A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is the linchpin of any knowledgeable Internet user, however, the reasons why it’s used differs greatly. It allows people to stay up-to-date with their favorite shows, for businesses to maintain a secure and steady connection to a private network, and for people to make anonymous use of P2P sharing clients. But these aren’t the only reasons it’s used, not by a long shot.
While most people have different requirements of a VPN, one reason everyone has in common is safety. How people use the Internet will always differ, but everyone wants to be protected while they do so. The VPN prevents your data from being leaked to your ISP or malicious watchers, meaning your digital footprint is untraceable, whether you’re accessing public or private networks.
Gamers like you can also benefit from using a VPN. As was previously mentioned, the reasons for using a VPN differ greatly, and gaming, whether via a console or a computer, is a popular one. And not just for the safety element. Want to access the marketplace exclusive to PSN users in Japan? Or maybe you’re a PC user who wants to deal with latency issues head on. Whatever platform you use for gaming, we’ve detailed some of the benefits gamers experience when using VPNs, not including privacy. If you’re unsure of how to apply the VPN, you’ll find the instructions for setting it up on consoles here and desktops.
Reasons why Gamers use VPNs
Some games just aren’t available outside specific areas. On the PlayStation Store in Japan, for example, there are editions of games and new titles that you can’t access outside of Japan. Frustrating, I know. But the good thing is, you don’t need to permanently fool your device into thinking you’re in a different country. It’s as simple as logging in with the VPN, downloading the exclusive title you want, and then reverting to your home-based servers, should you wish.
Catch games on early release:
Many games, as well as DLC (Downloadable content) and updates, will strategically be released to different regions at different times. In most cases, North America and Japan will be the first to get access, followed by Australia, Europe and the rest. Region locks also lead to increased prices, depending on where you’re located.
But combating these issues is much simpler than you might think. All you need to do is change your VPN’s servers to ones that are located where you need them to be. For example, if the latest Battlefield came out a week earlier in the States, or if it was cheaper there than for Australians, just change the server that your VPN is using to an American one. Now, you’ll be able to access the content early and pay the right price.
For gamers, high speeds are requisite, so anything less just won’t do. Without a VPN, you’re at risk from several different drains on your connection. For example, by using a public network, ISP throttling and connections to servers too far from the game’s server are often a problem. Get around this with a VPN by simply connecting to a server in the same region as the game’s server.
Play on the move:
Whenever you enter a new location, you’re going to have to use the servers located there. But by applying a VPN, you’re able to revert back to the servers in your home country, or to wherever you choose. If you’re on mobile, then chances are you’re connected to a public network. Your VPN will also protect you while you’re active on this network. Public networks such as those at hotels, or on a train, leave your online usage vulnerable.
Protection against DDoS attacks:
Though uncommon, a DDoS attack (distributed denial-of-service-attack) can easily be prevented. Many ISPs offer some form of basic protection, but this is nothing compared to how a VPN will do the job. If the server you’re using is targeted, a high-quality VPN will nip these attacks in the bud without faltering your connection.
For more information on DDoS attacks, such as what they are, how they affect users, and how to prevent them, you’ll find everything you need.
Best VPNs to Use for Gaming
Although all paid VPNs will offer a reliable level of protection and speed to some extent, many household names are just better than others when online gaming is involved.
ExpressVPN has a reputation for being dependable. It has a simple-to-use interface, which means there’s no effort required in accessing its more than 2000 servers based worldwide. With such a large number, many of those will be clustered near major gaming servers for maximum performance. And because it’s based in the British Virgin Islands, you can rely on your activity staying private.
VyprVPN prides its Golden Frog VPN network as offering the fastest service when it comes to gaming. Using only their own network and homegrown hardware, they’re able to offer a service that’s designed for max speeds, ease of use, and a robust connection. In order to offer consistent performance, they strategically place servers close to other major gaming servers. And with a well-optimized network, you don’t need to worry about throttling and the dreaded lag.