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 gameplay 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 a VPN lower 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.
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Here are the best VPNs for Low Ping:
Does a VPN Reduce Ping?
Yes, a 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 “does 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. 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 that your ISP is 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 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.
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 to lower 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 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 lower 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 VPNs 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 settings and switch for a lighter and faster VPN protocol.
Best VPNs for Lower Ping
If you’re searching for the best VPN for low 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 an overall very safe and user-friendly service. It includes characteristics like DDoS protection, split tunneling, and a kill switch.
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.
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.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access has long been one of the premier gaming VPNs around. With over 35,500 servers in its network, it’s an excellent choice for everyone looking for a better ping with a VPN. All of its servers support the extremely fast WireGuard protocol. Besides having the largest server base in the industry, PIA also allows its customers to purchase a dedicated IP.
- 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
If you’re looking for a convenient gaming VPN with reliable ping lowering capabilities, IPVanish 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 number of helpful information on your connections. This makes it convenient and easy to find the right combination that maximally lowers your ping.
It’s not the fastest VPN around but is very capable of maintaining stable, above-average connections. It allows you to use up unlimited bandwidth and simultaneously connect an unlimited number of devices. This means you can easily game and enjoy lower ping on all gaming devices in your household.
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 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.
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 any hacking or DDoS attacks. 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.