Short on time? Here’s the best gaming VPN in 2022:
I spent a couple of weeks researching and testing the top VPNs on the market to find the best ones for gaming in 2022.
Unfortunately, I learned that many VPNs are pretty bad for gaming — some have very slow speeds, causing lag, stuttering, freezes, and frequent disconnects, some have buggy apps that are complicated to use, and some don’t protect you from Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, which can disrupt your game and even force you offline.
Still, I managed to find a handful of really good gaming VPNs. All the VPNs on this list provide really fast speeds for gaming, have easy-to-use apps on all platforms (including routers), have excellent security features, and are affordable.
Quick summary of the best VPNs for gaming:
- 1.🥇ExpressVPN — Best gaming VPN in 2022. Fast, secure & overall best value.
- 2.🥈CyberGhost VPN — Good security and dedicated gaming servers.
- 3.🥉Private Internet Access — Low ping and very user-friendly.
- 4. IPVanish — Allows you to game on unlimited devices.
- 5. VyprVPN — Very fast gaming speeds and good security features.
- Bonus. ProtonVPN — Best free gaming VPN.
- How I Rated the Best VPNs for Gaming in 2022.
- Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut.
- Frequently asked questions about VPNs for gaming
🥇 1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Gaming in 2022
ExpressVPN has the fastest gaming speeds on this list, easy-to-use apps (including a native router app), and excellent security features.
In my tests, ExpressVPN provided me with enjoyable gaming sessions — I didn’t experience crashes, my connection to the gaming servers never dropped, and I was even able to bypass an unfair IP ban.
ExpressVPN only slowed down my speeds by an average of 20% while using Lightway (ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol that’s faster than OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec). I connected to gaming servers almost instantly on my PC and I always had low ping — even when I used distant servers.
I love how user-friendly ExpressVPN’s apps are — installing them takes 1–2 minutes and the interface is simple to navigate (even if you’re new to VPNs). There’s a quick-connect feature that automatically connects you to the fastest server, but it’s also easy to manually find and connect to a server.
On top of iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux apps, ExpressVPN also has router apps. ExpressVPN’s router apps are easy to install, and ExpressVPN provides helpful setup tutorials — it took me less than 5 minutes to set up the app on my router. I was able to game on my console, PC, and smartphone while connected to any one of ExpressVPN 160+ server locations.
And I really like how ExpressVPN supports cloud gaming services, which stream video games to portable devices like smartphones and tablets. ExpressVPN works with popular cloud gaming services like Stadia, Xbox Game Pass, Amazon Luna, and more.
ExpressVPN has split-tunneling, which lets you choose which apps use your local network and which apps use the VPN. In my tests, I played video games while connected to one of ExpressVPN’s servers, but I browsed the internet while connected to my local network. This provided me with faster speeds for each online activity.
Also, ExpressVPN includes advanced security features, such as:
- TrustedServer Technology — ExpressVPN’s servers only write data to the RAM memory, not the hard drive. That way, all data is wiped from the server every time the server gets rebooted.
- Perfect forward secrecy — This feature changes your encryption key for each session, preventing hackers from getting access to past or future encryption keys.
- Full leak protection — ExpressVPN has built-in leak protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks on all apps.
Also, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming and torrenting. It works with all of the popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, and it allows torrenting on all 3,000+ of its servers.
ExpressVPN allows 5 simultaneous connections with 1 account, has monthly and yearly plans, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. ExpressVPN is a little pricier than some of the other top VPNs, but with our exclusive 49% discount, you can get it for only $6.67 / month. And ExpressVPN frequently gives away 3 free months, so you can get a total of 15 months for the price of 12 months, which is a great deal in my opinion.
49% off ExpressVPN's 15-Month Plan
ExpressVPN is my favorite gaming VPN in 2022 — it’s extremely fast (I only experienced a 20% slowdown and my ping was always low), its apps are easy to install and use, and it even has a user-friendly router app so you can use ExpressVPN on your consoles. ExpressVPN supports cloud gaming, it comes with split-tunneling, and it has advanced security features like full leak protection (prevent IP leaks so hackers can’t distribute a DDoS attack against you). ExpressVPN supports 5 simultaneous connections and backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥈 2. CyberGhost VPN — Dedicated Gaming Servers & Great Security
CyberGhost VPN has servers specifically optimized for gaming, provides good security features, and is really fast. It has 90+ gaming servers in 4 countries (the US, the UK, Germany, and France), which provide faster downloads and gaming speeds than its regular servers. In my tests, I always had less lag and stuttering when using CyberGhost’s gaming servers when compared to using its regular servers. And the gaming servers are so simple to find and connect to — I always connected to gaming servers in less than 10 seconds.
