There are several reasons you might want to use a VPN for League of Legends.
- Change your region – connect to LoL servers in a different country or less-crowded (faster) servers
- Prevent throttling by your ISP (and improve lag)
- Reduce Ping: In some cases, more efficient DNS and routing could make your connection faster with a VPN.
- Prevent DDOS: A VPN adds a strong NAT firewall and huge pool of IPs, making you almost impossible to DDOS
In this guide, I’ll walk you through the reasons to consider a League of Legends VPN, which services I recommend, and how to set everything up.
We’ll also look at important considerations like latency (ping) and how to troubleshoot connection errors if they occur.
Do you need a VPN for League of Legends?
Whether you actually need a VPN for LoL depends on a couple factors.
Do any of these situations apply to you?
- LoL is blocked in your location (at school for example)
- You’re getting DDOS’d frequently
- You want to play with friends in a different location
- You think your ISP is throttling you.
- You want to try and shave a few milliseconds off your ping
Advantages of using a VPN
These are the most common reasons you’d want to use a VPN for League of Legends. Explore the reasons for each use-case and learn how effective a VPN might be for that purpose.
Best VPNs for League of Legends
There are 100’s of VPN providers to choose from, but we only recommend a handful of them. These hand-picked VPNs will give you better speeds, lower ping, stronger security and more server locations than the competition.
#1. ExpressVPN (best performance)
ExpressVPN is a premium VPN service with top-tier performance. They have some of the fastest servers around, and they’re not over-crowded like many cheaper VPNs.
Express’s server network is extensive, currently in more than 94 countries worldwide, which puts you closer to your LoL game server.
You’ll also appreciate their new Lightway protocol, which is faster and has lower latency than legacy protocols like OpenVPN. Currently Lightway is proprietary, so ExpressVPN is the only provider that offers it. In my testing, I got a 44ms ping time using the LoL ping test while connected using Lightway.
- Fast, uncrowded servers
- Speedy Lightway protocol (perfect for gaming)
- Servers in 94 countries
- Includes SmartDNS to unblock Netflix and other streaming services
#2. IPVanish (best ping)
IPVanish is a zero-log VPN based in the United States. They were founded by Highwinds Networks, one of the largest Tier-1 data providers in the U.S. In other words, they have direct access to the fastest data pipes in the world. That means less lag, lower pings, and higher LoL rankings.
Currently their owned by J2 Global (who also owns PCMag) but they’re still kept the core team and remain a top gaming VPN. IPVanish also owned Lag Assassin, an early GPN (basically a VPN just for gaming). So gamers are part of their core audience and performance reflects that.
Why choose IPVanish
- Fast speeds
- Cheaper than IPVanish (as low as $6.49/month)
- Lag Assassin GPN technology
- Tier-1 Data Network
- Obfuscated/stealth protocol (get through firewalls)
#3. NordVPN (best all-purpose)
NordVPN has steadily increased their market share since they launched 7 years ago. And they’ve done so with a killer combination of features, speed, and price. They were one of the first VPNs to really go after the Netflix & streaming market, and they’ve been circumvented the Netflix blockade successfully for years.
NordVPNs speeds have improved with their popularity, and they’re now among the fastest VPN providers. Beyond speed, Nord also offers zero-log privacy, and a host of special-use servers like double-encryption and Tor over VPN.
League of Legends gamers will appreciate Nord’s fast speeds, their large list of server locations, and adoption of the (faster) Wireguard protocol for lower latency and better VPN speeds.
Additionally, NordVPN has a built-in kill-switch, and their software allows you to specify custom DNS servers, which may help lower your ping.
So if you want a VPN for more than just gaming, consider NordVPN. It’s great for streaming, Netflix, Torrenting, and general security. And it even includes both SOCKS5 and SmartDNS service. It’s a fantastic value, especially if you choose the 2-year subscription which starts around $3.99/month.
#4. Private Internet Access (best value)
Private Internet Access has been a legendary zero-log provider for a long time. And they’ve done it with quality service, a real commitment to privacy, and incredibly affordable pricing. In recent years, they’ve expanded their service even more with better software, more server locations, a stealth protocol (shadowSOCKS) and Netflix compatibility.
In fact, it’s hard to find anything missing. PIA does almost everything well, and their latest software client is one of the best in the industry.
One feature that gamers will appreciate is PIA’s port-forwarding option. In fact, they’re one of the only VPNs that allows port forwarding on their network. This should help resolve VPN connection issues with League of Legends. And with a little creativity, you can even use it to get free wifi on in-flight wireless networks like GoGo.
Pricing: $2.69/month (special offer)
#5. HideMe VPN (best free option)
Hide.me is a freemium VPN service, that entices users with a truly-free plan (up to 10GB per month). Hide.me really impressed me when I tested their service for our recent review.
While speeds were a bit tame, everything else about the service is quite good, including their software which I really liked. Hide.me is a good choice for streaming, and is compatible with popular services like Netflix, Hulu and HBOMax. They’ve also got a VPN Browser Extension if that’s something you’re into.
League of Legends does use a fair amount of bandwidth, but it’s not as much of a data hog as streaming video, so you might be able to squeeze several gaming sessions out of the free plan, before you even consider upgrading.
Hide.me is also a good way to test if using a VPN will help with throttling or lag before you subscribe to a premium service.