Gamers often experience lag and even ping spikes. Low latency can be especially frustrating when playing competitively. Fast speeds and stable connection is an important factor for good gameplay and enjoyable experience.
One of the means players use to improve ping is VPN. It may be a good choice for those who want to reduce frame drops or looking for a lag-free experience. However, it’s difficult to choose the right service for you, as it depends on your specific situation. So, can a VPN reduce ping and get a better latency?
Does VPN Improve Ping
A VPN can improve ping and gameplay by picking better routing paths. It can bypass ISP throttling this way reducing ping and reaching faster speeds. A VPN can improve FPS and even protect players from DDoS attacks.
However, a VPN does not always reduce lag. Generally, a VPN connection is 5-30% slower than a standard one. This is because it uses strong encryption which takes time to process all your data. Also, a VPN may add an extra hop in your routing path, and that does not always mean it will be faster.
A VPN is one of the best choices to improve ping, but it might not work for everyone. But the best VPNs have almost no disadvantage in speed as well as gaming-optimized servers. There are situations where it might greatly stabilize your connection and improve gameplay.
How Does VPN Make Gaming Better
A VPN can make your gaming better by reducing ping. It can bypass ISP throttling, pick better routes, and protect from DDoS. But, if it will work for you it depends on factors like your location, ISP, and internet connection.
Let’s take a look at how a VPN can make your gaming better.
Bypasses ISP Throttling
Sometimes your ISP starts to throttle your connection which makes it painfully slow. It often targets gaming and streaming servers as they consume the most bandwidth. You can use a VPN to dramatically increase your internet speeds and reduce ping. A VPN hides your traffic from ISP and makes it impossible to tell which service you are trying to connect to. It bypasses ISP throttling and may reduce lag this way.
Makes ISP Prioritize VPN Traffic
Since a VPN is also used by businesses, some ISPs have rules that prioritize VPN traffic. VPN traffic can be a priority like real-time traffic such as video or online phone calls. As VPN hides your connection to a gaming server it can improve ping by making your ISP to prioritize your traffic.
Picks Better Routes Than Your ISP
ISPs are known to pick the cheapest and most cost-effective path to reach the destination. This does not mean it is the fastest way and sometimes your connection takes an indirect route. Some ISPs route the traffic so badly that the ping reaches even a few seconds.
Even though connecting to a VPN server seems like adding an extra hop in the path it may take a much faster route. VPNs optimize their network for speeds, thus the connection can be faster and more stable.
Protects from DDoS attacks
Some VPNs are really good for gaming since they do have protection from DDoS attacks. Such attacks could lead to huge lag spikes and increased ping. DDoS protection is especially important when playing competitively or live streaming.
When you use a VPN you can be sure that you will have a stable and reliable connection during all games or streams. It hides your IP address so attackers can not swat it.
Can VPN Make Your Ping Worse?
While a VPN may work for some people, it may not be the right solution for everyone. Due to the CPU-intensive encryption process, your speeds can get slower.
This is not the rule, and using a VPN might have absolutely no effect on your gaming experience. Also, the server you connect to directly affects your speeds. Usually, the most loaded server can worsen your internet speeds. So, to get the best results you should experiment with different VPN and gaming servers.
Also, keep in mind that the distance to a VPN server also impacts your internet speeds. As an example let’s assume you’re trying to access a server from The United States to Europe. Because of such a large distance, it is impossible to get lower than 80ms ping with or without a VPN. If you do not need to access specific regions, you should always connect to the closest server.
Best VPN for Low Ping
NordVPN is one of the best VPN choices for low ping and gaming. It has the modern WireGuard protocol which can reach fast speeds. There are more than 5400+ servers available in 59+ countries. It’s great at unblocking game servers in different regions too.
It’s great for streaming and competitive plays too, as it has DDoS protection on all servers. As an extra NordVPN can also protect from malicious websites and online ads.
The service is also great for privacy as its strict no-logs policy is proven by an independent audit. This provider uses only the strongest encryption and OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard protocols.
It’s a great choice for those who want to torrent as it supports P2P traffic. It has an Internet Kill Switch to protect you from any IP leaks.
NordVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee for all its plans.
Surfshark has more than 1700 RAM-disk servers in more than 60+ countries. They are all suitable for gaming and can improve your ping.
This provider is based in the British Virgin Islands and does not keep any logs. It also uses the modern and fast WireGuard protocol. There are OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Shadowsocks protocols available too.
You can connect an unlimited number of devices with this VPN. This means that you can use it for PC, Mobile devices, and Xbox at the same time. It has split tunneling available on Windows and Android devices.
Surfshark can block online ads and malicious websites. It fully supports P2P traffic on all its servers. It’s great at unblocking Netflix and allows you to stream in HD without buffering.
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN is a privacy-focused VPN service with amazing speeds for low latency. It has RAM-disk servers in more than 180+ locations and does not keep any logs. It uses L2TP, OpenVPN protocols, and AES-256 encryption.
It has split tunneling features on Windows and MAC, which is very useful if you want to use a VPN only for gaming. You can also use and unblock your Discord channels from anywhere.
ExpressVPN fully supports P2P and torrenting, hides downloads from ISP, and bypasses throttling. It is also a great choice for unblocking streaming services like Twitch or Netflix.
This VPN is one of the best choices for gamers. It offers great security, privacy, and speeds. All subscriptions have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is one of the fastest and best VPN choices for low ping and improved FPS. It has around 10000 servers and allows you to connect up to 10 devices simultaneously.
PIA does not keep any logs on any of its servers. It has unlimited bandwidth and supports WireGuard, OpenVPN, PP2P, and L2TP protocols. You can use this VPN for torrenting too as it has port forwarding available.
The service can also block ads, trackers, and malware. There are apps available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux.
Private Internet Access strikes a balance between quality and price. This fast VPN service has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Supports WireGuard on all platforms
- Currently WG is in Beta testing phase
- No Traffic or Request logs
- Can be used with 10 devices simultaneously
- Unlimited Bandwidth and good speeds
- 3200+ Servers in 29 Countries
- 30-day money-back guarantee
PureVPN is a great alternative option for gamers and those who want to have low ping. It has more than 2000+ servers in more than 140+ countries.
It uses AES-256 encryption, allows 10 multi-logins, and has split tunneling features. For extra security, you can choose a DDoS protection add-on. Port Forwarding and one of the cheapest Dedicated IP add-ons are also available.
The service can unblock most streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Hotstar. It has streaming-optimized servers that are speed optimized. This means you can reach great speeds with this service.
PureVPN offers a $0.99 7-day trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans.
Using a VPN can reduce ping in certain situations. However, a VPN sometimes may not affect while gaming. The improvement in better latency highly depends on your ISP and your location. If you are experiencing lag, it may be hard to find a VPN that works.
Here are the best and fastest VPNs for you to try: