Does VPN Reduce Ping? 5 Best Gaming VPNs for Lower Ping and No Lag
If you play online multiplayer games frequently, you likely highly value stable network connections and low ping. The lower the ping, the lower the lag. In return, the smoother and more enjoyable your online gaming experience will be.
But, maintaining low ping isn’t always so straightforward, as many factors can impact it. These include gaming server problems, local network issues, or even ISP bandwidth throttling. To bypass these issues, many gamers resort to using VPN services.
If you’re on the never-ending quest of always trying to lower your ping when playing games, make sure to read our detailed guide. We’ll answer the all-important question of “does VPN reduce ping,” share with you a few tips, and dispel a few myths on this topic along the way. Lastly, we’ll also discuss the five best VPNs for gaming to determine how VPNs affect ping when playing online games.
What Causes Ping Time to Increase?
There could be several reasons why your ping time increases. Some of the most common ones include:
- ISP practices – if your internet provider isn’t the best, you will very likely experience issues with high ping time due to the service throttling your bandwidth.
- Location – this is something many gamers don’t even realize is causing the ping time to skyrocket. The further you are from the game’s servers, the more likely you are to experience high ping times. For example, if you’re trying to connect to a European server while in Asia, you will experience a higher ping time than if you were to connect to a server closer to you – in this case, somewhere in Asia.
- Game server – sometimes the issue isn’t on your end but on the game’s end – for example, the servers might be overloaded.
Does a VPN Reduce Ping?
Yes, a good VPN can undoubtedly lower your ping. It does so by sending data packets through more direct routes than they would otherwise travel through your connection. Reciprocally, the information will flow more freely, and you can enjoy gaming with low ping.
When you Google “can a VPN help with ping,” you’ll mostly come across decided no’s in the search results. But, if you follow the tips we’ll share with you on this page, you’ll effectively reduce ping and improve your internet connection. To best understand how a VPN affects your network, let’s take a closer look at both the pros and cons of using a gaming VPN to lower your ping.
Pros of Using a Gaming VPN to Lower Ping
If you properly set it up and follow all of the guidelines and tips we’ll share with you on this page, a gaming VPN can help lower your ping. Here are the most apparent advantages of using a VPN to lower your in-game ping:
Avoid Bandwidth Throttling
One major reason why you might be experiencing high ping might be ISP throttling your bandwidth. ISPs sometimes resort to this underhanded tactic to manage traffic flow on their servers. When you connect to a VPN server, you’ll effectively disguise your network and trick your ISP. If your internet provider has been lowering your speeds, you’ll notice a dramatic improvement right away.
Streamline Your Network Connection
Even if your ISP isn’t throttling your bandwidth, a VPN can help make your network connection more streamlined. Many ISPs try to save money by creating cheap and cost-effective connections. Unfortunately, this often results in data packet loss and slow data travel time due to indirect travel routes of information. When you’re connected to a VPN server, the VPN will pick better data routes than your ISP. In response, your lag and ping will automatically improve.
Access Games that Are Geo-blocked
There are certain games that cannot be accessed from abroad – the only way you can play them is by being in the country they are available in. Or at least that was the case before VPN services came into play. Thanks to them, you can access games and gaming platforms even in places they are banned.
Additionally, thanks to using a VPN provider, you might find some of the games you’ve been meaning to purchase are cheaper. That’s because the price is often connected to the location, so you might end up paying more for a game when using USA servers than you would, for example, servers in India. You can try using multiple servers in different countries to see where it will be the cheapest and purchase it through a VPN connection.
Protect Yourself Against DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks are not as uncommon as one might think – in fact, there are many gamers who resort to those techniques in order to gain a competitive advantage while playing against others.
But what is a DDoS attack exactly? It’s when someone sends a lot of online traffic to your server or your network, disrupting the usual flow. This can, of course, negatively impact your online gaming experience and result in high ping times and lag. Using VPN providers can help keep you safe in the online space and ensure that your gaming experience isn’t affected.
Cons of Using a Gaming VPN to Lower Ping
A no lag VPN can certainly help improve your network latency and make your connection smoother and stutter-free. That said, using a VPN for gaming also comes with some drawbacks. And for complete objectivity, we also have to take a look at the other side of the coin. With that in mind, here are the most significant cons of using a gaming VPN for less ping:
Sometimes a VPN Will Only Increase Your Ping
On some occasions, you won’t be able to set up your VPN to lower your ping. This can be due to many reasons. Most often, it’s because the server is not close enough to you or is already overcrowded. When there are many users on the same VPN server, it can’t offer its maximum potential to all of those connected to it.
