Best VPNs for Online Gaming
A Virtual Private Network is a service that allows you to connect to the internet via a securely encrypted server. You can use a VPN for games, although there are some downsides worth mentioning. Keep scrolling to see why you might need a VPN for online gaming.
Love playing games like Fortinet, PUBG, Overwatch, and Minecraft? These incredibly popular games have completely changed the online gaming landscape over the past few years. Unfortunately, various regional restrictions mean these games might not be available everywhere.
A VPN allows you to connect your device to a country where the game isn’t blocked. Changing your device’s virtual location with a VPN allows you to bypass regional restrictions.
Perhaps your IP address has been blocked or the game developers might have even banned you by accident? Using a high-quality VPN can give you a clean slate by helping you bypass these bans. Here are 10 best VPNs for online gaming in 2018.
No.1 Private Internet Access VPN
Private Internet Access is the best example of function over form as it features a rather crude interface but offered the best performance of all the VPNs we tested, has over 2,000 servers, and is quite affordable too. We also like that it offers a few extra features such as the ability to block ads automatically and a kill switch to terminate your Internet connection if the VPN drops. It's not much to look at but who cares? It's fast and affordable, and won't interfere with your gaming much, if at all.
Private Internet Access is offered in three pricing tiers, listed below:
- $3.33 per month billed annually ($39.95 a year)
- $5.99 per month billed every six months ($35.95 per six months)
- $6.95 per month billed monthly
In the UK? Get Private Internet Access here from £2.10 per month.
No.2 IPVanish VPN
IPVanish delivered excellent performance and has a slick, informative interface, though you'll end up paying a bit more for that fancy UI. It's worth it though as you can see how busy individual servers are before connecting, and even filter them by latency. It even lets you cycle your IP address periodically for increased protection. We really liked IPVanish overall and it's high on our list for sure.
If you'd like to give IPVanish a spin, it offers three pricing tiers for you to check out:
- $7.99 a month billed monthly / £6.12 a month billed monthly
- $7.19 a month billed every 3 months ($21.57 every 3 months) / £5.50 a month billed every 3 months (£16.53 every 3 months)
- $5.19 billed annually ($62.31 annually) / £3.97 billed annually (£47.76 annually)
No.3 VPN Unlimited
If you're just looking for the least expensive VPN, look no further than VPN Unlimited. It even offers a lifetime subscription, making it insanely cheap depending on your age. It can be used on up to five devices, and offers a simple and easy to use interface.
If you want to try KeepSolid, it offers monthly, annual, or lifetime subscriptions:
- $6.29 a month billed monthly / £6.88 a month billed monthly
- $3 a month billed annually ($36 a year) / £2.55 a month billed annually (£30.61 a year)
- $135 lifetime subscription / £114.82 lifetime subscription
VyprVPN offers a basic and a premium service, both of which come in at fairly standard VPN price ranges:
- VyprVPN basic:
$9.95 a month billed monthly / £7.18 a month billed monthly (UK)
$5.00 a month billed annual ($60.00 a year) / £3.61 a month billed annual (UK)
- VyprVPN premium:
$12.95 a month billed monthly / £9.34 a month billed monthly (UK)
$6.67 a month billed annually ($80.04 a year) / £4.81 a month billed annually (UK)
PureVPN is sort of the jack of all trades VPN that wasn't the absolute fastest VPN in our tests, but it was faster than most and certainly fast enough. It also has servers in the most countries of any VPN we've tested, with a staggering 141 countries available. It's also supported on up to five devices, and also lets you allow only certain apps to run through the VPN, which is handy when you want maximum performance for specific apps, but privacy for other apps. Also, if you buy a two-year plan, it's the cheapest VPN we've seen at just $2.95 a month.
If you want to give it a try PureVPN offers three payment plans. The price of month-to-month plan of $10.95 a month is average -- you may save a buck a month or pay a buck a month more on other services. Its two-year plan offers one of the lowest monthly charges that we’ve encountered for a high-quality VPN, however, at only $2.95 a month. It's a great price.
$10.95 a month billed monthly / £8.42 a month billed monthly
$8.95 a month billed every 6 months ($53.70 per 6 months) / £6.89 a month billed every 6 months (£41.35 per 6 months)
$2.95 a month billed every 2 years ($70.80 per 2 years) / £2.26 a month billed every 2 years (£54.24 per 2 years)
With 148 different locations across 94 countries, ExpressVPN should allow you to find a swift server from anywhere in the world. The service excels in the mobile department by offering intuitive custom apps, in particular for Android and iOS. Naturally, all of that means nothing without solid speeds and this VPN certainly delivers in that regard with very good performance levels overall.
