In this article we will discuss the following topics:
Long gone are the days when games were associated with nerdy guys who always locked themselves up in their parent’s basement. Rather, gaming has now
become a part of our lives, with more than 155 million people playing video games in the US alone. The gaming culture has also changed with online gaming growing exponentially over the last few years. However, even though now you no longer need to physically sit next to an opponent, online gaming comes with risks and problems that call for the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A works by encrypting all your internet or gaming traffic and then securely tunneling it to a server of your choice. This VPN server spoofs your real IP address and gives you a new one. The IP address you get belongs to the region where the server is located. The result of all this is that your connection is secured, and you gain a new online identity. You no longer access the internet directly through your ISP server but through a VPN server.
Why do I need a VPN for gaming?
Whether you play online or not, there are many reasons why you should consider using a VPN for Gaming. Here’s a list of the most important ones:
Access geo-specific content
Some games can only be downloaded or played online when you are in a particular region. For example, if you are in Asia and want to access a game only available in the US, you would need to connect to a VPN’s US server.
Get games early
Various games have different release dates depending on your location. For example, if a game is being released in France before you can access it in your region, you may change your online identity location and connect to a French VPN server. This allows you to see the internet as if you were actually in France.
Reduce Ping Times & Lag
As an online gamer, you need a stable connection with low latency. A poor connection can be the difference between life and death, especially if you are playing a game that has bullets flying at you like COD. With a , you can connect to a server close to the source gaming server, which will reduce your latency. However, you need to use a fast VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPNto avoid getting slow speeds.
Protect yourself from DDoS attacks
Competitive gaming is prone to Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS), where your IP address is used to bring your connection down. These kinds of attacks are usually carried out to make you lose the game but can also have other disastrous effects. This is a huge security risk that can easily be avoided with a secure VPN.
When you want to play online, most games normally connect you to players in your region, depending on your IP address. If you wish to play against opponents from a different region, you need to change your online identity with a .
Avoid ISP throttling
Some ISPs usually throttle your internet when they notice that you’ve been transferring a lot of data. Playing online games is data intensive, and when you get throttled, a VPN can overcome all restrictions placed on your connection by the ISP.
Stay private & secure your data
A VPN with a strict zero logs policy and robust security like Express Best VPN ensures that you can conduct your online activities without the spying eyes of your ISP and government. A game console itself can pose relatively little data risk, but if you play online on your smartphone, you definitely need a VPN. Data theft from mobile phones is quite easy especially when connected to public wifi hotspots, most of which shouldn’t be trusted. With a secure VPN, you won’t have to worry about data theft, and you’ll be able to remain private.
A best VPN can be used for all gaming platforms. However, some can’t have a VPN installed directly. Most of the top VPNs provide client apps for almost all platforms. These include Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and various routers. If you use any of the above to play games, then you can install a VPN for gaming.
However, if you own a console, you can only install a VPN indirectly through a DD-WRT router. If you are techy enough, you can configure the VPN by yourself on a compatible router. Otherwise, you can buy a pre-configured VPN router. For example, ExpressVPN has a section where they suggest you the best VPN routers that you can buy through Amazon. They also give you instructions on how to install a best VPN on your router.
With a VPN router, you can use the VPN connection on all your devices, or the ones you choose thanks to split tunneling, a feature you can also find with ExpressVPN
Gaming is not a light-weight task, and you therefore need to consider a VPN carefully before you purchase it. Otherwise, you might end up not using the VPN. To make sure you choose the best VPN for gaming, here are some factors that you need to consider:
All secure VPNs tend to slow down your speeds by a certain percentage. However, some VPNs are generally faster than others thanks to better architecture and many high-bandwidth servers.
You need a VPN that provides VPN clients for almost all your gaming platforms. This means a best VPN client for your computer, smartphone, and router.
To wholly open up your internet freedom, you need a VPN that has servers in almost all regions of the world. Further, the servers need to be many in number to make sure that you are not logged in with many other users in the same server.
Some VPNs don’t have servers that support P2P. Such VPNs can disappoint, as some popular games like PUBG use peer-to-peer connections to facilitate multiplayer gaming.
A good VPN for gaming should give you the option to customize your connection. This is especially the case when it comes to the protocols you can use. A protocol determines how secure or fast your connection is, and the more freedom of choice you have, the better. When you are using a secure network, and you don’t need much security, you can use a lighter protocol than OpenVPN (e.g. PPTP) to encrypt your data. This will lead to improved speeds and general performance of the network.
Privacy & Security
In today’s world, a VPN is very crucial, and you shouldn’t use it just for gaming. A VPN is useful for legally accessing restricted websites, streaming privately, securing data, and more. You therefore need to choose a VPN registered in a privacy-friendly country, and that offers Zero logs. The VPN also needs to use the secure AES-256 encryption which is impenetrable.
Top 3 VPNs for gaming
To help you make an informed choice and save you from the headache of sifting through tons of options, we’ve listed for you the best gaming VPNs that meet the criteria we’ve given above.
ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN in 2018, thanks to its superb performance, high speeds, advanced features, and excellent customer support. The VPN is registered in the British Virgin Islands, which is out of the reach of the invasive UK data retention laws. This helps the VPN in its promise of a strict zero logs policy.
ExpressVPN has 2000+ servers spread across 148 VPN locations in 94+ countries. The speeds you get are excellent, and most of the servers support P2P. The VPN has client apps for almost every device, and even has a SmartDNS for gaming consoles, in case you don’t need any encryption. The VPN gives you 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
CyberGhost is based in Romania, another good choice for VPN registration. This helps the VPN keep its promise of zero logs, which is good for privacy. CyberGhost has been growing exponentially since last year, and it’s now a top VPN for gaming.
