The Best VPNs for Nintendo Switch 2024

Discover the ideal VPN for your Nintendo Switch: ExpressVPN for unmatched speed and security, NordVPN for budget-friendly gaming, and Surfshark for households with multiple devices.
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Best Overall

4.9
Editorial Rating
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On ExpressVPN's website

ExpressVPN
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Best for Cost-Effective Gaming

5.0
Editorial Rating
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On NordVPN's website

NordVPN
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Best for Multiple Device Connections

4.6
Editorial Rating
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On Surfshark's website

Surfshark
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If you’re seeking a virtual private network (VPN) for your Nintendo Switch, note that you cannot directly set up a VPN on the Nintendo Switch itself. Your best bet is configuring a VPN on your router or hotspotting the Switch with a VPN connection.

ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark shine the brightest among the top Nintendo Switch VPNs. ExpressVPN offers high-speed servers, NordVPN offers cost effectiveness, and Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connections. They all ensure gaming on the Nintendo Switch is more secure and versatile.

In this article
The best VPNs for Nintendo Switch 2024
ExpressVPN: Best overall
NordVPN: Best for cost-effective gaming
Surfshark: Best for multiple device connections
Honorable mentions
Best VPNs for Nintendo Switch FAQs
Bottom line: The best VPNs for Nintendo Switch
How we tested the best VPNs for Nintendo Switch
Why use a VPN on your Nintendo Switch
How to set up a VPN on Nintendo Switch

The best VPNs for Nintendo Switch 2024

Top 3 VPN services for Nintendo Switch compared

VPN
ExpressVPN
Our Pick

NordVPN

Surfshark
Starting price Starts at $6.67/mo (billed annually) Starts at $3.99/mo (billed every two years) Starts at $2.19/mo (billed biannually)
Free version
Streaming support Yes — Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and more Yes — Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and more Yes — Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and more
Learn more Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

ExpressVPN: Best overall

Extensive Server Network Provides Protection Wherever You Go
4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On ExpressVPN's website
VPN
ExpressVPN
Save 49%
  • 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

Who it’s best for

ExpressVPN suits Nintendo Switch users who value high-speed and secure connections. It’s typically a top choice for gamers participating in online, multiplayer games where speed and low latency are absolutely crucial.

ExpressVPN also appeals to those using their Switch for more than gaming. It’s capable of comfortably allowing media streaming through various platforms. ExpressVPN may be pricey, but the investment is justified if you’re seeking robust security features and reliable performance.

You can find the ExpressVPN kill switch feature under the Options menu and in the General tab. You can turn it on in the Network Lock section.

What we liked

ExpressVPN distinguishes itself with an impressive combination of security and speed. Its use of AES-256 encryption, which is military-grade, ensures that your IP address and online activities are kept private. This helps provide peace of mind for security-focused users.

ExpressVPN also provides multiple VPN protocols for a variety of online security needs. Its proprietary Lightway protocol was created for faster, more reliable, and more secure VPN connections.

One of the great things about ExpressVPN is its compatibility with various devices, including the Nintendo Switch. Connecting ExpressVPN with your Switch is a simple process that can be done in just a few steps. Here's how.

  • Register your IP address on the ExpressVPN website: This step is necessary to ensure that your Switch is recognized and allowed to connect to the VPN.
  • Get your MediaStreamer IP addresses: To use MediaStreamer (a DNS service that allows devices that don't support VPN to improve the streaming process) with your Switch, you’ll need to obtain the MediaStreamer IP addresses from the ExpressVPN website.
  • Configure the DNS servers on your Nintendo Switch: You can now configure the DNS settings on your Nintendo Switch. This will allow your Switch to use the ExpressVPN DNS servers and connect to the VPN.

ExpressVPN offers a lot of protocols, including Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec.

ExpressVPN maintained excellent high-speed connections during our testing, even when connecting to servers in distant locations. This makes it a superior choice for online gaming and streaming to ensure smooth playback without buffering or lag.

What we didn’t like

One primary drawback is ExpressVPN’s cost. It’s one of the pricier options available in the market (with a higher starting price than both NordVPN and Surfshark), often making it not the first choice for budget-conscious gamers.

ExpressVPN specs

Price range $6.67–$12.95/mo
Free version No, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers Servers in 105 countries
Number of connected devices 8
VPN protocol OpenVPN, Lightway, IKEv2
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

NordVPN: Best for cost-effective gaming

Customizable Coverage That is Simple to Use
5.0
Editorial Rating
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On NordVPN's website
VPN
NordVPN
Up to 69% off 2-year plans + a Saily eSIM data gift
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices

Who it’s best for

NordVPN is a prime choice for Nintendo Switch gamers looking for a high-quality VPN experience without a hefty price tag. It's especially suitable for those who value affordability and reliable performance.

With features like a broad server network and strong streaming support, NordVPN is ideal for users who enjoy online gaming and streaming on their Switch. Its user-friendly interface and quick connectivity also make it a great option for those new to VPNs, while the price point remains a significant draw for budget-conscious consumers.

