Video games have become such a big part of your lives, and there’s no going back from here. The phenomenon has evolved so much that we now have e-sports competitions gathering thousands of fans from all over the world.
Whether you are a pro gamer or just a casual player, the main things you need for online gaming is a fast internet connection and a good computer. And while computers can be built to your own liking and needs, you can’t really say the same for the network connection. This is why many gamers have turned to VPNs to enhance their online gaming experience and, most importantly, protect themselves from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
If you are considering a gaming VPN, but don’t know exactly what to look for or how it can help improve your experience, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, we will discuss how a VPN can help you, what to keep in mind when choosing one and what risks you may be exposing yourself to.
Why do I need a gaming VPN?
By now, you’ve probably heard a lot about VPNs and how they can help you maintain your online anonymity and keep your personal data protected. However, for gamers, VPNs can be much more than a privacy tool. There are plenty of reasons to use a VPN when playing online, including:
Avoiding DDoS attacks
A DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack involves someone sending you signals from a compromised computer, in order to force your system to shut down. Unfortunately, DDoS software is available for anyone who wants to use it and a DDoS attack is not hard to perform. A VPN will mask your IP address, meaning someone wanting to DDoS you won’t be able to identify your connection.
Staying safe when you use a public Wi-Fi
If you want to play your favorite game at your local coffee shop in the morning, you will have to use their public Wi-Fi network. However, public networks are not as secure as private networks and can leave you prone to several threats, such as a hacker getting access to your private data or installing malware on your device. VPNs encrypt your data even when you are using a public Wi-Fi, ensuring o one is able to decode it, even if a hacker manages to intercept your data.
Bypassing ISP bandwidth throttling
Internet service providers (ISPs) can sometimes slow down or throttle your bandwidth during specific times, to avoid network congestion or for a number of other reasons. I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more annoying than your Fortnite session lagging just when you are waiting for a squad-mate to revive you. Using a VPN when you play Fortnite can help bypass bandwidth throttling and keep you in the game for longer.
Playing online from any region
Some multiplayer games provide access to their servers based on location, meaning if you are in North America, it may be difficult to connect to a European server. This limits your options and only allows you to play with people close to your area. Using a gaming VPN will allow you to connect to foreign servers and play with your friends who live abroad.
To get games ahead of schedule
New games are usually released early in some regions and won’t become available worldwide until much later. By using a VPN to change your location, you can get access to early games before they reach your area. You just need to connect to that specific area from your VPN, and that’s all.
Are there any drawbacks?
VPNs are very popular and do bring a plethora of benefits for gamers, but if you don’t choose a reputable provider, there are some potential drawbacks you will encounter. A VPN encrypts your data, which is a process that takes up significant resources, so if your internet connection is weak, you will stumble upon some stability issues.
VPNs are perfectly legal to use, but some game publishers may put up some terms and conditions that prevent you from using geo-restricted content, and violating those terms may get your account suspended. Do your research to make sure you won’t be facing potential bans, and always use a reliable VPN provider.
How to choose a gaming VPN
When choosing a gaming VPN, there are some aspects to keep in mind, in order to ensure you enjoy the best possible gaming experience. These are the essential features we believe you need to consider before choosing a VPN for gaming:
VPN server location
Naturally, a game will load much faster if you are closer to their servers. Don’t look out for a VPN that has access to a large number of servers, but rather one that has servers near the gaming servers. This will provide less latency and better overall user experience.
Consider a dedicated gaming VPN server
While many VPNs can work for gamers, a dedicated gaming VPN server is optimized to give players the best gaming experience, with less latency and ping, and provide the needed protection against hacks and DDoS attacks.
If you play multiplayer games, it is best to choose a VPN service that supports peer-to-peer (P2P) connections.
Depending on the type of platform you use, be it a PC, an Xbox or a PlayStation console, you need a VPN that is compatible with your device. Luckily, many VPNs are now compatible with almost any type of device, including smartphones and tablets as well.
Privacy and reliability
The main reason to use a VPN is to maintain a secure network connection and keep your data protected. Choose a VPN that uses a highly secure protocol and has a zero-log policy, which means they won’t keep logs of your online activity.
Gamers can benefit a lot from a VPN that allows you to change protocol options, so that you can choose whether you want a connection that is faster or more secure, depending on the type of game you are playing.