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Best VPNs for PokerStars in 2024


PokerStars is an extremely popular gambling platform that offers online poker, casino games, and sports betting. Unfortunately, it is blocked in a huge number of regions, such as Australia, Austria, Germany and some US states, which might include your own region.

Luckily, you can unblock and play PokerStars with the help of a VPN. Not only that – a good VPN will also make your online activity much more secure, hiding your search history from your ISP and protecting your traffic when you use public Wi-Fi.

To help you make an informed decision, our research team tested 42 providers and I hand-picked the best VPNs for PokerStars that allow you to access the platform from the US or any other region where it’s unavailable.

Best VPNs to play Pokerstars in 2024

How to play PokerStars with a VPN

pokerstars-vpn
  1. Subscribe to a VPN that unblocks PokerStars, like NordVPN, now 74% OFF
  2. Download the tool, install it, and pick the right server (like Canada or Italy)
  3. Then, download and install the PokerStars client
  4. Create an account and make a deposit
  5. Start playing!

The best VPNs for PokerStars – our detailed list

To gather a list of the best PokerStars VPNs, 42 providers were tested to help identify which reputable VPNs have the biggest server fleets, demonstrate best speeds, offer top security features, and more.

1. NordVPN – the best VPN for PokerStars

NordVPN banner
Based in:Panama
Servers/countries:6300+ servers in 111 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:Yes
Current deal:Get NordVPN, now up to 74% OFF + 3 months FREE!

NordVPN is the best VPN for PokerStars due to its effortless unblocking capabilities. Thanks to a massive server fleet and excellent speed, I was able to access PokerStars without issues.

NordVPN unblocks PokerStars

Servers. NordVPN offers plenty of servers to unblock PokerStars – over 6300 in 111 countries. During our examination, I managed to unblock PokerStars using servers in Canada, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, the UK, and more.

Speed. According to tests, this VPN is the fastest VPN on the market. Its custom tunneling protocol, NordLynx, is based on the super-fast WireGuard, which retained an average of 90% initial connection speed during in-house tests.

Features. NordVPN includes plenty of useful features like server obfuscation to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. When I tried out the kill switch, it also worked as intended, disconnecting from the internet until the VPN connection was restored. For ultimate security and control, you can even get a dedicated IP address for $70/year.

Price. All of this won’t cost a fortune – for only $3.09 a month, you’ll get to use the service on 10 devices simultaneously. And the best thing – there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can use to try the service out.

Read more in our NordVPN review.

2. Surfshark – cheap PokerStars VPN for unlimited devices

Surfshark banner
Based in:The Netherlands
Servers/countries:3200+ servers in 100 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:Yes
Current deal:Get 83% OFF Surfshark + 3 months FREE

Surfshark is a leading VPN for PokerStars that, unlike NordVPN, permits unlimited simultaneous connections. It offers a massive network of servers and continuously unblocks the majority of online poker and gambling platforms, including PokerStars.

Surfshark unblocks PokerStars

Servers. Surfshark has more than 3200 servers distributed in 100 countries. When tested with PokerStars, this VPN managed to unblock the platform using servers in Canada, Italy, and the UK.

Speed. This VPN comes with the WireGuard protocol, ensuring fast performance. In-house test results show that on average, it managed to retain 86% of initial connection speeds. This means that you’ll be able to play poker without interruption.

Features. Surfshark comes with Camouflage Mode, or traffic obfuscation, which hides your VPN traffic. And because of the RAM-only servers, your data is in safe hands – it’s wiped out with each reboot.

Price. You can get Surfshark’s excellent VPN service for only $2.19/month and test it without worry using the 30-day money-back guarantee.

Still can’t decide? Check out the Surfshark VPN review or compare Surfshark vs NordVPN to find the perfect fit.

3. IPVanish – low-cost and fast VPN for PokerStars

IPVanish banner
Based in:United States
Servers/countries:2400+ servers in 55 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:No
Current deal:Get 83% OFF IPVanish + 3 months FREE!

