Looking to stream, game, or browse the internet safely on your PlayStation console? In this post, we’ll explain what a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is, show you how to install a VPN on your PS4 or PS3, and recommend some of the best VPNs to use.
Previously, users were able to bypass regional restrictions using a simple proxy server, but in recent years, most services have upgraded their geo-blocking techniques. Now, attempting to access services like Netflix in such a way usually results in the following error: “You seem to be using an unblocker or proxy.”
There is another way though: if you’d like to access another country’s streaming library from abroad or limit the effects of a DDoS attack while gaming, a VPN can help. VPNs encrypt your traffic — preventing it from being read by prying eyes — and enable you to spoof your location so you can access geo-blocked platforms abroad.
Short on time? Read on for a quick guide to the best VPNs for your PS4 or PS3.
Best VPNs for PS4 and PS3:
- NordVPN: Our top choice for PlayStation consoles. Combines high speeds, a wide range of advanced security features, and exceptional unblocking ability. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: The best budget VPN for PS3 and PS4. A strong everyday VPN with no connection limits, solid speeds, and plenty of security features built-in. Unblocks Netflix and more abroad.
- ExpressVPN: Prioritizes user security without compromising on speed or unblocking ability. Also offers easy-to-install router firmware.
- CyberGhost: Fast, easy to use, and security-conscious, this service is ideal for lag-free gaming, safe streaming, or even just day-to-day browsing.
- IPVanish: With reliable high-speed connections, a zero-logs policy, and no connection limit, this VPN makes it easy to protect your PS3, PS4, and every other device you own.
- PrivateVPN: A very fast VPN with a strong focus on privacy. Keeps no logs, offers reliable connections and comes packed with security features.
Which VPNs are best for PS4 and PS3?
The first step is choosing the right VPN provider, and every service is slightly different. For instance, some might prioritize speed while others put a larger emphasis on your security. To find the best VPNs for your PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4, we looked for services with the following characteristics:
- Has an extensive network spanning many countries
- Is stable and fast enough to stream 4K video with no noticeable buffering
- Is lightweight and easy for novice users to install
- Uses powerful encryption and offers additional security features
- Logs no personally identifiable information, or better yet, nothing at all
GET A PREMIUM VPN FREE: Usually, VPNs reserve their lowest prices for customers who commit to several years upfront. However, if you’re only looking for short-term coverage (for instance, if you’re going abroad on vacation), you can use NordVPN’s 30-day money back guarantee. You will be asked to pay upfront, but can cancel at any point during the trial to receive a full refund.
Below, we’ve listed the best VPNs for PlayStation 3 and 4.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our first choice for a PlayStation VPN. It’s exceptionally versatile, with an extensive server network (more than 5,000 servers worldwide) and a strong focus on network security. Speeds are the best we’ve seen and its range of server locations are particularly useful for gamers. NordVPN can unblock major platforms like Netflix and Sling TV, so it’s ideal for those who use their console as a media device too.
NordVPN gives users more control over their security set up than most other VPNs. It uses 256-bit encryption, a highly-customizable kill switch, and protection against WebRTC/DNS/IPv6 leaks by default. However, you can also choose to use double VPNs, automate ad-blocking and malware-scanning, or connect to Tor over a VPN. Only the email address you register with is recorded, so with a throwaway email and cryptocurrency payment, you can use this service almost completely anonymously.
NordVPN has apps for Windows, Linux, Android, MacOS, and iOS. Wireless routers are supported via manual configuration.
- Blazing fast connections and unlimited bandwidth
- Great at accessing region-locked services like Netflix
- Plenty of security tools built-in
- Doesn’t keep any logs
- Excellent customer support
- Desktop apps can take a while to connect
BEST VPN FOR PLAYSTATION:NordVPN is our top choice. It offers an impressive number of security and privacy features, exceptional speeds, and great unblocking ability. What’s more, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee making it a risk-free option.
Read our full review of NordVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is a budget-friendly provider that offers access to 1,700+ servers in 63 countries, which means you’re all but guaranteed a low-latency connection, regardless of where you are in the world. It also boasts exceptional unblocking ability, allowing you to use platforms like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer from abroad. Best of all, this VPN has no connection limit so one account can protect every device you own.
This service uses 256-bit encryption, an app-specific kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks to keep you safe. It can also block ads and malware automatically, or allow certain apps to pass through the VPN (for instance, if you’d like to use geo-blocked services from two countries at the same time). Surfshark doesn’t store any traffic logs and offers a 24/7 live chat helpdesk.
