Connecting your PlayStation (PS) to a VPN is an excellent idea for several reasons. You can access geo-blocked streaming content, connect to all sorts of different gaming servers, and hide your IP address to protect yourself from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
But since you can’t download a VPN directly to your console, finding the right tool can be difficult. So which VPNs work best with PS4 and PS5? Which are easiest to set up on a router? Which have the best features and value for money?
Don’t worry about having to do loads of research – we’ve done it all for you! So put down your controller and read on to discover the best VPNs for PS4 and PS5 in 2021.
Best VPNs for PS4/PS5:
- NordVPN – best VPN for PS4/PS5
- Surfshark – unlimited VPN connections
- ExpressVPN – easiest VPN setup for PlayStation
- TorGuard – highly customizable PlayStation VPN
- IPVanish – cheapest VPN for PS4/PS5
VPNs for PlayStation – our detailed list:
We tested out a number of VPNs to get to this top 5 shortlist. From ease of use to best features, value for money, and robust security, the following VPNs are all great options for your PS4 and PS5. But which one is best for you? Let’s take a detailed look at the best VPNs for PS4 and PS5.
1. NordVPN – best VPN for PS4/PS5
|Servers/countries:||5,500+ servers in 59 countries|
We rate NordVPN as the best VPN for PS4 and PS5. It’s one of the fastest and most secure VPNs on the market, with 5,413 servers in 59 countries.
NordVPN performed really well in our speed tests, with great speeds in 9 different locations. Average download speeds hit an impressive 238 Mbps. This is great, because this service exceptional at unblocking streaming platforms. We used it to successfully access Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.
NordVPN offers its own version of Smart DNS – SmartPlay. This is a simpler way of connecting your PS4 or PS5 to geo-restricted streaming sites, and is ideal if you just want to unblock shows and movies.
Alternatively, you can install NordVPN onto your router. NordVPN helps you through the process with guides, too, so you should be able to get it set up without too much trouble. If you need more help, you can always get in touch via its live chat to get tips directly from the support team.
There’s even the possibility to set NordVPN up on a router with the IKEv2 protocol. This is useful as IKEv2 handles data encryption more efficiently on less powerful devices than the standard router tunneling protocol (OpenVPN), resulting in better speeds.
NordVPN’s subscription price starts at $3.30 a month, and you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Unblocks Netflix and all big streaming sites
- Has SmartDNS (SmartPlay)
- Easy to use installation guides
- No log policy
- Military-grade encryption
- Fast connections
- Extensive support options
- No custom router firmware
2. Surfshark – unlimited VPN connections
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 65 countries|
Surfshark is our next recommended VPN service for PS4 and PS5. For streaming, you can connect easily with Smart DNS, but for the full experience, installing on the router is also possible. With guides to help you install with the IKEv2 protocol, you’ll have help at hand to get the fastest connection – we clocked average speeds of 220 Mbps.
With 3,200 servers in 63 countries, Surfshark is great for unblocking streaming content and finding the best servers for gaming. Impressed by its speed and reliability, we used Surfshark to unblock Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, and more major streaming sites, so you can use it to turn your PS4 or PS5 into a global content hub!
One of Surfshark’s best features is that it allows you unlimited simultaneous connections on one subscription – that means you can connect it to as many devices as you want.
There’s 24/7 live chat too, so if you run into any problems setting up, the support team will be able to guide you through the fix.
Crucially, Surfshark is really affordable. With prices starting from just $2.49 a month, it’s one of the cheapest VPNs available. And with a 30-day money-back guarantee included, you can cancel without having to pay a penny if you decide to go with a different VPN.
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Unblocks most of the major streaming sites
- SmartDNS for easy streaming
- Installation guides for IKEv2 on routers
- Very affordable
- 24/7 live chat help
- Can’t share connection from Mac
3. ExpressVPN – easiest VPN setup for PlayStation
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,000 servers in 94 countries|
ExpressVPN is another excellent VPN option for your PlayStation. With 3,000 servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN lives up to its name and delivers fast speeds for all your streaming and gaming needs.
