The Best VPN for Gaming in May 2021 [Based on 150+ Tests]

Last updated: May 3, 2021

Which VPN is best for gaming? ExpressVPN is the best VPN to use for gaming in Australia. With its 3000+ servers in 94 countries, you can access exclusive gaming content or shop for games at a discount online. The Lightway tunneling protocol (built on the WireGuard blue-print) helps counter bandwidth throttling and lags and keeps DDoS attacks at bay. You get all this and more for $6.67/month only.
 

According to Digital Australia report 2020, every 2 out of 3 Australians play video games either on their PC, mobile, console, tablet, or handheld device. That’s quite a large gaming audience. 

Unfortunately, gamers in Australia aren’t always served well, though. The Classification Board keeps handing out bans left, right, and center, robbing off the local gaming community of the titles that their friends abroad play and enjoy. When it’s not the regulatory authorities intervening, the ISPs try to make things difficult, cutting down on the gaming traffic to save their resources. And if that isn’t all, the online gaming marketplaces make sure that people in Australia pay up for their purchases, often charging them more than let’s say someone living in Argentina, India, or maybe even in the UK.

Enough ranting; let’s talk about the solution.

Using a VPN can help you with many of your gaming woes. It can give you access to gaming content, otherwise unavailable (or blocked) in Australia. You can encrypt your traffic and overcome bandwidth throttling issues. In fact, a VPN can even get you games at a cheap price by spoofing your real location. Cool, right?  

So what are the best gaming VPNs for Australia in May 2021?

The Best Gaming VPN 2021 – Quick summary

Our 150+ test results showed that these are the five best VPNs for gaming in Australia in May 2021:

  1. ExpressVPN Best VPN for gaming in Australia. Clocks an average download speed of 58.3 Mbps locally, and 53.3 Mbps when connected to US servers on a 65 Mbps line.
  2. Surfshark Cheapest VPN for gamers in Australia. Excellent combination of coverage, speed, and security, supports unlimited connections, costs only 2.49/month. 
  3. NordVPN A close contender for the top gaming VPN spot. More than 5000 servers in 58 countries, obfuscation technology to allow gaming on restrictive networks, NordLynx protection for DDoS attacks.
  4. PureVPN Expansive server-park for gamers to enjoy. Get access to servers in 140 countries and download and shop gaming content without worrying about the geo-walls.
  5. PIA VPN Helpful gaming feature. Sort by latency and connect to the fastest available server from an inventory of 19,000+ server units.

5 best VPNs for gaming in Australia – Full analysis (Mar. 2021 Updated)

Finding the right VPN solution for gaming can be a bit tricky. We analyzed over 50 VPN services and conducted 150+ tests, before shortlisting the five top-performing VPNs that satisfied our criteria for the best gaming VPN to the maximum. Every time we unboxed a VPN service for testing, we specifically looked at its:

  • Server fleet size [Target = 2000 servers at least
  • Location of the servers [Target = Coverage in all major regions
  • Tunnelling protocol inventory [Target = OpenVPN protection or higher]
  • Available device support [Target = All major operating platforms]
  • Speed performance [Target = Deviation ≤ 30%]

For speed, we basically conducted two types of tests, one for ping rate, and the other for download speed. To measure ping, we played four matches of PUBG and Fortnite each, two on Ethernet and two on Wi-Fi. Our focus was to minimize the negative impact on the gameplay because no matter what, VPNs almost always increase your ping. For the download speed, we used the Ookla speed test tool.  

Below are our five best-handpicked VPNs for gamers in Australia, fully tested.


1) ExpressVPN is the best VPN for gaming in Australia overall

ExpressVPN for gaming

Operating from the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is the best VPN service for gamers in Australia. It offers 3000+ servers in 94 countries. All servers are RAM-operated. What this basically means is your data isn’t stored on the server deck and is wiped every time the machines are rebooted. This mitigates on-site data theft risks. Not really important for gaming, but an essential feature to have when using a VPN for other online activities such as torrenting.

In regards to gaming specifically, ExpressVPN helps with unblocking and accessing exclusive regional content. You can connect to any of its 3000+ servers and use them for download and bypassing geo-blocks, problem-free. However, its actual forte lies in providing you high speed and relatively low ping.

