NordVPN Review for Gaming [Is it worth it for gamers?]
Look into our NordVPN review to find out if it should be your go-to gaming VPN app.
NordVPN is currently one of the top VPN (Virtual Private Network) server providers out there, and its popularity among the gaming community has grown significantly recently. Even if you've never needed a VPN service, there's a good chance you've heard of it, as it's being promoted by a growing number of YouTubers, Streamers and other online gaming influencers.
They often show it as a tool that unblocks Netflix or Disney+ series that may be region-locked or hide your IP address; after all, that's what most of the VPN users do with their VPN apps.
However, we're going to look at NordVPN from a different perspective – a gamer's perspective. In our NordVPN review, you’ll learn how good this VPN service provider is for gaming specifically and if is it really worth its price.
Speaking of NordVPN’s price – at the time of writing this review, NordVPN plans start from €2.92 per month, and that’s a great cost for a VPN service provider.
Sure, it says “Christmas Deal” in the picture, but such offers are not so uncommon; they are pretty much a norm but just for different occasions (trust us on that). Perhaps it is a marketing trick to make the user feel that the offer is time-limited, and he just has to take advantage of it. We don't know, but it doesn't matter – what matters is that NordVPN is super affordable. Moreover, NordVPN also covers a 30-day money-back guarantee program which means that if after a month of using this app you decide that you don't want to continue your subscription, you can ask for a 100% refund.
Reputation among gamers (4,5/5)
NordVPN is promoted by big influencers like PewDiePie, Penta, or Alexandra Botez, which made many gamers try it out over the years.... and it turns out that most of them are happy!
Usually, such popular content creators don’t promote a scammy product because they are so big that they don’t need it.
We also felt pretty good about it, but from our experience, we recommend doing more profound research of NordVPN's VPN server offerings, as not all servers are equally well-performing. We would especially point this out to people who really want to hide their IP address (e.g., due to an IP ban), as some servers can randomly disconnect.
This issue is mostly pointed out by users from Eastern Europe and Japan. To find a perfect VPN server location, we recommend doing an internet speed test on websites like speedtest.net or speedtest.xfinity.com.
One note for console players – the only option to use NordVPN on PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo is to set up a hotspot from your desktop/laptop with the server of your choice.
NordVPN Gaming Performance (3,5/5)
Apart from the fact that we want to use a VPN for privacy and access to content not available in our region, we also count on a good performance and the lowest possible feeling of using any additional software.
We don't want our game to turn into a slideshow and a festival of random disconnects, so is NordVPN reliable for gaming?
- Ping: 14ms
- Download Speed: 146,88 Mbps
- Upload: 24,56 Mbps
- Ping: 27ms
- Download Speed: 27,02 Mbps
- Upload: 20,48 Mbps
Once you connect to the nearest VPN server, the difference is noticeable. Our download dropped from almost 150 to 20, and it could be a matter of an unstable server in our area, but still, we have to say that when we saw this, we were not happy at all.
Moreover, we're not victims of IPS Throttling (as far as we know), so we couldn't really gain any additional benefits regarding game and internet speed; this case might look different for you.
In fact, we noticed a slight increase in ping in every game we tested, and if we mainly cared about the best possible performance, we wouldn't use this VPN provider. Again, this could be different for your location, so we advise you to try it out and use the 30-day money-back guarantee by clicking on the button below.
Still, we achieved complete anonymity with a dedicated IP address regardless of the chosen server, everything worked as expected in that matter.
Number of locations (3,5/5)
Regarding the number of available VPN server locations, NordVPN doesn't look super great. When it comes to Americas, at the time of writing this review, they have only 23 locations available, where 15 of them are strictly in the United States.
Looking at the fact that some of its competitors have almost twice as much (Express VPN can boast a number of 42 locations for this specific region) we wouldn’t choose NordVPN if we were looking for the highest region flexibility possible. Moreover, not all servers have the same features – for example, there are really just five locations that allow you to set a custom VPN address. That said, before you decide to purchase NordVPN, be sure to check out the server location features you are interested in on their website.
Unhappily, when we tested NordVPN, their live chat support was not working. We thought it might be a temporary glitch, so we waited another day, but nothing changed.
However, looking at user reviews on Trustpilot, their support usually works pretty well, although crashes like this happen from time to time, for which we will deduct 1 rating point. You know, stable live chat support on the website of a VPN service provider that offers a 30-day trial, after which you can ask for a refund, is quite essential.
If you have just encountered such a glitch and need [email protected], where they respond quickly, but it is still not the speed of live chat support.
Moreover, NordVPN also has a FAQ section; unfortunately, it is not as developed as some of you might expect, and it is a bit substandard, for which we will also deduct another rating point.
Finally, let's look at some of NordVPN’s features that may be useful, especially for modern gamers.
This will be very important for competitive gamers. Sometimes when you are doing too well, some players and especially your potential rivals may want to spoil your fun and break your winning streak.
Fortunately, with NordVPN, you can guarantee yourself complete online anonymity and make it almost impossible for others to DDoS you.
Sometimes, your ISPs may lower your connection speed without telling you - this phenomenon is called ISP Throttling.
Interestingly, you can stop this with a VPN and take control of your internet speed, and most importantly - reduce latency in your favorite games. If during your gaming session your ping is much lower with VPN than without, that could mean you are a victim of connection throttling, and you can use NordVPN as a weapon against that.
Split tunneling is a feature that allows you to specify which programs and devices you want to route your connection over the VPN server and which you don't.
For example, when you talk to your teammates on voice communicators like Discord, you want to hear them as well as possible without any lags or glitches.
However, we won't always be able to play with them using our original IP, and this is where split tunneling will do the job. You'll be able to enjoy high-quality communication and access to the game that you normally wouldn't have.
Split tunneling can also come in handy if you're very concerned about showing your real IP address on some shady custom server; it's a great safeguard against potential DDOS Attacks in the future. It’s worth noting that you can also use this feature in your NordVPN Android app.
NordVPN offers an easy-to-use mobile app on both Android and iOS.
In a world where the mobile gaming market is so developed, a VPN for your mobile device can be super helpful. If you only need a VPN for your mobile device, NordVPN might be your go-to choice, especially because it's so affordable.
Many games are not available in specific regions or have bonuses that you can only unlock in a particular country. Mobile game developers very rarely penalize you for using this type of solution, although we recommend you check the ToS (Terms of Service) of your game to avoid getting banned randomly.
Browser-based games are becoming increasingly rare, but sometimes logging into the Steam or Epic Games store from another location can get us some extra discounts.
Luckily, NordVPN boasts a well-performing browser plugin, available on both Chrome and Firefox. It's a shame that this plugin isn't available on Opera, though; especially since Opera GX is becoming increasingly popular among gamers.
Is NordVPN fast enough for gaming?
Worried about your ping when using NordVPN? There is no need to do so.
NordVPN boasts an average speed of 369 Mbps, which is really great, even better than some of its more expensive competitors. However, is it possible to have a better ping using NordVPN? Yes! Thanks to AES-256 support, you can be almost 100% sure that you’re going to dodge things like IPS throttling and stop any third-party interference with your internet speed.
With all that said, we think that if you need a good VPN for gaming, NordVPN's offer is really worth a try. It's not that expensive compared to other VPNs, and if you end up not liking it, you can always ask for a cashback.