Most people understand the importance of a gaming VPN when it comes to keeping you safe and private on the internet. However, the best VPN for gaming does more than that.
Arguably, we’ve all experienced poor internet connectivity at least once. Usually, internet service providers target high-bandwidth users such as gamers, with bandwidth throttling.
This happens to make sure that all customers get similar speeds. However, it means your online gaming is greatly affected.
Fortunately, a gaming VPN can be helpful in minimizing the risks of connection throttling. It can also boost your internet speed, based on its features and the pricing plan you acquire.
Moreover, the best VPN for gaming can bypass geo-restrictions easily. So you’ll never be limited since now you can access games normally only available in specific geographical locations.
At vpnpro.net, we focus on educating our readers on the best VPN services to use for different purposes. We also deep-dive into the features of every VPN through their individual reviews so you’ll have a clear picture of what to expect.
How to set up a gaming VPN
After choosing the best VPN for online gaming, it’s time to download and install it on your gaming device. To set up the VPN, follow this step-by-step guide:
- Head to your preferred VPN’s official website and download the VPN. Make sure you get the version that’s compatible with the your gaming device.
- Install the app by following the set-up wizard to the end.
- After successful installation, a new network connection will appear on your mobile phone or PC. This is the route that all your internet traffic will take every time you use the VPN.
- Open the VPN and select the server location you want to connect to. Once connected, head to your preferred gaming website.
Setting up a VPN on gaming consoles like XBOX, PS5, and Nintendo Switch is a little different. For these, follow this procedure:
- Set up and open the VPN on your computer.
- Using an Ethernet cable, connect the console to your PC.
- From your PC’s network and internet settings, allow other network users to connect via your computer’s internet connection.
- After that, select your console’s Ethernet connection from the drop-down menu. Having done that, the console’s internet activity will be masked by the VPN.
Why you need a gaming VPN
When it comes to staying safe online, a gaming VPN is one of the most invaluable tools to use. This necessitates its presence in your gaming setup.
However, there is more to choosing the best VPN for gaming than just security. When researching, we discovered there are a few other things that make VPNs a must-have tool.
Here are six reasons why you need a gaming VPN:
Risk of DDoS and other cyberattacks
While most gaming consoles are secure, you’re not perfectly shielded from DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks, phishing attempts, or hacker activities. With the best VPN for gaming, you can prevent all these attacks with minimal or no hassle.
Several games, some of which you consider your favorites, are unlicensed or even banned in some countries. So, if you happen to travel to such nations, you may not have access to these games.
With the best VPN for gaming, you can easily change your IP address from one country to another. Simply select a server in an accepted country to access your game.
Internet service providers control your data limits, which also puts your online privacy at risk. They can put a data cap on your bandwidth, thereby slowing down your internet speeds.
With a reliable gaming VPN, you can encrypt your data, making it hard for your ISP to track your data usage.
Online gaming requires fast speeds
Internet speeds can become slow for various reasons, resulting in poor online gaming experiences. The best VPN for online gaming eliminates such connection issues by improving ISP routing to streamline your gaming.
Ping can affect your gameplay
Simply put, ping is the response time of your gaming controls to the display. So, if you have a higher ping value, communications between the display and controls will be slow, causing lagging.
A reliable VPN can reduce ping while increasing your internet speed. So, you need to get the best VPN for gaming free of such issues.
Find easier lobbies
Many online games use skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). The better you are, the tougher your opponents will be.
Places where video gaming is popular, like Europe and North America, have more SBMM tiers owing to the larger number of gamers. In comparison, countries with few gamers have fewer SBMM tiers, which can be exploited.
You can use a VPN to trick the game into thinking you’re from a country with fewer gamers, meaning that you’ll be able to slide into easier lobbies giving you better chance of winning.
How to choose the best VPN for gaming
Currently, there are many gaming VPNs on the market. With this overwhelming number of options, choosing the best VPN for gaming free of the issues we’ve mentioned can be difficult.
To make it easier for you, we’ve listed some key things we consider when looking for the best VPN for online gaming. They include:
There are rumors that VPNs slow down your internet speeds. While there may be some truth in this, the best VPN for gaming won’t do this.
In online gaming, fast connections are essential. This is because there are tons of data passing between your gaming console and the server every second.
Therefore, opt for gaming VPNs with high speeds. In fact, if you can find one matching the speed you get with your ISP, all the better.
There are different options when it comes to online gaming. You can decide to use a desktop computer or a mobile device.
