Even though gaming is considered a pastime activity (with the exception of eSports and similar leagues), you should still remember the importance of keeping your identity anonymous. Even if you’re using a nickname instead of your real name when interacting with other gamers, your real IP can still leak through.
Based on the real IP, someone could discover your real identity, too. But it’s not only other gamers you need to be wary of when trying to protect your IP – it’s also to shield yourself from the online platforms that are trying to display contextual ads based on it. If you think that’s the end of the list, you’re mistaken. In fact, many online gamers prefer to use a VPN server because of the following reasons.
Why Using a VPN Has Become Crucial When Gaming
Discouraging angry losers from trying to stalk you
Since both winning and losing can get someone pretty worked up, using a VPN server to hide your true identity is the extra layer of protection you need. It will help to stay safe from gamers who take it a little bit too far. Angry losers trying to stalk the winners – particularly when the latter resort to so-called “unfair” tactics to win – is not unheard of. To some of the most hardcore gamers with a lack of restraint, a loss is a personal matter, and they may try to hand it back to you in real life. Although such people are few and far between, hiding your real identity behind a VPN server is worth a thought.
Protect your login credentials
Since smartphones are portable by nature, carrying one in your back pocket is a common practice. Chances are it’s also full of games, so why not whip it out and game away while you’re sitting in a coffee shop and waiting for your friends to show up? After all, there’s free WiFi for everyone, right? Well, yes, but hold on for a second. Since anyone can connect to it, the hackers can, too. This means that you risk having your device infected with malware or your data intercepted, including the one you use to access your gaming account. By connecting to the WiFi hotspot through a secure VPN server, all the data gets routed through an encrypted tunnel, so the packets someone could try to intercept would be rendered unreadable.
Access regionally-restricted games
Due to local laws and regulations, certain games may only be available in predetermined regions. How can the gaming server determine your location? By looking at your IP address, of course. But since a VPN allows you to change your IP and pick another one from the pool they have available, you can bypass these restrictions. Be careful, though; not every VPN provider gives you the option of being regionally flexible with your IP choices, so make sure to do your due diligence beforehand.
Reduce ping times and lag
Smooth gameplay is the epitome of a good online gaming experience. In other words, low ping and low lag mean that you’re going to have an easier time reacting to what your opponents do. Otherwise, no amount of skill will help you prevail. By using a VPN, you’re shortening the time it takes for bits and pieces of data to travel back and forth between your device and the gaming server, resulting in reduced lag and lower ping.
Download regionally-restricted games
Did you know that PSN and Xbox Live can block you from downloading certain titles if you’re located in a specific region? Conveniently, getting a VPN that allows you to pick from a pool of IP addresses is a great way around this. Alternatively, you can cycle through the IP addresses by reconnecting until you get the one from the desired location, thus bypassing the regional restrictions.
It’s also about getting the best prices possible. Sometimes, the same title can have a different price tag in different regions, mainly due to rounding up the prices and unfair currency conversion. When you know this secret, using a VPN can also help you save money.
Curb DDoS attacks
DDoS attacks are not to be trifled with. Become targeted by one of these, and you’ll quickly find yourself unable to connect to anyone due to being flooded with incoming connections. As a matter of fact, such cyber attacks are often used during tournaments to disable and overcome an opponent in an unethical way. By being connected through a VPN server, your real IP remains hidden from plain sight, and the VPN server will get targeted instead.
There are more reasons why so many gamers are flocking to VPN services, but this should do for the time being. If you want to get the most out of your purchase, stick to the ones that support a multitude of devices, so a single subscription will cover your whole gaming repertoire.
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