In Dota 2, quick decisions are everything. However, if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) has poor routing, the resulting lag could cost you the match. When you connect to a VPN, your traffic is encrypted and sent through the VPN’s servers instead of your ISP’s. This not only hides your real IP address, but it could also reduce your latency, giving you smoother, more responsive gameplay.
That’s not all a VPN can do: they also allow you to shrug off DDoS attacks and access region-locked services from anywhere. Thinking about streaming your games online or looking to play Dota 2 in countries where it’s not available? A VPN lets you do both of these things without worrying about hackers or snoopers.
We’ll go into more detail on each of our recommended services below. but if you’re in a rush, here are short summaries of the best VPNs for Dota 2.
Best VPNs for Dota 2:
- NordVPN: Our top choice VPN for Dota 2. Boasts a network of 5,000+ high-speed servers, customizable security features, and a no-logs policy. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: Fast enough for lag-free gaming, with a strong commitment to your security, and no connection limit, Surfshark is ideal for Dota 2 players.
- ExpressVPN: A consistently high-speed service with powerful security features and with more than 3,000 servers worldwide.
- CyberGhost: The best budget VPN for Dota 2. It offers a wide range of privacy and security protections, very fast connections, and access to over 7,000 servers in 90+ countries.
- IPVanish: High speeds, strong security, unlimited bandwidth, and a total lack of connection limits make this one of the best VPNs for Dota 2.
- PrivateVPN: A very fast service that keeps no logs and puts your security above all else.
- AtlasVPN: WireGuard support delivers ultra-fast gaming speeds, doesn’t cap connection limits, and includes 24/7 customer support.
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With so many VPNs on the market, choosing one can be a daunting experience. However, we find that the best VPNs tend to be the most versatile. In other words, they can do more than just let you play Dota 2. For this reason, we decided to only recommend services that meet all of the criteria below:
- Offers access to a sizable network of reliable, high-speed servers
- Uses effectively uncrackable encryption (and various other security features) to keep your traffic secure
- Unblocks a wide range of popular region-locked services
- Does not log any information that could identify you
- Provides apps for all of the most popular operating systems
Best VPN for Dota 2
Below, we’ll take a closer look at each of the best VPNs for Dota 2:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our top choice for a Dota 2 VPN. It has one of the largest networks on the market, with over 5,000 servers in 60 countries. This makes it a prime choice for people who want to play Dota 2 free from any noticeable lag. That’s not all; NordVPN is extremely fast and boasts exceptional streaming ability, so once you’re done playing, you can use services like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu regardless of where you are in the world.
This service uses 256-bit AES encryption, an app-specific kill switch, and protection against IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks to keep your traffic safe at all times. There’s also an ad-blocker, a malware-scanner, and special servers you can use if you’re in a country with strict internet restrictions. NordVPN doesn’t keep any logs at all which means that your activities cannot be traced back to you. Customer support is available via 24/7 live chat.
NordVPN provides easy-to-use apps for Linux, Android, MacOS, Windows, and iOS. It works with select network routers via manual configuration.
- Works with all kinds of services including Dota 2
- Strong security and privacy credentials
- Operates a network of more than 5,000 servers in 60 countries
- Has a strict no-logs policy
- Apps for all major operating systems
- Desktop app can be slow to connect to servers
BEST DOTA 2 VPN:NordVPN is our first choice. It offers a wide range of advanced security features, a huge network of high-speed servers, and a zero-logs policy. Further, all of its plans come with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Interested? Why not check out the full NordVPN review?
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark has over 3,000 servers throughout 60+ countries and is fast enough for lag-free gaming and streaming. What’s more, this service boasts excellent streaming ability, letting you securely access major platforms like Netflix US and Hulu from abroad. There’s no connection limit, meaning you can secure every device you own with a single account.
Using 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks, Surfshark keeps your online activities private. There’s also automatic ad and malware-blocking, as well as a traffic scrambling feature that lets you bypass VPN blocking. This VPN lets you pay anonymously with Bitcoin, Ripple, or Ethereum but as Surfshark doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, you’re safe either way. 24/7 live chat-based support is available in case of any issues.
Surfshark has excellent multi-platform support, with apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It even works with home routers.
- Takes privacy and security very seriously
- Fast enough for flawless gaming and streaming
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Keeps no logs
- Occasional slow server
BEST BUDGET CHOICE:Surfshark provides decent speeds and uses cutting-edge security and privacy features to keep you as anonymous as possible online. Additionally, this VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Take a look at our full Surfshark review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has roughly 3,000 servers spread across 94 countries. This means it’s ideal for Dota 2 players, since no matter where you are in the world, it’s easy to get a high-speed, low-latency connection. ExpressVPN allows you to do far more than game without lag; it works with major services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. This service permits up to five simultaneous connections so you can protect all of your devices.
