7 Best VPNs for Dota 2 in 2023: Lower Lag & Ping [Free & Paid]
- A Dota 2 VPN can help you play the game with fast speeds and low ping, in maximum security. It can also provide access to the game from anywhere worldwide.
- Simply playing Dota 2 with a VPN isn’t bannable unless you use the service to gain an advantage or exploit any of the game’s features.
- As Dota 2 is only available on Windows, Linux, and Mac, the VPN you pick should offer quality dedicated apps for these platforms.
Our Testing has shown that NordVPN is the best VPN for Dota 2.
Dota 2 is a very fast-paced game, and you have to make quick decisions if you want to beat other players. Unfortunately, sometimes the game’s servers or your network connection don’t want to cooperate with you. Slow network speeds, lag, and ping can quickly ruin a Dota 2 session.
However, you can avoid all of these issues simply by using a VPN. It will help reduce your latency, lower your ping, and provide a smoother gaming experience overall. Apart from gaming, a Dota 2 VPN can be your helpful ally in many fields. If you’re worried about your online security or fear getting DDoSed, a VPN can protect you. It can also assist you in accessing remote regions and servers.
But, to enjoy all of these advantages, you must pick a proven and capable VPN provider. I’ll discuss all of these aspects and cover everything you need to know about playing Dota 2 with a VPN.
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Best VPNs for Dota 2 – Our Shortlist
- NordVPN – Best VPN for Dota 2
- Surfshark – Very fast, light, with solid security
- AtlasVPN – A great free VPN for occasional gamers
- PrivateVPN – High-speed Dota 2 VPN
- ExpressVPN – Capable of accessing all regions globally
- Private Internet Access – Dota 2 VPN with the largest server network
- CyberGhost – an alternative VPN choice Dota players
Why Do You Need a VPN to Play Dota 2?
There are many reasons why Dota 2 players use VPN services. Here are a few of the most significant ones:
- Improve Your Connection – VPNs can tackle your high ping or varying network speeds and provide you with steadier and more enjoyable gaming. In line with this, a VPN is also the top solution if you’re looking for ways to play Dota 2 on other servers without lag.
- Access Dota 2 Without Restrictions – Dota 2 is banned in several countries and unofficially restricted in a few others. If you want to ensure worldwide access and play Dota 2 from anywhere, a VPN offers the best solution.
- Explore Different Gaming Servers – Keeping the previous benefit in mind, the ability to switch between VPN servers means that you can access any Dota 2 server across the globe and ensure stable and fast speeds. Lastly, playing Dota 2 with a VPN comes with plenty of security and online privacy benefits.
- Ensure Secure Gaming – A VPN works by masking your actual IP address and giving you a new IP address. In other words, your real IP address will never get compromised when playing online. This means no danger of DDoS attacks, IP or DNS leaks. What’s more, if you pick a VPN with a no-logs policy, none of your online activities will be traceable back to you.
Besides these benefits, gaming with a VPN is widely a very advantageous practice. I’ve covered this topic more extensively on the general best VPNs for gaming page. Make sure to go through it if you want to learn more in-depth information.
Dota 2 VPN Comparison
|Ranking for Gaming||5/5||4.8/5||4.6/5||4.6/5||4.8/5|
|Avg. Speed||46,4 Mbps||40,1 Mbps||35,9 Mbps||43,6 Mbps||42,2 Mbps|
|Logs||No-logs||No identifiable logs||No identifiable logs||No logs||No identifiable logs|
|Suitable for Games||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|P2P Traffic||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Best Deals||63% OFF + Gift||Save 81%||83% OFF||Save 85%||3 months FREE|
The Best VPN Providers for Dota 2 – Our Detailed List
NordVPN deservedly takes the top spot as the best gaming VPN for Dota 2. This VPN has over 5,500 servers in 60 countries worldwide. Thanks to its powerful servers and in-house NordLynx protocol, NordVPN is the fastest VPN included on this list.
The speed drop-down on its servers is minimal. On nearby server locations, the speeds were just around 5% slower than my regular speeds. If your ISP is throttling your bandwidth, you might even see a speed increase compared to your regular speed.
On remote servers, NordVPN was one of the fastest services I tested. Its US servers were the fastest compared to the same servers from other providers. And, it took second place in the SEA server test, right behind PrivateVPN. The ping was always low, and I didn’t have any lag when playing Dota 2 with it.
