The Ultimate Guide to Best VPN for Gaming in 2024 [Updated]

Updated on May 12, 2024
The Ultimate Guide to Best VPN for Gaming in 2024 [Updated]

If you love nothing more than settling in for a marathon gaming session of your favorite first-person shooter or MMO and if you’re gaming online, your connection and data are exposed for anyone to snoop on. Using a VPN is the best way to prevent lag, protect your privacy, and access geo-blocked games.

This guide will walk you through why a gaming VPN is essential, how it protects you, and which services are best for your needs. By the end of this, you’ll be loading up your favorite games knowing you have a secure, souped-up internet connection and the ultimate gaming advantage.

What is a Gaming VPN?

A gaming VPN, or virtual private network, is a service specifically designed for online gamers. Using a gaming VPN while playing online games can offer several benefits. A gaming VPN can improve your connection speed and stability. When you play online games, your traffic is sent directly from your device to the game server. Using a VPN routes your connection through an intermediate server first before reaching the game. This extra routing can sometimes improve stability by avoiding problematic local infrastructure. The VPN server may also be physically closer to the game server, resulting in a faster connection.

Why Use a VPN for Gaming? 

If you are dealing with lag, restrictions, and privacy issues while gaming online, don’t worry.  A VPN helps solve all these problems so you can game without worry.

use a vpn for gaming

Reduce Lag

With a VPN, your connection is encrypted, which can actually improve your ping and download speeds. By shielding your traffic from bandwidth throttling, a VPN helps reduce lag so you can frag without frustration.

Access Restricted Games

Some games have regional restrictions or censorship, but a VPN lets you get around these blocks so you can play whatever you want, whenever you want. Just choose a server in an allowed region and you’ll be gaming in no time.

Protect Your Privacy

A VPN hides your online activity and location, masking your IP address so no one can snoop on what you do. This is crucial for protecting sensitive data like passwords, messages, and more. Game safely knowing your privacy and personal information are secure.

Boost Your Connection

With a VPN, you’ll experience less lag and a good ping. By hiding your real IP address, a VPN prevents throttling of your bandwidth by internet service providers. This allows for a stronger, more stable connection ideal for gaming. A VPN also gives you access to more servers in locations best suited for your favorite games. Connecting to these optimized servers will significantly improve your connectivity and gameplay. 

Why Avoid bandwidth throttling while using VPN for gaming?

To avoid bandwidth throttling, a VPN is essential for gaming. Bandwidth throttling is when your internet service provider deliberately slows down your internet speed. This often happens during peak usage times, but gamers can experience throttling at any time. Gamers may experience throttling more often than other users due to the high demand that gaming places on internet bandwidth and system resources.

Bandwidth throttling can seriously impact your gaming experience. It can lead to high latency, packet loss, and overall slow performance. These issues can make your game virtually unplayable, particularly in genres where every millisecond counts, like First-Person Shooters or Real-Time Strategy games.

A VPN masks your IP address and encrypts your data. This makes it harder for your ISP to identify what data is passing through their network. When you’re using a VPN, your ISP can’t tell if you’re gaming, streaming, or just browsing the web. Therefore, they can’t selectively throttle your bandwidth based on your activities. 

However, it’s important to note that while a VPN can help avoid bandwidth throttling, it’s not a magic fix for all internet issues. Some VPNs can actually slow down your connection due to the encryption process. So, it’s crucial to choose a high-quality VPN designed for gaming to ensure the best possible performance. So, avoiding bandwidth throttling with a good VPN could be your ticket to a more seamless and enjoyable gaming experience.

What to Look for in a Gaming VPN: Speed, Servers, and Security

When choosing a VPN for gaming, there are a few key factors to consider:

Speed

For online gaming, speed is an essential factor. Look for a VPN that offers unlimited bandwidth and fast connection speeds. If you are experiencing lagging or buffering, it will disrupt your gameplay. That’s why some gaming VPNs offer special servers optimized for gaming to reduce latency.

Global Server Network

A large global network of servers means you’ll have more options to connect to a server close to your gaming platform. The closer the server, the faster your connection speed. If the game you play has regional restrictions, choose a VPN with servers in that location. Some gaming VPNs have servers specifically for accessing region-locked games.

Strong Security

While speed and server locations are most important for gaming, you still want a VPN that provides strong security and privacy. Look for one that offers military-grade encryption, a no-logs policy, and a kill switch to protect your data in case the VPN connection drops. Some gaming VPNs also provide DDoS protection and NAT firewall to shield you from cyberattacks that could slow or disrupt your connection.

How does AstrillVPN reduce ping?

Ping, also known as latency, refers to the network delay in milliseconds (ms) between your device and the gaming server. The lower the ping, the faster the response and the better your gaming experience.

High pings of over 100ms can lead to lag, stuttering and input delay. For most fast-paced games, you’ll want a ping under 60ms for optimal performance. Using a VPN can sometimes increase your ping due to the added network routing. So when choosing a VPN for gaming, look for providers that offer:

  • Purpose-built gaming servers to minimize ping
  • Apps or settings to disable the VPN when gaming for the fastest speeds
  • Options to choose gaming-optimized connections and server locations nearest you

AstrillVPN uses smart routing technology to reduce latency and improve your ping. That’s what makes this a best VPN for gaming. Instead of connecting you to the nearest VPN server, Astrill analyzes network conditions in real-time and connects you to the fastest available server for your location. This optimized routing helps lower ping times and reduce lag while gaming. 

Why Astrill is best Choice for Popular Games?

AstrillVPN is considered the best VPN for gamers because it offers optimized servers for popular online games like League of Legends, Minecraft, Dota 2, Fortnite, Destiny 2, Roblox, Apex Legends, and Pubg.

VPN for League of Legends

This popular MOBA game has servers located around the world, so a VPN lets you connect to the server with the lowest ping for the smoothest gameplay. It also helps if the game is banned or geo-restricted in your country.

VPN for League of Legends

VPN for Fortnite

Fortnite utilizes servers in multiple regions as well. A VPN can help reduce Fortnite lag and allow you to play on servers where the game may be unavailable due to your location.

VPN for Fortnite

VPN for Xbox

For Xbox gaming, a VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your connection to increase security and privacy. It also allows you to access multiplayer games and purchase content that may be restricted based on your geographical location.

A VPN provides an added layer of security for your online gaming by encrypting all the data transmitted between your device and the game server. Your IP address, location and other details will be hidden from prying eyes. For the price, Astrill is an affordable, full-featured option for gamers looking to reduce lag, lift geo-restrictions and boost security.

Can VPN be used for cloud gaming?

If you’re a gamer, you know how frustrating lag and throttling can be. A VPN helps solve these issues by encrypting your internet connection to provide a fast, stable experience for services like Google Stadia or Nvidia GeForce Now. 

By hiding your gaming activity from internet providers, a VPN prevents throttling of bandwidth for gaming. It also reduces latency by connecting you to the closest VPN server to the gaming service. Look for a VPN with unlimited bandwidth, fast connection speeds and servers near gaming data centers. 

Can I use a free VPN for gaming?

Using a free gaming VPN is possible, but not recommended. While free VPNs may seem appealing, they often come with drawbacks like slower speeds, data caps, and security risks that can hamper your gaming experience. Free VPN services have to make money somehow, and they typically do so by collecting and selling your data or bombarding you with ads. Some even contain malware. These shady practices can compromise your privacy, security, and internet connection speeds.

Gaming requires a fast, stable internet connection to avoid lag, stuttering, and dropped connections. Free VPNs usually have limited bandwidth and server options which can throttle your speeds. They may also enforce strict data caps that prevent long gaming sessions.

For the best gaming VPN, choose a reputable paid service. They offer stronger security, faster speeds, more reliable connections, and peace of mind that your data and privacy are protected. While free VPNs may seem tempting, a paid gaming VPN is worth the investment for an optimal experience.

Differences between Free vs Paid VPN for gaming

When it comes to choosing a VPN for gaming, you’ll need to decide between a free or paid service. Here are some of the key differences to consider:

Free VPNs:

  • Typically have data caps and speed limits. This can reduce download speeds and cause lag while gaming.
  • Often have limited server locations. This makes it hard to find a low latency connection for the best performance.
  • Rarely have strong encryption and security. Your data and IP address may not be fully protected.
  • Frequently show intrusive ads to fund the service. This can be annoying and impact your gaming experience.

