Recently I have been seeing or hearing about online gamers connecting to games via VPNs. My understanding of VPNs is that they limit bandwidth thus reduce speed as opposed to improving the speed of a game when playing online. At the same time, VPNs can cause lag too, so why are these people playing via VPNs?
Now when it comes to internet speeds, the connection can only run as fast as the slowest device or allow as much data through as the device with the least amount of throughput. That is pretty much as in-depth as my IT knowledge goes. Therefore, if you have a 10Mbs network card, and the VPN has 50Mbs, the fastest the connection will run at is 10Mbs. Clearly, VPNs cannot be used to speed up gaming?
If you want to know wat is VPN in Dutch then go there? (For my Dutch readers as this can get technical).
Actually, I found that for some people VPNs do speed up their gaming. This is because a VPN can help to avoid throttling. Players can connect to a VPN server and the game can use the VPN server’s high-tech hardware to take some of the burdens off their own machine. This stops the machine throttling, which can cause lag.
Some people do not want their IP address or location to be detected. Therefore, they can use a VPN to get around this. One of the best ways to hide your Ip address is by using an IP address that you do not own. VPNs are perfect for this exact practice. If you use a VPN, your IP address will be changed. When it is changed, this means hackers or anyone that find the IP address you are playing from will be out of luck because the IP address they have will lead them to a dead end.
There are a large number of computer games out there that are restricted to certain locations. This means that the developer has created the game to be exclusively available in a particular location. However, that does not mean that the developer can stop people playing the game because VPNs can easily bypass the geo-location restrictions set.
All you need is a VPN that has a server in its collection of IPs that is from a location that is not geo-location restricted by the game developer. Obviously, VPNs can still slow down the game speed, so you will need to make sure you have a decent VPN, which will probably mean using a paid VPN rather than using one of the many free VPN software options available today.
One place where VPNs are particularly prevalent is in China. In the Republic of China Facebook, Google, YouTube, and many other social media and search engines are banned on the Chinese internet (we won’t call the World Wide Web because Chinese internet is generally not worldwide). People that want to access these sites use a VPN, and this has led to a flurry of online gamers the following suit to play online games that are banned by Chinese proxy servers filtering out IP addresses the government does not approve of.
Hide Illegal Gaming Practices
Much like the section above where people like to use VPNs to avoid detection, people that like to play illegal games or games that are illegal in their country will tend to use a VPN. In some countries such as Thailand or Malaysia, there are some confusions about the laws regarding online gambling. There are websites where the local citizens in these countries can have a flutter online, but even though they are signed to this website that can be played from within the borders of their country, there could be some risks involved.
As a way to avoid being detected, and sure up privacy, many people will use a VPN. Firstly, the user will connect to the VPN, which creates a secure encrypted tunnel from the machine being used. That tunnel will go through the firewall and connect to a VPN server in another location. Therefore, the player will now be playing from an IP address he/she does not own and has no ties to their internet.
Play on Gaming Servers in Other Countries
This is not getting around geo-location banning and rather getting around speed issues when connecting to gaming servers in another country – let me explain because this is in fact quite ingenious. For example, if you have a very good internet connection and you play games such as Dota 2, you can select to play on any server around the world. However, Dota will detect your internet speed to that server using a ‘ping’. If it is too slow, then Dota will not let you connect to that server.
A way to get around this is to use a VPN. By connecting to the VPN in the region where the gaming server is that you want to connect to, the ping test will always pass. Not only this, where you would have normally had lag because you are connecting over a public network to the server, the lag is eliminated because the private VPN tunnel will speed up your traffic through the connection by delivering and receiving data from the local server much quicker than your conventional connection.
Players may have friends in the UK and want to play on UK servers from places like Thailand. However, in Thailand data leaving the country is slow because of the Thai government’s proxy server acts as a bottleneck. You could have a 100Mbs connection, but with that proxy server in the way, it slows down access to foreign sites.
As a result, someone that wants to connect to an EU gaming server will just need the VPN, which cuts out the interference from the government’s proxy server, speeds up gaming on those servers, and allows players to play on foreign servers.
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to use a VPN for online gaming. It was something that I had no idea about, but after reading up on this, and asking around, I now fully understand why VPNs are commonplace for many online gamers around the world. Once again, as I seem to have a loyal contingency of Dutch readers please find out more here – wat is een vpn.