5 Best VPNs for CS:GO (Reduce Lag + Unblock Anywhere)

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There’s nothing worse than joining a Demolition game on CS:GO only to lag out.

Luckily, NordVPN can help.

First, you’ll get lower latency, thanks to the VPN provider’s super-fast servers.

This means no more lagging!

On top of that, NordVPN’s DDoS protection ensures you’re safe from the opposing team if they launch a DDoS attack against you when you kick their butts.

And that’s not all!

I’ll discuss everything in this guide, including some alternatives (like Surfshark and ExpressVPN).

So, stay tuned!

I paid special mind to several things in my “Arms Race” to find the most reliable VPNs for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Everything to do with speed was included – servers, latency, ping, lag, etc.

But as CS:GO is restricted in some countries (like the Netherlands and Belgium), I also searched for VPNs capable of accessing the game in its entirety.

Furthermore, I wanted VPNs with DDoS protection, as Global Offensive players are no stranger to DDoS threats.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Keep reading for the full details!

Ready to Play Deathmatch on Overpass? Grab One of My Top VPNs First!

Before you hop into a game of Deathmatch on your favorite Counter-Strike map, grab one of my top VPNs quickly!

Here’s the list: 

  • NordVPN – Best VPN Overall for CS:GO (NordLynx + Low Latency)
  • Surfshark – Static Servers, Fast Speeds, & Affordable Prices
  • ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for CS:GO + Automatic Obfuscation
  • Private Internet Access – VPN for CS:GO With Port Forwarding & Kill Switch
  • VyprVPN – WireGuard Protocol + 300,000 IPs + DDoS Protection

But after you win, come back for the full guide!

There’s some info on using a VPN with CS:GO that you don’t want to miss.

Detailed List of the 5 Best VPNs for CS:GO

Are you ready to learn why the best VPNs for CS:GO are the best?

Great!

I’ll discuss all the key details in the following sections, including unique features, speeds, and essential comparisons.

So… gear up, we’re going in!

1. NordVPN – Best VPN Overall for CS:GO

nordvpn gaming

Sitting in first place as the top VPN for Global Offensive is NordVPN!

Let’s discuss why.

First, NordVPN placed third during my speed tests.

But it was so close behind Surfshark that it almost tied for second.

Take a look:

Speed Without NordVPN:

speed test result without nordvpn

Speed With NordVPN:

speed test result with nordvpn

On the other hand, the VPN provider did tie with Surfshark in my ping tests – both VPNs lowered my ping to 11ms (and kept it there).

NordVPN also tied with ExpressVPN in my latency tests, with a 0% packet loss.

All of this means your CS:GO experience will be lag-free, stable, and fast, even if your ISP is known to throttle your bandwidth while gaming.

Here’s a summary of all of my findings:

CS:GO Criteria Results With NordVPN
Ping: 11ms
Packet Loss: 0%
Speed: 219.06 Mbps
Speed Loss Difference: -8.36 Mbps

You can also get faster speeds using NordVPN’s proprietary protocol, NordLynx.

Only one other VPN on my list offers a proprietary protocol that’s fast and great for gaming (ExpressVPN). 

On top of that, NordVPN’s server network boasts 5,100+ game servers, helping your speeds even more by combatting server congestion.

That’s the second biggest server network on my list!

playing csgo with nordvpn

But the VPN’s server network is helpful beyond speed.

For example, if you’re in a country that restricts access to CS:GO (like the Netherlands, where loot boxes are banned due to gambling laws), you’ll have no trouble selecting a nearby VPN server to unlock the game with.

Or, if you’re at work or school and CS:GO is blocked by your network administrator, you can use NordVPN to unblock it.

(“Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!”)

csgo in bathroom

And it only gets better.

The VPN provider also offers many security features to keep your online gaming safe at all times.

For starters, you’ll get DDoS protection.

This means if the enemy team starts threatening you with DDoS attacks, you can heckle them without the worry of retaliation.

NordVPN also gives you 256-bit AES encryption and two kill switches (system and app), so if you’re playing CS:GO on public WiFi, your device and data are still safe – even if your VPN connection suddenly drops.