As the best Dota 2 VPN, NordVPN also has uncompromising security features. It offers DDoS protection, DNS leak protection, and keeps you private when gaming. NordVPN’s apps are very well-designed and available on all three operating systems the game works on. In this expert’s opinion, they are the most user-friendly Dota 2 VPN apps you can currently find.
You can use NordVPN to play this and many other games on multiple devices, as this VPN allows up to six simultaneous connections. You can set it up on gaming consoles and other gaming platforms. Still, this is drastically less than what Surfshark, Atlas VPN, and PIA offer. This is because these three providers allow you to connect an unlimited number of devices per plan.
NordVPN Speed Test for Gaming Results
|Average Speed – North America (United States)||46,4 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Europe (United Kingdom)||45,2 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Asia (Singapore)||35,3 Mbps|
|Best deal||63% OFF + Gift|
- The fastest Dota 2 VPN overall
- Dota 2 VPN with the best Windows app
- Unblocks all the major streaming sites
- Military-grade encryption and protection from DDoS attacks
- 24/7 live chat support
- Strict no-logs policy and based in Panama
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only six simultaneous connections
- More expensive than some of my other picks
With over 3,200 servers, all equipped with private DNS, Surfshark is undoubtedly one of the top Dota 2 VPNs around. While it doesn’t have a proprietary protocol like my top pick, Surfshark utilizes the WireGuard protocol to provide above-average server speeds.
Like NordVPN, this provider is loaded with great features that make gaming safe. It protects you against DDoS attacks and safeguards your connection with an automatic kill switch. Surfshark’s apps are very nicely designed and available on all gaming devices Dota 2 has been released for. And, unlike NordVPN, Surfshark allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices.
Comparing its online gaming speeds to NordVPN’s, Surfshark offers slightly lower speeds across all parameters. It’s 5% to 10% slower than NordVPN and has a slightly higher ping. However, it is still one of the fastest VPNs on my list. It has above-average speeds, as the speed dropdown on its nearby servers is generally around 10% or less. These are still great numbers that are more than enough for playing Dota 2.
Surfshark Speed Test for Gaming Results
|Average Speed – North America (United States)||40,1 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Europe (United Kingdom)||39,2 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Asia (Singapore)||35,8 Mbps|
|Best deal||Save 81%|
- One of the fastest Dota 2 VPNs overall
- More affordable than my top Dota 2 pick
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Unblocks streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, and Hulu
- Protects against DDoS attacks
- Fewer servers than my top pick
- Does not allow P2P seeding
Atlas VPN has a lot to offer when we talk about improving your gaming experience. If you’re tired of constantly experiencing high ping and latency, Atlas VPN is a very good choice. On nearby servers, it steadily maintained low ping and stable speeds.
Atlas VPN has other additional features which make it the best VPN for Dota 2. Unlimited simultaneous connections will allow you to connect the VPN to any gadget you want. Furthermore, DDoS protection will keep you safe from any malicious players. It also offers apps for all devices Dota 2 is available on. The apps, especially the Windows one, are very intuitive and easy to use.
While it ranks in a high third spot on my list, Atlas VPN isn’t without its drawbacks. Namely, it’s the slowest VPN on my list, falling behind my other picks in every category tested. This is especially true for remote SEA servers, in which Atlas VPN was over 20% slower than the best-performing PrivateVPN.
Another drawback, albeit not so significant, is Atlas VPN’s server network. It’s the second-smallest network any VPN on this list has, numbering around 750 servers. Now, this is still a decent network and shouldn’t be a deal-breaker when comparing Atlas VPN to the other services on my list.
AtlasVPN Speed Test for Gaming Results
|Average Speeds – North America (United States)||36,3 Mbps|
|Average Speeds – Europe (United Kingdom)||38,2 Mbps|
|Average Speeds – Asia (Singapore)||32,9 Mbps|
|Best deal||83% OFF|
- Fast speeds for playing Dota 2 on nearby servers
- Low ping great for playing Dota 2 competitively
- Great for bypassing ISP throttling
- WireGuard protocol and strong security features
- Easily unblocks streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Netflix
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Provider with the second-smallest network on my list
- Comparably slow speeds on remote (primarily SEA) servers
Even though there are three VPNs on my list that are better ranked than PrivateVPN, this provider does have the edge over its competitors in several aspects. Firstly, it is the VPN with the most reliable servers, as it has an impressive uptime of 99.98%. In other words, VPN connection drops seldom occur.
Moreover, it is one of the best VPNs in terms of low ping, as it ranked second-best in this metric, right behind NordVPN. Combined with the previous trait, this enables PrivateVPN to offer very stable connections for online games like Dota 2. Like all services on this list, it comes with a kill switch and offers apps for all platforms Dota 2 is available on. And, it offers port-forwarding option.
Stability and consistency aren’t PrivateVPN’s only strengths. Its lightning-fast speeds, especially on remote servers, outperform all my other picks. So, if you want to explore remote Dota 2 servers, this VPN is an outstanding choice.
With the above in mind, I should address some of its drawbacks compared to my other picks. Most notably, PrivateVPN has the smallest server network of all my picks, numbering only around 200 locations in 63 countries. So, while you can enjoy lag-free gaming, you won’t have as many IP addresses to choose from as you could with my other picks. The service also lacks split tunneling.
PrivateVPN Speed Test for Gaming Results
|Average Speed – North America (United States)||43,6 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Europe (United Kingdom)||45.9 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Asia (Singapore)||40,1 Mbps|
|Best deal||Save 85%|
- Fastest VPN for playing Dota 2 on remote servers
- Works on all Dota 2 supported platforms
- Unlimited bandwidth with ten simultaneous connections
- Zero-logging policy, kill switch, and military-grade encryption
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- VPN with the smallest server network on my list
- Doesn’t support split tunneling
ExpressVPN’s server base is regarded as one of the highest-grade in the industry. It offers impeccable security features with RAM-only servers spread across 93 countries worldwide.
It offers apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux, ideal for playing Dota 2. You can also set up ExpressVPN on your router or gaming consoles to play other online games. Compared to NordVPN’s and Surfshark’s apps, ExpressVPN’s clients are fairly minimalistic and without too many features you can tailor.
Comparing ExpressVPN’s speeds to my top picks, we can see that ExpressVPN is about 5% to 10% slower on all servers than the best-performing VPNs in each metric. Still, its speeds are consistent and very solid across all servers. And, as with all VPNs on my list, you get unlimited bandwidth.
While it is an excellent premium VPN, ExpressVPN has some faults compared to my other top picks. Primarily, it is the most expensive service comparing all offered plans. Only CyberGhost’s monthly plan is several cents more expensive compared to ExpressVPN’s.
Additionally, ExpressVPN isn’t a very good pick if you want to connect more than just a handful of devices. It only supports five simultaneous connections. This is a meager number compared to what you can get with Surfshark, Atlas VPN, or PIA.
ExpressVPN Speed Test for Gaming Results
|Average Speed – North America (United States)||42,2 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Europe (United Kingdom)||40,9 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Asia (Singapore)||38,1 Mbps|
|Best deal||+3 months FREE|
- Very good connection speeds across its entire server network
- Lightway protocol works very well for lowering high ping
- Dota 2 VPN with premium security features
- No-logs policy and based in the British Virgin Islands
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Very expensive price plans compared to most of my picks
- VPN with the fewest simultaneous connections (5) on my list
CyberGhost VPN is an excellent gaming VPN and a solid pick for Dota 2. This VPN offers over 7,000 servers worldwide. Moreover, it even has gaming-optimized servers located in various parts of the world.
I’ve mainly used the CyberGhost VPN app for Windows when playing Dota 2 with this service. And, the features it comes with make it one of the best VPNs for Dota and gaming in general. The gaming servers let you pick the best gaming location quickly and intuitively. Additionally, you can filter servers by distance, load, and ping. This helps you easily pick a server and enjoy fast speeds with low ping.
CyberGhost VPN offers very good connection speeds, albeit not the best in any category I tested. Its speeds compare closely to what ExpressVPN can offer. It’s a good pick for both nearby and remote servers, but it’s slower than the best-performing VPNs for short distances (NordVPN) and remote servers (PrivateVPN).
CyberGhost Speed Test Results for Gaming
|Average Speed – North America (United States)||38,5Mbps|
|Average Speed – Europe (United Kingdom)||39,6 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Asia (Singapore)||37,5 Mbps|
|Best deal||84% OFF + 3 Months Free|
- Gaming-optimized servers are great for playing Dota 2
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Strong encryption and a kill switch
- Supports the WireGuard protocol
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Only seven simultaneous connections
- Most expensive monthly plan out of all my VPN picks
7. Private Internet Access
Taking up the seventh place on my list of the best VPNs for Dota 2, Private Internet Access is known for having a very large server network. In fact, it is the provider with the biggest server network on my list. I can’t give you an exact number of PIA servers, as the provider switches servers very often. But, it generally fluctuates in the tens of thousands of servers.
That said, more servers aren’t enough to help it rank higher on my list. This is primarily because it is the most unstable VPN I included here. Connection drops happen more often than with other providers.
Additionally, while Private Internet Access does have fast download speeds, it isn’t as fast as my other picks. More precisely, it was only faster than Atlas VPN. Still, when I found a solid server, PIA was very capable of maintaining low ping.
Equally important to know, PIA provides you with very good security. You can count on a kill switch, DDoS protection, and strong encryption. It is also a very budget-friendly VPN for those looking for a long-term plan.
Private Internet Access Speed Test Results for Gaming
|Average Speed – North America (United States)||49,5 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Europe (United Kingdom)||40.5 Mbps|
|Average Speed – Asia (Singapore)||39,4 Mbps|
|Best deal||83% OFF + 3 Months Free|
- Largest server network out of all of my picks
- One of the most affordable VPNs on my list for long-term subscription plans
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited connections
- Great security features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Slow speeds on remote servers
- Not as stable as my other picks
Testing Methodology: How We Pick the Best Dota 2 VPNs
When picking a VPN for playing online games such as Dota 2, there are a handful of specific factors that you must consider. Here are the biggest aspects that I factored in when selecting the top seven VPNs for Dota 2:
- Average Speed and Ping – The most important aspect is that the service offers a fast VPN connection with low ping. This will ensure lag-free gaming and enable you to stay competitive.
- Server Network – The best VPNs should also have large server networks. This would guarantee that it offers servers in locations that are close to the game servers you want to connect to. This can also help reduce latency and improve gameplay.
- Supported Devices – The service should offer dedicated apps for the platform you want to play Dota 2 on. As the game is not available on gaming consoles and mobile devices, this includes Windows, Linux, and Mac apps.
- Unblocking Ability – If you want to play the game from various locations when traveling or live in a location where the game is banned, choosing a VPN with the ability to bypass geo-blocks is crucial.
- Security and Privacy – The VPN should offer military-grade encryption and privacy features to protect you while gaming and keep your data secure. Preferably it should also have features such as protection against DDoS attacks and IP/DNS leaks, and a kill switch.
- Additional Features – Besides the above factors, it’s also smart to consider a few extra aspects that aren’t directly tied to playing Dota 2. For instance, how easy is the VPN app to use, how many devices can you connect, how much the service cost, is the customer support reliable, and such.
Can a Dota 2 VPN Reduce My Ping and Lag?
Yes, a Dota 2 VPN can reduce your ping and lag by optimizing your Internet connection and routing your traffic through a faster and more stable VPN server. When you connect to a Dota 2 VPN server, your traffic is encrypted and routed through the VPN server before it reaches the game server.
This can help reduce the distance your traffic needs to travel and may result in lower ping and reduced lag. This benefit is particularly apparent for users who are experiencing bandwidth throttling from their ISP. As the VPN hides your real IP address and your real activities, the ISP can’t pinpoint your connection and throttle your speeds.
With all of that said, it’s also important to note that the impact of a VPN on your ping and lag will depend on a variety of factors. This includes your physical location, your ISP, the VPN server location, and the quality of your VPN provider’s network.
How to Use a VPN To Play Dota 2 With Low Ping
Want to play Dota 2 with a VPN but don’t have any experience in setting up such a service? Don’t worry, this simple five-step guide will help guide you through the process. Here’s how to use a VPN to play Dota 2:
- Sign up with one of my top seven picks ( I recommend NordVPN).
- Download the app for the device you want to play Dota 2 on.
- Log into the VPN app and connect to a VPN server.
- Once the VPN connection is established, do a quick ping test to see how it’s performing.
- If the test shows fast speeds and low ping, load Dota 2 and Start playing!
Can I Use a VPN To Unblock Dota 2 When Abroad?
