Using a VPN for online gaming can be both beneficial and disadvantageous. It depends on the game, the VPN, the internet connection and more. Here is a brief overview of the main points.
A VPN is mainly used for security. With a virtual personal network, all your data is secured with encryption and no one can watch. Your location will also remain hidden. This way, you can help prevent attacks on your data, your game, and in the worst case scenario, your person, especially if you’re on a public Wi-Fi network.
DDoS attacks, swatting and hacking may not be your everyday threats, but when you deal with them, it can wreak havoc in your game as well as in your real life.
Since a VPN allows you to hide your own IP address and choose a new virtual location, you can bypass geo-blocks. For example, you can access games that require geo-blocked activation keys and even make new releases available early. A VPN also helps if you want to game with a group of gaming friends in another region.
Moreover, with a new IP address you can avoid bans and suspensions within a game.
Many games recommend making a direct connection, as a VPN can negatively impact the speed of the game. It is also true that a less good VPN can cause a higher ping and therefore slower loading times, but you can avoid this by choosing one of the best VPN services.
A VPN, on the other hand, can also have a positive effect on speed. For example, by connecting to a VPN server that is closer to the game server, you can reduce ping times and therefore delays.
Choosing the best VPN for gamers
The most important point to keep in mind when choosing a VPN for gaming is, of course, latency, or the delay between your action and the result. You will of course have to pay for the VPN with the least or even no delay, because a free VPN does not have the same capabilities.
VPN services such as NordVPN and Surfshark have affordable monthly subscriptions with hardly any delay. And these don’t just come in handy when gaming. They also provide you with security for all your other internet usage and can even help you access foreign Netflix offerings or an American streaming service like Hulu.