Gaming has gone from a quest to beat the computer to frequently being a competition between users over the internet. Online gaming has become popular to the extent that it is considered a culture in and of itself.
With the introduction of gaming over the internet has come a wave of potential risks and pitfalls for those connecting online. A virtual private network (VPN) should be considered for those who spend time gaming online for a variety of reasons.
The Role of the VPN
The VPN encrypts all information leaving your device and sends it off to a server of your choosing. The VPN assigns you a new IP address that indicates you are located wherever the VPN server is. Thus, you get to mask where you are with an IP address unassociated to your network. All data sent to the VPN server is encrypted, creating a layer of security for your information as it travels. Nowadays, trustworthy VPNs are available for both desktop and mobile.
How Does a VPN Apply to the World of Gaming?
The common misconception is that only those gaming online need to concern themselves with a VPN. While it is undoubtedly beneficial to online gamers, there are useful reasons for all gamers to consider a VPN. If you prefer gaming on a tablet, the good news is that there is secure and effective option available for Android devices, too.
The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Some games are released early based on your geographic location. Rather than waiting the extra time for a game to be available in your area, you could use a VPN located in the appropriate region to access the download early.
Some games cannot be accessed at all in specific geographic locations. This practice is called geo-blocking and can be frustrating for users. Using a VPN located in an area outside the blocked region could provide access to content otherwise unavailable.
A good VPN that does not log your activity is essential for anyone gaming on the go. A VPN is vital if you connect your mobile device to public networks, as it can encrypt data otherwise vulnerable to malicious theft. VPNs can also protect your browsing and gaming information from prying eyes like your internet provider.
For serious gamers, vulnerability to a DDoS attack could ruin your gaming experience. These attacks target your IP address and overload it to the point of shutting you down mid-game. A VPN assigns an IP located at the VPN server you connect to, rendering DDoS attacks useless.
Speed is everything when playing certain games and a VPN can help improve your connectivity. By choosing a VPN physically closer to the gaming server, it could potentially speed up your connection to the game.
Certain Internet Service Providers (ISPs) practice a behavior called throttling. Essentially, the ISP slows the connection of users rapidly transferring data. Of course, online gaming entails significant data going back and forth and can trigger throttling practices to be enforced. VPNs help gamers avoid throttling and can ensure quick connections throughout.
VPNs and Gaming Platforms
Most gaming platforms have an associated app on the best VPN providers. Using a VPN can be a little more complicated for those playing games on a console. There are ways to use a VPN when using a console, primarily by installing one on your router or purchasing a router with a VPN already configured. Simply put, a VPN can be used on any device you play games on.
Choosing the Right VPN
To ensure you get the most out of your VPN, it is important to choose the appropriate one for your needs. There are multiple factors to consider, including:
- Speed: Some VPNs provide faster access than others, which is essential to most gamers.
- Platform Compatibility: There is a VPN provider for virtually all platforms, but not all are appropriate for every platform.
- Server Location: If you intend to use a VPN to avoid geo-blocking practices, you should investigate if the VPN has servers located in an appropriate area.
- Connections: If your game of choice uses peer-to-peer connections for its multiplayer platform, you will want to ensure the VPN supports this type of connection.
- Security: The VPN should offer premium encryption to keep your connection safe.
- Privacy: You should ensure the VPN does not keep logs of your web traffic and insist that your information is not shared.
A VPN is an ideal choice for online gamers for many reasons. The security, privacy, and benefits provided to VPN users are invaluable. Use this information to find your perfect VPN for your gaming needs and enjoy a fast, secure, and reliable connection.