While this certainly is a drawback, luckily, it is something you can work on. It’s often a trial-and-error process until you find what works best for you. You need to experiment with different VPN servers, protocols, and settings. This will allow you to find a combination that lowers your ping instead of increasing it.
You Can’t Game on Long-Distance Servers
If you’re looking for low ping and low latency, you’ll have to stick to local game servers only. When you connect to a remote VPN game server to access the game in a different region, you’ll only increase your ping and lower your connection speed. This is an important fact to keep in mind. Some gamers believe that they can both access remote gaming servers and improve their network connections.
How to Use a VPN to Reduce Ping
With all of the above in mind, the pros of using a gaming VPN to improve ping heavily outweigh the cons. However, to make sure you take advantage of all of these benefits, you need to know how to properly use a VPN to reduce ping. In this regard, these pointers will help you make sure you set up your gaming VPN the proper way:
- Pick a Low Latency VPN – The first and most important thing is to make sure you pick a low-ping VPN service. It should have a solid network of fast servers, so you never have to worry about connection clogs and speed dropdowns. The five best VPNs on this page meet all of these criteria and are very adept at lowering your gaming ping.
- Choose a Suitable Server Location – The best way to ensure a fast connection is to connect to a nearby VPN server. This will shorten the connection signal travel time, as network data won’t have to travel far. If your primary goal is to reduce lag and ping, you should always connect to a server that’s geographically close to you.
- Optimize Your VPN – The five best VPN services we’ve featured on this page are all very customizable. They allow you to optimize your settings to favor certain performance characteristics. For example, if you want better speed, you can tailor your settings and switch to a lighter and faster VPN protocol.
Best VPNs for Lower Ping
If you’re searching for the best VPN for reducing ping, look no further than NordVPN. This VPN provides over 5,300 servers in 59 countries. But, when you look past the great numbers and into the service details, you begin to notice just how great NordVPN is. Its NordLynx protocol is capable of supporting the fastest network connections with minimal lag and ping.
The service offers you apps and extensions for all major platforms and devices. NordVPN’s apps are very stable and reliable. Not only will you get lower latency and ping, but you can expect minimal connection drops and overall very safe and user-friendly service. It includes characteristics like DDoS protection, split tunneling, and a kill switch.
- Thousands of lightning-fast servers
- Unblocks streaming services
- Fully supports Torrenting and P2P
- Strict no-logs policy and RAM-disk servers
- Ad blocker and malware protection features
- Robust security features and military-grade encryption
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only 6 simultaneous connections
- No free trial
As one of the fastest VPNs around, Surfshark is a prime choice for lowering in-game ping and lag. The service provides over 3,200 servers worldwide, so you have plenty of options to choose from. All of its servers come with private DNS and a strict no-logs policy. You can also choose between a variety of protocols. This includes the top-performing WireGuard protocol and Surfshark’s in-house Shadowsocks protocol.
Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Going by the overall price and value of all combined characteristics, Surfshark offers you arguably the most for your money. This especially shows through the VPN’s very reasonable and affordable long-term price plans.
- Very affordable
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Ad-blocking feature
- Unblocks streaming platforms
- Allows split-tunneling and has multi-hop VPN feature
- No-log policy and strong security features
- GPS spoofing on Android devices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- No free version
- Does not allow P2P seeding
For those who wish to have a premium quality service for a price far lower than other VPNs, Atlas VPN is the choice for you, especially if you want a VPN to improve ping. 750 incredibly fast servers across the globe, and a 24/7 support team is ready to assist you with anything that you may need and at any time.
Unbeatable military-grade encryption methods, full leak protection, and special features at all times are ready to help you reduce any ping that you may experience.
It really is an unmatched service with a full 30-day money-back guarantee and a no logs based policy. Lastly, Atlas VPN is one of the few providers that offer unlimited connections for all its customers. Meaning that with a single account, you could equip your entire home and stay secure!
- Very affordable plans and it has a free version
- Fast Speeds
- Unlimited device support
- WireGuard protocol and strong security features
- Unblocks streaming services
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Limited Linux app
- Based in the US
- Not so many servers
If you’re looking for a convenient gaming VPN with reliable ping lowering capabilities, PrivateVPN is a very respectable choice. It’s a very simple and streamlined service that makes VPN use easy and enjoyable.
