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.
CyberGhost is easy to use and has loads of features that come in handy when gaming, but its performance can drop out with specific servers.
- Monthly: $12.99
- Six months: $7.99
- One year: $3.50 (billed one time at $63 for 18 months and then yearly after that)
CyberGhost VPN hosts 1300 servers in 90 locations across 58 different countries, making it a serious option for those that get around. Whether you travel for work or pleasure, you need a VPN that is going to back you up wherever you place your hat, and CyberGhost will do that.
CyberGhost also doesn’t place any restrictions on your browsing habits, meaning there is no data caps and no throttling with this service. If you sign up to CyberGhost, you’ll benefit from unlimited traffic and bandwidth for the entirety of your contract.
PureVPN is a solid performer with just enough of everything to stand out from the crowd.
- Monthly: $10.95
- One year: $64.92 ($5.41 per month)
- Two years: $78.96 ($3.29 per month)
So PureVPN boasts an outstanding network of international VPN servers and its performance is excellent.
Overall PureVPN is a serious option for all gamers. While it isn’t the absolute fastest VPN regarding ping or upload/download speeds, it is one of the best thanks to its mix of competitive performance and a polished design.
A strong contender for those just beginning their journey into the world of VPNs and don’t want something too complicated.
- Little Bear: 500 MB per month – Free
- Giant Bear: Unlimited data – $9.99 paid monthly
- Grizzly Bear: Unlimited data – $59.99 paid yearly ($5.00 per month)
TunnelBear VPN has strong privacy policies, a pleasing and easy to navigate design, and browser extensions (including an ad blocker). It also offers a genuinely free package, with the caveat of limited data.
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 critical.
So if you can get over the increase in ping, TunnelBear VPN is an option and should be something to consider, mainly if you are just dipping your toe into the world of VPN and want a secure VPN that doesn’t overcomplicate things.
Looks can be deceiving. The interface might trouble some people, but the speed is a real strength.
- Monthly: $6.95 per month
- One year: $39.95 paid annually ($3.33 per month)
- Two years: $69.95 paid every two years ($2.91 per month)
Private Internet Access VPN is an excellent example of function over form. There’s no getting away from the fact that the Spartan Interface is a bit crude and will probably confuse new users. The stats don’t lie, however, and Private Internet Access VPN delivers when it comes to performance, and it’s affordable too.
Private Internet Access VPN also has a few useful features like an automatic ad blocker and a kill switch to stop your Internet connection if the VPN drops immediately. It could do with a little makeover but who 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 specialized servers, but you shouldn’t need them with such a strong performance.