This service is proven to unblock all the main streaming sites. We unlocked Disney+, ESPN, Hulu, Netflix, and more without any problems. ExpressVPN offers an easy way to connect your PS4 to streaming services with its MediaStreamer service, which is essentially a Smart DNS feature.
If you’d rather connect via router (which you’ll likely need for gaming) ExpressVPN offers custom firmware that makes the router installation process simpler. You can also use provided guides to set up on a router with IKEv2 and Lightway protocols for a fast connection method. We got speeds of 226 Mbps from a 300 Mbps baseline on Lightway.
IKEv2 was actually faster at 232 Mbps but was let down by terrible upload speeds.
As well as guides that explain the installation process, ExpressVPN has live chat support that you can contact 24/7 should you need more help.
Compared to other VPNs, ExpressVPN is quite expensive. Its cheapest subscriptions start at $8.32 a month. However, you get a reliable and robust set of features as well as top-notch security and support. Try it out, and if it’s not for you, the 30-day money-back guarantee means you won’t be left out of pocket.
- Unblocks many big streaming platforms
- MediaStreamer (SmartDNS) feature
- Very fast connections with Lightway
- Has custom firmware for router installation
- No log policy
- More expensive than other VPNs
4. TorGuard – highly customizable PlayStation VPN
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||3,000 servers in 50+ countries|
TorGuard is another strong VPN option for your PlayStation. It offers fast connections on 3,000 servers in more than 50 countries (and up to 12 simultaneous connections per account!)
You can set TorGuard up on your router pretty easily with the aid of handy installation guides direct from TorGuard’s support center. The best part is you can even set it up on a router via WireGuard – one of the fastest tunneling protocols around. In fact, when we tested out its speeds, we saw average downloads clocking of 221 Mbps (from a 300 Mbps baseline).
TorGuard is a good option for gaming as its server location variety will keep your ping low, but when it comes to streaming, TorGuard is not the best. We struggled to unblock American Netflix and other major streaming services.
That said, the service does have the SmartDNS feature. So, if TorGuard manages to unblock the streaming platform you’re looking for, you’ll be able to watch on almost any device and with no lag.
As a result of its poor unblocking performance, you might find TorGuard expensive – its cheapest subscription costs $4.99 a month. If it’s not what you’re looking for, you can cancel your subscription for a full refund within 30-days.
- Fast connection speeds with WireGuard protocol
- Up to 12 simultaneous connections with Pro account
- Offers a range of tunneling protocols
- SmartDNS feature
- Good selection of customization options
- Not great for unblocking streaming sites
- Not as cheap as it should be
5. IPVanish – cheapest VPN for PS4/PS5
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||1,600+ servers in 75+ countries|
Last but not least, we have IPVanish, a great VPN option at a low price. Take your pick from over 1,600 servers in 75 different countries, and find the best server location for your gaming needs.
IPVanish offers a range of tunneling protocols, including IKEv2, OpenVPN, PPTP, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec. Connection speeds were decent, if not exceptional. Download speeds came in at an average of 180 Mbps download speed (300 Mbps baseline) when using OpenVPN.
When it comes to installing on your router, you can only use OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec. So unless your router has a really powerful CPU, you won’t get incredible speeds. The installation itself is straightforward, thanks to guides in the support center and 24/7 live chat should you require further assistance.
IPVanish doesn’t offer a Smart DNS feature, and overall it’s not up there with the best when it comes to unblocking streaming sites. That said, we were able to use it to get into Netflix US, which has a great selection of content, so there’s definitely some streaming fun to be had with IPVanish.
As we mentioned, IPVanish is very cheap. Its price plans start out at just $2.62 a month, and with a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can cancel your subscription if you change your mind. Note, however, that prices rise after the first billing period.
- Really cheap
- Unblocks Netflix
- Easy to follow installation guides
- Numerous tunneling protocols
- No Smart DNS
- Doesn’t unblock the full range of streaming sites
- For the best speeds you’ll need a powerful router
How we selected and tested these VPNs
When we were looking at the best VPNs for PS4 and PS5, we had a few key features to consider.
- How easy is it to set up on a router? Since you can’t install a VPN directly onto a PlayStation, you’ll need to be able to set it up on your router. Since this can be a complicated process, we selected VPNs that have guides and tutorials to make this as simple as possible.
