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Best VPNs for Dark and Darker in 2023

Dark and Darker is a long-awaited game which just released a playtest, but gamers on Reddit are reporting multiple issues with the game. For many players, the game gets stuck at a certain point when downloading. Others reported that several antiviruses, firewalls, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) mark Dark and Darker as malicious traffic, blocking access to the game.

Luckily, even Redditors approve that many of these issues can be fixed with a reliable VPN. It changes your IP address and hides your traffic, letting you avoid any ISP or antivirus blockage, increase downloading speeds, and play the game without interruptions.

Best VPN for Dark and Darker
NordVPN is the best VPN for Dark and Darker thanks to its massive server fleet and a competitive speed retention rate of 92% according to our tests. Plus, it comes with a free 7-day trial on Android and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

So, we tested 32 services and their speeds, features, and security to find the 5 best VPNs for Dark and Darker to fix all occurring game issues. Continue reading to find the top providers and how they can improve your gaming experience.

Best VPNs for Dark and Darker

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Why do I need a VPN for Dark and Darker?

A high-quality VPN for Dark and Darker is necessary so you could have an uninterrupted gaming experience. Here’s why exactly you need a VPN for Dark and Darker:

  • Avoid server issues. If you keep a VPN on while running and playing Dark and Darker, you can be sure that you won’t be blocked mid-game.
  • Prevent downloading lags. We found that Reddit users complain about the game getting stuck at some point during download. A VPN lets you connect to a faster server, avoiding any ISP throttling or overcrowded servers, and improving the downloading performance.
  • Avoid ISP or antivirus software blocking. Multiple users complained that firewalls, antiviruses, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) label the game’s traffic as malicious. You can disable firewalls and antiviruses. But a VPN is useful to hide your online traffic from your ISP, so they can’t block the game.
  • Protect yourself from DDoS attacks. Dark and Darker has already been experiencing DDoS attacks in the past. A VPN helps prevent it by hiding your IP address. So even if you experience a cyber attack, you can simply switch to a different VPN server and keep on playing without annoyances.

Best VPNs for Dark and Darker – our detailed list

We tested 32 providers to find which ones are the most suitable for playing Dark and Darker. We reviewed their features, read their privacy policies, and tested their performance. Here are the best VPNs for Dark and Darker:

1. NordVPN – best VPN for Dark and Darker in 2023

NordVPN banner 1
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:5,800+ servers in 60 countries
Streaming sites:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
Current deal:🔥Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥

NordVPN is the best VPN for Dark and Darker because it’s one of the most secure and fastest services on the market. It efficiently hides online traffic from your ISP without leaks thanks to a massive server fleet of over 5,800 servers in 60 countries.

Security. NordVPN uses the advanced AES-256 (and ChaCha20) encryption, ensuring your ISP can’t throttle your speed when playing Dark and Darker. Plus, NordVPN offers a kill switch to protect from accidental data leaks and traffic obfuscation for hiding the fact that you’re using a VPN.

Privacy. We read NordVPN’s privacy policy and found that it collects no data related to your online activities. Even though it collects information for improving its services, you can opt out of it. Plus, the policy has been audited twice already, so you know your data is in safe hands.

Speeds. We performed speed tests using NordVPN’s proprietary NordLynx protocol, which is one of the fastest on the market. The results showed an average speed retention rate of 90% compared to initial connection speeds. So you’ll play Dark and Darker lag-free.

Price. You can get NordVPN for as little as $3.19/month. There’s also a 7-day free trial for Android devices (can be used on other devices after initial signup) and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Learn more information in our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – Dark and Darker VPN for all of your devices

Surfshark banner
Based in:
The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3,200+ servers in 100 countries
Streaming sites:
Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more
Current deal:🔥Get 82% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE🔥

Surfshark is a more affordable alternative for Dark and Darker that you can also use on an unlimited number of devices. It offers great value for your money, considering its security is top-notch and it has over 3,200 servers in 100 countries that won’t slow you down while gaming.