Surfshark apps are available for iOS, MacOS, Windows, Android, and Linux. To use it with your PS3 or PS4, you’ll have to manually install the service on your home router (or change your console’s DNS settings).
- Fast enough for lag-free gaming
- More security options than many of its rivals
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Unblocks Netflix and more sites
- Some slow speeds recorded during testing
BEST BUDGET PROVIDER:Surfshark is fast, security-conscious, and able to access all kinds of geo-blocked services. Better still, it lets you secure any number of devices at once. This VPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of Surfshark.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN offers solid speeds and has more than 3,000 servers across 94 different countries, making it a strong choice for streaming. Further, this VPN is capable of unblocking several streaming platforms that most others struggle with, like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. Since ExpressVPN offers its own custom firmware, you can protect your router (and as a result, your PlayStation) in a matter of minutes.
With 256-bit AES encryption, perfect forward secrecy, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch (only in the desktop versions) that stops all traffic when you lose connection, ExpressVPN keeps your traffic secure at all times. This service doesn’t log any information that could identify you and accepts Bitcoin payments, making it a strong choice for the privacy-conscious user. Customer support is available 24/7 via live chat to resolve any problems you might have.
This service offers apps for Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. It can be manually configured on some routers, but with ExpressVPN’s custom firmware, this is a quick and reasonably straightforward experience.
- High-speed servers in 94 countries
- Custom firmware makes it easy to protect your PlayStation console
- Doesn’t compromise on security
- Accepts Bitcoin payments
- Has a slightly higher price than some of its rivals
GREAT FOR GAMING:ExpressVPN is a solid alternative for PS3 or PS4 consoles. With unlimited bandwidth, steady speeds, and strong security, you can game safely and without interruption. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of ExpressVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Designed with novices in mind, CyberGhost makes it as easy as possible to bypass geo-restrictions, share files, or browse anonymously. This service boasts high speeds, operates a network of more than 6,300 global servers, and offers the ability to unblock several major streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video or ESPN with just a single click.
CyberGhost uses 256-bit encryption and an always-on kill switch, as well as protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks, to ensure your information remains secure at all times. It doesn’t log any personally identifiable information, and if you run into any issues, support is available via live chat 24/7.
This VPN has user-friendly apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Manual installation is required to work with Linux systems and supported network routers.
- High-speed, low-latency servers
- Designed with beginners in mind
- All security features come pre-configured
- May not offer enough control for advanced users
COMPREHENSIVE PROTECTION:CyberGhost is a novice-friendly VPN that’s ideal for anyone who wants to game or stream anonymously. You can get a fast, secure connection in a single click, and can even take advantage of a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of CyberGhost.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish is very popular among people who like to stream online thanks to its high speeds and exceptional multi-platform support. This VPN has more than 1,000 servers to choose from across more than 60 countries and is capable of unblocking numerous geo-blocked services. Additionally, IPVanish allows unlimited simultaneous connections, whereas many of its rivals only permit between three and six.
Even though this service is known for being lightweight, it doesn’t cut corners when it comes to security. It uses 256-bit encryption, DNS/IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch by default, but users can also block local traffic, switch IP addresses regularly, and obfuscate their OpenVPN traffic. No personally identifiable information is logged, and you can get help 24/7 over live chat.
IPVanish offers apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire devices. It works on Linux and certain internet routers, although you’ll have to configure it manually.
- Plenty of fast, reliable servers to choose from
- A solid selection of security and privacy features
- Has no connection or bandwidth limits
- Can’t unblock as many streaming services as some others in this list
SPEED AND SECURITY:IPVanish is a lightweight service that can protect your PlayStation, PC, and any other device you own. It’s fast, too, and can reliably unblock services like Netflix US from abroad. Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN might not be as well-known as some of the other VPNs we’ve recommended, but it’s still well worth your time. It’s faster than most of its rivals, for instance, and can stream 4K content with no noticeable buffering. Further, it can currently unblock most major geo-blocked streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and Sky Go.
This VPN uses a combination of 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and DNS/IPv6/WebRTC leak protection to keep your traffic safe at all times. Better still, it doesn’t log any information that could identify you, which means you’re effectively untraceable with a disposable email and Bitcoin payments. Exceptional customer support is available via 24/7 live chat, and with your permission, a representative can even remotely install and configure the software for you.
PrivateVPN has MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android apps. It can be manually installed on wireless routers and Linux-based systems.
