Do you consider yourself a gamer?
These days, gaming doesn’t just apply to those who pick up the latest Call of Duty or who are part of a guild in World of Warcraft. You can play games on your smart TV, tablet, and even in the bathroom on your phone when you need some alone time.
But do you need a VPN for gaming? Most video games these days require you to be online 100% of the time so you can receive updates, notifications and connect with other players. So do you need the same level of protection for gaming as browsing the internet?
The short answer is yes, it’s a good idea to have a VPN for gaming. Not only does it protect your privacy, but there are other benefits of having a gaming VPN. Here’s why you should activate it first before you pick up your controller.
What are the Advantages of Using a Gaming VPN?
Using a gaming VPN comes with all of the same benefits as using one for browsing the internet. However, there are some additional advantages of using VPNs for gaming.
One of the best reasons is to avoid DDoS attacks. A distributed denial of service attack is when another player sends multiple requests to your system to force you offline. DDoS attacks are becoming more accessible and popular amongst hardcore gamers. However, if you have a gaming VPN, your system is immune to DDoS attacks as your IP address is hidden.
You’ll also avoid having your bandwidth throttled. Many ISP’s have mechanisms that will slow down your network if they detect a specific type of activity or a certain amount of data getting transferred. Gaming is one of these activities. For example, did you know that Call of Duty uses 90MB of data per hour on average? Your ISP throttling your bandwidth is probably the reason for your kill-death ratio right?
With a gaming VPN, your ISP won’t be able to tell if you’re gaming or browsing on the net. Therefore, they won’t try to throttle your bandwidth while you play online. You might also find that you’ll see a reduction in lag and ping times, particularly if you connect to a country closer to game servers.
What are the Disadvantages of Using a Gaming VPN?
It’s definitely a good idea to get a gaming VPN. However, you may need to make some adjustments to your network and set it up to cater to a gaming VPN.
For example, you need to be quite specific on the gaming VPN server locations. If you pick the wrong one or don’t know the best server locations for your game, then you might end up lagging quite a bit. There could also be an issue with congested servers because a lot of other users are accessing that location for online gaming.
Some gaming VPN services also have a habit of disconnecting. Dropouts can cause many gamers to rage quit immediately when they’re booted out mid-game. If this behavior continues to occur, it’s even possible for the online game service to lock you out because they can’t tell if you’re doing it on purpose.
If you prefer to do your online gaming on a console, then you might also have some trouble using a VPN. You’ll need to ensure the VPN service you use is compatible with your system. Alternatively, you can install it to your wi fi router to get around this disadvantage.
What are the Best Features for a Gaming VPN?
Fortunately, you can easily get around these disadvantages, provided you pick the best VPN for gaming. Not all gaming VPN services are alike. You should ensure some features and benefits are included in the subscription before you hand over your credit card information.
The most important feature is the number of server locations available to the gaming VPN. The more, the merrier. It increases your chances of connecting to a site that’s close to the gaming server. You might even find that it increases your connection speed. More server locations also mean that you’re less likely to get disconnected from games and reduces the risk of you breaking your controller in anger.
You also want to ensure your gaming VPN has a no-logs policy. While it’s highly unlikely you’re going to do anything illegal during an online gaming session, you don’t want your VPN logging your information, activity, and data usage. It provides them the right to sell it to third-party companies who may then call you while you’re in the middle of a raid in World of Warcraft.
Is Using a VPN for Gaming Legal?
Much like using a VPN to protect your privacy online, utilizing one for gaming is mostly legal. However, there are some that ban the use of them, and others prohibit VPNs for personal use, which is what online gaming would fall under.
Some of the countries include North Korea, China, Russia, Turkey, and Iraq. Before signing up for a subscription to a gaming VPN, it’s best to check with your local authorities if you’re unsure of the legalities.
What are the Best VPNs for Gaming?
Now that you know what features to look out for, the next step is to find the best gaming VPN for your needs. If you want to skip browsing through every single VPN service, you can take a look below for our recommendations on the best VPNs for gaming.
· ExpressVPN includes 94 server locations, can be installed on your wi-fi router, and has a no-log policy.
· Surfshark offers unlimited connections, features 61 server connections, and has a no-log policy.
· NordVPN features 62 servers, has a no-log policy and works on a wi-fi router.
· Perfect-Privacy has 23 server locations, includes unlimited connections, and has a no-log policy.
· Hide.me provides 34 server locations, features a no-log policy, and works on wi-fi routers. It also has a free VPN option
Where Can You Find the Best Gaming VPN?
Protecting your identity and privacy is just as important in gaming as it is when you’re browsing websites. Without a gaming VPN, you leave yourself open to DDoS attacks and ISPs throttling your bandwidth.
A gaming VPN can provide you with the anonymity you need to avoid attacks, data getting logged, and lag interfering with your online gaming experience. If you happen to pick the right server, you might even find that your connection improves.
Don’t sacrifice precious gaming time by searching online for the best gaming VPN. Head over to VPN Testing’s VPN’s ranking table page and find the right one for you and your game.