Finding a reliable VPN for gaming is a challenging task as even premium VPNs are not always good enough to handle gaming-related activities. That said, finding the best free gaming VPN is even more difficult. Still, if you’re ready to make some compromises, you might find a solution that will meet your needs. You just need to be aware that every free VPN is limited in one way or another.
That’s because you're after a free gaming VPN that keeps your ping and latency in check. After all, you want a smooth experience without annoying performance fluctuations that can ruin your gameplay session. On top of that, the best gaming VPN should keep you safe, as well as protected against DDoS attacks, and be able to unblock games not available in your country.
Also, remember that free VPN services might cause issues, raise anti-VPN alarms, and get you banned for trying to cheat. Therefore, make sure to play it safe and use a reputable free trial gaming VPN that won't limit you or, even worse - get you into trouble.
As you can see, there’s a lot that the best free VPN for gaming needs to handle. To help you find the perfect pick, we've tested dozens of VPNs, both premium and free. And in this article, we'll highlight the best options, based on our hands-on tests. Of course, we'll also show you how to get a free VPN for gaming, explain what to expect realistically, and more.
Keep reading to learn more!
How to Get a Free VPN Trial for Gaming?
To unleash the full potential of your gaming sessions, we recommend using a free VPN trial, such as ExpressVPN’s trial. Here’s what you need to do:
- Sign up for a free VPN trial (we recommend ExpressVPN's risk-free trial).
- Download and install ExpressVPN on your gaming-ready device.
- Launch the VPN and log in to your account to reach ExpressVPN’s home screen.
- Pick any VPN location to connect to (all ExpressVPN servers are gaming-friendly).
- That’s it! You can now launch your game or a digital game store/dedicated launcher.
A significant benefit to using ExpressVPN is that you'll get unlimited bandwidth. That means you can leave the VPN running at all times, especially while playing online and multiplayer games. You find that same benefit in any free gaming VPN.
Best Free Gaming VPN
The best free VPN for gaming must bring unlimited (in the best case possible) bandwidth, enough servers to choose from, encryption that works against DDoS, as well as the ability to keep your ping and latency in check (ensuring smooth and uninterrupted performance).
Based on the requirements above, we have several reliable options for you. That said, here are the 5 best free VPNs for gaming:
- ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated Free VPN Trial for Gaming
- NordVPN – Most Secure Free VPN Trial for Gaming
- Proton VPN – Best Free Gaming VPN Overall
- Windscribe – Best Free VPN for Extensive Server Coverage
- Hide.Me – Best Free VPN for Occasional Gaming Sessions
1. ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated Free VPN Trial for Gaming
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If you truly want the best gameplay experience, ExpressVPN should be your pick. Without a single doubt, this is the best free VPN for gaming overall, meeting the needs of even the most hardcore gamers out there.
ExpressVPN’s impressive list of features starts with its platform support. This VPN works on practically any device imaginable, including computers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, and more. Gaming is no longer restricted to PCs, so it’s important to know that ExpressVPN will accommodate your needs in the long term.
We’ll also mention that ExpressVPN works on PlayStation and Xbox consoles (which isn't something 100% free VPNs offer). You’ll find a range of workarounds to get this VPN to work on your console, and you can also use its SmartDNS feature on devices that don't work with VPNs.
Then, ExpressVPN brings high-end protocols that mask your IP. It features AES-256 encryption, so you wouldn't have to worry about DDoS attacks. To top it all off, you'll find 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries. You can even test those servers before connecting, ensuring you'll get the lowest possible ping and latency.
As per our tests, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on today's global market. It works equally well when connecting to both nearby and remote servers. Also, even the most remote servers available keep your ping in check, which is crucial for gaming.
In case of any issues (which you'll hardly ever encounter), the ExpressVPN support team is there 24/7. You can talk to its agents live, meaning you'll resolve your issue in record time. You'll also find plenty of written guides, tutorials, and FAQs, helping you get the most out of this VPN.
We’ll also mention that ExpressVPN isn’t a free VPN. However, you can use it as a free VPN trial, as it offers a generous 30-day money-back policy.
That means you'll have 30 days to test-drive this VPN without any limitations whatsoever. Also, you’ll get your money back if you change your mind, without any questions asked.
- Ultra-capable VPN for gaming.
- Massive network of VPN servers.
- Smooth and fast performance.
- Keeps your ping and latency in check.
- Keeps DDoS attacks away.
- 30-day money-back policy.
- No in-depth fine-tuning.
