7 Best Free Gaming VPNs in 2023 (Tested)
Free Gaming VPNs Key Points
- Free gaming VPNs usually come with a limited data cap and don’t have many sophisticated features like premium gaming VPNs.
- Free gaming VPNs offer only a few locations to connect.
- While playing online games with a free VPN, the performance and speed might be affected during peak hours.
My extensive testing has shown that NordVPN is the best VPN for gaming in general. You can try it risk-free as it is backed with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Finding a free VPN for online gaming 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?
I have reviewed and compared the best VPNs on the market to select the top 7 free VPNs for gaming. While they do have some limitations compared to premium VPNs, I’ve found that these services cut above the rest and can guarantee low latency, fast connections, and can protect your valuable data while gaming.
7 Best Free Gaming VPNs – our shortlist:
- ProtonVPN – Best free VPN for gamers looking for speed and privacy.
- AtlasVPN – Best free VPN for gaming on multiple devices.
- Hotspot Shield – Fast and reliable free VPN for gaming.
- Windscribe – Free VPN with the biggest server network.
- Hide.me – Average-speed free gaming VPN.
- ZoogVPN – No lag for a seamless gaming experience.
- TunnelBear – Easy-to-use interface for hassle-free gaming.
Comparison of Free VPNs for Gaming
|ProtonVPN||Atlas VPN||Hotspot Shield||Windscribe||Hide.me||ZoogVPN||TunnelBear|
|Rating for Gaming||3.5/5||3.5/5||3.4/5||3.3/5||2.7/5||2.3/5||2/5|
|Monthly Data Cap||Unlimited||5 GB||15GB||10 GB||10 GB||10 GB||2 GB|
|Router-compatible||Yes (Paid-only)||No||Yes (Paid-only)||Yes (Paid-only)||Yes (Paid-only)||Yes (Paid-only)||No|
|Premium Tier Price||$4.99/month||$2.05/month||$7.99/month||$5.75/month||$2.43/month||$1.87/month||$3.33/month|
7 Best Free VPNs For Gaming – Detailed List:
Are you looking for the best free gaming VPN out there? Look no further than ProtonVPN. This product is a real game-changer for gamers who want to keep their internet connection secure and avoid lagging during gameplay.
From a user’s perspective, Proton VPN is incredibly easy to use. You can download and set up the software in minutes, and it runs smoothly without any issues. The free plan offers over a hundred servers in three countries.
As a VPN that was initially designed to protect activists and journalists, ProtonVPN is highly trusted and reliable. The company is based in Switzerland, which is known for its strict privacy laws and neutrality, so you know your data is safe.
ProtonVPN provides evidence to reinforce the authenticity of its product. Unlike other free VPNs on this list, ProtonVPN offers a free version of its VPN with unlimited bandwidth. This is an excellent way to try it out before committing to the premium version. When it comes to performance, Proton VPN is top-notch. You won’t experience any lag or buffering while gaming and the VPN is incredibly fast.
What sets Proton VPN apart from its competitors is its commitment to privacy and security. The VPN uses AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logging policy, so your data is safe while you play games. Plus, it offers a feature called Secure Core, which routes your traffic through multiple servers to make it even harder to track.
When it comes to gaming, Proton VPN is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a free VPN. Its commitment to privacy and security, coupled with its fast speeds and lack of lag, make it the best free gaming VPN on the market.
- No bandwidth limitations
- Highly trusted and reliable
- Fast and no lag during gameplay
- Servers in over 65 countries (3 countries for free users)
- Commitment to privacy and security, including AES-256 encryption and a strict no-logging policy
- Limited features in the free version
- Live chat support only available with premium plans
2. Atlas VPN
One of the key benefits of Atlas VPN is that it supports unlimited devices, making it the perfect choice for gamers with multiple devices. This also makes it a better pick than Proton VPN in this regard. Its default protocol, WireGuard, is fast and power-saving, making it ideal for gaming, with minimal lag and high speeds.
Atlas VPN’s free subscription plan comes with three servers located in Amsterdam, New York, and Los Angeles. While this is a smaller server selection compared to some other VPNs on this list, the speeds are impressive, ensuring that you enjoy a seamless gaming experience.
