HomeTechnologyNewsBest Gaming VPN Services in 2023

Best Gaming VPN Services in 2023

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Justin Duino / Instruction Geek

What to look for in a VPN in 2023

A VPN (virtual private network) allows you to encrypt your connection, making it more secure and ensuring the privacy of your data.

VPNs protect you against DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks and other security threats from hackers. When you are connected to a VPN, your connection is encrypted.

However, VPNs use different protocols and ciphers to encrypt your connection. You should look for protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard and encryption like AES-256 and ChaCha20 for the best security.

When selecting a VPN for gaming, you should look for a well-distributed server network and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions effectively. VPNs help gamers access servers in other countries by spoofing their location.

For example, if an online game server you want to access is only available in the UK, you can connect to a UK-based VPN server and use the portal.

The VPN you choose should also have a strict no-logs policy to protect your privacy. Remember, many VPNs you find online are unreliable.

You also want the VPN to be fast and ensure minimal latency. A latency of up to 60 ms or less is great. However, if the latency stays above 100ms, you will experience noticeable lag when gaming.

Keep in mind that regardless of which VPN service you use, latency will increase. The reasons for this are encryption and data traveling a longer distance.

Since your data has to travel through an intermediary VPN server, communication with web servers takes longer than with a non-VPN connection. This means that using a VPN with server locations closer to your physical location can help improve speeds.

The best VPNs for gaming offer encryption protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard. These protocols offer great security without massive overhead.

RELATED: How to choose the best VPN service for your needs

Best Overall VPN for Gaming: ExpressVPN

Express VPN logo
express vpn


  • Fast speeds and low latency
  • App for Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch
  • excellent security

ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN service and also the best VPN for gaming. We love ExpressVPN’s gaming performance, thanks to its fast speeds and low latency. Our tests show that latency typically ranges from 3ms to 5ms and almost always stays below 10ms when connecting to US servers.

Also, ExpressVPN is great for unblocking geo-restricted websites. This means it can help you get early access to exclusive titles released early in specific PlayStation Network regions.

ExpressVPN offers top-notch security, which means it can protect you against DDoS and other attacks. The VPN app encrypts your connection using OpenVPN and AES-256, though you also get options for IKEv2 and Lightway (ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol).

You can use ExpressVPN on almost all gaming devices, including Xbox Series X and PlayStation. Alternatively, you can install it on your router for other unsupported devices.

The only real downside to using ExpressVPN is its price. If you don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for the best service on the market, ExpressVPN is a great choice.

Best VPN for Gaming Security: NordVPN

Person using NordVPN on a laptop


  • Fast speeds and low latency on most servers
  • Onion over VPN and obfuscated servers
  • top notch security


  • High latency on distant servers

NordVPN offers a great combination of security and speed. The service’s latency range is much higher than ExpressVPN’s, but it almost always stayed below 100ms during our tests with US servers.

NordVPN matches ExpressVPN in terms of speed and the ability to bypass geo-blocks. It even beats ExpressVPN in terms of security, thanks to its specialized servers.

Onion over VPN and obfuscated servers are the most relevant to gaming of the four specialized server types. An Onion over VPN server routes your Internet traffic through the Onion network and the VPN server, adding another layer of security to your connection.

Meanwhile, the obfuscated servers are optimized to hide VPN usage, helping users to play games from heavily censored countries on the Internet.

The VPN encrypts your connection using OpenVPN and AES-256. You also get other protocol options like IKEv2 and NordLynx, the WireGuard version of NordVPN. Learn how to use NordVPN in our beginner’s guide to NordVPN.

Best Gaming VPN for Advanced Options: TorGuard

TorGuard Chart


  • low ping
  • Advanced Options
  • simple user interface

TorGuard is an excellent VPN that keeps latency and ping low, allowing gamers to enjoy a lag-free gaming experience. Of course, connecting to a distant server can greatly affect latency.

TorGuard remains one of the fastest VPNs on the market, making it a great choice for gamers. One of the many reasons TorGuard works well is because it offers WireGuard and ChaCha20 as the default protocol and encryption, respectively, especially in mobile apps.

We also appreciate TorGuard’s easy-to-use interface. The interface, though simple, is home to many advanced features such as custom scripts and DNS configuration settings.

Custom scripts allow you to automate VPN-related tasks, such as opening a specific web page once the VPN is connected or closing apps automatically. The DNS configuration options allow you to change the DNS, which can help improve speeds.

TorGuard has a lot going for it, but it’s expensive. It costs almost as much as ExpressVPN’s best-value plan, but lags a bit behind in performance. Still, it’s a great VPN to play if you want an app with a simple user interface and advanced options.

PIA banner with devices
private internet access


  • Pocket-size
  • excellent speeds
  • low latency


  • Lacks advanced features

Private Internet Access (PIA) costs much lower than other services on the list, as long as you opt for the two-year subscription that costs $2.19 per month. With PIA, you get access to servers in 84 countries.

This well-distributed server network gives you more options when accessing geo-blocked games and websites. It also allows you to get region-specific discounts and deals.

Our tests show that PIA keeps latency below 10ms when using US servers. However, latency was relatively high in some locations, peaking at around 150ms. However, the connection speeds are impressive. PIA is faster than some of the best VPNs, including CyberGhost and Windscribe.

PIA is a secure VPN with a zero-logging policy. You get three security protocols with PIA: IPSec, OpenVPN, and WireGuard. PIA uses AES-128-GCM to encrypt your connection by default, but you can change to 256-bit.

The best cheap VPN for gaming

Best Free VPN for Gaming: Windscribe


  • low latency
  • Fast connection speed
  • Flexible pricing options
  • Generous free plans


  • Short three-day money-back guarantee

Windscribe is one of the best free VPNs on the market. Free VPNs are generally a terrible idea. Most of them are unreliable, slow, or steal your data.

However, during our tests we found that Windscribe servers in the US had low latency ranging from 2ms to 5ms. Windscribe is also one of the fastest VPNs around, outperforming some premium competitors like CyberGhost and Mullavad.

Windscribe is a premium VPN service with a generous free plan, which means that you cannot access all the features of the free plan. You get 15 GB of free monthly data once you confirm your email and tweet about Windscribe. That’s great for a few hours of gaming over the weekend.

However, if you play more often, you may want to get one of their paid plans. Windscribe’s build-a-plan option (which has a minimum payment value of $3) allows you to add unlimited data and two server locations to your account.

Frequent questions

A VPN allows you to send public data over a network as if you were somewhere else. The most common uses for VPNs are security (since it encrypts your data before sending it to a website) and accessing geo-blocked content. For more information, check out our explainer on what a VPN is.

VPN is an acronym that stands for ‘Virtual Private Network’.

It depends on the games you are playing. The biggest advantage of using a VPN for gaming is protection from DDoS attacks, but some games already have strong anti-DDoS procedures in place. There are also some scenarios where a VPN can lower your ping, but these cases are not as frequent as you might think. Be sure to research the games you play before investing in a VPN. If you need guidance, our article on whether to use a VPN for gaming can help.

In general, no, it doesn’t. VPNs can often increase your ping and make your connection a bit slower since the connection needs to work through the VPN rather than a direct internet connection. However, there are some cases where a VPN can lower your ping and increase your speeds. For example, if your Internet provider is throttling your game connection speeds, you can try using a VPN to bypass that throttling, making your game faster.


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