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5 Best Free VPNs for Gaming in 2023 — Fast With No Lags

Raven Wu Raven Wu

Short on time? Here’s the best free VPN for gaming in 2023:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN: It isn’t free, but it backs all of its plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free. You won’t find a better VPN for gaming in 2023, as it has excellent security, lightning-fast speeds, and easy-to-use apps for all major gaming platforms — it even has a router app for gaming on consoles.

I generally don’t recommend using a free VPN. This is especially true for gamers, as free VPNs often lack important security features like anti-DDoS protection, put limits on how much data you can use, and/or throttle your connection speeds, negatively impacting your in-game performance. This is why I always recommend getting an affordable premium VPN like ExpressVPN — it will save you time and headaches in the long run.

However, if you’re only in the market for a free VPN, there are a handful of good ones. I spent a couple of weeks researching and testing all the top free plans on the market and found the best ones for gaming. All of these VPNs provide fast speeds for lag-free gameplay, include strong security features, and have easy-to-use apps for all platforms and router support for console gaming.

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Quick summary of the best free VPNs for gaming in 2023:

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Gaming in 2023

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Gaming in 2023

ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for gaming in 2023. It has top-tier security, the fastest speeds on the market, and easy-to-use apps, and it includes useful extra features for gaming like cloud gaming support and split-tunneling. It’s also one of the few VPNs with a router app, which is very convenient for console gaming — these are the reasons why it’s ranked as the best VPN for gaming in 2023. It doesn’t have a free plan, but it backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which lets you try it out risk-free.

In my tests, ExpressVPN delivered a smooth and lag-free gaming experience. With 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, I had no problems finding nearby locations to connect to so that I could get the fastest speeds. Additionally, my connections to gaming servers never dropped, and my ping remained low and stable.

ExpressVPN is great for ensuring your online privacy and security for gaming. It provides all the industry-standard VPN security features plus advanced security features such as:

  • Anti-DDoS protection. Stops hackers from conducting Distributed Denial of Service attacks against you to cause network slowdowns or disconnect you from your game.
  • TrustedServer technology. ExpressVPN uses RAM-only servers, meaning your data is never written to a hard drive and is completely erased every time the servers are restarted.
  • Perfect forward secrecy. Your encryption key is changed with each new session, ensuring that your past and future data remains secure.
  • Full leak protection. ExpressVPN protects against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, preventing your IP address or online activity from being exposed to third parties.
  • Independently audited. ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy and the security of its core server technology have been verified by independent cybersecurity experts.

ExpressVPN’s apps are very user-friendly. Downloading and installing them takes only 1–2 minutes, and the interface is really simple and intuitive. Smart Location helps identify the fastest server for you, but it’s also very easy to manually find and connect to a server on your own.

I like that ExpressVPN has a dedicated router app. This makes it a lot easier to connect to a VPN on consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation without needing to perform a manual setup. I was able to get ExpressVPN’s router app installed and ready to go in a little over 5 minutes. You can also purchase the provider’s own router (Aircove), which has the app preinstalled.

Split-tunneling is supported on ExpressVPN’s Windows, Mac, Android, and router apps. This feature allows you to choose which app traffic you want to send through the VPN and which you want to send through your local network. I use split-tunneling so that I can listen to a stream in the background on my local network without any unnecessary slowdowns while I’m gaming on ExpressVPN’s servers.

ExpressVPN is the only VPN on this list that supports cloud gaming services, which let you stream video games to any device. ExpressVPN works with all top cloud gaming services including Xbox Game Pass, Amazon Luna, and more.

ExpressVPN’s plans start at $6.67 / month. It has both monthly and yearly plans, and backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN for gaming. It’s got lightning-fast speeds, advanced security features (including anti-DDoS protection), easy-to-use apps, and even a dedicated router app for console gaming. On top of all this, it provides split-tunneling and is one of the few VPNs on the market that supports cloud gaming. ExpressVPN isn’t free, but all of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full ExpressVPN review

🥈2. CyberGhost VPN — Great VPN With Dedicated Gaming Servers

🥈2. CyberGhost VPN — Great VPN With Dedicated Gaming Servers

CyberGhost VPN is an excellent choice for gamers. It has 70+ servers in the US, the UK, France, and Germany that are optimized for gaming. When I tested these servers, I had faster load times and better ping than when I gamed on the provider’s regular servers.

The provider isn’t free, but it has a free 24-hour trail that provides access to all features and doesn’t require payment details. Also, the VPN backs all long-term plans with a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost VPN works on tons of platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. While there is no router app (like there is with ExpressVPN), a manual setup can be performed using the provider’s tutorials.

