Your online privacy matters and a Virtual Private Network, also known as VPN, helps you maintain your privacy by securing the data flow over the network and masking your IP. Even though companies and organizations mostly use a VPN for secure connections, VPN services are now reaching out to gamers as their new targeted audience.
They’re trying to attract gamers with stories. They say that their VPN keeps them secure while playing games and that they reduce latency, making gaming available anywhere outside of their region. Well, we’re here today to see whether this is true or not.
VPN for Gaming Benefits
There are six benefits that come from using a VPN for gaming.
1. Due to its private nature, a VPN allows faster server connection while reducing pings and improving lags.
2. It makes multiplayer games available anywhere you go by allowing you circumvent geo-blocking.
3. VPN allows you to access unavailable games and also to play, buy, and download games regardless of your location.
4. A VPN keeps your data secure and safe during your gaming endeavors.
5. It helps you stay anonymous by encrypting all of your traffic.
6. Maybe the biggest benefit of a VPN, especially important for gamers who play online tournaments and participate in competitive gaming, is that a VPN keeps you safe from DDoS attacks.
Myth 1 – VPN improves your gameplay
If you’re an online gamer, the only things that honestly matter are low latency and a stable connection. With that in mind, most VPN companies will say that, by using their server connection directly from the gaming server source, they improve your gameplay by reducing lag and ping times, keeping your play time smooth.
Well, this is not entirely true. Tests rarely showed improvements in both ping or lag times. In fact, these tests proved little upsides. During the examination, some lag and connection issues were noticed.
Myth 2- VPN gets all multiplayer games to work
Games like PUBG require P2P or peer to peer connections to work, but most Internet providers block such connections due to a number of reasons. VPN providers claim that they can help provide a secure connection for all multiplayer games at all times.
Well that’s not entirely accurate; except in sporadic cases where a VPN might help circumvent some blocked P2P connections. While there are some cases where a VPN helped with connection-related issues, it’s not a common thing or something that gamers can surely count on.
Myth 3 – A VPN Gets you Access to Geo-locked Games
There are a lot of games that are restricted to particular regions and countries, meaning they are geo-locked. Now, a VPN hides your IP address tricking the system into letting you play geo-blocked games no matter where you are. It simply replaces(hides) your IP with a new one that’s associated with a specific region.
This is mostly true. Most games are available in Asia, Europe, or the US, but there are cases where countries put certain restrictions on gaming companies to keep them from doing their business in other countries.
Myth 4 – Access Unavailable Games
VPN providers claim that they can help you access games ahead of their release date in your country. By using a VPN and setting your server location to the country where the game is already released, you get a chance to download, play, and purchase any game before it is officially released in your region.
This is mostly true, but not always the case. Take the example of Fallout 4. The US users tricked the Steam system by using time zone differences to change their location to New Zealand where Fallout was released a day earlier. Eventually, those users they got blocked on Steam, which is not something any gamer would like to happen. Therefore, those who really can’t wait, are free to try this method but it’s a risk that and you should be aware of it.
Myth 5 – Protection from DDoS Attacks and Safer Data
Competitive gaming is now a significant part of the online gaming industry. Unfortunately, gaming sites are more prone now to DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attacks. These attacks aim to bring down your connection by targeting your IP address. VPN providers claim that they can keep you safe by masking your IP address which results in the avoidance of the targeting.
It’s true. However, you have to be a big shot in competitive gaming to get targeted. If you aren’t running League of Legends or Minecraft dedicated championship servers, it’s unlikely that you’ll get targeted at all.
Myth 6 – Team Up with other Gamers
LAN gaming was prevalent back in the day, and it still is; well, somewhat. There are still games that allow using LAN to connect laptops and PCs for a quick play-together. This type of gaming is primarily aimed at those who are experiencing difficulties while on the road. It’s possible to use VPN technology as a tool to create your own LAN network and invite your friends to connect to the network, regardless of their location. All they need to do is install the same tool and let the gaming begin.
While this is true, most VPN providers don’t support LAN mode.
Conclusion: Is VPN really good for gaming?
If you’re willing to use a VPN as a part of your gaming setup, then you’re free to try because it actually might work for you. Other than that, tests showed that gaming without VPN still works. If you’re still experiencing some performance issues, there are other ways to boost your gaming performance.