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10 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2023 (Fast & Secure)

Tim Mocan Tim Mocan

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

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN: Comes with high-end security features, provides the fastest gaming speeds on the market, and has support for cloud gaming platforms. Also comes with really user-friendly apps (including a router app), excellent streaming and P2P support, affordable plans, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

I spent a couple of weeks researching and testing the top VPNs on the market to find the best ones for gaming in 2023.

Unfortunately, I learned that many VPNs are pretty bad for gaming — some have very slow speeds, causing lag, stuttering, freezes, and frequent disconnects, while others have buggy apps that are complicated to use.

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 (some even have apps for routers), include excellent security features, and are affordable.

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Quick summary of the best VPNs for gaming:

  • 1.🥇ExpressVPN — Best gaming VPN in 2022. Has the fastest gaming speeds on this list, is easy to use (even has an intuitive router app), provides support for cloud gaming, and includes excellent security features.
  • 2.🥈Private Internet Access — Great pick for stable ping and ease of use. Maintains stable ping across nearby and distant servers, provides fast gaming speeds, has very user-friendly apps, and offers great security while gaming.
  • 3.🥉CyberGhost VPN — Has dedicated gaming servers and great automation. Provides access to gaming servers that maintain faster speeds than regular servers, has very intuitive apps that allow you to automate VPN connections while gaming, and comes with great security features.
  • 4. NordVPN — Provides secure connections and reliable speeds. Includes a range of advanced security features and extra features like the ability to host secure gaming servers for your friends to join.
  • 5. Surfshark — Unlimited connections and affordable plans. Doesn’t limit the number of devices you can connect with a single account. Also has easy-to-use apps, good security features, and fast speeds on most servers.
  • Plus 5 more!
  • Comparison of the Best Gaming VPNs.

🥇 1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Gaming in 2023

🥇 1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for Gaming in 2023

ExpressVPN is the best gaming VPN on the market — it has the fastest gaming speeds on this list (and on the market), easy-to-use apps, including a native router app, and excellent security features.

In my tests, I had very 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. Plus, ExpressVPN provides access to 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries, so it’s really easy to game on nearby servers to get the fastest speeds.

Also, ExpressVPN barely slowed down my speeds when I used 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.

And on top of iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux apps, there’s also a router app. ExpressVPN’s router app is very easy to install, and there are helpful setup tutorials — it took me less than 8–9 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. Another option is Aircove, which is the provider’s own router that comes with the app preinstalled.

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.

You also get 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. It’s 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.

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Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN is my favorite gaming VPN in 2023 — it’s extremely fast, 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 backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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🥈 2. Private Internet Access — Good for Stable Ping & Ease of Use

🥈 2. Private Internet Access — Good for Stable Ping & Ease of Use
Private Internet Access (PIA) consistently maintains stable ping while gaming on all servers. I always had low ping while connected to local and nearby servers — my ping was higher on distant servers, but it still didn’t negatively affect my gaming sessions.

In my speed tests, I also had really fast connections — it never took me more than a few seconds to connect to a gaming server, and I was able to download large 10–15 GB updates in just 11–12 minutes, which is really good. Also, PIA has servers located in 80+ countries around the world, so it’s very easy to find a nearby server to get fast gaming 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. There are also automation options available, so you can configure the VPN app to automatically connect to a VPN server when you game on public Wi-Fi. 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.

There’s no cloud gaming support (like you get with ExpressVPN), and PIA doesn’t guarantee it will work with cloud gaming platforms — that said, I was still able to use this VPN to game on platforms like GeForce Now and Amazon Luna.

PIA’s no-logs policy has been independently audited and verified, and it’s also been proven true many times in court documents. You also get advanced security features like full leak protection and open-source apps (anyone can inspect the code). And there’s also PIA MACE, which is the best VPN ad blocker in 2023 — in my tests, it always got rid of ads on gaming sites, which made them load faster, and prevented me from connecting to shady websites that host online games.

PIA is a really good torrenting VPN — it allows P2P traffic on all servers, works with top P2P apps like uTorrent and Vuze, has port forwarding (connects you to more peers to get faster downloads), and provides SOCKS5 proxy support, which changes your IP address like a VPN but doesn’t use encryption, so you get much faster speeds. I tested PIA’s port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxy and was able to download large games faster than without them.