And I really like the Smart Rules feature. It lets you automate VPN connections, which is really convenient. For example, you can configure the provider’s VPN app to automatically connect you to a gaming server and open your desired gaming app on launch.

CyberGhost VPN also has strong security features. Its no-logs policy has been independently audited, and you also get access to RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, and strong leak protection. There’s also Content Blocker, which is useful for protecting users from shady gaming sites. Also, the Identity Guard feature alerts users if their email addresses and passwords (such as the ones they use for gaming sites) have been leaked on the dark web.

CyberGhost VPN’s plans are pretty affordable, with prices starting at just $2.11 / month. On top of the 45-day money-back guarantee, it also has a 14-day money-back guarantee for the shortest plan.

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Bottom Line:

CyberGhost VPN has a free 24-hour trial and dedicated gaming servers that provide faster speeds and more stable ping than the provider’s regular servers. It also comes with user-friendly apps and advanced security features. Plus, it also backs all long term-plans with a 45-day money back guarantee, which provides plenty of time to test the VPN.


Read the full CyberGhost VPN review

🥉3. Proton VPN — Best Free VPN for Gaming in 2023

🥉3. Proton VPN — Best Free VPN for Gaming in 2023

Proton VPN has the best free plan for gaming. Unlike all of the other free VPNs on this list, it provides unlimited data, so you can game to your heart’s content. However, as with all free VPNs, there are some limitations.

The free plan limits you to Proton VPN’s servers in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan. While having access to only 3 server locations may cause overcrowding and slower speeds, I love how Proton VPN has over 100 free servers — it helps minimize the number of users all connecting to the same few servers.

If you live far from the 3 free locations, you won’t be able to get super fast speeds. Thankfully, Proton VPN’s VPN Accelerator feature, which is state-of-the-art server infrastructure and is included in the free plan, boosts speeds when connecting to a distant server. For reference, my speeds when connecting to a US server from Taiwan increased by 40% when I turned on VPN Accelerator.

Proton VPN’s security is excellent. It uses perfect forward secrecy and full-disk encryption (keeps your data safe even in the event that Proton VPN’s servers are compromised). It also offers full leak protection, anti-DDoS protection, and is completely open-source, so anyone can inspect its code for security vulnerabilities.

You don’t get a dedicated router app (unlike ExpressVPN), but Proton VPN works with many routers for console gaming — you’ll just have to perform a manual setup.

The split-tunneling feature is only available on Proton VPN’s Windows and Android apps. It doesn’t have cloud gaming support either, which means there’s no guarantee that it’ll work with any cloud gaming platforms.

Proton VPN’s plans start at just $3.99 / month. The premium plans include the use of 1,900+ servers across 60+ countries, 10 simultaneous device connections, NetShield (excellent ad blocker), and more. All of Proton VPN’s premium plans come with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Bottom Line:

Proton VPN is my favorite truly free VPN for gaming in 2023. It’s one of the only free plans to offer unlimited data, it provides pretty fast speeds for gaming, and it comes with high-end security features, including anti-DDoS protection and full leak protection. Proton VPN’s premium plans are very affordable, and all purchases are backed by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Proton VPN review

4. — Speedy + Secure VPN for Gaming

4. — Speedy + Secure VPN for Gaming’s free plan provides good speeds and strong security for gamers. It gives you access to servers in 5+ different countries (including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany) and has a decent data limit of 10 GB per month.

In terms of security, has all of the tools I expect from a good VPN for gaming. Like ExpressVPN, it uses perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers. It also offers full leak protection, provides anti-DDoS protection, and is one of the few VPNs to have a kill switch on its iOS app. It publishes an annual transparency report as well. However, I’d like to see undergo another independent audit — the last time it conducted one was in 2015!

I was annoyed when I discovered that free users aren’t allowed to use the WireGuard protocol, which is highly secure and much faster than its alternatives, OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. That said, my latency remained reasonably low in my tests, so it had minimal effect on my in-game performance. Still,’s speeds failed to match ExpressVPN’s.

When it comes to extra features, supports split-tunneling on its Windows, macOS, and Android apps. However, it doesn’t support cloud gaming or have a router app, but you can purchase a preconfigured router (Vilfo) to skip the manual configuration process. has both monthly and annual plans, which start at just $3.84 / month. Its premium plans provide access to 2,100+ servers in 50+ countries and allow 10 device connections.’s plans are all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line: is a fast and secure VPN for gaming. Its free plan provides 10 GB of data per month and gives you access to servers in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, and more.’s plans all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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5. Windscribe — User-Friendly Free VPN for Gaming

5. Windscribe — User-Friendly Free VPN for Gaming

Windscribe comes with beginner-friendly apps for all major platforms. The design is intuitive, so it’s really easy to find and connect to a server. Plus, most settings and features have helpful explanations. And the VPN also allows unlimited connections.

