Finding the best free VPN for gaming can be a very challenging process. Issues like high ping, input delays and lagging, and DDoS attacks are drawbacks of online games. Also, weak connections to game servers lead to online chat issues and negatively affect your co-op or team sessions. Luckily, a free gaming VPN should put an end to those issues.
That said, it's crucial to adjust your expectations. Free VPNs might cause performance issues, raise anti-VPN alarms, and even get you banned. Also, free gaming VPNs have bandwidth and performance limitations, which is the last thing you want when trying to play a game. So, we'll recommend some free VPN trials as well - giving you a taste of how a true gaming VPN service should work.
Aside from listing the best free VPNs for gaming (and the best VPN trials for gaming), we’ll show how to use them, compare free and free-trial VPNs, and discuss the limitations of free VPN services. Let’s get started!
Best Free Gaming VPNs - Our Shortlist
- ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated Free VPN Trial for Gaming
- NordVPN – Most Secure Free VPN Trial for Gaming
- Proton VPN – Best Free Gaming VPN with Unlimited Bandwith
- Windscribe – Best Free VPN for Gaming with Extensive Server Coverage
- Hide.Me – Best Free VPN for Occasional Gaming Sessions
How to Get a Free VPN Trial for Gaming
To get a free VPN trial for gaming (with unlimited speed and bandwidth), you need to sign up for a VPN that offers a trial, download its app, and initialize your VPN session before you start your gaming session. Just follow these steps:
- Sign up for a free VPN trial (we recommend ExpressVPN's 30-day risk-free trial).
- Download and install the VPN app on your gaming device.
- Launch the VPN and log in to your account to reach your VPN's home screen.
- Pick any VPN location and initialize your VPN session.
- You can launch your game or a digital game store/dedicated launcher. That's it!
Why use ExpressVPN's trial instead of a free gaming VPN? Well, a significant benefit to using ExpressVPN is that you'll get unlimited bandwidth as well as gaming-ready performance. Also, you'll get access to thousands of servers, multiple protocols, and high-end encryption. That's not something you'll find in any free VPN on the global market today.
The Best Free VPNs for Gaming in 2023
Your search for the best free gaming VPN must be based on specific criteria while keeping the limitations of free VPNs in mind. That said, your priority should be to get a VPN with unlimited bandwidth or at least a generous data allowance. Also, don't forget to check the supported devices, as you'll want a VPN that can be used on your gaming device of choice.
The same applies to its server network, as you need a VPN with as many servers as possible in as many locations as possible. Performance and speed are also crucial, as well as the ability to minimize ping and latency. Then, you need enough simultaneous connections, allowing you to connect to VPN servers from all your gaming devices at once.
If you want to evade anti-VPN blocks in games, the best free VPN for gaming must offer a kill switch. You'll also want a VPN with a no-logs policy, robust protocols, and reliable encryption to evade DDoS attacks. Lastly, there should be money-back guarantees (if you care about using a free VPN with an option to pay) and 24/7 available customer support.
Based on the requirements explained above, these are the 5 best free VPNs for gaming.
|Try Risk-Free Trial|| |
ExpressVPN is the best free VPN trial for gaming, as it gives you a taste of how a truly powerful VPN should function with no bandwidth limitations. You can get this trial on iOS or Android for free for up to 7 days. And if you subscribe via ExpressVPN's site, you'll get to test it for up to 30 days on all its supported devices.
The best thing is - it works on any computer or phone, and you can even use it on a router (perfect for Xbox and PlayStation users). In terms of its server network, ExpressVPN brings 3,000+ high-end servers in 90+ countries - all of which will be available during your ExpressVPN free trial as well.
Then, this VPN has OpenVPN and Lightway protocols, masking your IP. Lightway is the VPN's proprietary protocol, bringing privacy and security while still minimizing your ping and latency.
It features AES-256 encryption and a powerful kill switch, so you won't have to worry about DDoS attacks. And more importantly, this is an audited no-logs VPN. You can use all these benefits from up to 5 devices at once, as that's the limit this VPN imposes on the number of simultaneous connections.
To top it all off, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on today's global market, per our own tests. It works equally well when connecting to both nearby and remote servers. Also, even the most remote servers 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, so you'll resolve your issue in record time.
Also, this VPN has a no-questions-asked 30-day money-back policy. That means you'll have 30 days to test-drive this VPN without any limitations whatsoever.
- 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.
- 5 simultaneous connections.
NordVPN is another risk-free VPN trial that we wholeheartedly recommend for gaming. If you're on iOS or Android, you can try NordVPN for free for 7 days. You can also test this VPN on all its supported devices (computers, phones, routers, and more) if you subscribe via its website, as you'll get an unlimited 30-day trial (based on money-back guarantees).