- Can you set it up on routers via faster tunneling protocols (Lightway, IKEv2, WireGuard)? Many standard VPN router setups use the OpenVPN tunneling protocol, and unless you have a very powerful router, this can lead to a slower connection. Finding a VPN that lets you use more efficient tunneling protocols, like WireGuard, IKEv2, and Lightway, means you’ll get better speeds.
- Speed. Gaming and streaming, the two big uses of your PlayStation, rely on fast speeds to be enjoyed best. The last thing you want is a laggy game or a buffering show. That’s why we’ve picked VPNs that are known for having a range of fast servers.
- Good for streaming? The best VPNs will always be able to unblock geo-restricted streaming sites. So wherever you are in the world, you can use your PlayStation to watch American Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu Japan, and more. We also looked out for VPNs that offer the Smart DNS feature – as this lets you unblock content without having to install the VPN to your router.
- Customer support. Good customer support is vital – you never know when you’ll run into technical problems. This is particularly likely when setting up on your router.
- Price. You want good features at a fair price. Our top 5 VPNs are not only well priced, but they also offer 30-day money-back guarantees.
- Security. Staying safe from online threats is critical. We’ve recommended VPNs that can hide your IP address and have the best security settings like military-grade encryption and kill switches.
Why do I need a VPN to play on PlayStation?
Using a VPN with your PlayStation will enhance your gaming and streaming experience for a number of reasons.
- Unblock geo-restricted streaming content. You can load up apps from all your favorite streaming sites on your PS4 or PS5, but you’ll only be able to watch your country’s content library. With a VPN set up, you’ll be able to bypass geo-restrictions to watch content from any region you like! American Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky Sports, ESPN – the choice is yours.
- Access games first. PlayStation games are often released on different dates in different regions. A lot of big releases drop in Japan and Australia before they hit Europe or the USA. With a VPN set up, you can connect to a server location anywhere in the world and access games from that region.
- Switch up your servers. Having access to servers worldwide also means you can connect to gaming servers in different countries to play with friends overseas.
- Stay protected from DDoS hits. With a VPN service hiding your IP address, you’ll never have to worry about DDoS attacks. DDoS attacks are the last thing a gamer wants. They cause slow speeds and all-out crashes, which will get in the way of a good gaming session.
How to set up a VPN on a PlayStation console
Unlike a computer or smartphone, PlayStations don’t have native VPN apps you can install directly onto the console. But there are still ways to get all of the benefits of a VPN on your PS4 or PS5 – you’ll just need to try out a few alternative methods. Let’s take a look at your options.
Setting up a VPN on a router
Setting up a VPN directly on your router is useful as every device that goes through your network will automatically get the benefits of the VPN.
But this router installation can be a little tricky, and you’ll have to follow the steps quite carefully to avoid damaging your router. You’ll also find that the actual process can vary for different VPNs. Thankfully, all the VPNs on this list offer dedicated tutorials that will guide you through the installation process step-by-step.
For specific instructions, look on the support page of your chosen VPN service. However, generally, the process involves:
- Learning the router model and firmware type
- Getting your router’s IP address
- Accessing your router’s configuration settings
- Flashing your router with firmware that supports VPN (if necessary)
- Filling in the server details of your chosen VPN
As mentioned, our top-rated VPNs have detailed guides to get you through the process as easily as possible.
Sharing a VPN connection over a Wi-Fi router
You can also share a VPN connection by essentially turning your computer into a virtual router and connecting your console to your computer over Wi-Fi (or an ethernet cable – an ethernet connection is typically faster).
It’s worth noting that while this method might be a bit easier than installing directly to your router, the VPN’s performance will be considerably worse.
Here’s how to do it on Windows and Mac computers.
Sharing a VPN connection on Windows 10
- Download a recommended VPN to your computer. We like NordVPN
- Open Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Hotspot
- Toggle it On
- Next, go back to Settings > Network and Internet, and click Change adapter options
- Find your VPN’s adapter, right-click it to open Properties > Sharing
- Now click the Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s internet connection option
- Select your hotspot connection underneath Home Networking Connection
- Launch your VPN, connect to a server
- Finally, switch on your PS4/PS5, head to Settings > Network > Connect to the internet > Use Wi-Fi, and select your mobile hotspot
- You’re now ready to stream geo-blocked content and play all your favorite games on your VPN-connected PlayStation!