This service takes your security seriously. It features DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection, 256-bit encryption, and a kill switch that immediately stops all traffic whenever your connection drops suddenly. There’s also a split-tunneling feature in case you’d rather that only certain traffic is encrypted. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, although you can sign up almost completely anonymously using Bitcoin if you’d like. Live chat-based support is available 24/7.
ExpressVPN apps are available for Linux, MacOS, Windows, Android, and iOS. Additionally, this service has custom firmware to simplify the process of installing it on your home router.
- Consistent, speedy connections
- Top-class security and privacy protection features
- Anonymous payment option (Bitcoin) available
- Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
- Doesn’t allow as much customization as some rivals
SECURITY-FIRST PROVIDER:ExpressVPN is a solid choice It offers the perfect combination of speed, security, and cloaking ability, so it’s ideal for Dota 2 and a great choice all round. This service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Take a look at our full ExpressVPN review for more information.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost is a low-cost, beginner-friendly VPN that’s perfect for Dota 2. It offers access to more than 7,000 fast and reliable servers across 90 countries, so you don’t have to worry about lag. It’s also capable of securely accessing platforms like Hulu and BBC iPlayer, so Steam doesn’t pose much of a problem. Additionally, this service allows you to connect up to seven devices at once, letting you browse securely from anywhere.
This VPN includes numerous security features, and as they’re all enabled by default, very little setup is required. There’s 256-bit AES encryption, protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks, an always-on kill switch, and even a feature that blocks malware and ads. CyberGhost doesn’t keep any logs that could identify you but if you’re concerned about privacy, there’s always the option to pay with Bitcoin. If you need any help, you can reach support 24/7 over live chat.
CyberGhost has apps for Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. It can be manually installed on supported internet routers.
- All security features enabled by default
- 7,000+ high-speed servers worldwide
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Novice-friendly apps
- Not suitable for those that need control of advanced features
BEST BUDGET VPN FOR Dota 2:CyberGhost provides high speeds, powerful pre-configured security features, and excellent unblocking ability, meaning it’s perfect for anyone looking to play Dota 2 safely. This service even includes a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Find out more about this low-cost VPN in our complete review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish provides fast and reliable connections and unlimited bandwidth, without any data limits. As such, it’s a highly-versatile service that lets you play Dota 2 without any noticeable lag, but you’re also free to torrent or stream videos on platforms like Netflix US or ITV Hub. IPVanish allows any number of connections at once, which is more than most of its competitors.
This VPN packs a surprising number of security features given how lightweight its apps are. There’s 256-bit encryption and protection against IPv6 and DNS leaks, for instance, as well as a kill switch, and a local traffic blocker. You can even choose to scramble your OpenVPN traffic, hiding the fact that you’re using a VPN at all. IPVanish follows a strict no-logging policy, so once connected, you’re effectively anonymous. If you run into any problems, you can reach customer support via 24/7 live chat.
IPVanish offers Android, Windows, iOS, and MacOS apps. If you’d prefer, you can also manually configure it to work on your Linux system or wireless router.
- Use on all of your devices simultaneously
- Impressive speeds
- Secures your traffic and keeps no logs
- Doesn’t accept Bitcoin
LAG-FREE GAMING:IPVanish boasts consistently high speeds, lightweight apps, a no-logging policy, and a strong focus on your security. Best of all, you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our comprehensive review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has fewer servers than some of the services higher on our list (roughly 200 in 60+ countries) but it helps make up for it by providing better-than-average speeds. In fact, this service is fast enough for flawless 4K streaming, so you should be able to play Dota 2 without any lag whatsoever (assuming your base internet speeds are high enough). With up to 10 connections allowed, PrivateVPN lets you secure all of your devices simultaneously.
This service keeps your online activities hidden from snoopers using 256-bit encryption, a kill switch (in the Windows app), and protection against WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leaks. There’s also a stealth mode that lets you bypass VPN-blocking and play on any network you like. PrivateVPN is a completely logless service, so your privacy is in good hands. Customer support is available 24/7 over live chat.
PrivateVPN has apps for iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows devices. This service can be manually installed on Linux-based platforms and supported routers.
- Faster than many other providers
- Privacy and security are top-notch
- Gaining reputation for their growing list of sites it unblocks
- A small number of servers to choose from
- Doesn’t have 24/7 live chat
VERY HIGH SPEEDS:PrivateVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested, but it also takes your security and privacy very seriously, meaning it’s perfect for anyone looking to play Dota 2 anonymously. All of this service’s plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Something you’re not sure about? Read our full PrivateVPN review for more details.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
AtlasVPN is a top-notch VPN for Dota 2 because of its consistent speeds across server locations and its use of the WireGuard protocol – one of the best protocols for uninterrupted gaming. AtlasVPN operates its HQ from Panama, which helps to back up its zero-logs promise considering it is outside of any internet surveillance initiatives.
AtlasVPN uses military-grade encryption to keep your privacy watertight, and its built-in breach monitor will notify you if your Gamertags are caught in a breach. Built-in malware and adware blocking, plus a tracker eraser, helps to solidify your privacy. It has servers in over 40 locations globally, so you’ll never struggle to find a server nearby.
