Using a VPN needn’t affect your gaming.
A Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is an essential service to secure your internet connection.
A VPN gives you greater control over how your online activity can be tracked, providing a combination of security (keeping your computer and data protected) and privacy (keeping your identity protected).
So how does a VPN accomplish this? By creating an encrypted connection between your computer and a server operated by the VPN service, that’s how. When you’re connected to the VPN server, all of your network traffic passes through a safe, protected tunnel and no one else should be able to monitor your activity. That’s the theory anyway.
Even the very best VPNs will likely have an impact on your connectivity, though, sometimes to the point where lag gets in the way of your gaming — which is unacceptable, particularly if you’re a first-person shooter fan.
So how do you select a VPN when both security and gaming are priorities. You need a VPN that ticks three boxes — speed, ping, and protection — so that when you’re in a virtual life and death situation, lag doesn’t deliver the killer blow.
These are the best gaming VPNs in the UK:
Security is a focus • Good geographical spread • Speed and ping remain strong
There are less expensive options out there but if your priority is security then Nord VPN is ideal
1. Nord VPNNord VPN is perfect for those that require protection above all else.
Ping is a major issue for gamers, and particularly those who prefer fighting or first-person shooter games, where split seconds make all the difference. The fact that Nord VPN does not result in a major increase in ping should be music to the ears of security conscious gaming lovers everywhere.
Nord VPN is a strong contender when it comes to security, with a selection of offerings that boost protection. Traffic passes through two separate VPN servers, you get the option of a dedicated IP, and NordVPN operates a ‘no logs’ policy, meaning your data is secure.
Much like the majority of VPNs, monthly billing can be slightly pricey, but if you commit for longer, you’ll get much better value for money.
Dedicated IP • Great network of servers
Not the best speed results
Not the fastest and noit the prettiest, but an all-around options for those that want a VPN without any real weaknesses
2. Pure VPNPureVPN is a solid performer with just enough of everything to stand out from the crowd.
So PureVPN boasts an outstanding network of international VPN servers and its performance is very solid.
Overall PureVPN is a serious option for all gamers. Whilst it isn’t the absolute fastest VPN in terms of ping or upload/download speeds, it is one of the best thanks to its mix of competitive performance and a polished design.
Excellent download speeds • Pick and choose the best server for you
The lack of a free trial shouldn’t put you off, particularly with such strong all-round download speeds
3. IPVanishLays a claim to being the fastest VPN on the market. Speed is essential for any successful gaming VPN.
IPVanish also offers a good number of servers in over 60 countries, and it isn’t tricky to root out a solid server. In fact, it’s this ability to select a server that sets IPVanish apart when it comes to gaming. When looking for the right server, you can sort by ping time, which means you can pick out the server that is best suited to your gaming needs.
There’s no free trial with IPVanish, but subscriptions do come with a 7-day money-back guarantee, giving you a little peace of mind.
IPVanish secures your web traffic from prying eyes and gives you the chance to select the server right for you.
Strong privacy policies • Easy to navigate interface • Ad blocker • Free option
Limited data in free package • Performance isn’t great • Lack of server locations
TunnelBear VPN is a real option for those that prioritise usability and aesthetics over performance
4. TunnelBear VPNA strong contender for those just beginning their journey into the world of VPNs and don’t want something to complicated.
So how does this VPN compare when it comes to gaming? Speed results are pretty uninspiring, and a lack of geographic diversity in server locations is also a sticking point, but TunnelBear VPN doesn’t force you to compromise between security and usability like much of its competition, and usability is key.
So if you can get over the increase in ping, TunnelBear VPN is an option, and should be something to consider, particularly if you are just dipping your toe into the world of VPN and want an easy VPN that doesn’t overcomplicate things.
Delivers great performance • Affordable • Ad blocker • Kill switch
Interface is crude • No free version • No specialised servers
Who really cares about a pretty interface when the speed and ping are so good?
5. Private Internet Access VPNLooks can be deceiving. The interface might trouble some people but the speed is a real strength.
Private Internet Access VPN also has a few useful features like an automatic ad blocker and a kill switch to immediately stop your Internet connection if the VPN drops. It could do with a little makeover but who really cares when it’s fast and affordable? It has everything you need to enjoy your gaming and your privacy.
There is no free version, and no specialised servers, but you shouldn’t need them with such strong performance.
Custom apps for mobile • Operates in 94 countries
No free trial • Limited number of simultaneous connections
With a really strong presence worldwide and custom apps for Android and iOS, ExpressVPN is perfect for mobile gamers
6. ExpressVPNA mobile and speedy VPN. What more do you need?
In terms of gaming, ExpressVPN really excels when it comes to the mobile. ExpressVPN offers custom apps, in particular for Android and iOS, making it easy to stay protected on the go. That’s all well and good but being mobile doesn’t count for much if the speed drops off considerably when using the VPN. Well ExpressVPN delivers on that front too with strong performance levels across the board.
There’s no free trial with ExpressVPN so you can’t try before you buy, but there is a 30-day money back guarantee so if you aren’t satisfied, you aren’t stuck.
No money-back guarantee • Low total number of servers • Only allows a few simultaneous connections
Bit of a mixed bag but the great performance stats and live chat support make up for the lack of a money-back guarantee
7. VyprVPNOwning their own servers and infrastructure has had a positive impact on VyprVPN’s performance.
Unlike many of its competitors, VyprVPN does not offer any sort of money-back guarantee, but it does offer a three-day free trial period and live chat support so you can properly scope it out before you jump in and commit.
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