Anyone who plays (or has kids who play) League of Legends, (also known as LoL or League) knows how frustrating this game is if there is high latency and sluggish player responses or system lags. Since so many games involve international players and lightning-fast responses can make the difference between winning or losing, those lags need minimizing. What’s more League of legends allows in-game purchases, to get ‘riot points’ which can be used to buy skins, and you don’t want that information to leak. Add to that issues with DDoS attacks, and local geo-blocking that some players suffer and it makes sense to invest in a VPN. So what is the “best VPN to play League of Legends”?.
The answer is that there is no ‘best – and any review site that tells you that is a fake review – you should ask ‘best for specific use-cases’. Choosing a VPN simply because it is popular, or low price, or has a good rating on a dubious review site, might leave you paying good money for a poor return.
We are a digital security and performance company that tests many different VPN services. There is never a ‘best’ and they are not all the same either.
If you are in a hurry, we suggest to look at NordVPN – probably the best vpn service in the world for today.
So, we are going to break the question down of the best kinds of VPN for league of legends and look at three kinds of different VPNs for League of Legends.
First, though we need to remind ourselves of what a VPN does.
Virtual Private Networks and LoL – The Basics
Any VPN works by connecting your device (PC, console, smartphone, tablet, etc.) to another different computer (termed a server), located somewhere else in your country or in the world, via what used to be called the World Wide Web i.e., the Internet. This allows your device to use the Internet via the other computer’s internet connectivity.
- If that server is miles away from you, or even in a different country, it will seem you are located miles from where you are. So, no one can track your usage;
- Some VPNs also use powerful encryption, to stop people from reading or tracking your data, IP masking (so no one knows your device’s unique address);
- Blocker bypassing (to get around countries trying to stop access) to bypass censorship or political blocks. If you want to access overseas LoL servers, then you need to choose a VPN service provider who has a good selection of servers in the region you want to hook up to. Recent issues with LoL access have included trying to reach games from Iran, Syria and Taiwan. A good VPN will fix that;
- You might only be playing League of Legends in that Café or on some other public Wi-Fi network, but some bad people will be delighted to do some phishing, plant trackers, sneak in trojans, viruses or other malware, etc. While you are playing, if you give them half an opportunity. It’s not just hackers – all kinds of organizations and even governments are up to this kind of stuff. And you thought you were just defending your base with your champion from some minions coming down the lower lane? Think on;
- It is an affordable way of getting around poor ISP services. This can help significantly to reduce LoL ping times. ISP service providers can have a nasty habit of creating a problem for their users, by deliberate bandwidth throttling or simply not having much capacity and then try to solve that problem they have created but up=selling users on more expensive bandwidth service agreements;
- Sophisticated VPNs can combat DNS leaks that can allow DNS requests to be revealed to snooping ISP DNS servers, thus defeating a VPN service provider’s attempt at concealing them. Not all VPN service providers offer this;
- Good VPNs can protect you against denial of service (DDOS) attacks. These are major pain if you are mid-game and getting close to that Nexus.
What you want are fast responses and crisp clear stutter-free game footage.
So, let’s look at what The VPN name really means. Virtual means the network has no physical existence but is created by special software to appear to be ‘real’. Private means it is a closed and therefore private network, a non-routable network that uses a private IP address. Data (videos, audio, images, text, calls etc.) transferred on this private network can’t be easily spied on by organizations, governments or hackers sitting on the public network it is connected to. While the actual data is in reality still transferred over a public network infrastructure, VPN technology makes the connection as secure as if the data were being transferred on a closed private network.
Different Kinds of VPN for League of Legends
We can categorize VPNs into two classes or types based on just how a connection is established.
In a “Remote Access VPN,” the VPN connection is made when a single device (PC, Smartphone, Tablet, Console, etc.) connects to a remote network. This is usually going to be the case for most League of Legends VPN home players. You download VPN software on your PC that is running League, log in with your VPN credentials, and then select a VPN server in the right geographic LoL league to connect to.