Private Internet Access allows up to 10 simultaneous connections and has affordable monthly and yearly plans, which start at only $2.19 / month. It also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Bottom Line:

Private Internet Access provides fast speeds and stable ping while gaming, has user-friendly apps, and is very secure. PIA comes with advanced security features like full leak protection and open-source apps, and there are also extra features like an ad blocker. PIA has affordable plans, which it backs with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Private Internet Access review

🥉 3. CyberGhost VPN — Dedicated Gaming Servers & Great Automation

🥉 3. CyberGhost VPN — Dedicated Gaming Servers & Great Automation

CyberGhost VPN provides access to 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries, out of which there are 70+ gaming servers in 4 countries (the US, the UK, France, and Germany) — those servers provide faster downloads and gaming speeds than its regular servers.

When gaming with CyberGhost VPN on my PC and laptop, I always had fast speeds — online matches never dropped and I downloaded large updates pretty fast.

I also like how there are apps for all platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. There’s no router app (like ExpressVPN has), but you can perform a relatively quick manual setup on your router if you follow the provider’s tutorials. Also, CyberGhost VPN’s apps are very intuitive — I especially like that the dedicated gaming servers have their own category, which makes it very easy to find and connect to them.

And I’m a big fan of the Smart Rules feature, 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.

Unfortunately, there’s no cloud gaming support (like ExpressVPN has) — however, CyberGhost VPN worked without issues when I tried using it with services like Google Stadia.

You also get strong security and privacy, as the no-logs policy has been independently audited. In addition, there are RAM-only servers, perfect forward secrecy, and full leak protection. There’s also Content Blocker, which is good at protecting you from shady gaming sites — but it can’t get rid of ads as well as Private Internet Access’s PIA MACE can.

I also like the My ID Guard feature, which lets you generate secure passwords and get alerts if your email address and passwords have been leaked on the dark web — that helps you keep tabs on your gaming accounts to keep them safe.

In addition to dedicated gaming servers, CyberGhost VPN has dedicated streaming and P2P servers — it has servers for 100+ streaming apps in 20+ countries, and allows torrenting on 8,000+ servers in 70+ countries.

CyberGhost VPN allows 7 simultaneous connections, and it has monthly and yearly plans that start at $2.19 / month. It also backs all yearly plans with a 45-day money-back guarantee (the monthly plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee).

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Bottom Line:

CyberGhost VPN has dedicated gaming servers, provides great speeds, is very easy to use and comes with automation features, and is secure. 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 affordable and has a 45-day money-back guarantee for long-term plans.

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Read the full CyberGhost VPN review

4. NordVPN — Secure Connections + Fast Speeds

4. NordVPN — Secure Connections + Fast Speeds

NordVPN includes a range of advanced security features like full leak protection, RAM-only servers, and perfect forward secrecy. Its no-logs policy has also been independently audited (like ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access), and it was also proven true when a data center that housed one of its servers suffered a data breach, and no user data was compromised.

My favorite thing about NordVPN is its Meshnet feature — it lets you create a secure, private network and link up to 60 devices over encrypted VPN connections. This helps you host virtual LAN parties securely so you can game with all of your friends.

I also really like how fast NordVPN is. During my tests, NordVPN slowed my connection by about 12% on average. This is slower than ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, but it still allowed me to connect nearly instantly to gaming servers during my tests. I also downloaded a 10 GB game update in around 5 minutes and had a consistent connection speed and ping during my games whether I was connected to a nearby server or one that was more distant.

NordVPN offers monthly and yearly plans starting at $2.99 / month. It also has subscriptions that offer access to extra services like NordVPN’s password manager and encrypted cloud storage. NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

Bottom Line:

NordVPN is a great option for gamers due to its high security and good speeds. It also includes extra features that are great for connecting gamers securely. All of NordVPN’s plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full NordVPN review

5. Surfshark — Unlimited Connections + Affordable Plans

5. Surfshark — Unlimited Connections + Affordable Plans

Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices with a single account. This makes it a good option for larger households with numerous devices to protect while gaming. This is good to see because very few VPNs allow unlimited connections.

It also has good speeds, but it can be pretty slow when connected to a distant server. During my tests, Surfshark only slowed my connection by about 13%. This is pretty good, but when I connected to a more distant server, my connection speed dropped by as much as 84%. For a VPN that has really fast speeds no matter which server you’re connected to, I recommend ExpressVPN as it consistently ranks #1 on our speed tests.

Surfshark also comes with really good security features — it includes an ad blocker, obfuscation, double VPN connections for added security, and IP Rotator, which regularly changes your IP address to make it harder for someone to track your location and browsing activity. It has advanced security features like RAM-only servers and perfect forward secrecy — however, unlike ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, it doesn’t have full leak protection.

Surfshark has monthly and yearly plans starting at just $2.30 / month. This makes it one of the most affordable VPNs on the market. It provides a good value by allowing an unlimited number of simultaneous connections, and it includes a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans.

