A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is a way for gamers to gain an unfair advantage in competitive titles by disrupting their opponents’ internet connection. You can prevent this by using the best VPN for DDoS protection.
- A DDoS attack while playing online can disrupt your game at the worst time and lead to a frustrating experience.
- ExpressVPN is the best gaming VPN that provides IP and DNS leak protection and keeps your IP address private.
- NordVPN and Surfshark are excellent alternatives that save you a bit on the monthly subscription and do just as good a job as ExpressVPN at keeping your IP private.
DDoS attacks require the attacker to know your IP address, and using a VPN service is the best way to keep it private. The best virtual private networks will get you a no-logs policy that ensures your IP address doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. ExpressVPN is our top pick, but there are a couple of other great options further down the list as well.
Yes — a VPN gives you a new IP address and hides your real one, so attackers can’t launch a DDoS attack.
The best VPN to protect against DDoS attacks is ExpressVPN, though it comes at a fairly steep price.
Yes, ExpressVPN does a great job at keeping your real IP address private.
No VPN is DDoS-proof, but NordVPN has an excellent set of security features that get you solid DDoS protection by hiding your IP address.
What Makes the Best VPN for DDoS Protection?
When you need DDoS protection while gaming, three things matter most: strong security, a strict no-logs policy and the minimum possible impact on latency and speed.
VPN providers that focus on security come with features like a kill switch and split tunneling. A kill switch will disable your internet access if your VPN connection is compromised. Split tunneling lets you set up which apps (or games) use the VPN server, and which go unprotected, so you don’t have to sacrifice speed on non-sensitive apps.
A strict no-logs policy ensures that the VPN provider doesn’t keep any identifying information such as your email or your IP address. Even if the VPN service is compromised, your data would be secure because it wasn’t stored in it in the first place.
For gaming, latency and speed are critical. Latency is how much time it takes for the signal to reach the game’s server and come back to you, and the lower that number, the better. You also don’t want the VPN to impact speed too much — a high connection speed to gaming servers ensures a smooth gaming experience and low loading times.
- ExpressVPN — Incredibly fast VPN with premium pricing
- NordVPN — Low-latency VPN with a great focus on security
- Surfshark — Versatile VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections
Each of these VPNs will help you prevent DDoS attacks, but they aren’t all equal. Let’s take a closer look at all of them, starting with ExpressVPN.
More details about ExpressVPN:
- Pricing: $6.67 per month for the yearly plan, plus three months free
- Provider website: expressvpn.com
- No DNS or IP leaks in tests
- Strong focus on security
- Apps for any platform
ExpressVPN tops our list of best VPNs for several reasons — one of them being excellent security. The VPN uses its own proprietary protocol to ensure excellent performance and security, and during our testing, had no issues with DNS or IP address leaks.
ExpressVPN also comes with a strict no-logs policy, as well as a kill switch that you can disable (though you really shouldn’t) and configurable split tunneling. Performance was excellent, with only a 3 ms increase in latency when connecting to nearby servers.
Lightway Protocol for Excellent Performance
The Lightway protocol is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol, which builds upon the wolfSSL cryptographic library. It combines excellent security benefits with blazing-fast performance, making it an overall great choice for DDoS protection.
ExpressVPN is very expensive, but a yearly subscription will get you a bit of a discount. The 30-day money-back guarantee has you covered in case you don’t like it, but in ExpressVPN’s case, you do get what you pay for.
If you’re willing to pay a bit more, ExpressVPN is certainly worth the asking price, as you can see in our ExpressVPN review. Security is top-notch, performance is excellent, and you get all the features you could ever need.
More details about NordVPN:
- Pricing: $3.99 per month for the two-year plan
- Provider website: nordvpn.com
- Excellent security features
- Great speed & latency on close servers
- Obfuscated servers
- Settings menu isn’t intuitive
NordVPN’s focus has always been on security, and the provider offers powerful protection features like split tunneling, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy. You can use it on almost any platform, though we wish the settings menu on the desktop app was a bit easier to navigate.
Performance was good with a latency increase of 12 ms on nearby servers. We recommend NordLynx as the protocol of choice, as OpenVPN was inconsistent, especially when tunneling through farther away servers.
Obfuscated Servers for Even More Online Privacy
While some services can detect if you’re using a VPN, NordVPN’s obfuscated servers help you bypass that. You can route your connection through one of them to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, a feature that might come in handy if you game from restrictive countries like China.
NordVPN isn’t the most expensive VPN out there, but it’s far from the cheapest. A two-year subscription gets you a better deal, and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If your only intention is to tunnel through nearby servers and get some much-needed protection against DDoS attacks, NordVPN does the job. You can read more about it in our NordVPN review.
More details about Surfshark:
- Pricing: $2.30 per month for the two-year plan, plus two months free
- Provider website: surfshark.com
- Multi-hop servers for added security
- Static IP address
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Expensive on a monthly plan
If you want to protect every device in your home from DDoS attacks, Surfshark’s unlimited connections are a great way to do so. The VPN provider gets you features like a kill switch and configurable split tunneling you can program on a per-website basis.
You can also connect from a static IP address, which reduces the chances of your game account being flagged for sharing. If that IP gets compromised, you can get a new one. Performance-wise, Surfshark had respectable results in terms of speed and latency.
Multi-Hop Servers Add Security
If you have any doubt that a VPN server will hide your real IP address, Surfshark offers multi-hop servers that route your connection through two servers instead of one, for added security during online gaming.
The monthly subscription price is certainly expensive, but if you subscribe for two years, you get a much more affordable price. Pair that with the unlimited connections that let you share the subscription, and you get an even better deal.
Surfshark has an appealing combination of unlimited simultaneous connections, respectable performance and a strong focus on security. If you want to secure multiple devices around the home without paying multiple subscriptions, it should be perfect.
What is a DDoS Attack?
A DDoS attack is an attack where illegitimate requests are sent to a web server, which causes said server to either slow down considerably or crash completely. This prevents legitimate requests from being fulfilled, and wreaks havoc on the connection. In gaming, this means you’ll get latency spikes, and you might even get disconnected from the game server.
DDoS protection is crucial if you play online games, especially if you do that competitively and want the best shot at winning. The best VPN for DDoS protection – ExpressVPN if you ask us – can keep your IP address private and make sure your competitors can’t launch such an attack while you’re trying to clutch the win.
Have you ever experienced a DDoS during gaming? Did you feel like it was worth it or necessary? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading.