Are you a gamer? Are you able to check all the following boxes for having all the right gear? Chair, headset, controller, mouse, blazing fast internet connection, VPN?
What was that? You have everything but the VPN because you didn’t know you needed one? Okay. Let’s take a few moments and talk about why gamers should think about adding this service. But before we do that, let me suggest a few good VPNs for gamers. Check the reviews on them and see which one is the best fit for you.
In no particular order, you should check out ExpressVPN, IPVanish, NordVPN, Hotspot Shield, and CyberGhost. Actually, having said these aren’t in any order, you should check out these insights on ExpressVPN, as they are one of my personal top picks.
Why Gamers Should Use a VPN
1. Do Away With Regional Blocks
I’m sure most of us have come across some kind of content online that blocks us because of where we live. A lot of times that’s due to copyright, but knowing there’s a reason for it doesn’t make it any less aggravating.
Almost all games are region locked, whether you’re buying it in actual disk format or accessing it online. If you use a VPN, this is no longer an issue. With a press of your fingertip or the click of a mouse, you can change your location on a whim. Need to be in Australia? Click, and as far as the destination site knows, that’s where you’re visiting from. Need to be in the US? There you are.
One more annoying fact is that depending on what region you live in, prices are often jacked up. You can easily get around this by, you guessed it, logging into your account using a VPN set to a different country.
Clearly, this is an excellent reason for investing in a VPN.
2. Bypass Your ISP’s Speed Throttling
This one doesn’t just impact gamers. If you do a lot of heavy streaming, up or download a lot of torrents, or a number of other things that generate a lot of traffic, your ISP can put a clamp on your speed. This could be the kiss of death to a gamer.
By using a VPN they are able to circumvent this since your traffic is now encrypted and harder for your ISP to differentiate the type of traffic.
3. Protect your Anonymity
Gamers can be an intense lot of people. Phrases like, “It’s just a game” and “We’re just having fun,” have no meaning to them. Winning is the goal, and sometimes winning means everything. So if they lose, things might get ugly. And their anger might motivate them to track you down.
If you’ve logged into the game using your own ISP, you’ve left a track to follow. And there is no end to the crazy things some people will do. Since there’s a good chance you’re not just playing with people you know and trust, do your best to protect yourself and your privacy. Using a VPN will help with that.
4. Decrease Ping and Lag
Have you ever done a speed test on your internet connection? The first thing it checks is your ping time, then it checks your download and upload speeds. Ping is important, and the higher your ping, the slower your speeds.
If you’re a gamer, you know that seconds count. Using a VPN could give you just the edge you need since it can decrease your ping. It can decrease your lag time as well. Lag is basically a slow or inconsistent internet connection. I don’t think I need to explain how bad that could be if it happened at a crucial moment in your game.
5. Protect Yourself Against a DDoS Attack
DDoS stands for Denial of Service Attack. Much like it sounds, if someone—maybe a competing gamer—launches one of these attacks at you, they can kick you out of the game. If you’re not safely hidden behind a VPN, you’ve made it much easier for someone to do this. The attacks are based on your IP address, throwing small packets of information at your internet connection until it is completely overwhelmed.
Obviously, If you’re using a VPN, this won’t happen. You are safe behind the walls of a private network where no one can see your personal IP address.
Different VPNs offer different features, with some of them more suited to the gamer crowd than others. If you’re serious about your gaming, I recommend you do some research on the selection I listed above. At least one of them—ExpressVPN—is recommended for gamers. In fact, it’s been ranked as one of the best all-around VPNs for gamers, with 2000 servers and 148 locations around the world.