The Best VPNs for Gaming 2024

Gamers need fast internet speeds to keep up with their skill shots, so here are our top VPNs that offer security but won't get in the way.
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Best Value

4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website

Surfshark
View More

Best for Fast Speeds

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Proton VPN's website

Proton VPN
View More

Best for Consoles

4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On ExpressVPN's website

ExpressVPN
View More

A virtual private network (VPN) can secure your privacy, prevent bandwidth throttling from your internet service provider (ISP), and protect you from a DDoS attack. We determined Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and Proton VPN are the best VPNs for gaming based on connection speeds, latency, features, and more.

Surfshark is a budget-friendly option with unlimited devices and great internet speeds. Proton VPN was best for protecting your PC or console while barely affecting your internet connection. And if you're willing to splurge, ExpressVPN may be a good fit for you to cover your consoles.

Let’s dig into these gaming VPNs to find out which one is the MVP.

In this article
The best VPNs for gaming 2024
Surfshark: Best value
Proton VPN: Best for fast speeds
ExpressVPN: Best for consoles
Honorable mentions
How we tested the best VPNs for gaming
How to choose a VPN for gaming
Best VPNs for gaming FAQs
Bottom line: The best VPNs for gaming

The best VPNs for gaming 2024

Top 3 VPN services for gamers compared

VPN


Starting price Starts at $2.19/mo (billed every two years) Starts at Free Starts at $6.67/mo (billed annually)
Server count 3,200+ in 100 countries  4,400+ in 91 countries Servers in 105 countries
Max devices Unlimited 10 8
Router configuration
Streaming support
Learn more Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get Proton VPN

Read Proton VPN Review

Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

Twitch displays ads while you're watching your favorite streamers. To get rid of those annoying ads, you can choose one of the best ad blockers for Twitch.

Surfshark: Best value

Unlimited Device Protection and Large Server Network
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website
VPN
Surfshark
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support
  • Headquarters in Nine Eyes Alliance

Who it’s best for

Surfshark is best for people who are looking for an affordable VPN for gaming without compromising on speed. Because of Surfshark's unlimited simultaneous VPN connections, it's also a great option for large households or people with several devices.

What we liked

When it comes to speed, Surfshark won't heavily impact your gaming experience. With the VPN turned on, it only bumped up the latency by 17 ms. Download speeds didn't slow significantly, and there was zero difference in upload speed.

Surfshark also includes split tunneling with its Bypasser feature. This means you can turn the VPN on for your game, but let other apps like your browser use an unencrypted Wi-Fi connection.

We connected to a Denver VPN server using Surfshark's Fastest Location button.

We're also pleased that Surfshark completed an independent audit by Deloitte to verify its no-logs policy.[1] As long as you're using the VPN, Surfshark can't track your online activity. The VPN also has other premium security features to protect your data, including an ad and malware blocker, cookie pop-up blocker, and two-factor authentication.

Surfshark lets you quickly connect to the fastest VPN server with the click of a button. Just choose "Fastest location" when picking your server.

What we didn’t like

Surfshark has an audited no-logs policy, but it's still headquarted in The Netherlands. The Netherlands is part of the Nine Eyes alliance, so it may be subject to turning over data with the other countries in the alliance. 

Surfshark also offers a seven-day free trial but only for Android, iOS, and macOS devices. This means you can't try it out on your PC or router before handing over your credit card information. However, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark specs

Price range $2.19–$17.95/mo
Server count 3,200+ in 100 countries
Max devices Unlimited
Unconnected vs. connected download speed (U.S. server) 205.9 to 173.4 Mbps (-32.5 Mbps difference)
Unconnected vs. connected upload speed (U.S. server) 5.5 to 5.5 Mbps (0 Mbps difference)
Unconnected vs. connected latency (U.S. server) 124 to 151 ms (+17 ms difference)
VPN protocol WireGuard, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN
No-logs policy No logs
Router configuration Yes
Streaming support Yes
Learn more Get Surfshark
Read Surfshark Review

Proton VPN: Best for fast speeds

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Proton VPN's website
VPN
Proton VPN
  • Easy to use
  • A strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost

Who it’s best for

Proton VPN is a great option for gamers looking for the fastest speeds and premium security. This is also the only VPN on our list with a free subscription plan available — though Proton’s free plan is limited in terms of servers and devices.

What we liked

ProtonVPN had the lowest impact on internet speeds and a minimal rise in latency out of all the VPNs we tested. This may be due to a feature called VPN Accelerator, designed to enhance its performance and increase speed.

Proton’s VPN Plus plan also gets you access to its 10 Gbps servers, making it a premier option for gamers who want the security of a VPN without losing their fast internet speed. It's also great to watch Netflix with a VPN abroad, with over 4,400 servers in 91 countries.

Proton VPN NetShield can be toggled on in the VPN app.

