3 Best VPNs for Online Poker in 2021
It’s not just the best hand that wins at poker. Online poker accounts are also an incredibly lucrative industry for cybercriminals. With all that money changing hands and so much of the winnings stored online, there’s plenty of incentive for hackers to target players’ financial and account details.
If you’re putting down money on your online poker game, you’re an immediate target for cybercriminals looking to steal your payment information and rob you blind. Plus, your rivals may be tempted to try and spy on what you’re doing, to see your hand and beat you at your own game. All of which means you need a dependable way to boost your online security and protect your connection as you play using a poker VPN. Without a VPN you will be extremely vulnerable – especially if you make use of public WiFi connections to play, which we strongly advise against.
Best VPNs for Poker Sites at a Glance
Don’t have time to read the full article? Here are our top online poker VPN recommendations in a nutshell:
- ExpressVPN – Unrivalled range of server locations, incredible speeds, and rock-solid security
- NordVPN – Offers a “double VPN” tool for unbreakable encryption and anonymity
- Surfshark VPN – Impressive privacy and security at the lowest price point in its class
Why Use a VPN to Play Poker
Security is paramount in online poker and that means you should always be using a VPN to play poker that offers a few certain features.
If you want to play poker in a country where online gambling is outright banned, or if you want to bypass geo-restrictions to join a game, or even access a casino that blocks people from your country, you will need your VPN to have a large server network. This way you will have hundreds or thousands of server locations to choose from so you can be sure that you’ll get access to the game.
You’ll need excellent security protocols put in place, so make sure your VPN employs a military-grade 256-bit encryption. Ideally, your VPN will also protect against DNS leakage and have kill switch to keep your data private even if your internet connection is momentarily lost.
To make sure your internet experience stays fast, you’ll want a VPN that boasts unlimited bandwidth and high speeds.
3 Best Poker VPNs
Let’s take a more in-depth look at our top-rated poker VPNs:
#1 ExpressVPN – the most server country locations at the best speeds
Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox | Unblocks Online Casinos| DNS leakage protection| AE5-256 Encryption | Kill Switch | Maximum Devices Supported: 5
ExpressVPN combines excellent speeds with watertight security and the most impressive range of server locations of any top VPN provider. This means you can unblock online poker games and casinos from anywhere in the world. It even works from within China.
What’s more, it’s compatible with pretty much any operating system and serves up a superb array of security and privacy features, keeping you and your financial information safe as you play.
There’s practically no chance of the company leaking your true identity, either. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has a strict “no activity logs” policy. It also deploys TrustedServer technology for an extra layer of protection for user identities, preserving your anonymity.
This makes ExpressVPN the all-round best choice when using VPN to play poker, wherever you want to access it from and wherever you want to play. For more details, check out our in-depth ExpressVPN review here.
Price: Starting at $6.67 per month
#2 NordVPN – the most flexible, easy-to-use VPN for Online Poker
Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox | Unblocks Online Casinos| DNS leakage protection| AE5-256 Encryption | Kill Switch | Maximum Devices Supported: 6
NordVPN stands out thanks to its easy-to-use, navigable interface, combined with excellent speeds, a great range of server locations, and excellent value for money.
It also works on all major devices and operating systems and is powerful enough to bypass censorship laws and geo-restrictions anywhere that online gambling is prohibited. You will however need to remember to download it before you travel to a country like China, as the website is blocked in-country.
Based in Panama, NordVPN is free to protect your privacy by refusing to keep activity logs on users. Given that playing poker online often means sharing sensitive financial data online (and that you may be bending the rules to play at all), users of NordVPN will also benefit hugely from its double-VPN feature. This feature encrypts and tunnels internet traffic twice, and means your anonymity is truly watertight. You can find out more in our NordVPN review.
Price: Starting at $3.71 per month
#3 Surfshark – the VPN that leaves you with more cash to bet with
Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox | Unblocks Online Casinos| DNS leakage protection| AE5-256 Encryption | Kill Switch | Maximum Devices Supported: Unlimited
Another VPN that’s widely compatible and easy to use is Surfshark. It’s very effective unblocker works in China, is based in the British Virgin Islands, and offers a no-logs policy, using military-grade encryption.
This means that Surfshark’s security and privacy protection is good enough to put your mind at rest when using a VPN to play poker, especially if gambling is banned in your country or you’re worried about your card information getting hacked.
Surfshark also offers the cheapest subscription fees of any leading VPN. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that it doesn’t have quite as many server locations and isn’t always as fast as its top competitors. Read more about Surfshark VPN here.
Price: Starting at $2.21
How to Stay Safe When Playing Online Poker
As we’ve seen, investing in a top-quality poker VPN is essential for protecting your privacy online and boosting your internet security. But what else can you do to keep your details safe?
Here are four essential security steps to take in addition to using a VPN to play poker:
#1: Choose a Trustworthy Online Poker Site
No amount of security measures will protect you if the poker site or casino you access is secretly harvesting your data, or has security so lax that hackers can steal your financial information easily.
The best approach is to stick to well-known brands that you’ve heard of and that have plenty of internet traffic. The bigger the company, the more resources they will have to invest in top-notch cybersecurity. If you’re unsure, try checking the site’s reputation or traffic stats on a site like Pokerscout or PokerNews.
Watch out, too, for fake/phishing emails pretending to be from online poker sites and casinos. Never hand over your passwords or financial information in response to an email, phone call, or SMS message. If you do get an email saying that you need to reset your password and you think it might be real, don’t click on any links within the email, just in case – open up the official website in your browser and sign in there.
#2: Use a Strong Antivirus Software
One way that cybercriminals can get hold of your personal data is by installing spyware or other malware onto your computer. Fake poker ads, phishing emails, malicious URLs, and other online threats are often set up to install malware like this without you realizing it.
VPNs can help protect you from targeted attacks by encrypting your internet traffic and protecting your true IP address. But they can’t protect you against viruses, malware, phishing scams, and so on. For that, you will need robust antivirus software that offers real-time protection. The very best options also come with tools like firewalls, online payment protection, malicious URL blocking, SPAM, and phishing filters for your emails, and even password encryption.
#3: Strengthen Your Passwords
Don’t make your passwords easy to crack! Choose complex, tricky to guess passwords, avoiding obvious personal details like your mother’s maiden name, birthdays of people close to you, the names of your pets, and so on. Even better, install a password manager like 1Password to automatically generate super-strong passwords and store them for you.
#4: Avoid Accessing Your Account on Public Wi-Fi
One of the easiest ways for hackers to spy on your online activity or get into your device is through a shared WiFi connection. These offer very low levels of security, putting you at high risk. The only way to make yourself safe is to use a VPN – or to avoid public WiFi and stick to your private WiFi connection or 4G.
Just because you enjoy a game of online poker, that’s not a good reason to take a gamble with your privacy, security, or personal details. Cybercriminals are looking for any opportunity to steal your winnings or harvest your data – and you need to take careful steps to prevent them from doing so. It’s vital that you protect yourself with a strong VPN, reliable antivirus software, and basic steps like using a secure password and only visiting reputable websites. If you become a victim of fraud or identity theft, you could end up losing much more than your poker winnings. It’s simply not worth the risk.