The VPN has 2900+ servers in 59 countries, a number that has more than doubled in 2018 alone. There are many options to customize your VPN connection, and VPN also offers the solid security. P2P is allowed on many servers, and you can always get your money back within the first 30 days.
Using a VPN for gaming brings with it a lot of benefits and opportunities, as we have seen. The key to unlocking them all is simply by choosing the right VPN for gaming. With the options given above and having been equipped with all the knowledge you require to get started, you can now go ahead and maximize your gaming experience!
We all value our privacy when surfing the internet, but we may not always understand the best way to protect ourselves. Modern browsers now allow for private browsing by using “Incognito Mode” in Google’s Chrome browser and “Private Browsing” in Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari. Everyone uses them, but how safe are these features? How much information are you really protecting, and how exposed are you?
For the most part, browsing privately will only keep your local PC, tablet, smart phone, or Apple device clear from any browsing history, and nothing else. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will still have all of your transaction history as well as all of your entire logs. This is not ideal if they are ever hacked, as your private data is at risk of being stolen and used by cyber criminals. Let’s break down the differences between browsing privately and using a VPN to see exactly which one is more beneficial.
What do each of these solutions offer?
Incognito mode and VPN both do the same thing on the surface: keep your browsing private. However, browsing privately only means that a local copy of your browsing history will not be stored locally on your device. That’s fine if you don’t mind remembering all of your saved login details for every single online service that you use, but for everyone else, it can get a little tiring. This is because an incognito session has no profiles associated with it, so none of your saved credentials or favorite websites can be automatically filled into the input areas of a website.
VPNs, on the other hand, offer an entirely different solution to the same problem. Instead of simply not saving your history and session data to your local device, a VPN relies on a secure connection between you and your VPN provider. As far as any other external entities are concerned, you are connected to a secure server, and all of your traffic is encrypted. This means that you and your service providers are the only ones aware of your online activity. And what’s more is that the VPN providers that offer the best services will generally not keep any logs or history of your online activities.
Unfortunately, incognito browsing is very limited in the scope of what it can do for you and your privacy. Since the connection to the internet is not encrypted in any meaningful way, it still exposes the traffic between you and your internet destinations, such as social media sites, online banking institutions, and work-related web portals. Having your traffic intercepted and then used fraudulently can cause untold headaches for you, so it is never a good idea to operate over the internet without some kind of encryption service, such as VPNs.
VPNs are another matter, however. There are plenty of additional features that they offer users that wish to enjoy not only the privacy of an encrypted internet connection, but also the value that is unlocked when geolocation services can be used to their full potential. One such VPN host is Express VPN. Users can connect to any country that hosts a VPN server that is within the network of their VPN provider, and all of the browsing benefits that come from that region can be enjoyed by the VPN user. Perhaps you cannot access a website from your home country due to a routing issue or a technical problem, then connecting to a VPN offers your network traffic a different route that it can take. This gives you additional security and options in times of internet connectivity outages
Safety should be your number one concern when you are browsing the internet. This is especially true if you are using private information such as banking credentials or transmitting sensitive data. Going incognito in your browser can add some limited safety features, such as disabling your plugins that could help hackers to identify you, but that is not always convenient. Many browser plugins offer users an enhanced online experience, such as discounts, free deals, and other value added services. By using incognito, you effectively disrupt the flow of free goods and services to yourself, which is less than ideal.
Using a VPN, on the other hand, does not require that you disable. All of your browsing data is encrypted and secure, so no matter what applications, plugins, or services you wish to use. This gives you the best of both worlds: all of the value and convenience of a normal, unprotected internet browsing experience, and the privacy and safety of a VPN connection. Most of the well-known VPNs also guarantee your privacy and safety, and offer protection via many different safety protocols such as LT2P, IPSec, PPTP, TLS, OpenVPN, and more. Nord VPN is an excellent example of a VPN provider that offers excellent safety features, with double encryption being one of its greatest assets.
Incognito is a localized, single device solution for people that wish to use a website or websites without leaving behind any personal information. This is a safety precaution that some people use when browsing on public Wi-Fi connection or an internet café computer. Anyone with the right software and malicious intent can intercept your communications, regardless of whether or not you are browsing in a private browsing mode. This limits the safety of an entire group of people, because unless everybody decides to use incognito mode to communicate via the web, all parties connected could potentially be exposed to undue risk.
VPNs have found a clever way of dealing with these problems, and they are able to do this very easily. By connecting your internet modem or router to your VPN provider’s service, you can encapsulate your entire internet connection in one single tunnel. This means that every single device on your network can browse the internet in complete privacy and not have to worry about prying eyes digging through private and personal information. A handy feature, known as a kill switch, automatically kills all of the traffic that tries to pass through your router or modem if the VPN connection should drop for some reason. This protects you from broadcasting data when the service goes offline, potentially exposing your traffic when it is not encrypted.
Another way that VPNs allow for multiple user and device privacy is by offering multiple logons with a single account. This means that your entire family can enjoy the protection that is synonymous with VPN browsing, while still enjoying all of the features that they normally would when browsing the internet.
It is very easy to see why a VPN is a better choice not only for internet browsing, but for general internet usage altogether. By linking multiple devices to a single VPN account, you not only guarantee the safety of your users and their devices, but you also open up geo-dependent services legally, without having to resort to location spoofing, software, or copyright infringements. If you are ever in a tight spot, and don’t have any access to a VPN service, then incognito browsing is certainly better than not trying to protect yourself at all. As a long term solution, there is no simpler way to make yourself invisible on the internet than to sign up with a VPN service.