You won’t be tied down to a connection limit, and apps are available on most operating systems. Give AtlasVPN a try for 30 days, and get refunded if you aren’t entirely happy.
- Uses WireGuard which is perfect for uninterrupted gaming
- Uses military-grade encryption
- No connection limit
- Small selection of servers versus other VPNs
- Canceling is tricky
LIGHTNING-FAST SPEEDS:AtlasVPN is a great all-rounder for Dota 2, offering incredible connection speeds with WireGuard support, built-in data breach monitoring, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our complete AtlasVPN review.
How to unblock Dota 2 abroad
In a country where Dota 2 (or perhaps Steam) is unavailable? Don’t worry: it’s fairly simple to unblock Dota 2 abroad with the right VPN. Just follow the steps below.
Here’s how to play Dota 2 from anywhere:
- First, choose a VPN from the list above (we particularly recommend ExpressVPN).
- Next, download the appropriate version of the app, install it, and log in.
- Connect to a server in a country where Dota 2 is available. American servers are a strong choice, but you may find that choosing servers closer to your physical location helps reduce your latency.
- Finally, restart Steam and try loading Dota 2 again. You should be able to play without any issues, but if not, we’d recommend trying a different server or contacting customer support for further assistance.
Methodology: How we chose the best VPNs for Dota 2
There are a few things to look out for if you’re thinking about gaming with a VPN connected. It might surprise you to learn that speed, while very important, is only one part of the equation. Below, we’ll cover the key areas we focused on while researching the best VPNs for Dota 2:
- Server options: Usually, the closer your server is, the better your connection will be. However, there may be times when you want to use a distant server (for instance, if you’d like to play exclusively with users in a different region). As such, we looked for VPNs with plenty of servers to choose from, ideally spread across at least 50 countries.
- Performance: There’s no worse feeling than losing a game because of lag. To ensure you don’t experience any rubberbanding or random disconnections, we prioritized VPNs that performed well in our most recent speed tests.
- Cloaking ability: Some games simply won’t let you play if they realize you’re using a VPN. That’s why we looked for those with either a toggleable stealth mode or some form of traffic obfuscation built-in. As a bonus, this same functionality can help you access Dota 2, even in places where it might not usually be available.
- Security: Other players don’t always have your best interests at heart. As such, we required our top VPNs to secure your connection with 256-bit encryption, IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and a kill switch. A no-logs policy is a must-have too. Note that this is just a starting point; we strongly prefer providers with more advanced features.
- Pricing: Some VPNs try to get away with charging more without actually providing any features that could justify a higher price tag. Our top VPNs are all fairly priced, and to help save you money, we’ll always let you know if there is a discount code available.
Interested in learning more about how we put services through their paces? We have a detailed post explaining exactly how we test VPNs at Comparitech.
Playing Dota 2 with a VPN: FAQs
Can I play Dota 2 with a free VPN?
Although free VPNs can be tempting, overall, they’re a poor choice for gaming. These services often have more users than their (usually very limited) networks can support, which leads to extremely slow speeds -- not exactly what you want when playing a fast-paced game like Dota 2. Additionally, free VPNs often have strict data limits, which means that you could be kicked out partway through a match. Too many disconnects will result in you being forced into the low-priority matchmaking queue alongside a mix of trolls, griefers, and rage-quitters.
You should also know that free VPNs tend to be less secure than paid ones. In one study, researchers examined more than 280 free VPNs and discovered that almost 40% contained malware. Even the ones that didn’t weren’t necessarily safe, as 18% used no encryption at all, meaning their users were completely exposed. Finally, free VPNs are not always upfront about how they handle your data. Many paid services refuse to log identifiable information, but in contrast, free VPNs rarely have any problems with selling details of your activities to advertisers.
To keep your online activities private, we recommend using a reputable VPN provider that has a user-first logging policy and a strong track record on privacy.
Will I get into trouble for using a VPN with Dota 2?
There seems to be some confusion as to whether you’re allowed to play Dota with a VPN. This stems, at least in part, from the following overly-restrictive paragraph in Steam’s subscriber agreement:
“You agree that you will not use IP proxying or other methods to disguise the place of your residence, whether to circumvent geographical restrictions on game content, to purchase at pricing not applicable to your geography, or for any other purpose. If you do this, Valve may terminate your access to your Account.”
However, Steam has since clarified its stance, saying that simply playing a game while connected to a VPN is not grounds for a ban. You should note that using a VPN to buy games at a lower price is still a violation of the subscriber agreement, though Dota 2 is a free-to-play game, so you shouldn’t have any issues installing it while connected.
How does Dota 2 know I'm using a VPN?
Dota 2 can detect when players are using a VPN by looking at the user's IP address. When a player connects to the game through a VPN, their IP address will be different from what it usually would be, and Dota 2's servers can detect this. This means that if you're using a VPN while playing Dota 2, your opponents may be able to tell you're not in your usual location (though it's unlikely).