Yes, you can use a VPN to unblock Dota 2 when you are abroad. All you need to do is install a reputable VPN, connect to a VPN server in a country where Dota 2 is available, and launch the game.
When you use a VPN, your Internet traffic is routed through the VPN server, which makes it appear as if you are accessing the Internet from that country. This allows you to bypass geo-restrictions that may be preventing you from accessing the game in your current location. That said, make sure to brush up on local laws and regulations before using a VPN to play Dota 2 abroad.
How to Pick the Best VPN Server For Dota 2
If you want lightning-fast speeds and low ping, it’s crucial to pick the best server location. Here are a few useful tips for picking the best Dota 2 server locations:
- Pick a Server Close to Your Physical Location – A server closer to your physical location will generally provide faster connection speeds and lower latency. This is the most crucial aspect of picking the best VPN server for the game.
- Choose a Server Near The Game Server – If possible, choose a location that is also near the game server you are connecting to. This can help minimize latency and improve your overall gaming experience.
- Select a Server With a Low Server Load – If a VPN server has a high server load, it may result in slower connection speeds and increased latency. Check if your VPN provider offers server load information and choose a server with a low server load.
Don’t get frustrated if you don’t pick the right server on the first try. It’s always a good idea to test multiple VPN servers to find the best one for your needs. Try connecting to different servers and test your connection speed and latency to see which server provides the best performance.
Can I Use Free VPNs for Dota 2?
While it may be tempting to use a free VPN service for Dota 2, I recommend you not do so. The main topic of this guide is to help you pick the best VPNs for Dota 2. In this regard, free VPNs can’t compete, as they come with significant drawbacks.
Free VPNs have data usage caps, which can be quickly exceeded when playing Dota 2. They have limited server options and slower speeds compared to premium VPNs. Lastly, free VPNs aren’t as secure as paid VPN services. They may log your data and sell it to third-party advertisers.
To ensure the best possible gaming experience and protect your online privacy and security when playing Dota 2, I generally recommend using a reputable paid VPN service that offers fast and stable connections, a wide range of server locations, and strong security features.
The Best Free VPN For Dota 2
As I outlined above, using a free VPN for Dota 2 will most often limit your online gaming experience. That said, there is one free VPN service that I would list as an exception to this. Atlas VPN is an excellent premium VPN and one of my top picks. However, Atlas VPN is also the best free VPN, as it offers a limited plan you can use free of charge.
With Atlas VPN’s free plan, you can get three free servers, support for all devices, including gaming consoles, and 5 GB of data per month. You can count on fast speeds as with its premium plans. And, if the monthly bandwidth cap is too limiting, you can always upgrade to one of its budget-friendly VPN subscription plans.
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FAQs on VPNs for Dota 2
How does Dota 2 know I’m using a VPN?
Dota 2 knows you’re using a VPN because it can tell whenever you change your IP address. So, unless you always use a dedicated IP address before launching the game, Dota 2 will be able to tell whenever you change your region.
Is a VPN allowed in Dota 2?
Using a VPN to play Dota 2 is not specifically prohibited by the game’s terms of service. As long as you use the VPN to play the game and not exploit any features, Steam won’t ban you.
Can I play Dota 2 in China with a VPN?
You can play Dota 2 in China with a VPN. To do this, you need a robust and reliable VPN that works in China’s heavily restricted online environment. That said, it is important to keep in mind that the use of VPNs is heavily regulated in China.
Can I play Dota 2 in the Philippines with a VPN?
Yes, it is possible to play Dota 2 in the Philippines with a VPN. As long as you use a reliable VPN service with fast and stable speeds, you won’t have any issues playing the game with a VPN.
Which Dota 2 VPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections?
Conclusion – Picking The Best VPN For Dota 2
There are many reasons why you should consider using a VPN for Dota 2. It can help lower your lag and ping and even increase your network speed in some situations. Furthermore, it will keep you safe from any malicious players trying to DDoS or hack you.
The seven VPNs I’ve examined on this page are all very adept in providing you with a top-quality gaming experience. If you’re not sure which service best fits your needs, I recommend NordVPN as the best VPN for Dota 2. It’s the VPN that covers all of your online needs and is an excellent choice for gaming. Plus, you can take advantage of a customer-friendly 30-day money-back guarantee.
Cybersecurity and VPN researcher