ExpressVPN offers five live server locations in Australia

ExpressVPN is incredibly fast. In fact, it’s the fastest “tested” VPN on our books. Locally, you get download speeds of up to 58.3 Mbps on a baseline of 62.8 Mbps and virtually undeterred ping rates. These observations are consistent across almost all Australian servers. Play Minecraft, League of Legends, or Dota 2 with your friends and have a blast. The Lightway tunneling protocol (built on the WireGuard blue-print) keeps all bandwidth throttling issues at bay and protects you from the more serious DDoS attacks. The speed on international servers is also quite good, recording an average deviation of just 18% from the standard.

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping20 (ms)
Control Upload24.5 (Mbps)
Control Download62.8 (Mbps)
AU Server Ping23 (ms)
AU Server Upload21.6 (Mbps)
Au Server Download58.3 (Mbps)

ExpressVPN is excellent with its device support, too. You can use ExpressVPN on a wide range of systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android TV, smart TV, Apple TV, NVIDIA Shield TV, FireStick, and more. The service allows up to five simultaneous connections.   

You can get ExpressVPN for $6.67/month on a 1-year + 3 free months plan. That’s a little expensive but totally worth the money.  

Try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 daysPlay and download your favourite games

2) Surfshark is the cheapest VPN for gaming in Australia

surfshark

Based in the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark occupies the second spot in our list of best VPN services for gaming in Australia. It offers 3200+ servers in 65 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, UAE, and more. The wide server coverage allows you to enjoy exclusive gaming content (like special character skins, DLC, pre-order bonus packages, etc.) otherwise only available in selected regions. You can also use Surfshark to buy games at a discount.

On the gameplay front, Surfshark provides you with different nifty tools to beat ISP-induced throttling and other artificially-created network issues. For example, all Surfshark servers come with a default Camouflage mode that makes your traffic completely invisible to your ISP. Having no idea of what you are up to, your ISP is unable to limit your bandwidth. Likewise, you have WireGuard, which protects your connection from DDoS attacks by completely masking your IP address. Sadly, DDoS attacks exist in the gaming world too. Some P2P gamers use these attacks to disrupt their competition, either slowing them down or taking them off the game completely. 

Surfshark protocol settings

Surfshark also makes sure you never have to face any connectivity issues, either locally or internationally. You get four live server locations in Australia. These locations provide fast and stable servers for gaming with your friends. It also has servers in the US that clock an average download speed of 49.3 Mbps on a 65 Mbps connection. That’s a deviation of almost 24%, which isn’t bad at all. We recorded the following speed scores for the Australian servers:

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping20 (ms)
Control Upload24.5 (Mbps)
Control Download62.8 (Mbps)
AU Server Ping34 (ms)
AU Server Upload20.5 (Mbps)
Au Server Download55.3 (Mbps)

Talking about the device support, you get unlimited simultaneous logins for a wide range of devices, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. In fact, you can set up Surfshark even on your Android TV, smart TV, streaming devices, or home router. It costs $2.49/month only, making it the cheapest gaming VPN on the market. 

The bottom-line: With so many features and an unbeatable price tag, no wonder Surfshark is ranked #1 on our list of best gaming VPNs for Australia.

Try Surfshark risk-free for 30 daysPlay and download your favourite games

3) NordVPN is a top-quality gaming VPN in Australia

nordvpn

NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN service and one of the best gaming VPNs on the market for Australia. It has a large server park of 5000+ servers, spread across 58 countries – a useful attribute to have if you’re a stickler for geo-restricted games or retailer or pre-order exclusives.

One thing that we really like about NordVPN is its obfuscation feature. Basically, the feature gives you access to specially-optimized servers that let you play games such as Fortnite and PUBG on highly-restricted networks. This really helps if you are trying to have some fun from your office or college, where gaming traffic is normally blocked. You can enable obfuscation from the settings menu inside the NordVPN app. All obfuscated servers come with OpenVPN protection and provide instant connectivity to the US, Canada, UK, Japan, Germany, France, Singapore, Turkey, Switzerland, UAE, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, and Sweden. Unfortunately, there are no obfuscated servers for Australia, but you can use Singapore or Japanese servers for your gaming fix. 

NordVPN obfuscation servers

Like Surfshark, NordVPN also offers throttling and DDoS protection. It does so by using the NordLynx tunneling protocol, a WireGuard equivalent, built to deliver the highest level of anonymity and encryption. 