While its no-logs policy hasn’t been audited like ExpressVPN, I like that CyberGhost VPN releases a transparency report every 3 months that details the user data requests it received (and proves it didn’t hand over any user data). Plus, CyberGhost includes:
- Full leak protection — CyberGhost VPN’s apps automatically protect you against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, preventing your IP from leaking (and DDoS attacks) while you play online games.
- My ID Guard — This feature lets you generate secure passwords and get alerts if your email address and passwords have been leaked on the dark web (it helps you keep tabs on your gaming accounts to keep them safe).
When gaming with CyberGhost VPN on my PC and laptop, I always had fast speeds — online matches never dropped, and my speeds only slowed down by 30% on average, which is good but still slower than ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost works on routers and you can even change your DNS settings for installing CyberGhost on your XBox, PlayStation, and Nintendo consoles.
I also like how CyberGhost VPN is good for people who are new to VPNs. CyberGhost has an intuitive design, allowing you to easily navigate its apps and find all settings — and all of the features and settings have short definitions so you always know what they do. CyberGhost VPN also has Smart Rules, which is a feature that lets you customize your VPN preferences. For example, I used Smart Rules to set CyberGhost up to automatically connect to the fastest server whenever I opened Steam on my PC.
In addition to dedicated gaming servers, CyberGhost VPN has dedicated streaming and P2P servers. CyberGhost comes with dedicated streaming servers in 10+ countries that access 50+ sites, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and less popular sites like HBO Go, Comedy Central, and Crunchyroll. Also, there are 60+ P2P servers, but that is less than ExpressVPN, which allows torrenting traffic on all 3,000+ servers.
CyberGhost VPN allows 7 simultaneous connections, has monthly and yearly plans, and it backs all yearly plans with a 45-day money-back guarantee (the monthly plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee). CyberGhost starts at $2.29 / month, making it one of the most affordable VPNs on the market.
CyberGhost VPN has dedicated gaming servers, is really secure, and provides great speeds. It comes with full leak protection and My ID Guard, which helps you generate strong passwords and monitor your gaming accounts. CyberGhost VPN is very user-friendly, allows 7 simultaneous connections, and has a 45-day money-back guarantee for long-term plans.
🥉 3. Private Internet Access — Low Ping & Easy-to-Use Apps
Private Internet Access (PIA) consistently maintains low ping while gaming on all servers, has intuitive apps, and provides top-notch security.
PIA has WireGuard, which is one of the fastest protocols. In my gaming sessions, PIA always maintained a low ping when I played all of my favorite online games. PIA only slowed down my speeds by about 28% on average, which is on par with CyberGhost VPN, but slower than ExpressVPN. I also used PIA’s split-tunneling tool to get faster gaming speeds — I routed only gaming traffic through the VPN and routed the rest of my online traffic through my local network.
PIA has servers located in 75+ countries around the world, so it’s very easy to find a nearby server to get fast speeds.
PIA has user-friendly apps for most devices (iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux) — the interface is very easy to navigate and you get 1-click connections. PIA doesn’t have a native router app like ExpressVPN, but it provides step-by-step guides that show you how to configure its service on your router.
While PIA’s no-logs policy hasn’t been audited like ExpressVPN, it’s been proven true many times in court documents. Also, you get advanced security features like full leak protection and open-source apps (anyone can inspect the code). And PIA comes with “PIA MACE” (an ad blocker) and Identity Guard — similar to CyberGhost VPN’s My ID Guard, PIA’s Identity Guard checks if the email you used to create gaming accounts was compromised in a data breach.
PIA is a really good torrenting VPN — it allows P2P traffic on all servers and has port forwarding (connects you to more peers to get faster downloads). I tested PIA’s port forwarding and was able to download large games faster than without it.
Private Internet Access allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, has affordable monthly and yearly plans, which start at only $2.19 / month, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access provides fast speeds and low ping while gaming, has user-friendly apps, and is very secure. PIA comes with split-tunneling, advanced security features like full leak protection and open-source apps, and there are also extra features like an ad blocker and Identity Guard. PIA allows 10 simultaneous connections and backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. IPVanish — Best for Gaming on Multiple Devices
IPVanish is secure, has fast speeds, and intuitive apps for all platforms. It’s the only VPN on this list that allows unlimited simultaneous connections with 1 account, making it a perfect choice for large households — your whole family can game with IPVanish on their smartphones, laptops, and PCs.
