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Love Gaming? Try Some of These Lag-Free VPNs | Digital Trends


Gaming has become a mainstay in many households since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with this newfound interest in the industry comes a lot of people in need of a reliable gaming VPN. Some of the best VPN services provide customers with unlimited lightning-fast data plans to serve our needs reliably and comfortably. We all know that the worst thing when gaming is experiencing lag like rubberbanding and slow response times, among other things. A sturdy and efficient VPN for gaming can help keep you protected while playing your favorite games yet also facilitate and maintain quick internet speeds.

The Digital Trends team has researched, tested, analyzed, and compiled this list of the best VPNs for gaming so you can save time instead of doing your own research. All of these options are paid subscriptions, however, some of the choices in this list have great free VPN options. Some of the best free VPNs do provide great services, however, there is frequent debate on whether free VPNs are safe or not, so we recommend purchasing a reliable subscription plan instead.

NordVPN

  • Country of registration: Panama
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $12 per month
  • Number of servers: 5,237+
  • Simultaneous connections: 6
  • One of the most famous VPNs for gaming on the market

NordVPN is first on this extensively researched list for good reason. Perhaps the most popular choice on the internet, we think that NordVPN is a gaming VPN fit for players of all skill levels and experiences. With a single subscription, you have access to 5,237+ servers all across the globe so that no matter where you are, you’ll be able to connect to a lightning-fast server packed with security features and protocols to keep you safe and sound online. If that sounds up your alley, then NordVPN is only $12 per month, with discounts available if you purchase longer-term packages as a reward for loyalty!

For gaming purposes, NordVPN is amazing as you don’t need to sacrifice speed for security — you have both packaged in one subscription. Connecting to NordVPN’s servers means you can bypass any malicious speed throttling from your ISP, stay completely anonymous online, and feel safe knowing you’re fully protected. NordVPN specifically uses the NordLynx and WireGuard protocols to ensure your safety while upholding quick connection speeds.

If for any reason, you’re unhappy with the service as a whole, then you’re free to request a full refund under the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee. This is a great show of goodwill, and customers generally appreciate it when a company offers flexibility. While we may think NordVPN is one of the best VPNs out there, the company fully understands that not everyone may think the same. Try NordVPN for practically free under this guarantee to see if you think the service is for you.

PrivadoVPN

  • Country of registration: Switzerland
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS
  • Cost: $8 per month
  • Number of servers: 200+
  • Simultaneous connections: 10
  • Free 10Gbps per month with the free plan

PrivadoVPN is an excellent choice for those on the fence about VPNs in general. At only $5 per month, this subscription is one of the cheaper ones on the list and is very accessible for individuals who are new to VPNs in general. Everything about the service is easy to use and catered towards accessibility.

This VPN gives users the option to connect to 200+ servers all over the world and ten simultaneous connections at a time! That way, you can connect all of your devices and even some of your family and friends at the same time for maximum protection across all your personal devices. All that for only $5 per month is great value for money. Not to mention the fact that PrivadoVPN is located in Switzerland, where they needn’t report or collaborate with the 14 Eyes jurisdiction if a government wants to access your personal information. You are safe and protected with PrivadoVPN.

Our testing and analysis have shown that, while perhaps not the most popular choice of gaming VPN, PrivadoVPN is one that is excellent for more casual use. If you browse the internet and stream more than hardcore gaming, then we would certainly recommend this service, especially at its current price point. Beginners and newbies are welcome to try out the PrivadoVPN experience with the free data plan to understand how VPNs work and if it’s for you.

ExpressVPN

  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 3,000+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Amazing gaming VPN with fast speeds

ExpressVPN is one of the other titans in the VPN industry, and it is regularly touted as having one of the fastest internet speeds among its competition. We certainly agree that this VPN for gaming is fast and frequently lag prone. ExpressVPN has a built-in speed test in its app so that you can determine whether your current internet connection is good enough to start gaming. However, we found that, depending on the ISP, connecting to ExpressVPN’s virtual servers actually increased speeds as it bypasses all nonsensical ISP bureaucracy and malicious throttling to give us pure, unfiltered connectivity.

With the rise of mobile gaming and how intricate and advanced the games are becoming, more and more people are dumping PCs for powerful smartphones. A VPN with a great mobile app, then, becomes a necessity. While all of the choices on this list have amazing apps, ExpressVPN has an aura of hospitality, and it’s extremely easy to use. Whether you’re playing games on an iPhone, Galaxy, PC, Mac, or anything else, ExpressVPN is there to help keep you safe.

The monthly subscription is admittedly not the cheapest. For $13 per month, you have access to 3,000+ global servers with unlimited bandwidth, but we understand that for many customers, the price is a little steep. If you’re serious about using a VPN for gaming, we would suggest you purchase a longer-term plan as it is significantly cheaper to do so if you know you’re going to be using it for a long time. While you may pay more upfront, over time, you’ll be cutting the costs a lot. ExpressVPN is a service that warrants long-term loyalty as we find it’s one of the best options on the market right now.

Surfshark

Surfshark
  • Country of registration: British Virgin Islands
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 3,200+
  • Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
  • Free unlimited global bandwidth

Surfshark is one of the more unique gaming VPNs on this list due to the fact that it’s jam-packed with features. Even though it costs $13 — the same as ExpressVPN and Cyberghost — we found that it has greater value for money as one single subscription comes with so many benefits. To start, when you purchase a Surfshark subscription, you also have free access to an ad blocker, and for an additional $1.50, you can download the Surfshark anti-virus, Surfshark Alert, and Surfshark Search. All of these additional applications, as well as a VPN with excellent security features, is certainly worth the price.

