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What is a no lag VPN - and do they really exist?

An unhappy PC Gamer sat at their desk
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you've ever used a VPN, then you'll know it usually cuts your internet speeds...even by just a little. And that's no surprise - the overhead of encrypting your traffic and routing it through another server surely has to slow you down.

This makes all the talk of no lag VPNs for gaming seem, well, rather unlikely. Connect to a new server far away and there has to be some lag.

Some providers disagree, though. In particular, NoLagVPN, which promises: "no connection speed decrease"', "no ping increase" and "no packet loss".

Claims of a no lag VPN

Frankly, those claims from NoLagVPN sound as unlikely as they do impressive.

But the website goes on to explain how the magic happens. 

'We developed next gen routing and networking VPN, running on the best-in class hardware.

"Only a small fraction of your traffic is routed through the VPN, which ensures virtually no change to your actual connection speed."

Sounds like the ultimate in VPNs, right? 

Not quite.

How would a no lag VPN work?

NoLagVPN isn't a full-strength, regular VPN service. It's dedicated to supporting WarZone players and routes. Indeed, the provider confirms that it only routes gaming-related traffic through its servers. 

If you connect to NoLagVPN, open your browser and go to a site like WhatIsMyIP, for instance, you'll see your regular IP address. Anything outside of WarZone passes through your regular internet connection, so NoLagVPN doesn't shield your identity online, and won't help you unblock Netflix or be a suitable streaming VPN at all.

So, what is a no lag VPN for? The gaming world can be tough, and some teams use distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to slow down the competition. Using a VPN shields your real IP address, giving you some protection.

ExpressVPN can be used for gaming

(Image credit: ExpressVPN)

Being able to change your location has some plus points, too. You can play on the server your friends use while you're overseas, for instance. And in theory you might be able to get into slightly easier lobbies by choosing faraway countries, which don't have a WarZone server, and means you'll be facing players who have high lags and connection problems of their own.

There may still be a performance benefit from a no lag VPN, maybe if your VPN server is closer to the game server, but the rest depends on your ISP. If it has routing issues or is throttling gaming traffic then you could see some speed gains.

But ultimately, no VPN can automatically increase your connection speeds and reduce lag - no matter what 'next gen routing' it's developed - and you're more likely to see some slowdown.

Regular VPNs do gaming, too

Although a dedicated no lag VPN has some benefits, the reality is you can get most of them with any good VPN. Changing your location? Check. DDOS protection? Check. Bypassing ISP throttling and routing? Check.

You'll get apps for easy setup and protection for your entire system, too - neither of which NoLagVPN can offer.

A higher server count means it's way more likely there will be a server near you, improving performance. NoLagVPN has setup files covering 16 countries, for instance; ExpressVPN covers 160.

And whatever boasts NoLagVPN makes about its technology, the reality looks very different to us. The service only connects via OpenVPN, for instance, but the regular VPN world is moving on to the much faster WireGuard, and other next-generation technologies include NordVPN's NordLynx and ExpressVPN's Lightway.

If you're really looking for a fast VPN, the top providers at the time of writing are ExpressVPN, Hotspot Shield and NordVPN. They're not 'no lag' - in fact we don't really think such a thing truly exists - but they're closer than the competition and much better value for money.

ExpressVPN is the #1 top gaming VPN
The qualities that makes ExpressVPN our overall #1 VPN - swift connection speeds, watertight security, excellent support for setting up on a range of devices - are what have also taken it to the top of our gaming VPN leaderboard.
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