When League of Legends came out, many people didn’t see the appeal. A DoTA-style (MOBA) game with cartoonish graphics and intuitive gameplay didn’t seem like the best fit. However, LoL has surpassed all expectations, having been one of the internet’s favorite games for the best part of the past decade. As a result, many gamers are looking to enhance and improve their gaming experience by using a VPN.
In this article, we’ll explain what to look for in a VPN for League of Legends. We’ll also explain why you may want to avoid free services and how a VPN improves your gaming feel and performance. Most importantly, we’ll give you some of the best VPN deals on the whole web, so make sure you read all the way through.
What to look for
League of legends might look cartoonish, but playing it at a high level requires an excellent Internet connection. Here are some of the things to look for in a VPN if you want to play LoL.
- Latency – latency measures how long it takes for a data packet to reach you after it’s been sent. Low latencies mean seamless game experiences with no lag. High latencies mean lost frames, jerky movements and playing with a significant delay.
- Connection speed – a high VPN connection speed means you can enjoy a high-quality gaming experience, even when you’re using VoIP while on LoL. Conversely, slow connections can slow the game down to the point it’s impossible to play.
- Server network – a VPN provider with a large server network can help you connect to any LoL servers you choose. This can help you choose the language you want to play in, and the people you can game with and against.
- Encryption – strong encryption means everything you do online stays private. Also, some encryption protocols are slower than others. Look for OpenVPN’s UDP and TCP technologies, which are cutting edge and excellent at both speed and security.
Now that you know which features are important for a VPN, let’s talk specific providers.
Best VPN providers for League of Legends
ExpressVPN is best known for its speed, just like the name suggests. Its vast server network of 2,000+ proxy servers in 94 countries means that you can get a low-latency, high-speed connection no matter where you are – and no matter where you want to get an IP from. There are no restrictions on speed or bandwidth, meaning you can play League of Legends without ever worrying about your connection getting slow. There’s even a built-in speed test to help make sure that connections are fast. As a cool extra, ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN’s high-speed encryption protocols – UDP and TCP – but also offers L2TP, which is very fast but a little less secure.
In addition to offering fast online connections, ExpressVPN is fast to install and easy to manage. It comes with a suite of intuitive apps that make getting started a breeze. Compatible devices run the gamut from macOS, Windows, Linux, Android and iOS to video game consoles and many routers. Even better, ExpressVPN gives you up to 3 simultaneous connections. Whether you want to play LoL on multiple devices, stream, torrent, or simply enjoy the internet, you can do so without having to log out or worry about running out of bandwidth. Moreover, ExpressVPN conveniently accepts PayPal, plastic cards and cryptocurrencies, meaning you can pay quickly using your preferred method.
To learn more about the service, check out our ExpressVPN review where we perform speed tests and more.
NordVPN is an excellent choice for anyone playing LoL in countries with strong censorship, like Russia and China. It’s also a wise choice for gamers who want to protect their data, identity, device and connection. But don’t think that security is all NordVPN does. With over 5,000 high-quality servers in 62 countries, the service will give you high speeds and low latencies no matter where you (or your target servers) happen to be. Moreover, NordVPN has specialty servers – like Dedicated IP and Anti-DDoS – which are great for gamers. For example, the latter can help you control your LoL reputation by making sure you have an IP that nobody else uses. These features, combined with no bandwidth or speed restrictions, make NordVPN a good all-around choice.
In terms of privacy and security, NordVPN uses military-grade 256-bit AES encryption that’s also popular with many national armies. This includes OpenVPN’s UDP and TCP, as well as high-speed L2TP and censorship-busting SSTP. The logging policy is one of the best in the business; no records of your traffic, IP address, timestamps, bandwidth or browsing history are ever kept. There are extra cybersecurity features, like an ad blocker and a security toggle, that provide extra security and peace of mind.
Last but not least, the service itself is based in Panama, which is exempt from the Five, Nine and Fourteen Eyes international surveillance agreements. If you’re looking to stay safe while gaming, NordVPN may be the VPN for you.
If you’d like to learn more about NordVPN’s performance and features, check out our NordVPN review.
CyberGhost is a VPN service that combines powerful features with an easy-to-use interface. Unlike most VPNs where you have to configure everything manually, CyberGhost just gives you 6 configuration profiles – including surf anonymously and other, more gamer-friendly options – and does the thinking for you. If you’re a more advanced user, you can also take advantage of the many extra toggles, like “data compression” and “extra speed”, to enhance your gaming experience. Between these features and speedy encryption options like UDP and L2TP, CyberGhost is both easy to use and fast: perfect for playing LoL.
In addition to the above, CyberGhost is brilliant when it comes to security. Its encryption protocols also include PPTP, which can help beat censorship in countries like China. The logging policy is immaculate, with virtually nothing – not even your e-mail – being stored by the provider. Extra features include an ad blocker and a kill switch, which ends your LoL connection if your VPN gets disconnected.