The alternative is a Site-to-site VPN, which is common for companies that have offices (or remote working groups) in physically different geographical locations. It connects a network of one remote home working group, or team of people working in an office, to a network of another. That allows two different groups or teams in offices to share private and sensitive company resources securely, over the public internet, without hackers, competitors, or other bad people getting to see that week’s sales results or private office communications. This kind of site-to-site VPN is different from remote access VPN because it creates a private closed link between two different networks, instead of just a single device and a network.
Now, we aren’t for a moment suggesting that some LoL teams might be or should be playing League games while they are supposedly working together inside a company OK. We definitely didn’t say that happens or suggest that people try. Our Lawyers have carefully checked that wording by the way.
Now, on to League of Legends itself.
League of Legends (LoL) has been around since 2009 as a multiplayer PC or Mac online battle arena game, where a lot of data has to move around. So far the League has been free-to-play. The developers – Riot Games – get their money back through ‘riot points’ used for character customization. Increasingly they are also monetizing public tournaments too.
The game regularly peaks at millions of concurrent players and currently is thought to be the world’s largest E-sport a topical subject given the phenomenal growth of the Esports industry. Revenues are vast, for example, the game had revenue of one year of US $2.1 billion. There are twelve regional leagues internationally, including Europe China, Korea, and North America. Killing Baron Nashor is apparently very big business these days.
Some players take the League very seriously, and there can be serious prize money involved. So, just as Golfers want the best golf equipment or tennis players the best racquets so League players want the best and safest connectivity. A sluggish game or worse still a dropped connection is a very big deal to some players. Bear in mind that as well as the speed of your champion character reacting (too slow and you get killed) the voice traffic between team members is an important part of the experience. If your comments are delayed by lag, or the audio is poor, that can get you killed too. You might even get a match ban for dropping out. So unfair, eh?
That’s all why free VPNs do not work well with League of Legends, due to slow connections, protracted ping times, and general lagging. A Free VPN for League of Legends will produce mediocre results in Summoner’s Rift, at best, and have no technical backup. All those factors reduce player enjoyment and can give opposing teams an advantage.
React too slowly in a League of Legends match and you are literally dead.
It is fairly straightforward to set up a VPN with League of Legends. Once you have chosen your VPN provider, visit their website and subscribe to the selected service.
Then you download and install the VPN app on your Mac or Windows PC. Using a VPN to play league of legends is then the same as almost any other application.
Launch the VPN app then log in. If blocked sites are an issue, choose a VPN server that is located within the LoL server area that you want to access and then make the connection.
Alternatives to VPNs for LoL
Some LoL players might be reading this and thinking – well why don’t I just use something like Tor instead. OK, here is some advice.
Yes, it is true the Tor (The Onion Router) is free, and the Tor browser maintains the anonymity of users’ traffic by routing it through multiple random nodes that are single-celled – only knowing the IP address of the previous node. This is multi-layered, like an Onion.
But stop right there. The first problem is that Tor is slow because it’s freeware or open-source and not maintained by reputable companies – it is kind of a hacker’s sandpit.
The second – and much more serious problem – is that you just want to play LoL, but you’ll look highly suspicious. All kinds of bad stuff happen on TOR. Enlightened democratic governments really don’t like it and if you are in a totalitarian state, it will be like a red rag to a bull. You are inviting trouble. Even your ISP can see that you’re using Tor. Explaining at the police station that you were just after gold and XP is going to be met by some blank stares.
Alternatively, you might bypass LoL website blocks with a proxy. OK, that is free too but there’s the problem. They are unsafe, they are poorly maintained, and whoever has access to them might sell your data. Not a great solution is it?
The third route is by changing the DNS address or using a smart DNS. Again, sounds cheap but these options don’t offer encryption and only offer partial help in some specific use cases. For example, you may only bypass basic DNS-level blocking.
Remember LoL fans – it’s high performance you are after, that is if you want to win.
League of Legends Season 12. As the action gets faster, your network connection needs to keep pace.
Three of the best VPN products for League of Legends
Now we have seen what kind of things make for a good VPN for League of Legend players, we can take a look at three popular and affordable VPN service prodder products which fit the different use cases.
We previously mentioned that some review sites say there is just one best VPN. That’s just lazy writing. Just because something is top-rated, has good reviews, or is recommended by some so-called ‘expert’ does not constitute reliable consumer advice. That is like saying someone knows the answer to a question, without knowing what the question is.
