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The Best VPN for Nintendo Switch in 2021 + Setup Guide

Best VPN for Nintendo Switch

Launched in 2017, the Nintendo Switch console didn’t take long to record impressive sales numbers. In its first month, it sold over three million units. This number climbed to nearly 104 million units in December of 2021. To this day, it’s Nintendo’s best-selling home console and the home of many exclusive game titles.

That said, despite its massive popularity, the Nintendo Switch has relatively the same strengths and weaknesses as any other console when it comes to online gaming. More precisely, it’s not immune to crowded servers, issues with lag and high ping, and occasional connection drops. 

Luckily, a quality and powerful VPN for Nintendo Switch can help you avoid all of these issues and ensure some extra advantages. If you need help picking a Nintendo Switch VPN service or want setup tips, we’ve got all of the information you should know, all in one place.

Here are our top VPNs for Nintendo Switch:
  1. NordVPN – Best Nintendo Switch VPN.
  2. Surfshark – Sophisticated VPN with plenty of advanced features.
  3. AtlasVPN – Impressive all-around VPN with a good price tag.
  4. PrivateVPN – Excellent pick for casual users.
  5. ExpressVPN – Premium VPN with robust security.

Why use a VPN on Switch?

Before we go deeper into the details of how to pick the right VPN for you and how to set it up using different methods, we should answer the first question that pops up when talking about this topic. Why do you need a VPN for Nintendo Switch? In short, the most important reasons why you should use a VPN on Switch are:

  • Speed Up Your Connection – The number one reason most Nintendo Switch players use VPN services is to improve their Internet connection when gaming. If you’re experiencing heavy lag or ping, your connection might be getting throttled. With a VPN, you can avoid bandwidth throttling and lower your lag to enjoy more streamlined gaming.
  • Access Any Region Worldwide – A premium VPN for Nintendo Switch also allows you to switch your location and access any region in the world. This is particularly useful if you want to download a specific game that’s not available in your home region.
  • Mask Your Real IP – Lastly, it’s also crucial to consider the safety benefits that using a VPN brings to the table. A VPN service ensures your privacy by hiding your real IP address. It also encrypts the data you send through its tunnels, making it almost impossible for anyone to steal your valuable personal information.

5 Best VPNs for Nintendo Switch

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is the best Nintendo Switch VPN overall. It boasts a massive network of over 5,000 super-fast servers in every corner of the world. Moreover, all of these servers support the company’s in-house NordLynx protocol, a fast and very light protocol excellent for console gamers.

Apart from its huge high-performing server network, NordVPN also offers air-tight security. NordVPN possesses obfuscated servers, private DNS, DDoS protection, and a kill switch. It’s also one of the rare few VPNs that come with a Smart DNS feature. This is particularly useful to know if you want to set up your Nintendo Switch VPN this way.

NordVPN is based in Panama, which isn’t a part of any major international surveillance organization. Not only that, it only uses RAM-based servers and doesn’t keep any data logs on its users.

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • Only 6 simultaneous connections
  • No free trial

2. Surfshark

Filled with great features, Surfshark is one of the most advanced VPNs for Nintendo Switch. It comes with features like Camouflage Mode and NoBorders Mode that are very useful when gaming or streaming on your Nintendo Switch. Of course, you can also rely on standard settings like private DNS and leak protection, kill switch, and secure encryption.

This VPN also doesn’t slack even a tiny bit in terms of its network, as it offers over 3,200 servers in 65 countries. There’s at least one 1 Gbps port on every server, so you’ll always enjoy fast and stable connection speeds. Furthermore, all of its servers support WireGuard/IPSec/IKEv2 protocols.

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • No free version
  • Does not allow P2P seeding

3. AtlasVPN

AtlasVPN is a well-rounded Switch VPN suitable for both gaming and streaming. It has a network of 750 servers and allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Plus, all of its servers come with DDoS protection, IP and DNS leak protection, and are secured by a kill switch.

It’s an excellent VPN service for all of your online needs, not just for the Nintendo Switch. This is because it supports P2P activities on all servers and comes with ad, malware, and tracker blockers. Perhaps best of all, AtlasVPN is one of the most affordable VPN services on the market.

