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5 Best VPNs for Gaming in 2017

Whether it is the billion dollar eSports industry or the insane popularity of games such as World of Warcraft or Call of Duty, one thing is for certain: video games are here to stay.

Of course, the same dangers that plague any online activity (hacking, geo-restrictions, ISP throttling) can also occur when playing your favorite game. Investing in a VPN for gaming gives you extra security benefits that a firewall or antivirus doesn’t offer. Let’s go over why you need a VPN for gaming!

Unblock Different Regions for Games

As is the case with streaming services such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer, certain games are blocked in certain regions or countries. For example, Red Dead Redemption, Heavy Rain, and L.A. Noire are all banned in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, while Pokemon Go and Battlefield 3 are also unavailable in Iran.

Another issue that some gamers experience with online gaming is the blocking of ports used by certain games. A good example of this would be a workplace, school, or hotel closing certain ports that are used to access World of Warcraft (commonly TCP and UDP ports 3724, 1119, 6012). Using a VPN allows you to circumvent these blocks and enjoy a game no matter where you may be!

Protect Yourself While Gaming

The rise in popularity of eSports and competitive gaming has greatly increased the amount of dirty tactics used by gamers. One of the dirty tactics that has spread (especially in the MOBA scene) is the use of DDOS attacks on the game server by someone who is on the losing side. Read more about DDOS prevention with online gaming.

Additionally, hackers can gain a springboard into more sensitive information that is connected with online gaming. A few examples of this could be hacking World of Warcraft accounts, entire Steam accounts, or worst-case scenario, stealing the credit card information you used to sign up for the games! Using a VPN can significantly reduce your chances of being compromised during online play.

Potentially Reduce Lag for Multiplayer

Another reason for gamers to use a VPN is to reduce ping or “lag” in online games. A VPN could either help you stabilize your connection or allow you to connect to different servers that might perform better.

It is worth mentioning that due to the nature of VPNs, you might actually experience a poor connection to a game server when using a VPN. Getting better ping or latency with a VPN only works in specific situations (such as dropped packets and ISP throttling).

Alright, let’s go over my recommended best VPN for gaming in 2017!

Best VPN for Gaming: Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

Buffered LogoBuffered
Read Review10/10
$8.25 / monthVisit Site

2

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review9/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

3

BolehVPN LogoBolehVPN
Read Review8/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

4

VPNArea LogoVPNArea
Read Review7/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

5

NordVPN LogoNordVPN
Read Review6/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure
Editor's Choice Award

Winner

Buffered

5/5

Fastest VPN

  • ProsPROS
  • Great speeds
  • Up to five simultaneous connections
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • ConsCONS
  • Some logs kept

Buffered is a relatively young VPN provider that offers some of the best speeds in the industry, which is a must have for gaming. They have an amazing tech team who have added some cool features we will mention later, but who have also setup great network infrastructure. Servers are spread out over 37 countries, with all major continents covered. There is also a helpful port scanning tool that helps identify open ports, potentially unblocking services on your network.

Buffered supports up to five simultaneous connections, which makes it a great choice for a family or group of friends looking to share the benefits of a VPN. Furthermore, you can try out Buffered with the protection of a 30-day money-back guarantee!

Check out the fastest 2017 VPN today!

Visit Buffered »

30-day money-back guarantee

2nd place

ExpressVPN

4.5/5

ExpressVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • User-friendly apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux
  • Custom VPN routers available
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in nearly 90 countries
  • ConsCONS
  • Bit pricey

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs that money can buy, even with a relatively high price tag (compared to others on this list). Servers are present in nearly 90 countries, with remote locations all over the world covered by ExpressVPN. There are user-friendly apps for a number of platforms. ExpressVPN is also unique for selling pre-installed VPN routers that can be used to secure a whole household or office. VPN routers are especially useful for gaming as you can get a much faster connection than with a traditional VPN client.

You can sign up to ExpressVPN for a monthly, semi-annual, or annual plan starting at $8.32 a month. In case you aren’t satisfied (which I highly doubt will happen), there is a 30-day money-back guarantee in place. Hit the link below to sign up!

