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The best VPNs for gaming in Australia

Streamline online gaming with these multiplayer-friendly VPNs.

Best VPN for gaming
ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN
4 out of 5 stars
4
Annual pricing from
US$10
/mth
  • pro
    Fast to connect
  • pro
    Competitive monthly pricing
Cheap VPN for gaming
Mullvad VPN
Mulldad VPN
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Flat-rate fee
€5
/mth
  • pro
    Flat-rate fee with no surprises
  • pro
    Speedy Australian servers
Best VPN for gaming in Australia
Hotspot Shield
Hotspot Shield
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Annual pricing from
AU$11.99
/mth
  • pro
    Free version for the basics
  • pro
    Very speedy VPN
Best VPN for US gaming servers
Windscribe
Windscribe VPN
4 out of 5 stars
4
Annual pricing from
US$9
/mth
  • pro
    Limitless simultaneous connections
  • con
    Unreliable connectivity on PC
Best VPN for UK gaming servers
Nord VPN
NordVPN
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
Annual pricing from
US$4.99
/mth
  • pro
    Incredibly easy to use
  • con
    Windows software quirks
December 12, 2022
5 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

Virtual private network (VPN) software is primarily used for greater online anonymity and security. But VPNs are multifaceted tools, which are great for streaming, plus certain VPNs are beneficial for online gaming.

For a great gaming VPN, the primary focus should be on a minimal impact to latency once connected, whether that’s in Australia or stretching out to opposite corners of the world like the UK and the US. A minimal impact to download and upload speeds can be important but are ultimately secondary to latency. Prices range from around €5 to $19.99 per month for a VPN that works great with gaming.

VPN pricing: Different VPN providers charge in different currencies. To maintain accuracy, we don't publish currency conversions where a VPN doesn't offer plans in the Australian dollar (AUD). 

Info Box
Why use a VPN for gaming?
VPNs can be used for many things, but we’d generally advise against using one for online gaming. Why? VPNs tend to add latency to your connection, which can impact real-time online tasks, including gaming. That said, sometimes a VPN is a great tool for online gaming that offers better server routing than your internet provider, particularly when it comes to playing games in countries outside of Australia.
Category
Brand
Best price
See full features
Best gaming VPN overallProtonVPNUS$3.99/mth
Two-year plan
Best cheap gaming VPNMullvad VPN€3.99/mth
Flat-rate fee
Best AU gaming VPNHotspot ShieldAU$11.99/mth
One-year plan
Best US gaming VPNWindscribeFree Basic
Plans from AU$11.99/mth (Yearly)
Best UK gaming VPNNordVPNUS$4.99/mth
One-year plan

ProtonVPN

Best VPN for gaming

4 out of 5 stars
4
Servers
1,625
Countries
63
Simultaneous connections
10
🔥50% off 2-year plan
US$3.99
/mth

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

pro
Pros
pro Excellent global latency
pro Acceptable download speed changes
pro Acceptable upload speed changes
con
Cons
con Potentially overwhelming interface
con Somewhat low server count
con Could have better download/upload speeds

The best VPN for gaming is one that consistently offers low latency wherever you connect in the world. And that’s exactly what ProtonVPN does with admirable results. For Australian latency, there was no impact to latency during my tests. Admittedly, this is because ProtonVPN has VPN servers in the same city as me. So factor that in if you’re not in a populous part of Australia where VPN servers tend to be. Still, that’s a great result and makes it an excellent pick for online gaming. Additionally, ProtonVPN is only a few milliseconds slower than the fastest VPNs we’ve tested when connecting to US servers. ProtonVPN also has bragging rights to the best latency results for connecting to servers in the UK, too. While the impact to download and upload speeds isn’t the best, it’s still contextually acceptable next to its peers.

Alternatively, consider TunnelBear, Mullvad, Windscribe or NordVPN for low-latency online gaming with a VPN.

Mullvad VPN

Best cheap VPN for gaming

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Servers
850+
Countries
40
Simultaneous connections
5
Flat-rate fee
€5
/mth

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

pro
Pros
pro Cheap, predictable pricing
pro Excellent global latency
pro Acceptable download/upload speed changes
con
Cons
con No long-subscription discounts
con Low global server count
con Five simultaneous connections

Mullvad tied second place with TunnelBear and Windscribe for the best overall latency in our tests, but it has a clear lead when it comes to cost. Most VPN services get cheaper the longer you pay for them. But not Mullvad. Instead, Mullvad offers flat-rate €5 monthly costs whether you stay for a month, a year or in perpetuity. The result is an incredibly cheap monthly VPN that lets you tap in and out as you need. In terms of latency results, Mullvad was second for least impact to Australian and US speeds, and third for UK latency (only 2ms slower than ProtonVPN). Mullvad also has an acceptable hit to download and upload speeds, though it’s restricted in global servers and only allows for five simultaneous connections.

For a cheap alternative, consider TunnelBear (particularly the three-year plan).

Alternatively, consider TunnelBear, Mullvad, Windscribe or NordVPN for low-latency online gaming with a VPN.

