8 Best FREE VPNs for Gaming in 2022 (Lower Your Ping)
Finding a free VPN service to play games with can be challenging. Most free VPNs offer poor quality of service, can’t sustain fast connections, and only have a few overcrowded servers. Some are even outright unsafe and dangerous to use. So, how do you pick a capable and trustworthy free gaming VPN?
We have reviewed and compared the best VPNs on the market to select the top 8 free VPNs for gaming. While they do have some limitations compared to premium VPNs, we’ve found that these services cut above the rest and can guarantee low latency, fast connections, and can protect your valuable data while gaming.
Looking for quick answers?
- NordVPN – Best free VPN for gaming for 30 days risk-free
- Atlas VPN – Unlimited data and free version.
- ProtonVPN – offers 100+ servers and extra privacy tools.
- Hotspot Shield – Free gaming VPN with speeds up to 1 Gbps
- Windscribe – Apps for all platforms.
- Hide.me – Fast and well-rounded VPN service
- TunnelBear – Great for beginners.
- ZoogVPN – Solid 10GB limit.
Top 8 Free VPNs for Gaming
NordVPN is the best free VPN service for gaming you can get for 30 days. With over 5,500 servers, nearly all of which support the NordLynx protocol, this number-one service can deliver speeds fast enough to support 4K resolution.
Apart from guaranteeing top-quality performance, NordVPN is also very safe and private. All of its servers are exclusively operated in-house, and this VPN doesn’t keep any data logs. Some of the most interesting advanced features include a kill switch, a Threat Protection feature, and obfuscated servers.
As the best free VPN for video games you can get, NordVPN also includes protection against malware DDoS attacks. You can connect up to six devices simultaneously and use the split tunneling feature on NordVPN’s Android and Windows apps.
You can use NordVPN to play games without any speed or total data restrictions for a whole month. This is because this Panama-based VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to all users, allowing you to get the best VPN in the business without spending any money.
- 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
2. Atlas VPN
Atlas VPN is arguably the best free service for gaming that allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices. Its free apps include handy general features like split tunneling and a kill switch. The default protocol is WireGuard, a fast and power-saving protocol that performs superbly for gaming.
Atlas VPN’s free subscription plan only offers three servers, one each in Amsterdam, New York, and Los Angeles. While this leaves more to be desired, the speeds are very respectable. If you find this small server selection restrictive, upgrading to a premium subscription isn’t expensive but unlocks an extensive network of 750 servers in more than 40 locations.
The premium plan is well worth upgrading for, as it unlocks additional advanced features as well as better streaming and torrenting support. Privacy-wise, Atlas VPN is very safe and trustworthy. It doesn’t collect any user data logs and has been audited by the independent agency VerSprite in 2021.
- 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
- No Linux app
- Based in the US
- Not so many servers
ProtonVPN’s free version comes with over a hundred servers worldwide. All these servers are conveniently spread across three locations far apart from one another, the US, the Netherlands, and Japan. Moreover, users who opt for a premium plan can unlock a network covering over 1,700 servers in more than 60 countries.
This VPN is close to the industry average in terms of overall connection speed among free VPNs. While this doesn’t mean you’ll experience issues due to having a slow connection, you likely won’t have the best gaming performance on highly demanding titles.
You can set up ProtonVPN on one device. But, perhaps the most important aspect that made us rank ProtonVPN so high is the fact that this VPN offers unlimited bandwidth. This isn’t something many free VPNs offer, making ProtonVPN a perfect service for gamers that enjoy long sessions most days of the week.
- Free version available
- Strict no log policy
- Unblocks most streaming services
- Above average speeds
- Additional privacy tools available
- Great app designs
- Small server selection
- Above average Premium plan price
4. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield has over 160 servers and can deliver up to 1 Gbps connection speeds. This is outstanding, considering you’re not paying for anything to get such powerful speeds ideal for gaming. You can connect only one device on a free subscription but can choose between any of the four major software platforms.
This VPN also doesn’t have any monthly data limits, so it doesn’t restrict you in regards to how much you can play games. Technically, to be more precise, the free plan comes with a 500 MB daily limit, which you can go around by watching ads when you deplete this daily data allowance.
If you wish to upgrade from the free version to the premium one, you can also gain access to premium gaming servers. These servers are optimized for games like Fortnite, Roblox, and more. Still, the free plan is fantastic on its own. It’s very safe, as it includes military-grade encryption and commits to a zero-logs policy.
- Has a free version available
- Good server network
- Good for streaming
- User friendly apps
- Strong encryption and protocols
- Some logging
- Above average pricing
- Underwhelming iOS app
If you’re looking for a simple and easy-to-use free VPN for playing games, Hide.me is an outstanding option. You get five server locations to choose from and a monthly data allowance of 10 GB. And, unlike many other free VPNs, Hide.me doesn’t include any ads in its apps, nor does it log any identifiable data on its users.
