Summary: When you’re playing online games, you could find out relatively quickly that you are surrounded by hackers that are looking to steal your accounts and other sensitive information.
There may also be times that you’ve ended up being banned from your favorite online games, and need a way to get around the bans so you can get back to playing.
If you want to stay safe while you’re gaming online, or want to bypass bans that have been implemented on your account, connecting through a VPN service is the best way to do it.
Virtual Private Network services help you stay anonymous and secure by encrypting your information and allowing you to hide where you’re connecting from.
To protect yourself while gaming online, click here to get ExpressVPN.
Table of Contents
- Best VPN for Gaming
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Testing Methodology
- How We Tested Each VPN Service
- VPN Services You Should Avoid
- VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
- VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
- Top Three VPNs for Gaming
- Wrapping It Up
Why You Should Trust Us
The writing and research team at SecureThoughts have devoted their lives to staying up-to-date with the latest in the internet technology and security industries.
If you’re trying to stay safe (or get unbanned) while gaming online, our team can help you uncover the VPN services worth spending your hard-earned money on.
We understand that the VPN industry is massive, and there are countless services available that all claim to be the best in the business.
Unfortunately, most of the services that claim to be the best are typically using marketing hype, so we intend to uncover the true “diamonds in the rough” and find the best VPN for gaming.
How We Tested Each VPN Service
To ensure you can keep yourself safe and secure while gaming, or bypass account suspensions and bans, we’ve tested more than 170 different VPN services.
To skip the methodology and go straight to our recommendations, click here now.
Our elimination process began by removing services from our list that are primarily based in countries that participate in the invasive “14 Eyes” surveillance program.
We then checked the features of each service remaining on our list to ensure they provide the tools necessary for keeping gamers safe online.
Third-party websites were also utilized, to help us verify that the remaining services all have a decent reputation in the industry. Services with poor reviews were removed.
Finally, any service that made it through the previous three eliminations were matched against each other using five criteria to help us find the best VPN for gaming.
Those criteria are:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
Below are the results of our elimination and review process.
VPN Services You Should Avoid
Starting with a list of 170+ VPN services, we began our elimination process by removing services that are active participants in the invasive “14 Eyes” surveillance program.
14 Eyes is a partnership between different governments that forces your internet service provider and VPN services to track your activity and turn those logs over to government agencies.
123 of the 173 services on our original list have been eliminated because they participate in this program and cannot be recommended for online gamers.
ChillGlobal, GoVPN and IPPredator are three services that we’ve removed due to their participation in 14 Eyes.
VPNs Disqualified Due to Missing Features
To help you find the best VPN service for online gaming, we’ve eliminated services that do not provide a minimum set of features that gamers need.
Criteria #1: Unlimited Bandwidth and Data Transfer
Playing games online, especially major titles like CS:GO, League of Legends and others, requires you to consume a significant amount of bandwidth.
VPN services that limit your connection speeds due to bandwidth consumption were eliminated from our review to ensure you do not experience lagging or disconnections during gameplay.
Celo and Cloak are two services that we’ve eliminated to prevent this problem from happening, because of their bandwidth policies.
Criteria #2: Support for Multiple Operating Systems
Today’s VPN services should support multiple different mainstream operating systems, and failing to support the same operating systems your game requires won’t work for you.
If the software supplied by the VPN service is buggy or isn’t supported with major operating systems, we’ve eliminated it from our review.
IntelliVPN and SunVPN are two services that have been eliminated because of buggy or malfunctioning software.
Criteria #3: Support Multiple Concurrent Connections
You may also want to protect every device that you own, and not just the device or system that you’re using to play online games with.
VPN services that do not allow you to connect with multiple devices at the same time, or limit your connection speeds when you do, were eliminated from our review.
HotVPN and IBVPN are two services we’ve eliminated because they do not support multiple concurrent connections.
Criteria #4: No Peer2Peer Blocking
Some online games utilize Peer2Peer filesharing networks to provide updates to the software you’re using to play the game, so you need a VPN service that supports P2P networks.
VPN services that block your access to P2P and filesharing networks have been eliminated from our review to ensure you can seamlessly update your favorite games.
LibertyVPN is one of the services we’ve eliminated because they block the ports needed to access filesharing networks.
Criteria #5: Free Trials, Refunds and Money-Back Guarantee
In this day and age, VPN services need to support their customers by offering either free-trial periods or a valid money-back guarantee.
To ensure you can receive a refund if you experience problems that we did not experience during our testing, we’ve eliminated services that do not offer free-trial periods or a refund policy.
VPN Shield and VPNBaron are two of the services we’ve eliminated due to their refund and free trial policies.
VPNs Eliminated Due to Poor Reviews
Many customers utilize third-party websites to verify reviews from current and past customers, and will base their purchasing decision off the reviews of past customers.
