The pros and cons of using a VPN for gaming

A Virtual Private Networking (VPN) connection is a way to protect your personal information when using your computer. It is often used specifically to hide your unique IP address from outside parties, including the website you are ultimately connecting to. VPN providers also claim that there are other benefits to be had from using their services, such as reduced latency, but skeptics say that using a VPN is just an added complication that the average user doesn’t need.

How does a VPN work?

Most gamers will encounter a VPN in the form of a free or subscription-based service. To use this service, you either download the software or reconfigure your computer settings according to their instructions, and then you’re good to go.

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The VPN acts as a middleman between you and the worldwide web, connecting your computer to their own remote server and then connecting from there to the site you want to visit. That means your own computer’s IP address is hidden, effectively allowing you to surf the web and play games anonymously.

Why do I need a VPN?

In normal circumstances, your IP address reveals your geographical location as well as allowing third parties to track your online activity. It is most commonly used to create targeted advertising, but you may also experience different content or restrictions based on where your IP address says that you live. A VPN gets around this as your IP address will simply be that of the server your provider has connected you to, and that can be changed as needed.

VPN for gamers

One reason why you might want to use a VPN is to access the best NJ online casinos. Games, where you play for money, are blocked in some states and countries but not in others. Using a VPN gives everyone the same access. In the same way, you can use a VPN to access games and gameplay trailers that have not been released in your territory yet, or even banned games. However, it is not advisable to use a VPN to circumscribe local laws or company conditions of use.

The question of latency

Some claim that using a VPN can reduce latency if you connect to a server that is closer to the game’s own server. Others point out that any VPN is putting another layer between you and the game that can only increase latency. Most providers give you a choice of servers rated according to ping time. Our advice is to choose the one with the lowest ping and hope for the best.

Protection

Using a VPN can protect you from snoopers, cyberattacks, and the possibility of an irate opponent using your IP address to find and harass you on social media, or even at your real-life address. However, the risk of having to deal with that is very low. Using a VPN is advisable if you’re gaming on public Wi-Fi, for instance in a café, an airport lounge, or on public transport. It is probably not a secure connection and other users may be able to eavesdrop on your activities.

Whether a VPN is worthwhile depends on your circumstances and what you’re using it for. In most cases, it’s not essential but can be advisable for some activities. Added security and privacy can come at a cost, but it could be worth it.

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Anthony Dennis

Anthony is the Owner for Culture of Gaming and he spends his days studying, gaming and working on the site. Anthony has worked for the past 7 years in the Video Game journalism industry and has worked for over 30 different sites in that time.

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