Published on October 31st, 2021 | by Sunit Nandi0
Should You Use A VPN for Online Gaming?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a service that encrypts your internet data, allowing you to stay anonymous. VPNs are mainly used by businesses and other corporations that deal with sensitive information through the internet. For online gaming purposes, players use them for many different reasons.
“A lot of people have told me they use a VPN when playing games online,” says Art Castañares, owner of PC Review Forums. “Some do it so they can play their home country’s version of an international game if their account isn’t accessible in certain countries.”
“I have heard stories about some American gamers being able to get around blocks on international servers due to IP bans,” Castañares continues. “They were using tunnels or proxies to make it look like they were in another country. This would allow them to get around the IP ban and also play on international servers.”
“I’ve seen online gamers that use VPNs while playing games,” says Pham Khieng, a player of World of Warcraft (WoW). “They do it because stricter firewall and anti-cheat software block their connection while they play, and because there is no guarantee that the online game is able to stay secure.”
There are many different types of security services, including personal firewalls, virtual private networks, antivirus programs, anti-spyware programs, poison controls, spam blockers, web filters, content monitors, parental controls, intrusion detection systems, URL filters and many more. Each one of these tools monitors the activities users do online.
“While playing games, I have experienced a lot of security issues,” says Khieng. “I think gamers should definitely use VPNs so they can get the best protection from the various security threats that could try to harm their system or destroy their account.”
There are many different reasons for people to use a VPN while gaming, but there are also consequences that could arise from it – consequences not everyone is aware of.
“You’re going to put your traffic in someone else’s hands,” warns Castañares. “What you do with your Internet connection will be unknown and unseen by you or any third parties monitoring your connection. You should always make certain that you are using a VPN service from a trusted company, so your traffic is being encrypted properly – not being captured or intercepted.”
“Depending on the type of VPN software, if any third parties are watching your connection, they may see that you’re engaging with other services that could indicate gaming or torrenting a game” Castañares continues. “They might then block your account status because it looks different from browsing normally. You may have to use a special purpose torrenting VPN or Tor browser”
Another problem with using a VPN for security purposes while gaming is that players will experience a loss in their internet speed. Many gamers complain about slow connections when using these types of tools and some providers even throttle bandwidth to low limits. A player’s connection may be slowed heavily and disconnections could happen more frequently.
“When you’re playing some games and using public internet connections,” says Castañares, “you may find that you rank lower than other players on the server because your connection is slow or disconnecting.”
Before gamers rush out and invest in a VPN, they should make sure to know all of the repercussions – both for security reasons and speed issues. If a player is trying to avoid trouble from third parties but still wants to play online without any delay, they will have to choose between safety and speed.