2. NordVPN – Most Secure Free VPN Trial for Gaming
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NordVPN is a highly reputable and respectable VPN that's been around for quite some time now. So, it's no surprise that NordVPN is among the best gaming VPN apps, providing features to optimize, streamline, and protect your online gaming sessions.
To use any gaming VPN, you’ll need to pair it with your games, game launchers, and digital game marketplaces. That’s easy if you’re a NordVPN subscriber, as this VPN brings nicely designed apps for computers, phones, tablets, and more. Getting started is straightforward and won’t take more than a couple of minutes of your time.
We’ll also note that NordVPN provides a SmartDNS service. So, you can run it on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and other game consoles. Of course, other options also exist if you want this VPN’s full protection. In that sense, NordVPN supports routers and sharing your VPN connection from your computer.
This VPN has 5,500+ servers in around 60 countries. So, it doesn't have the most extensive network but should get the job done for most gamers. Its servers are spread evenly across the world, targeting more popular "VPN destinations," so you won't have a hard time unblocking games and finding servers with low ping values.
NordVPN is backed by high-end protocols like OpenVPN and NordLynx (NordVPN’s version of WireGuard). Using those, you can prevent DDoS attacks, play games from anywhere, and even stop bandwidth throttling. On top of that, you get unlimited bandwidth, making it easy to focus on your gaming session with no interruptions.
Let's not forget to mention that NordVPN offers 24/7-available customer support. You can chat with its customer support agents live. Aside from that, an array of tutorials, guides, and other types of written resources are found on NordVPN's website.
We should also mention that NordVPN doesn’t come for free. However, you can get NordVPN's 30-day free trial since it comes with no-questions-asked money-back guarantees. So, if you change your mind, you'll receive your money back in no time.
- Top-shelf encryption and protocols.
- Incredibly simple to use.
- Specialized servers are available.
- Low ping and latency.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- 30-day money-back policy.
- Best suited for advanced users.
3. Proton VPN – Best Free Gaming VPN Overall
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When it comes to truly the best free VPN for gaming, you won’t find a better option than Proton VPN. That’s because Proton VPN is a reputable VPN that ensures your privacy is protected while also bringing unlimited bandwidth. That’s a very rare combination to find in the world of free VPNs.
In terms of Proton VPN’s platform support, this VPN certainly doesn't disappoint. There are Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android apps. You won’t find a Smart DNS feature here, so you won't be able to run it on your game console. However, that's not really something you can expect from any free VPN.
The biggest highlight of Proton VPN is its unlimited bandwidth. Practically all free VPNs limit how much data you can “spend,” which is a limiting factor. However, Proton VPN doesn’t impose such limitations, even though it does have restrictions of other kinds. For example, you’ll get to connect to 100+ servers but in 3 countries only.
Those countries are – the United States, the Netherlands, and Japan. As you can imagine, all those servers are typically under a heavy load. So, chances are that you won’t be able to control your ping or latency unless you’re in one of those three countries.
Proton VPN can bring fast performance if you connect to nearby servers - but only sometimes. That's because paying customers are prioritized. So, if a lot of subscribers connect (which typically happens in the evening hours, for example), you might find it hard to achieve a pleasurable gaming session.
We’ll also mention that Proton VPN features protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard. So, DDoS attacks won’t be something to think about. However, if you game on multiple devices, it would be best to get separate Proton VPN accounts, as you'll get a single connection only (instead of multiple simultaneous connections, which is what premium VPNs offer).
We'll also mention that Proton VPN comes with a comprehensive customer support section on its website. However, there's no live chat available. Since paying customers are prioritized, you might be forced to wait a couple of days for a response to arrive. However, that's something you can expect out of any free VPN - and yes, even from the best free VPN for gaming.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Protection against DDoS attacks.
- Ultra-strong VPN protocols.
- Trustworthy and long-standing brand.
- Limited performance.
- No simultaneous connections.
- Servers in 3 countries only.
4. Windscribe – Best Free VPN for Extensive Server Coverage
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There are several reasons why Windscribe is one of the best free VPN for gaming. It comes with a liberal data allowance and unlimited simultaneous connections, and you’ll also find servers in a sizeable group of countries. So, let’s take a closer look.
You'll be happy to know that Windscribe covers many devices. Furthermore, its free plan doesn't limit you in terms of simultaneous connections. That means you can run the VPN on your computer, phone, tablet, and more, and then connect from all those devices at once. However, your bandwidth will be limited.
Users of Windscribe's free account get 2GB of data to spend monthly. You can increase that limit by registering your email address, tweeting about the VPN service, referring it to your friends, and other ways. So, getting 10GB of data isn't that difficult, to be honest.
