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Best VPN Service for Poker & Betting Security Online

Playing at legal and regulated poker rooms is safe because they have a wealth of security features in place. However, you need to take a certain amount of personal responsibility too when it comes to safety and privacy.

Imagine leaving your iPhone unlocked on a table. Apple have packed their smartphone with security features but, if you’re the weak link, the whole thing falls apart. In other words, if you leave your phone unlocked, someone can access your personal data or worse. Is that Apple’s fault? Probably not.

The same principle applies to playing poker and betting online. If you don’t protect yourself and your device, any security features offered by the operator are insufficient. Therefore, as part of your arsenal, you need a virtual private network (VPN).

When you’re playing poker, casino games or betting, you have money online, which creates a target for cybercriminals. Players have lost money because hackers could spot security vulnerabilities or because of a DDoS attack. When you play poker through VPN, you’re giving yourself another layer of protection. This protection comes by virtue of the VPN rerouting your IP address. Scroll below as we discuss in more detail how a casino, betting and poker VPN can create a safer experience. 

If you know your stuff already, skip all that and get one of the top VPNs we recommend:

Best VPN Service Providers Highlights

If you’re already convinced that you need VPN for poker and any other type of online betting, skip the rest of this article and head straight to one of our recommended providers.

  • NordVPN – Industry leader with the most connections and best speeds.
  • Surfshark – Fantastic anonymity settings and modes.
  • Privateinternetaccess – Unlimited bandwidth and free email breach monitoring.
  • ExpressVPN – Advanced features, including connections for TOR.
  • CyberGhost – Military-grade encryption and anonymity settings.
  • AtlasVPN – Cheapest high-powered VPN on the market.

How to Stay Safe While Playing Online

There are many ways to stay safe online. A free poker VPN is just one way. However, before you can start thinking about which of the best VPN providers to use, make sure you take note of the following.

Using a VPN to stay safe and anonymous - proetcting you from hackers while playing online poker

Choose a Trustworthy Site

The first step towards a safer, more enjoyable online gambling experience is choosing the right site. This doesn’t mean using a site just because it’s classed as “safe”. It means establishing a base and using it to find your ideal platform. Our reviews will help you build this base. 

The PokerListings team has decades’ worth of experience in the poker industry, extending to sports betting and casinos. They’ve not only seen it all but done it all, tested and reviewed it. So you can have an honest opinion of the site’s features, including their safety credentials. From things like SSL encryption to licenses and regulations. 

Software Updates and Antivirus

Software installations and updates might seem like a nuisance but they’re essential for your security. Ignoring the pop-ups you get on your computer or smartphone is a recipe for disaster. Why? Because, just like real viruses, computer viruses are constantly evolving. When security companies such as Norton and McAfee close one door, cybercriminals find another one to open.

It’s a constant game of cat and mouse. Installing the correct antivirus software, firewall, and malware scanner is great. However, if you don’t keep them up-to-date, they lose their effectiveness. With each update you ignore, your system becomes a little more vulnerable. So, if you want to play poker and casino games, or bet on sports, make sure your system has the latest updates. If it doesn’t, your bankroll could be at risk. 

Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

Don’t leave your betting account open to criminals by not using a password. Fortunately, all reputable betting and gaming sites will force you to set a password. When you create an account, you’ll be told to enter a secure password. Make this as tough to guess as possible. Use a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.

If possible, activate two-factor authentication (2FA). This added extra requires you to input a unique one-time code in addition to your password. The code will either be generated by a phone app like Google Authenticator or SMS. If your smartphone supports it, you can use TouchID or Face ID to log in.

Play on Private WIFI Networks

It’s not a good idea to make real money bets via an open Wi-Fi network. The reason your home Wi-Fi network has a password is to stop prying eyes. Criminals can hack into open Wi-Fi networks and intercept sensitive data. That means someone could get your login or bank details. It’s not quite as dangerous as shouting out your pin code while you’re standing at an ATM. However, making bets online via an open Wi-Fi network is almost as risky.

Hide Your IP with the Best VPN Apps

It’s a good idea to mask your IP any time you’re required to enter your personal or financial details into a site. Even more when it comes to poker, casino games and using VPN to sports bet online. When your IP is visible to the world, it leaves you open to attack. Because an IP address is a digital marker that reveals where you’re located. When it comes to poker, casino and betting sites, IP addresses are used for geolocation purposes. So, if you’re trying to access PokerStars PA or NJ, the site will check your IP to make sure you’re within the Keystone or Garden State.

Criminals can take this a step further and use IP data to infiltrate your WI-FI network, your device and your online betting accounts. This is where an online gambling VPN is useful. The best VPN service will mask your IP and route your connection through a different location while giving you anonymity.


