Who will win? PC or Console, mobile or VR? While there are many differences in gaming preferences, platforms, and what we are looking for in games, one thing makes us all connected, our love towards gaming. And it doesn’t matter if you like smashing fruit, pawning noobs, or conquering the galaxy, you need to stay safe while you are playing games. You need a gaming VPN!
Using a gaming VPN was, for a long time, not applicable for competitive online games, due to server and bandwidth restrictions, but with the new premium VPN providers, it is now possible to have an active VPN at all times while gaming, and not experience any troubles.
Top tier premium VPN providers like Le VPN now have faster connections, as well as servers around the world where you would be able to connect with as much ping as you would by connecting to the server of your Internet Service Provider.
With all the advantages, there are also some problems that need to be addressed, and knowing them in advance removes the risk of your VPN intruding on your gaming. With a bit of know-how and a good provider, you will be able to remove all of the risks and play your favorite games as much as you like.
Cybersecurity and Identity Protection
In the early days of the internet, privacy over the internet was rarely an issue. People only knew you as your avatar or screen name, and there was no way for anyone to access any additional data, even if they were to hack your computer.
Now, the situation is entirely different. Even if you are very careful about giving out your information in-game, you will often have an account, and you will quite frequently need to supply a credit card to pay, either for the game or to purchase something with micro-transactions (no judgment).
This little breadcrumb can be traced through your IP address and would lead to your personal information. In most cases, this would result in your online identity being stolen, especially if you have a very active account in a popular game. In some cases, your actual identity can be stolen, and that would spell a whole host of problems. If you become a victim of identity theft, gaming will become the least of your problems.
Thankfully, both consoles, PCs, and mobile devices have become strong enough hardware wise to be able to run a VPN, Anti-Virus, and the game without any lag. Additionally, some VPN providers, including Le VPN, have made VPN routers that will make security for all of your home devices permanent.
Keeping Your Connection Stable and Safe
When gaming online, you will want for your connection to be secure and constant. Coincidentally, most gaming platforms also prefer for your link to remain steady and from the same IP address, and they don’t really care which one.
Sometimes you might be able to access hidden or restricted content by using only a proxy server, but will not guarantee constant speed, and connecting to a game from multiple IP addresses will end up with you being temporarily banned, as the game would think that you have been hacked.
This is why it is best to pick out a premium VPN, and the best server on that VPN, and to stick to that server for all of your gaming needs, including online purchases as well as comments of message boards and chat.
Why is a Premium VPN a Must?
Aside from all of the security concerns when using a free VPN, which are substantial, there is a number of problems when you are trying to game with a free VPN. If you are serious about your gaming, and you have invested a lot of time and money in multiple games, spending a little extra to safeguard those investments might be the responsible choice. While using a free VPN might work at the moment, there are a lot of problems in the long run.
– Man In the Middle Attacks
MITM is one of the most often attacks when using a free VPN service, as the hacker will not need to hack your device directly, but can instead hack the server you are using and let you give them all of the information willingly. Aside from hacking in the narrow sense of the word, there are a lot of hackers and identity thieves that will set up a ‘’Free VPN’’ and promote it as the best thing since sliced bread, but would use the server to spy on the users and to steal any useful data.
– Unreliable Servers
Even with the best possible gaming VPN, you will only have a handful of servers that will fit your needs just right. For strategy games or those that are less demanding like WOW you might pass with a server placed across the world, but if you are playing a fast-paced FPS this will not be an issue, you will need a server that is close, and that you know that the speed will be constant.
With a premium VPN, you will always have service, and even if there is a severe attack on the server so that it goes down, you will be able to switch to another server in a few seconds. With free VPN, if the server is down, you will need to find yourself a good book to read while you wait.
– Lag & Ping
Servers aren’t cheap, and hosting a server for hundreds, or even thousands of people can cost an arm and a leg. Free VPN servers will usually allow more users on them than they are actually able to maintain, sacrificing internet speed in the process. This will make your connection lag, and would often result in the game becoming unplayable, especially if it is fast paced, or it requires high internet speeds.
While your ping is mostly affected by the distance between the server and your device, it can be affected by the responsiveness of the server itself, even if it is a foot from your PC. Free VPNs usually have less processing power. Thus when they become popular, they usually start making slower response times, resulting in higher ping.
– Kill Switch
In a normal gaming environment, you will often have your home internet switched on, and your VPN over it. When using a premium VPN such as Le VPN, this is not an issue because the application would disconnect you the moment there is no VPN available, for whichever reason, using a kill switch.
This is not the case with free VPNs, and you might find yourself exposed for hours without realizing, as the VPN connection broke and your device has automatically reverted to your ISP provided IP address.
What is Ping?
In the simplest of terms, ping is the response time between your device, the server you are connecting to, and the end content you are accessing. While in most gaming situations you will want to have as less of a ping as possible, but if you are trying to prevent lag, you should be more concerned with stability than with numbers.
For professional competitive e-sports, the desired ping is usually below 20ms, which is mostly so that the players can’t blame lag for their mistakes, but to keep the game playable you will be able to use anything faster than 150ms. You will want to try multiple servers to assess which one has the lowest ping and select that one as your main server. Using a professional VPN provider such as Le VPN, you will also be able to choose several favorite servers, so that you have several to choose from just in case.
Depending on where you live, using Le VPN, you will be able to find servers that will give you stable ping in the ranges between 25ms and 65ms, which is more than adequate even for FPS games. Additionally, these servers have a ridiculously high bandwidth, meaning that you will lose very little between your standard unencrypted connection, and the gaming VPN.