However, upgrading from the free version to a premium subscription unlocks a larger VPN server network of 750 servers in over 40 locations, giving you even more options. With the premium plan, you can access advanced features, better streaming, and torrenting support.
Overall, Atlas VPN is a top-notch free gaming VPN with excellent performance, privacy, and security features. Its unlimited device support, impressive speeds, and robust protocol make it a must-have for any serious gamer.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Clean and easy-to-use interface
- Fast and power-saving WireGuard protocol
- Impressive speeds
- Premium subscription unlocks a larger network of servers and advanced features
- Reliable and trustworthy privacy and security
- Free subscription plan only offers three servers
- 5 GB monthly data limit
3. Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield is an excellent free gaming VPN that has a lot to offer for those who don’t want to spend a penny. As a user, you’ll appreciate the easy-to-use interface and the fact that it’s available on all major platforms.
One of the most significant advantages of Hotspot Shield is its speed. With over 800 servers in its server network, it can deliver up to 1 Gbps connection speeds, which is great for gaming. You don’t have to worry about hitting any monthly data limits either, as the free plan offers unlimited data usage.
Another standout feature is the ability to access premium gaming servers by upgrading to the premium plan. These servers are optimized for specific games like Fortnite and Roblox, providing an even better gaming experience. However, the free plan still provides a great experience on its own, with fast and reliable servers.
Hotspot Shield takes your privacy seriously and is committed to a zero-logs policy, so you don’t have to worry about your data being tracked or sold. The VPN uses military-grade encryption to ensure your online activity is safe and secure.
Overall, Hotspot Shield is an excellent choice for gamers looking for a free VPN that delivers great speed and performance. While the free version limits you to one device, the premium plan unlocks more devices and additional features.
- Fast speeds up to 1 Gbps
- Unlimited data usage
- Over 800 gaming servers, more than any other free VPN on my list
- Zero-logs policy
- Military-grade encryption
- Limited to one device on the free plan
- Premium plan required for additional devices and features
As a gamer, you need a VPN that provides fast speeds, good ping times, and minimal lag, and Windscribe delivers on all fronts. With nearly a dozen server options to choose from and covering locations worldwide, you can easily find a server close to you for a stable gaming connection. Its fast speeds are quick enough to support Full HD gaming, and you won’t experience any buffering or interruptions during your online gaming sessions.
Windscribe’s free plan comes with a monthly data cap of 10GB, which is fairly average in the industry. However, if you’re looking for more data, you can get an extra 5 GB by tweeting about it.
This means you can game for more extended periods without worrying about running out of data. You can connect as many devices as you want on one account, making it easy to play across all your platforms.
Privacy and security are also top-notch with Windscribe. With its R.O.B.E.R.T security system, protection against DDoS attacks, strong encryption, and split tunneling support, your data and activities are well-protected. It also doesn’t have a standard kill switch feature, but instead uses its patented Windscribe Firewall.
- Fast and stable speeds for gaming
- Ten server options worldwide
- Monthly data cap of 10GB, with the option to get an extra 5 GB
- Connect as many devices as you want on one account
- Strong privacy and security features
- The 10GB monthly data cap may not be enough for some users
Hide.me is a fantastic choice for gamers looking for a free VPN solution that’s straightforward to use and doesn’t compromise privacy. As a user, you can expect to enjoy seamless gameplay without any throttling or latency issues, thanks to the five server locations offered by the free plan.
The apps are easy to use and compatible with all major platforms, allowing you to enjoy online gaming on your preferred device. Plus, the split tunneling feature lets you direct gaming traffic through the VPN, keeping the rest of your online activities on your real IP address. This ensures you can enjoy a secure gaming experience while keeping very fast speeds on the rest of your network.
One thing that sets Hide.me apart from the competition is the absence of any ads in its apps, which can be a big distraction when gaming. The service also doesn’t keep any identifiable user data, giving you peace of mind that your online activities are private and secure.
Overall, Hide.me is a great choice for gamers looking for a free VPN with stable servers and a focus on privacy. The premium plan offers added benefits such as DDoS protection, unlimited data traffic, and access to a vast network of servers.