Why Use a VPN to Play Poker and Bet Online?

We’ve touched on the basics of IP address and how it’s possible to become anonymous with the right software. Now let’s dive deeper into the nuances of VPNs and gambling sites and how to use the best VPN apps.

  1. You Want to Mask Your IP Address

Some people use VPNs to access websites that aren’t available in their country. Using a VPN provider’s global network, you can connect to servers in other countries and, therefore, get local IP addresses. This allows you to access Netflix movies that may not be available where you live, for example. But we don’t suggest trying to hide from an operator’s geolocation services or break the law. Instead, you should use a VPN to increase your anonymity and security - thus evading attacks from criminals.   

  1. The Best VPN Provider Encrypts Your Data

Data is more valuable than gold in today’s world. With the right data, anyone can make money. Cybercriminals will steal your data for two reasons: to access things like your bank account or sell to another criminal. If you don’t want someone stealing your bankroll, you need a betting, casino or poker VPN service. Our top tip is to use a provider that offers 256-bit encryption. Additionally, make sure the VPN provider doesn’t store log files.

  1. A Poker VPN Service Stabilizes Your Connection

We all know how tilting connection drops can be during a poker tournament. Especially when you have a hand. This may be a local network issue, and if your local servers are down or unstable, it’s a problem. Playing poker through VPN systems can stop this from happening and avoid the financial losses that can occur.

  1. You Can Kill Your Connection to Prevent Data Leakage 

The best VPN apps offer a dedicated IP address which gives you a virtual IP only you can use. As opposed to standard VPN connections which can be used by multiple people. In tandem with a dedicated IP, you can use a kill switch to prevent data leakage (that is, your IP address being visible). If the VPN drops, the kill switch will disconnect you until it’s restored. Some kill switches have a manual override feature that allows you to disconnect if you feel something isn’t quite right.


Six Best Poker VPN Providers

When you’re looking for the right VPN, you want to look out for a couple key features. First, which platform it supports to make sure it works on your device. Secondly, whether it has essentials like Kill Switch, DNS protection and encryption features. Also, you need to compare prices and trial periods to suit your budget. Here are the top picks for safety, browsing speeds and anonymity so you can compare for yourself. 

#1 - ExpressVPN - most server countries and best speeds

  • Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android.
  • Key Features: DNS leakage protection, AE5-256 Encryption, no log files, split tunneling.
  • Kill switch? Yes
  • Trial: 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Price: Starting at $8.34 per month.

ExpressVPN may cost a little more monthly than its rivals but it’s worth it. This company is based in the British Virgin Islands which makes it great for American users. At the time of writing, it offered VPN servers in 15 US states. ExpressVPN is also an international player with servers in 94 different countries. And you can take advantage of AES-256 encryption, password generator and dedicated streaming servers. The top feature to note is split tunnelling which allows you to play poker through ExpressVPN while keeping other apps running on your normal IP. This is the best free VPN - to a certain extent. You will need to pay for the full service eventually.

PROS:

160 servers in 94 countries

Optimized for speed

Split tunneling

CONS:

Costs more than other VPNs

Only 5 simultaneous connections

#2 - Surfshark - known for anonymity

  • Platforms Supported: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux.
  • Key Features: Multiple connection modes, AE5-256 Encryption, leak protection.
  • Kill switch? Yes
  • Trial: 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Price: Starting at $2.49 per month.

Surfshark isn’t available in as many countries as ExpressVPN but it has more servers. In fact, it has an impressive 3,500 VPN servers in 65 countries. That means you’ll never be short of a stable and secure connection. Surfshark is packed with all features you expect from a top-rated VPN, with additional modes. You can connect to multiple countries at once using MultiHop. Beyond that, you can use NoBorders or Camouflage mode to go anywhere on the internet, without restrictions.

PROS:

Plenty of connections

Three different surfing modes

AE5-256 Encryption

CONS:

Some connections are slow

Could be available in more countries

#3 - Privateinternetaccess – no traffic logs

  • Platforms supported: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android.
  • Key Features: No traffic logs, connect 10 devices at once.
  • Kill switch? Yes
  • Trial: 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Price: Starting at $2.95 per month.

Privateinternetaccess VPN looks somewhat understated. It’s low monthly fee and simple interface make it look fairly basic. But this is one of the best VPN for iphone and android devices. It has more than 25,000 servers in 77 countries and plenty of features. From standard AES-256 encryption to unique options like free email breach monitoring and unlimited bandwidth. You can even connect up to 10 devices at once!