Sharing a VPN connection on macOS
- Find your chosen VPN’s account credentials
- On your Mac, set up L2TP/IPsec
- Head to System Preferences > Sharing
- Open the Internet Sharing menu
- Select your VPN connection in the drop-down
- Click the “To computers using” Wi-Fi box
- Create a Wi-Fi password in the Wi-Fi Options menu
- Return to Internet Sharing, hit Enable
- Load up your VPN
- Now go in to your PlayStation and connect to your Mac through Wi-Fi
Using Smart DNS
The instructions for setting up Smart DNS will be somewhat different for each VPN provider. Here’s what it might look like:
- Install your chosen VPN. We recommend NordVPN
- Open up the VPN’s dashboard, and register your IP address under either the Smart DNS or DNS settings options
- You should now get a DNS code – note it down
- Switch on your PS5, go into Settings > Network > Custom
- Select either Wi-Fi or LAN cable, depending on how your PlayStation is connected to the internet
- Select Automatic > Do Not Specify > Manual
- Enter the DNS codes you noted down earlier
- Go back to Automatic > Do Not Use, and hit Test Your Internet Connection
- Restart your PS4 or PS5
- You should now be good to go! Open up a streaming app on your PlayStation to find a whole new library of content that you wouldn’t have been able to see before
Can I use a free VPN for PS4/PS5?
You could certainly try to use a free VPN with your PS4/PS5, but while you might think you’re saving money, it may not be the bargain you think it is.
There are two types of free VPN, and they don’t really compare to a paid VPN for a number of reasons.
Fully free VPNs are usually very poor features-wise. They’re slow, aren’t good for unblocking content, don’t have many servers, and they certainly won’t be easy to install on a router – if you can do that at all. But even if you could somehow get a free VPN working on your console, there are even more reasons to avoid them.
A VPN that doesn’t charge any money from its users still has to make money somehow – usually from nefarious methods like selling your personal data to third parties, as well as filling their apps with ads. We’ve even heard that some free VPNs have been found to be hiding malware.
Alternatively, you could try a freemium VPN. This is a scaled-down version of a paid VPN. You’ll get a provider you can trust, but you’ll still be lacking features and will have restrictions and data caps getting in your way – the last thing you want when you’re gaming and streaming content.
Some freemium VPNs can be OK – like Windscribe, which offers a 10GB data cap each month. But for features, security, and ease of use – it’s worth your while to ditch the free options and find a trusted paid VPN that has a subscription plan you can afford.
All in all, you’ll get a lot more out of your PS4 or PS5 if you connect it to a VPN service. Aside from the entertainment benefits, VPNs also offer anonymity and security. You can get around ISP throttling, hide your IP address, and protect yourself from cyber threats like malware.
So whether you want to unblock a world of streaming content or just get a fast and secure connection for your gaming needs, a VPN is really worth it. You won’t have to break the bank either, as the majority are very affordable.
Which VPN is best for PS4?
NordVPN is our recommendation as the best VPN for PS4. Secure and reliable – NordVPN does everything you need, including unblocking all the big streaming sites and giving you a fast connection for lag-free gaming. It’s got a range of features, including SmartPlay for streaming and the NordLynx tunneling protocol.
Can I use VPN on PS5?
Yes. You can use a VPN on PS5, but you can’t install it directly on the console. You’ll need to install the VPN on your router so that the PS5 gets connected through your Wi-Fi. This can be tricky to set up, but the best VPNs, like NordVPN, will help you with guides and tutorials.
Does changing DNS help PS4?
No. It’s not a great idea to change your DNS unless you have some sort of network issue, as it won’t really offer any benefits to speed or gaming. If you want easy access to geo-blocked streaming content, you can use a SmartDNS with a VPN like NordVPN.
Will a VPN improve my speeds when gaming?
You might be able to get a lower ping if you connect to a VPN server that is really close to the game’s server, but generally, using a VPN won’t make a big improvement on your gaming speeds unless your ISP is currently throttling your connection.