Paid VPNs:

  • Offer unlimited data and fast speeds with no throttling. This provides a seamless gaming experience without lag or buffering.
  • Have servers around the world. It’s easy to find a nearby server for the fastest, lowest latency connection.
  • Use strong security and encryption. Your data, IP address and location are kept private and protected.
  • Are ad-free. There are no disruptive ads to bother you while gaming.
  • Often have dedicated IP addresses. This can avoid IP bans on some gaming servers.
  • Frequently offer a free trial. You can test the performance and features before committing to a paid plan.

In the end, a paid VPN service is really the only viable option if you want the best privacy, security and performance for gaming. The small monthly fee is worth it for an unrestricted, lag-free experience.

free vpn vs paid vpn

How to Set Up AstrillVPN for PS, Console, and Mobile?

Setting up AstrillVPN for PS, console and mobile is pretty straightforward.

  • First, download the AstrillVPN app on your gaming device. They offer native apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.
  • Once installed, open the app and create an Astrill account or log in with your credentials.
  • Choose a server location closest to your gaming platform’s servers for the fastest speeds. For many games, US West or US East servers work well.
  • Connect to the AstrillVPN. You’ll see a key icon to indicate you’re protected. Your real IP address and location are now hidden.
  • In your game’s network settings, select the Astrill VPN server to route all traffic through the VPN. This encrypts your data and bypasses any geo-blocks so you can access foreign game servers.

With AstrillVPN enabled, you’re ready to play without restrictions or bandwidth throttling. For the best performance, I recommend their StealthVPN protocol which is optimized for gaming and streaming. Enjoy your private, unrestricted online gaming experience!

Is a proxy better than a VPN for gaming?

When playing online games, you have two main options to improve your connection: using a VPN or a gaming proxy. A VPN is generally a better option than a gaming proxy for improving your online gaming experience due to the following reasons:

  • Optimized for gaming – designed specifically to reduce lag  
  • Less bandwidth usage – only routes gaming traffic, not all traffic  
  • Lower latency – reduces “hops” in your connection  
  • More stable connection – gaming proxies have servers optimized for low ping

So, if your main goal is to improve your ping and reduce lag while playing online games, using a good gaming VPN is likely to give you better results than a proxy.  VPNs still offer other benefits like security, privacy, and bypassing geo-restrictions that proxies do not provide.

FAQs

Many gamers wonder if a VPN can improve their gaming experience. Here are some commonly asked questions about gaming with a VPN:

Q: Is A VPN good for gaming?

Yes, a VPN can benefit gamers. It encrypts your internet connection to hide your online activity and location. This can bypass geographic restrictions to access games and helps prevent DDoS attacks that can disrupt your gameplay.

Q: Does VPN reduce Internet speed?

VPNs can slightly reduce internet speeds due to the extra encryption. For most users, the speed difference is negligible. However, if fast speeds are a top priority for you, choose a VPN that minimizes speed loss, like AstrillVPN. They offer strong encryption with minimal impact on bandwidth.

Q: Do VPNs reduce lag?

VPNs themselves do not directly reduce lag or latency. However, by hiding your real IP address and encrypting your data, a VPN prevents others from tracking your online activity or launching attacks to slow your connection. So while a VPN won’t decrease lag on its own, it can help prevent interference that leads to lag and disrupted gameplay.

Q: Can you use a VPN with game consoles?

You can use a VPN with some game consoles to enhance your online gaming experience and protect your privacy. Many gamers use a VPN when playing online.

Q: Which is the preferred VPN protocol for gaming, OpenVPN or WireGuard?

Either OpenVPN or WireGuard will work well for most gamers. However, if you play latency-sensitive games like first-person shooters, real-time strategy, or multiplayer online battle arena games, WireGuard’s near-zero latency may give it a slight edge for optimal performance. But OpenVPN’s broader compatibility and history of stability should not be discounted if that is more important to you.

Conclusion

A virtual private network can be a game changer (literally) when it comes to your online gaming experience. With faster speeds, increased security, and the ability to access games not normally available in your country, a gaming VPN is well worth the investment. The options we covered should have something for everyone depending on your needs and budget. Do some testing and see which service gives you the best performance boost. Once you find the right VPN, you’ll wonder how you ever gamed without it. No more lag, no more geo-restrictions, and no more worries about your data and privacy.

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About The Author

Bisma Farrukh

Bisma is a seasoned writer passionate about topics like cybersecurity, privacy and data breach issues. She has been working in VPN industry for more than 5 years now and loves to talk about security issues. She loves to explore the books and travel guides in her leisure time.

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