PROS:

25,000 servers

No traffic logs

Fast connection speeds

CONS:

Could have servers in more countries

Different modes would be nice

#4 - NordVPN- Advanced VPN Features

  • Platforms supported: Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux.
  • Key Features: DNS leakage protection, Split tunnelling.
  • Kill switch? Yes
  • Trial: 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Price: Starting at $3.70 per month.

NordVPN is one of the biggest names in the private internet connection business. This product allows you to connect up to six devices to more than 55,000 servers in 59 countries. NordVPN features all the usual security tools, including ad blockers and browser extensions. It also makes streaming simple with fast, non-buffering connections. Another unique selling point is the fact NordVPN will connect to TOR. The Onion Router (TOR) is the most secure and anonymous internet browser in the world. 

PROS:

55,000 servers

Connects to TOR

Change IP address twice

CONS:

Can’t select specific servers

Could be in more countries

#5 - CyberGhost 

  • Platforms supported: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS.
  • Key Features: CyberGhost ID guard, 256-bit military-grade encryption.
  • Kill switch? Yes
  • Trial: 45-day money back guarantee.
  • Price: Starting at $2.65 per month.

CyberGhost prides itself on “256-bit military-grade encryption.” That makes it one of the strongest, most secure VPNs in the world. CyberGhost VPN also has 6,800+ servers in over 89 countries. Finally, it offers special add-ons such as an ID guard that help generate and protect your passwords. 

PROS:

Best encryption

Excellent mobile VPN app

CONS:

Doesn’t work in China

Could be more international servers

#6 - AtlasVPN – Affordable VPN for Online Entertainment

  • Platforms supported: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS
  • Key Features: Optimised for streaming, unlimited connections.
  • Kill switch? Yes
  • Trial: 30-day money back guarantee.
  • Price: Starting at $1.39 per month.

AtlasVPN is one of the cheapest virtual private network providers in the business, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. This VPN features all the same security tools as its peers, including 256-bit encryption, a kill switch and anonymous browsing. It also goes a few steps further when it comes to connections. As well as letting you stream 4K content, this VPN allows you to connect an unlimited number of devices.  

PROS:

Lowest-priced VPN

Optimized for entertainment

Great for 4K streaming

CONS:

Not as many features as some

Only 500+ international servers


How to Play Online Using a VPN

1. Pick the best VPN for you from our reviews

2. Register an account via this page and download the software.

3. Install the VPN, select a server and connect to the internet.

4. Load up your chosen online casino, poker or sports betting site.


Poker Legality and the Best Free VPN Services

Now that we’ve established it’s a good idea to use VPN for online gambling, let’s finish with two points. Firstly, paid for VPNs are always preferable to free ones. Firstly, because free online VPNs have low bandwidth and slow connections causing connectivity / stability issues. And secondly, because free apps overload you with ads and soak up your data.

Also, playing poker, casino games or betting online using VPN services shouldn’t be a way of breaking local laws. Don’t use VPNs to access sites that are restricted in your country because it’s illegal. At best, you’ll have your account closed and bankroll confiscated. At worst, you can face fines or severe legal action.


Best VPN Apps FAQs

  • Can poker sites detect VPN?

    Yes, some sites can tell if you’re using a VPN. Even if they can’t, almost every major site now asks you to prove your identity and enable geolocation services when you install their software. So we recommend using one to combat potentially compromised security and privacy while playing online. But not to access sites from restricted regions.
  • Can I use a VPN to gamble online?

    Yes. An online sports betting VPN, for example, will mask your IP and encrypt data. This makes it tough for criminals to track you and infiltrate your device. Thus, it can protect your bankroll.
  • Can you use a VPN to sports bet?

    Yes. VPN sports betting is becoming increasingly popular with the security conscious bettor.
  • Which VPNs work with online poker sites?

    Our recommended VPN poker online providers: ExpressVPN, Surfshark, Privateinternetaccess, NOrdVPN, CyberGhost, AtlasVPN work with the top card rooms. Including 888 poker, PokerStars, Full Tilt and Partypoker.
  • Should I use a free VPN?

    No, it’s always best to use a paid VPN so you can access it’s full features. And not have your VPN weighed down by ads that suck your data. Online gambling, whatever form it takes, involves money. Therefore, you should want to protect yourself in the best way possible. It’s wise to use our recommended virtual private network partners.
  • Is using a VPN for poker and betting safe?

    VPN betting, casino gaming and poker is a good idea if you value your privacy. They are safe to use, especially when using the paid version. Whether it’s masking your identity, dealing with payment issues or encrypting your data, they’re extremely useful. As long as you don’t use them to access restricted sites, they’re a useful tool.

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