Choosing The Best VPN For Gaming and Why It Matters

From playing restricted games to buying games before their release date in your country or even buying for cheap, VPNs help you, as a gamer, in ways you may not have thought of.


A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an upgrade every avid gamer should opt for. From playing restricted games to buying games before their release date in your country or even buying for cheap, VPNs help you, as a gamer, in ways you may not have thought of. While VPNs are often seen as a security upgrade for your Internet connection, their functionalities as a gaming VPN can be applied to online gaming for many different benefits.

While the gaming industry is huge and there have been many gaming consoles and technologies built around the idea of gaming, there has never been much emphasis placed on the ‘network’ and privacy aspect of gaming.

Also, one of the most popular forms of gaming is the gaming done on consoles and PCs that are interconnected to each other through a larger network like the Internet. In such cases, with rising privacy threats, it becomes necessary to employ strict practices that safeguard an individual’s privacy.

With increasing internet literacy and availability, more people are now being able to access this network. More people means scope for more problems. In different forms of privacy threats and security violations, the most easily carried out ones are done over a shared network. With the internet being the largest shared network throughout the world, it becomes exceedingly easy for someone to attack your system and steal data.

In the olden days, back in the 2000s, multiplayer games only translated to meaning games that could be played with two players sitting beside each other. However, in the present times, there are some amazing MMOs (Massive Multiplayer Games) like League of Legends, World of Warcraft etc. Not to mention the massive phenomenon that is Fortnite and related Battle Rotale games that rely on online-only play. VPNs give you an edge while playing games like these.

Gaming in general demands an exceedingly huge amount of online presence. In such cases, staying online for a longer period of time, while using a mediocre security practice poses a serious threat to gamers. In this era where two-step authentications and extra security measures are to be strictly enforced, a VPN is a great tool.

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For gamers, who spend an exceedingly large amount of time interconnected to other users and networks over the Internet, VPNs work great and can be considered an essential tool in today’s always connected world.

So before talking about why VPN is to be used by gamers and how it can come with a wide array of extra perks apart from enhanced security, let us understand what VPNs are.

What is a VPN?

The basic abbreviation of VPN is a Virtual Private Network. As the name suggests, VPNs create a private network which is virtual. Therefore, they take your internet connection and make it virtually private.

Most of us, if not all, are usually familiar with firewalls. VPNs are an extension of firewalls that solely exist to protect networks. Firewalls tend to protect your data in your system. However, VPNs protect your data on a network. For doing so, they employ various practices and strategies like encryption, SSL, SSH, etc.

In tech, there’s a term known as tunneling. It refers to the secure movement of data. Through VPNs, you tunnel the data. For doing so, you need to run a VPN client on your system. A VPN client is nothing but a software that runs on your system and it places itself between your internet and your system. While your ISP supplies you the internet connection, a VPN, while receiving and sending data through the connection, modifies a few aspects of your connection.

By using VPNs, you mask your identity. Any system on a network can be identified when it is using a public system. In the same order, it can be exploited too. So by using a VPN, you end up becoming anonymous on any given network and by doing so, you not only are more secure, but you can also access certain features that are restricted based on your geographic location. While VPNs might not immediately strike as a prerequisite to gaming, they are however an amazing add-on.

How VPNs Are Useful In General

For a gamer or a daily user, VPNs do all the below mentioned things for you. So if you are a gamer and is getting a VPN in a gaming centered perspective, you end up with few extra features that keep your personal browsing safe too.

They make you invisible:With the help of VPNs, as previously mentioned, you can become invisible on a network and safeguard yourself from any cyber attacks or malware threats.

Data Encryption: Your data will remain private and safe. By encrypting your data, you get to have an extra ounce of security. Even in cases of a security breach or a network compromise, your data still remains safe.

Helps you bypass geographical restrictions: A few countries tend to ban certain websites. At the same time, a few games or products are first made available to a certain demographic only. In such a case, a VPN helps you hide your original location, virtually transport you to another location and helps you access the content tailored for them.

Downloading Content: VPNs help in downloading content, in this case, private or censored content as well. Though we in no way promote piracy, it is still one of the reasons why VPNs are used by many people around the world. Torrenting is heavily benefitted by VPN connections.

How a Gamer VPNs Is Useful To Gamers

Gamers are often extensively benefitted by the usage of VPN. Here are a few ways in which VPNs help gamers:

1. They help in downloading and accessing games that are not released in your country or your region yet. As mentioned previously, you can clone your geographic area and access games that are not available to you yet.

For instance, all the games in the Grand Theft Auto series were banned in China. So if you’re in China and are a fan of this game and would like to try it out, VPN helps you bypass the government restrictions and download it.

2. Helps in avoiding bandwidth throttling. Many times, ISPs detect heavy usage of the internet from a particular system. As gamers consume a heavy amount of data, the ISPs throttle the bandwidth and decrease the data flow and traffic. But when you use a VPN, such control cannot be enforced on you. This way, your gameplay is always smooth and hassle-free.

3. Buy games at the right price: Games and their prices vary depending on various factors depending on the country where they are sold or the region where they are sold from. By geo-spoofing, you can do online purchases of games at a much better price point from places where you can buy them for cheap.

