Many gamers wouldn’t even dream of using a VPN for their online gaming sessions because they believe (and they are partly right) that their experience is going to suffer due to latency or, in laymen terms, slower speeds. In case you don’t know, connecting through a VPN will almost certainly slow down your connection speed. The providers are working hard on fixing this, but due to the nature of a VPN, especially the encryption part, it is currently absolutely impossible to have the exact same speeds while using a VPN as you would have without one. Still, there are a couple of things to keep in mind here.
First of all, gamers these days do need to use VPNs, for a number of reasons. Some websites and online games are geo-restricted and only available to users connecting from certain countries. The rest of the world can only dream of playing those games. It is sad and unfair but it’s the reality. One of the main purposes of a VPN is to bypass those restrictions and allow you to connect to any website you want, regardless of where you are at the moment.
The second reason is that many games use country-specific DLC or downloadable content. You need this content in order to enjoy the game to the full extent or to be able to play it at all. Again, this is where a VPN comes to the rescue because it basically changes your location and thus allows you to access the country-specific content of your choosing.
Third, there are many security and privacy concerns involved with online gaming. Another important purpose of a VPN is to increase your level of security when you are online and to basically make you anonymous.
Because of all this, gamers do need to use VPNs, even if that means you will have to endure some latency, which brings us to our second point here. These days, VPN providers are working extra hard to reduce latency to a minimum or to reduce its effects and make it not only tolerable but also hardly noticeable. What this means is that, with the quality of service these companies offer these days, you will be able to enjoy your online gaming, no matter where you are connecting from.
Here are 5 VPN providers we feel are the best when it comes to gaming in 2016.
Avid gamers should definitely take a closer look at ExpressVPN, one of the best VPN providers in the business right now. They provide excellent speeds, great reliability, and good security protocols and privacy, among other interesting features.
As a top VPN provider, ExpressVPN makes sure you enjoy fast, stable speeds and connectivity to whichever of their 136 locations you decide to connect. In addition to great geographic coverage, which comes with some less conventional locations, ExpressVPN has very well maintained servers and pays a lot of attention to the overall quality of service.
You can connect up to three of your devices using the same subscription. Moreover, this VPN is compatible with all major operating systems. You can also configure it on your router for the most comprehensive coverage, which is ideal for homes with multiple users, as well as for smaller offices.
When it comes to security, you can expect all the major protocols used these days, including OpenVPN with military-grade encryption. The company does not keep logs of your traffic, connections, and other sensitive information.
Customer support is solid, especially the live chat feature. As for the prices, you can definitely find cheaper VPNs, but keep in mind that those will probably come with a lower quality of service.
NordVPN is a VPN provider that does very well in all areas. Providing good services to users interested in gaming is one of those areas. With gamers in mind, this provider has created a large network of fast servers all over the world – in some 52 countries (and counting).
Gamers want good speeds so that their sessions can go on without any issues or slowing down, which is exactly what they are going to get if they sign up for NordVPN. While the speeds could still use some improvement, the connections are so fast you won’t notice any difference between what you get with a VPN and what you are used to getting with your own ISP.
When it comes to security, NordVPN offers OpenVPN, which is the most secure protocol right now, and also PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec. You can decide which protocol you want to use and, just like deciding which server you want to connect to, this is very easy to do thanks to an excellent client. Speaking of the client, NordVPN has an amazing Windows client. Their Android app is also one of the best in the business.
If you are looking for the best VPN provider for gaming, then you should definitely consider PureVPN. As one of the best VPS in the world right now, this provider offers a huge selection of servers all over the world, fast speeds, and excellent reliability and security, as well as terrific customer support.
This provider offers split tunneling too, so if you only want to use a VPN for gaming and direct your other traffic through your ISP, you can do that as well. Their packages also include the Internet kill switch, which provides extra protection and is surely appreciated by avid gamers. Speaking of security, you can count on all the latest security protocols and military-grade encryption.
PureVPN is compatible with all the major operating system and you can connect up to five devices. Gamers will also be happy to learn that this provider offers a feature called Virtual Router, which basically allows you to turn your device into a router and connect up to ten devices to one VPN. This is a more than welcome feature for gaming sessions with friends.