What we liked

NordVPN impresses with its harmonious blend of affordability and efficient performance, making it a standout choice in the VPN market. Its expansive server network, featuring over 6,000 servers across 60 countries, ensures ample options for gamers and streamers using the Nintendo Switch.

Moreover, NordVPN has two options for connecting to the Nintendo Switch: using a hotspot or a VPN router. You can use the hotspot feature on either an Android device with root access or a custom ROM. After installing NordVPN on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet, you can connect to any VPN server and set up a mobile hotspot.

Another option is to use a VPN router, which allows you to connect all of your devices to the internet through a single VPN connection.

In our testing, NordVPN demonstrated solid and reliable speeds across various servers, a crucial factor for uninterrupted online gaming and streaming. The commitment to privacy is evident in its strict no-logs policy, dark web monitoring, and strong encryption protocols, offering users a secure online environment.

A screenshot of the NordVPN settings menu, with the VPN protocol options highlighted by a red box. The NordLynx VPN protocol is currently selected.

NordVPN also excels in streaming capability, seamlessly accessing different regional libraries on popular streaming platforms, greatly enhancing Switch’s entertainment potential.

What we didn’t like

NordVPN no longer lists Netflix as one of its supported streaming services. We're glad it still worked during our testing, but Nord won't be able to help much if it doesn't work in the future. 

Our speed tests showed a significant drop in download speeds and increased latency on servers in more distant regions like Japan and Australia. This variability in performance could potentially affect the quality of online gaming sessions.

NordVPN specs

Price range $3.99–$15.99/mo
Free version No, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers 6,300+ in 111 countries
Number of connected devices 6
VPN protocol OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, NordLynx
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

Surfshark: Best for multiple device connections

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

Who it’s best for

Surfshark is an excellent choice for users who require a VPN across multiple devices thanks to its unique offering of unlimited simultaneous connections. This feature makes it ideal for families or individuals with numerous devices, including the Nintendo Switch.

Surfshark also offers a wide range of versatile features at a very competitive price. This makes it a great fit for those who prioritize a balance between performance and affordability.

A screenshot of the Surfshark VPN settings, showing the VPN protocol set to automatically update. Options for OpenVPN and WireGuard are also shown on its desktop app.

What we liked

Surfshark impressed us with its unique features. Of course, the unlimited device connections stand out. This is quite rare in the VPN market as most companies have a limit. This feature, combined with competitive pricing at just $2.19/mo (billed biannually), positions Surfshark as an exceptional value-for-money VPN.

Another feature of Surfshark is its ability to encrypt a Nintendo Switch. Surfshark allows you to use a VPN router or a mobile hotspot to share a VPN-protected connection with your Switch.

Setting up a Nintendo Switch with Surfshark is a simple process. First, you will need to subscribe to the VPN provider and get a compatible router or the VPN app. Then, connect your desired country on the VPN router or mobile hotspot and connect your Nintendo Switch to the Wi-Fi network created.

In our performance tests, Surfshark showed consistent speeds on U.S. and U.K. servers, which is essential for smooth online gaming and browsing. Its effectiveness in streaming is also notable with successful access to various regional streaming libraries, enhancing the versatility of the Nintendo Switch.

What we didn’t like

Despite its strengths, Surfshark exhibited some limitations. One of the main issues we encountered was the inconsistency in speeds across other regions than the U.S. and the U.K. Notably, the Australian server displayed a significant drop in speed, which could be a drawback if you need to connect to such distant regions.

Another area of concern was the limited streaming access in Canada. Despite various attempts and troubleshooting strategies, we faced persistent issues accessing the Canadian streaming library. This might be a deal-breaker for some users.

Surfshark advocates a strict no-logs policy. However, it’s based in the Netherlands, which is a Nine Eyes Alliance country. This raises concerns about the privacy of user's data as it can be subject to surveillance and data retention laws.

Surfshark specs

Price range $2.19–$17.95/mo
Free version No, but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers 3,200 in 100 countries
Number of connected devices Unlimited
VPN protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec
No-logs policy No logs
Unblocks Netflix? Yes
Torrenting support Yes
Learn more Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Honorable mentions

ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark stood out in our research. However, several other VPNs have shown promise in specific areas. The following VPNs have unique features and strengths that might appeal to different users based on their specific needs and preferences. Below is a brief overview of these services.

  • CyberGhost: CyberGhost is known for its user-friendly interface and strong privacy features. It offers a wide range of servers and is particularly suited for VPN beginners.

    Get CyberGhost VPN | Read Our CyberGhost VPN Review

  • Private Internet Access: PIA offers a reliable and secure connection focusing on privacy and transparency. It's a good option for those prioritizing anonymity and security in their online activities.

    Get Private Internet Access | Read Our Private Internet Access Review

  • IPVanish: IPVanish stands out for its excellent speed and security features, making it a good choice for streaming and gaming. IPVanish is also known for its straightforward pricing and no-logs policy.