Visit ExpressVPN »


3rd place

BolehVPN

4/5

BolehVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • One-day free trial
  • Heavy focus on privacy
  • Bitcoin accepted
  • Based in Seychelles
  • ConsCONS
  • No live chat or telephone support

BolehVPN is a Seychelles-based VPN that stands out as one of the most privacy-oriented VPN services I have experienced. Being based in the Seychelles means they are exempt from any silly data retention laws, while 256-bit AES encryption with a RSA-2048 handshake is equally important and impressive. A slight turn-off for beginner VPN users is the absence of live chat or telephone support, although BolehVPN is quick to respond by email should you have any questions.

BolehVPN is a great option for gaming, even if there are only servers in 13 countries. They also accept bitcoin and Dash payment options, which is a welcome additional level of anonymity. Check out BolehVPN’s one-day free trial using the link below!

Visit BolehVPN »


4th place

VPNArea

3.5/5

VPNArea

  • ProsPROS
  • No logging policy
  • Servers in 60 countries
  • Internet kill switch included
  • Up to six simultaneous connections
  • ConsCONS
  • No 24/7 customer service
  • Subject to Swiss data laws

Swiss company VPNArea is our fourth best VPN for gaming. Servers in over 60 countries, and solid all-around speeds mean they are a fantastic option when gaming online. VPNArea is also a great VPN for families or entire households, with the ability to connect up to six devices at the same time.

Additional security features for VPNArea include an internet kill switch and protection from IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks. You can sign up to VPNArea on a monthly, semi-annual, and annual plan. Use the button below to check them out.

Visit VPNArea »


5th place

NordVPN

3/5

NordVPN

  • ProsPROS
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Bitcoin accepted
  • Double encryption available
  • ConsCONS
  • Some connection issues

NordVPN might be the last VPN on this list, but that fact doesn’t mean that this Panamanian VPN is not a good VPN for gaming. For starters, Panama is a great place for VPNs, even in the face of the recent Panama Papers leaks. NordVPN is also the only VPN to have a “double encryption” feature, which acts as a second level of encryption for your data. Extra features include an automatic internet kill switch and support for Tor over VPN.

It is worth noting that some NordVPN users have experienced slow connection speeds when using the VPN. Keep this (and NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee) in mind when checking out NordVPN.

Visit NordVPN »


Best VPN for Gaming: Considerations

Unblock Games Early with a VPN

One of the great features of using a VPN is connecting to different regions to access content that isn’t available where you are. Taking advantage of time zone differences could allow you to play games hours before they are officially released in your country!

For instance, connecting to a New Zealand VPN server from California could allow you to play a game nearly a full day before it is released! This is great news for streamers and competitive players looking to get a head start on everyone else.

play games early with a vpn

Here is where I give you a fair warning on unblocking games earlier with a VPN! While all gaming platforms operate differently (Xbox is completely region-free), purchasing a game from Steam using a VPN could violate the Steam terms of service. Proceed with caution!

VPNs and Gaming: a Final Word

I’ll also add another quick word on something I mentioned earlier regarding VPNs and speed loss for gaming. While in some rare cases a VPN might improve your connection (packet loss, or if your ISP is throttling your internet speed), the speed loss that comes with using a VPN is all but inevitable.

A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your device and the chosen VPN server, encrypting all data that goes through it. Unfortunately, this extra encryption will take longer to send or receive, resulting in slower speeds. That being said, finding a VPN server that is relatively close to your actual location will give you the best chance for a lag-free gaming experience.

I hope this has helped you choose the best VPN for gaming. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Best VPN for Gaming: Summary

Rank Company Score Price Link

1

Buffered LogoBuffered
Read Review10/10
$8.25 / monthVisit Site

2

ExpressVPN LogoExpressVPN
Read Review9/10
$8.32 / monthVisit Site

3

BolehVPN LogoBolehVPN
Read Review8/10
$6.67 / monthVisit Site

4

VPNArea LogoVPNArea
Read Review7/10
$4.92 / monthVisit Site

5

NordVPN LogoNordVPN
Read Review6/10
$5.75 / monthVisit Site

*All prices shown in US dollars

* Advertiser Disclosure

Thomas Ujj Born in Canada, raised in the U.S, yet somehow living in Hungary. I have a passion for anything technology related, gaming, freedom and privacy, food and Italian football team AS Roma.

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