It also has servers in 10+ countries and allows up to 15 GB per month (you get 2 GB by default, 8 GB extra for providing your email address, and 5 more GB for participating in its Twitter campaign). For reference, the most data intensive games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive only use approximately 250 MB of data per hour, so 15 GB gets you about 60 hours of playtime each month.

I like how Windscribe doesn’t throttle the connection speeds of free users. I was able to maintain a low in-game ping while connected to Windscribe’s servers. I also experienced no random lag spikes or disconnects while gaming. But I still had better speeds with ExpressVPN.

Windscribe has all the essential security features for a VPN plus perfect forward secrecy, RAM-only servers, full leak protection, anti-DDoS protection, and a strict no-logs policy.

Split-tunneling is available on Windscribe’s Windows, MacOS, and Android apps. But it doesn’t include cloud gaming support nor does it have a native router app. You can, however, manually set up Windscribe on your router manually for console gaming. If you want to skip the hassle, you can also purchase a preconfigured router (Invizbox 2).

Windscribe has both monthly and yearly plans, which start at only $5.75 / month. All of Windscribe’s premium plans give you unlimited data and access to all of its servers in 60+ countries. Windscribe’s plans only come with a 3-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Windscribe is a really user-friendly VPN for gaming. It provides unlimited simultaneous connections, up to 15 GB of data per month, unlimited bandwidth, access to servers in 10+ countries, and maintains low latency for gaming. It has great security features as well, including RAM-only servers and anti-DDoS protection. Windscribe’s paid plans are backed by a 3-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Windscribe review

Comparison of the Best Free VPNs for Gaming in 2023

VPN Starting Price Data Usage Limit Connection Speed Limits Anti-DDoS Protection Cloud Gaming Support Number of Countries
🥇1. ExpressVPN $6.67 / month Unlimited No speed limits 90+ countries
🥈2. CyberGhost VPN $2.11 / month Unlimited No speed limits 90+ countries
🥉3. Proton VPN $3.99 / month Unlimited No speed limits US, Netherlands, and Japan
4. $3.84 / month 10 GB per month No speed limits 5+
5. Windscribe $5.75 / month Up to 15 GB per month No speed limits 10+

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How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Gaming in 2023

  • Pick a VPN with good security. The best free VPNs for gaming have all the essential security features, including 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, good leak protection, and a kill switch to prevent data leaks if the VPN disconnects.
  • Look for protection against DDoS attacks. Distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS) overload a victim’s network and cause lag or can even disconnect you from the game server. VPNs protect you from this by hiding your IP address. The VPNs I recommend all have anti-DDoS protection on their servers as well, so targeting the VPN server you’re on would be fruitless as well.
  • Get a VPN with a high data allowance. The data usage limit imposed by most free VPNs can be a problem for more data-intensive games. All of the VPNs listed here allow at least 10 GB of data per month — Proton VPN is one of the only free VPNs that allows unlimited data.
  • Choose a VPN with fast speeds. Using a VPN will always slow down your internet speeds to some extent as a result of the encryption process. But the VPNs I chose all maintain decent speeds for gaming (ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on the market).
  • Check if the provider has a large server network. A good free VPN offers many server locations to choose from so that you can always connect to a nearby server for faster speeds and avoid server overcrowding.
  • Get a VPN that’s easy to use. A good VPN for gaming has intuitive apps for all major gaming platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux, and also supports manual router setups so that you can use the VPN to game on devices that don’t work with VPN apps, like gaming consoles.
  • Select a provider with good value. I only recommend VPNs that come with useful extra features like split-tunneling and have affordable paid plans — in case you decide to upgrade.

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Risks & Disadvantages of Using a Free VPN

  • Bad security. Free VPNs often fail to provide adequate protection. For example, some free VPNs don’t have encryption, and others lack full leak protection, which renders you vulnerable to DDoS attacks and come with other privacy risks. However, all the VPNs on my list can be trusted to safeguard your privacy and security.
  • Slow speeds. Free VPN plans often restrict the number of servers you can access. This can result in overcrowded servers or force you to connect to servers far from where you live, both of which will increase your in-game ping. Additionally, some free VPNs put limits on your connection speed. The VPNs I recommend are all capable of maintaining good speeds for responsive gameplay.
  • Data usage limits. Popular games today use anywhere between 20 to 300 MB per hour, which can be an issue considering most free VPNs place heavy restrictions on the amount of data you’re allowed to use per month. Proton VPN is a remarkable exception, as it gives free users unlimited data.
  • Sells your data. Some free VPNs sell user data to third-party advertisers, which is used by companies to target you with ads. This is why getting a VPN with a strict no-logs policy (especially one that’s been independently audited and confirmed) is very important to protect your privacy.