Of course, gaming requires a lot of bandwidth. So, we recommend exercising caution if you decide to use Windscribe, as you wouldn’t want to spend those 10GBs at once. You’ll also get to connect to servers in 10 countries (the US, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, and Romania) and count on relatively fast speeds, so paying attention to your bandwidth is crucial.
Another perk of using Windscribe is a series of solid VPN protocols. You get OpenVPN and WireGuard, but also IKEv2, Stealth, and Wstunnel. So, this VPN should unblock the Web even if you're in a country with heavy censorship and Internet restrictions. Therefore, unblocking new games or gaming marketplaces won't be an issue.
However, what could be an issue is Windscribe's support. They don't offer live chat support but use a bot instead, which is mostly unhelpful. They do offer setup guides, FAQs, and similar types of information, so it'll be up to you to resolve your issue. Of course, submitting a ticket is also an option, but you'll need to wait 24+ hours for a response.
- Series of solid VPN protocols.
- Servers in 10 countries.
- Relatively fast performance.
- Good enough for gaming.
- Limited bandwidth.
- You get 10GB/month max.
- Limited support.
5. Hide.Me – Best Free VPN for Occasional Gaming Sessions
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Hide.Me is yet another best free gaming VPN that brings somewhat relaxed restrictions. Those should be enough to support occasional gaming sessions. However, as you’ll soon see for yourself, Hide.Me comes with some heavy compromises.
We must mention that Hide.Me brings very simple-looking applications. You’ll find those on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more. You’ll need to get creative when it comes to consoles such as PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, as Hide.Me doesn’t bring a SmartDNS feature. On top of that, it limits you to a single connection (so, no simultaneous connections).
Also, keep in mind that you’ll get 10GB per month. You’ll have 5 locations at your disposal in 4 countries (in the US, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands). To use Hide.Me for gaming, you need to be in one of those countries. That’s because highly remote connections impact your Web speed, increasing your ping and latency. So, online games are not an option in that case.
You’ll be happy to know that Hide.Me features OpenVPN, IKEv2, SoftEther, and less secure protocols. So, plenty to choose from overall. On top of that, you get AES-256, which should be enough to keep DDoS attacks away. Also, Hide.Me is a no-logs VPN provider, so bypassing Internet restrictions is an option, as you’ll be anonymous.
As for its customer support, Hide.Me offers 24/7-available live chat. Its support agents are very helpful and respond promptly. There are also written guides, tutorials, as well as the ability to submit support tickets. So, you should be covered well, overall.
As you can see, Hide.Me truly is one of the best free VPNs for gaming – but for some users only (the same applies to any other free VPN). We recommend it if you have a fast Internet connection and if you're in one of the countries where Hide.Me offers VPN servers.
- Servers in 5 locations.
- Strong and reliable protocols.
- No-logs VPN policy.
- No ads of any kind.
- Limited bandwidth.
- Limited speed.
- You get 10GB/month.
Free VPN vs. Free Trial VPN: Which One Should You Pick?
Now that we’ve listed the best options, you need to decide between using a free VPN or a free VPN trial. You should pick a free VPN trial – and here’s why.
If you’ve read the descriptions of our recommended best free VPN for gaming, you know that they all bring limitations. Some free gaming VPNs limit your bandwidth, while others limit your speed. They all limit their selection of servers, which means you won't have a lot of freedom – and you need access to a lot of servers to ensure a smooth gameplay session.
When playing online games, you need a VPN to stabilize your Web connection. You also need to ensure you get the lowest possible ping and minimal latency. Free VPNs typically can't provide that, so plenty of manual work will be involved. And even if you try to optimize your connection, there are no guarantees that a free VPN will work well in the long term.
Then, we have free trial VPNs. The truth is that you need to pay for a VPN trial. However, you’ll have 30 days to test-drive your chosen VPN. That means you’ll have full access to all its VPN protocols, high-end encryption, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited speed, and access to an army of servers. In other words, you’ll get the best possible gameplay experience.
You can ask for your money back if you change your mind during those 30 days. A VPN such as ExpressVPN, as per our hands-on tests, will return your money instantly. So, you won't a complicated procedure if you decide to change your mind.
Is It Safe to Use a Free VPN for Gaming?
In general, it's not safe to use a free VPN for gaming as there are many privacy-, security-, and performance-related issues that limit your gameplay sessions. Find more information below:
- Free VPNs Collect & Sell Your Data: Just like other services, free VPNs need to generate revenue in some way. So, they might inject ads as you browse the Web. Or, they might collect your private information (like your browsing history) and sell it to advertising firms.