Bottom Line:

Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices with a single account and has very affordable plans. It also has fast speeds (though not so much on distant servers), great security features, and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans.

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Read the full Surfshark review

6. Proton VPN — Best Free Gaming VPN

6. Proton VPN — Best Free Gaming VPN
Proton VPN has the best free plan for gaming (and also the best free plan on the market) — it’s one of the only free plans that allows unlimited data, so you can use it to game as much as you want.

The free plan limits you to servers in the US, the Netherlands, and Japan, so most users won’t be able to use a nearby server to get fast speeds. Even so, I enjoyed good speeds when connected to these servers from my location (Romania). Plus, I love how the free plan includes VPN Accelerator, a unique feature that boosts speeds on distant servers using speed-enhancing technologies — in my tests, it increased my speeds by a whopping 45%!

While the free plan limits you to 1 device, you can use Proton VPN on your router to cover all devices, including consoles. Unfortunately, there’s no router app (like you get with ExpressVPN), but there are useful tutorials that make the setup process pretty simple.

Upgrading to Proton VPN’s paid plans gives you access to 10 simultaneous connections, streaming and P2P support, and 1,900+ servers in 60+ countries. You also get faster speeds — I maintained average ping on distant servers and didn’t experience random crashes or dropped connections. But I did experience minor lag while connected to very distant servers, though it wasn’t game-breaking. That said, there was no lag when I used ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, or CyberGhost VPN.

Proton VPN has an audited no-logs policy, audited open-source apps, and advanced features like full leak protection and perfect forward secrecy. You also get access to NetShield, which is one of the best VPN ad blockers on the market.

Proton VPN’s paid plans start at $3.99 / month, so they’re pretty affordable. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, but it’s prorated.

Bottom Line:

Proton VPN has the best free plan for gamers — it comes with unlimited data and strong security, good speeds, servers in the US, Japan, and the Netherlands, and 1 connection. Upgrading to the premium plans gets you faster speeds, access to 60+ locations, up to 10 connections, torrenting and streaming support, and a great ad blocker. All purchases come with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Proton VPN review

7. IPVanish — Good for Gaming on Multiple Devices

7. IPVanish — Good for Gaming on Multiple Devices
IPVanish is 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.

It also maintains fast speeds, despite having just 2,000+ servers in 50+ countries (which is a smaller coverage than what ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost VPN, and Proton VPN provide). In my speed tests, online games downloaded in less than 10 minutes, and I never had very high ping, so I was never randomly disconnected and I didn’t experience stuttering while gaming.

Plus, I like how IPVanish has support for cloud gaming platforms — I never experienced any issues while using this VPN to game on GeForce Now. IPVanish also allows P2P traffic on all its servers, but it also has 20+ SOCKS5 proxy servers. While it works with Netflix, it doesn’t work with other popular streaming sites.

And IPVanish has easy-to-use apps for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. The apps aren’t as sleek as ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost VPN, and Proton 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 has monthly and annual subscription plans that 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.

Bottom Line:

IPVanish allows unlimited connections (for gaming on your PC, smartphone, and laptop). It also provides fast speeds while gaming and maintains stable ping, and has support for cloud gaming. IPVanish’s apps have intuitive interfaces, and there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for the yearly plan.

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8. VyprVPN — Very Fast Gaming VPN

8. VyprVPN — Very Fast Gaming VPN
VyprVPN is really fast and provides great security features. Despite only having 700+ servers in 60+ countries (which is a smaller network than Private Internet Access, CyberGhost VPN, and Proton VPN), I maintained fast gaming speeds on local and distant servers and didn’t experience high ping or lag.

I also like that it allows a whopping 30 simultaneous connections — and that’s perfect for large households that love to play video games. However, I don’t understand why it just doesn’t offer unlimited connections like IPVanish.

VyprVPN has user-friendly apps on most platforms, including routers. That said, its router app setup involves using command lines, so it might be a bit difficult for some people — I honestly think ExpressVPN’s router app is much better since it’s very easy to install it and it also has an intuitive design.

When it comes to security, VyprVPN has both standard and advanced security features, including perfect forward secrecy, a strict no-logs policy (that’s been audited), and encrypted DNS servers (for preventing DNS leaks). It also claims to have 300,000 IP addresses to help prevent DDoS attacks.

Unfortunately, there’s no official support for cloud gaming (like ExpressVPN and IPVanish have), so VyprVPN can’t guarantee that its service will work with those platforms — though it did work in my tests. There’s also P2P support on all servers, but the provider can’t access Disney+.