The app kill switch is especially handy, as you can set Counter-Strike (or Steam) to automatically close if your connection is interrupted.

nordvpn app kill switch

Plus, NordVPN is the only VPN on my list to offer an app kill switch!

Finally, NordVPN is compatible with all Counter-Strike platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, PS3, and Xbox 360.

The only downsides are that the Linux and console setups require manual configuration (via terminal and hotspot/router, respectively).

On the bright side, you’ll enjoy affordable savings on long-term plans!

Take a look:

Don’t forget to grab this MAJOR discount, though.

You’ll save TONS more!

Pros

Cons

2. Surfshark – Static Servers + Fast & Affordable

surfshark vpn for gaming

Surfshark comfortably slides into second place on my list of the most trustworthy VPNs for Counter-Strike, thanks to its static servers, fast speeds, and affordable prices.

Let’s start with the static servers included for free with any Surfshark subscription.

These might come in handy if you want to connect to CS:GO using the same IP address every time.

surfshark static servers

But they are shared – so you won’t be the only one using the IP.

Still, if you’re concerned your CSGO account will get flagged for switching IPs too many times, these static servers are the ideal solution.

And Surfshark is the only VPN service on my list offering free static servers, so you won’t find another VPN to mitigate that risk in the same way.

Plus, as mentioned in my NordVPN mini-review, Surfshark placed second in my speed tests, tied for first in my ping tests, and only had a 1% packet loss in my latency tests.

Here’s an overview of everything:

CS:GO Criteria Results With Surfshark
Ping: 11ms
Packet Loss: 1%
Speed: 211.24 Mbps
Speed Loss Difference: -8.11 Mbps

This means you can play Deathmatch and Flying Scoutsman without lagging out (and causing your team to take a big L)!

In fact, Surfshark will help your speeds even if your ISP throttles your bandwidth when you’re gaming, as your activities will be hidden.

The VPN provider also offers the WireGuard protocol, so you can increase your speeds even more.

Beyond that, Surfshark’s 3,200+ VPN servers ensure you’ll never struggle to find a nearby server to use if CS GO is blocked or restricted in your location.

csgo surfshark

So, if you’re dying to buy a few loot boxes while in Belgium, you can easily do so! 

Surfshark also provides gamers with DDoS protection, keeping you safe from DDoS attacks launched by sore losers on the opposing team.

And its 256-bit AES encryption and kill switch provide security when playing on unsecured WiFi networks (like at school).

surfshark vpn kill switch

Last but not least, Surfshark also offers support for all Counter-Strike platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, PS3, and Xbox 360.

However, as with NordVPN, the provider’s Linux and console setups require manual configuration.

But, as a final bonus, Surfshark offers the best long-term savings on my list:

You can save EVEN MORE by using my exclusive sign-up link, though!

Pros

Cons

3. ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN for CS:GO

expressvpn for gaming

In third place on my list of the top VPNs for playing CS is ExpressVPN – the fastest VPN on my list!

Actually, this VPN provider regularly places first in my speed tests, so you know its lightning-fast servers aren’t a temporary fluke.

Here are my most recent results!

Speed Without ExpressVPN:

speed test result without expressvpn

Speed With ExpressVPN:

speed with expressvpn

Plus, it tied for first with NordVPN in my latency tests (0% packet loss)!

On the other hand, it placed third in my ping tests.

But my base ping was 13ms, and while ExpressVPN didn’t lower it, it stabilized my overall connection, so my ping stopped jumping from 13ms to 16ms to 11ms, etc.

Here’s a table detailing my overall findings:

CS:GO Criteria Results With ExpressVPN
Ping: 13ms
Packet Loss: 0%
Speed: 217.83 Mbps
Speed Loss Difference: -6.84 Mbps

So, all-in-all, you can expect a flawless gaming experience when using ExpressVPN to play CS.

This means minimal to no lag, whether you’re enjoying a game of Retakes, Wingman, or something else.

On top of that, you can use ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol, Lightway, for even faster speeds!

NordVPN is the only other VPN on my list with a proprietary protocol that offers excellent gaming speeds and top-tier security.

(“There’s no stopping us!”)

It gets better.

ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers are automatically obfuscated with every protocol.

Other VPNs on my list (like NordVPN and Surfshark) offer obfuscation features as well, but they’re not automatic with every protocol, and they negatively impact speeds.