- Free VPNs Expose Your Sensitive Information: As expected, free VPNs can't afford the highest level of encryption. They also use less secure protocols to speed up their servers, which means your data can leak online. In terms of gaming, that could lead to a ban.
- Free VPNs Have Limited Performance: Since they're used by many individuals, servers used by free VPNs are typically overcrowded. That's why free VPNs limit the speed of their servers, making it harder to keep your ping and latency in check.
Due to the reasons explained above, we can't recommend using a free VPN if you want the best possible gameplay experience. That's why we recommend going for a free VPN trial, giving you access to premium VPN features without any risk.
Limitations of Free Gaming VPNs
Even the best free VPN for gaming comes with some pretty heavy limitations. To help you make an informed decision, we'll explain what kinds of limitations free gaming VPNs bring.
- Limited Speed & Performance: Without any surprise, free VPNs are incapable of providing fast-enough performance for lag-free gaming sessions. Even if you have an ultra-fast Web connection, a free VPN will most likely limit your download and upload speed, so you'll end up with speeds that simply can't support online gaming.
- Limited Data Allowance: The majority of free VPNs impose daily, weekly, or monthly data allowances, as a way to cut their costs. You'll get from 500 MBs per day up to 10 GBs per month of free traffic, which is enough maybe for a few short gaming sessions.
- Limited Selection of Servers: While premium VPNs can offer servers in 100+ countries, free gaming VPNs typically focus on a couple of countries only. Since your access to VPN server locations will be limited, you'll most likely end up with high ping and latency.
- Limited Simultaneous Connections: There's no such thing as simultaneous connections in the world of free VPNs, as you'll be mostly limited to a single device. That means you'll need to be careful about how and when you initialize your VPN sessions.
- Limited Gaming-Focused Features: The best free VPN for gaming must feature DDoS protection, a range of VPN protocols, as well as protection against data leaks. However, the best examples of those features are found in premium gaming VPNs.
Comparison: Best Free VPN for Gaming
|Number of Servers||3,000+||5,500+||100+||10+||5|
|Number of Countries||90+||60+||3||10+||4|
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat||24/7 live chat||24/7 live chat|
|Trial / Free||30-day trial||30-day trial||Free||Free||Free|
In the end, we'll remind you of what we said above. Gaming over a VPN should be planned and executed carefully, as that's the only way to ensure a smooth gameplay session. That said, a free gaming VPN likely won't meet your needs, leading to a lot of wasted time and frustration. So, our recommendation is to go with a trial of a premium VPN.
If you want a risk-free decision, know that our #1 recommendation is ExpressVPN. By far, that's the best free gaming VPN available on the global market, making us sure that even the most hardcore gamers will be happy with this pick. On top of that, you're covered by its 30-day money-back policy, which means you essentially get a 30-day trial.
Is There a Free VPN for Gaming?
Yes, there are some free gaming VPNs available. However, they’re all limited in one way or another. So, be prepared to make some heavy compromises.
The best completely free gaming VPN is ProtonVPN, but it'll limit your speed in a big way. So, if you want a truly unlimited experience, you should go for ExpressVPN's trial.
Is a Free VPN Good for Online Gaming?
In general, free VPNs aren't good enough for gaming. However, as explained in this guide, you'll find some free VPNs that are useful for occasional gaming sessions.
What Free VPN Is Best for Gaming?
We recommend ExpressVPN free trial - as that's the best free gaming VPN overall, which you can use for free for up to 30 days.
ExpressVPN protects you against DDoS attacks, lets you connect to servers in 90+ countries, makes you invisible online, and allows you to bypass Internet restrictions.
Will a Free Gaming VPN Lower My Ping?
A free VPN can lower your ping if you connect to a server in your country. However, in most cases, you'll need to jump through hoops to make that happen.
Can I Use a Free VPN to Play Games from Other Countries?
Yes, you can use a free VPN to access games available in other countries. However, your options will be limited as free VPNs come with limited server networks.
Most free VPNs bring servers found in up to 10 countries. Premium VPNs, such as ExpressVPN, offer servers in 90+ countries, giving you a lot more options overall.
What’s the Best Free VPN for Gaming on Android?
The best free gaming VPN on Android is ProtonVPN. However, if you’re willing to try a free VPN trial, your pick should be ExpressVPN.
ProtonVPN has unlimited bandwidth but limits you to 3 countries. You’ll also encounter limited speeds. ExpressVPN gives you access to 90+ countries, unlimited bandwidth, as well as unlimited performance.
That would be all on the best free VPN for gaming. If you have any doubts, share them via the comments section below. Finally, thank you for reading!