Pros:
  • Very affordable plans and it has a free version
  • Fast Speeds
  • Unlimited device support
  • WireGuard protocol and strong security features
  • Torrenting-friendly
  • Unblocks streaming services
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Cons:
  • No Linux app
  • Based in the US
  • Not so many servers

4. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is a simple and very easy-to-use VPN service. It offers 200+ servers in 63 locations worldwide. Equally as important, it delivers above-average connection speeds and supports a handful of popular protocols. The service is also very safe to use, as it comes with AES 256-bit encryption, IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch.

Plus, as PrivateVPN maintains an impressive 99.98% uptime, you don’t have to worry about any connection drops when playing games on your Nintendo Switch. All of this makes PrivateVPN the perfect choice for gamers who want a solid VPN but don’t need a long list of sophisticated features.

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • Not as many servers as other VPN providers
  • No split-tunneling

5. ExpressVPN

With 3,000 servers worldwide and some of the fastest connection speeds of any VPN service, lag or high ping is never an issue with ExpressVPN. No matter where you are, this robust VPN service can guarantee you super-fast connection speeds. What’s more, all of this VPN’s servers run exclusively on RAM.

But, besides this, ExpressVPN’s main selling points are its security and privacy features. The ExpressVPN Nintendo Switch VPN service is one of the safest services you can get. With best-in-class encryption, private DNS on every server, and a network lock kill switch, you can rest assured that you’re always safe and private when using ExpressVPN on your Nintendo Switch.

Pros:
  • Works with streaming
  • Supports torrenting
  • No-logs policy
  • TrustedServer technology with RAM-only servers
  • Premium security features
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Cons:
  • Expensive subscription plans
  • Only 5 simultaneous connections

How to Choose a VPN for Nintendo Switch?

With so many options to pick from, choosing a VPN for Nintendo Switch can be challenging. What’s more, even selecting one out of the top five VPNs we’ve recommended can be tough if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. 

To help you out, we want to share the criteria we used when assessing the best Nintendo Switch VPNs. Here are the essential aspects you should pay attention to when picking a Nintendo Switch VPN:

  • Network Speed – Arguably the most important trait any Nintendo Switch VPN should possess is the ability to deliver fast and consistent connection speeds. As you’ll mostly use your Nintendo Switch to play games, you need a VPN that can ensure lag-free and speedy connections for all of your online games.
  • Server Quantity and Quality – The more servers the VPN generally has, the better. This includes a good balance of both nearby and remote servers across the globe. That said, these servers should also be of good quality so that you can always count on top performance, regardless of whether you’re gaming or streaming. 
  • Security and Privacy Features – Apart from making your gaming more convenient, a top VPN for Nintendo Switch should also have strong security and privacy features. You should look for features like robust encryption, data leak protection, a kill switch, and, preferably, DDoS protection. Additionally, the VPN shouldn’t collect any user data and ideally be based in a country with lax online privacy laws.
  • Unblocking Power – If you want to use streaming services like YouTube, Hulu, or Crunchyroll on your Switch, a VPN with strong geo-unblocking power can come in very handy. It ensures that you can always access these platforms from any region you want to explore them.
  • Quality of Service – This factor is subjective and depends on your needs and requirements. For example, some users want a VPN with around-the-clock live chat support. Others prefer using specific payment methods or appreciate money-back options. If you fall into any of these categories, you should look for such traits, as they can impact your overall experience. 

How to Set Up and Use a VPN on Nintendo Switch

Like PS and Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch also isn’t natively compatible with VPN software. This means that you have to go about it differently if you want to use a VPN on Switch. 

That said, there’s no reason to worry, as you’ll have several options to pick from when setting up a VPN for Nintendo Switch. More precisely, we’ll share with you four different methods of setting up a Switch VPN. These include installing a VPN on your router, PC, Mac, or through Smart DNS.

Setting up a Nintendo Switch VPN on a Router

Setting up a Nintendo Switch VPN on your router involves the same process as setting up any gaming VPN on your router. We should highlight that setting it up this way means that all of your devices connected to the same router will also be covered by the VPN. 