Bear in mind that PureVPN does keep some user logs, but that is pretty much the only downside to this provider.`
Buffered VPN Review
VPNs very seriously, which is completely understandable. There are so many criteria to be met – speed and privacy are just some of them. Buffered VPN is a provider that makes a good choice for any gamer looking for a VPN because of its unique combination of quality, price, and reliability.
When it comes to speed, Buffered does just well. Depending on the server you are connecting to, it even does amazingly well. More importantly, this provider offers some excellent uptime and there are hardly any connectivity issues, which is always important for gamers. There is nothing worse than being disconnected in the middle of a game.
Buffered has a very good, easy to use client and offers some interesting features. You can connect up to five devices at the same time. What’s more, this VPN is compatible with most platforms, so you won’t have any trouble using it on your desktop computer, your laptop, and your mobile devices. You can even configure it on your router. The company uses high quality, fast servers and the best security protocol, OpenVPN. However, they do keep some logs, mainly those pertaining to your connection times and duration.
As a solid and trustworthy VPN provider that has been in the business for quite a while now, VyprVPN is a good choice for users who are mainly interested in VPN for gaming. This provider offers excellent speeds. In fact, they claim to be the world’s fastest. Whether this is true or not, the fact remains that their speeds really are remarkable. On top of that, they are very reliable and their VPN connections are rock-solid, with no leaks whatsoever, at least from what we saw.
VyprVPN has excellent software for all devices and platforms and you can use it on multiple devices at the same time, which is ideal for group gaming sessions. They have plenty of servers across the world, in more than 50 countries, which is definitely impressive. Speeds are uncapped and so is the bandwidth. As for security, in addition to the standard protocol selection, you can also make use of their own protocol, which is called Chameleon.
There are also some other interesting features, such as NAT Firewall and zero-knowledge DNS. The only problem is that they keep some logs, which they delete after 30 days. As for customer support, it is excellent, knowledgeable, and available 24/7.
As we said in the introduction, speed is one of the main concerns for gamers who want to use a VPN for their online gaming sessions. While it is true that there is bound to be some lag in your connections, it is also true that it doesn’t necessarily have to be an issue. Certain VPN service providers (and we made sure to include them in this list) simply do a better job at providing their users with excellent speeds and unnoticeable latency.
Speaking of lags and latency, the general rule is – the closer you are to the server you are connected to, the lower the ping will be, meaning your connection will be faster. So, you want to pick and connect to a server that is geographically close to where you are. In order to do this, you will need a VPN provider with plenty of servers around the world, not just a bunch of servers concentrated in a couple of countries. You need excellent, wide geographic coverage and a good selection of servers. These top VPN providers for gaming offer just that.
Another important issue to consider is the quality of the connection. Imagine you’re playing a particularly intense and suspenseful session of your favorite game. You are about to close the deal and claim your victory over the rest of the players when all of a sudden you get disconnected. It’s needless to say things like these are beyond unnerving. People go crazy when something like this happens, laptops get thrown out of windows, and some even shed a tear or two. So, what can you do to protect yourself from this? It’s simple – find a VPN provider that has solid, reliable connections that won’t simply drop on you at the worst possible moment. The VPN service providers we included in this list are the best in that department and the least likely to cause such painful events.
You also want to pick a VPN provider that has good software for your particular device. The client needs to be compatible with your operating system, of course. A good client is simple, light, and easy to use; it doesn’t hurt if it’s nicely designed either. Custom software is always a major plus.
An additional feature that gamers should look for in a VPN provider is the customer service. Many online gaming sessions take place at night. Gamers are generally night birds and are known to spend many a sleepless night behind their computers, connected to a particularly exciting game. Another common thing in the gaming world are games that involve users from different parts of the world, which, again, calls for unconventional gaming hours. Why is this relevant for our subject here? Well, because trouble doesn’t always pick the most convenient time to strike. If something goes wrong with your VPN in the middle of your nocturnal game, you will need to contact your provider’s customer support. If the support is not available around the clock and if they cannot answer quickly enough, the whole game could go to waste. It can be very frustrating, which is why you should make sure to sign up for a provider that offers 24/7 support, preferably with live chat.
Finally, a good gaming VPN provider needs to be affordable, for obvious reasons, and there have to be several packages to choose from. We made sure the ones we included in our list of the best gaming VPN providers meet this requirement too.