ExpressVPN costs more than most VPNs and there’s no free trial available to get a sneak preview. If you opt to sign up, the 1-year plan is the most affordable choice, plus you get a bonus three months. However, if you're not satisfied with the service, you can contact customer support within 30 days of your purchase and get a full refund, no questions asked. The packages available are:
- $6.67 a month billed every 15 months (with 3 free months) - $99.95
- $9.99 a month billed every 6 months - $59.95
- $12.95 a month billed every month - $12.95
No.7 Nord VPN
We found that this Panama-based VPN delivered impressive performance levels in our testing, with speeds nearly matching our regular (non-VPN) rates. Doubtless the fact that NordVPN boasts over 4,836 servers in 62 cities globally helps when hunting for a fast and stable connection.
Gamers have a wide range of smart native clients at their disposal – Windows, Mac, iOS and Android – with tutorials for a variety of other devices and platforms.
This provider is particularly strong on the security front, offering ‘double VPN’ functionality (where traffic is sent through two separate VPN servers), the option of a dedicated IP, and DDoS protection on selected servers. NordVPN operates a ‘no logs’ policy.
The service offers a free trial but you wouldn’t know it from NordVPN’s homepage. While monthly billing is expensive, things get far more affordable if you commit for longer, and indeed the limited three-year subscription represents very good value for money. The packages available are:
- $11.95 a month billed every month - $11.95
- $9.00 a month billed every 6 months - $54.00
- $6.99 a month billed every year - $83.88
- $2.75 a month billed every 3 years - $99.00
No.8 Buffered VPN
With servers in 45 locations, Buffered VPN offers decent global coverage, but it’s the performance which is of most interest here – specifically the low latency offered. In our tests, this provider actually gave us slightly lower ping times than our normal connection, with fast upload speeds to boot (although download speeds weren’t so hot).
That said, if you’re into mobile gaming, you have both Android and iOS as an option. iOS client is fairly recent so it might not be as polished as other clients. Also, setup instructions are given for manually configuring smartphones and tablets for the more tech-savvy.
Buffered VPN is among the pricier providers, even if you opt for a 13-month plan which is the best option. At least there’s a sterling refund policy here, allowing you to get your money back as long as you haven’t gone over any of the following limits: 10 hours, 100 sessions or 10GB of bandwidth. The packages available are:
- $7.62 a month billed every 13 months (1 free month for the first year) - $99.00
- $9.99 a month billed every 6 months - $59.94
- $12.99 a month billed every month - $12.99
No.9 Windscribe VPN
Windscribe VPN has two notable distinctions right up front: first, it is the most expensive service on an annual basis, and second, it was the only service we looked at that supports an unlimited number of clients, making this worth a look for larger households with more than five devices to connect. Windscribe VPN supports Windows and Mac, as well as iOS, but leaves out Android support on the free tier. It also has router support for both DD-WRT and Tomato firmware.
The paid tier, which is unlimited, is priced at $9/month, or $49 annually, and includes unlimited bandwidth for an unlimited number of devices. While the free tier has servers in only 11 locations, the paid tier bumps it up to a healthy 50 countries. They also claim to not “Keep any permanent logs,” although this is hardly synonymous with a “No log” policy; there is an integrated Kill switch. They also have their Windflix feature to unblock US Netflix when viewing overseas. The packages available are:
- $3.75 a month billed every 12 months
- $4.50 a month billed every month
If we were giving out awards for the cutest VPN, TunnelBear would easily win with its bear themed software that makes the promise to “Browse privately with a bear.” It was also the simplest to set up and use.
TunnelBear VPN includes a free tier of 500 MB monthly (least amount of data of any service), and unlimited browsing for $9.99 monthly, or $49.99 annually (although the annual cost is a better deal than the monthly pricing), making it moderately priced for the category. It supports all the major platforms, including Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and has extensions for Chrome and Opera. They state that the service cannot be configured manually to run on a router. TunnelBear VPN also promises to collect “the minimal amount of information required to operate our service.” And the packages available are:
$4.99 a month billed every 12 months
$9.99 a month billed every month
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