- Fast and stable servers for seamless gaming
- Split tunneling feature for directing gaming traffic through the VPN
- No ads in the apps for an uninterrupted gaming experience
- No identifiable user data is kept, ensuring privacy and security
- Your connection is protected by a kill switch
- The free plan has a monthly data limit of 10GB, which may not be sufficient for heavy gamers
- Fairly slow speeds compared to my top picks.
Are you looking for a free VPN that’s perfect for lag-free gaming? ZoogVPN is a fantastic option that won’t disappoint. ZoogVPN offers a free plan that comes with five server locations and a monthly data limit of 10GB, allowing you to play games without any lag.
One of the best things about ZoogVPN is its excellent speed, making it ideal for gaming. This VPN offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee and a strict no-logs policy, ensuring your data is always secure and private. ZoogVPN also has an impressive encryption protocol, making it challenging for anyone to intercept your data and spy on your online activities.
ZoogVPN’s free plan is compatible with most devices, including Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, and Linux. This VPN also offers a paid version with additional features, such as more server locations, unlimited data, and faster connection speeds.
ZoogVPN stands out from its competitors due to its incredibly easy-to-use interface. It’s easy to navigate and customize your settings to suit your gaming needs. ZoogVPN’s customer support is also top-notch, with a 24/7 support team that’s always ready to help you.
- Fast and reliable connection speed
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Easy-to-use interface
- Good customer support
- No-logs policy
- Monthly data cap of 10GB on the free plan
- Limited number of server locations on the free plan
TunnelBear has a free plan that allows you to play your favorite games without any lag or interruption. With servers in nearly 50 countries, TunnelBear is an excellent choice for gamers who want to connect to servers located near their favorite games. Comparing it to other free VPNs on my list, it is a bit more limiting, the free version of TunnelBear only offers 2 GB of monthly bandwidth.
TunnelBear uses industry-standard encryption to keep your data safe and secure. The VPN also offers a range of protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2, to ensure you have the best possible connection. In addition to this, TunnelBear has a no-logging policy, which means that it doesn’t keep any record of your online activities.
When it comes to performance, TunnelBear is among the best free VPN services available. During the testing, I found that TunnelBear was able to maintain a stable connection and lag-free gaming, even when playing online games that require a lot of bandwidth. Still, while it did offer fast speeds, it is noticeably slower than the top four best free VPNs on my list.
One of the things that sets TunnelBear apart from its competitors is its commitment to transparency. The VPN publishes regular audits of its service, which means that you can be sure that TunnelBear is doing what it says it is. The company also has a strong stance on privacy and has been known to fight for users’ rights in the past.
- User-friendly interface
- Industry-standard encryption
- No-logging policy and kill switch protection
- Fast servers
- Regular audits for transparency
- Free plan has a data cap of 2GB per month
- Only allows for one device to be connected on the free plan
Testing Methodology: How Did We Choose the Best Free VPN Services For Gaming
To select the best free VPNs for gaming, I tested each VPN based on several criteria. Here are the details of our testing methodology:
- Speed – Speed is the number one factor every free gaming VPN must meet. That’s why I measured the speed of each VPN using different speed tests, including Speedtest.net and Fast.com. I recorded the download and upload speeds of each VPN and compared them to the speeds of our normal internet connection.
- Lag – If you want to play online games with maximum enjoyment, picking a VPN with low lag is paramount. I tested the lag or latency of each VPN by connecting to gaming servers in different locations. Each of the recommended free VPN providers managed to deliver solid results and low ping.
- Performance – I evaluated the overall performance of each VPN, including the ease of use, bandwidth limitations, customer support, and server coverage. All of these aspects directly affect your overall user experience.
- Compatibility with Gaming Consoles – I tested if each VPN is compatible not only with major operating systems but also with gaming consoles, including Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
- Unblocking – I checked if each VPN can bypass geo-restrictions, access games, and unblock popular gaming services like Twitch and Steam. While no free VPN is foolproof in this regard, my selections have a very high success rate in this metric.
- Security – While free VPNs have slightly lower security features, I still look for certain aspects of each VPN. This includes encryption protocols, DNS leak protection, kill switch protection, and malware protection.