You can use the free version on one device and choose between Microsoft, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux apps. The apps for the former three OS platforms support split tunneling, allowing you to play games connected to Hide.me’s servers while keeping the rest of your connection on your real IP address.
If you opt for the premium plan, you can also get added protection features. Primarily, this includes protection against DDoS attacks. This alone is worth the upgrade, although purchasing a plan also delivers added benefits such as a network of over 2,000 servers, unlimited data traffic, and more simultaneous connections.
- Good speeds
- Strong encryption with OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols
- Free version available with 10GB limit
- Good for torrenting
- Lots of servers
- Complex apps
- No third party audit
- Apps might have some glitches
Windscribe’s free subscription plan provides 10 server options covering locations from Asia through Europe to North America. So, it’s a great pick for most gamers worldwide. The speeds are fast and stable enough to support gaming in Full HD.
It has a monthly data cap of 10GB, around the industry average. That said, you can bump this up a bit further and get an additional 5 GB of data by tweeting about it. You can connect as many devices as you want, all on one account. This provides for convenient online gaming across all platforms.
Windscribe also delivers strong privacy and security. Additionally, it includes the R.O.B.E.R.T. security system, protection against DDoS attacks, strong encryption, and split tunneling support. Outside gaming, Windscribe’s free service can unblock most major streaming platforms.
TunnelBear is a beginner-friendly free VPN service for gaming. Free users can connect to all of the same servers premium customers have access to. Moreover, they can also count on the same features, including 256-bit encryption, SplitBear (split tunneling), GhostBear (VPN obfuscation), and VigilantBear (kill switch).
Another great aspect of TunnelBear’s service is that the free subscription plan provides the same speeds as the premium one. There’s only a minimal speed decrease when you connect to one of TunnelBear’s servers, making this VPN an excellent pick for gaming.
The only drawback of TunnelBear’s free offer is that it comes with a monthly data allowance of just 500 MB. This is noticeably less than what most reputable free VPNs offer, so you can’t get a lot of playing time if you’re an avid gamer. Still, you can always upgrade to a premium plan to unlock unlimited data.
ZoogVPN definitely isn’t among the flashiest and most exciting free VPN services for gaming that you can get. But, it more than gets the job done for gaming purposes. Just like with Hide.me’s free subscription plan, if you sign up with ZoogVPN, you’ll get 10 GB of monthly data, five server options, and one connection per account.
The free plan comes with 128-bit encryption with a limited selection of protocols. The free plan is available on all major software platforms. ZoogVPN is based in privacy-friendly Greece and has a strict no-logs policy.
While ZoogVPN’s free plan is limited in certain ways, it’s still very well-rounded. Apart from gaming activities, you can also access some streaming platforms and even use this VPN for torrenting. And, if you decide to unlock all features and purchase a subscription, specifically a long-term one, you can get it for less than a couple of bucks per month.
Risks of Free Gaming VPNs
Using a free plan is a great way to play your favorite online game without any added costs. While this is undeniably great, not every free version is the same. In fact, there are several risks that come with using a free gaming VPN. Here are some major risks of playing games with a free VPN:
Lacking Security Features
The greatest risk of using a free VPN service is that it won’t be able to protect you against online security threats. Not all free VPNs can keep you safe from DDoS attacks, as they likely don’t have the extensively advanced security features that premium VPNs possess.
But, apart from that, there are many other security threats most gamers often overlook. These primarily include the security flaws within the VPN itself. Some free VPNs contain viruses and malware that can do a lot of damage to your device.
With that in mind, don’t worry. You don’t have to do any of the hard and tedious work. All eight VPNs that we’ve listed in this guide have very user-friendly privacy policies and won’t sell your data. At the same time, this is why it’s crucial not to experiment with other free VPNs and stick with proven and trusted options.
Having slow connection speeds isn’t much of a risk as it is a nuisance. Still, it is a significant drawback and limitation for those seeing the best gaming experience. Often, when you sign up with a free plan or even a free version of a premium VPN, you might be limited in terms of your connection speeds.
Gamer VPNs: Free VS Paid Solutions
A VPN for gamers free of any subscription cost is a great way to kick off your experience and test how gaming with a VPN feels. But, at a certain point, especially when you’re gaming more seriously and playing regularly often, a free plan can’t match the performance of a paid solution.
If you want the fastest gaming experience with low latency and unlimited bandwidth, there’s no arguing that paying for a premium VPN is the way to go. Nevertheless, a dependable free VPN can still provide a lot of redeeming qualities.