- Exceptionally high speeds
- Offers several advanced security options
- Keeps no logs whatsoever
- Fairly small network
- Live chat isn’t available 24/7
EXTREMELY FAST:PrivateVPN beats most VPNs on speed, making it a great choice for games where split-second decisions matter most. It boasts a great range of security features, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a true no-logging policy.
Read our full review of PrivateVPN.
How to use a VPN on PS4 or PS3
Currently, the PlayStation store doesn’t include any VPN apps and there’s no way to sideload your own. This makes it a little more difficult to install a VPN on a PlayStation console, but it’s far from impossible. Just follow the steps below:
Method 1: Install a VPN on your router
Installing a VPN on your router directly has several advantages: first, it automatically protects any device connected to your network. Secondly, a router counts as a single device, which is particularly useful if your VPN only permits a few simultaneous connections.
The exact process differs slightly from one router manufacturer to another, but generally, you’ll have to access the router’s control panel and enter the details of the VPN server you’d like to use. Your VPN provider will provide a step-by-step walkthrough (and we have guides for configuring DD-WRT routers, Tomato routers, and setting up OpenVPN), so don’t worry if you’re already a little confused; it’s actually a relatively simple process.
Many providers also offer the option of a pre-configured router, often sold through a third party, FlashRouters being the most popular. This is more expensive but all the work of setup is done for you.
RELATED: The ultimate guide to VPN routers
Method 2: Install a VPN on your PC/Mac
This method is arguably easier, but requires you to run an Ethernet cable from your computer to your PS3 or PS4. Start by installing the VPN software on your PC or Mac, connecting to it, then linking your PC and PlayStation with the cable.
- Click System Preferences > Sharing > Internet Sharing.
- Choose WiFi from the Share your connection from menu.
- Under To computers using, select Ethernet.
- Click the Internet Sharing checkbox.
- Next, see the final steps below.
- Open the Control Panel, and go to the Network and Sharing Center.
- Click Change adapter settings on the left-hand side.
- From here, right-click your active connection and enter the Properties menu.
- Switch to the Sharing tab, click the first checkbox, and choose the connection you’d like to share from the drop-down list.
- Once you’re done, click the OK button.
- Now move on to the final steps below.
- On your PlayStation, set up a new internet connection.
- Select the Use a LAN cable option, choose Easy on the following screen, and decline the option to use a proxy server.
- Congratulations — you’re now connected to the VPN.
If you’d like to stream TV live or compete in a particular gaming event, we recommend setting up and testing your VPN a few days beforehand. This way, if you run into difficulty, there will still be enough time to get help from your VPN’s support team.
Can I use a free VPN with my PS3 or PS4?
On the surface, free VPNs are an attractive concept. However, they come with several major disadvantages. First of all, free services lack the infrastructure to support all of their users. This leads to long loading times, stuttering video, and possibly even disconnection from the VPN. Further, as many free VPNs can’t be installed on a router, they’re difficult to use with a PlayStation console. Most streaming services blacklist free services first, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to watch anything anyway.
Servers are expensive, so how can a free VPN afford to build and maintain their networks? Some insert ads into the pages you visit, but there’s a more nefarious way that some VPNs can make money: tracking cookies. By storing these on your device, free services can keep track of which sites you visit, and how often. This data can then be sold on to the highest bidder without your knowledge at a later date.
Finally, it’s difficult to know if you’re actually using a genuine free VPN or just one of the dozens of malware-carrying apps available. Research has shown that a shockingly high number of free VPN apps don’t actually encrypt user traffic at all, and even if they do, there’s no guarantee that they protect against IPv6 leaks. It’s not just lesser-known services that pose a threat either: we’ve seen a major free VPN sell user bandwidth for profit. To stay safe online, we recommend using a reputable VPN service with a customer-first approach to privacy.
How does a VPN improve my PlayStation experience?
There are two main ways that a VPN can improve your PlayStation experience. Firstly, these services allow you to appear as though you’re actually located somewhere different. This lets you bypass regional restrictions and access geo-blocked platforms from abroad. For instance, you can use a VPN to access your home country’s Netflix library while on vacation.
You will also gain some degree of protection when gaming with a VPN. Trolls or disgruntled opponents have been known to use something called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack to flood your network with requests. This usually causes you to lose connection, and as these attacks are often automated, they can keep you from playing for days or weeks at a time.
When you’re using a VPN, only the VPN server’s IP address is visible. If attacked in this way, the VPN can spread the load across an international network of servers, or change the server IP address, rendering the attack ineffective. Some services even offer specialized anti-DDoS servers to ensure you’re able to play whenever you want.