- User Reviews – Lastly, I also analyze user reviews and ratings of each VPN before I include it on any top list. Going through the experience of other free users, helps me gauge the overall quality of the particular free VPN for gaming.
Tips on How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Gaming
Choosing the right free VPN for gaming can be overwhelming, especially with so many options available in the market. To make this process a bit easier, here are some tips to keep in mind while selecting a free VPN:
- Check for Speed and Latency – The main purpose of a gaming VPN is to reduce latency and improve speed. Therefore, always go for a VPN that offers the lowest latency and the highest speed. By doing so, you will guarantee a lag-free gaming experience.
- Look for Server Locations – The more server locations the free VPN for gaming has, the better your gaming experience will be. Knowing this, select a VPN with servers in your preferred gaming location.
- Check for Compatibility – Check that the service offers a VPN app compatible with your gaming device and operating system. This will ensure you can play online games on any device you prefer.
Limitations and Risks of Free Gaming VPNs
While free VPNs offer a tempting option for gamers on a budget, they also come with limitations and risks that you should be aware of. Here
- Limited Data Transfer – Most free VPNs come with limited data transfer, which can affect your gaming experience. If you exceed the limit, you may have to purchase a premium plan or switch to another VPN.
- Slow Speeds – Your VPN connection speed will generally be lower with a free VPN for gaming than with a premium one. This is because the free service doesn’t charge anything, so it has fewer resources to maintain fast speeds on its VPN servers.
- Advertisements – Free VPNs often display advertisements, which can be annoying and distracting during gameplay.
- Collecting and Selling Data – This is arguably the most worrying aspect of most free VPNs. An alarming percentage of free services collect and sell user data without their subscribers’ knowledge. Of course, the seven free VPNs I featured on this list don’t have such practices, but many other free VPNs do.
How to Get a Free VPN Trial for Gaming?
A free VPN for gaming can provide you with superb value (especially considering that you don’t have to pay anything to use it), but will generally have some limitations to it. Luckily, there is a way to go around this predicament.
That is to get a free VPN trial from a trusted premium VPN service. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do so:
- Download NordVPN’s Android app, as it offers free trials to new customers.
- Create your NordVPN account and claim the seven-day free trial.
- Add the payment method to proceed with claiming this completely free gaming VPN.
- Once you claim the seven-day free trial, go to NordVPN’s website on all other gaming devices you want to use and download the appropriate app.
NordVPN’s seven-day free trial is a great deal for every gamer who wants a top-quality provider with unlimited bandwidth but doesn’t want to use paid VPN services. However, remember to cancel your subscription within this period to avoid getting billed.
Additionally, besides offering a free trial VPN plan, NordVPN also has a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, even if you don’t manage to grab the seven-day gaming VPN free trial, you can pay for the subscription upfront and then get a refund within thirty days.
Best Games to Play with a Free VPN
It makes little difference whether you prefer PC gaming or console gaming on platforms like PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. The best free VPNs for gaming deliver an excellent online gaming experience on all multiplayer games. Here are just some of the most popular titles you can play with free VPNs for gaming:
- Fortnite – With the help of a free VPN, you can unblock geo-restricted content and play Fortnite from any region.
- Minecraft – If Minecraft is blocked in your region, you can use a free VPN to access it and play with your friends. If the VPN you pick also supports port forwarding, you can create and host your own Minecraft games.
- Roblox – A free VPN can help you bypass geo-restrictions and enjoy Roblox from anywhere in the world.
- World of Warcraft – A free VPN can help you play World of Warcraft on servers that are not available in your region.
- Apex Legends – If Apex Legends is not available in your country, you can use a free VPN to access it and play with your friends.
Other games you can play are:
Best Free VPNs For Gaming FAQs
Is there a free VPN for gaming?
Yes, there are free VPNs available for gaming, but not all of them are reliable or suitable for gaming purposes. Because of this, I recommend sticking with the free VPNs on this list, as they are all tried and tested.
What is the best free VPN to use for gaming?
The best free VPN to use for gaming depends on various factors such as speed, latency, server location, and security features. Some of the top free gaming VPNs worth considering are Atlas VPN and ProtonVPN.
Can a free gaming VPN lower my ping?