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Affordable Alternatives

  • Private Internet Access: Private Internet Access has high-end security features, is great for maintaining stable ping, and is one of my favorite VPNs for mobile gaming — especially on iOS, where it’s one of the only VPNs to have a kill switch. It’s very cheap, too, at just $2.11 / month, and backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full Private Internet Access review.
  • NordVPN: NordVPN maintains very fast speeds for gaming, it should work with cloud gaming, it comes with top-notch security features, and it’s compatible with most routers. It offers competitive pricing plans starting at $3.29 / month and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full NordVPN review.
  • Surfshark: Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections with a single account, which makes it a high-value choice for families with a lot of gamers. It’s very secure, very fast, and sometimes works with cloud gaming. At $2.30 / month, Surfshark is one of the cheapest VPNs on the market, and it covers each plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full Surfshark review.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • TunnelBear. TunnelBear’s free plan is great for beginners, allows unlimited simultaneous connections, and provides access to all of its servers in 45+ countries, which is incredibly generous compared to many of its peers. However, its 2 GB per month data usage limit is not enough if you game with any kind of regularity.
  • Avira Phantom VPN. Avira Phantom VPN is fast, offers unlimited simultaneous connections, and provides free users with access to servers in over 35 countries. However, this comes at a cost of a 500 MB per month data usage limit. Additionally, the PC and macOS versions of its free app don’t allow you to select a server manually — it automatically connects to the nearest location.
  • Hotspot Shield. Hotspot Shield provides 500 MB of data per day, which adds up to a very nice 15 GB per month. However, I don’t like that it throttles your speeds to 2 Mbps. It also limits free users to its US servers. Finally, I’m uncomfortable with the fact that it monetizes its free plan by showing you targeted ads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any 100% free VPNs that are good for gaming?

Yes, there are some completely free VPNs that are decent for gaming. Proton VPN is a particularly good one as it provides great speeds, advanced security, and is one of the only free VPNS on the market to offer unlimited data usage.

That said, free VPNs come with many downsides compared to a good paid VPN, with limited speeds and server locations being big ones for gaming. So if budget allows, I would strongly recommend getting an affordable paid VPN instead.

Which free VPN is best for gaming?

Proton VPN is the best free VPN for gaming in 2023. Its free plan provides unlimited data, solid speeds, and allows you to connect to servers in 3 different countries (Japan, the US, and the Netherlands). Proton VPN Free also has advanced security and privacy features, protects you from DDoS attacks, and includes useful extra features like split-tunneling.

ExpressVPN deserves special mention as well. It may not be free, but it’s got lightning-fast speeds, great security, supports cloud gaming, and has easy-to-use apps for all major platforms, including a native router app, so you can easily set it up for console gaming. ExpressVPN’s plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.

Will a VPN lower my ping?

Probably not. Most of the time, using a VPN will actually increase your ping slightly. This is because your traffic is routed through an additional server owned by your VPN provider. Most times, you’re actually increasing the distance your data needs to travel to reach its original destination. A VPN also takes some extra time to encrypt your traffic in order to safeguard your privacy and security.

All of the free VPNs I recommend are able to maintain decent speeds. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer, you should consider going for an affordable paid VPN instead as those will always provide faster speeds and are better choices for multiplayer games where milliseconds difference might be all that separates victory from defeat.

What is the fastest VPN for gaming?

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on the market in 2023, which makes it my top pick for gaming. During my tests, I was able to maintain good ping across all servers, I never experienced any lag spikes or disconnects, and I could download large game updates very quickly.

Why use a VPN for gaming?

The main reason to use a VPN while gaming is to secure your privacy and security. VPNs encrypt your traffic, which makes it unreadable, and the top VPNs for gaming also protect you from DDoS attacks.

A gaming VPN also helps you bypass region locks or a country’s restrictions on Voice over IP (VoIP) while you’re traveling abroad. A VPN can be used to get around IP bans as well.

Finally, a VPN can sometimes increase your speeds. For example, if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is throttling your bandwidth (slowing down your internet), a VPN can help you get around it.

If you’re looking for a high-quality VPN for gaming, I recommend ExpressVPN. It’s speedy, secure, offers cloud gaming support, and has user-friendly apps for all major platforms (including a router app for console gaming).

Best Free VPNs for Gaming in 2023 — Final Score:

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About the Author

About the Author

Raven Wu is a freelance writer, editor, and translator. He is a strong advocate of internet freedom and is very passionate about technology, and he’s honed his craft by researching and writing about a variety of other topics including education, literature, health, pop culture, and games. Outside of work, he's an amateur novelist and history enthusiast who enjoys hard games, spicy food, and thinking way too hard about everything.