Still, it comes with a lot of helpful information on your connections. This makes it convenient and easy to find the right combination that maximally lowers your ping. Moreover, there’s a solid server selection globally, ensuring lag-free gaming performance no matter your location.
It’s not the fastest VPN around, but it is very capable of maintaining stable, above-average connections. It allows you to use up unlimited bandwidth and simultaneously connect up to six devices. This means you can easily game and enjoy lower ping on all gaming platforms and devices in your household. Plus, since it has an impressive uptime of 99.98%, it’s a great VPN for gaming in general.
- Supports P2P traffic and allows port forwarding
- Unlimited bandwidth and great speeds
- Unblocks most streaming platforms
- Zero-logging policy
- Free Static IP servers
- 10 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Not as many servers as other VPN providers
- No split-tunneling
As one of the most sophisticated services in the industry, ExpressVPN is a perfect VPN to reduce latency. It offers fast and reliable connection speeds. The service comes with over 3,000 servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. Equally as important, all servers are RAM-based, guaranteeing maximum privacy and safety.
Outside lowering your gaming ping, you can use ExpressVPN for many other online purposes. It’s excellent for torrenting and performs superbly on all major content streaming platforms. Accordingly, it also comes with one of the most expensive subscription plans. Still, it’s a premium VPN that can reduce ping very efficiently and is worth every penny.
- Works with streaming
- Supports torrenting
- No-logs policy
- TrustedServer technology with RAM-only servers
- Premium security features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Expensive subscription plans
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
VPN Ping FAQs
Which VPN has the lowest ping?
The five VPNs on this page are all very proficient in offering low ping and improved latency. That being said, if you’re looking for the best fast ping VPN on the market, we recommend NordVPN. It’s guaranteed to provide stable and low latency connections, no matter your worldwide location.
Does a VPN help with latency?
Yes, a VPN does lower latency if you set up your service following the guidelines we shared with you on this page. The results can vary, and you need to find the correct server depending on your location. So, if it doesn’t help lower your latency at first, don’t get discouraged. Simply switch up servers and try again.
Can I use a free VPN for gaming ping improvement?
No, we strongly advise you against using free VPN services for gaming purposes. This is because these free VPNs are often heavily limited in all important aspects. They’re not as fast, often overcrowded, and usually have bandwidth limits. With all of these issues, a free VPN for gaming will only worsen your lag and ping problems.
Can I use a VPN for Fortnite to reduce ping?
Yes, you can use a gaming VPN to improve latency and ping on Fortnite. We’ve covered this in a separate and detailed Fortnite VPN guide. But, not only does a VPN lower ping in Fortnite, it can do so for any other online game. For more comprehensive info, check out our VPN guides for LoL, Valorant, and PUBG Mobile.
What’s the best VPN server for low ping?
The answer to this VPN ping question depends on your location and the servers you’re connecting to. If you’re not sure, the best way to go about it is to connect to the closest server to you. This will minimize the connection travel time and ensure low ping.
What is a good gaming ping speed?
High ping can negatively affect your experience, which is why it should be in your best interest to reduce it as much as you can. However, this could rise a question – what ping speed is considered to be good? Generally speaking, a ping time between 50 ms and 150 ms can be considered to be the average ping time, while everything over 200 ms can be considered simply unplayable. Ping time under 50 ms is above average.
Ideally, you should aim for as low as you can. However, if your ping time is within the average range, you should be good.
Can VPN increase ping speed?
As we already mentioned above, there might be a situation where your ping actually increases while using a VPN instead of going down. This usually happens when there are too many people trying to use the servers of the VPN provider.
Can VPNs Lower Ping – The Bottom Line
Hopefully, with the extensive information we’ve shared with you on this page, you’ve learned how a VPN can reduce ping. Not only this, but a VPN is beneficial for many other reasons we didn’t even highlight on this page. It protects your private information and protects you from DDoS attacks or any hacking attemps. It allows you unrestricted online access anywhere in the world.
Using a VPN when gaming is undoubtedly a smart and advantageous move. And, with the five top-quality VPNs we’ve discussed above, you have no shortage of options. Still, if you can’t decide which service is best for you, we recommend NordVPN. It’s the best VPN for low latency on the market. Plus, it offers a fantastic 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.