The best VPN service for online gaming and hosting

Are you looking for an excellent online gaming VPN to use when playing Dota 2, League of Legends, Starcraft 2, World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike, Fortnite, Minecraft, Overwatch, or PUBG?

Why would you want to use a VPN for online gaming?

Online gamers want the quickest connection possible to a gaming server, so using a VPN may seem counter-intuitive at first. A VPN service, short for Virtual Private Network, encrypts a device’s internet connection and routes it via an intermediate server in the user’s chosen region.

Encryption and rerouting often delay communications and cause latency. However, go a little further, and players will discover a variety of methods to employ VPNs.

Why should you use a VPN while gaming?

  • Access geo-restricted games that are not available in your country of residence. Is your preferred game only available in South Korea or Japan? There is no issue! Simply connect to a VPN server located in one of those countries and practice your language abilities.
  • Bypass IP restrictions. Have you been unfairly IP-blacklisted from a game you enjoy? A VPN will mask your IP address, allowing you to rejoin the fray.
  • When going overseas, access to Steam and other markets is restricted. If your IP address does not match the country shown on your profile, Steam and other online game vendors may refuse to accept payment. A VPN may help you circumvent this.
  • Defend yourself from DDoS assaults. If you’re a professional gamer and your opponent’s team employs dubious techniques to target your IP address with a denial-of-service assault, many VPNs provide built-in defenses against this.
  • Security against hackers and snoopers. Leaving your connection open for an extended length of time while playing a game might pose a security concern. VPN encryption and IP masking capabilities help keep you secure.
  • Play games that are not yet available in your country. A VPN may give you an early start if you live in Europe and want to play a game that is only accessible in the United States. Simply make sure that you are not violating any terms of service.
  • Access gaming servers in different areas. If you wish to play with a buddy in another country but the game’s servers are region-locked, a VPN may let you connect.
  • Discord should be unblocked. Discord is restricted in various nations and situations. The VPN we suggest provides split tunneling, which enables users to choose to use the VPN with some applications and not with others. You may use a VPN to unblock Discord while maintaining a direct connection to gaming.
  • Access to streaming services for video games. Google Stadia and XCloud are only accessible in certain countries. They may be unblocked using a VPN.

Certain online gaming VPNs claim to be able to significantly reduce ping time and latency. We advise you to take such a statement with a grain of salt. While a VPN may provide access to a higher-performing game server or even identify a quicker path between you and the game server, in certain situations, the encryption process and rerouting via an additional server will almost always raise ping time.

Best VPN service for online gaming

The VPN we propose fulfills certain requirements for online gaming. Additionally, they fulfill our criteria for speed, privacy, and security:

  • Server count and location. Numerous servers located across the globe will provide you with access to more games and lower latency.
  • Firewalls with NAT and anti-DDoS protection. This will assist you in defending against hackers and denial-of-service assaults.
  • Rapidity and dependability. A little old-fashioned bandwidth and a reliable connection will go a long way toward keeping you in the game and competitively playing.
  • Gaming servers that are dedicated. Certain VPNs feature servers that are geared towards gaming.
  • Tier 1 Network. The Tier 1 network links the VPN provider’s servers to the fastest available network. It will not accept downstream internet service providers that purchase bandwidth from a larger corporation and then resell it. A VPN that uses only Tier 1 networks is directly connected to the internet’s backbone.
  • Split tunneling. A function that enables you to pick which applications connect over the VPN and which connect directly. For instance, if Discord is restricted in your region, you may configure it to connect through a VPN and use a direct connection for gaming.

NordVPN

NordVPN is our top recommendation for a gaming VPN. It has over 5,000 servers spread throughout several countries. A few of them have built-in anti-DDoS protection, providing very robust connections. NordVPN is lightning fast. Indeed, it outperformed all its rivals in our most recent round of testing.

The server load and the distance between you and the server are shown next to each server in the app, which should provide some idea of ping time. You may “favorite” a server to make it easier to discover later. NordVPN’s Chrome and Firefox browser extensions, as well as its mobile applications, all allow split tunneling.

Apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android are available. If you wish to connect to a gaming console, NordVPN’s website has hundreds of tips on how to configure the VPN on a variety of different kinds of wireless routers.