    Read Our IPVanish Review

Best VPNs for Nintendo Switch FAQs


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Do VPNs work on consoles?

Yes, VPNs can work on gaming consoles. This includes PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and much more. However, setting up a VPN directly on a console can be more complex than on a computer or smartphone. It will often involve setting up the VPN on a compatible router or creating a virtual router on a PC.


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Can you put a VPN on a Nintendo Switch?

Directly installing a VPN on a Nintendo Switch isn't possible. The console does not have native VPN support. However, you can connect a VPN to your Nintendo Switch through a VPN-enabled router or a computer with a VPN that is sharing (hotspotting) its internet connection.


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Can you use a VPN to play games early on Switch?

Using a VPN to change your region may allow you to access games earlier on the Nintendo Switch. This, of course, depends on the game's release schedule in different regions. Although VPNs are legal, this practice may be against the terms of service of the game distributor or the Nintendo eShop. Therefore, conducting the necessary checks and proceeding with caution is important.

Bottom line: The best VPNs for Nintendo Switch

ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark emerge as the top choices for Nintendo Switch users seeking to enhance their online gaming experience. ExpressVPN stands out as the best VPN for Nintendo Switch for its exceptional security and speed. This makes it ideal for gamers who prioritize a secure and fast connection. NordVPN offers a great balance for budget-conscious gamers with its cost-effective plans and strong performance. Surfshark shines with its unique offering of unlimited device connections. This allows it to cater to households with multiple devices.

Other VPNs like CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, and IPVanish also showed potential with specific strengths. However, our top three VPNs discussed provide the most well-rounded features for Nintendo Switch users.

3 best VPNs for Nintendo Switch 2023

Starting price Best for Learn more

ExpressVPN
Starts at $6.67/mo (billed annually) Overall Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review


NordVPN
Starts at $3.99/mo (billed every two years) Cost-effective gaming Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review


Surfshark
Starts at $2.19/mo (billed biannually) Multiple device connections Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

How we tested the best VPNs for Nintendo Switch

In selecting the best VPN services for Nintendo Switch, we focused on a comprehensive set of crucial criteria for an optimal gaming and streaming experience. Our evaluation process included a detailed performance examination regarding speed and reliability, security features, user friendliness, pricing, and the ability to access various streaming services.

We also considered the number of servers and their geographic diversity, ensuring wide-ranging access and connection stability. These features were chosen to directly impact online gaming and streaming quality, ensuring users enjoy a seamless and secure experience on their Nintendo Switch.

  • Speed and reliability: Tests to measure connection speeds and stability, which is important for lag-free gaming and streaming
  • Security features: Evaluation of encryption standards and privacy policies to ensure data protection and anonymity
  • User friendliness: Assessment of the VPN’s interface and ease of use, particularly for those new to VPNs
  • Pricing: Consideration of subscription costs to ensure the VPN offers value for money
  • Streaming service access: Ability to unblock and access various regional libraries of popular streaming platforms
  • Server quantity and diversity: Number of servers and their global distribution impact the versatility and reliability of the VPN connection
  • Special features for gaming: Additional features that enhance the gaming experience, such as support for multiple devices and playing geo-blocked games

Why use a VPN on your Nintendo Switch

  • Access other regions' eShops: A VPN allows you to change your IP address to access Nintendo eShops in different regions, potentially getting games earlier or finding region-specific content.
  • Protection against DDoS attacks: Online gaming can expose you to DDoS attacks. A VPN can mask your IP address, protecting you from such threats.
  • Circumvent Network Restrictions: Use a VPN to bypass network restrictions. This is useful in locations like schools or workplaces where gaming sites might be blocked.
  • Improved connection stability: A VPN can sometimes offer a more stable internet connection, reducing lag and improving the gaming experience.
  • Safe public Wi-Fi use: When using public Wi-Fi networks, a VPN can secure your connection, protecting your device from potential threats.
  • Privacy protection: A VPN encrypts your online activity, keeping your browsing and gaming habits private.

How to set up a VPN on Nintendo Switch

Setting up a VPN on your Nintendo Switch involves configuring it on your router. Here's a brief outline of the steps.

  1. Choose a VPN.
  2. Access the firmware on the router.
  3. Open the router's firmware settings.
  4. Enable the VPN service.
  5. Sign up for a free DNS account.
  6. Return to the settings for VPN and enter your DNS information.
  7. Connect to a server.
  8. Connect your Switch to the VPN-enabled network.

For more detailed instructions and tips, visit how to set up a VPN on your router.

Extensive Server Network Provides Protection Wherever You Go
4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On ExpressVPN's website
VPN
ExpressVPN
Save 49%
  • 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
Author Details
Ryan Clancy is a freelance writer and blogger. With 5+ years of mechanical engineering experience, he's passionate about all things engineering and tech. He loves bringing engineering (especially mechanical) down to a level that everyone can understand.