3 best VPNs to host game servers safely

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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Affiliate Disclosure

  • Hosting a game server while staying connected to a VPN can be challenging, but not impossible. A VPN should overcome certain obstacles to become a host for gaming servers.
  • Among the perks of hosting your own game server is that you can control the number of connected players, manage hardware, and solve any issue yourself if you have the know-how.
  • Check out our dedicated VPN section if you want to learn more about securing your privacy.
  • Visit our Gaming VPN Hub to discover more tips and tricks about using VPN for gaming.
VPN software for hosting game servers

Gaming has always been one of the fundamental uses of a house PC. A while ago, many games had official dedicated multiplayer servers you could connect to and play with your friends.

However, times have changed and users now prefer a more personal approach. Thus, instead of using dedicated hosting servers (if any), they create and manage their own game servers.

The benefits of hosting game servers

The perks of hosting your own server range from being able to control the number of connected players, manage hardware, and even solve any issue that might occur (if you have the know-how).

However, hosting a public server often means that you have to forward some ports and stick to a static IP address. If you don’t plan security and privacy carefully enough, you might jeopardize your network‘s integrity in no time.

Alongside firewalls and blacklisting/whitelisting, VPNs might seem like a good idea in this scenario. This type of service can secure your connection and give you a much-needed privacy boost. You can also improve your ping with VPN.

Let’s see how all of this fits with hosting a game server.

VPN requirements for hosting a game server

  • Native port forwarding – if a VPN doesn’t support port forwarding, your friends won’t be able to see your server
  • Dedicated, static IP address – if the IP address isn’t stable, your clients will disconnect every time the IP changes
  • Low ping – playing on a high-latency server is never a pleasant experience to anyone

It only makes sense that we’ll only target VPN services that can meet at least the three requirements above.

What are the best VPN apps to host game servers?

Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is the best VPN service

Private Internet Access is an excellent VPN solution from Kape Technologies that covers a broad range of needs. Whether you want to keep your online whereabouts to yourself or look for a corporate VPN solution, PIA has you covered.

This service can cloak your real IP address and assign you a new one. That way, pesky tracking services can’t identify you, regardless of the online activities you choose to engage in. Obviously, that includes gaming.

You can use this VPN on a broad range of devices, such as PC, iOS, Mac, Android, and more.

PIA holds an impressive count of over 3,000 servers distributed wide across 66 locations in 46 countries. It uses popular, secure technologies including PPTP, OpenVPN, SOCKS5 (Proxy), and IPsec/L2TP to keep your connection both private and fast.

Take a look at PIA’s key features:

  • Zero-logging policy
  • Browse anonymously
  • Supports port forwarding
  • Lets you use a static IP address through OpenVPN
  • Integrated firewall blocks outside connections
  • Wide network of VPN servers
  • Fast, low-ping servers
Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access

Want to host a game server through VPN? PIA supports port forwarding, static IP addresses, and fast, low-ping servers.
$2.85/mo. Buy it now

Hide.me

Hide.me VPN homepage

Hide.me is an efficient VPN service from eVenture Ltd. that can protect your online privacy and secure your connection. It almost checks off all of the requirements we’ve listed above. Thus, you can use it if you want to host a game server.

However, note that it only supports dynamic port forwarding. The team behind the project considers static port forwarding a security risk (as it should). More so, Hide.me doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses, but it has the Fixed IP address feature.

You can reserve an IP address on the VPN server and you’ll be assigned that address every time you connect to said server. However, if the server is very loaded, there’s a chance that someone else will receive your reserved IP.

The same goes for port forwarding. The port you want to forward might’ve grabbed it before you, so there are some risks involved if you want to emulate static port forwarding.

Hide.me’s key features:

  • Its free VPN service is also ad-free
  • Not even the free version logs your activity
  • Dynamic port forwarding
  • Fixed IP feature
  • Auto-reconnect in case of disconnection
  • Kill switch
  • IP/DNS leak prevention
Hide.me

Hide.me

Can't seem to host your game server while using VPN? Hide.me can simplify your task.
$4.99/mo. Buy it now

PureVPN

PureVPN homepage

PureVPN is a great service from GZ Systems Limited you can use to give your connection a privacy boost. You can safely use it in a wide array of scenarios, like making a Minecraft server for you and your buddies.

As promised, we’re only going to deliver VPN solutions who check off the requirements on our list above. Not only does PureVPN offer port forwarding support, but you can also buy a static, stable IP address for your server.

However, note that both port forwarding and dedicated IP features are add-ons. Therefore, you’ll have to purchase them separately from the base PureVPN subscription.

Last, but not least, its servers are fast enough and can take the heat of running a game server.

Let’s take a look at PureVPN’s key features:

  • Automatically turns on the VPN when connecting to Wi-Fi
  • Dynamic port forwarding supported (add-on)
  • Kill switch
  • Dedicated IP address (add-on)
  • DDoS protection (useful for your server)
  • WebRTC, IPv6, DNS leak protection
  • Supports 10GB connection speeds
PureVPN

PureVPN

This VPN can help you host a game server and protects you from DDoS attacks.
$2.88/mo. Buy it now

Why using a VPN to host game servers isn’t a great idea

While using a VPN might surely increase both your privacy and security, configuring to support hosting a game server can be somewhat tricky. First of all, you’ll need to have the know-how, since it’s a quite complex process.

Assuming that you do, you’ll have to tackle the following challenges:

  • Using certain VPN might result in higher latency, which is not desirable when hosting a game server
  • You can’t control which port gets forwarded and when, which can make it difficult/impossible for your clients to see or connect to the server
  • For security reasons, the forwarded port periodically changes, which will result in your clients getting disconnected until they update the port number
  • If the VPN connection drops, your server will go offline as well
  • Depending on the location of your choice, your IP will change and the connection details of your server will subsequently change

The bottom line is that you can successfully host a game server through a VPN. However, you have to go to extreme lengths to make sure it stays online all the time and it’s stable enough that your clients can connect to it and remain connected.

FAQ: Learn more about hosting game servers through VPNs

  • What is the best VPN for hosting game servers?

PIA is the best VPN you can use to host a game server that your friends can access. It supports port forwarding, offers static IP support, and the speed values are great.

  • What does a VPN need to host game servers?

First of all, it needs to support port forwarding, either static or dynamic. Of the same importance is its ability to handle static IP addresses. Last, but not least, its servers must be fast so that you can improve ping with VPN.

  • Can I use a traditional VPN to host LAN games?

No, traditional VPNs shouldn’t be used to host LAN games for certain games. But you can use specialized VPN services instead. For example, you can use Radmin VPN to host a Minecraft LAN server for you and your friends.