As such, you’ll need a VPN that works with both PCs and mobile devices. And if you use PlayStation or Xbox consoles, then your best VPN for gaming will need to be compatible with them too.
Number of servers
You should choose a VPN with a high number of servers across the globe. More servers mean that slow speeds are unlikely, and you’ll have more options to work around geographical gaming restrictions.
In VPN gaming, more servers help to keep your ping as low as possible. This will streamline your gameplay by eliminating lagging effects.
Also, having a high number of server locations gives you more options for accessing blocked games. That’s why VPNs with a large number of servers and server locations rank higher than the rest.
As much as people may overlook pricing, we most certainly don’t. You need to select a VPN whose pricing plans match your budget.
Ideally, you want to be able to try before you buy to make sure the service you choose offers the features you need. So we also check out which provider offers the best VPN for gaming free trial.
Security and privacy
Security and privacy are paramount in online gaming. And while security only may be enough, it’s only half the answer.
The best VPN for gaming free from fear of being shut out should commit to keeping your identity hidden whenever you’re using their services. This means there should be a no-logs policy.
Ease of use
As a user, you need to be comfortable when using the VPN regardless of which platform you are using it on.
VPNs with great mobile functionalities tend to get an upper hand in our ranking. This is because most gamers prefer having the liberty to play from anywhere, at any time.
Therefore, the VPN should have a mobile app for both Android and iOS platforms. Also, these apps should be easy to use with an easy-to-navigate interface.
The app should also have all the key features of the VPN, with the main menus clearly visible on all platforms. We look at all these usability features when ranking the best VPN for online gaming.
Trust and reputation
Checking how a VPN has been doing in the past is also important. We don’t want to recommend VPNs with a proven record of unreliability.
Finally, customer service is a vital component of every online business. You’ll need a VPN with reliable customer support, friendly agents, and short turnaround times.
How to use VPN for gaming effectively
Once you identify the best VPN for gaming, you need to understand how to use it effectively. To do so, you need to know all its features so that you can maximize what you’ve paid for.
To make the best out of your gaming VPN, the first step is choosing the proper VPN application for your gaming device.
If you’re a mobile gamer, get the VPN’s mobile app. But if you prefer desktop gaming, get the VPNs’ desktop application.
Moreover, some VPNs are very diversified, with apps for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. You should therefore be clear when selecting which application you want.
The next thing you should do is create a strong VPN account. You’ll need a VPN with features to sustain your gaming.
So, if you are a heavy gamer, you may need to think of something else other than a free VPN. Free versions usually offer limited services, and, as an ardent gamer, limitations are the last things you want.
Also, it’s wise to get a subscription plan that matches your VPN usage. The pricing should also go hand-in-hand with your budget so that you can pay your bills on time.
Lastly, if you are a multi-platform gamer, you should install the VPN on your router. That way, whichever device you use for VPN gaming in the house will be connected to the VPN.
Legal implications when VPN gaming
Using VPNs is legal in most countries. But in others, such as Iraq, it may have some implications.
Countries like China and Belarus are suspicious of VPN usage. Therefore, use them cautiously if you are in these locations.
In such cases, even the best VPN for gaming may not shield you from tracking. That’s where the premium versions come in.
Also, if you’re using the VPN to spoof your geographical location and buy games cheaply, this may be against the developer’s terms and conditions. It’s possible to have your account suspended if you’re caught.
But if you are VPN gaming for security purposes or to avoid bandwidth throttling, you have nothing to fear.
Are there risks in VPN gaming?
Arguably, using a VPN makes you feel invincible. Unfortunately, you can never be too vigilant in matters of online privacy.
There are a few risks involved. If you are a gamer, you need to keep an eye on the following two major risks when using a VPN:
Some VPNs lack no-logging policies, and others have them but just as a formality. So, there’s a risk of tracking if the VPN stores usage logs.
Trust and reputation
Surprisingly, some VPN service providers don’t live up to their word. Even if they seem to be the best VPN for gaming free of security concerns, you may still be exposed to cyberattacks.
Besides, a no-logging policy on a disreputable gaming VPN is pretty useless.
Gaming VPNs have become more popular recently. They are sometimes the best way to secure certain matchups when playing online.
Interestingly, VPNs offer different combinations of features. So, when making your selection, ensure you get the best VPN for online gaming.
With such, you’ll minimize the risks of connection throttling and cyberattacks. The best VPN for gaming may also increase your internet speed.
Nevertheless, ensure you use reputable VPNs, preferably the ones we’ve recommended.