With so many features and powerful security in an intuitive interface, it’s easy to see why many gamers use CyberGhost. The apps for the service are compatible with macOS, OS X, Linux, Windows, Android and other devices, so you can play LoL with CyberGhost no matter which OS you’re using.
To learn more about the service, check out our CyberGhost review for 2018.
PrivateVPN is a unique provider with a different way of doing things and an all-inclusive set of subscriptions. Keen-eyed comparison shoppers may at first glance notice a relatively small number of servers: a little over 80. However, this provider compensates by equipping each server with a 1 Gbps connection or more, meaning that each server is 10-20 times more powerful than a standard one. Thanks to this, PrivateVPN performs very well for LoL gamers, streamers, torrent users, and others. One thing that makes it particularly suited for gamers is built-in DDoS protection. So long as you’re using a PrivateVPN connection, other players and criminals won’t be able to attack your device, data or connection – and you’ll play on in peace.
PrivateVPN is also strong on technical features. Security-wise, 2048-bit encryption (with AES-256) requires hackers to try more keys than there are atoms in the known universe. Between this and a strict no-logging policy, what you do online is safe from third parties including governments and corporations. Encryption features include SOCKS5, which lets you play LoL from China, and 6 protocols (including OpenVPN’s).
As an added bonus, PrivateVPN users get a free remote setup on any device and up to 6 simultaneous connections. This means you can use your VPN on a desktop device, mobile device, router, video game console and multimedia box and still have one left over.
To learn more about PrivateVPN, check out our 2018 PrivateVPN review where we cover its ability to unlock Netflix and more.
PureVPN might cover the most countries of all available services with its server network: 2,000+ nodes in over 140+ countries. If you want full control over which servers you play on, this is the provider for you. Moreover, the large network means that connections are fast and latencies – low, no matter where you’re connection from. Bandwidth and speed are both unlimited, meaning you’ll never run out of traffic or experience any slowdown. Last but not least, PureVPN can even help you defeat ISP throttling (wherein your service provider slows down your connection manually) which may make it the fastest service on this page, period.
In addition to being fast, PureVPN has some cool, unique features that make it fun and easy to use. There’s a suite of apps that makes installing LoL on any device a cakewalk. If you have any trouble while using the service, 24-hour live chat support is on hand to help you out immediately. If you want to use a VPN for things other than gaming, you’ll be happy to know that there are dedicated streaming servers – and that PureVPN is P2P and torrent-friendly. There are other features too, like the Ozone security add-on that protects your device and identity 24/7. All in all, if you want to get a lot of features and functions in one package, PureVPN is hard to go wrong with.
Why play LoL with a VPN?
At first glance, gettting a VPN for playing League of Legends can seem counterintuitive. After all, a VPN usually decreases your maximum download speed – so why slow yourself down when gaming? Turns out, there are several rebuttals. For starters, while a VPN may decrease your download speed, a fast VPN provider can actually improve your LoL connection. Here’s why: many ISPs tend to place limits on certain types of Internet traffic. As gaming is a particularly bandwidth-intensive task, you are more likely to experience an artificial slowdown affected by your ISP, known as throttling. A VPN encrypts your traffic, making it impossible for your ISP to determine what is going on behind that layer of cryptography, thereby fooling the throttling algorithms to let you game on at full speed.
In addition to this, a VPN can give you a foreign IP which is helpful for a variety of reasons. For example, if you want to play with friends from back home while abroad (whether traveling or in permanent residence) you can do that with a VPN. You can even overcome powerful censorship blocks like the Great Firewall of China. Alternatively, you can simply choose servers that you believe are superior, or frequented by the kinds of people you want to play with. For example, many people prefer to use Californian IPs to play with East Coast US servers and players.
Last but not least, VPNs can be a great aide to competitive players for security reasons. For example, most VPNs come with anti-DDoS protection which can shield servers and gamers from gametime attacks. Another example: getting a new IP each time you play using your VPN can make you extremely hard to target. This is probably the main reasons high-level gamers frequently use VPNs for League of Legends and other MOBA games.
What about free VPNs?
If you’re researching VPN options for yourself or your household, you’re probably seeing a bunch of free VPNs on the market. Moreover, you may have seen that many of them have some of the same features we mention in this article: OpenVPN encryption, the ability to give you a foreign IP, and more. So why not just save yourself some money and get a free VPN? Great question. The truth is, technologically, free VPNs are often decent. They may not have quality user interfaces, but they work fine.
The problem is this. Every VPN provider needs to pay for servers, traffic and other costs. This includes free services. The difference is that free services get money to cover their costs by doing things like showing you ads, selling your personal browsing data, and even using your processing power for criminal botnet attacks (that’s a true story). In the very best-case scenario, a free VPN will cut you off in the middle of a game to prompt you to upgrade to the full, paid version. If you’re like most people, it’s easier to just pay upfront and get a top-quality service and peace of mind.
Now that you’ve read the article, you know what to look for in a VPN provider, which services are the best, and how a VPN can improve LoL for you. How’re you going to use your service when you’re not gaming? Did we miss any important tips or pieces of information? Write below and let us know; we love getting your feedback!