Do you know what a LAN party is? If you don’t then you’re lucky! LAN parties are actually gathering of players who used to join in one location (with gear and everything) to play a multiplayer game. This was the only way to make sure that lag and speed limitations didn’t shatter the experience to pieces.
These are still a thing today, but only as organized events. In today’s world, a multiplayer game can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home, without having to go through the horror of meeting your opponents face-to-face. We have access to high-speed internet and this allows for a fantastic gaming experience; or at least it should.
Sadly, even in today’s world, when the Internet is a part of the basic needs, ISPs tend to throttle the network when high-usage appears. Even more, some games can leave open ports into your device which leads to attacks or compromised data. All these can be easily solved with the best gaming VPN that will cover all your needs. And, if you don’t believe us, let’s see why you need a VPN for gaming.
To make sure you understand the importance of a VPN for gaming, we’ll list below the most important features that will improve your general gaming experience:
Constant high-speed – regardless of the fact that your ISP practices throttling or not, a powerful online game requires high speed. Some networks have ups and downs and this affects the experience. So, if you don’t want to see freezing screens and get frustrated by a lagging connection, the best gaming VPN service may be of help.
Unrestricted access to early releases – waiting for a game to be released and your country is not on the list? Don’t worry about it! A gaming VPN service will allow you to connect to whichever country you want and download or play the early released version.
Access to patches available only for certain regions – gaming companies do this: release a patch only for the US for example. And it’s not fair that players from all over the world don’t get to access them. With a VPN, you won’t have to worry about this anymore.
Special networks for gaming – this comes in the same category with high speed, but this time we’re talking specially optimized networks for gaming. The best gaming VPN service will have several servers dedicated to this activity. Here you won’t stumble over regular users and you won’t get bottlenecks because the network is too crowded.
Make friends all over the world – online multiplayer games are a fantastic way to make new friends and learn a lot about different parts of the world. However, certain gaming servers require a local IP in order to give you access. For this, a gaming VPN service is the best way to go as you can change your address according to the geographical area you’re trying to access.
You are shielded from DDoS attacks – many online games are targeted by hackers and their preferred weapon is a DDoS attack. Such an attack can wreak havoc on your device and can be quite an inconvenience for you as a gamer and a regular person. VPNs that offer services for gaming are prepared for this and they offer protective measures so hackers won’t be able to identify your real IP address and target your device.
Other forms of attack – Poorly coded games leave open doors in your connection and this can only mean troubles to you and your devices. A talented hacker will be able to extract your personal and financial information without you even noticing (except when you check your bank account).
Protect your gaming accounts – if you’re a true gamer, you know that it takes years to build a valuable account. You also know that such accounts go pretty high on the black market so there is always the threat of someone stealing your account. The best gaming VPN software takes care of this threat as well, by hiding your real information from the network.
In the end, there is also the risk of pissing someone off really badly. If your data is unprotected, that someone may actually try to find you via your IP address and confront you in real life. This is something you definitely don’t want to happen and, a VPN service is the best way to stay hidden and protected.
Best VPNs for Gaming: a few ideas to get you started
Now that you know the main advantages of implementing the best gaming VPN service, let’s see which are the most popular on the market right now.
#1: Express VPN
It is one of the most popular services on the market but it is also one of the best gaming VPN services. Express VPN comes with high (constant) speed, servers all over the world, and a no buffering experience. Even more, they are legendary for their support team so you won’t be alone in case something does go wrong.
Their clients are user-friendly, easy to use, and compatible with most platforms out there.
If you’re looking for speed and quality, IPVanish is the answer. This is a Tier 1 VPN Network and offers optimized networks which deliver stable high-speeds perfect for online gaming. Just like Express VPN, they have a wide network in 60 countries and they update their servers and network regularly. This means that you won’t have to worry about the latest releases being too advanced for your VPN.
BolehVPN may be less famous (compared with the first two names) but they provide dedicated gaming servers for various powerful games. The names that come to mind are CS 1.6, Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty, or Minecraft. Even more, you can ask for a dedicated server for any game you want and they will try and set it up for you.
However, their network is less wide and their clients are not as user-friendly. On the other side, the fact that they offer dedicated servers is on their side.
How to Evaluate Gaming VPN Service
As you can see, big names show up on our top best gaming VPNs list. But what makes a VPN service great for gaming? Well, let’s see below.
Fastest internet speed
We already discussed this aspect but you should know that most VPN services reduce your speed. This happens due to encryption and the servers you use. A VPN specially designed for gaming will offer an optimized network where everything is set for speed and consistency. This means no lags, no bottlenecks, and no drops in speed.
Ping Time Testing
Every gamer knows that latency is not their friend. Latency is the time it takes for one data package to get from device A to device B and it is measured using the ping tool – the bigger the ping time, the bigger the latency, the lower the experience. So, while you’re testing the VPN, make sure to test the ping response time (the service with the lowest ping is the best one).
Just like with any fast network, servers must be located in the most optimal location in order to have access to the best providers in the country. Also, it matters if the VPN will give you access to countries were game versions are released first like the US or the UK.
And finally, we should discuss compatibility. The best gaming VPN must offer clients for various gaming consoles since most games today also have a console version. So make sure to check this with your VPN provider before submitting for a longer period of time.
Free VPN for Gaming
If you don’t feel like investing any money in your security and online gaming experience, there are several free VPN services you can use. We’ll name the top 3, but we must highlight the fact that we don’t recommend a free VPN service. They usually lack certain aspects that put you and your precious data at risk.
Windscribe – it is new and fast, but it is also capped – you get 10GB per month. It also offers limited use of its available servers – you get access to the important locations, however.
TunnelBear – This is quite an interesting free VPN service, but you only get 500MB per month which is extremely little when it comes to online games. Otherwise, the service is quite fun.
CyberGhost – while it doesn’t cap your connection, this VPN doesn’t offer reliable speeds. Some servers are faster than others and it depends on the network load if you get access or not. Otherwise, the service is quite great!
Fastest VPN for Gaming
If it were to recommend the fastest VPN for gaming, we will have to go with ExpressVPN. The service is not only reliable, but it also offers high speeds and fantastic support which makes it the best recommendation for online gaming.
In the end, regardless of the service you choose, you must consider the features that matter to you. For online gaming, speed and a no buffering experience, are the most important ones. Still, try to remember that you also need a secure connection to stay away from problematic people. Once you set on the best gaming VPN for you, it’s only a matter of time until you get to enjoy your favorite games!
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