Speaking of security, it's hard to find fault with Proton VPN. It includes:

  • Independently audited no-logs policy
  • Ad blocker
  • Safe file sharing
  • Based in Switzerland, a country with strict data privacy laws
  • Strong AES-256 encryption
  • Built-in Tor support
  • DNS leak protection
  • No personal identifying information is needed to sign up for ProtonVPN

What we didn’t like

Compared to other VPNs, Proton VPN is a bit more expensive with plans starting at Free.

Proton VPN does have a free plan, but it's limited in its capabilities. You can only connect it to one device, and it only has over 100 servers in three countries (the U.S., the Netherlands, and Japan). You'll need to upgrade to the paid plan to access its fastest servers.

Proton VPN specs

Price range $4.99–$9.99/mo (Free plan available)
Server count 4,400+ in 91 countries
Max devices 10
Unconnected vs. connected download speed (U.S. server) 50.11 to 53.11 Mbps (+3 Mbps difference)
Unconnected vs. connected upload speed (U.S. server) 5.15 to 5.02 Mbps (-.13 Mbps difference)
Unconnected vs. connected latency (U.S. server) 12 to 18 ms (+6 ms difference)
VPN protocol WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN
No-logs policy No logs
Router configuration Yes
Streaming support Yes
Learn more Get Proton VPN
Read ProtonVPN Review

ExpressVPN: Best for gaming consoles

Extensive Server Network Provides Protection Wherever You Go
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On ExpressVPN's website
VPN
ExpressVPN
Save 49% (3 months free)
  • Hides intrusive display ads when browsing the web, improving page speed and easing data usage on mobile
  • Privacy and safety benefits of a VPN with best-in-class encryption and innovative server technology in 105 countries
  • Enjoy no activity logs, malicious sites and trackers protection, and more on up to 8 devices
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost

Who it’s best for

ExpressVPN is great for gamers looking for a reliable connection for their consoles without compromising on speed. With server locations in over 100 countries, you can easily play games with anyone in the world. (And using a VPN is legal in most locations.)

What we liked

ExpressVPN didn't lower download speeds as much as Surfshark did, and it just barely lagged in latency. You may find ExpressVPN’s internet speeds to be comparable with Surfshark’s.

A big perk of ExpressVPN is it gives gamers plenty of options to secure their consoles, whether it be an Xbox One, PlayStation 5, or Nintendo Switch. Compared to other VPN apps, ExpressVPN has the most thorough guides to installing the VPN onto your router. You can choose the exact router model you want to connect, and ExpressVPN has a step-by-step guide to install the VPN.

ExpressVPN is a highly rated VPN with lots of features and excellent security

Alternatively, you could purchase an Aircove router with ExpressVPN already installed. You can also choose to use its MediaStreamer feature to spoof your location for devices not able to directly install the ExpressVPN app. However, the latter option does lack the security features of a VPN.

What we didn’t like

ExpressVPN is easily one of the most expensive options, with plans starting at $6.67/mo (billed annually). That's nearly double the cost of Surfshark's cheapest subscription. While ExpressVPN is reliable and fast, there are cheaper long-term subscriptions available.

ExpressVPN specs

Price range $6.67–$12.95/mo
Server count Unknown number of servers in 105 countries
Max devices 8
Unconnected vs. connected download speed (U.S. server) 203.8 to 177.7 Mbps (-26.1 Mbps difference)
Unconnected vs. connected upload speed (U.S. server) 5.7 to 4.9 Mbps (-.8 Mbps difference)
Unconnected vs. connected latency (U.S. server) 134 to 156 ms (+18 ms difference)
VPN protocol Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
No-logs policy No logs
Router configuration Yes
Streaming support Yes
Learn more Get ExpressVPN
Read ExpressVPN Review

Honorable mentions

When it comes to gaming, every millisecond counts. During our review, we made speed and latency the top priority, and these VPNs weren't quick enough to make our list.

  • NordVPN: NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market due to its large server network, NordLynx protocol for fast connections, and features for ad and tracker blocking, and more. It also offers Meshnet, which you can use to create a local area network.

    Get NordVPN | Read Our NordVPN Review

  • CyberGhost: CyberGhost is one of the most affordable and user-friendly VPNs. It's a secure VPN with servers optimized for gaming, streaming, enhanced privacy, and other purposes. 

    Get CyberGhost | Read Our CyberGhost Review

  • Private Internet Access: Private Internet Access is a budget-friendly VPN that also allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. It comes with all the features you need for privacy, including two kill switches, split tunneling, and an ad and malware blocker.