Security. With Surfshark, you get the AES 256-bit encryption as well as ChaCha20 with the NordLynx protocol. You also get a reliable kill switch to prevent data leaks in case the VPN connection drops. Traffic obfuscation for concealing your VPN usage and a full-fledged antivirus are also available.

Privacy. After reading the privacy policy of Surfshark, we found that it retains none of your online activity data. Even though it collects some information to improve its services, you have an option to opt out of it. The privacy policy has also been audited, approving that your data is not collected.

Speeds. Surfshark uses the WireGuard protocol and we ran performance tests to determine whether it’s suitable for gaming. Considering that it retains around 86% of initial connection speeds, you’re not likely to experience buffering.

Price. Surfshark is a low-cost VPN with prices starting from $2.30/month. You can claim the 7-day free trial on macOS, Android, and iOS devices. There’s also a standard 30-day money-back guarantee.

You can find more information in our Surfshark review.

3. Atlas VPN – inexpensive VPN for playing Dark and Darker

Atlas VPN banner
Based in:
United States
Servers/countries:1,000+ servers in 42 countries
Streaming sites:
Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube
Current deal:🔥Get Atlas VPN, now 85% OFF + 3 months FREE!🔥

Atlas VPN is another great VPN for playing Dark and Darker thanks to its essential security measures and extremely cheap prices. While it only has 1,000+ servers in 42 countries, you’ll find plenty for efficient gaming.

Security. Like most providers, Atlas VPN uses the AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption. The server fleet is quite small, so if it’s a dealbreaker, opt for NordVPN instead. Atlas VPN can also help you avoid fake Dark and Darker malicious sites with its SafeBrowse feature.

Privacy. Atlas VPN’s privacy policy is quite clear – they aren’t storing any of your private information. However, the service is based in the US, which is a member of the 5-Eye surveillance alliance. And the policy hasn’t been audited yet either.

Speeds. Atlas VPN, thanks to its WireGuard protocol, is very fast. On average, it retained 80% of the baseline speeds during our tests, ensuring good speeds for any gamer.

Price. You can get Atlas VPN from $1.82/month, letting you still play Dark and Darker cheap. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available as well.

Read more in our Atlas VPN review.

4. ExpressVPN – Dark and Darker VPN for security

ExpressVPN banner
🌎Based in:British Virgin Islands
🖥️Servers/countries:3,000+ servers in 94 countries
🍿Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
🔥Coupons:ExpressVPN coupon 49% OFF

If extra security when playing Dark and Darker is what you need, ExpressVPN is what you’re looking for. With over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, it effectively secures you from DDoS attacks and ISP speed throttling.

Security. This VPN adopts the AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption ciphers. Like all the best providers, it also comes with a kill switch and obfuscated servers. To avoid any fake Dark and Darker download sites, you can make use of its Treat Manager which blocks malicious activity.

Privacy. The privacy policy of ExpressVPN clearly states that they keep no logs, and you can opt out of the aggregated data collection that it collects. Its no-logging policies have also been proved in courts and by independent audits.

Speeds. Once we performed speed tests for ExpressVPN, we found that it retains 77% of initial connection speeds on average. So if you want a faster Dark and Darker experience, NordVPN is the way to go.

Price. ExpressVPN is quite expensive, with the lowest price coming at $6.67/month. So if you’re in need of a cheaper service, take a look at Surfshark. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available as well.

Find out all about this VPN in our ExpressVPN review.

5. CyberGhost – gaming VPN with loads of servers

CyberGhost VPN banner
🌎Based in:Romania
🖥️Servers/countries:9,400+ servers in 91 countries
🍿Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+
🔥Coupons:CyberGhost coupon 83% OFF

With an exceptional network of servers, CyberGhost is a suitable VPN for Dark and Darker. It offers over 9,400 servers in 91 countries, including gaming-optimized ones, isn’t expensive, and will bypass ISP throttling in no time.