However, with ExpressVPN, your speeds remain lightning-fast while your VPN traffic is obfuscated.

This means your ISP will have no idea you’re playing CSGO or using a VPN – so bandwidth throttling isn’t an issue!

playing csgo with expressvpn

Plus, with so many servers, you can easily find one nearby to use if the game is blocked or limited in your country.

Moving on, ExpressVPN also offers all the must-have security features for online gaming, including DDoS protection, a kill switch, and 256-bit AES encryption.

So, you’re safe from DDoS attacks and/or cybercriminals connected to the same public WiFi network, even if your VPN connection drops.

Finally, ExpressVPN is one of two VPNs on my list that offers port forwarding for an enhanced CS:GO experience (faster speeds).

csgo in ct start

However, unlike the other VPN provider (PIA), ExpressVPN’s port forwarding support is only available with its router setup.

On the bright side, ExpressVPN is compatible with all Counter-Strike platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, PS3, and Xbox 360.

And unlike most of the other VPNs on my list, ExpressVPN’s Linux setup comes with an app!

Its PS3 and Xbox 360 setups still require manual configuration, though.

One last downside.

ExpressVPN is expensive, even with its long-term plans:

Luckily, you can get a HUGE discount by clicking here!

Pros

Cons

4. Private Internet Access – VPN for CS:GO With Port Forwarding

private internet access vpn for gaming

Private Internet Access (PIA) is deserving of fourth place on my list, as it’s the only VPN here to offer full port forwarding support!

Best of all, it’s as easy as checking a box in the app.

pia request port forwarding

This puts it ahead of ExpressVPN (with its limited port forwarding support) and the rest of the VPNs that don’t offer the feature at all!

And having the ability to enable port forwarding is essential for playing CS:GO with PIA, as PIA placed fourth in my speed tests, last in my ping tests, and had a 1% packet loss in my latency tests.

Take a look:

CS:GO Criteria Results With PIA
Ping: 14ms
Packet Loss: 1%
Speed: 207.48 Mbps
Speed Loss Difference: -10.18 Mbps

This means port forwarding might be necessary if you want to improve your speeds a bit.

You can also switch to the WireGuard protocol!

Fortunately, PIA is still plenty fast enough to enjoy a mostly lag-free experience on Counter-Strike, no matter what mode you’re playing.

Perhaps this is thanks to the provider’s 30,000+ servers (last known number), thus eliminating the risk of network congestion.

By the way, that’s the largest server network on my list (and possibly in VPN history)!

This means PIA is also a great choice for accessing CS:GO in locations where it’s blocked or restricted.

So, if you’re dying to have a round of Deathmatch while on break at work, this VPN provider has you covered!

playing csgo with private internet access (pia) vpn

Moving on, PIA also offers must-have security features for gamers, including DDoS protection.

This means if you’re concerned the opposing team will retaliate with a DDoS attack after getting their butts kicked, PIA will protect you. 

You’ll also get a kill switch and 256-bit AES encryption, ensuring your safety if you frequently game on public WiFi networks (for example, at work).

private internet access (pia) vpn kill switch

Finally, PIA supports all Counter-Strike platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Plus, like ExpressVPN, PIA’s Linux setup includes a user-friendly app!

But there is a downside.

While you can technically use PIA on PS3 and Xbox 360 in the same way you would with the other VPNs on my list (via a router or hotspot), PIA doesn’t offer setup guides for doing so.

This means you’ll need to rely on third-party setup guides.

On the bright side, PIA is very affordable!

Take a look:

You can also get a HUGE discount by using this link!

Pros

Cons

5. VyprVPN – WireGuard + 300,000 IPs + DDoS Protection

vyprvpn for gaming

Finally, VyprVPN might be in last place… but it still made the list!

This is thanks to several things, though primarily its 300,000+ IPs.

See, the VPN provider might only have 700+ servers, but those servers consist of hundreds of thousands of IPs, so the likelihood of experiencing network congestion is still next to none!

This is good, as VyprVPN placed last in my speed and latency tests (2% packet loss).

However, it somehow had a lower ping than PIA (13ms vs. PIA’s 14ms)!

