Gamers are serious individuals, regardless of platform. They want great graphics and even better ping rates. After all, online gaming is a serious business. Competitive gaming is fun, but it’s still competitive, and you need every advantage you can get. Whether you’re a casual, semi-pro, or professional gamer, you need the best equipment, which can often cost a lot.
These days, gamers demand powerful and responsive hardware as well as the fastest internet speeds possible. That’s why it may seem only logical to avoid things that can impact your ping, such as a VPN. This blog explores how this may not necessarily true, and how using a VPN can counterintuitively be good for your online gaming sessions. Read on for more.
Reasons Why More Online Gamers Should Use VPNs
Most of us know how VPNs work. They act as a digital cloak, concealing your device ID and IP address with layered encryption. With your IP and device ID masked, you can access the internet without fear of advertisers, eavesdroppers, or cybercriminals. VPN services normally have servers in different geographical locations. Depending on which server you choose, you can mask your IP address with a different one belonging to the geographical location of the server.
Of course, this means that data has to travel from your device to the VPN server to the destination server and back again via the same route. Without a VPN, your device would send an information request to the destination server, which would respond in kind. So, it’s easy to see why people think a VPN would result in higher ping rates than usual. And it may even happen with low-quality VPN services. But the better ones instead enhance the gaming experience, instead of inhibiting it.
Here are a few compelling reasons to use a VPN while gaming:
Defend Yourself Against DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks threaten everything connected to the internet. A distributed denial-of-service or DDoS attack usually utilizes a network of compromised computers and devices. These devices send large volumes of requests to the target system, causing it to overload and go offline. DDoS attacks have often targeted website servers, and certain online gaming servers in the past as well.
But these days, their probability is much higher. With easy-to-use DDoS software, virtually anyone can launch a DDoS attack. That means so could a gamer on a server that you frequent. With a VPN, your IP address and device identity are encrypted. This means the DDoS connected devices can’t locate you, so they can’t overload you with requests.
Avoid The Pitfalls Of Using A Public Wi-Fi Network
As a rule, you should avoid using an open or public Wi-Fi hotspot wherever possible. There are too many risk factors. You could have an eavesdropper, a hacker, or other undesirable cybercriminals on the same network. Once you connect to it, your device will become vulnerable to these individuals. However, not everyone has the luxury of high-speed residential internet for their gaming.
So, you may find yourself using public Wi-Fi from time to time. In such cases, VPN’s are your safest bet, whether you’re gaming or simply browsing. The VPN will encrypt your data and device information, creating a virtually impenetrable shield around your device and the network connection. This way, you can game away without the fear of losing valuable information or even your gaming account.
Get Access To Geo-Restricted New Game Releases
Game studios often release games in larger markets before rolling them out to the rest of the world. This maximizes their ability to capitalize on the initial spike in sales revenues. If the game is good, it also helps create hype and anticipation, further increasing the spike in sales. All in all, this is good for game studios so that they can continue to create better and better games every year.
However, for the avid gaming fan, it can be acutely disappointing to have to wait for a delayed game release in your area simply because you are in the wrong location. But you don’t have to go through that agony with a good VPN subscription. Simply connect to a server located in the area the game has already released and the VPN will make it appear like you are located in that area. You should be able to play the game with no problem.
Get Access to Banned Games In Your State or Country
There is nothing worse than a ban on an online game. At least a delayed-release will eventually roll out in your area. But for any number of reasons, certain governments can take the extreme route of banning a game altogether in their jurisdiction. Under normal circumstances, this would be the end of your ability to access the game servers, unless government policies change or you move to another country/state.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait for either to happen if you simply subscribe to a reputable VPN service. With a masked IP address and device location, you should be able to play most games, even if they are banned in your area. Strong encryption ensures your ISP will not be able to detect what you are playing.
Never Get a Permanent IP Ban Again
The gaming industry is very serious about maintaining terms of service as well as an inclusive gaming ecosystem. IP bans are a way to ensure players who violate certain rules are kept out of the game and a safer environment is available to other players. However, it is not unheard of for people to be banned for no reason at all.
A temporary ban for bad behavior is one thing, but a ban for no reason hurts far worse. Especially if it is of a permanent nature. But don’t panic if this has happened to you. A VPN should be able to help you bypass any IP bans, simply by masking you with a different IP. You should still be able to join game servers that you are banned from, while connected to a VPN.
Reduce The Risk of Data Overages
Getting carried away when gaming online is easy. You often don’t have the time for guilt or reflection on how much data you’re consuming. But that doesn’t change the fact that online games consume data, sometimes quite a lot. Of course, if you have Spectrum WiFi plans, you have access to unlimited data so you don’t have to worry. But many other providers will either charge you a hefty price for extra data once or throttle your internet speeds until the next billing cycle. Certain providers will throttle speeds when they observe specific data thresholds being crossed.
All of these options are usually unappealing to gamers, especially younger ones. Luckily, a VPN can prevent your ISP from discovering where your data is going, meaning you can bypass data throttling. Advanced VPNs can switch ports, which makes it much harder for your provider to throttle your speeds.