More than this, there’s a difference between services that are truly free and freemium VPNs that primarily focus on paid subscriptions but also allow you to try out a free version. We’d argue that freemium VPN services are the better alternative if you want to play for free.
A freemium VPN will often deliver the same quality of service across the board as a subscription-based service. The only difference is that it will restrict you from using all of its features. For example, you’ll get the same speeds but with limited bandwidth or a smaller number of available servers. Or, you’d get the same apps but can only connect one or two devices.
With all of this in mind, a good rule of thumb is to use a free gaming service if you’re a casual gamer or don’t need unlimited data or other key features. Otherwise, a paid solution is always the better option for those who want to get more seriously into using a VPN for playing games.
How to Choose a Reliable Free VPN for Gaming
Signing up with a VPN for games free of charge might require you to make some compromises in certain aspects of the service. As you’re not paying for one of the premium VPNs for gaming, it’s understandable to expect a limited offer compared to what paying gamers are getting.
Plus, picking a gaming VPN is different from picking a VPN for general browsing, streaming, or even torrenting. You should focus on specific factors that will guarantee a smooth and safe online gambling experience. In this regard, here’s what to look for when choosing a reliable free gaming VPN:
100% Free Service
Firstly, if you’re looking to use a gaming VPN free of charge, you should check that the service is truly cost-free. This means being certain that there are no hidden fees or any expenses that the VPN would charge you at any point.
Or, even if there is a small charge or subscription fee, it should come with a money-back policy. That way, you can get your payment back within a certain timeframe if you change your mind and don’t want to pay anything.
Moreover, it’s also useful to take a look at the VPN’s premium price plans. If you decide to upgrade your service at one point, it’s good to know that you can conveniently do so with the same service.
Widely Available Servers
When you play on online gaming servers through your actual IP, you’re always limited by your physical location. For example, most games match you with other local players. Furthermore, some games might even be restricted in your location.
With a VPN, you can connect to any region worldwide and play against other online gamers in those locations. And, to add to this, you can access and play restricted games that would otherwise be unavailable.
Of course, to obtain these two benefits, you need to pick a free VPN with a solid selection of servers. The service’s network should cover numerous locations across the globe so that you’re not limited in terms of access and overall gaming experience.
Fast Connection Speeds
When assessing the best gaming VPNs, fast speeds go hand in hand with server availability. As most fast-paced modern games require speeds of at least 20 Mbps and sometimes significantly more, the free gaming VPN should be able to support such connections.
So, if you’re playing first-person shooters, sports games, or other game genres that require the fastest speeds possible with the least lag and ping, focus on gaming VPNs that can deliver above-average connections.
Monthly Data Allowance
Gaming can eat up a lot of data faster than you can tell. While this mainly depends on the game you’re playing and the level of detail in it, on a higher end of the scale, you can expect to spend several hundred megabytes per hour.
So, if the VPN’s monthly data allowance is too small, you won’t get much playing time. Many free services offer up to 10GB per month. But, if you plan on playing games for several hours every day, it’s best to sign up with a free version of a VPN that offers unlimited data and bandwidth.
Sometimes, the competition can get toxic, and cyberattacks can happen. A good online gaming VPN doesn’t only deliver a convenient and unrestricted gaming experience but also provides security features to protect your connection and device.
More specifically, DDoS attacks are one of the biggest security threats online gamers face. But, a VPN with reliable security features can protect you against DDoS attacks and ensure you have an enjoyable gaming experience without any unpleasant situations or security threats.
While privacy features aren’t as crucial for gaming as they are for torrenting or bypassing censorship, they are still valuable in this case. You want your privacy protected at all times so that no other player or malicious online user can find out any identifiable data on you.
Some essential privacy features every free VPN should come with include leak protection, a kill switch, and strong encryption. Additionally, the VPN should have a zero-logs policy and not collect any data on your gaming and online browsing activities.
Depending on what kind of gamer you are, you might want to look for specific additional features. For example, if you primarily like playing multiplayer games on your console, you’d want to set up the VPN on your router. In this case, you’ll route your entire network and ensure VPN protection on your Xbox or PlayStation console.
Besides this, other extra aspects to consider include app support, the number of simultaneous connections, and the quality of the VPN’s apps. If you also want to stream or use torrent clients, you might want to look for these features as well.
Free VPNs to Avoid for Gaming
We’ve already addressed the potential risks that come with using a free VPN for gaming. So, besides shining a light on the best VPNs worth your consideration, we should also highlight the services that have been busted over the past few years.
