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VPN for Gaming: Why You Need It and How to Pick the Best One (Guest Article)

Posted by: , 15:08 AEDT, Wed January 29, 2020

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Find out why gamers need a VPN, and which one to choose
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Today, when we play the most popular video games online, virtual private networks (VPN) have become gamers’ best friends. There are three main reasons for that: a VPN ensures stable connections, lets you bypass geo-blocking, and protects you from malicious players.

NordVPN Winter Holiday deal! Save 80% and get two amazing gifts: 3 extra months on top of the 3-year plan and the NordPass password manager (worth $194.61).

Blazing speeds

Since net neutrality was repealed in 2017, internet service providers (ISPs) in the USA can legally regulate the internet speeds their users get — no matter how much speed they paid for. It means that during certain times (mostly on weekends), your bandwidth can be limited for specific data types, websites, or platforms. This includes video streaming, P2P, and gaming, among other things.

A photo showing NordVPN usage on Android 10

ISPs can see what we do online. Therefore, when they notice you spend a lot of time on gaming servers, they might throttle your bandwidth. Officially, they do it to ensure stable speeds for all users. The problem is that you are not getting stable speeds. And if you often experience interruptions when you’re in the middle of a game, it might lead to you subscribing to a pricier internet plan. At least that’s what ISPs hope for.

But you can avoid these problems by using a VPN. A reliable VPN will encrypt your traffic and hide it even from your ISP. If they don’t know what you’re doing online, they won’t have a reason to throttle your connection.

Geo-blocking won’t affect you

A lot of companies put certain geographical restrictions in place to control which regions can access their content and when.

But a VPN will let you bypass all of them. There are three reasons why this is great news for gamers:

  1. Early access to games. Some of the most popular games are released on different dates in different parts of the world. It can be anywhere from a few days to weeks of waiting until the new title lands in your country. But if you use a VPN, you can connect to a country where the game is already out and buy it from there.

  2. Play multiplayer games in any region. If you ever wanted to play with your friends from the other side of the world, you might have faced geo-blocking. It could happen if the game is not currently available in your country, and sometimes game servers are dedicated to people from certain countries only. But if you use a VPN, you can connect and play on any server you want.

  3. Play banned games. A lot of modern video games have at least a little violence in them. But some have loads of gory imagery. It leads to those games getting banned in certain countries. This problem is especially prominent amongst Australian gamers, where a lot of popular titles are banned. A VPN will once again let you change your IP and bypass these restrictions easily.

Protection from DDoS attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are something that online gamers might have experienced personally. People would do anything to gain a competitive advantage, and a lot of them are also sore losers.

They will go to great lengths to win. Like perform a DDoS attack on other gamers to overwhelm their connection, which slows you down and may even disconnect you from the game. If this happens during a critical moment in your final battle, you lose the game.

The good news is that you need a person’s IP address to initiate a DDoS attack. So, if you use a VPN while gaming online, it hides your real IP and replaces it with the server’s IP. In case someone tries to DDoS the server, the VPN provider’s systems will recognize the unusual amount of traffic and distribute it. This way, it will not affect the users on the server.

How to pick the best provider?                                        

The most important thing to pay attention to when picking a VPN for gaming is the number of servers they have and the speeds they offer. These two are connected — more servers usually translate to better speeds. If a VPN provider has a lot of servers, you will be able to connect to one that’s closer to you. Physical distance matters when it comes to VPNs — the closer a server is, the faster your connection will be.

So which one to choose? NordVPN is a great option — they have more than 5000 servers in all corners of the world. It is also constantly listed among the fastest VPN providers, so you won’t have to suffer from latency.

Another great thing is that they are always expanding the network and updating their software. Recently NordVPN adopted the WireGuard tunneling protocol, which, combined with their custom double NAT system, provides mind-blowing speeds.  It’s currently only available on Linux, but users are sure to see similar improvements on NordVPN’s other platforms.

All in all, NordVPN is a great option — it’s fast, affordable, and safe to use.

Bottom line

A VPN is necessary for every serious gamer, but it will come in handy not only when you’re battling monsters online. It will guard your connections any time you connect to the internet. For ultimate freedom and all-round protection, install it on your router — so you always stay safe, no matter if you’re gaming on your console, PC, or smartphone. 

NordVPN Winter Holiday deal! Save 80% and get two amazing gifts: 3 extra months on top of the 3-year plan and the NordPass password manager (worth $194.61).


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