To compound on value, a single Surfshark subscription gives you the ability to connect an unlimited number of your devices to its VPN servers. That’s right; you can connect as many devices as you want to a single subscription! Get your family and friends involved and teach them all how a VPN can transform how they interact with the internet. As well as unlimited device connection, your subscription comes with unlimited global bandwidth. Connect to any server across the globe instantly and without any worry about data limits.

We think Surfshark is an amazing VPN for gaming as well as a variety of other activities. Whether you’re streaming, browsing the web, or working, there’s a place for Surfshark in everyone’s digital lives. Although the price may be quite steep, the slew of features and additions that come along with a single subscription plan is certainly worth it in our books.

Hotspot Shield

  • Country of registration: United States
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $8 per month
  • Number of servers: 1,800+
  • Simultaneous connections: 5
  • Great budget-friendly option

Hotspot Shield is a popular VPN widely advertised on the App Store and Google Play Store, and it seems there is a unique spot for this service as a great mobile gaming VPN. Although it does have a comprehensive app for all clients like iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux, it seems as if popular opinion dictates it is best on mobile devices. Conveniently, the mobile gaming market is booming, so if you’re an avid gamer on your handheld device, Hotspot Shield may be a viable VPN for you.

It’s important to note that Hotspot Shield is legally registered in the United States. That makes it vulnerable to probes and demands from any country that is part of the 14 Eyes jurisdiction, and although the company has a strict no-log policy, you can never be too safe. This may be a red flag for some customers who value their privacy, but it’s equally as important to note that there has not been a case where a government has specifically asked Hotspot Shield to give up any information regarding its customers.

For only $8 a month, you have unfettered access to 1,800+ servers all across the globe, so you can connect to any of Hotspot Shield’s lightning-fast servers whenever you please, no matter where you are. Also, connect up to five of your personal devices so you can stay protected across the board without a moment of downtime!

Cyberghost

CyberGhost VPN
Cyberghost
  • Country of registration: Romania
  • Clients supported: iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, Linux
  • Cost: $13 per month
  • Number of servers: 7,300+
  • Simultaneous connections: 7
  • Amazing security on each server

Cyberghost isn’t new to the industry, but it isn’t as popular as titans such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN. That doesn’t mean it’s any less functional as a VPN for gaming, though. With a whopping 7,300+ servers, you’ll be able to find one (or multiple) that’s perfect for you. Although there are plenty of servers to choose from, that doesn’t mean that Cyberghost sacrifices quality to churn out quantity. Each server is carefully curated and fitted with multiple protocols and features to ensure that none of your data leaks into the hands of malicious parties.

Its location in Romania isn’t common, and in an ideal world, we would see Cyberghost registered in a completely independent state like Panama or the British Virgin Isles to avoid prying global governments more efficiently. It’s not like Romania exactly adheres to the beck and call of these nations — it’s just less set in stone than the aforementioned islands. Despite this, Cyberghost stay true to their strict policies regarding consumer privacy and it has implemented an ironclad no-log policy, enforcing user anonymity.

Cyberghost is a great gaming VPN that provides all users with amazingly fast connection speeds, so lagging and rubberbanding will be a rare occasion. You can connect up to seven of your devices, so whether you’re gaming on your smartphone, PC, Mac, or tablet, you’ll be sure to have a gaming VPN ready and raring to go. For $13 per month, Cyberghost ranks among the more expensive options on this list, but the security and speed each server provides are wonderful whether you’re a casual gamer or a professional.

Which free VPN is best for gaming?

Gaming is an extremely network-intensive activity if you’re playing multiplayer games like League of Legends, Valorant, or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. If you have a weak internet connection, malicious ISP, or live in a country where games like these are banned and censored, you’ll need a good gaming VPN to get around these problems. We would wholly suggest purchasing a VPN subscription if you’re looking to use it for gaming as free VPNs typically have data caps, slower server speeds, or don’t offer adequate enough protection.

That’s not to say all free VPNs are like that. Some of the best free VPNs provide customers with great protection despite being absolutely free of charge and also promise not to throttle internet speeds at all. Great free VPNs that come into mind are ProtonVPN and PrivadoVPN. Of all the choices you may find on the internet, we believe that these two provide some of the best value to customers, but even these picks have certain limitations that may hinder gameplay and overall experience.

Do all VPNs work for gaming?

Inherently, yes, all VPNs do work for gaming. While some may be more or less effective than others in terms of internet speeds and protection, VPNs for gaming are also VPNs for everything else. There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to gaming VPNs, so we recommend listening to expert opinions then forming your own conclusion through your own extracurricular research. Not all VPNs are created equal, and you may find that your needs fit better with a certain one over another.

Gaming isn’t an activity that is widely censored, as many governments recognize the power of this industry and how it’s becoming one of, if not already, the premier form of entertainment. In some way or another, almost every single demographic plays video games, whether it’s mobile freemium games your parents play, hardcore single-player grindfests, or massively multiplayer games your teenage child plays. Therefore, a more general gaming VPN that focuses more on connectivity and internet speeds may be more up your alley. If you’re interested in more, check some of our recommended best VPNs.

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