Gamers know a reliable internet connection is essential for a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. However, what if your internet connection poses security threats? Or what if you’re trying to play a game that’s blocked in your region? That’s where a VPN can help.
Even though using VPNs for streaming services and working in public spaces has become a common practice, their benefits for gaming are less widely known. In recent years, VPNs for gaming have become increasingly popular. Many VPN providers now offer specialized gaming VPNs.
A VPN can’t instantly improve your K/D ratio, help you reach Diamond, or become the best player, but it can offer some benefits for gamers. If you want to become a better gamer yourself, delve into our expert guide that will navigate you through strategies for success in the gaming world.
Apart from using the right VPN, a safe search engine is needed to protect your privacy and security. VPNs encrypt your traffic and hide your IP address, while safe search engines do not track your search history or share your data with advertisers.
VPNs, or virtual private networks, can help you protect your privacy and security online. They can also be used to access geo-restricted content.
VPNs work by encrypting your traffic and hiding your IP address so you can browse the internet safely and anonymously. By connecting to a VPN server, your device’s traffic will be rerouted, fooling sites into thinking you’re physically there in another region or country. This technology is known as “location spoofing.”
With a VPN, you can make it difficult for websites, governments, and other third parties to track your online activity. At the same time, hackers will have more difficulty stealing your data.
Gaming with VPN: Advantageous or Bothersome?
There are multiple reasons VPNs can enhance your gaming experience. Some professionals and eSports events even utilize the tool.
First, you can play and purchase games from any region worldwide. Take Phantasy Star Online 2, which was Japan-exclusive for eight years before its Western release. Similarly, Call of Duty Online is restricted to China but playable to players outside the region using a VPN.
Gamers can also join servers that are in other regions. However, keep in mind that playing on servers not specifically designated for your region might lead to a less optimal connection.
Second, VPNs can provide protection against common distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks happen when someone sends a flood of traffic to a server or user’s IP address, overloading it and making it unavailable. This can be a significant problem for gaming, as it can take down servers and prevent players from being able to connect.
This is why the world’s leading eSports events utilize VPNs to guard against this threat, especially with the huge prize pools at stake. Some unscrupulous eSports contestants have been known to launch DDoS attacks against their opponents. As a result, they were unable to compete online in major events.
While a VPN cannot prevent large-scale DDoS attacks on popular servers, it can protect the individual user.
One example of a major DDoS attack was during the 2015 International Dota 2 Championships. The attacks crippled the entire tournament. It took more than an hour until connectivity could return to normal for the gamers.
VPNs can also help prevent Internet Service Providers (ISP) throttling, a practice where ISPs intentionally slow down or restrict the Internet speeds of certain users or activities. This can happen to gamers, especially those using a lot of bandwidth.
Using a VPN ensures your ISP can’t observe your online activities, so they won’t be able to throttle your bandwidth based on your activity.
Even though VPNs are not specifically designed to improve ping, they can sometimes help. Some VPNs can reduce ping by routing your traffic through a server closer to the game server. This can be helpful if your ISP’s routing is inefficient.
However, it is essential to note that using a VPN can also increase ping in some cases. This is because your data has to travel an extra hop through the VPN server. The encryption and decryption of your data can also slow down your connection, which might bother those busy grinding for rewards.
One last thing — VPNs are legal, but they can violate the terms of service of some websites and applications.
Some game developers and publishers do not allow players to use VPNs, as they can be used to gain an unfair advantage. If you are detected using a VPN while playing a multiplayer game, you may be suspended or banned from the game. This case is heavily dependent on the game.
Some game developers, such as PUBG, allow the use of VPNs. Others, such as Overwatch 2, Fortnite, and World of Warcraft, do not. This is why it is important to check the terms of service of the game you are playing to see if a VPN is allowed.
Make sure you choose the right VPN that can help your gaming experience with a focus on speeds and security, like Surfshark. You also do not want a VPN that is incompatible with your devices and games.
How Safe Search Engines Can Help
In gaming, there will be times you need to look up extra information on the game — whether it’s news, the rulebook, or a walkthrough. A safe search engine can enhance the gaming experience by preventing search leakage, blocking spam, and providing more relevant results.
Search leakage can reveal your IP address, which could be used to track you even when using a VPN. Then, blocking spam can prevent you from being interrupted by annoying pop-up ads while searching for your game’s necessities or even while playing. Providing more relevant results can help you find the information you need more quickly and easily.
DuckDuckGo, for example, may provide a safer option for browsing the internet. With reduced ads on the engine, there will also be reduced spam. Before using it, you can learn about the pros and cons of DuckDuckGo or other safe search engines.
If you are looking for a cheat code or a walkthrough for a game, a safe search engine will not return results from websites that are known to distribute malware or viruses and are filled with spam or irrelevant content. Then, if you are looking for a discussion forum for the game you play, a safe search engine will not return results from forums that are known to be toxic or abusive.
Using a safe search engine on top of your VPNs can improve your gaming experience by making it more secure, private, and enjoyable.