Do you enjoy spending your evenings hunting for treasure and eradicating ghost pirates while playing Sea of Thieves with friends? Or maybe you prefer immersing yourself in the glorious lands in Tamriel, joining groups of people to hit up dungeons, and questing with others? Whatever your game of choice, if you play online games with others, it’s worth considering using a VPN to improve your privacy and security. There are a number of reasons why a VPN makes sense; we are going to discuss them in this article.
1. It Protects You from Stalkers
Thankfully, this is incredibly rare, but it’s important to note that there have been some reported cases of gamers being stalked in their personal life after “upsetting” someone in a game. All it takes is for a disgruntled gamer to find your IP address, and then they can find out your location, as well as things like your social media accounts and employment details. Some extreme cases of this have led to something termed as “swatting”, which is basically where a disgruntled gamer finds out where you live and then sends the emergency services to your home under the guise of a bomb threat or fake hostage situation.
A VPN can help to protect you from this kind of harassment by fully protecting your identity and keeping your personal information secure. CyberGhost, for example, which you can read more about on Top10, uses 256-bit encryption to mask your online activity. It also guarantees that it won’t slow down your devices while being used. It’s a win-win solution.
2. It Protects You from DDoS Attacks
A DDoS attack is when someone sends a lot of attacks from compromised computers to a singular IP address to force it offline. These used to be mostly reserved for online games and websites, but it’s now relatively easy for anyone to purchase DDoS software and perform a DDoS attack against someone else for any reason at all.
Again, a VPN can be beneficial in helping you to avoid this kind of attack as it masks your IP address. If a disgruntled gamer tries to DDoS attack you, they won’t have much luck as they won’t be able to find your connection.
3. It Helps to Avoid Bandwidth Throttling
Some internet service providers have bandwidth caps, which throttle performance at certain times of the day to ease congestion on their networks. And, while this doesn’t affect most internet users, if you’re playing data heavy online games, you’ll likely notice connection errors, lag, and a whole host of other annoying things until the cap is lifted. With games like Destiny 2 using up to 300MB of data an hour – plus consoles often requiring updates before you can play – you can see how easy it could be to reach a data cap and thus have your bandwidth limited.
A VPN can help by encrypting your data, which can make it difficult for your internet service provider to work out whether you’re playing a data heavy online game or simply browsing webpages for work. If they don’t know how much data you’re using, it’s unlikely that they will hit you with a bandwidth cap.
4. You Can Play Games from Other Regions
Some games are only released in certain regions – a lot of Japanese games are not released outside of Asia, for example – while others are released with censorship in certain countries. Some games are also released with numerous servers, which means that US gamers can only play with other US gamers, and Europeans can only play with Europeans. Companies use geoblocking technology in order to achieve this – and it works similar to the way that Netflix and other streaming services are country specific.
However, if you use a VPN, you can bypass geoblocking technology and make your console appear to be located in another region. Most VPN software enables you to choose a specific country server to connect to, and it’s incredibly easy to do this. When using a VPN, you’ll have no problems playing games available to any region, and can also play with friends on geoblocked servers as well.
5. Avoid IP Bans
While it’s never a good idea to ignore a game or console’s rules, and it’s an even worse idea to violate them, sometimes IP bans are handed down for no good reason at all. If the ban is temporary, specific to your IP, and not related to your in-game username, you may be able to bypass it by using a VPN.
It’s important to note here that the free to use basic VPNs are probably not going to be your best option when it comes to circumventing an IP ban. However, paid VPNs tend to have enough servers to enable you to get around the ban until it is lifted. Also, we recommend making sure that you are not further violating the game’s TOS by using this tactic – some gamers have found themselves completely blacklisted from using a console online for serious violations.
As you can see, there are a number of good reasons to use a VPN for console gaming.