On top of that, you'll see that NordVPN supports any device imaginable, and you'll get access to unlimited bandwidth and unthrottled speed. As you can see, your NordVPN free trial gives you the option to experience a true gaming VPN, free for a limited time.
This VPN has 5,500+ servers in around 60 countries. So, it doesn't have the most expansive network but should get the job done in terms of minimizing your ping and latency. Its servers are spread evenly, targeting more popular "VPN destinations" and ensuring you get gaming-friendly performance and speed.
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, and you'll get 6 simultaneous connections.
NordVPN is backed by a no-logs policy, AES-256 encryption, and 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. There's also a kill switch in charge of eliminating data leaks.
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.
Lastly, we'll again remind you that you can get NordVPN's 30-day free trial since it comes with no-questions-asked money-back guarantees.
- 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.
- Not the largest server fleet.
When it comes to the best free VPN for gaming, you won’t find a better option than Proton VPN. This VPN has a truly free-of-charge tier (you can use it indefinitely) that ensures your privacy is protected while also bringing unlimited bandwidth. Also, it works on computers and phones, but you won't be able to use it on your router (the free tier doesn't support that option).
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, a free Proton VPN account lets you connect to 100+ servers 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 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. Nonetheless, it has protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard, coupled with high-end encryption and a no-logs policy.
Also, a free account lets you use this VPN on a single device only (there are no simultaneous connections). And when it comes to advanced features, you'll be protected by a kill switch. Obfuscation is also available through a "Stealth" protocol designed by Proton VPN's team.
We'll also mention that Proton VPN comes with a comprehensive customer support section on its website. However, there's no live chat available. Lastly, if you decide to become a paying customer at some point, you'll get to count on Proton VPN's 30-day money-back policy.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Protection against DDoS attacks.
- Ultra-strong VPN protocols.
- Works on many devices.
- Very easy to use.
- Trustworthy and long-standing brand.
- Limited performance.
- Limited server network.
- No simultaneous connections.
- No live chat support.
There are several reasons why Windscribe is one of the best free VPNs 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. On top of that, it works on computers and phones, and you can also install it on a router (but that's not very practical, as you'll soon see).
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, referring it to your friends, and in other ways. So, getting 10GB of data isn't that difficult, to be honest.
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 and stable ping/latency, so paying attention to your data allowance 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. Those are coupled with extra-strong encryption, and there's a no-logs policy involved as well. Also, Windscribe offers an advanced version of a kill switch called "Windscribe Firewall." And yes, obfuscation is on board as well.
When it comes to Windscribe's support, they don't offer live chat support but use a bot instead, which is mostly unhelpful. Also, if you decide to become a paying customer, you likely won't be eligible for a refund. That's because Windscribe doesn't issue refunds after the first 3 days of your subscription or after you download more than 10GB of data.
- Series of solid VPN protocols.
- Servers in 10 countries.
- Relatively fast performance.
- Kill switch + obfuscation.
- Good enough for gaming.
- Limited bandwidth.
- You get 10GB/month max.
- No live chat support.
- Strict money-back policy.
Hide.Me is yet another best free gaming VPN that brings somewhat relaxed restrictions. Those should be enough to support occasional gaming sessions, and the good news is that you'll get a free VPN with no duration restrictions. However, as you’ll soon see for yourself, Hide.Me comes with some heavy compromises.
We must also mention that Hide.Me brings very simple-looking applications for computers and phones. You’ll find those on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and more. Using this free VPN on a router is not feasible as you'd expect. Also, it limits you to a single connection (no simultaneous connections).
Also, you’ll get 10GB of data 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, and SoftEther. On top of that, you get AES-256, which should be enough to keep DDoS attacks away. A kill switch is also there, available on Windows and macOS and - also, Hide.Me is a no-logs VPN provider.
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. And if you decide to switch to being a paying customer, know that Hide.Me will offer you a 30-day money-back policy.
- Strong and reliable protocols.
- No-logs VPN policy.
- No ads of any kind.
- Relatively fast nearby connections.
- Limited bandwidth.
- Limited speed.
- Limited server network.
- You get 10GB/month.
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 Duration||7 days||7 days||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Money-Back Guarantees||30 days||30 days||30 days||3 days||30 days|
How to Choose the Best Free VPN for Gaming
To choose the best free VPN for gaming, you need to establish some requirements first. So, here's what we paid attention to when sifting through countless VPNs:
- Fast Speeds & Low Ping: Most free VPNs aren't fast enough for gaming. So, try to pick one from a reputable VPN that offers servers near your location. That's perhaps the only way to ensure you get the lowest possible ping and lowest latency.
- Sufficient Data Allowance: Practically all free VPNs impose data restrictions, limiting you from 500MB to 10GB per month. Ensure you get a free gaming VPN aligned with how much you play online games. Otherwise, your gaming session will suddenly get interrupted.