IPVanish will help you access PokerStars if it’s blocked in your country, thanks to a huge server selection scattered throughout the globe. You’ll be able to play while being secured with advanced security and privacy measures.

IPVanish unblocks PokerStars

Servers. IPVanish has servers in 55 countries, many of which allow playing PokerStars. After examining various servers from different locations, I found that this VPN unblocks the gambling site in Canada, Italy, Poland, and Sweden.

Speed. With the WireGuard protocol, IPVanish retained 80% of initial connection speeds on average. So, while playing PokerStars, I noticed no buffering.

Features. IPVanish makes it difficult to detect VPN usage thanks to the Scramble OpenVPN obfuscation feature. You can even use the On Demand feature so that the VPN would automatically connect whenever you turn on PokerStars.

Price. The cheapest IPVanish plan is the 2-year option – coming at $2.19/month. If you’re on a budget, take a look at Surfshark as it’s cheaper than IPVanish. A standard 30-day money-back guarantee is also applicable.

To learn more, read our IPVanish review.

4. ExpressVPN – security-focused VPN for playing PokerStars

ExpressVPN banner
Based in:British Virgin Islands
Servers/countries:Servers in 105 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:Yes
Current deal:Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for PokerStars due to its powerful security features as well as a big server fleet and intuitive apps. Plus, this VPN accessed PokerStars almost instantly.

ExpressVPN unblocks PokerStars

Servers. With plenty of servers in 105 countries, you can access PokerStars from many different locations. During my investigation, the VPN unblocked PokerStars with servers in Italy, Canada, Poland, and the UK.

Speed. ExpressVPN uses its proprietary Lightway protocol to ensure swift and secure connections for its customers. The final speed test result was 77% average speed retention rate, which isn’t ideal but still stable. So if you need a faster provider, I recommend taking a look at Surfshark or NordVPN instead.

Features. With ExpressVPN, you get Stealth servers, or obfuscated servers. They hide the fact that you’re using a VPN, so that PokerStars wouldn’t detect your activities. Plus, there’s a Threat Manager for ensuring no third-party tracking.

Price. ExpressVPN is on the expensive side, starting at $6.67/month. If you want a cheaper VPN, opt for NordVPN. Fortunately, ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Gain insights from our Express VPN review or make a well-informed choice by comparing NordVPN vs ExpressVPN.

5. CyberGhost – cost-effective PokerStars VPN with loads of IPs

CyberGhost VPN banner
Based in:Romania
Servers/countries:11500+ servers in 100 countries
Cryptocurrency payments:
Yes
Current deal:Get CyberGhost VPN, now 83% + 2 months FREE!

CyberGhost is the most budget-friendly VPN for unblocking PokerStars abroad. It has servers in many of countries and ensures excellent performance – everything you need for playing poker anywhere.

CyberGhost unblocks PokerStars

Servers. CyberGhost offers 11500+ servers in 100 countries. Our inspection showed that it unblocks PokerStars in Canada, Italy, the UK, and more.

Speed. You won’t have trouble accessing PokerStars and gaming without interruptions with CyberGhost. It comes with the powerful WireGuard protocol that retains 86% of the baseline speed according to our tests.

Features. With CyberGhost, you can get a dedicated IP to ensure you get all the security there is (from $2.50/month to $5.00/month). However, one thing it lacks is the traffic obfuscation feature. If you find it a deal-breaker and want to hide your VPN connection, ExpressVPN or IPVanish would be a better choice.

Price. For $2.19/month, this VPN is an excellent choice for an enjoyable and safe PokerStars experience. With a 45-day money-back guarantee included.

To find out more, visit our CyberGhost review.

How we selected and tested PokerStars VPNs

Our team of experts tested 42 reputable providers using Virtualbox VM with Windows 11 Pro installed on Lenovo ThinkPad T14s Gen 2 device with AMD Ryzen 5 PRO 5650U processor, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD. Our rankings vastly depended on whether (and how well) the gambling VPNs unblocked PokerStars. Other criteria, however, such as speed and security features, were taken into consideration as well.

