How to Choose the Best Gaming VPN
Every online gamer would want fast connection speed so they can play their favorite online games with less ping. More than this, however, is the need to protect the gaming traffic from Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. DoS attacks are fast and easy to execute, even a teenager with some level of technical know-how can pull it off.
Such was the case of Adam Mudd who created Titanium Stresser, a DDoS service when he was 16 years old. People paid Mudd so they can use the DDoS program to attack websites and regular Internet users, and these attacks even reached 1.7 million. Among the games that were affected by such attacks were Minecraft and MMO Runescape. XBOX Live and some Microsoft services were also attacked. Runescape had to spend £6 million just to fight off the attack, as reported by The Guardian.
This raises a very crucial point: A VPN for gaming is necessary not only to give players a high-quality gaming experience but also as a protection against DDoS attacks.
Criteria in Choosing the Best Gaming VPN
Since not all VPN providers are the same, choosing the first one that appears on the search results is not advisable. There are certain characteristics that need to be present in a gaming VPN and they are discussed in this section.
1. Location of Gaming VPN Servers
Most of the time, people on the lookout for a VPN service give much consideration in the number of servers when in fact, they tend to use only three to five servers every month. The average VPN user doesn’t really need hundreds of servers.
What is crucial though is the location of the servers. The nearer the servers to gaming servers, the better since there will be less latency and more games can be accessed. In choosing a gaming VPN, consider the server locations.
2. Dedicated VPN Servers for Gaming
There are also providers like LimeVPN that have dedicated VPN servers for gaming, and these servers are optimized to give users the best gaming experience (less ping and latency), and the utmost protection from network hacks and DDoS attacks.
If a provider has dedicated gaming VPN servers, the number of servers certainly won’t matter that much.
3. P2P VPN Connection
Most of the popular online fighting games use peer-to-peer or P2P connections, but only a few VPNs allow P2P traffic. This makes the VPN practically useless for gamers. Before you sign up with any service, make sure first that they don’t restrict the P2P connection.
P2P file sharing is one of the most attractive features of LimeVPN Pro, making it perfect for online gamers. There’s also no data cap, so gamers can play P2P games all they want.
4. Gaming VPN Platform Compatibility
There are different gaming platforms — PC, Xbox, mobile, Nintendo, and Sony Playstation, to name a few. Then there are also different operating systems that your gaming platform runs one such as Windows and macOS.
The best gaming VPN must be compatible with any of these platforms. But in case your gaming platform is not compatible with the VPN, you can install the VPN directly on the router. This way, every device and gaming platform is already covered and protected by the VPN tunnel. If you are tech-savvy enough and your router is compatible, you can set up the VPN on your own. There are also pre-flashed VPN routers that you can buy in case you don’t want to configure the VPN by yourself.
5. VPN Privacy and Security
Online privacy and security is the primary reason why people use a VPN, so this should be one of the criteria when choosing a gaming VPN, especially since DDoS attacks have been common in the past years. The most secure VPN provider does not log any personally identifiable data and usage, so your online activities can never be traced back to the user.
Why Use a VPN for Gaming?
The top two reasons for using a gaming VPN have been mentioned in the previous sections, and they are:
- Stable connection and less latency: Connecting to a VPN server that is close to the game’s server will reduce ping and will make the game practically legless.
- Protection from DDoS attacks: Since the VPN encrypts all network and gaming traffic, it will be difficult (if not impossible) for hackers and attackers to get in.
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Does VPN Reduce Ping for Online Gaming?
Aside from these two obvious reasons, there are also other benefits in using a VPN for gaming, and they are:
- Get hold of games before others can. Games are released in different schedules. For instance, games may have a different release date in the U.S than in Europe. With a gaming VPN, you will have access to these games earlier when you connect to a VPN server located in a country where the game is to be released at an earlier date.
- Access games that are otherwise restricted in your location. Geo-restriction is not limited to movies and videos only. Game developers have also employed the same restriction so that there are games that can’t be played or downloaded unless you are in a specific location. A VPN for gaming will enable you to access geo-restricted games
- Play with gamers in other regions. Multiplayer games usually allow players to play only with those who are in the same region. If you are in San Francisco, your teammates and opponents will also be from the same place. If you have gamer friends in Asia, you won’t be able to play with or against them unless you connect to an Asian VPN server.
- Bypass ISP throttling. There are ISPs that throttle or limit your speed when they detect that a huge amount of data is being transferred in your network. Since online games are pretty heavy in terms of data consumption, most gamers suffer from this sad reality. However, a workaround ISP throttling is a VPN since the ISP won’t be able to see your network traffic and can’t throttle your connection based on data usage.
A gaming VPN has several uses other than for users to enjoy their favorite online games. It protects not only the gaming traffic but also the overall network traffic. Spending $11 to $15 a month for a VPN service that allows you to enjoy online games and secure your connection is not too bad, after all.
The Best Gaming VPN
Online gaming is no longer for people seen as geeks, but billions of people are into it. According to Statista.com, the number of active video gamers is seen to rise to 2.7 billion by 2021, which is already more than half of the number of Internet users worldwide.
Without a VPN, these billions of people are vulnerable to hackers and DDoS. As early as now, it’s better to start using a gaming VPN if you are a serious online gamer. Keep in mind the criteria in choosing one too:
- Locations. VPN servers must be located in strategic places where gaming servers are near.
- Gaming servers. A VPN provider has dedicated and optimized servers for gaming.
- Port forwarding. A gaming VPN provider allows P2P connection.
- Gaming platform. The VPN is compatible with the gaming platform you are using.
- Zero-Logging. The VPN provider protects your privacy and security seriously by not logging your data and usage.
Having said all these, LimeVPN is a perfect candidate for a gaming VPN. It has dedicated gaming servers, it does not restrict P2P connections, and it has a serious no-logging policy in place. It’s server locations are also in strategic places, giving you quality options.