brands increase latency or lag your connection speed. Virtual Private Networks can improve your privacy and security levels and protect you from hackers trying to get ahold of your online gaming accounts and credit card numbers, from DDoS attacks, and more.

If you want to enjoy the numerous benefits from a VPN in your PC gaming experience, then we recommend PureVPN, ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or TunnelBear.

Written by: Graeme Messina

Graeme is an IT professional with a special interest in computer forensics, security, and software. When not building networks and researching the latest software trends, he enjoys writing technical articles and blog posts.

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