Best VPN for Gaming 2022

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When it comes to online gaming, a myth that halts people from buying a secure VPN is the concern of performance and lagging. This may be the case with a free VPN but there are dozens of high-quality, affordable options that can actually improve your experience.

The best gaming VPN will hide your IP address, bypass geo-restrictions on online games, protect you against DDoS attacks, run at fast speeds, reduce ping times, and prevent internet speed throttling. Below, we did the research so you can buy the best VPN for gaming that suits your needs.

Top 5 VPNs for Gaming

1
Best VPN overall with 5,500+ servers, DDoS protection & unblocking ability
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2
Ultra-fast gaming VPN that’s cheap & very user friendly
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3
Budget-friendly VPN with servers optimized for gaming & P2P traffic
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4
Veteran VPN with 35,000+ servers & gaming console support on most models
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5
Secure VPN with data packet inspection prevention & multiple VPN protocols
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1. NordVPN

NordVPN
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvplaystaionxboxnintendo

Feature-rich VPN with strong privacy practices

Visit NordVPN
Cost
Lowest Price: 3.99/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 257 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 60

pros

  • Sleek app that's easy to use
  • Vast array of security features
  • Fast download speeds

cons

  • Expensive short-term plan
  • Does not accept PayPal
  • Basic browser extensions

Overall, NordVPN is the best gaming VPN around. It’s a feature-rich service that provides censorship-unblocking capability and a strict zero-logs policy, which gives gamers the access and anonymity they need online. It also delivers some of the fastest connection speeds we’ve seen and has over 5,500 servers in 59 countries. This is especially great for users seeking to bypass international firewalls and geo-restricted content.

Moreover, NordVPN servers are optimized to prevent – or at the very least absorb – a lot of unwanted traffic from DDoS attacks. So, should you ever fall victim to this gamer tactic, you can ride it out or simply hop onto another one of NordVPN’s many servers. It also comes with a proprietary SmartPlay DNS feature, which works on any gaming console that allows users to change DNS settings and access geo-blocked content.

NordVPN offers user-friendly apps for all major platforms such as Android, iOS, MacOS, Windows, and Linux, and its subscriptions are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more in-depth information, read our NordVPN Review.

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2. CyberGhost

CyberGhost
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tvrokuplaystaionxboxnintendo

All-in-one solution with a massive server network

Visit CyberGhost
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.29/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 68 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 91

pros

  • Fast, secure & easy to use
  • Supports torrenting/P2P
  • Up to 7 devices per subscription

cons

  • No OpenVPN option on Mac and iOS
  • Doesn’t work with Chromebook
  • Router config. requires a learning curve

If you’re looking for a fast gaming VPN on a budget, CyberGhost is a great option. It has a huge server network and offers an advanced Smart DNS feature that allows users to unlock geo-restricted content on most gaming consoles. To top it off, CyberGhost has fast same-country speeds and dedicated VPN servers specifically for downloading 4K videos and sharing P2P content.

CyberGhost server network locations

CyberGhost also offers simultaneous connections on up to 7 devices, so you can set up your VPN on multiple consoles at once. If you prefer to cover your bases first, CyberGhost has an extended 45-day money-back guarantee for users to try their service risk-free. We recommend testing it on different devices and at different times of day to see how it performs overall.

For more in-depth information, read our CyberGhost VPN Review.

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3. Surfshark

Surfshark
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidfirefoxlinuxrouterapple-tvandroid-tvfire-tv

Emerging VPN with streaming & P2P support

Visit Surfshark
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.21/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 214 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 65

pros

  • Free 7-day trial available
  • Unblocks 30+ Netflix libraries
  • Unlimited device connections

cons

  • Limited P2P servers with poor speeds
  • No IPv6 support can lead to data leaks
  • Pricey 1-month subscription

Surfshark is a solid VPN for gaming and torrenting P2P content. Although it’s a newcomer in the VPN market, Surfshark is steadily growing its server network, with 3,200+ VPN servers across 63 countries. Not to mention, Surfshark has a SmartDNS feature that works with most gaming consoles and records ping time as low as 14ms. A key differentiator between Surfshark and other VPNs is its unlimited device connections, which is optimal for heavy users. It also offers OpenVPN/IKEv2, employs military-grade encryption, and displayed no IP leaks when we tested it.

Surfshark security features

Surfshark runs on a very user-friendly interface and offers industry-low pricing many VPNs can’t beat. It also comes with unlimited bandwidth and consistently delivers fast connection speeds for 4K videos, large file downloads, and uninterrupted gaming. If you’re not sold just yet, you can always test it yourself with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

For more in-depth information, read our Surfshark VPN Review.