 

4. For competing in tournaments: For gamers, tournaments are a big thing. Playing and winning tournaments are usually something each gamer aspires to do. For doing so, you need to be able to participate in online tournaments hosted at several different places and regions. In this case too, by geo-spoofing, you can play tournaments hosted in other countries as well.

Tired of waiting for players to come online for playing DOTA or DOTA 2? Worry not, change your location through your VPN, play from the server which gives you can access to more number players online. This way, your waiting time is near zero.

5. Access the game streaming specific to a particular country. Xbox Live and PSN exclusives, for instance, are specific to a country. As a gamer and an enthusiast, you’d definitely love to check these out. With a VPN, you can access Xbox Live and PSN exclusives of many countries.

6. The gameplay experience with MMOs is significantly increased when you are using a VPN. From being able to pick servers with the lowest ping to being able to switch to regions which have the highest number of online players, VPN unleashes a world of possibilities for MMOs.

For games like Counter-Strike Go and Fortnite, a low ping makes a good deal of a difference in the gaming experience. A ping is the time taken for sending a request and receiving a response in return.

With VPNs, you can get to check the servers that are available and you can monitor the ping on various servers and switch to the server with the lowest ping. This way, you can enjoy gameplay with a smoother experience. Also, the latency is also greatly reduced with the help of a VPN.

7. Beat the release date differences and get your hands on the latest games. Game release dates and timings are often a source of great frustration. A few titles tend to release either with a few hours of time difference or few days of difference. This often ends up being a major headache for many gamers.

When you are playing for a tournament or you are working on a professional capacity with gaming, these differences with release dates often matter. In such cases, VPNs are extremely helpful.

Picking The Right Gaming VPN

Based on the data and tech explained above, for an average gamer, there are few bare minimum requirements. And these requirements are usually limited to being able to geo-spoof over heavy data usage. If you have a VPN which has a sturdy service, best customer support, servers located in a wide range of geographical locations, you are good to go.

As gaming tends to consume heavy data on an extended period of time, you need to pick VPN providers that can provide reasonably good resistance to ISP throttling.

All in all, the requirements for gaming VPN is pretty basic and standard. There isn’t any need to pick a high performing VPN that will cost you a fortune over time.

On the contrary, you just need to pick a VPN that delivers consistently and has a wide server base over several countries.

Keeping all these requirements for gamers in mind, we found that NordVPN is the best VPN provider for gaming purposes.

While some people opt to go for free VPN services, we are however against this practice. That's because free VPNs are often offered so that those companies can analyze and steal your data.

Most free VPNs come with limitations in terms of their geographic locations of servers and data handling capability. If a VPN service provider doesn’t have multiple servers for handling the data, a lesser number of servers have to handle a larger amount of data and this ends up in slowing down all the connections.

So when you pick a paid VPN, like NordVPN, you can expect to have a smooth, secure, private and an amazing gaming experience.

Here are a few reasons why NordVPN is unarguably the best choice for gaming:

1. NordVPN has servers in about 61 countries to date. This makes the connectivity and data flow super fast. This way, you don’t have to worry about your connection slowing down. On top of that, these servers also help you geo-spoof easily. You now have access to buying, playing and virtually transporting yourself to 61 of these countries.

Also, on a side note, the presence of this provider in these many countries helps you access these servers and pick the ones that have the lowest ping time. More servers, more easy to pick and find out the server with the lowest ping.

2. It secures the tunnel through which the data passes. This configuration of the protocol for a VPN while keeping gaming in mind, is very robust. On top of that, you can also use this VPN connection for your personal browsing as well.

3. Flexibility across various platforms. There is a NordVPN application for MacOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS as well. This way, your VPN for gaming can also be used for your personal purposes on your mobile, work system or your private laptop apart from a gaming console. And also, one VPN account with Nord offers protection to six devices, this is entirely a bang for your buck.

4. Customer friendly service. NordVPN has a 30-day money back guarantee and has amazing customer service. Also, you can cancel their service anytime. Plus they accept payment in crypto too.

5. Secure, private and safe, period. Though NordVPN only encrypts the tunnel, it does so use double encryption which equals to double safety. On top of all this, NordVPN doesn’t maintain user logs, which truly respects and promotes privacy.

6. Ultimate Bandwidth. This is the most gamer-friendly feature of NordVPN. By giving you unlimited bandwidth, you can be allowed to download, play and stream as much content as you want, without being limited by the bandwidth of your VPN provider. This feature helps you beat latency and have a smooth gameplay experience.

7. Protection against DDOS attacks. When you’re gaming, IP attacks like DDOS can disrupt your tournaments or gaming experiences. With NordVPN, you will never experience any DDOS attack as they conceal your real IP.

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The Bottomline

VPNs are slowly becoming an everyday part of people’s lives, just like firewalls in your devices. For a hobby and activity like gaming which is data intensive and benefits hugely from geo-spoofing, unlimited bandwidth and secure connections, VPN usage is a must-have.

As discussed above, keeping gaming in mind, a VPN with the functionalities like that of NordVPN’s are more than adequate and will greatly aid in the gaming experience. If you are a gamer, let your next upgrade be this—getting a VPN connection. Enhance your experience and keep having fun, albeit more securely and with a great number of feature and that a VPN unleashes for you.


Naga Pramod

Naga Pramod is a computer science major and tech news reporter with a passion for cyber security, networking, and data science. [email protected]