VyprVPN has monthly and yearly plans that start at just $5.00 / month and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

VyprVPN is a very fast gaming VPN with 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 a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full VyprVPN review

9. PrivateVPN — Decent Minimalistic VPN for Gaming

9. PrivateVPN — Decent Minimalistic VPN for Gaming

PrivateVPN’s iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS apps have a minimalistic design, as there aren’t a lot of features and settings to change, so gamers new to VPNs won’t feel overwhelmed when using them. And the few settings that are available come with helpful explanations.

You can also use the VPN on your router, but there’s unfortunately no router app (like you get with ExpressVPN and VyprVPN) — luckily, the manual setup is not very difficult since there are step-by-step tutorials available, some of which even include screenshots.

PrivateVPN only has 200+ servers, but they’re located in 60+ countries, so it’s easy to game on nearby servers to get fast speeds. In my tests, I always had stable ping even when gaming on distant servers, and I never experienced random disconnects or crashes while gaming.

There’s no support for cloud gaming platforms, but the provider still works with these services most of the time. You also get strong security features, including an app-based kill switch that shuts down selected apps (like video games) if your VPN connection drops. Also, P2P traffic is allowed on all servers, you can access all top streaming sites, including Netflix.

PrivateVPN allows up to 10 connections and has very affordable plans that start at $2.00 / month. It also backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

PrivateVPN has minimalistic apps for all major platforms that are pretty easy to use for gaming. It also provides really good gaming speeds, works with cloud gaming platforms most of the time, and has strong security features. It has very affordable plans and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full PrivateVPN review

10. TunnelBear — Good Beginner-Friendly VPN for Gamers

10. TunnelBear — Good Beginner-Friendly VPN for Gamers

TunnelBear is good for beginners because its apps are very user-friendly and really fun to use. The interface is simple to navigate, and you can even use a digital map to connect to VPN servers — and when you do that, an adorable digital bear digs a tunnel to the server’s location (on iOS and Android, it even roars when you connect to the server).

And like IPVanish, TunnelBear allows unlimited connections. While you can use TunnelBear on most devices, it unfortunately doesn’t have router support (like ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost VPN) — so you can’t use it while gaming on your consoles. It also doesn’t have support for cloud gaming platforms, but it does work with them most of the time.

TunnelBear only has servers in 45+ countries, but it still provides decent gaming speeds — I enjoyed stable ping, my connections to the gaming servers didn’t drop, and I only experienced minor lag, which wasn’t game-breaking. But I still think ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access provide much faster gaming speeds.

You also get strong security features, including full leak protection. In addition, P2P traffic is allowed on all servers, and the provider can access most top streaming sites (except Disney+).

TunnelBear comes with a free plan, but it’s not good for gaming because it limits you to 500 MB per month — instead, I recommend getting its affordable plans that start at $3.33 / month. Unfortunately, there’s no money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

TunnelBear is great for gamers new to VPNs thanks to its intuitive and fun-to-use apps. It also allows unlimited connections, provides good speeds, and works with cloud gaming services most of the time. Its free plan isn’t good for gaming, and there’s no money-back guarantee, but at least its paid plans are affordable.

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Bonus. Hotspot Shield — Really Fast Speeds & Good Security

Bonus. Hotspot Shield — Really Fast Speeds & Good Security

Hotspot Shield has really good speeds for gaming — I always maintained low ping on nearby servers and stable ping on distant servers, and it usually took me only 7–8 minutes to download 10 GB games. You also get access to 1800+ servers in 80+ countries.

The provider doesn’t guarantee that its services will work with cloud gaming platforms (like ExpressVPN and IPVanish do) — even, I was able to game with Hotspot Shield on platforms like Google Stadia and GeForce Now pretty much all the time.

Hotspot Shield has user-friendly apps for iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux, but it lacks a router app (like ExpressVPN and VyprVPN have) — to use this VPN while gaming on your console, you’ll need to perform a manual setup. Luckily, there are setup guides that show you what to do.

You get really good security features, including perfect forward secrecy and full leak protection (but it’s only available on Windows). There’s also P2P support on all servers, and the provider works with popular streaming sites like Netflix and Disney+.

Hotspot Shield’s paid plans start at $2.99 / month and come with 5 connections and access to all features. There’s also a free plan, but it’s not good for gaming (it limits you to 1 device, 1 server location in the US, and 500 MB per day). The paid plans are covered by a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Hotspot Shield provides really fast speeds for gaming. It also works with cloud gaming services almost all of the time, has user-friendly apps, and provides strong security features. Its free plan is not good for gaming, but its paid plans are affordable and come with a 45-day money-back guarantee.