Take a look:

CS:GO Criteria Results With VyprVPN
Ping: 13ms
Packet Loss: 2%
Speed: 206.97 Mbps
Speed Loss Difference: -13.52 Mbps

It’s worth pointing out that VyprVPN raised my ping by 2ms, though.

On the bright side, it stayed at 13ms instead of jumping all over the place, which stabilized my overall CS:GO experience.

And I experienced little to no lag (my team was happy about that).

Plus, you’ll get WireGuard to enhance your speeds a bit more!

Unfortunately, VyprVPN’s small server network does have a downside.

If you’re in a country or location that blocks or restricts access to Counter-Strike, you might struggle to find a nearby server to access the game with.

Luckily, there’s more good news.

VyprVPN offers DDoS protection, so you’re guaranteed to stay safe if an enemy threatens to launch a DDoS attack after you whoop their butt in Danger Zone.

playing csgo with vyprvpn

You’ll also get 256-bit AES encryption and a kill switch, so if you frequently play CS:GO on public WiFi networks, cybercriminals won’t intercept your data.

And as a final, somewhat relevant bonus, VyprVPN’s parent company created an “optimized gaming network” called Outfox that’s designed to enhance your overall gaming experience.

And it offers full support for CS:GO.

vyprvpn outfox

However, please note that this isn’t the same as using a VPN.

As for Counter-Strike platform compatibility, VyprVPN supports Windows, macOS, Linux, PS3, and Xbox 360.

However, its Linux setup is only available through a manual OpenVPN configuration.

Additionally, the provider only offers router setup guides for consoles.

This means if you want to use VyprVPN on your PS3 or Xbox 360 via a hotspot connection, you’ll need to look for third-party setup guides.

One last downside.

VyprVPN is the most expensive provider on my list.

It surpasses even ExpressVPN!

This is crazy disappointing, as the provider must have recently increased its prices.

vyprvpn subscription plans and pricing

Luckily, you can get HUGE savings by using my discount link!

Pros

Cons

What to Look For in a VPN for CS:GO?

There are several key features to look for in the best VPNs for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, such as fast speeds, many servers, and DDoS protection.

Don’t worry, though – I’ll discuss everything you need to know in the next sections!

Play Danger Zone Later – Avoid the REAL Danger Zone With This VPN Checklist!

You’re at risk if you play Counter-Strike without a VPN.

But choosing a random VPN won’t get you out of the “danger zone,” either. 

Instead, check this list for must-have features before committing to a VPN:

Fast Speeds

Your VPN for CS:GO needs to have fast speeds to prevent lag.

It should also stabilize your connection (AKA: your ping) while lowering your latency.

The best way to test your VPN’s speeds is to verify it has a money-back guarantee, purchase a subscription, and put it through a series of speed, ping, and latency tests.

Depending on your results, keep the VPN or ask for a refund.

Alternatively, skip the stress and purchase one of my recommended VPNs for Counter-Strike instead.

Here’s a table comparing their test results:

VPN Provider Ping Without VPN Ping With VPN Speed Without VPN Speed With VPN Speed Loss Difference Packet Loss Percentage
NordVPN 13ms 11ms 227.42 Mbps 219.06 Mbps -8.36 Mbps 0%
Surfshark 14ms 11ms 219.35 Mbps 211.24 Mbps -8.11 Mbps 1%
ExpressVPN 13ms 13ms 224.67 Mbps 217.83 Mbps -6.84 Mbps 0%
PIA 12ms 14ms 217.66 Mbps 207.48 Mbps -10.18 Mbps 1%
VyprVPN 11ms 13ms 220.49 Mbps 206.97 Mbps -13.52 Mbps 2%

Large Server Network

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is restricted in some countries (for example, in the Netherlands and Belgium, where loot crates are banned) and blocked by network admins in some locations (like school and work).

For this reason, you need a VPN with a large server network.

This will help you find a nearby server (thus minimizing any negative effect on your speeds), so you can enjoy the game regardless of your location.

Large server networks can also help optimize your speeds by negating network congestion (too many users on one server).

Overall, look for a VPN with 3,000+ servers (or one with 300,000 IPs like VyprVPN).

It’s a bonus if it offers proprietary protocols that enhance your speeds even more.