The methodology used to suggest the top VPN for gaming

Choosing a VPN for gaming might be challenging. After all, they’re rather complicated pieces of software with an almost infinite number of sources. To find the best VPN, we must first decide which features have the most influence on gameplay and then establish baseline criteria for each. The following criteria were used to distinguish the best from the rest:

  • Speed: Speed is the most critical factor to consider when choosing a gaming VPN. Low transmission rates often cause lag, stuttering, and intermittent disconnections. To avoid this, the service we suggest must have performed better than average in our most recent speed testing.
  • Network size: In general, the closer your selected server is to your location, the lower your latency (although other factors impact this as well). It’s critical for a gaming VPN to have extensive worldwide coverage to ensure that you always have access to a nearby server. Each of our suggestions spans at least 55 nations.
  • Security features: Gamers face several risks, ranging from DDoS assaults to targeted abuse (including particularly dangerous types such as SWATTING). The best VPN for gaming should have a range of capabilities (such as encryption, a kill switch, and DNS leak prevention) that let you conceal your actual identity and location.
  • Limit on monthly data usage: Certain services place a limit on the amount of data you may use each month. Others will slow you down once a particular amount of time has passed. To guarantee that you can game as much as you want, our best VPN for gaming must have limitless bandwidth and never restrict your connections.
  • Logging policy: To maintain the highest level of anonymity, these services must not record any data that may be used to identify you. In an ideal world, they would store no logs at all, since this would prohibit them from disclosing any user information at any time. Learn more about each VPN’s logging policy by visiting this page.
  • Unblocking capability: If your game is not accessible globally, does not allow you to manually switch regions, or has region-exclusive events, you may need to use a VPN to circumvent its geographic limitations. Our best VPN must be able to elude detection to minimize the risk of any repercussions, such as a temporary suspension.

Gaming VPN FAQs

Does a VPN lessen ping time and lag?

In most circumstances, no. A VPN passes your data via an intermediate server, which is often slower than a direct connection. On top of that, all the data must be encrypted and decrypted between your device and the VPN server, increasing latency and ping time. A few exceptions do occur, such as when the VPN helps the user circumvent crowded bottlenecks between their device and the game server. But this mostly relies on the player’s surroundings, the game’s servers, and their locations.

Can I play games from other regions?

Yes, a VPN will alter your IP address, which is how most games will detect your location. For example, if you want to play a game that’s only accessible in Japan, simply connect to a VPN server in Japan. Similarly, many online games segment users geographically, requiring them to play on region-specific servers. A VPN may connect you to servers in any country where the provider has servers. Bear in mind that you may need to use a local payment method and a local gaming account as well.

Is it possible to use a free VPN for gaming?

Not at all. Free VPNs are often much slower and less trustworthy than commercial VPNs. Additionally, they have fewer server locations, which restricts your region’s unblocking possibilities. Additionally, free VPNs are less secure and often capture your personal data to profit from targeted advertising.

How does a VPN keep me safe when I’m gaming?

If a DDoS or other kind of assault is launched against your IP address while you are gaming, the attack will be directed towards the VPN servers, not your device. This protects you from attacks and conceals your true IP address. Additionally, a VPN protects your connection from being snooped on by any other party on your local network.

Is it legal to use a VPN to play video games?

In general, yes. Certain games’ terms of service may expressly restrict the use of VPNs and other proxies. Even if that is true, it would be impossible for game managers to determine if you are using a VPN or not.

Is it possible to utilize a VPN to access Steam, Xbox Live, or the PlayStation Network while traveling?

If you’re in a place where your chosen gaming network is restricted, a VPN may let you bypass the restriction. Many gaming networks, such as Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, are restricted in China, for example. Simply ensure that you use a VPN that is compatible with China. Additionally, a VPN might assist you in buying circumstances when traveling overseas. In certain locations, a game may not be accessible on Steam, or you may be required to purchase it using a local method of payment, for example. A VPN may assist you in accessing your local Steam version, allowing you to buy games properly.

What VPN settings should I use for gaming?

Generally, the default settings for your VPN program should be sufficient. All you have to do is choose a server location from which you will be able to access the games you choose to play. Geographically, nearby servers often have the lowest ping times. The majority of VPN protocols operate at around the same speed. If your VPN permits, utilize a lower-encryption level and deactivate any further privacy features like modulating IP addresses or traffic obfuscation.

Can I unblock games at my school or place of employment?

Yes, a VPN should enable you to unblock games that are generally blocked in companies and schools due to firewalls. While connected to a VPN, your internet connection is fully secret, which means that no one can see the websites you browse or the games you play.

VPN for online game hosting

You now know which VPN to use if all you want to do online is play a game. However, what if you want to host one? This necessitates the consideration of two more criteria:

  • Port forwarding. Frequently, games are restricted to certain ports. A VPN with port forwarding is required for gaming servers and older LAN games. Other players may now discover and connect to your public IP address through the forwarded port. Not that port forwarding your router and VPN at the same time is not essential or even recommended. Only the VPN needs port forwarding; else, you risk being attacked.
  • Static IP addresses are sometimes referred to as dedicated IP addresses, albeit the two terms are significantly different. A static IP address enables you to create a dependable gaming server that does not constantly change IP addresses. Additionally, they let people connect to your host computer using LAN applications such as Hamachi or Evolve without having to continuously update your IP address.

