VPN for Gaming – Should You Use It?
Gaming today is much more connected than it was just 10 years ago. The growing popularity of gaming on the mainstream media is thanks to e-sports and games that appeal to a wider audience. Where the pandemic has pushed people indoors, it has also allowed people to find new interests, and gaming is one of those things that saw a huge boost in terms of engagement.
As more and more people are using the power of the internet to connect and play games, keeping a secure environment is vital for a safe experience.
A VPN is a tool that provides encryption for data, thus enabling a private browsing experience on the web. The security provided by encryption means that third-parties – including the ISP – cannot track your web activities. It makes VPN a perfect tool for gaming, right? Let’s explore how a VPN works before answering it.
A VPN Tunnels Internet Traffic
A VPN server is a computer that has been configured to act as a proxy for internet traffic. It relays incoming requests to their destination, then returns them to the source. Because the destination communicates with the VPN server, your IP address is masked behind the VPN server’s address.
It opens up several possibilities. You can bypass geo-restriction simply by masking your IP address with a VPN server in a different country. The ISP cannot track and log every activity, such as what websites you visit. And equally important, it helps you overcome the vulnerabilities on public Wi-Fi – thanks to encryption.
So, in short, the VPN acts as a proxy for you, allowing you to browse the web by hiding your identity.
How to Use VPN for Gaming
VPN can benefit gaming in some cases. We’ll explore how in a minute, but let us first explain how you can set it up.
iProVPN offers an app for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS, so it’s a matter of connecting to the desired VPN service and entering the online arena. Here’s how:
- Subscribe to any iProVPN plan.
- Download the app on your device.
- Launch the app, then enter the credentials to log in.
- Go to the servers section and pick a server.
- Turn on the VPN by clicking the VPN switch.
Now that you have a VPN running, you can play games and consume bandwidth as much as you want without the fear of bandwidth throttling.
If you have a gaming console such as an Xbox or a PlayStation, then set up iProVPN in the router. Having VPN running directly in the router allows you to
Should You Use a VPN for Gaming?
With all that out of the way, here are some things to consider while using a VPN for gaming.
A VPN acts as a proxy for your internet requests. Data travels encrypted to a designated VPN server first before reaching the destination. This adds another hop for the data, thus introducing a delay. Keep in mind that data also has to travel back for your input to show on the screen while gaming.
This is called latency. It is the time it takes for data to travel to its destination and back. In gaming, the more common term against which performance is measured is called ping.
For the gameplay experience to be smooth, the ping must be as low as possible. One way to get better pings is to connect with game servers in nearby regions. For example, connecting to game servers in Canada from the United States will result in better pings than if you connect to game servers in Singapore.
But there are some cases where a VPN can improve the online gaming experience.
Like we explained, a VPN usually introduces more latency to online performance but can fix improper routing. It means that if your data is taking a longer route to reach its destination, then using a VPN server can put you on the optimal track.
Lastly, it can prevent DDoS attacks. It’s far-fetched and unlikely to happen, but online gaming environments can become heated. Anyone with a grudge can find your IP address and send a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
How to Setup a VPN for Gaming
With iProVPN, the process is simple. Here’s what you need to do:
- Ensure that you have an active iProVPN subscription.
- Download app from your platform.
- Sign-in to iProVPN, then select the nearest server location.
- Connect to the VPN server.
You are now ready to play games with VPN protection. Notice the pings with VPN turned on, if they seem high, then switch to another nearby server. If it continues, you are better off playing without a VPN if performance is crucial.
Set up VPN for Gaming without an App
iProVPN lets you set up a VPN in a compatible router. This approach allows you to connect a device to the router and gain VPN protection without any app. It opens the possibility to get a VPN on virtually any device.
We have detailed guides on several router manufacturers that you can find here.
More Than Gaming
A VPN for gaming doesn’t have to be all about gaming. Video-games consoles are powerful entertainment devices that millions of people use for the big screen. PlayStation 4 is one of the leading platforms for watching Netflix.
If you want unrestricted access to such popular streaming services, then get a VPN on your gaming console. iProVPN supports PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S once you enable VPN in the router.