Gaming on a PC? Here’s What You Should Look for in a VPN
If you’re a PC enthusiast, you’re probably familiar with VPNs. You might even already use a VPN to protect your identity or stream geo-restricted content. However, you might not have thought about using a VPN while you’re gaming.
A quality gaming VPN won’t slow down your PC’s Internet connection. What it will do is allow you to access games that may not be available or released yet in your region. While it may be true that gaming servers are usually secure, there are still times you could be putting your information at risk. As a result, it’s important to make sure that your IP address remains anonymous. Doing so can prevent cyberattacks and malicious targeting from opponents.
Here’s what to look for in a quality VPN to use while gaming on your PC.
Many games have a drip release, meaning they are rolled out over time to different markets. So a game you want to play might not be available where you live for hours (or months) after another location. Some territory restrictions are put into place to deal with licensing and others are there for more serious reasons.
If you want to have early access to games, you’ll need a VPN with plenty of server locations in different countries. That way you can switch your IP address location to a country where the game is available.
Certain governments ban or restrict access to games. Censorship regulations most often apply to political or particularly violent video games, but bans happen for many reasons. Currently, 15 countries have heightened regulations put in place for video games.
By using a VPN with your gaming PC, you can access any censored content. Some VPNs have features in place to operate with additional online security in these areas. This includes VPNs that feature NoBorders mode, which automatically finds servers without your county’s Internet restrictions.
Privacy & Security
IP Address Security
Gaming is inherently competitive and there is always potential for hackers or opponents to access your personal information if they can locate your IP address. A gaming VPN will block your PC’s current IP address. Instead, your PC will be assigned the IP address of a secure VPN server.
Some VPNs allow you to go into stealth mode, which hides that you are using a VPN at all. Make sure you use a service that hides your data behind a securely encrypted connection. Also, make sure the gaming VPN provider for your PC utilizes multiple servers that are spread out over different locations. If a multi-hop feature is available, use it. Your connection will route through multiple IP addresses, providing an added layer of security.
Distributed Denial-Of-Service Attacks (DDoS)
Online gamers have dealt with DDoS attacks for years. If you aren’t familiar with DDoS attacks, they involve a player overloading the traffic on a server in order to slow down the connection of an opponent, forcing them to lose or disconnect from the match.
The competitive nature of online gaming can drive people to malicious tactics, especially in high cash prize tournaments. Though these attacks are illegal under U.S. Federal Law, they are still a threat. By equipping your PC with a gaming VPN, you can eliminate the possibility of a DDoS attack. Counter-Strike Offensive and DOTA 2 are two games where DDoS attacks are common. If you’re a regular player of either of those games, you’ll want to make sure you’re protected.
An important security measure for any VPN is a no-logging policy. Less reputable VPN providers collect their users’ data and sell it to advertisers. Depending on their location, a VPN company might also be required to hold information for local law enforcement.
You should be particularly careful if you plan on using your VPN in countries that have strong censorship regulations. Luckily, many quality gaming VPNs have zero-logging policies and make a conscious effort not to keep any customer information.
A gaming VPN is useful to provide your PC with access to video games that might not otherwise be available. It also protects your IP address from hackers and rival team members.
Gaming has become a serious business, and the competitive nature will continue to fuel malicious attacks. Protect yourself and improve your gaming experience. Find the best gaming VPN for your PC from our recommendations of over 900 VPN providers.