IPVanish provides fast gaming — it only slowed down my speeds by 31% on average, which is similar to CyberGhost VPN and Private Internet Access. Online games downloaded in less than 10 minutes, and I never had high ping (so I was never randomly disconnected and I didn’t experience stuttering while gaming).
And IPVanish has easy-to-use apps for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. The apps aren’t as sleek as ExpressVPN and CyberGhost VPN, but they’re still intuitive — there’s a quick-connect feature, it’s simple to manually connect to a server, and almost all settings have helpful short explanations. Unlike ExpressVPN, IPVanish doesn’t have a router app, but it provides step-by-step tutorials with screenshots for multiple router models.
IPVanish allows P2P traffic on all its 1,900+ servers, but it also has 20+ SOCKS5 proxy servers, which provide you with a virtual IP address and faster speeds because proxy servers don’t encrypt your traffic. While IPVanish works with Netflix, it doesn’t work with other popular streaming sites.
IPVanish has monthly and annual subscription plans, and they start at $3.99 / month. Plus, the yearly plan comes with a VIPRE antivirus subscription for protection against malware attacks (but only for Windows and Macs). IPVanish accepts credit cards and PayPal and backs its yearly plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
IPVanish allows unlimited connections (for gaming on your console, PC, smartphone, etc.), is secure, provides fast speeds while gaming, and maintains low ping. IPVanish’s apps have intuitive interfaces, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for the yearly plan.
5. VyprVPN — Very Fast Gaming VPN
VyprVPN is really fast and provides great security features. In my tests, I only experienced an average speed loss of 22%, which is really impressive and only slightly slower than ExpressVPN. I maintained fast gaming speeds on local and distant servers and didn’t experience high ping or lag.
VyprVPN doesn’t have unlimited connections like IPVanish, but it allows a whopping 30 simultaneous connections (perfect for large households that love to play video games).
VyprVPN has user-friendly apps on most platforms, including routers. But it’s not as easy to set up as the other providers on this list (it involves using command lines).
When it comes to security, VyprVPN has perfect forward secrecy, a strict no-logs policy (that’s been audited), uses encrypted DNS servers to prevent DNS leaks, and claims to have 300,000 IP addresses to help prevent DDoS attacks.
And VyprVPN provides good customer support for gamers — it has 24/7 live chat and responsive email support. I asked the live chat reps about gaming and using the router app, and they always provided me with helpful answers. VyprVPN also has a tutorial for the router app and a detailed article detailing how VyprVPN improves your gaming experience.
But VyprVPN only has split-tunneling on Android and macOS, it’s missing IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection, and it doesn’t work with Disney+.
VyprVPN has monthly and yearly plans that start at just $3.99 / month and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN is a very fast gaming VPN with some really good security features. It also allows 30 simultaneous connections, is easy to use, and has a router app. VyprVPN has monthly and yearly plans and backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
6. (Bonus) ProtonVPN — Best Free Gaming VPN
ProtonVPN is one of the only VPNs that offer a free plan with unlimited data, allowing you to game as much as you want. The free plan allows you to access only 3 VPN server locations (the Netherlands, Japan, and the US), but I had no issues playing video games connected to these servers. Also, I love ProtonVPN’s VPN Accelerator feature, which uses performance-enhancing technologies to boost VPN speeds on distant servers.
While the free plan limits you to 1 device, you can set up ProtonVPN on your router to cover all devices, including consoles. However, the free plan only provides “medium” speeds, and doesn’t support streaming or torrenting.
Upgrading to ProtonVPN’s paid plans gives you access to even faster speeds (with instant connections to gaming servers and low ping), up to 10 simultaneous connections, access to servers in 60+ countries, and streaming and torrenting support.
ProtonVPN’s apps are really intuitive — they come with 1-click connections, easy-to-understand explanations for all settings, and a “Profiles” feature that lets you create your own connection preferences.
In addition to the free plan, ProtonVPN has 3 tier-based paid plans that start at $4.00 / month and come with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
ProtonVPN has a good free plan for gamers that comes with unlimited data, “medium” speeds, provides access to servers in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands, and allows 1 connection. There are 3 tier-based paid plans that have the “fastest” speeds, give you access to 60+ locations, allow up to 10 connections, support torrenting and streaming, and have a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.
How I Rated the Best VPNs for Gaming in 2022:
- Security. I only recommend VPNs with industry-standard VPN security features (256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, and a no-logs policy) and secure protocols (rules that dictate how a VPN connection is established) like WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec.