Keeping these parameters in mind, the following are a few VPNs that specialize in hosting online games:

  • LiquidVPN: Dedicated IP servers may be located by selecting “dedicated” from the “topology” selection in the LiquidVPN software. From the control panel, you may open the ports in the firewall and have them forwarded to your IP address. For additional charges, LiquidVPN provides customers with private static IP addresses. These IP addresses are exclusive to the user and are not shared with anyone else.
  • NordVPN: Provides a limited number of free static IP servers. Although port forwarding is not presently available, the business promises it will include it in a future release.
  • AirVPN: Each Air VPN server has a single static exit IP address, which is used to identify clients connected to the server on the internet. No special setup is required. Users may forward up to 20 ports concurrently using the AirVPN website’s client area dashboard. Private dedicated IP addresses are available upon request with AirVPN.
  • TorGuard: In the TorGuard app’s settings menu, under the Servers tab, you may add dedicated server IP addresses to the list. It will then show at the top of the primary client’s server selection list. To request port forwarding, visit the TorGuard website. Typically, processing is instantaneous. To access My Services, go to My Services > View Details >> Management Actions >> Port Management.

VPNs to avoid if you’re a gamer

BolehVPN

Overall, we enjoy BolehVPN, but not for gaming. We’re highlighting it here simply because several other websites claim to provide gaming-optimized servers and game hosting services. Indeed, it has never supplied servers tailored for gaming and has since ceased offering game hosting services. With just 14 nations available, it’s simply not conducive to gaming.

VPNs that are completely free

Typically, free VPNs have a restricted number of servers, limit data transfers, require connection queueing, and throttle bandwidth. Additionally, they often have laxer security and privacy regulations than premium VPN providers, making them inappropriate for gaming.

Utilizing PPTP to get a quicker connection

Normally, we would never advocate PPTP over OpenVPN, SSTP, or L2TP. If they are too sluggish, you may want to explore gaming using the PPTP protocol. PPTP is often quicker than other alternatives and continues to be extensively supported by VPN providers and operating systems.

However, you should not rely solely on a PPTP VPN connection to ensure your security. The protocol is known to have security flaws. Use it just for non-privacy-sensitive tasks.

SOCKS5 proxy server for online gaming

If all you want to do is access a geo-blocked game in your region, try utilizing a SOCKS5 proxy. Since SOCKS5 proxies do not encrypt communication by default, they are often quicker than VPNs (not the overloaded free ones, mind you).

Bear in mind, however, that SOCKS5 proxies lack the security benefits associated with VPNs. The provider may collect personal data from your traffic and implant viruses or advertising. No NAT firewall or DDoS protection is included.

NordVPN memberships provide unlimited SOCKS5 proxies and a large selection of locations. The organization adheres to a stringent no-logs policy, so you never have to worry about your data being misused.

How to keep children safe while they play internet games

Privacy and security are just as critical while gaming as they are when browsing the internet. Children who play online games expose themselves to a variety of dangers, including cyber harassment, virus infection, swatting, violation of privacy, and, simply speaking, individuals with whom you would prefer not to interact.

Here are a few steps you may take to keep your children safe when gaming online:

  • Utilize a VPN. This will conceal your actual IP address at home and replace it with the IP address of the VPN server, making it far more difficult for any third party to trace your location or identify your device.
  • Maintain the latest versions of your devices and applications. Keep your PCs, cellphones, and gaming consoles up to speed with security updates. Similarly, update programs and games as soon as new versions become available.
  • Avoid piracy and download games exclusively from recognized websites and retailers.
  • Utilize your gaming console’s or Steam’s parental settings and filters to keep children away from adult content.
  • Personal information and other data should be deleted from unused devices.
  • Disable voice chat in games that use public matchmaking to connect players.
  • When broadcasting on Twitch, avoid using a camera.
  • Avoid using a genuine picture as your avatar.
  • Use a pseudonym or alias for your gamer handle or profile. Indeed, you should leave any non-essential information blank on your profile.
  • Configure your account’s settings to prevent your youngster from purchasing games or microtransactions without your approval.

While all of these measures may help protect your child online, the most effective safeguard is knowledge. Discuss with your younger child the dangers of disclosing personal information to strangers. The following are some recommendations for children:

  • Never provide your true age, name, school, or address.
  • Never arrange to meet someone in real life who you met in a game.
  • Inform an adult if you are being bullied or made to feel uneasy. No child should be penalized for confiding in his or her parents.
  • Never trust what strangers say on the internet.
  • Avoid becoming a troll.
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