The NordLynx protocol also ensures you get excellent speed for your gaming downloads and gameplay. We ran three randomly picked NordVPN US servers through the Ookla speed test tool. The servers clocked an average download speed of 52.1 Mbps, returning a drop of almost 20%. You get five server locations in Australia for local gaming, too. All locations provide fast and stable connections. Below are the speed scores as recorded for the Australian servers: 

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping21 (ms)
Control Upload23.3 (Mbps)
Control Download61.8 (Mbps)
AU Server Ping30 (ms)
AU Server Upload20.7 (Mbps)
Au Server Download56.6 (Mbps)

In terms of device support, NordVPN offers a great variety. It works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Apple TV, Android TV, and smart TV. However, it’s not the best VPN to use with FireStick or NVIDIA Shield. You can connect up to six devices simultaneously. NordVPN costs $3.71/month and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try NordVPN risk-free for 30 daysPlay and download your favourite games

 


4) PureVPN is best for exclusive or discounted gaming content

purevpn

PureVPN is a Hong Kong-based VPN service, operating 6500+ servers in over 140 countries. No other VPN offers this level of global presence, which makes PureVPN perfect for playing your favourite geo-locked games or accessing exclusives from Australia. 

Many publishers release games only in a certain market. You can’t play these games unless you live there. For example, Phantasy Star Online 2 was available to the Japanese audience only for the most part of this decade. And although it has now finally been released in Australia, the local gaming community had to wait for almost 8 years to get their hands on it. 

PureVPN eliminates this problem by giving you access to servers in 180 locations around the world. With a local server, you can easily mask your real IP address and play any region-locked game from Australia. Likewise, you can also use PureVPN to access exclusive content of your favourite game that may not be available here.

PureVPN servers

PureVPN helps you get games on a cheap too. If you’ve ever shopped for games online, you’d know that marketplaces price you depending on your location. For example, Microsoft Store sells Battlefield 5 for $19.99 in the US. If you’re from Australia, the same edition costs you $22.23. So there are savings to be made if you simply switch your location using PureVPN.

PureVPN does a decent job on the gameplay front as well. It provides OpenVPN encryption to hide your gaming traffic from your ISP. This prevents them from throttling your bandwidth. Furthermore, OpenVPN also helps with hiding your IP address, which keeps other gamers from targeting your network with a DDoS. 

You get 56 servers in Australia for local gaming. The ping and download speeds on these servers are pretty good, although not as impressive as other VPNs on this list. We also tested its US servers, which showed a drop of around 29%.

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping22 (ms)
Control Upload22.7 (Mbps)
Control Download61.6 (Mbps)
AU Server Ping39 (ms)
AU Server Upload17.2 (Mbps)
Au Server Download52.8 (Mbps)

Talking about device support, PureVPN allows up to ten simultaneous connections with a wide range of devices. The list of compatible devices includes Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android TV, smart TV, and Apple TV among others. You can get PureVPN for $3.33/month on a 2-year plan

Try PureVPN risk-free for 31 daysPlay and download your favourite games

5) PIA VPN is a newbie-friendly VPN for gaming

PIA VPN

PIA is a US-based VPN service, operating 19,000+ servers in 76 countries. All servers support WireGuard protocol

WireGuard is the latest tunneling protocol developed by the VPN industry, offering top-notch encryption and privacy to users. It is the successor to the widely used OpenVPN tunneling protocol. It is virtually leak-proof, meaning it never reveals your traffic content to your ISP. With your gaming activity completely hidden, your ISP is unable to carry out traffic shaping in any form, and you can enjoy gaming lag-free.

Likewise, WireGuard also does a solid job of keeping your IP address private on gaming servers, so that your competitors can’t direct a DDoS attack against you and bring your speed down.

PIA VPN servers with latency

Aside from having a robust network protection mechanism, what makes PIA VPN truly special for gamers is its easy-to-use app. When you log in to PIA VPN, you see a full list of servers that are available for connection. In front of each server, there are latency scores. These scores help you decide the fastest server for your gaming fix. Ideally, if you’re into multiplayer gaming, you want a server with a latency of less than 80ms. While that’s easier to achieve with local servers, it’s almost impossible on international servers. For casual (solo) gaming, however, anything less than 500 ms works fine. Here, your focus should mainly be on getting high download speeds. 