- Anti-DDoS protection. VPNs protect you against DDoS attacks by hiding your IP address (hackers can’t use it to DDoS your network). A DDoS attack is when another user routes tons of traffic to your network. The overload of traffic on your network can force you offline, disconnect you from the game server, or create lag to slow down your connection. All the VPNs on my list also have anti-DDoS protection on their servers. This way, you’re protected even if someone decides to DDoS the VPN server you’re connected to.
- Fast speeds. All VPNs slow down your speeds because they encrypt your data, but good VPNs minimize the speed loss. The VPNs on this list decreased my speeds by no more than 35%, which is good enough for uninterrupted gaming.
- Ease of use. The VPNs on this list have easy-to-use apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS with intuitive interfaces and 1-click connections (they also have router apps).
- Pricing. I only recommend VPNs that have affordable, flexible plans, accept multiple payment options, and back each purchase with a money-back guarantee.
Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut:
- Hola VPN. Hola VPN has fast speeds for gaming and is free, but it doesn’t use encryption, keeps user logs, and has leaked user IP addresses. And Hola VPN uses a P2P model — you use another Hola VPN user’s IP address and they use your IP address. This is dangerous because someone could use your IP address to engage in illegal activities.
- SlickVPN. SlickVPN is secure and allows torrenting on all servers, but it has a small server network (it’s hard to find nearby servers for fast speeds), has very slow speeds for gaming on distant servers, there are no mobile apps, and its desktop apps are not user-friendly.
- BolehVPN. BolehVPN is fast and secure, but I don’t like that it can temporarily turn on logging if it notices unusual activity or receives complaints. Also, its server network is very small and its apps are complicated to use.
Frequently Asked Questions about VPNs for Gaming
What’s the best VPN for gaming?
ExpressVPN is my favorite gaming VPN in 2022 — it has excellent security features, provides very fast speeds while gaming, has very intuitive apps, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Even though ExpressVPN is the best VPN for gaming, there are other good gaming VPNs out there. CyberGhost VPN has dedicated gaming servers, and Private Internet Access provides low ping and has very intuitive apps. IPVanish allows gaming on unlimited devices, VyprVPN is very fast, and ProtonVPN is a good free gaming VPN.
Do you need a VPN for gaming?
Yes, I strongly recommend using a VPN when you play online video games. A VPN provides excellent security and privacy features for gaming.
When it comes to security, all of the VPNs on this list use 256-bit AES encryption, which scrambles all of your data and is used by banks and militaries. Plus, the top VPNs come with a kill switch to prevent your data from leaking if your VPN connection fails, and IP leak protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks.
When it comes to privacy, a VPN replaces your IP address with an IP address from a different location, essentially hiding your actual IP address. This prevents your internet service provider (ISP) from throttling your internet speed, and it protects you from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Also, a VPN helps you bypass IP bans and geo-restricted websites so you can game on servers abroad. Lastly, all of the VPNs on this list have a strict no-logs policy, which means the provider doesn’t log any of your online traffic.
How to use a VPN for gaming?
You can start using a gaming VPN in just 3 quick and simple steps:
- Pick a good gaming VPN. Choose a VPN that is secure, fast, and easy to use — I recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app. The installation process takes about 1–2 minutes.
- Connect to a VPN server. Open the VPN app, and either use the quick-connect feature (it connects you to the fastest server for your location) or manually scroll through the list of available locations and pick a server. And that’s it — you can now game securely and privately.
Can you use a free VPN for gaming?
There are free VPNs out there, but I don’t recommend using them. Free VPNs usually lack important security features, log your traffic, are slow, limit how much data you can use, and have glitchy apps.
But if you want a good free gaming VPN, I recommend ProtonVPN’s free plan — it comes with unlimited data, high-end security, a strict no-logs policy, and “medium” speeds. However, it limits you to 1 device and access to only 3 server locations (the Netherlands, Japan, and the US).
Honestly, I strongly recommend that you purchase a low-cost gaming VPN like ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, or Private Internet Access. They’re all secure, provide fast gaming speeds, have intuitive apps for most platforms, and offer a money-back guarantee.
What’s the fastest VPN for gaming?
In my tests, ExpressVPN provided me with the fastest gaming speeds (I only experienced a 20% slowdown) — I connected to gaming servers nearly instantly, I always had low ping, I didn’t experience lag, and large updates downloaded really fast.
But I also had fast speeds with all the top VPNs on this list.