Here’s exactly how we selected and tested these VPNs:

  • PokerStars unblocking capabilities. First and foremost, we tested which VPNs can unblock PokerStars and let you play uninterrupted.
  • Server network. We looked at providers with the largest server fleets, so you’d be able to find locations to connect to where PokerStars is available. This includes servers in Canada, the Czech Republic, Australia, and other regions.
  • Speed. We used the fastest protocols, such as WireGuard and its modern variations, to test each provider's performance. Our list only includes fast VPNs that retain at least 77% of baseline download speed and ensure a lag-free PokerStars experience.
  • Security. When you use a VPN to play PokerStars, it’s extremely important that the VPN is secure enough to not reveal you. This means it should include the AES or XChaCha20 encryption and a strict no-logs policy.
  • Features. Some VPN features can be of great help when playing at PokerStars. For example, obfuscated servers will make sure your VPN is virtually undetectable. Meanwhile, split tunneling will allow you to decide which apps or websites use the VPN traffic.
  • Price. Even cheap VPNs can provide you with just as good of security levels as more expensive ones. That’s why we evaluated what each provider offers for the money you have to pay and provided options for every budget.
Enjoy PokerStars anywhere with NordVPN
Use NordVPN to enhance your online security and privacy while playing PokerStars in any location. The market-leading VPN service offers the best connection speeds, thousands of worldwide servers, and unbreakable digital protection.
cybernews® score
4.9 /5

Why do I need a VPN for PokerStars?

There are a lot of benefits to using a VPN to play PokerStars and other poker services. Naturally, the primary perk is circumventing the error message displayed below.

PokerStars unavailable message

Let’s take a look at those benefits in more detail:

  • Site access. If you live in a country where online gambling is illegal (or simply falls into a grey area), then using a PokerStars VPN is the only way to play some online poker games. On another note, gambling might not even be illegal in your area, but the site may be blocked due to licensing issues.
  • Security. It’s good to use a VPN for PokerStars if you simply want your connection to be secured, especially if you use public Wi-Fi for that. Also, it can be a good idea to simply hide your activity from your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
  • Speed throttling. Your ISP might throttle, or slow down, your internet connection speed when certain activities are detected. In these rare cases, a VPN will actually speed things up, not vice versa.
Expert comment
Content editor and security expert

Why is PokerStars restricted in certain countries?

Unfortunately, like all the other gambling sites, PokerStars is blocked in many countries of the world.

Most PokerStars blocks are related not to the site itself or its licensing, but the general situation of gambling games in certain locations.

For example, you won’t be able to access the page (or claim the bonuses, for that matter) in virtually any Muslim country due to religious reasons. In other words, gambling may be considered a crime where you live, and it’s smart to check all the laws around it before accessing sites like PokerStars.

However, even non-Muslim countries can ban PokerStars or any other poker site. For example, some countries may require gambling sites to have specific licenses. And in some cases, the laws surrounding gambling are downright confusing, like in the USA – there, only certain states (like New Jersey or Delaware) allow real-money games in the first place.

Where is PokerStars blocked?

There are many countries where you won’t be able to play PokerStars unless you use a VPN to bypass the geo-restrictions. Here are some of the countries where PokerStars is blocked:

ContinentState or country
EuropeNorth Macedonia, Serbia, Vatican City, Cyprus, Netherlands, Germany, Ukraine
AmericasColombia, USA (with the exception of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and Michigan)
AfricaEgypt, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Chad, Kenya
Asia and OceaniaAustralia, Bangladesh, China, French Polynesia, Jordan, Malaysia, New Caledonia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, India

However, keep in mind that this is just a small part of the countries where you won’t be able to access PokerStars. You can check out the full list on the official website of this online poker giant.

Disclaimer

Certain locations might punish gambling by a fine or even imprisonment, so stay vigilant about your actions.

How to play PokerStars in the USA

PokerStars is completely unavailable in America with the exception of states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and Michigan. That means the majority of American players will need to enable a VPN to play PokerStars without limits. Here’s how to do that.