A free gaming VPN can potentially lower your ping, but it ultimately depends on the VPN’s server location and routing optimization to the gaming server. Some free VPNs might not offer the necessary speed or stability required for gaming.
How does a VPN affect gaming?
A VPN can affect gaming in several ways. On the positive side, a VPN can help you bypass geo-restrictions, improve your online security, and reduce the risk of DDoS attacks. However, a VPN can also add extra latency, resulting in increased lag.
Will a free gaming VPN work with Valorant or PUBG?
It depends on the specific game and the VPN you are using. Some online games, such as Valorant and PUBG, have strict anti-cheat policies that may detect and block certain VPNs. However, other games may work fine with a free gaming VPN.
Can you play Dota with a free VPN?
Yes, you can play Dota with a free Virtual Private Network, but you need to make sure that the VPN you are using offers fast and stable connections and has servers located near the game’s servers.
Is there a free gaming VPN for Roblox?
There are free gaming VPNs available for Roblox, but you need to be careful when choosing a VPN, as some may be unreliable. The seven free VPNs on this page are all excellent picks for playing Roblox.
What is the best VPN protocol for gaming?
The best VPN protocol for gaming is generally considered to be WireGuard and its derivatives like NordLynx (available only with NordVPN). However, other protocols, such as IKEv2 and OpenVPN, can also be suitable for gaming, depending on your specific needs.
Is Proton VPN free?
ProtonVPN offers both free and paid plans, but the free plan has some limitations. With the free plan, you can only connect to servers in three countries, and you may experience slower speeds during peak hours.
Pros and Cons for Free Gamer VPNs VS Paid VPNs
When it comes to gaming with a VPN, the decision to go with a free or paid solution ultimately depends on your needs and how much you’re willing to spend. Here are some pros and cons of Paid vs. Free VPNs you should consider:
|Pros of Free VPNs||Cons of Free VPNs|
|✔️ No subscription cost||❌ Limited bandwidth and data|
|✔️ Easy to try out||❌ Often slower speeds|
|✔️ No commitment||❌ Limited server options|
|✔️ Some freemium options are available||❌ Potentially insecure|
|Pros of Paid VPNs||Cons of Paid VPNs|
|✔️ Faster speeds and lower latency||❌ Monthly or annual cost|
|✔️ Unlimited bandwidth and data||❌ May require technical setup|
|✔️ More server options||❌ Not all VPNs are created equal|
|✔️ Secure and encrypted connections||❌ Not always necessary for casual gamers|
If you’re a casual gamer who doesn’t need a lot of data or features, a free VPN could be a good starting point. However, keep in mind that free VPN providers often have limitations in terms of bandwidth, speed, and server options.
On the other hand, if you’re a more serious gamer, a paid VPN is usually the better choice. Paid gaming VPNs like NordVPN offer faster speeds, lower latency, and more server options, as well as unlimited bandwidth and data.
Additionally, paid VPNs provide more secure and encrypted connections to protect your data. Plus, if you opt for a service like the aforementioned NordVPN, you can still enjoy a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.
With all of that in mind, there’s one more important aspect I want to highlight. Whether you choose a paid or completely free VPN, it’s important to do your research. This will help you select a reliable and reputable provider that meets your specific gaming needs.
Free VPNs to Avoid For Gaming
I’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, I should also look at the other side of the equation and mention the services that have been busted over the past few years.
With that in mind, some free VPNs for gaming 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:
- Hola – Known for selling user bandwidth and has been involved in a few security incidents.
- Betternet – Has been found guilty of selling user data to third-party companies.
- Turbo VPN – Numerous security concerns, including weak encryption and the presence of malware.
- Touch VPN – Known for displaying intrusive ads and collecting user data without consent.
The first two are perhaps the best-known and, unfortunately, the most damaging free gaming VPNs players have used over the years. Both Betternet and the Hola free VPN 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.
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 online 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 seven best VPNs for gaming I’ve recommended above are all great for gaming purposes. You can use these best free VPNs to access the most popular online games.
Still, if you want the most complete service, I recommend going with a premium VPN provider like NordVPN. It is the best VPN around, has low-cost subscription plans and comes loaded with features. Android users can get a free seven-day trial, and there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee available for all subscription plans.