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VPNs and Gaming – What You Need to Know

Of the 44% of Brits who now regularly use a virtual private network (VPN) on one, some, or all of their devices, a relatively contingent regularly indulge in activities such as gaming.

After all, consoles such as the PlayStation 5 (PS5) have evolved into more capacious entertainment systems, while they also boast Internet connectivity and a broad network of users.

Mobile gaming is also becoming increasingly popular, with 84% of adults playing games on at least one device and Brits spending 2.5 hours on their smartphones on an average day.

Such trends have increased online risk factors and compelled gamers to connect to unsecured public networks more frequently. So, let’s look at the core benefits of using a VPN when gaming while asking how it solves key security issues.

What’s a VPN?

When you download and install a VPN for UK usage, you’re essentially creating an encrypted tunnel between your device and a remote service operated by a private client.

Once connected, it’s through this that all of your website traffic and data is routed. This is transmitted securely and appears as an indecipherable string of code to hackers, network managers, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

By connecting to a remote server, a VPN also masks your device’s IP address, making this less vulnerable to practices such as doxxing and launching malicious malware attacks.

There’s a broad range of paid and free VPN clients, some of which may offer additional features like obfuscation (or stealth mode).

This describes a scenario where your actual use of a VPN is hidden from sight and the attention of data packets. This prevents government agencies and private companies (such as Netflix) from detecting and blocking VPN servers, ensuring you can use the software freely and with genuine peace of mind.

What are the Benefits of Using a VPN for Gamers?

Now that we understand the function of a VPN let’s explore how this type of technology can make gaming safer, better, and more efficient in the digital age. Here are some examples and considerations in mind:

#1. It Adds Further Protection When Enjoying Mobile Gaming

When you enjoy mobile gaming through a public network, you should know that this is unsecured and vulnerable to hackers. 

Such nefarious individuals can often create rogue access points on these networks, encouraging you to connect your device before accessing your data and private transaction information.

By installing a mobile VPN on iOS or Android, however, you can create an additional layer of network protection and encryption when gaming on the move. 

Certainly, this will obfuscate your data and make it invisible to hackers or cyber thieves (which may be crucial when playing freemium games with paid tiers) while preventing network managers and other users from observing your activity.  

#2. It Minimizes the Risk of Doxxing or Malicious Malware Attacks

As we’ve already touched on, a VPN will also mask your device’s IP address, whether you’re gambling on the move or through a desktop computer or laptop.

This minimizes the risk that you’ll be victim to practices like doxxing (where personal information is accessed and published online) and the launch of malicious malware or ransomware software, which is typically more likely when you spend large amounts of time connected and gaming online.

A VPN prevents individuals from targeting your device’s precise location or web traffic. In contrast, it tricks others into thinking that you’re actually in a completely different part of the world, depending on your choice of a private client.

#3. It Stops ISPs from Slowing Your Connection Speed

Practices such as gaming are data-intensive and can utilize a huge amount of network bandwidth over an extended period.

Because of this and their need to manage large and diverse networks, ISPs often look out for gaming activity while monitoring their users’ activity and web traffic flow.

In some cases, they may even look to engage in bandwidth throttling, which sees them deliberately reduce your connection speed and Internet activity to restrict usage. 

This is usually done to preserve bandwidth and guarantee quicker connection speeds across the whole network, but it can directly impact your speed and gaming experience.

However, a VPN completely encrypts your web traffic and data, making it impossible for ISPs to view your web traffic and monitor your activity. This means they won’t be able to observe you gaming, minimizing the risk that you’ll be exposed to bandwidth throttling over time.

The Last Word

As we can see, using a VPN while gaming minimizes many of the associated security risks while also helping to optimize your connection speed over time.

Because of this, we’d recommend installing a paid and reputable VPN client on your desktop or mobile devices, especially if you frequently connect to unsecured public networks when out and about.

We’d also encourage you to opt for paid options over free alternatives, as the former offer a wider range of features, refrain from monetizing your datasets, and can often be sourced for less than £3 a month!