Here’s how to set up a Nintendo Switch VPN on your router in just a few steps:

  1. Sign up with a reputable VPN (We recommend NordVPN)
  2. Open up your browser and log in to your router
  3. Go to the router’s Network tab
  4. Input all of the required VPN credentials
  5. On your Nintendo Switch, go to Settings, then Internet, and then Internet Settings 
  6. Connect to the newly set up connection and enjoy!

PC VPN Setup for Nintendo Switch

If you don’t want to cover your entire network by setting up a VPN on your router, you can connect your Nintendo Switch through a VPN network on your PC. Let’s take a closer look at how to set up a Nintendo Switch VPN through a PC:

  1. Download the Windows app from a VPN of your choosing
  2. Connect to a VPN server
  3. Open the Control Panel and navigate to Network and Sharing Center to change the adapter settings
  4. Find your VPN, open the Properties tab available when you right-click
  5. Choose to allow sharing
  6. Turn on your Switch and connect to the new network.

Additionally, we want to mention that you should ideally have a Wi-Fi adapter for your PC. This also applies to Mac devices, which we’ll cover in the next section. If you don’t have a Wi-Fi adapter in your computer, you’ll have to connect your Nintendo Switch through an Ethernet cable, which is a bit impractical.

Moreover, whether you decide to set up the VPN on your Windows or Mac device, remember that the device must be turned on the entire time you’re using the console. Otherwise, you will lose the VPN network connection you’ve established through the computer.

Mac VPN Setup for Nintendo Switch

Setting up your VPN through a macOS device doesn’t significantly differ from doing so through a Windows PC or laptop. Still, there are some similarities, which is why we want to cover this process separately. In this regard, here’s how to set up a VPN for Nintendo Switch on your Mac:

  1. Sign up with a VPN of your choice
  2. On your Mac, navigate to System Preferences, then Sharing, then Internet Sharing
  3. Select your VPN service and turn on Internet Sharing
  4. Connect to a VPN server using your Mac VPN app
  5. Turn on your Nintendo Switch and connect to the network

Setting Up a Nintendo Switch VPN Through Smart DNS

Lastly, we want to cover how you can set up a Nintendo Switch VPN through Smart DNS. Keep in mind that not all VPN services offer this feature, so make sure to check first before you try to change your Nintendo Switch proxy settings. With that in mind, here’s how to set up a Nintendo Switch VPN through Smart DNS:

  1. Sign up with a VPN offering Smart DNS
  2. Log into your VPN account through your browser
  3. Register your IP in the VPN’s DNS settings
  4. Turn on your Nintendo Switch and go to Settings
  5. Go to DNS Settings and select Manual
  6. Delete the Primary and Secondary DNS numbers below
  7. Enter the numbers you got from your Smart DNS proxy service.

Nintendo Switch VPN FAQs

Can you use a VPN on Nintendo Switch?

Yes, you are completely free to use a VPN on Nintendo Switch. However, take into account that you can’t install the VPN directly on your Nintendo Switch console. You have to use the VPN through another device or set it up through your router, as we’ve discussed in this guide.

Should I get a free VPN for Nintendo Switch?

No, we advise you to stay away from free VPN services, as they’re not suitable for Nintendo Switch gamers. Free VPNs often offer limited connection speeds and have small server networks. What’s more, many free VPNs have total bandwidth limitations, which is very inconvenient if you play games a lot.

Will a Nintendo Switch VPN improve my gaming?

Yes, a robust and powerful VPN for Nintendo Switch can improve your gaming. If you’re suffering from lag or your ISP is throttling your bandwidth, a VPN can speed up your network. Moreover, it can also improve your gaming from a security and privacy perspective by protecting you from DDoS attacks and other threats.

Conclusion

If you want to enjoy your Nintendo Switch without any regional limitations, no lag, and bandwidth limits, a Nintendo Switch VPN is a must-have. Setting up a VPN for Nintendo Switch does involve some workarounds, but with the detailed step-by-step guides we’ve shared with you on this page, you should have no problems.

Moreover, the five VPNs we’ve recommended in this guide will also keep you private and safe from any online threats. That said, in our opinion, it’s hard to beat the NordVPN Nintendo Switch combination, as this VPN provider is the best Nintendo Switch VPN you can currently get.

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