If you feel like VPNs are being recommended more and more these days, rest assured you aren’t imagining it. As we become even more aware of the cyber threats we face in day-to-day internet usage, the security perks of VPNs are becoming more relevant. This guide highlights why using a VPN for online gaming offers some benefits.
How a VPN for online gaming offers benefits
Factor in the semi-permanence of work-from-home conditions, and it’s no wonder people are looking for more ways to protect their internet activities.
However, it is also worth remembering that VPNs are not only useful for personal browsing and work-related activity. Private networks are also being put to use more frequently by online gamers, who see a number of benefits in the technology.
A VPN for online gaming offers safety in competitive multiplayer environments
The dominance of multiplayer formats in online gaming today means that things can get quite competitive at times. More often than not, games remain civil, and even disagreements between players are no big deal. That said, unexpected things can happen:
Maybe you say the wrong thing to someone in the midst of a battle-royale-style shootout.
Perhaps you beat someone one too many times in Madden or FIFA.
Or maybe you take a big hand off a trash-talking opponent in a poker game at an online casino.
In any of these cases, someone could be motivated to try a DDoS attack or something similar against you. As we noted in a previous look at private networks for gaming, this is not likely to happen. But the extra layer of privacy afforded to you by a VPN can protect you in the event that it does.
Extra Protection with Money at Hand
We just alluded to poker and casino sites, and in online gaming environments like these, some also appreciate VPN protection for the sake of financial security. Again, it’s unlikely to experience any sort of attack when depositing or withdrawing funds at an online casino site.
But playing with a VPN provides some reassurance that your funds — and potentially significant winnings — are even less likely to be at risk. Two factors make this well worth considering even for gamers who don’t deposit much money at casino sites.
Protection of minimal payments
The first is that even a minimal deposit will sometimes require credit card or payment processor information — all of which is protected by reputable platforms but can always be more protected by extra measures on your end.
Regular winnings even with smaller deposits
The second is that even if you don’t deposit much, some of the jackpot arrangements at popular casinos can result in your winning a lot, unexpectedly — even if you’re not necessarily trying to.
Gala Casino’s slot games do, perhaps the best job of illustrating what we mean by this, given that a number of them are visibly tagged with accumulated jackpot amounts.
As of this writing, various slots on this platform are set to pay out prizes of $11,516 (USD), $86,058, and a whopping $3.9 million. Of course, it’s a long shot for any given player to win these prizes. Those who do suddenly find major jackpot amounts being shoveled into their accounts will always appreciate any possible added security measure.
One of the negatives of using a VPN for gaming is that it can increase latency. Basically, when you use a VPN, your data transfers make an extra stop. This can slow things down a little bit, and in some gaming environments, even a marginal issue like this can have a major impact.
If you’re in a massively multiplayer environment collaborating with other players, for instance, and you’re always a second behind, the whole gaming experience will be affected.
However, in some cases — most notably when playing games on public Wi-Fi — this added latency can be offset by the benefit of circumventing a practice known as “throttling.” This is something that happens on some public networks. The simple way to explain it is that it slows down certain activities so as to keep networks from being overwhelmed, or from catering to some users more than others.
If you’re playing a demanding video game, for instance, a “throttling” process might slow down your gaming connection. A VPN takes you off of the public Wi-Fi, for all intents and purposes, and thus allows you to play without the risk of throttling.
Finally, there is something to be said for general privacy. Online gaming is becoming ever more social, and as an article at Forbes put it, could be on its way to becoming a sort of new, dominant social media.
That’s all well and good, and in most cases, gamers welcome the connections. But even without fear of DDoS attacks, people tend to value their privacy online. A VPN provides an extra layer of privacy, which can be reassuring even if there isn’t a specific concern at hand. Plenty of gamers just like knowing they’re doing all they can to keep their real lives and their gaming activity separate.
For all of these reasons, it may be wise for gamers to consider looking into VPN options.