Local Network Restrictions
Depending on where you are, you might have some game servers completely restricted from your ISP. This is usually the case if you are using the internet provided by a University, or some other public institution, where someone got the idea that if they restrict games and popular websites people would be more focused on learning. One of the first games to be limited in this way was the original Starcraft, which was as popular in US colleges as it was in Korea. Currently, if you are attending college, you will usually find games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, or DotA being blocked.
If you have a gaming VPN, this stops being an issue, as none of the restrictions will apply to your connection anymore. Take care that this might be against the rules of the institution whose link you are using, meaning that it is probably best if people don’t see you play D.Va in the University Library, for multiple reasons.
Making a LAN Party, Online
Most people forget that a VPN server is not only a safe connection that masks your IP, but that it is also an actual server. One of the newer tricks that you can use is to connect older consoles to your VPN router and to select the same server from multiple locations. This way you can fake a server for games that are no longer supported by the developers and make Local Area Network parties, globally.
For instance, you can connect two PS2 consoles to the router via Ethernet, from two totally different places. If both users select the same VPN server, they will be able to recognize each other for a LAN connection. If you are ready for a few laughs, in the loving memory of the legend that is Randy ‘’Macho Man’’ Savage, you can play WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain against a person half across the world, and as both your connection, and ping, would be underwhelmed by the game, you might use your internet to Skype or Facetime with the person you are playing with at the same time.
Steam vs. gaming VPN
Gaming platforms such as Steam or Xbox Live are painted as all fun and games, but we should be reminded that there are giant multinational corporations behind them, and there is yet to be a corporation or a government that likes their users being anonymous and protected. While Steam doesn’t forbid the use of a VPN directly, you will have a lot of trouble if the platform sees that you are changing multiple IP addresses to access the same account all the time. Your account might be flagged as hacked, and you might be outright banned from the service, losing your library in the process.
A premium VPN surpasses this restriction by using only favorite servers, as that would just go unnoticed by Valve or Microsoft. Just make sure that you are not picking out servers at random, as some games will be unplayable from certain regions, and you might lose access when you change your server. This is especially true if you are in Australia, as the government there has very strange views about what their adult taxpayers are permitted to see.
What is a DRM?
It is not often that you will hear a gamer use a corporate term, but digital rights management (DRM) is something that everyone who has ever bought an AAA game from a major publisher knows, and we despise it. A DRM is nothing more but the attempt from the publisher to keep their game hostage even after you buy it, forcing you to stay online all the time while you play. For some reason, publishers think that players don’t know how to enter the game files and remove this feature, and especially those gamers who pirate games. People who play on consoles are at a slight disadvantage here, but even they usually have a work PC that can modulate text files.
Thankfully, more and more publishers are going away from DMR software, but for the rest, you will want to use a VPN to even apply for these services. Trusting companies like EA with your data is basically like signing up for a cruise with the Weyland-Yutani Corporation.
Censorship is a word tossed around frequently these days, and while the usage is correct more times that all of us would like, direct censorship is not always the case. In many situations, the publisher itself would change some features if they think that that will increase the sales of their games or would give them positive press (or the lack of negative press).
Even though gamers usually take the gaming media with the grain of salt the size of a small moon, publishers are still very acute to what they have to say, and multiple games are reduced in content for particular markets or even unpublished.
– History of Game Censorship
The history of game censorship is as long as gaming itself. If you have ever had the misfortune to buy the 1987 Konami game Contra in Europe, you would see that it was called Probotector and that the only things you can kill in it are robots. That tradition is lasting to this day.
Not to dwell too much on politics, but generally speaking for the US, until the end of the sixth generation in 2005 censors were obsessed with nudity and swearing, and you would often hear how ‘’games are murder simulators’’, and from that point onwards the censors are more focused on anything that can be considered racist, sexist, and homophobic, and they needed to point that all out.
– Nudity, culture, and religion
Speaking globally, the biggest problem with game censorship is, to this day, nudity. Many countries in the world have legal restrictions on this sort of content and publishers usually comply with cutting down material as to be able to sell their games. This also applies to gore and culturally specific content. For instance, the Fallout 3, the whole quest line in the city of Megaton was removed for all games sold in Japan, making it unable to detonate the bomb. The name of the launcher, Fat Man, was also removed as it was a direct reference to the nuclear weapon dropped on Japan.
– Copyright and Distribution Rights
Not even including DRM content, in some countries, it is outright impossible to buy some games, as the owner of the IP has not struck a deal with any publishers that have the right to distribute games inside the country. This is especially the case in China, where most games become obsolete long before they ever got approval from the official censors.
The best country to live in, or to use a VPN from, is Iceland, as they have the most relaxed laws when it comes to any kind of censorship, and no need for a local publisher when it comes to games retail. And yes, Le VPN has a VPN server in Iceland too!
– Region Specific Content
Similar to the previous point, some games are published only locally, especially if they are in the local language. This is especially true for Japan, where a lot of games are released exclusively for the Japanese market, without even the attempt to contact a US publisher. While some of this content is accessible online, there is plenty that it not, and you will need your gaming VPN connection to play such games.
Conclusion: Why Use a Gaming VPN
In the end, a gaming VPN is not only a possibility with the current technology but is also a necessity if you want to stay anonymous and protected. Thankfully, it is now possible to protect all of your devices without even thinking about it with a VPN router, and with a premium VPN provider such as Le VPN you will be able to have a fast and stable connection with low ping, and also access games in their purest, uncensored form, from all over the world.
*Article Updated On March 22nd, 2019.*
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