Stock photograph of someone using Proton VPN, one of the best VPNs in Australia

See the best of the best

The truth of the matter is that most of our top VPN picks will be good for gaming. That's because we review and rank VPNs on the qualities that make them good for gaming in the first place. 

Hotspot Shield

Best gaming VPN for Australian servers

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
Servers
1,800+
Countries
80+
Simultaneous connections
10 (Premium) or 25 (Premium Family)
Annual plan starts at
AU$11.99
/mo

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Of the 16 VPNs we’ve tested for latency, download and upload speeds, only Private Internet Access had a double-digit impact on latency (and that was a manageable 10ms). Every other VPN had a minimal impact, but Hotspot Shield was one of a handful that gave the same latency result as our baseline no-VPN tests. What helps elevate Hotspot Shield above the other contenders is a minimal impact to download speeds and basically no impact to upload speeds in our tests. For other countries, Hotspot Shield was only 8ms behind the winners for US latency but 35ms slower for our UK tests. Despite only allowing for five simultaneous connections, Hotspot Shield is an easy-to-use, versatile and speedy VPN.

For VPN alternatives that worked great in our Australian tests, consider ProtonVPN, Windscribe or Hola VPN.

Windscribe

Best VPN for US gaming

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Servers
7,900
Locations
170+
Simultaneous connections
Unlimited
Annual plan starts at
US$9
/mth

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Not only does Windscribe have bragging rights to the equal lowest US latency, it’s also equal first for the best latency in Australia. There’s a minimal impact on Australian download and upload speeds but, admittedly, that starts to change when you shift to the US (acceptable) or to the UK (noticeably slower). Still, latency is what matters most when it comes to a gaming VPN. One of the best perks of Windscribe, though, is it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections, so you can install it on any compatible gaming device in the home. While it does have a low global server count, Windscribe is an excellent streaming companion for bypassing geoblocks.

For low-latency US alternatives, consider Mullvad, TunnelBear or IPVanish.

NordVPN

Best VPN for UK gaming

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
Servers
5,500+
Countries
83
Simultaneous connections
6
Annual plan starts at
US$4.99
/mth

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

NordVPN isn’t just our pick of the best VPN for streaming games in the UK, it’s also our pick of the best VPN service available today. In terms of UK latency, it was a mere 2ms slower than ProtonVPN, albeit with a lesser impact to download and upload speeds. For those curious to use NordVPN for gaming in other parts of the world, it was only 3ms slower than Windscribe and IPVanish for US servers, and only 1ms slower than our best results for Australian latency. While restricted to six simultaneous connections, NordVPN is also great for streaming and has plenty of servers around the world. If you’re after an extremely versatile VPN for gaming and everything else, NordVPN is well worth considering.

For alternatives, consider ProtonVPN, Mullvad or TunnelBear.

Methodology

How we choose the best gaming VPN

The main way we determine the best gaming VPNs for our categories is by first running a variety of speed tests. We start our comparisons with a baseline speed test without a VPN connected. All tests are performed on an Ethernet-connected Windows 11 PC with no other devices or apps using the internet.

We then connect to the fastest available servers in Australia, the US (typically Los Angeles) and the UK (usually London). If there’s an option for a manual server connection, we may test these for differences in results. The logic with testing these locations is not only because they’re popular places to play for Australians, they’re also at extreme distances from Australia (Sydney, specifically). This paints a picture of how well a VPN should perform with shorter connection distances.

Finally, we also consider the impact on download and upload speeds, depending on the region, though this is secondary to latency. We also use other factors—such as the number of simultaneous connections, server counts and locations, as well as price—to help separate contenders from category winners.

What to look for in a gaming VPN

A good gaming VPN is one that has minimal impact on the latency of your internet connection. That said, the best way to address latency is to opt for an internet provider renowned for low latency (use the best NBN providers according to ACCC data as a guide) and, where possible, use a wired Ethernet connection instead of wireless WiFi.

For a right-fit gaming VPN, choose one that works best in the countries you play (or want to play) the most. Alternatively opt for a versatile all-rounder instead. Not every VPN is as good at handling latency the world over as it may be for certain locations.

If there are close contenders in your comparisons, look for differentiators. Price is the most obvious one, but so too is the number of servers in the locations you tend to play. More servers, means better options of uptime and fewer overloaded connections.

Frequently asked questions about gaming with VPNs

Is a VPN good for gaming?

VPNs generally aren’t good for gaming because they tend to add latency to your internet connection. That said, there are VPNs with minimal latency impact or those that may have better server routing than your internet provider.

Which is the best VPN for gaming?
The best VPN for gaming is the service that offers the lowest impact on latency. For our Sydney-based tests, we recommend ProtonVPN overall, Windscribe for US gaming and NordVPN for UK gaming.
Will a VPN reduce ping?
VPNs tend to increase ping (latency). That said, there are VPNs with no impact (or a minimal one) on latency, depending on how close you are to the nearest VPN server. In our tests, those VPNs were ProtonVPN, Hotspot Shield, Windscribe and Hola VPN. Additionally, certain VPNs handle traffic routing better than internet providers, which can also help reduce connection latency. The other benefit is it makes your device appear as though it’s connecting from another country. This can be used to access Netflix libraries in other countries or access streaming services that are geoblocked.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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