Security. CyberGhost uses the AES-256 as well as ChaCha20 encryption cipher. You can also make use of its gaming-optimized servers and enable the kill switch to prevent accidental data leakage.

Privacy. As we found after reading the privacy policy, this VPN doesn’t log your traffic or collect your connection logs. So Dark and Darker gamers can privately relax – the 2022 independent audit only proves it to be trustworthy.

Speeds. Our performance tests show that CyberGhost doesn’t lack in terms of speeds. On average, it retained 86% of initial connection speeds. The tests were done using the WireGuard protocol of this service.

Price. The prices of CyberGhost start from $2.19/month. It also comes with a 1-day free trial on desktop devices, 3 days on Android, and 7 days on iOS. Even the money-back guarantee is extended to 45 days.

To learn more, read our CyberGhost review.

How we picked and tested these VPNs

When choosing a VPN for Dark and Darker, it’s important that it comes with great security and fast speeds. But those are not the only things. We tested 32 providers using the Virtualbox VM with Windows 11 installed on Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 device with AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 5650U processor and the Windows 11 Pro operating system. And here’s how we picked the best VPNs for Dark and Darker:

Security features:
Kill switch, traffic obfuscation
Privacy:Independently audited no-logs policy
Encryption:ChaCha20, AES-256
Speed:No less than 77%
Servers: Obfuscated, optimized for gaming
  • Server network. The more servers the service has, the better chance you have to find ones closer to you and with optimal performance. All of the providers that we included have servers in plenty of locations.
  • Encryption. We only included providers who offer AES-256 or ChaCha20 encryption as these are currently some of the most secure ciphers.
  • Security features. Only providers that offer a kill switch made the list. We tested it for data leaks and only included services that don’t leak your data. Other features, like malicious activity protection and traffic obfuscation, were also taken into account.
  • Privacy policy. We read the privacy policy of each provider and analyzed whether they log any of your data. Even better if the policy has been independently audited in the past.
  • Speeds. Using WireGuard and its modern variations, we tested the speeds of VPNs. The speed retention rate shouldn’t be lower than around 77%.
  • Value for your money. VPNs shouldn’t be overpriced, but sometimes the more expensive providers come with more value. We provided options for every budget.

Common issues with Dark and Darker

Lots of users waited long for the Dark and Darker playtest to come out, but it didn’t come without issues.

For starters, many gamers complain that when downloading the game, the process gets stuck at 5-15%. This can be caused by ISP speed throttling or overcrowded servers. But if you connect to a fast server with a VPN like NordVPN, you can overcome downloading issues in an instant.

NordVPN Reddit comment Dark and Darker

Moving on, Reddit users noticed that lots of ISPs, antiviruses, and firewalls are blocking the game. Some of the ISPs that incorrectly mark it as malicious traffic are AT&T and Verizon. Antiviruses that block the game include Bitdefender and McAfee.

Reddit comment Dark and Darker ISP blocking

You can disable firewalls and antiviruses from blocking Dark and Darker, but it’s different when it comes to ISPs. Internet providers monitor your online traffic and block suspicious or malicious activities from their side. You can get around this by using a gaming VPN – it conceals your online activities, letting you play and browse whatever you wish.

If you don’t use a VPN, when these programs or providers mark Dark and Darker as malicious content, the game gets blocked and you can’t play it at all. When you launch the game, you’ll receive an error stating “Failed to connect to the server. Quit the game.”

Dark and Darker server error issues

Furthermore, while there haven’t been any recent reports about DDoS attacks, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Dark and Darker has experienced DDoS attacks in the past, interrupting the game for many players. Using a VPN can help get around this issue as you can simply connect to another server to avoid threat actor attacks.

Another issue with Dark and Darker is the Blacksmith uninstaller. There have been multiple complaints that the uninstaller wiped out all unrelated data instead of just the game. So in case you want to remove it, wait for the developers to fix the issue.

DISCLAIMER: Do not use Blacksmith uninstaller for Dark and Darker as multiple gamers claim it wipes out all of your desktop data.