    Get Private Internet Access | Read Our Private Internet Access Review

Leading Protection, Even on Smart TVs and Gaming Consoles
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On CyberGhost's website
VPN
CyberGhost
Save 83%
  • High-speed global servers offering industry-leading 256-bit AES encryption and no data logs
  • Unlimited bandwidth, DNS and IP leak protection, and automatic kill switch available for up to 7 devices
  • Configurable with your router, smart TV, Amazon Fire TV stick, or gaming console
  • No split tunneling feature

How we tested the best VPNs for gaming

While testing and reviewing VPNs for gaming, we focused on a few key features to ensure we recommended the best of the best. These include:

  • Speeds and latency: Our top priority was maintaining a fast internet speed. All three of our top VPNs had the least impact on speeds and latency out of all the VPNs we tested.
  • Unlimited bandwidth and data: Nothing ruins a game like a cap on data or bandwidth. We only chose VPNs with unlimited bandwidth and data.
  • Quick connect: A high-quality VPN makes it easy to connect to the fastest server near you with a click of a button.
  • Router connection: Consoles can't install VPNs, so you'll need to install it on your router to cover all devices connected to it. We made sure our chosen VPNs offered this option and provided instructions on how to install a VPN on your router.
  • Overall security: Security is essential to masking your IP address and preventing data leaks as well as other security risks like DDoS.

If you're looking for an extra layer of security, consider the best antivirus software for gamers. Bundles that include antivirus protection + a secure VPN offer the most comprehensive coverage.

How to choose a VPN for gaming

When choosing a VPN for gaming, consider these questions to find the right fit for you:

  • How much does it cost? Affordability is important, but don't forget to consider any extra security features you may get which could justify a higher price.
  • What devices are compatible with the VPN? If you want a VPN for more than one device, be sure to check if the VPN is compatible with your operating system.
  • Is there a free trial or money-back guarantee? Sometimes you don't know if you'll like a VPN before you try it. A free trial or money-back guarantee can help you test the speeds of the servers before committing to the purchase.
  • Does it offer a large number of servers? More servers mean more opportunities to connect to a fast server.
  • Is there support to install a VPN on a router? Some providers provide step-by-step instructions while others take a more simplified approach. If you need to install a VPN on a router, you may want to consider the support you can get along the way.
  • Does it have a no-logs policy? A no-logs policy ensures your data is encrypted and the VPN provider doesn't store any of your data.
  • Does it use secure protocols to encrypt traffic? Some VPN protocols are more secure than others. WireGuard and OpenVPN tend to be the most popular choices.

If you use Steam to purchase and download video games, know the most common Steam gift card scams.

Best VPNs for gaming FAQs


+

Does a VPN help with gaming?

A VPN doesn't usually help with gaming in terms of speed. However, it can help protect your privacy and prevent threats like doxxing or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. A VPN is also useful to prevent bandwidth throttling from your ISP.


+

What’s the fastest VPN for gaming?

The fastest VPN for gaming is Proton VPN. While testing it, we experienced only a minimal latency increase, and you could potentially connect to a server faster than your own. Some other fast VPNs include Surfshark and ExpressVPN. Whichever VPN you choose, it's best to choose a server near your physical location to get the quickest internet speeds.


+

What VPN do most streamers use?

Most streamers use a VPN that successfully masks their IP address without slowing down their internet connection. A VPN can protect against DDoS attacks or doxxing attacks. It can also prevent ISP throttling for using a large amount of bandwidth. Some popular VPN choices for gaming include Surfshark, Proton VPN, and ExpressVPN.


+

What’s the best free VPN for gaming?

The best free VPN for gaming is Proton VPN. While it does have fast speeds, the free plan limits your server choices and doesn’t provide the same lightning-fast results as the paid version. Check out other free VPNs to ensure you have the best experience. Carefully do your research and pick a provider that doesn't secretly collect your data and sell it to third parties.

Bottom line: The best VPNs for gaming

The best VPNs for gaming all provided the quickest speeds and lowest latency among the VPNs we tested, and all three also made our list of the best VPNs overall. 

If you're looking for something more budget-friendly, then Surfshark can easily protect you without affecting your online gaming. Proton VPN was the clear winner for speed, with minimal impacts on download speeds and latency. If you don't mind paying extra for reliability and help with a router VPN, then ExpressVPN has your back.

3 best VPNs for gaming 2024

Starting price Best for Learn more

Starts at $2.19/mo (billed every two years) Best value Get Surfshark
Read Surfshark Review

Starts at Free  Best for fast speeds Get Proton VPN
Read ProtonVPN Review

Starts at $6.67/mo (billed annually) Best for consoles Get ExpressVPN
Read ExpressVPN Review


Unlimited Device Protection and Large Server Network
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website
VPN
Surfshark
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support
  • Headquarters in Nine Eyes Alliance
Author Details
Sara J. Nguyen is a freelance writer specializing in cybersecurity. She aims to help people protect their data while enjoying technology. She has written about online privacy and tech for over 5 years for several organizations. When she's not writing about the latest cybersecurity trends, you can find her on LinkedIn.

Citations

[1] Surfshark’s No-logs Statement Gets Verified by Deloitte