Essential Security Features

Your VPN for CSGO should have essential security features for gamers.

This includes DDoS protection, so you’re safe from angry losers who try launching DDoS attacks against you.

Additionally, your VPN should offer a kill switch and 256-bit AES encryption to protect you when you’re gaming on unsecured WiFi networks (like at school or work).

Other security features to look for include obfuscation, RAM-only servers, and public WiFi protection.

Bonus Features

It’s worth looking for useful bonus features like port forwarding (for better speeds while playing Counter-Strike), split tunneling (to choose what programs are affected by your VPN), and dedicated gaming servers.

Price

Always compare a handful of VPNs before committing to one.

This includes their features, subscriptions, and long-term savings.

Ensure you’re getting the best deal!

Can I Use a Free VPN to Play CS:GO?

I don’t recommend using free VPN services to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Most free VPNs are untrustworthy and sell your private data to third parties to pay for their service.

Others are straight-up malware disguised as VPNs.

And while some freemium VPNs are safe to use (like ProtonVPN and AtlasVPN), their speeds aren’t good enough to recommend as VPNs for CS:GO.

Additionally, their free versions don’t offer must-have features like DDoS protection and large server networks.

Instead, stick to one of my top five VPNs for Global Offensive.

Remember, you can get a stellar discount on NordVPN when using my exclusive link!

What Is CS:GO’s VPN Policy?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive doesn’t have a VPN policy.

That’s to say; you’re completely free to use a VPN while playing the game without any worry of getting banned.

This includes using a VPN to open loot boxes in restricted countries (like the Netherlands and Belgium).

Just keep in mind not to use a VPN to purchase games on Steam without doing proper research, as doing so is against Steam’s ToS.

For more information on that, check out my article, “5 Best VPNs for Steam With Seamless Gameplay & DDoS Protection.

How to Play CS:GO With a VPN?

Using a VPN to play Counter-Strike is easy!

Just follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Choose one of my recommended VPNs (or a VPN you found after thorough research) and purchase a subscription.
  2. Download and install the VPN app on your CS:GO device(s).
  3. Open the VPN app and sign in to your account.
  4. Click the Connect button for the fastest server near you. Or, if you need a server from a specific country, select your preferred location from the server list.
nordvpn app
  1. Open your browser and check for IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
  2. Enjoy a match (or five) of Demolition!

CS:GO VPN Not Working?

If your VPN for CS:GO isn’t working, try any of the following troubleshooting tips:

  1. Disconnect and reconnect using a different server.
  2. Switch VPN protocols.
  3. Ensure your VPN, Counter-Strike, and Steam are up-to-date.
  4. If you’re still struggling, try reinstalling Steam.
  5. Switch between regular Steam and Steam beta.
  6. Reset your router.
  7. Ensure your antivirus and/or firewall doesn’t block access to your VPN or CS:GO.
  8. Check the CS:GO server status.
  9. Try verifying your CS:GO game files in Steam.

Contact your VPN’s support team for more troubleshooting steps if all else fails!

FAQ

Will a VPN for CS:GO Reduce Ping?

This depends on your base internet speed, the device you’re using, the VPN, and many other factors.

A VPN can lower your ping.

It can also raise your ping or simultaneously raise it and stabilize your overall connection (so the ping doesn’t jump all over the place).

That said, a reliable VPN like NordVPN is more likely to lower your latency and negate lag without negatively impacting your internet speeds.

Can I Get Banned for Using a VPN With CS:GO?

No, Counter-Strike won’t ban you for using a VPN.

It’s not against the game’s ToS, and no users have reported getting banned due to VPN use.

You can even use a VPN to bypass loot box restrictions in countries like Belgium without risking your account.

However, Steam’s ToS are entirely different, so ensure you’re not violating those when using a VPN for CS:GO (or risk your entire Steam account getting banned).

Conclusion

As the CS:GO announcer says, “There ya go!”

You officially have all the information you need to select the best VPN for Counter-Strike.

My top recommendation is still NordVPN, as it offers blazing-fast speeds, DDoS protection, a large server network, and other essential security features for gamers.

So, if you’re ready to secure your CS:GO experience, grab this MASSIVE NordVPN discount while you still can!

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