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4. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouter

Long-standing provider with robust security features

Visit Private Internet Access
Cost
Lowest Price: 2.19/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 111 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 83

pros

  • Affordable premium subscriptions
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • Secure & customizable encryption

cons

  • Room for interface improvements
  • Limited advanced features
  • Lacking recent no-logs policy audit

Rivaling its competitors, Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the best VPNs for gaming thanks to its massive server network and long-standing reputation as a safe VPN. It reports very fast speeds on unrestricted U.S., UK, Netherlands, Canada, Romania, Germany, France, Sweden, and Swiss-based internet services and has over 35,000+ servers across 78 countries – coverage you can’t find anywhere else.

In addition, PIA is one of the few VPN providers able to unblock a wide variety of streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video. And, while it doesn’t come with a SmartDNS feature, it does come with router-level support, so users can still connect to their VPN on any gaming consoles such as PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and more. Priced at $2.69/mo. and backed by a 30-day refund guarantee, Private Internet Access is a quality VPN for gaming you can test out for yourself.

For more in-depth information, read our Private Internet Access VPN Review.

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5. IPVanish

IPVanish
Availabile On:
windowsappleiosxandroidchromefirefoxlinuxrouterfire-tv

A fast VPN with robust security features

Visit IPVanish
Cost
Lowest Price: 3.75/mo.
Speed
Avg.DL Speed: 145 Mbps
Contract
Logging: No
Location
Countries: 52

pros

  • Supports torrenting & P2P
  • Zero data leaks detected
  • Unlimited device connections

cons

  • Cluttered interface
  • No browser extensions
  • Doesn’t work in China

As one of the most secure VPNs out there, it’s no wonder IPVanish earns a spot as one of the best VPNs for gaming. It equips gamers with privacy features to thwart off gaming competitors, nosey ISPs, and censorship firewalls, so your connection is neither slowed down nor compromised when it matters most.

Oftentimes, ISPs will employ data packet inspections to monitor your online activity and limit your bandwidth in the name of “network congestion.” IPVanish uses AES 256-bit encryption over WireGuard, OpenVPN, or L2TP/IPsec VPN protocols to prevent this snooping activity. For gamers, WireGuard is usually the best protocol to use as it’s more lightweight and thus faster.

Its network also consists of over 1,900 servers and 40,000 dynamic IP addresses that you can easily and quickly switch between to find a stable connection and access worldwide content.

IPVanish subscriptions do not cap data and come with up to 10 simultaneous connections, which short of unlimited, is the highest device count you’ll find anywhere. This is ideal for gamers who rely on fast speeds and play on various devices and platforms.

For more in-depth information, read our full IPVanish VPN review.

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VPN FAQs for Gaming

1. How do I set up a VPN for gaming?

There are multiple ways to set up a VPN for a gaming console, such as an Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or PlayStation. You can go through either your gaming console or WiFi router to configure your VPN and start gaming securely.

If you have a VPN Smart DNS, all you have to do is navigate to your gaming console’s DNS settings and update the DNS credentials section with the login information your VPN service provided you. Some VPNs that come with Smart DNS functionality for the above consoles listed are CyberGhost, NordVPN, or Surfshark.

For those using a VPN without a Smart DNS feature, you can either use a pre-configured VPN router that simply requires login information or configure your existing router to connect with your VPN service following the instructions from your router manual.

2. How does a VPN affect gaming?

The best VPN for online gaming will provide many benefits for security, privacy, and online performance. The most important benefits include securing your personal data and providing browser privacy, allowing worldwide multiplayer games, significantly reducing ping time and lag, and unlocking geo-specific content to allow for early game access. Check out our list above of the five best VPNs for gaming in 2022.

3. Which VPN is more gaming-friendly?

The most gaming-friendly VPN services are those that offer Smart DNS capability as well as solid speed performance. A few VPN providers that do just that include CyberGhost and Surfshark. Our AlwaysVPN experts have compiled a list above of the top five VPNs for gaming in 2022.

4. How is gaming on a VPN?

A common misconception about gaming VPNs is that they generally impact your internet connection for the worst. Fears of long ping times and awful lag prevent many gamers from investing in secure VPN services, yet it’s more important than ever before to protect your personal identity and data from hackers online.

If you invest in a gaming VPN that safely hides your IP address, delivers a quality gaming experience, and has a Smart DNS feature, you can rest assured you’re protected from online threats no matter where you – or your supposed IP address – are located.

5. Do all gaming platforms support VPNs?

You can use a VPN on any gaming platform. The only caveat, however, is that not all gaming consoles allow you to directly install a VPN. Many VPN services provide apps you can download and use on clients like Windows, Mac, and Android. 

If you wish to set up a VPN for gaming, you’ll most likely need to configure a VPN compatible router to connect to your VPN subscription.

6. Should I try a free VPN for gaming?

The proverbial cliché, “You get what you pay for.” rings especially true for things you pay nothing for at all. While free VPN apps are a great way to test out VPN functionality and learn what you do and don’t like, they are not the best. More times than not, “free” means bandwidth-limiting, semi-encrypted, and slow.

That being said, there are plenty of top-performing VPNs that cost less than $15 a year to enjoy. Check out our list above of the five best VPNs for gaming in 2022 to find the right fit for you.