Each use case can be different, and each use case may have a ‘different’ best user solution. For example, if encryption is the biggest thing then you might want your VPN to have 256-bit AES encryption. On the other hand, if content censorship and active government VPN blocking is the problem, then you might want your VPN provider to use scrambling OpenVPN packet metadata.
Best VPNs for League of Legends Games
NordVPN for League of Legends
If geo-blocking is your main pain point, the team at NordVPN has servers located across the globe in 59 countries. That is good news for fighting geo-blocking. Think of it as software “jungling”.
Then you get a bunch of great security tools. One is their VPN “Kill Switch”. This constantly monitors your VPN connection. If the server connection drops, then the NordVPN Kill Switch triggers and will block your device from accessing the web and accidentally exposing your personal data to unwanted prying eyes – hackers, companies, or governments.
Your connection to the internet stays switched off either until the VPN tunnel is restored, or you manually remove the Kill Switch command.
ISP slow down leads to game buffering and audio bandwidth throttling. Because Nord VPN bypasses all that you also get great performance.
NordVPN also strongly encrypts your internet traffic as it routes it through a VPN tunnel, which hides both your data, metrics about what you were doing at any time, and – very importantly – your IP address.
Other good stuff with Nord VPN is 5000+ servers worldwide, 24/7 live chat support a 30-day money-back guarantee, and up to 6 simultaneous connections.
SurfShark for League of Legends
If privacy and keeping out unwanted intrusions is your thing, then Surf Shark is another VPN to take a look at. They offer a feature called Clean Web which eliminates ads, trackers, malware and stops phishing attempts. Surf Shark also has powerful encryption, which has been independently audited, with the findings that they offer one of the highest security levels of all VPN providers.
They also take a dim view of authoritarian governments who censor LoL gaming, social media, internet access, or news sites for religious or political reasons. Surf shark automatically detects when you’re in this kind of restrictive country and gives you a dedicated list of servers to connect to. These servers are obfuscated, which means the government (and anybody else, including your ISP) can see that you’re using a VPN. Then you just get to play your game without Big Brother telling you not to.
Now the next bit is a little naughty, but we’ll tell you, so long as you keep it to yourself. Let’s say you are on lunch break at work, school or college and want a quick and relaxing LoL game. Some killjoy organizations have policies to stop that from happening. If your IP address is visible, a network administrator can impose restrictions. Surf Shark has thought of that and A Surf Shark VPN can be very beneficial when you cannot reach a League website because of restrictions or network blocks. But keep that under your hats, OK?
Now back to the serious statistics. Surf Shark gives you 1700 servers located in 63 countries, customer support 24/7, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN for League of Legends
If you play League of Legends on the move – because you travel for work, or you are going on vacation, then the Express VPN product is well worth checking out. They have servers located in a whopping 94 countries worldwide, so the chances are, wherever you are heading to, they are already there. They never throttle or cap bandwidth either, so these VPNs are ideal for the serious League player who is mobile.
They are also great for breaking through geo-blocking. In a similar vein if you unlucky enough to be an LoL player visiting (or living in) some authoritarian state, and you really do want security, then you’ll also appreciate that Express VPN can work with Tor, bitcoin and use a special private .onion Express VPN site. Add to that Your data is protected by AES-256, level encryption the ‘gold standard’ security level.
- Android and an android emulator
- Routers including virtual VPN routers.
- Apple TV
- Fire TV
- Other smart TV systems
- Nintendo Switch
- Smart home devices
- Some 4K UHDTV set-top boxes.
That’s great if you want top VPN protection and performance for more than just your LoL gaming. One subscription can cover your phone, tablet, computers, consoles, etc. That makes them a very affordable and cost-effective solution.
The vital statistics are much like Nord VPN, 3000 servers, a 30-day money-back guarantee, 24/7 live chat support, and up to 5 simultaneous connections.
Final words about VPN and League of Legends
As you’d expect, before choosing a VPN we recommend you think carefully about what your priorities are. Is it geo-blocking?. Is it performance? Maybe it is security? Do you want to protect lots of devices as well as the one you play League on? Depending on your priorities, then make an informed choice.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please post in the comments section and thanks for reading.