- Solid Security & Privacy: Make no compromises when looking for a free VPN for gaming. Get a VPN with the OpenVPN protocol, as that's the best way to safeguard your data and get a reliable VPN connection. AES-256 encryption should be there as well.
- Evenly Distributed Servers: Expect to encounter tiny server fleets, so pay extra attention to whether you'll get any nearby servers. Also, check the countries and locations covered, as that'll influence the performance of your connection.
- Minimize Risks: As noted in this guide, most free VPNs act as scams. So, pick a free VPN from a reputable brand known for sticking to its no-logs policy.
Free VPN vs. Free Trial VPN for Gaming
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 a table to show you why.
|Free VPNs||Free-Trial VPNs|
|Trial Duration||N/A||7 Days|
|Money-Back Guarantees||N/A||30 Days|
|Data Allowance||YES (limited)||NO (unlimited)|
|Access to Servers||Limited||Unlimited|
|Access to VPN Features||Limited||Unlimited|
|Speed & Performance||Very Limited||Unlimited|
|Minimal Ping & Latency||NO||YES|
|Data Protection||NO (usually)||YES|
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 many 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.
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.
Why Free Gaming VPNs Might Be Dangerous?
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 (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 Are Easily Breached: We've seen tons of reports over the years about how free VPNs employ low-lever server security. So, aside from their tendency to log sensitive data, they can also be easily breached (so someone else might steal your information).
- 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.
The Limitations of Free Gaming VPNs
Even the best free VPN for gaming will come 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: Most free VPNs impose daily, weekly, or monthly data allowances as a way to cut their costs. You'll get from 500 MB per day up to 10 GB per month of free traffic, which is enough for a few short gaming sessions.
- Limited Selection of Servers: While premium VPNs can offer servers in 90+ countries, free gaming VPNs typically focus on a couple of countries only. Since your access to VPN server locations will be limited, you'll 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.
Free VPNs to Avoid for Gaming
Most free VPNs aren't suitable for gaming. However, there are some downright unable free VPNs that you should avoid at all costs. Those VPNs are:
- Hola Free VPN - This isn't a VPN, per se. It's a P2P network instead, designed to allow other individuals to use your Web connection's resources. Data logging is also involved.
- Betternet VPN - There are numerous reports online about Betternet's inability to prevent data leaks. So, this VPN could lead you to get banned from your favorite game.
- TunnelBear - The premium VPN of TunnelBear is good, but the free version is incredibly limited (500MB/month). It's also painfully slow, so using it for gaming is not an option.
- TouchVPN - Unlike most other VPNs, this one still uses PPTP, which is an obsolete VPN protocol. It also doesn't have a kill switch, so you'll risk exposing your data.
- Other Free VPNs - There are tons of shady free VPNs you need to avoid, especially if you want to avoid your data being logged. Some of those VPNs are Turbo VPN, EasyVPN, Hoxx CVPN, Archie VPN, Hat VPN, GO VPN, VPN One Click, iNinjaVPN, SuperVPN, and more.
Can You Use a Free VPN for Gaming?
Yes, you certainly can use a free VPN for gaming - but only if you set your expectations right because free VPNs have all kinds of limitations. So, we can't really recommend using a free VPN for gaming, especially if you want the best possible online gameplay experience.
More precisely, free VPNs typically have limited server networks. That means you'll have a hard time keeping your ping and latency under control. Then, they also impose bandwidth and speed limitations, allowing you to use them for a limited period of time only. And more importantly, their security features are on the weak side, so you'll risk your privacy.
That said, it's obvious that only a premium gaming VPN can give you the experience you expect and deserve. Check our guide to the best VPN for gaming for more information.
In all honesty, even the best free VPN for gaming 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. That's the best free gaming VPN 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?
Is a Free VPN Good for Online Gaming?
No, a free VPN usually isn't good enough for gaming. However, as explained in this guide, you'll find some free VPNs that are useful for occasional gaming sessions.
Which VPN Is Best for Gaming for Free?
We recommend ExpressVPN free trial as that's the best gaming VPN, which you can use for free for up to 30 days. It protects you against DDoS attacks, lets you connect to servers in 90+ countries, makes you invisible online, and allows you to bypass Internet restrictions.
Can a Free VPN Reduce Game Ping?
Yes, 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 have limited server networks (most free VPNs bring servers in up to 10 countries).
Is There a Completely Free VPN for PC?
Yes, there are completely free VPNs for PC. One such VPN is ProtonVPN, which comes with unlimited bandwidth and costs 0$ - for an unlimited period of time. However, it does have some limitations (it's on the slow side and has a small server fleet).
What’s the Best Free VPN for Gaming on Android?
What Is the Best Free VPN for GTA 5?
The best free VPN for GTA 5 is ExpressVPN, which comes with every single feature to bring you a stress-free GTA Online session. You can use it for up to 30 days for free, as dictated by its money-back policy.
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!