With that in mind, some free gaming VPNs have been proven to host malicious content or operate without their customers’ best interests in mind. These services should be avoided at all costs, as they are dangerous and can cause you a lot of problems. Here are some of the worst free VPNs for gaming:
- Turbo VPN
- Hoxx VPN
The first two are perhaps the best-known and, unfortunately, the most damaging free gaming VPNs players have used over the years. Both Hola and Betternet have had privacy issues in the past. This includes exposing their users to various online threats, sharing user information, and mistreating user data and privacy in other ways.
How to Install a Free VPN for Online Gaming
Knowing which free VPNs to avoid and how to pick the best VPN based on your preferences, you should also know how to install it on your own. Luckily, there’s not much to keep track of, as you can complete this in just a few quick steps.
- Pick one of our listed services
- Create an account on the free VPN’s website
- Download the VPN client for your device
- Start the application and log in
- Connect to a VPN server
- Load up your favorite online game and start playing!
For the best possible experience, remember to always connect to nearby VPN servers. The farther you are physically from the server you connect to, the slower the connection will be. Plus, you’ll also experience higher ping.
If you’re playing a browser-based game like Slither.io or any other popular title and want to access the game from a remote server, clear your browser cookies and cache. This will ensure you access the game from the VPN’s server and not your real location.
Online Games to Play With a Free VPN
Online games are becoming the norm, as there are currently more multiplayer titles than ever before. And, as luck would have it, this is the main market that benefits from VPN services. Any online game that involves you connecting to its servers to play can be combined with a VPN service. To name a few, you can play these online games with a VPN:
What’s more, the bulk of the online games on this list are free-to-play. This means that all that you have to do is download one of our recommended free VPNs and then download the game itself. Then, you can play for as long as you wish without paying a single cent.
Free Gaming VPN FAQs
Is it safe to use a free VPN for gaming?
Yes, it is safe to use a free VPN for gaming. That is, if you pick a free gaming VPN service with a proven and reliable reputation. For instance, although the eight VPNs we’ve reviewed and recommended on this page are entirely legit, many free VPNs are not safe to use.
This is why we advise you only to download the free VPN gaming software that we’ve tested and ensure it is safe. By downloading a free VPN you’re unfamiliar with, you’re potentially putting your privacy at risk. Additionally, while using trusted VPNs is safe, it’s also important to make sure that VPNs are legal in your country so that you don’t get into any trouble with the law.
Will a free VPN reduce my ping?
Whether or not a free VPN reduces your ping will depend on several factors. It can certainly help reduce ping if your ISP is throttling your bandwidth. But, for this to be true, you need to pick a fast server that’s physically close to you and can provide a faster route for your traffic than you’re currently getting with your ISP.
Again, this is one of the main reasons why gamers could benefit from using a premium VPN service for playing games. Doing so enables you to get more servers, so you can easily pick a nearby server that doesn’t have many users connected to it.
Do VPNs really help gamers?
Yes, a VPN for gaming can really help online players in multiple ways. Primarily, it can help obtain faster connections, reduce ping, and have less lag. Apart from that, a good free gaming VPN can help gamers protect their valuable information and stay safe from online threats like DDoSing.
Is there a free VPN for CoD Warzone?
Yes, if you want to use a free VPN for Warzone, any of the eight services we’ve featured in this guide is right for the job. Of course, you can also get a premium VPN for CoD Warzone to unlock a limitless gaming experience. In that case, we recommend you read our page on the best premium CoD VPN services.
What is the best free VPN for PUBG?
NordVPN and Atlas VPN are among the best free VPNs for PUBG. If you want to upgrade to a premium service, we’ve also reviewed the best VPNs for PUBG Mobile in great detail, so make sure to give it a read.
What is the best free VPN for Roblox?
Roblox players looking for a reliable free VPN for Roblox would be best off picking NordVPN. Roblox is banned in several countries worldwide, so it’s crucial to pick a trusted and robust VPN. To learn more on this, read our dedicated guide on picking the best VPN for Roblox.
What is the best free VPN for Valorant?
NordVPN is the best free gaming VPN you can use for Valorant. Apart from topping the competition in terms of free VPNs for Valorant, VPN also headlines our list of the best premium VPNs for Valorant. It offers the best servers and the most reliable protection tools for playing Valorant against other online gamers.
A free VPN service for gaming can greatly improve your gaming experience in several ways. It’ll keep you safe, private, and allow you to unlock a global gaming network. However, as you’ve learned on this page, every free VPN will have some limitations that inherently come with using a service free of charge.
Nonetheless, the eight best VPNs for gaming we’ve recommended above are all great for gaming purposes. Still, our first pick NordVPN stands out as the best free gaming Virtual Private Network. It is the best VPN around, has low-cost subscription plans, and you can use it absolutely for free for a whole month, as it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.