Fortunately, PIA VPN offers great download speeds too. We tested its US servers on the Ookla speed test tool and recorded an average download speed of 50.7 Mbps on a 65 Mbps internet connection. That’s a deviation of 22%, which is pretty good. Meanwhile, the clocked speed scores for Australia were as follows:  

Speed Test TypeSpeed Test Results
Control Ping23 (ms)
Control Upload24.3 (Mbps)
Control Download64.1 (Mbps)
AU Server Ping32 (ms)
AU Server Upload19.2 (Mbps)
Au Server Download54.4 (Mbps)

PIA VPN is also compatible with a wide range of devices. These include Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. To secure your gaming consoles, however, you must set up the VPN service on your home router. 

Like PureVPN, PIA also supports up to ten multi-logins. You can get its 2-year plan for $2.69/month, which comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Try PIA VPN risk-free for 30 daysPlay and download your favourite games

Best VPNs for gaming – Comparison table (May 2021 Updated)

VPN ServiceTested ObservationsMoney-back GuaranteeLimited Time Offer
ExpressVPN (Best gaming VPN for Australia)3000+ servers, average AU download speed 58.3 Mbps, bandwidth throttling and DDoS protection with Lightway protocol, five simultaneous connections, compatible with a wide range of devices30 days
($6.67/month)
Get 49% off coupon
Surfshark
3200+ servers, average AU download speed 55.3 Mbps, bandwidth throttling and DDoS protection with Camouflage mode and WireGuard protocol, unlimited simultaneous connections,  supports a wide range of devices30 days

($2.49/month)

Get 81% off coupon
NordVPN5000+ servers, average AU download speed 56.6 Mbps, DDoS protection with NordLynx protocol, obfuscation feature,  six multi-logins, strong device support30 days
($3.71/month)
Get 68% off coupon
PureVPN6500+ servers, average AU download speed 52.8 Mbps, access to gaming content in 180, bandwidth throttling and DDoS protection with OpenVPN protocol, ten simultaneous connections, supports a wide range of devices31 days
($3.33/month)
Get 70% off coupon
PIA VPN19,000+ servers, average download speed 54.4 Mbps, bandwidth throttling and DDoS protection with WireGuard, easy-to-use app interface, ten multi-logins, compatible with a wide range of devices30 days
($2.69/month)
Get 77% off coupon

Is VPN good for gaming?

A VPN can be a powerful tool for tackling bandwidth throttling issues while playing games. It can also help protect your network from potential DDoS attacks, a strategy often used by fellow gamers to disrupt your gaming performance. However, if you’re expecting a VPN to decrease your ping and give you an edge over your competition, then that’s not happening.

Can a VPN reduce ping?

Unfortunately, a VPN cannot reduce the ping you have in your online games. In fact, a VPN increases ping in almost all cases. That’s because when you connect to a VPN, the data packets on your network must travel an additional distance due to all the re-routing before they can reach their destination.

Is NordVPN good for gaming?

NordVPN is one of the best gaming VPNs on the market. It allows you to play regional games in 58 countries, unblock Fortnite and PUBG on restrictive networks, beat in-game lagging issues caused by bandwidth throttling, and access exclusive DLC and other gaming content from anywhere, anytime. 

Can PUBG run on VPN?

If PUBG is blocked on your network, you can use a VPN to unblock it. The best gaming VPNs are capable of evading almost any type of firewall, meaning you can play PUBG at work, in college, or on any other network (or country) where the game has been banned.

Which VPN is best for playing PUBG?

Based on our 150+ test results, Surfshark is the best VPN for playing PUBG in Australia. It offers relatively low ping rates, eliminates bandwidth throttling issues by using a proprietary Camouflage mode, and protects your system from DDoS attacks that other gamers on your server may send your way. Furthermore, with Surfshark, you can also access exclusive PUBG content, otherwise unavailable in Australia.  

Can I use a free VPN for gaming?

Unfortunately, free VPNs are not good for gaming, and so we won’t recommend using them. They simply lack the technology to hide your traffic from your ISP, which is essential if you want to overcome bandwidth throttling issues. Moreover, free VPNs can’t protect you from DDoS attacks either, again an important requirement for online gaming. However, if you still want a free gaming VPN, we’d suggest to go for a paid VPN service, like Surfshark, and use their 30-day money-back guarantee to get a premium gaming VPN for free.  


Conclusion 

As a quick recap, here are the best gaming VPNs for Australia as tested in May 2021:

More VPN related articles for you:

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