Choosing a VPN can be a tricky thing for a PC gamer. On the one hand, you want your data and your computer to be protected from attackers and your use of the internet kept private from companies seeking to sell your personal information to third parties. On the other hand, VPN can seriously slow down your game, causing lagging and jittery gameplay. And it’s no wonder – by using a VPN you are often bouncing your input through servers that could be on the other side of the world.
Most VPNs slow down your download and upload speeds but that’s not the worst part. The latency involved in sending your data to a VPN and getting it back again can be hugely increased, causing lag in the crucial seconds of your game that can mean the difference between a win and a loss.
However not all VPNs are created equal, and some can actually improve your speeds. So we’ve rounded up three different ones with different strengths depending on what it is you’re looking for.
£2.06 per month
Pure VPN is the VPN with the fastest download speeds we could find, far outshining its competitors. The way it does this is by seeing your location and selecting one of the hundreds of servers for you to connect to based on that and multiple other factors. It also offers split tunneling, which conserves precious bandwidth and prevents virtual traffic jams when you’re trying to browse two things at once. What’s more, it can be used on multiple varied devices including Windows, Mac, Android and much more with very little trouble.
Although it is not a hugely advanced VPN, Pure VPN does pretty much all the jobs one would generally want, working on all the main PC and phone systems as well as offering a Chrome plug-in feature which is ideal for some. Although it didn’t offer the highest upload or lowest latency speeds, it was definitely up there in the top three each time.
£2.10 per month
Probably one of the VPNs with the best reputation in the business, NordVPN is a huge hit with gamers, and it’s easy to see why. Although it doesn’t boast the huge download speeds offered by PureVPN, it’s definitely up there, with over a thousand different servers across the globe, including specialised servers, designed to give you the fastest access possible on up to six different devices at once. Like PureVPN it also offers a Chrome plug-in with an added adblocking and anti-malware feature making internet browsing easy.
It contains all the latest protocols to keep your data as well protected as possible and performed very well (but not the best) over all three speeds that we measured. It was, unfortunately, the most expensive server we tested although it did offer a slightly less powerful free version.
£1.90 per month
The cheapest of our three VPNs, PrivateInternetAccess is never going to perform as well as its two counterparts in this review, however it is fantastic value for money. Its speeds are a little slower than NordVPN and PureVPN but they are still up there in the top 5 of all the VPNs that we tested. It allows connection on up to six devices and links you up with thousands of individual servers including specialised ones. Like NordVPN, it also offers adblocking although does not offer the same anti-malware add-on. For those of you on a tighter budget, we would definitely recommend.