The United States is a country in North America. It is one of the biggest markets in the world and the gaming scene in huge. It has a big infrastructure for online gaming and many companies like Microsoft, Blizzard, and Electronic Arts started in the US. While it might be one of the last countries to gain access to new games, has some of the best servers to play on. For those outside of the US, there is a way to play in the country. A VPN allows you to get past geo-restrictions. It does this by changing your IP address to a different one in a location of your choice. It also helps you by reducing lag, unblocking firewalls at work and school, and protecting DDoS Attacks. Please join us as we review the best VPNs for gaming in the United States.
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How to Switch Locations for Gaming in the US
A good VPN will allow you to change your IP address to any of the provided locations. If you choose an IP in the region of your new GPS location, you will be less likely to be banned. This is because your IP address will be in the same country as your GPS location. A good VPN will also help you by hiding your data, this means you will be protected when doing this. A good VPN can also help gamers by reducing ping, improving lag, protecting from DDoS Attacks, and getting around firewalls at school or work.
To help you get started I recommend choosing one of our best VPNs. All three of these VPNs are great for changing your location, but each comes with their own added benefits. Depending on the region you are trying to connect to, there is always a chance of extending your early access to a game. You will also be able to play games that may be blocked in your country. Often, certain features of games are altered to fit with a countries standards like Germany restricting a lot of imagery in Call of Duty. There is also a chance of getting a discount on the game you buy as many video game companies alter prices based on a countries wealth.
United States VPN Quickstart
Here is a quick guide to gain access to games as if you were in the US with a VPN.
- Sign up for ExpressVPN (includes a 30-day money back guarantee)
- Download the ExpressVPN app and connect to a server in the region you wish to play in.
- Console users can set up the ExpressVPN MediaStreamer feature to change your DNS location. Otherwise you can run the VPN through your router.
- Launch the game and enjoy!
Here are the best VPNs to use for gaming in the United States.
ExpressVPN is our favorite VPN for gaming. There are a number of reasons including the ability to quickly change you’re IP address to be located in any of 160 cities across 94 countries. This is especially useful for purchasing games in other regions and unblocking restrictions. If you plan to play games at school or work then we highly recommend connecting to ExpressVPN to unblock any firewall restrictions. You can download the ExpressVPN app for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Members can install the app on as many devices as you want. You can connect on up to 3 devices at a time. You will also have access to ExpressVPN MediaStreamer service which will let you switch DNS on a wide range of devices including game consoles (PS4, Xbox One, Switch), streaming media boxes, and smart TVs, and more.
We’re excited to share an exclusive discount on ExpressVPN for our readers. You can save up to 49% off a year of VPN and receive an extra 3 months of free VPN. This will grant you unlimited access to both their VPN network and MediaStreamer service. Save on your favorite games, reduce lag, protect against DDoS attacks, and unblock restrictions at school or work. ExpressVPN offers a 30 day money back guarantee so you will have a month to test their VPN and experience all the benefits of the service.
NordVPN is another excellent choice for gamers. While NordVPN did not perform as well as ExpressVPN in out tests, they still offer fast gaming at an affordable price. You will find that NodVPN has servers in over 70 cities across 59 countries. They have all the major gaming regions covered. Members can download the NordVPN apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android. The difference being that NordVPN doesn’t have a stand alone Smart DNS service like ExpressVPN MediaStreamer. That makes NordVPN harder to use on game consoles and other devices that do not natively support VPN. Those with some technical background can run NordVPN through your router to encrypt all the traffic on your network and get around any geo-restrictions. It helps to have DD-WRT or Tomato firmware on your router.
NordVPN is a very privacy-centric VPN service. They have additional settings that will help you use the VPN service in more restricted countries like China. You can also connect through multiple server locations for better privacy. However, you can expect much slower speeds when connecting through multiple servers. For gaming we would suggest connecting to a server in the best region to purchase the game. Then you should connect to the closest server to the region you want to play in. This will help fix lag issues, improve ping times, and unblock restrictions. NordVPN comes with a 30 day money back guarantee.
IPVanish is our final choice for gaming with a VPN. You will find that the VPN service has a strong reputation for privacy. The IPVanish support team is always accessible to answer any questions you may have along the way. This is quite helpful when you’re first getting started. Members can download the IPVanish VPN app for Windows and Mac. They also have a nice mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Since game consoles don’t natively support VPN you would need to run the service through your router This can be complicated for those without some technical background. IPVanish VPN is better suited for PC and Mac gamers.
Unlike the other VPNs in our list, IPVanish is headquartered in the United States. Some have reservations using a VPN service based in the US for privacy reasons, but we have found IPVanish to be one of the fastest VPNs in North America. This makes them a great choice for gaming in the United States and Canada. The IPVanish team manages their own servers in key locations. This gives them an advantage over most VPNs when it comes to performance. We recommend connecting to their VPN servers in Ashburn, VA and Los Angeles for gaming. IPVanish offers all new members a 7 day money back guarantee.
Why are Games Blocked at School or Work?
Most gamers have experienced the frustration of network restrictions. Whether it’s a firewall at school or work, you will find that popular game servers and social media sites are often blocked. A VPN will hide your traffic so that the network can not detect that you are playing a game or visiting your favorite sites like YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, etc. The VPN will encrypt your data which will stop it from being blocked by your network administrator.
Why is the Game Restricted by Region?
You will find that many games (and streaming sites like Netflix) have set restrictions based on the region of the world you are in. For example, Rainbow Six has servers in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Players are restricted to playing in their own region. What if you want to play with friends in another country? The solution is to use a VPN. Simply connect to a VPN server in the region you wish to play in. Preferably as close to the game server as possible for the best performance. You can also use a VPN to buy and play games that are not otherwise available in your region.
Not All VPNs Support Fast Online Gaming
It doesn’t help to have a VPN that won’t place you in the proper geographic region or isn’t fast enough for gaming. There are literally hundreds of VPN services that won’t cut it for online gaming. There are very few that support the speeds necessary to fix lag issues and provide the proper IP location. The key is using a leading VPN and making a connection close to the game server you wish to play on. The difference in routing can boost your speed. We recommend using ExpressVPN for the best performance.