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Read the full Hotspot Shield review

Comparison of the Best VPNs for Gaming in 2023

VPN Starting Price Server Network Cloud Gaming Support Anti-DDoS Protection Simultaneous Connections Free Plan Money-Back Guarantee
1.🥇 ExpressVPN $6.67 / month 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries 5 30 days
2.🥈 Private Internet Access $2.19 / month Unknown servers in 80+ countries 10 30 days
3.🥉 CyberGhost VPN $2.19 / month 9,400+ servers in 90+ countries 7 45 days (long-term plans only)
4. NordVPN $2.99 / month 5,400+ servers in 55+ countries 10 30 days
5. Surfshark $2.30 / month 3,200+ servers in 90+ countries Unlimited 30 days
6. Proton VPN $3.99 / month 1,900+ servers in 60+ countries 10 30 days (prorated)
7. IPVanish $3.99 / month 2,000+ servers in 45+ countries Unlimited 30 days (longest plan only)
8. VyprVPN $5.00 / month 700+ servers in 60+ countries 30 30 days
9. PrivateVPN $2.00 / month 200+ servers in 60+ countries 10 30 days
10. TunnelBear $3.33 / month Unknown servers in 45+ countries Unlimited
Bonus. Hotspot Shield $2.99 / month 1800+ servers in 80+ countries 5 45 days

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How to Choose the Best VPNs for Gaming in 2023:

  • Security. I only recommend VPNs with industry-standard VPN security features, such as 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy (to prevent the VPN from logging your data), protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, and a kill switch, which disables internet access if the VPN disconnects to prevent data leaks.
  • Anti-DDoS protection. VPNs protect you against DDoS attacks by changing 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. Almost 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 always provided me with really good speeds for gaming, so I didn’t deal with dropped connections, very high ping, and lag.
  • Ease of use. A great gaming VPN should have easy-to-use apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS with intuitive interfaces and 1-click connections. Two of my top picks (ExpressVPN and VyprVPN) even have router apps.
  • Good value. The VPN should allow gaming on multiple devices (ExpressVPN allows 5 connections and IPVanish allows unlimited connections), and provide access to extra feature, such as split-tunneling. In addition, I only recommend picking VPNs that have affordable, flexible plans, accept multiple payment options, and back each purchase with a generous money-back guarantee.

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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

What’s the best VPN for gaming?

ExpressVPN is my favorite gaming VPN in 2023 — it has excellent security features, provides very fast speeds while gaming, has very intuitive apps (including a router app), includes support for cloud gaming platforms, 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. Private Internet Access provides stable ping and has very intuitive apps, and CyberGhost VPN has dedicated gaming servers. Also, Proton VPN has the best free plan for gaming, and IPVanish allows gaming on unlimited devices

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.

In terms of security, VPNs encrypt your traffic, making it completely unreadable — so, nobody can spy on your gaming traffic. That means your internet service provider can’t throttle your bandwidth (slow down your speeds) when you enjoy long gaming sessions over the weekend or at night.

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 protects you from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Also, it helps you bypass IP bans and geo-restricted websites so you can game on servers abroad.

If you want to use a VPN for gaming, I recommend ExpressVPN — it provides excellent security features, has the fastest speeds on the market, has support for cloud gaming platforms like Google Stadia and GeForce Now, and comes with very intuitive apps (including a router app).

How to use a VPN for gaming?

You can start using a gaming VPN in just 3 quick and simple steps:

  1. Pick a good gaming VPN. Choose a VPN that is secure, fast, and easy to use — I recommend ExpressVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN app. The installation process takes about 1–2 minutes.
  3. 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 Proton VPN’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 (which isn’t surprising, as this is the fastest VPN on the market) — I connected to gaming servers nearly instantly, I always maintained good ping across all servers, 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.

Best VPNs for Gaming in 2023 — Final Score:

Rank
Overall Score
Best Deal
1
9.6
save 49%
2
9.4
save 82%
3
9.2
save 83%
4
9.0
save 63%
5
8.8
save 82%
About the Author
Tim Mocan
Tim Mocan
Lead Contributor

About the Author

Tim Mocan is a Lead Contributor at SafetyDetectives. He has 5+ years of experience researching and writing about cybersecurity topics, and he specializes in VPNs. Prior to joining SafetyDetectives, he worked as a contributor for other VPN review websites and as a content writer for several VPN providers. Throughout his freelance writing career, he has also covered other niches, including SEO, digital marketing, customer loyalty, home improvement, and health and rehab. Outside of work, Tim loves to spend his time traveling, playing video games, binging anime, and using VPNs (yes, really!).