Best Free VPN For Gaming: Enhance Your Gaming Experience
While there are numerous VPN options available, this article will focus on the best free VPNs specifically tailored for gaming. We'll explore their features, benefits, and considerations to help you make a wise choice.
Let’s check the top best free VPNs for gaming in 2023.
How to choose the best free VPN for gaming: 4 factors to consider
Price is not a determining factor when selecting the best free VPN for gaming. Instead, users should assess several essential elements, as outlined below:
Data Limitations: Free VPNs often come with data caps or restrictions. Evaluate your gaming habits and choose a VPN that offers sufficient data for your needs.
Server Locations: Ensure the VPN has servers in regions where your desired gaming servers are located, allowing you to connect to them with minimum latency.
Performance and Stability: Look for VPNs that prioritize stability and offer reliable connections with minimal lag or disconnections.
Security and Privacy: Check for VPNs that provide robust encryption protocols and a strict no-logs policy to safeguard your gaming activities and personal information.
Top 5 best free VPNs for gaming
ExpressVPN is considered the best overall VPN for gaming. It offers a truly powerful VPN experience without any bandwidth limitations. You can enjoy a free trial on iOS or Android for up to 7 days. Additionally, if you subscribe through ExpressVPN's website, you'll have the opportunity to test it for up to 30 days on all supported devices.
The versatility of ExpressVPN is impressive. It works seamlessly on computers, phones, and even routers, making it ideal for Xbox and PlayStation users. During the free trial period, you'll have access to ExpressVPN's extensive network of 3,000 high-end servers across 90 countries.
To ensure your privacy and security, ExpressVPN utilizes OpenVPN and Lightway protocols, effectively masking your IP address. Lightway, their proprietary protocol, prioritizes privacy and security while minimizing ping and latency.
With AES-256 encryption and a robust kill switch feature, ExpressVPN offers solid protection against DDoS attacks. Notably, this VPN is audited and follows a strict no-logs policy. You can enjoy these benefits on up to five devices simultaneously, which is the maximum number of connections allowed by ExpressVPN.
Pros and cons of ExpressVPN
- Vast network servers.
- Seamless and fast performance.
- Shield yourself from DDoS attacks.
- 30-day money-back policy.
- Connect to a maximum of five devices simultaneously.
- Doesn’t offer further customizable advanced features.
With ProtonVPN, players can experience unlimited bandwidth and seamless PC gaming.
While ProtonVPN offers only three server locations, including the US, Japan, and the Netherlands, it provides 163 free servers within these regions.
Despite not being as stable as ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN surprised us with decently low pings, consistently staying within the 30–40 ms range. However, it's worth noting that connecting to the Netherlands server resulted in slower speeds and higher pings overall. During the ProtonVPN speed test on a 100 Mbps connection, the download speed can reach 52.37 Mbps, and the upload speed is 45.19 Mbps.
By downloading ProtonVPN as a free gaming VPN, you can enhance your gaming performance, eliminate lags, and gain access to restricted content. It's a valuable tool for optimizing your gaming experience.
Pros and cons of ProtonVPN
- Unrestricted bandwidth for a smooth gaming experience.
- Robust defense against DDoS attacks.
- Powerful VPN protocols for strong security.
- Compatibility with multiple devices.
- User-friendly interface.
- Restricted server network availability.
- Inability to have simultaneous connections.
- Lack of live chat support.
Windscribe is an excellent gaming VPN that provides 10 GB of monthly data. Despite the data restriction, it offers impressively low pings and supports P2P traffic.
What makes Windscribe different from other VPNs is its fast speeds, strong security, and P2P compatibility. It works as a free VPN for the PS4, allowing you to game on your PlayStation.
Although the download speed is only 59.11 Mbps (a 41% decrease from the local connection), the pings remained consistently low, ranging from 45 to 51 ms.
However, similar to ProtonVPN, Windscribe has limited server locations.
Pros and cons of Windscribe
- 10 GB per month for gaming.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Compatible with routers and operating systems.
- Lag-free gaming experience.
- No live chat support.
- Strict money-back policy.
TunnelBear is another popular free VPN option for gaming, providing 500 MB of data per month.
In contrast to ProtonVPN or Windscribe, TunnelBear's free version grants access to its entire network of servers spread across the globe. This feature makes it considerably easier to locate specific gaming lobbies according to your preferences.
One of the remarkable aspects of TunnelBear is its offering of more than 42 P2P server locations, enabling users to easily find a server in close proximity. On our 100 Mbps connection, we tested the Japanese server, which provided a ping of 69 ms, download speeds of 55.27 Mbps, and upload speeds of 40.21 Mbps.
Pros and cons of TunnelBear
- Vast server network.
- No latency issues occurred while playing the game.
- User-friendly interface.
- Lack of VPN router configuration.
Hotspot Shield, a well-known VPN on the market, offers a daily data limit of 500MB, amounting to a monthly total of 15GB. This allocation is satisfactory for moderate gaming sessions.
What makes this free VPN a great choice for gaming is its impressive Hydra protocol. Users are amazed by its performance, particularly when playing Call of Duty Mobile.
However, there is a downside. Due to heavy traffic on its sole US server, we were only able to play games during off-peak hours.
In terms of download speeds, they exceeded the average. The download speed can reach 45.63 Mbps, and the upload speed is 39.56 Mbps. Throughout gameplay, users can experience no noticeable ping spikes, and the overall gaming experience remains smooth.
Pros and cons of Hotspot Shield
- Offers 15GB/month for gaming.
- Features Hydra protocol for lag-free experiences.
- Low pings.
- Only provides a single server location.
- Lacks router compatibility.
What are the limitations of using a free VPN for gaming?
Free gaming VPNs come with several limitations:
Slow speeds: Free VPNs often have slower connection speeds compared to paid VPNs. This can result in lag, latency, and overall sluggish gaming performance.
Server restrictions: Free gaming VPNs may offer a limited number of server locations or restrict access to specific regions. This can limit your ability to connect to game servers in different locations, affecting matchmaking options and gameplay experiences.
Limited features: Free VPNs generally offer fewer features and functionalities compared to premium versions. Advanced features like split tunneling, dedicated IP addresses, or customizable settings may not be available.
Advertisements and privacy concerns: Free VPNs often rely on ads to generate revenue, leading to intrusive advertisements during gaming sessions. Additionally, some free VPNs may compromise user privacy by logging and selling personal data.
Why would free VPNs for gaming be dangerous?
Free gaming VPNs can contain several risks and dangers, such as:
Data logging and selling: Free VPNs may track and log your online activities, including gaming habits, websites visited, and personal information. They may sell this data to advertisers or other third parties, potentially leading to privacy breaches and targeted advertising.
Lack of encryption and security: Free gaming VPNs may lack proper encryption protocols and security measures. This can leave your gaming traffic vulnerable to interception, exposing sensitive information like login credentials, in-game purchases, or personal details.
To ensure a safe and reliable gaming VPN experience, it is generally recommended to use reputable paid VPN services that prioritize user privacy, security, and performance.
Although free VPNs come with certain limitations, they can still prove valuable for enhancing your gaming experience. Notably, ExpressVPN stands out as one of the top free VPNs for gaming, offering diverse features and data allowances tailored to different gaming requirements. With the VPN services provided in this article, you can confidently select the one that best aligns with your gaming preferences.
Also read: Best free VPNs for torrenting