  1. Purchase a top-shelf VPN for PokerStars. I recommend betting on NordVPN, the #1 VPN for online gambling
  2. Install the VPN app on your gaming device
  3. Connect to a nearby country where PokerStars is available, such as Canada or Brazil
  4. Open PokerStars and play it anywhere

How to play PokerStars in Australia

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill released in 2023 by the Australian government makes it practically impossible to play PokerStars with real money in the country. As such, you’ll have to follow this simple guide if you want to enjoy PokerStars in Australia.

  1. Choose a reliable PokerStars VPN. My top choice is NordVPN with its worldwide server fleet
  2. Download the VPN to your device
  3. Boot up the software and connect to a country that permits PokerStars, such as New Zealand
  4. Open the PokerStars app and play without limits

Safety tips for playing PokerStars with a VPN

Nobody wants their PokerStars account frozen or downright banned for using a VPN. Luckily, there are a few tips that will help you to minimize your chances of being detected or losing your funds:

  • Turn on the VPN on time. It’s really important that you connect to the desired VPN server before you open your PokerStars client. In this way, the service won’t detect an IP change.
  • Withdraw your winnings often. As there’s always a chance to get your account frozen, don’t let your winnings accumulate. Withdraw your money as often as possible. This also helps to not trigger KYC (your identity verification), which would expose your real location.
  • Enable the kill switch. Before playing, check whether the VPN’s kill switch is turned on. Even though usually it’s enabled by default, some VPNs leave it to the user to decide. The feature will prevent your real IP from being exposed if the VPN malfunctions.
  • Use obfuscated servers. These kinds of servers will hide your VPN traffic as regular traffic, making it harder for PokerStars to detect that you’re tricking them. You can find server obfuscation on such VPNs as NordVPN and Surfshark.

In case your VPN can’t seemingly unblock PokerStars, try changing the tunneling protocol first, as the poker client might only block a certain protocol. Also, try your luck with different countries and servers.

Yes, it is legal to use a VPN to play at PokerStars if online poker is allowed in your country. However, keep in mind that VPN usage doesn’t make an illegal activity into a legal one. So, if you live in a region where gambling is extremely frowned upon, you might still get into trouble.

Also, PokerStars might freeze or ban your account if it catches you using a VPN, especially if it decides to ask for documents to confirm your identity.

Can I use a free VPN for PokerStars?

Yes, it’s possible to play at PokerStars with a free VPN, but you should be careful about it. If you simply pick a random free VPN, you might get your personal information stolen and sold to third parties. Also, your browser might start getting annoying and dangerous ads that contain malware and viruses.

Luckily, there are a few trustworthy freemium VPNs. But not all of them are suitable for PokerStars specifically. For example, even though Proton VPN has a great free version with an unlimited amount of data, none of its servers unblock PokerStars.

On a similar note, the free version of Windscribe might bypass the geo-restrictions of this poker site, but it has a monthly limit of 10MB, which isn’t that much.

That’s why your best bet to unblock PokerStars would be using a VPN with a free trial and a money-back guarantee on top of it.

  1. NordVPN – enjoy PokerStars without interruptions using the 7-day free trial for Android devices (can be used on other devices after setup) on top of a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark – make use of the 7-day free trial for macOS, iOS, and Android devices as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee to effortlessly get into PokerStars.

Conclusion

PokerStars is a popular gambling site that isn’t available in lots of countries. Users from certain US states, Australia, Germany, Serbia, or any other country where PokerStars isn’t available will have to use a VPN to access the site.

My top recommendation is NordVPN. In-house tests showed that it effortlessly unblocks the platform in loads of countries using servers in Canada, Italy, the UK, and more. Plus, it doesn’t compromise on speed, ensuring buffering-free gambling.

However, be wary of your country’s stance on gambling. Try to access PokerStars only if there are no heavy penalties for doing so, as online poker should be a fun and lighthearted activity, not a cause of headache.


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