That’s why we used the same third-party services to help eliminate any service that has consistently received a 60% rating (3-out-of-5 stars) or lower.
Top Three VPNs for Gaming
After working through our original list of 173 different VPN services, we’ve managed to dwindle it down to a total of three remaining services, all vying for our #1 recommendation.
Each of the remaining three services will be reviewed based on five criteria:
- Setup Process
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
We’ve put the remaining three services through extensive testing to help figure out which service is best for users looking to keep themselves safe while gaming online.
#1 ExpressVPN – (9.5 / 10) – The Best VPN Service for Gaming
When it comes to staying safe while you are playing your favorite online games, very few services can compare to what you get as an ExpressVPN subscriber.
ExpressVPN remains competitive in their pricing. They charge $12.95 per month when you pay for a month-to-month subscription and $8.32 when you pay for a 12-month subscription.
The customer support team at ExpressVPN answers quickly, in less than 60 minutes in most cases, and are always helpful in the responses they provide.
While performing speed tests on their network, we’ve found that ExpressVPN offers some of the fastest connection speeds and lowest ping times of any service we’ve tested.
The software that is included with your subscription to ExpressVPN is easy to install and configure, and allowed us to quickly establish a connection to their network.
One issue that we did have, which could be related to the time of day, is an instance where we were forced to wait up to three hours for a response to one of our customer support requests.
We also noticed that ExpressVPN showed slightly slower speeds in tests performed through Australian servers, which could also be related to the load on their servers at the time the tests were run.
Summary: When you’re trying to stay safe, anonymous and secure while playing your favorite online games, ExpressVPN is the best service available.
They offer great customer service, competitive pricing, fast upload and download speeds and low ping response times, which all worked together to help them secure the #1 spot in our review.
To protect yourself while gaming online with ExpressVPN, click here now.
#2 IPVanish – (7.5 / 10) – Suitable if ExpressVPN isn’t Available for You
There may be times that you find ExpressVPN doesn’t work with your games, or they aren’t available where you’re located. For times like those, IPVanish could be an alternative service.
When it comes to being competitively priced, we haven’t found another service that matches what IPVanish offers. They charge $7.50 per month and $4.87 per month for 12-month packages.
The IPVanish software is simple to download and configure, allowing us to establish a connection to their network quickly without encountering any issues.
IPVanish does support multiple connections, so you can connect every device you own to their network without worrying about dropped connections or slow connection speeds.
One area where ExpressVPN outperformed IPVanish is when speed tests were performed. We noticed that IPVanish was significantly slower, though still maintained low ping times.
The customer support team at IPVanish also took longer to respond to our requests than the team at ExpressVPN. In most cases, we waited longer than three hours to receive a response.
Summary: While ExpressVPN outperformed IPVanish in every area of our review, there may be times that you find ExpressVPN doesn’t work with your setup.
For times like those, IPVanish may prove to be a suitable alternative. They offer very competitive pricing, and a decent network that can keep you safe while gaming online.
If you would like to know more about IPVanish, you can visit their site by clicking here.
#3 HideMyAss – (5.5 / 10) – Not Recommended
HideMyAss ranking third in our review does not necessarily constitute us giving them a recommendation to our readers who enjoy gaming online.
The software that they provide didn’t present many problems while getting it installed on our machine and using it to connect to their network. However, once connected, the problems began.
In terms of pricing, HideMyAss is one of the most expensive VPN services that we’ve tested, charging $16.99 per month and $9.29 per month for 12-month packages.
During speed tests, we had our connections interrupted multiple times, and when we could establish a connection, our speeds became unreliable, making the test impossible to complete.
While attempting to work through the problems we were having, we contacted the HideMyAss customer support team and waited more than 24 hours for a response to our request.
The problems that we faced made it difficult to play some of our favorite titles, and we experienced significant lag times, causing us to get disconnected from the servers on multiple occasions.
Summary: During testing, we uncovered numerous issues with the HideMyAss VPN service which makes it hard to offer them as a recommendation to our readers.
If you want to stay safe and anonymous while you’re gaming online, there are better options available, like ExpressVPN or even IPVanish if ExpressVPN isn’t available for you.
If you want to learn more about HideMyAss, you can do your own research by clicking here.
Wrapping It Up
When you’re trying to stay safe and anonymous while you’re playing your favorite online games, nothing works better than connecting through a Virtual Private Network service.
VPN services help you hide your original location and encrypt the information you send and receive to the gaming servers, so hackers are unable to steal your accounts or sensitive data.
Through testing more than 170 VPN services, we’ve found that ExpressVPN offers the strongest network, best customer service, fastest upload and download speeds and lowest ping response times.
To learn more about ExpressVPN and protect yourself while gaming online, click here now.