How to use a VPN for Dark and Darker?

Using a VPN for Dark and Darker is as simple as using it for any other reason. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up a VPN for gaming:

  1. Choose a gaming VPN and sign up. We recommend NordVPN, now 68% OFF
  2. Download the app and follow the installation instructions
    nordvpn account and download
  3. Log in and connect to a server. Keep in mind that the closer the server is to your physical location, the better performance you may expect
    NordVPN Windows app interface
  4. In Settings, choose the fastest protocol available, such as WireGuard or its modern variations (like NordLynx or Lightway). This will guarantee the fastest performance
  5. Download and launch Dark and Darker without issues

How to add a firewall exclusion for Dark and Darker

If Dark and Darker gets blocked by a firewall, there’s an easy way to make an exclusion. Here are the steps you should take:

  1. Click on Start and search for Settings
  2. Press Update & Security
  3. Go to Windows Security and click on Firewall & network protection Windows Security Firewall section
  4. Select Allow an app through firewall
    Allow an app through firewall on Windows
  5. Select the app you want to exclude and click OK
  6. You can now launch Dark and Darker without issues

Best VPNs for Dark and Darker compared

We found that NordVPN is the best VPN for Dark and Darker and fixing issues with the game. It has a massive server fleet which lets you connect to not overcrowded servers. Plus, the average speeds ensure a much faster game download experience.

However, we stacked up the best Dark and Darker VPNs against each other in a table to see how they compare:

  • Baseline: 500Mbps download, 500Mbps upload
BrandNordVPNSurfsharkAtlas VPNExpressVPNCyberGhost
Avg. download speed460Mbps450Mbps400Mbps385Mbps430Mbps
Avg. speed retention rate90%86%80%77%86%
Servers5,800+ servers in 60 countries3,200+ servers in 100 countries1,000+ servers in 42 countries3,000+ servers in 94 countries9,400+ servers in 91 countries
DDoS protection
Simultaneous connections6UnlimitedUnlimited87
Price (lowest price per month)$3.19/month$2.30/month$1.82/month$6.67/month$2.19/month
Free trialYes, 7-day (Android)Yes, 7-day (macOS, Android, iOS)Yes, unlimited (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS)Yes, 7-day for mobile devicesYes, 1-day on a desktop, 3-day on Android, and 7-day on iOS
ReviewNordVPN reviewSurfshark VPN reviewAtlas VPN reviewExpressVPN reviewCyberGhost review

Can I use a free VPN for Dark and Darker?

We don’t recommend using a completely free VPN for Dark and Darker because they’re not safe. Untrustworthy providers can end up selling your data instead of protecting it, defeating the purpose of VPN in the first place. Plus, some free VPNs are simply malware in disguise.

Alternatively, you can try out freemium gaming VPNs. They’re introductory services of paid providers, so you know they’re reliable. That being said, they’re still limited in features and servers, and usually have data caps. So you’re not likely to successfully play Dark and Darker for long.

The best solution is getting a premium VPN and making use of its free trial and money-back guarantees.

  1. NordVPN – download and unblock Dark and Darker with a free 7-day trial for Android (can be used on other devices after signup) and a 30-day money-back guarantee
  2. Surfshark – play Dark and Darker interruption-free with a free 7-day trial for Android, iOS, and macOS on top of a 30-day money-back guarantee


The gamer world recently received a playtest of the much-anticipated Dark and Darker game, but its release has come with nothing but issues. Users are reporting official website crashes, stuck download processes, and ISP, antivirus, and firewall game blocking.

Many of these issues can be bypassed using a VPN. It hides your online activities, ensuring that your ISP can’t wrongly mark the game as malicious. Plus, Reddit users approved that connecting to a VPN server helps fasten the downloading process.

Our tests showed that the best VPN for Dark and Darker is NordVPN. It has a server fleet of over 5,800 servers in 60 countries, letting you find much less overcrowded ones. Plus, its download speed retention rates average at 90%, and it costs as little as $3.19/month.

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